Announcing eyeJAZZ.tv & Happy 45th b’day AACM

eyeJAZZ.tv, a wave of guerrilla video music-news clips being initiated by the Jazz Journalists Association, has posted its first example -- my brief production from last week's 45th birthday concert of the AACM featuring composer-saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, flutist and AACM chair Nicole Mitchell (no relation) and saxophonist Ari Brown, at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art. … [Read more...]

AACM at 45: “Creative Musicians” span generations, U.S., globe

The AACM -- Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians -- continues after 45 years to encourage highly original, edgy and exciting artists -- as I detail in my new City Arts column. Examples in New York City: reedist/composer Henry Threadgill's Zooid performs tonight and tomorrow at Roulette; trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith's 22-piece Silver Orchestra and the duo of keyboardist-singer Amina Claudine Myers and drummer Reggie Nicholson are the bill for the AACM-New York''s concluding concert of its fall 2010 season on … [Read more...]

Fred Anderson, Chicago jazz hero, appreciated

As a teenager in pursuit of the avant garde, I took tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson, who died June 24 at age 81, as a hero upon first hearing him in 1966. It was at a Unitarian Church-run coffee house in downtown Evanston near Northwestern U., and attention clearly had to be paid to the long, fierce, unreeling, knotty improvisations Anderson delivered in an ever-more hunkered-down posture as the evening went on.There was an unremitting sense of urgency, sincerity and humility to what he was saying on his horn, spelled by … [Read more...]

AACM pianist & singer give away CD at NYC show

Steve Colson, pianist/composer and band leader, with vocalist Iqua Colson --  a couple  members of American experimental music's cutting edge AACM for some 35 years --  give a rare performance quartet Saturday night (Feb 6) at NYC's Thalia theater in Symphony Space. Everyone who attends gets the Colsons' new CD, The Untarnished Dream, for free. One-time promotion? Start of a trend? Acceptance of reality? … [Read more...]

Chicago’s quirky hero of blues and jazz in NYT

Bob Koester, owner-operator of Delmark Records and the Jazz Record Mart, is celebrated in the New York Times' Arts & Leisure section today. He's documented and marketed South and West Side soul, AACM innovation, trad jazz and the Mississippi Delta blues revival. I'm among the many music fans who grew up in his sway -- and include my 12-best list of albums Koester brought to life. … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday, Fred Anderson

Fred Anderson, tenor saxophonist, is one of America's less-acknowledged Jazz Masters, a man of deep musicality who has had enormous influence on three generations of players and listeners drawn by his brawny, free-wheeling Chicago sound. He turns 80 on March 22, and a weeklong celebration at the Velvet Lounge, his music room on the near-South Side, starts tonight, March 15, with the AACM Great Black Music Ensemble. A founding member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Anderson stayed home when the Art Ensemble of … [Read more...]