Why don’t jazz journalists care about the biggest names in jazz?Â When Awards are given for jazz excellence, why don’t in-the-know critics applaud the popular musicians, top record sellers and radio playlist stars?Â
Archives for May 2008
I heard the future here and now — let’s call it the present! — in the form of trumpeter Igmar Thomas & The CypherÂ with MC Raydar EllisÂ the other night at a public party produced by Revive Da Live, which promotes the jazz-hip/hop mashup in realtime performances, and I was surprised — not bad at all, in fact it was a lot of fun.
Listen Up! is the title of Matt Miller’s new listing blog, which will migrate from Jazz Beyond Jazz to a whole new host-site next week; but ’til then, read on:
Recommendations by an emerging music journalist/tenor sax player for convention-shattering musical events in New York City over the next week (May 16 – 22) . . .Â
Saxophonist and Love of Life Orchestra leader Peter Gordon gave one of the most lucid presentations at the recent Experience Music Project’s Pop Conference — being the only person over three days to perform a note of music within their allotted 20 minutes. Of course, his reasonable, arguably achievable suggestions may seem outrageous, given the outrages of our time — but I offer them here with hopes presumptive nominees for president of all parties in the U.S. (and why not abroad?) give serious consideration to their support, in exchange for the gratitude and perhaps the votes of the music-lovin’ public.Â
The June issue of Down Beat magazine (subtitled “Jazz, Blues & Beyond”) features my cover story about trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, who has enjoyed a blazing and extended artistic youth, but at age 70 is now somewhat chastened, struggling with challenges to his chops while eager to reaffirm the legitimacy of his reputation.Â
In a renewed effort to keep readers abreast of good listning, J-B-J introduces Matt Miller, who has some recommendations for places to go, comin’ right up. Matt is a 23-year-old tenor saxophonist, graduate of the New School Jazz and Contemporary Music program, who writes for AllAboutJazz-New York and Jazz.com, besides contributing here.
Talk about a legendary career: Chicago saxophonist and clarintestÂ Franz Jackson, who died at age 95 on May 6, spanned American vernacular music from the Roaring ’20s to the postmodern present. He began as a 16-year-old professional withÂ stride and boogie woogie pianist Albert Ammons, starred as a featured soloist in the the hottest Depression Era big bands, entertained WWII troops under USO auspices, popularized Midwestern neo-traditional “jass”Â in the ’50s and ’60s and kept playin’ in essentially uncategorical situations up until a couple of weeks of his demise.
This week highlights a happily frequent dilemma for the avid listener in New York: too many good choices of exciting, exploratory, street-smart and unbounded American music — “the real blues, the new blues,” as Albert Ayler called jazz-beyond-jazz back in 1964. All on Friday, May 9:
- TheÂ Association for the Advancement of Creative MusiciansÂ Â (AACM) celebrates favorite son George E. Lewis‘s epic new book with high class talk and promising improv;
- Â Miles Davis alumni meet Southeast Asian virtuosos at Town Hall to attemptÂ Bob Belden‘s arrangements from the fascinating cd Miles From India,and
- Â urban-ethno percussionist Adam Rudolph and nu-jazz electronica trumpeter Graham HaynesÂ will balance a similarly ancient/future sound.Â
- There’s much more. Jazz-beyond-jazz bustin’ out all over; it must be spring.Â