This is my official ballot, as submitted to the Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll: 10 Best Releases 1. Radif Suite - Amir ElSaffar and Hafez Modirzadeh: What makes this one so special is the incredible emotional power and depth of expression. The style of the music, in the legacy of the Ornette Coleman Quartet, is … Continue reading 2010 Year’s Best Jazz
John Coltrane's legacy is eighty-four years young today, and the shame is that if he had survived his demons he could easily be going strong this very moment. I can't add much to what already is a mass of knowledge, ideas, experiences and viewpoints, except for perhaps this excellent animation of his solo on "Giant … Continue reading Happy Coltrane Day
Soundcheck had a smackdown over which classic recording from Miles Davis was more influential, Kind of Blue or Bitches Brew? There's really only one possible answer. Kind of Blue is a great, beautiful record, but it's influence has been relatively slight. Miles' introduction of modal playing didn't even shift Coltrane and Cannonball, on the same … Continue reading It Is In The Brewing Luminous
Wow, this band sucks. UPDATE: Their name sucks too.
By 1979, John McLaughlin had either made or been an integral part of some of the greatest recordings of the previous ten years; In A Silent Way, Bitches Brew, Emergency!, Live/Evil, A Tribute to Jack Johnson, My Goals Beyond, The Inner Mounting Flame, Birds of Fire, Apocalypse and his previous years amazing Electric Guitarist. Running through … Continue reading Dig This, Continued
(First in a regularly occasional series) Turner Classic Movies has “The Essentials,” the BBC has their long-running “Desert Island Discs” program, and Alex Ross’ new book is titled “Listen To This; ” lists of things they consider the very best, the most special. I have my own, and this post inaugurates what will be an … Continue reading Dig This
Sorry, Louie, but it must be asked; if it ain’t got that swing, is it still jazz? Yes, indeed it is. And it does mean a thing. Think of jazz, the complete body of history and knowledge, as a set of quanta; styles, musicians, concerts, albums and writings, then find a way to plot those … Continue reading It Ain’t Got That Swing
Terry Teachout has decided to tell us that a recent NEA survey tells us that jazz is dying, and that jazz musicians must do something about it, namely market it better. Really? Gosh, thanks Terry. Now, you'll permit me to call bullshit. It all started with his article "Can Jazz Be Saved?" in The Wall … Continue reading It Don’t Mean a Thing