Jazz Noir

Auxiliary Memory

by James Wallace Harris, Monday, July 31, 2017

I’ve been swept up into a new musical genre called Jazz Noir. Others call it Dark Jazz or Crime Jazz. There’s no listing for it in Wikipedia, which implies the size of its fandom. I didn’t know the genre existed until recently but have been loving music from it for over fifty years. I guess others like me who resonate with this kind of sound have finally named it. The music is slow and moody, and is usually found on soundtracks for film noir movies of the 1950s, but has modern equivalents, including video games like L. A. Noire, which has captured the essence of the genre perfectly.

My wife thinks jazz noir conveys a sense of depression, but it instills philosophical contemplation in me. The music is not jazz in the traditional sense, although many old jazz albums have songs…

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