Did you miss the “festivity” of June jazz concerts in major Manhattan venues — or did you find ways of coping without them? There’s so much fine music — jazz and beyond — in nearby festive settings, many of them out-of-doors, that the absence of a 38-year-old institution doesn’t seem to have made much stir. Perhaps you didn’t even notice?Â
Archives for June 2009
I love My Youtube! — now hosting video clips from my handy new Kodak go-anywhere device of jazz celebs, players and presenters at the Jazz Journalists Association’s 13th annual Jazz Awards party at the Jazz Standard (NYC) June 16, shot by debuting cinematographer R. Mandel.
Kitty Margolis,Â Bay Area jazz singer, Facebook and in-person friend, fired up followers re guest blogger Paul Lindemeyer’s comments on jazz’s historic bias towards men, which I contextualized with reference to Michelle Obama’s White House jazz night. Here’s what Kitty’s people wrote (names obscured except for her own and Alfonso’s — they ask to be id’d) –Â
There are “powerful reasons . . .we ought to consider” for why musicians and listeners “tend to be a brotherhood,” according to a self-described “middle-aged white male swing-to-bopper.” He’s identifying, not justifying . . .Then the First Lady upsets the paradigm. She brings her daughters to the gig.
Saxophonist Steve Wilson and I talked about “Jazz and the Class Divide” at Dartmouth College, and here’s the entire half-hour clip on foratv.com.
Wilson, a gentleman and a great player, was touring with the Blue Note 7, the band anchored by pianist Bill Charlap that’s been a big thing because Blue Note refers to the record label celebrating its 70th year in business in 2009. I get a couple chuckles out of watching myself, especially when I lose my point. . . but I do pick it up (Oh yeah – – Cecil Taylor can quote Messaein without hardly trying!). Well anyway, between the two of us some points were raised. I hope you’ll enjoy this talk. Please let me know about that with which you disagree.
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The whole list is posted at http://www.jazzhouse.org, along with photos of the Jazz Journalists Association’s 13th Annual Jazz Awards presentation, held Tuesday in New York City.
A full report, with video, very soon.
Forecasts vary in the wake of collapses of Jazz Times and the JVC Jazz Festivals. Brilliant Corners exults that mid-brow music is so over and revels in New York’s Vision Fest, while Jazz Chronicles asks what comes next — possibly something good?
I think it’s irresponsible and delusional to believe that the demise of successful mainstream enterprises like magazines, commercial festivals and oh yes, the International Association for Jazz Education, another bete noir of Brilliant Corners’ Boston-based Chris Rich (along with many others: baby boomers, jazz fusion, George Wein, Boston Jazz Week) is
- a) a good thing, and
- b) won’t affect smaller enterprises, whether individual musicians or collective avant-garde fests, not very far down the road. (Read Barbara Ehrenreich on the impact of the recession on the “already poor” and extrapolate: the Jazz Foundation of America is already trying to help more musicians in need with fewer dollars from donations).
JazzTimes confirms rumors first reported here the 38-year-old monthly magazine’s deep financial distress requires it to stop publishing. Its management hopes for a brand-sale and re-emergence. But in a longer email to freelance contributors, those same managers adopt a can’t-help-you-pal shrug toward the brand’s freelance contributors.
Payments In limbo? What would a carpenter, plumber, landlord say? “I’ll take the shelves back.” “Your toilet’s in limbo.” “No rent, you’re out!”
An associate editor of JazzTimes “until a couple of weeks ago when I
was laid off” has confirmed that the magazine is in deep trouble. “There
was some hope of a new buyer coming to the rescue,” he writes, “but as of my last
contact with the guys it wasn’t looking good.” I’d heard previously that the proposed deal fell through.
“Hopefully that will still
happen,” this source continues, “but with the loss of JVC and other advertisers it’s doubtful
the magazine would be able to survive in its present format.” Meanwhile, numerous writers and photographers have contacted me with tales of waiting on payments since last March. These are bad signs. A lot of jazz people are, like my correspondent, hopeful. We’d like Jazz Times to continue, to prosper and flower. More news when I get some. . . good or bad.
New speculation on the jazz magazine crisis: Having no summer advertorial supplements for JVC Jazz Festivals (which aren’t happening) may have hugely hurt JT‘s seasonal revenues. How could the loss of three consecutive monthly multi-page inserts, all expenses paid for by the client, not shake a publication’s income stream?
Complete disclosure: I edited the JVC Jazz Festival program books in the 1990s, when they were inserts into Tower Records’ free monthly magazine Pulse!, and for a year when JVC America, responsible for the Japanese owned electronics firms’ promotional investment in George Wein’s international jazz fests, switched the contract to Jazziz. Ah, those were the days!