The ECM Old Masters Series

Manfred Eicher's ECM label, still celebrating the 40th anniversary it observed late last year, has reissued some of its landmark recordings. Many of them are on CD for the first time. Over the decades, ECM has achieved nearly infallible sound reproduction of a broad and eclectic range of musicians including such disparate label mates as Arvo Pärt, Andres Schiff, Keith Jarrett, John Cage, Kim Kashkashian, Iva Bittová, Johann Sebastian Bach and the Art Ensemble of Chicago. The label evolved with … [Read more...]

Other Places: Can You Hear Him Now?

With his permission, I occasionally steal from Bill Crow's "Band Room" column of anecdotes in the American Federation of Musicians Union Local 802 newspaper Allegro. The latest theft is below. First, a preamble for those who have been living in a box for several decades: Maynard Ferguson (1928-2006) was a trumpeter who played extremely high and extremely loud. David Lucas, who now lives in Boca Raton, sent me this one. In the late 1960's, Dave and Mike Abene went to the Metropole to hear Maynard … [Read more...]

…The Sincerest Form

Bill Mays, on tour in Japan, sent a link to a Japanese web log called... Rifftide:後藤 誠のJAZZ and other matters.. What a surprise. The blog seems to be operated by someone identified as Makotogotoh. If you go there—and if you know Japanese—you can read a review of a Mays performance with the guitarist Yoshiaki Masuo. The more blogs the merrier, I guess; and good names are so hard to come by. … [Read more...]

Kellaway In Boston And L.A.

When Roger Kellaway isn't performing in a club or concert, or practicing and composing at home, chances are he's out collecting honors. Recently, he picked up two in the city where he grew up, Boston. For one event, he and his friend Quincy Jones dressed in black gowns and medieval hats to receive honorary doctorates from Kellaway's alma mater, the New England Conservatory of Music. For another, he heard his music played by the Boston Pops. The news may have been in all of the Boston papers, but … [Read more...]

Other Places: The Poetry Of Jazz

Devotees of jazz and poetry or of poetry about jazz will want to read Ed Leimbacher's new entry on his I Witness blog. He wraps together several samples and a review of a poetry collection, and offers this: Like any other art at its best, certain pieces about Jazz can make you "stop breathing" for a moment, reflecting emotion... thought... admiration... wonder. To read the whole thing, see Jazzed, Everyone of Us. For a Rifftides archive post that touches on the topic, go here. … [Read more...]

Compatible Quotes: Poetry And Jazz

The form is not going to revolutionize either jazz or poetry but it is going to stay with us, and both jazz and poetry are going to have one new way of expressing themselves, and so are going to be just a little richer.—Kenneth Rexroth I never drowned out one word of whatever Jack was reading or making up on the spot ... and he never drowned out or stepped on a word or interrupted a thought that I or anyone else had ... in these late night-early morning get-togethers.—David Amram on … [Read more...]