main: May 2011 Archives
I turned to the recordings of Gil Scott-Heron after writing that he should have and did known better than to abuse drugs as he did, leading to his decline and demise. They make me ever more impressed with his scope and intensity, in both long ago and recent work. His 2010 recording "Me and the Devil" fully justifies the black and white zombie pulp of the video by Coodie and Chike that accompanies it. It's a horror song of a burned out, psychotic soul, a new link in an American tradition running from Edgar Allan Poe through Robert Johnson and Howlin' Wolf to Jim Thompson, George Romero and Martin Scorsese.
The NEA zeroes out its Jazz Masters program, the Grammys cuts categories so pop best-sellers regain prominence vis a vis less obviously commercial stars, but the Jazz Journalists Association's 15th annual Jazz Awards -- to be held June 11, 2011 with an afternoon gala with all star music at City Winery, NYC, satellite parties hosted by prominent fans and grass roots organizations around the U.S. and streaming live video on the web at www.JJAJazzAwards.org -- hails loud and clear the achievements of the jazz music and media makers. (See that website for a list of all the nominees).
Pianist Randy Weston, trumpeter Wallace Roney's Sextet, soprano sax/flutist Jane Bunnett with pianist Hilario Duran, and the Hammer Klavier Trio from Hamburg will play up a storm at the gala to further demonstrate the power and beauty of what we're talking about. This photo of orchestra leader Maria Schneider the year she won four Jazz Awards shows what such honors can mean to a musician.
CityArts New York let me play jazz supplement editor. Read my lead feature on upcoming in June the NYC Blue Note Jazz Festival, UnDead Festival, gigs everywhere and more respect!
Also Kurt Gottschalk on the Vision Festival's backstory, David Adler on three successful, smart, younger jazzers, snapshots of Brazilian drummer Adriano Santos, Korean singer (of Portuguese Yeahwon Shin and soul-tinged singer songwriter Laura Cheadle by Ernest Barteldes, and the big band w/classical Asian instruments Project Hansori led by Jeff Fairbanks, by Emilie Pons.
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