blame it on jetblue.

Forgive me readers, for I have sinned.

I lured you in with a promise of regular dispatches yet then turned away. Well, I was on my way back down to New Orleans to start a three-month (mostly) stay. I'd just heard Mos Def at Brooklyn Academy of Music, kicking off the "Brooklyn Next Festival" (which runs through 2/24), for which he led a well-honed big-band including not just a jazz-based rhythm section -- pianist Robert Glasper, bassist John Benitez, and drummer Chris Dave but also -- not coincidentally to my ongoing focus (the primacy and reach of New Orleans roots), a New Orleans-style brass band from Chicago called "Hypnotic". The fact that the bottom end of Mos's music was held down by electric bass and tuba is a point I may return to.

And I wanted to relate a bit about the panel discussion I led at BAM, also part of the "Brooklyn Next" affair, wherein I shared not just my affection for the Brooklynites Cecil Taylor and Betty Carter, but for the loose collective of jazz musicians who gathered in my borough in the late 1980s and early '90s -- Steve Coleman, Greg Osby, Cassandra Wilson, Geri Allen, Graham Haynes, sometimes Dave Holland, among others -- and searched for a musical consciousness free of then-nascent neo-traditionalist fundamentalism. (I'll get to all that, promise.)

Ah, but I was on one of those Jetblue flights. And who'd have thought that the airline that gave me free TV, an armchair remote, and cheap headphones would ever let me down! That emailed apology/confession from Jetblue founder David Neeleman didn't do much for me (even its "Passenger Bill of Rights" fell short; I'll wait for a free round-trip, thank you.

February 22, 2007 1:24 PM | | Comments (0)


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Evan Christopher Django à la Créole (Lejazzetal) 

Clarinetist Evan Christopher, a California native, moved to New Orleans in 1994. In his frequent duets with Tom McDermott, and as a standout member of trumpeter Irvin Mayfield's New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, his erudite and personalized approach to traditional jazz commands attention.

Dr. Michael White Blue Crescent (Basin Street) 

Long before the floods that devastated his city, clarinetist Michael White wrestled with the challenge of preserving New Orleans traditional jazz without embalming it. He sought to write tunes built on time-honored local forms that spoke to the here-and-now. But Dr. White struggled to compose anything at all during the past three years--until late 2007, when original music began pouring forth.

Dee Dee Bridgewater
Red Earth: A Malian Journey (DDB Records/Emarcy/Universal) Despite her place in the top rank of American jazz vocalists and her crossover success, Dee Dee Bridgewater has often felt displaced. "I'm always trying to fit in somewhere," she once told me. This new disc, which finds Ms. Bridgewater and her band in collaboration with a cast of Malian musicians and singers, is no further pose:
David Murray Black Saint Quartet featuring Cassandra Wilson Sacred Ground (Justin Time) 
Long among the strongest, most adventurous reedmen in jazz,
Joe Zawinul Brown Street (Heads Up) 
The list of great Viennese composers must include Zawinul--same for the honor roll of jazz innovators.
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This page contains a single entry by ListenGood published on February 22, 2007 1:24 PM.

blame it on the mardi gras. was the previous entry in this blog.

coffee with verse, not chicory. is the next entry in this blog.

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