Albee On Improvisation

Improvisation in the performing arts does not belong to jazz alone. Think of Chopin, Jackson Pollack, Martha Graham, Richard Pryor. Think, also, of Edward Albee. The playwright who won a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award a few weeks ago uses his improvisational ability in his teaching when he invents characters suggested by his students. "Everything I do is unrehearsed, spontaneous, and I have to invent it as I go along," Albee says in an interview that you can see here. The interview clip … [Read more...]

Story From Sirok

Rifftides and Take Five: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond are drawing responses from a cross section of jazz people in the United States and around the world, some from as far away as Australia and New Zealand. Norman Davis sent a message from the eastern Hungarian village of Sirok, famous for its ruined ancient castle. He retired there from England after a career in insurance. Mr. Davis’s story of hearing Paul Desmond for the first time, and the lasting impact that discovery made, … [Read more...]

Jazz After Hours Tonight

My publisher, Malcolm Harris, and I dropped by Jim Wilke’s Jazz After Hours studio in Seattle the other day for a long chat about Take Five: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond. As always, Jim’s depth of knowledge and his focus led to a rewarding conversation. The hour interview, with Desmond’s music interspersed, will air tonight (Friday) at 1 am EDT, 10 pm PDT, midnight CDT. If one of the sixty-six stations carrying Jazz After Hours is not in your listening area, you can tune in on … [Read more...]

Maybe, Maybe Not

I may post something more today, or I may just flop into the long Fourth of July weekend and emerge on Monday or Tuesday. When you see, e-mail or telephone your friends, be sure to tell them about Rifftides. We need all the Rifftiders we can get. … [Read more...]