Seasonal electricity: jazz “fusion” in NYC

Fusion, fission, energy and virtuosity reign supreme over coming holiday weeks as jazzers beyond genre constraints fill New York clubs. Starting tonight (Dec. 9) double-necked guitar madman Dave Fiuczynski fires up Iridium with ripping alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa and jam-band idol John Medeski on keybs; jazz sambas and tangos, ex-Milesian Mike Stern and smooth trumpeter Chris Botti, soul-drench organist Dr. Lonnie Smith and the Bad Plus follow. Details here, at my new column for City Arts-New York. And below -- Fuze, vocalist Dean … [Read more...]

Guitar heroes, virtual and actual

The phenomenon of Guitar Hero is unaccountable to most musicians. Why would anyone spend hours miming moves with a fake instrument when given similar time investment you could make music yourself, live, and with friends? Nonetheless, the game is the Christmas season's most highly anticipated music item. As for disappointing early sales reports for "World Tour," its just-released new edition, aren't sales down for everything, everywhere?Here's my flick at stimulating the music economy -- consumer alerts to recommended new cds by guitar heroes … [Read more...]