Prior to tomorrow’s inauguration, the New York Times (and I suspect many other publications) has focused in many columns, book reviews and reports on Barack Obama’s election as a turning point in the U.S.’s movement towards full civil rights for all people. The entertainment section makes the case for movies having led the way to our first not-completely- “white”-identified President.
Archives for January 2009
Six emerging jazz acts, playing in their hometowns from Fresno to Brisbane, Australia competed publicly via video clips to win a Coltrane boxed set and $1000 cash prizes — that wasÂ theÂ First World Internet “Cutting Contest”, results announced January 31 online (of course).Â Â Pretty good gimmick — er, marketing idea — to use the web, expose new talent, enlist the audience in interactivity, among other things the endeavor ofÂ TruthInMusic.comÂ (among its motto’s: Â “This is John Coltrane’s world . . . we just live in it”) Â seems to be about.Â
The Winterjazzfest held at three venues in Greenwich Village last Saturday, a smorgasbord of almost two dozen acts offered up to attendees of the Association of Performing Arts Centers conference, gave a hint of some sounds to be heard around the U.S. in the months to come. What I witnessed was diverse, engaging, virtuosic but not didactic. The musicians seem to know they’ve got to be audience-friendly, or go without. So they’ve tailored their acts for clarity, balancing familiarity and novelty but not dumbing down.Â
We — I — need a deep-winter burst of positivity. The Presidential election was two months ago, and nothing has changed! Except the pres-elect is getting heat for all he hasn’t done (bring peace to Israel-Gaza, fix the economy, justify appointments) while the sitting lame duck gets a virtual pass for what he’s ignoring (Israel-Gaza), what he’s flubbed (US economy, world affairs, environment — need more examples?) and what he’s doing now (opening wilderness to development, putting appointees in protected jobs, spinning his legacy).