Jazz: Such A Flexible Category

With the following preamble, Rifftides reader and retired Toronto jazz broadcaster Ted O’Reilly called our attention to an innovation in his former profession.

…Hawkins, Basie, Gillespie, Ornette — all those old guys — later. Here’s important JAZZ to learn about.

This news release from a Canadian jazz radio station is what caught Mr. O’Reilly’s attention:


JAZZ.FM91 announces a new pop culture initiative, the “JAZZ.FM91 Thinkers Series”, a series of lectures presented for the first time in Toronto. On Thursday, January 31st, the series opens with Scott Freiman and his highly acclaimed lecture “Deconstructing Sgt. Pepper” at TIFF Bell Lightbox at 7:00 p.m. Freiman a composer, engineer and Beatles expert explores and dissects the music of what Rolling Stone calls “the most important rock & roll album ever made.”

Sgt. PepperScott Freiman taught a course at Yale about the Beatles. In Toronto, Freiman will tell the story of one of the most important albums of all time, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” using rare audio and video with anecdotes about the recording sessions. He’ll draw on numerous first-hand sources and use detailed analyses of the song writing and production techniques used by the band in recording the album. Rolling Stone covered Freiman in “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Beatles Music” and if you’re a music lover, Freiman’s focus is “strictly” on the music. 

“It has been a dream of mine to create a series that recognizes pivotal moments in pop culture. I’m thrilled that Scott Freiman will join us for our very first installment of the JAZZ.FM91 Thinkers Series. Scott brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and I know music lovers and aficionados will not want to miss this presentation,” said Ross Porter, President and CEO of JAZZ.FM91. 

For more information on Scott Freiman and “Deconstructing Sgt. Pepper” and purchasing tickets, please visit HERE.

Ted O’Reilly invents a postscript and offers a final thought:

(Next lecture: “Michael Jackson: Most Important Musician of the 20th Century!!!”)

And people wonder why I hang my head and whimper some days…

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  1. says

    Alas, this isn’t nearly the worst of it. Consider, and Wikipedia will bear me out, if you look at what happened with pop music on the WEST coast, you start off with a strange mix of NRA supporters and the sons and daughters of high-ranking military officers at the very foundation of a movement to dumb-down pop culture, and someone somewhere is able to fund fantastic sums in free party mansions, buckets of booze and drugs, and convenient glossing over of a whole string of really grizzly murders, all this then glorified as the epitome of what every youngster in America should strive to be as a musician, as an ‘intellectual’ and as a human being? Seriously. The history of Laurel Canyon Drive in LA, which is coincidentally also the location of the US military’s propaganda production studios (I’m not making this up) unleashes this fantastic rewrite of ‘culture’ precisely as the learned, well read, jazz-cultured and very serious intellectuals of the SF beat movement are beginning to question America’s involvements in so many foreign wars … I don’t want to say it was deliberate, but coincidentally (again) we know the MK-ULTRA was specifically investigating the use of LSD with a mind to weaponize it. I so wish I was making this up. As Jackie Maclean noted in interviews, why DID heroin cost so little in black neighbourhoods and yet cost so much in white neighbourhoods? Just a funny coincidence? And why does Charles Manson’s name show up on the laural canyon guest lists so often?

    Given that climate, and who it was directed at and why, is it any wonder that Sun Ra turned out the way he did? Or John Coltrane. Considering what they had to stand up against all around them, the message they had to deliver in the face of the oh-so-cool gotta-be-hip self-destructive manufactured pop-culture seeping and zapping their friends all around them.

  2. Rick M says

    mrG; I can hear the black helicopters now…

    …Seriously, you give the masterminds of this conspiracy too much credit. Would it be that government operatives could execute the sequence of events you describe The cost of heroin in black neighborhoods was market price….capitalism is like natural law. Attempts to manipulate it are futile.

    Without the need to denigrate a fine pop-rock album like Sgt Pepper, we’re getting upset about the wrong issue. What is great about America hasn’t been taught in public education since the 50s.

    An NRA supporter.

  3. says

    I know of writers in Toronto who could speak expertly on Herbie Nichols, Miles Davis, Dick Twardzik, oh, but they’re jazz musicians. Soon the deconstructionists will tell us jazz is just a contrivance too.