main: October 2007 Archives
I may burn at the stake for political incorrectness, but it's the truth: I have an intense aversion to gospel music. My distaste dates to a haunting childhood vision in which an overwhelming Mahalia Jackson is routed by a malevolent clown.
Jazz at Lincoln Center opened its canon to Swing Era guitar heroes Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian last week, while John Scofield, one of the instrument's current avatars, disappointed in performance of This Meets That with his trio + Scohorns. Where does the six-string ax belong, and what's it to do?
Norah Jones, Tina Turner, Corrine Bailey Rae, Luciana Souza and Leonard Cohen are not voices necessarily dear to fans of serious jazz, but Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter don't alone make River: The Joni Letters a must-hear.
A decade ago, pianist Herbie Hancock established his "New Standards" initiative, aiming to wed sophisticated improvisation to a contemporary American pop songbook (post-Berlin, Gershwin, Porter, et al). At last, after several disastrous attempts, he's justified such a project with River: The Joni Letters -- infusing well-known high art pop songs by inimitable Joni Mitchell with the depth of lyrical, inspired jazz.
Thelonious Sphere Monk (Oct. 10, 1917 - Feb. 17, 1982) should be celebrated today on the occasion of his 90th birthday, and always for the indestructible resonance of his compositions, pianism and performance style. He is an authentic icon of the American alternative, the possibility of us each becoming, and making sense of, who we uniquely are.
It's easy to hear Monk's influence in present day jazz -- as easy as listening to a parade of 18 jazz and classical keyboardists in 10-15 minute increments from 5 p.m. to 9:15 this evening (Oct. 10) at the Fazioli Piano Marathon in the Winter Garden of World Financial Center in downtown Manhattan, admission free. They'll lack the touch of the man himself -- but then, he is inimitable. Check out his juggling act with cigarette, handkerchief, fragmented melody and flowing counterpart on "Round Midnight", co-credited to Cootie Williams and Bernie Hanighen, but one of Monk's signature songs.
At the National Endowment for the Arts party last week announcing the 2008 of Jazz Masters at least one celebrant was hoping the award would kick-start a professional cycle.
"You know," said the 80-year-old trombonist/composer, paraphrasing the sequence of recognition he said Fernando Lamas had once applied to his career arc: "Who is Tom McIntosh? Get me Tom McIntosh! Get me a Tom McIntosh type! Get me a young Tom McIntosh! Who is Tom McIntosh?"
More than three dozen pundits and several hundred devotees of "jazz" old and new, free-form and familiarly-structured, abstract and/or pure blue -- writers, broadcasters, editors, photographers, new media specialists and teachers (most of whom fulfill several of those roles simultaneously) -- from some 20 countries -- pondered the big picture - "Jazz in the Global Imagination" at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism lecture hall Saturday in the first such international conference ever held in the U.S.
It was sponsored by the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University, produced by its director George E. Lewis, and consulted by the Jazz Journalists Association. That's an organization I'm deeply involved with, which hosted auxiliary events -- a party and jazz tour of Harlem, a Sunday brunch sponsored by Jazz at Lincoln Center so hip that Wynton Marsalis attended.
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Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
rock culture approximately
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
No genre is the new genre
David Jays on theatre and dance
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
John Rockwell on the arts
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Martha Bayles on Film...
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
Jerome Weeks on Books
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world
Public Art, Public Space
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog