The always influential and outspoken musician Nicholas Payton recently posted an interesting article to his blog which has spurred a myriad of responses both in agreement and dissent. The argument brings us down to the core of what jazz is and what jazz musicians are or are not. Many musicians, Payton included, are opposed to even being called jazz musicians.
So Killing, Man is a relatively new website out there (it looks like it was started in October) that is dedicated to offering up transcriptions of jazz solos and analysis. There are a handful of solos up already, but the folks who run the site have claimed that they would like to get up a new transcription every Sunday, so if you’re a player and this kind of thing is up your alley, check it out.
Every other Thursday, Nir Felder and his quartet play two sets at the 55 Bar in the Greenwich Village. Nir is an amazing guitar player who specializes in an enjoyable jazzy-rock feel hybrid that’s augmented by such heavy players at Nate Smith and Mark Guiliana. The 55 Bar is an amazing NYC club that regularly hosts heavy hitters in the jazz world, while maintaining being one of the tiniest, most comfy feeling bars around
This past Monday, bassist Ben Williams and his quintet ‘Sound Effect’ were the featured band on the NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series, which features performers of any style of music performing around a 15 or 20 minute live set behind the, well, tiny desk of Bob Boilen, host of NPR’s All Songs Considered program.
The drum and bass styling of 4hero’s original inception provided an erratic experience that would always lead to complete auditory overload. One of their most lasting compositions encapsulated this paradigm to perfection. Released on their 1991 album In Rough Territory, “Mr. Kirk’s Nightmare” brought together all of the modes that made 4hero great in the early 90s.
How does “Take Five” sound played on a sitar with the backing of a full orchestra? The wait is over as a Pakistani group is gaining critical acclaim and recognition for translating the jazz standards through the traditional instrumentation of Pakistan. The results are definitely worth checking out.
Check out the Guardian’s summer playlist series chronicling the history of modern music. We recommend the jazz playlist naturally!
Another week, another round up.
“The Apollo Theater will present From Havana to Harlem: 100 Years of Mario Bauzá, a special tribute concert to the “Godfather” of Afro Cuban Jazz – Mario Bauzá on Saturday, June 18th as part of its newest series, Cross Cultural Exchange. The concert is a collaboration with TeatroStageFest, New York’s Latino International Theater Festival.
Tap dance is one of the original American dance forms that evolved during the come-up of jazz music dating back to when European and African expressions merged in Congo Square between African slaves and the Irish, similarly to how breakdancing evolved alongside hip-hop in our recent memory. The Revivalist caught up with two of The Tap Messengers–a collective of tap virtuosos committed to preserving the integrity of jazz culture–to examine the history and cultural makeup, musicality, and mechanics of tap. No lesson is complete without a step-by-step tutorial. The fabulous Michela Marino Lerman and Lisa La Touche demonstrate some basics, and show us how to create a conversation with the melding of movements, sounds, and rhythms.
What is wrong with jazz today? This is a broad question that, in the coming weeks, will be hit upon numerous time as a form of self-reflection for improvement. It is not to say there are not amazing things happening in the jazz world every day, yet the scene today differs vastly from the times of Dizzy and Bird, or Miles and Trane.
Jazz pianist and writer Hal Galper once wrote about the gaping hole in jazz education, “A historically valid “jazz methodology” based upon African oral teaching concepts has never developed.” Jazz took off in the academic settings because it began to adopt an attitude based on the western model of education, which values analytical thinking, and devalues intuition. The biggest complaint about academic jazz is that it squanders intuitive playing, and what passes as improvisation is sometimes awkward, and other times disingenuous grouping of chords and notes.