Comparing notes with Robert Hilburn on the current Sting tour: It is unfortunate that your No. 1 "pop" critic has to use Sting's live performance to voice his discomfort with anything resembling whatever he thinks "jazz" might be ("Sting Kicks Off First Solo Tour," Aug. 15).
I experienced the opposite of Hilburn's opinion at the Greek Theatre. The band's improvisations made overall for a more exciting, dynamic performance that beautifully complemented Sting's songs, new and old.
Why do most critics resist the mingling of musical genres? Probably because they labor to solidify these labels in their writing. Musicians know otherwise.
From a musical standpoint, these labels come from the same singular tradition. The audience was treated to spirited arrangements of what might have been termed "jazz," "blues," "pop," "progressive rock," etc.