Leo Boucher in Houston sent a message about my comments Wednesday on Ben Ratliff’s New York Times piece predicting a boring concert at the JVC Festival.
I read it differently. I don’t think he meant that those players are boring or that the concert would be boring. I think he meant that it is an example of boring, uninspired programming. My guess is that that’s why he didn’t name the pianists; he wasn’t dissing them, but the festival programmers. I look forward to reading your blog.
Nate Dorward, a Canadian reviewer and blogger, wrote much the same, and added:
I think a better word would have been “unimaginative” or “safe”: heartfelt tributes originated by the musicians themselves are one thing, but the way festival programmers (and record labels) constantly turn jazz into unimaginatively packaged tributes to a pantheon of past greats is frustrating for many jazz fans. It would be far more respectful of the individual geniuses of Weston, Allen, Barron and Caine to give them each a concert to themselves and let them play whatever music struck their fancy.
I don’t know how far I’m going to go with the Food section under Doug’s Picks, but Jack Wright of Boston responded to the first entry.
For your asparagus recipe, allow me to recommend a favorite pinot gris of mine. The label is Big Fire, the winemaker is R. Stuart & Co of McMinnville, OR. That’s what I’ll be drinking when I make your recipe. I look forward to reading Rifftides fervently.
Ah, those Oregon pinots—gris and noir. Salud.
Another Bostonian, the respected critic Bob Blumenthal, had a thought about Take Five: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond.
Am I the only one who has said that your Desmond book reminds me of nothing so much as the recent Albert Ayler “spirit box”? And I mean that in a good way, but these are two saxophonists who don’t normally share the same thought.
I can hear Desmond giving his conspiratorial chuckle at the thought. He rather liked Ornette Coleman, even if he did say that listening to Ornette was like living in a house where everything was painted red.
The master trumpeter Marvin Stamm writes concerning my evening at the Garage Restaurant in Greenwich Village:
I am glad you had the opportunity of hearing Virginia Mayhew play while on your recent NYC sojourn. I have been doing several gigs with her these past few months and am enjoying her playing immensely. She’s a beautiful player and a lovely person to work with. She’s an excellent musician who knows what she wants, yet allows each player plenty of latitude for their own musical input. She’s certainly showing me a thing or two about playing in odd meters!