That’s not jazz, Spaniard tells saxophonist

Larry Ochs' Sax & Drumming Core may not be al gusto for everyone, but should Spain's Civil Guard decide whether it plays "jazz"? At the Sigüenza Jazz Festival a disgruntled purist demanded his ticket money back claiming he was subjected to "contemporary music" rather than jazz fitting his definition; pistol-packing cops backed him up (which makes me wonder what they thought of last week's concert by Digital Primitives). Read the Guardian account here. … [Read more...]

Best beyond “jazz” CDs of 2009

My 10 top CDs of 2009 blow past conventions to enrich jazz, blues, new and unusual music. They're chosen from almost 1000 I received for review -- an abundance of fine releases since November 2008, the full year following Barack Obama's election to president.Maybe it's coincidence that fresh thinking, spirited energy and practical creativity runs high  at this moment in history -- or maybe it's that 2009's challenges require musicians like everyone else to find new answers to the tough questions: how to find joy amid gloom, work to … [Read more...]