main: January 2011 Archives

Spectrum Road -- electric guitarist Vernon Reid, bassist Jack Bruce, keyboardist John Medeski and drummer Cindy Blackman -- playing high energy, high volume music at the Blue Note (NYC) this weekend inspired by the jazz-rock amalgam the late, great Tony Williams created 40 years ago, seems utterly cutting edge. Or is it just my old ears, getting deaf to quieter subtleties?
January 29, 2011 1:38 PM | | Comments (4)
The blues is big-time pop again -- processed to a triumphant apotheosis by Prince at Madison Square Garden as I detail in my new City Arts column -- (but did it ever go away? Here's the Artist with James Brown and Michael Jackson in 1983)


-- reinvigorated in acoustic revivalist and hybrid form by the Carolina Chocolate Drops, who kick off a three-month US tour at Lincoln Center's American Songbook Series on Wednesday, Feb 2 -- 

January 26, 2011 7:25 PM | | Comments (1)
In my latest column in City Arts - New York, I share a few thoughts about the solo piano improvisations of Keith Jarrett. jarrett.jpegThe headline's not mine, I don't get it -- but the music he performs at Carnegie Hall Jan. 16 may be transcendent, as far beyond jazz as his last album of solo concerts, Paris/London (Testament) or as with jazz as his duets with Charlie Haden, Jasmine.
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January 13, 2011 7:55 PM | | Comments (3)
Last night's NEA Jazz Masters concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center was ustreamed -- for the first time allowing the world to see live, free and forever America's official ceremony knighting the duly experienced, accomplished and original wise-people who create and perpetuate America's living vernacular music. nea jazz masters.jpeg

It was great to actually be there, too -- amid a throng of jazz's most powerful public and private supporters -- beside those who make the music, those who present, teach, promote, record, fund, think, write, broadcast, book, manage and counsel it. The jazz "community" (not much more an "industry") may be commercially embattled, but an unofficial and amorphous coalition of jazz activists has nonetheless succeed in lifting the art form to world-wide adoption and status undreamed of one or two generations ago. 

The mood of celebration was so heady that NEA chairman Rocco Landesman's announcement of $250,000 in grants for 15 non-profits to support live performance nationwide was almost overlooked.
January 12, 2011 11:05 AM | | Comments (0)
Hank Shteamer, writer-on-music at Time Out New York and blogger at Dark Forces Swing Blind Punches, writes "I am not a jazz journalist" in response to "The State of Jazz Journalism Now and Immediate Prospects" town hall meeting at the Jazz Journalists Association's "New Media for New Jazz" conference yesterday (Jan 8). He doesn't deny that he loves jazz and writes about it, but considers putting the title off an insistence for diversity. I'm president of the JJA and a jazz journalist -- among other things. My response to him follows; not meaning to be defensive or ghettoize myself (I'll take assignments on anything! Anything!) I hope to explain just why.
January 9, 2011 11:50 AM | | Comments (1)
A quick glimpse of a jazz club, a chat with fans going into or leaving the show, a word with a musician coming offstage or maybe at practice -- these bits of real life can be captured today in high quality video and audio equipment that's readily at hand -- mobile phones and HD pocket camcorders will do. With its initiative -- funded by the MidAtlantic Arts Foundation's Jazz.NEXT project through generous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation providing basic equipment and online training in shooting, editing, distributing and fundamentals of journalistic practices and standards to 30 successful applicants -- the Jazz Journalists Association (of which I'm pres) means to flood the web with such visions, or at least increase its population of quickly edited news clips that tell clear stories, showing great music live and well in real time, wider-spread than you might imagine, just waiting to be enjoyed.EYEjazz transparent logo.png

Apply to participate in the eyeJAZZ program now, filling out the application here. The JJA introduces eyeJAZZ formally at its "New Media for New Jazz" conference session Friday, Jan 7 at the New York Sheraton (NYC) 2:30 pm, Conference Room C -- attend at no charge). Learn to get up close to musicians the better to get direct answers to questions you have about how they do it -- as I asked flutist Nicole Mitchell, resulting in this clip -- 

It's easy! It's fun! The one above was shot on a Kodak Zx1 camera using an internal mike, no extra lighting, and edited in iMovie. Got a jazz vision? Make of it. Watch the widget below . . .
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January 6, 2011 10:34 AM | | Comments (0)
The rare notable jazz wedding to celebrate: Beyond-jazz, rock & Latin guitarist Carlos Santana to drummer Cindy Blackman, who's had a 
nicer couple.jpeggreat recording year, issuing Another Lifetime, her smashing tribute to the late Tony Williams) and driving Organ Monk, Greg Lewis's trio album that made my top 10.

Santana's best albums after the first one always have had a outward reach -- Abraxis, Caravanserai, his spiritualized rave up Love, Devotion and Surrender with John McLaughlin and organist Larry (Khalid Yasin) Young, and 1990's Swing of Delight, featuring ex-Miles men Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter (who made music at the wedding), Ron Carter and, yes, Tony Williams. Carlos and Cindy -- play hard and prosper!
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January 5, 2011 6:29 PM | | Comments (0)
The jazz world convenes in two U.S. cities this weekend, as high school and college bands + directors gather at the JEN Conference in New Orleans, jazz presenters focus themselves at the APAP convention in New York City and jazz journalists get together on topics vital to better and continued music coverage at the JJA's "New Media for New Jazz" conference, in APAP-provided spaces at the Sheraton New York, Jan 7 - 11. Concurrently, 60 new jazz ensembles  showcase in five NYC Greenwich Village clubs for Winter Jazzfest, the NEA celebrates its newly enrolled Jazz Masters at Jazz at Lincoln Center (with live streaming! -- see below) and the entire community mourns/celebrates at the memorial service for Dr. Billy Taylor at Riverside Church.
January 5, 2011 12:06 PM | | Comments (0)



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This page is a archive of entries in the main category from January 2011.

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