April 2012 Archives
Remember four years ago, when Obama was running for president and Sarah Palin mocked the very notion of a community organizer?
The Jazz Journalists Association has what they call a blogathon going on through April 30th, and the theme is community. It's hard to write about jazz and not be thinking about community--my community and jazz's presence in it, and the many communities that gave rise to and sustain those who I interview, review and hear playing jazz. I could walk to and from each of Dr John's three weekly installments of a residency at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, thereby blending my actual community and my adoptive one, New Orleans (for Dr John, it's the reverse--born and raised in New Orleans' 3rd Ward, but adopted NYC as his hometown for a long stretch). I posted the last of my three reviews on the series today at the Village Voice "Sound of the City" blog: there are 2 previous installments, adding up to some 3,000 words for hardy readers.
The New Orleans-New York connection is so vital that while down in New Orleans for a jazzfest trip, I'll end up missing one of NOLA's best players here in my own backyard.--saxophonist Donald Harrison at Symphony Space later this month. But I'll be back in time for the New Orleans Piano Kings Celebration at Dizzy's, spanning three generations with Ellis Marsalis, Henry Butler, and Jonathan Batiste. Meanwhile, when I'm in New Orleans, I'll continue my research into the fates of the communities that have long been the hothouses for the culture these pianists represent.
What does a community mean to a musician?