Jazz lofts as they used to be

Composer Steve Reich said, "Without John Coltrane, there would be no minimalism." The topic was Hall Overton, the man who arranged Monk's music, treating jazz as contemporary "classical" composition. The occasion was a panel discussion sprung from an exhibit at the NY Public Library of the Performing Arts about the Jazz Loft hosted by photographer W. Eugene Smith from 1955-1964 (this is Smith's shot of Overton with Monk in the Loft).Read about it in my new City Arts column. … [Read more...]

Anti-jazz, the still-new thing

International House Philadelphia hosts a series way beyond old jazz conventions, with roots in the wild stuff fav' son John Coltrane blew in 1961. I delve into the 50-year controversy for PMP  online magazine of the Philadelphia Music Project here, before the Art Ensemble of Chicago plays what it's come to on Saturday, March 6. … [Read more...]

Rashied Ali, multi-directional drummer, interviewed

In 1990 I interviewed drummer Rashied Ali for The World According to John Coltrane, a documentary produced and directed by Toby Byron. It was the first but not the last time I spoke to Ali, a sorely underrated musician and jazz presence who died yesterday (August 12, 2009) following a heart attack at age 74. Here's a transcript of our talk, slightly edited and annotated, mostly about Coltrane, with whom Ali became famous.  … [Read more...]