Manhattan jazz residencies (my new City Arts column)

  • The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra at the Village Vanguard on Monday night since 1967 
  •  The Mingus Big Band, Orchestra and Dynasty ensemble in regular rotation on Mondays at the Jazz Standard
  • Guitarist Les Paul, at age 94 a genuine hipster, the Ben Franklin of American popular music, Monday nights at Iridium forever.

These are a few of our favorite things. Read about it in my new monthly column in City Arts NYC: New York’s Review of Culture, published by the folks who also bring you New York Press.


The column, so far just called “Jazz,” looks ahead each month (it’s published in print the first Wednesday of every month inserted into its publisher’s several neighborhood weekly papers) to a selection of of promising music performances in New York coming right up. Given that there are hundreds of such performances, and I can only tout three or four, I apologize beforehand to every musician, presenter and producer for all I’ll miss. Also, I must say I don’t conceive the audience addressed by City Arts the same as that for this blog. It’s not a mutually exclusive readership, I hope — maybe overlapping?

“Maximalist to minimalist” was the headline of my first City Arts column, last month, wherein I urged listeners to hear Dee Dee Bridgewater at Zankel Hall, Philip Glass and Foday Musa Suso at City Winery, Cecil Taylor at Merkin Hall — and in the clubs, Hank Jones with Frank Wess, Enrico Rava with Stefono Bollani and Paul Motian, Lee Konitz, guitarist John Scofield’s New Orleans gospel band. That was stuffing a lot in, trying to establish the breadth of music presented in New York — and at a generally inviting level of access, for broad audiences. The picks were strewn over four weeks, and suggested some dimensions of the jazz-and-otherwise I’m apt to recommend. 
Speaking of which, check out this video of Dee Dee Bridgewater singing “Real Compared to What?”
 
and sort of but not completely different Dee Dee with her Malian project from French tv.
 
Having had columns or long runs previously in the Village Voice, Ear and New York Press, among other publications, I admit enjoying being read on home turf. What’s most comforting about writing from New York is there’s no fear of running out of topics.

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