Lovers of jazz, jazz beyond jazz, jazz before jazz are all watching Treme, right? The HBO series about New Orleans three months after Katrina sets a new standard for celebrating America’s roots music where this should happen — on tv.
Archives for April 2010
ComposerÂ Steve Reich said, “Without John Coltrane, there
would be no minimalism.” The topic was Hall Overton, the man who arranged Monk’s music, treating jazz as contemporary “classical” composition. The occasion was a panel discussion sprung from an exhibit at the NY Public Library of the Performing Arts about the Jazz Loft hosted by photographer W. Eugene Smith fromÂ 1955-1964 (this is Smith’s shot of Overton with Monk in the Loft).
A $30 million gift to the Metropolitan Opera – the Harlem School of the Arts closes for lack of 1/60th that amount. Pretty clear what big private funders value, and it’s not the American vernacular or immediately next generation of artists. There’s hardly anything jazzy about this post.
A trombonist in Miles Davis’ Birth of the Cool band,Â memoirist whoseÂ The Parisian Jazz ChroniclesÂ set a standard for wit and candor in self-examination, andÂ writer for the International Herald Tribune and Bloomberg News, Mike Zwerin diedÂ April 2 in Paris, where he’d lived since 1969. Recipient in 2009 of the Jazz Journalists Association’s Lifetime Achievement in Jazz Journalism Award, Mike was an inspiration ever since I read his reports from the jazz scene in the Village Voice in the 1960s, and I’m glad to say I got to know him as a friend.