Far downtown weekend adventures

Far out improv, high concept contemporary composition, new jazz scholarship and "cut loose" music from Guadeloupe flood Lowest Manhattan (all the way to Staten Island) this weekend. The folks who bring us the Vision Festival stage 28 hours of multidisciplinary improvisation starting tonight (Friday) at 6 p.m. at Clemente Soso Velez Cultural Center; Mode Records throws itself a benefit marathon concert featuring Philip Glass, John Zorn and Robert Ashley, among many others on Saturday at Abrons Art Center; jazz scholars convene for The Louis … [Read more...]

Jazz “bloat” gone? Phoenix rising from ashes?

Forecasts vary in the wake of collapses of Jazz Times and the JVC Jazz Festivals. Brilliant Corners exults that mid-brow music is so over and revels in New York's Vision Fest,  while Jazz Chronicles asks what comes next -- possibly something good? I think it's irresponsible and delusional to believe that the demise of successful mainstream enterprises like magazines, commercial festivals and oh yes, the International Association for Jazz Education, another bete noir of Brilliant Corners' Boston-based Chris Rich (along with many others: … [Read more...]

Take an “outside” chance on musical experimentation

My column in May's City Arts NY urges Adam Rudolph's conducted Go: Organic Orchestra improvs and the Mixology Fest (both at Roulette) and the 14th annual Vision Festival as ways to break out of conventions and celebrate spring. (In order to read the column, you have to zoom in on "Jazz"). I should have also mentioned guitarist Marc Ribot's concerts all over town inspired by his 55th birthday, alto saxophonist Roy Nathanson's Subway Moon cd-book release party (which was May 15) at Joe's Pub. There's just so much to do here in the big city. . . . … [Read more...]

Vision Festival, NYC’s sole surviving summer jazz big bang

With no news confirming -- or denying -- that there will be a mainstream New York City jazz festival next summer like those produced by George Wein since the late '60s and for the past 25 years supported by the JVC Corporation of America, the artist-organized "avant-jazz" Vision Festival stands as the largest and longest concentrated such effort in the city this year, having just released its complete schedule of concerts and panels to be held at the downtown Abrons Arts Center and Angel Orenzanz Foundation June 9 - 15, 2009.Wein by comparison … [Read more...]