Re: Is free Jazz the best Jazz?
The best jazz is what you feel like listening to at the time. For Wynton/Crouch traditionalists the best jazz excludes free and fusion. For some people no jazz at all is best.
Me, sometimes I'm in the mood for Sun Ra, Trane, or Art Ensemble. Sometimes I'd rather Nina, Diana Krall or Duke, or maybe I feel like listening to a hot trio like Bad Plus or Hiromi ... hell, I even feel like listening to Albert Ayler in masochistic moments ;-)
I've seen some great jazz in concert halls that wasn't free ($).