Parsing the State of the Genre
 The Montreal Jazz Festival has promoted some dubious headliners this year — Steve Miller Band and The Moody Blues, take a bow — but not all is lost. Those curious about the state of jazz and improvised music could still catch an impressive cross-section of progressive-minded acts. Culled by Mike Doherty from seven concerts last weekend, here are seven different strategies musicians used — successfully or otherwise — to move the music forward.
Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, and John Zorn (Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Friday)“Play some music!” yelled one disgruntled punter after the trio’s first foray into wordless, droning electric sludge. Alto saxist Zorn responded, “If you don’t think this is music, get the fuck out of here!” A number of people took him up on his offer, while several others took the opportunity to boo during the performance. Reed’s infamous feedback opus, Metal Machine Music (1975), was greeted with similar controversy, but the album had at least one advantage: you could turn it down.