"Bam" became the tagline of celebrity chef Emeril LaGasse at the start of the last decade.

With Emeril's star having largely faded, a coalition has now proposed a new use for the word. They propose to use it as an acronym to replace the word "Jazz". The acronym's long form? Black American Music, and Nicholas Payton introduces us to the new genre with his new album, "Bitches."

The word "Coalition" may not be the right one. It appears that Nicholas Payton was the first to publish his thoughts on the issue on his blog in a lengthy November entry where Payton simply states several dozen reasons why "Jazz" is no longer a relevant term. A few other musicians have signed on since then although I have been unable to find a listing.

So I give you two pieces of music to compare, both taken from Payton. First is the quintessential "Take Five" from Dave Brubeck. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwNr...
And the second is off of Payton's recent release, "Bitches" (apparently a reference to Miles Davis's groundbreaking 1970 Columbia release, "Bitches Brew") is the original composition "Give Light. Live Life. Love." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXgy...
Not so different, stylistically. Close enough that they can be described using the term jazz, I think. But one has sold millions of copies (over 43 years) and the other would be delighted to sell 100,000.

And that is really the core of Payton's argument -- Jazz is a hard sell in America today. Maybe jazzers should try something else.

With that, "Bitches" provides some interesting new tracks such as "iStole Your iPhone" which melds elements from Jazz, the Caribbean, and Urban music. But take away the vocal track, and its still jazz.

Another part of Payton's explanation is one that flirts with "Occupy Jazz." Payton tries to convolve jazz with the n-word, calling it in a subsequent blog entry "the derogatory j-word." I don't want to touch that one, so I simply quote someone hopefully more versed in the field than I, AllAboutJazz columnist Greg Thomas

Equating jazz with the "n" word, is, in my estimation, not wise.

My total opinion of the project is this: I feel it is a fool's errand for Payton to try changing a genre that has become known for its closed-mindedness, a genre with few living influential figures, and hundreds of academics who will try to defend the original label by psychoanalyzing the statements deceased greats like Miles Davis.

The album itself probably deserves 3 and a half stars on the five star scale. If not for Payton manufacturing this controversy, it probably would have slipped under the radar of almost everyone as being too experimental -- which suggests that Payton's speaking out is having the desired effect. If not for the "BAM" storyline, I never would have heard of the album. It will be interesting to see if the statement causes Payton to be shunned in the future, though.