Friday, June 29, 2012

What's your take?

An interesting conversation developed the other day at the weekly jazz musicians’ brunch in Sarasota FL, which has been an off-the-gig informal weekly gathering for area musicians for more than a dozen years.

Just what makes someone – male or female – a jazz singer?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

CDs of Note - Short Takes

Taking a closer look at new CDs from La Lucha, The Black Butterflies and The ABC & D of Boogie Woogie....

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Sonny day at JJA; overdue honor for Silver

Horace Silver and Sonny Rollins topped the winners list at the Jazz Journalists Association’s 2012 Jazz Awards gala on Thursday at the Blue Note in New York. Rollins has become the awards’ iron man, collecting three awards (musician of the year, record of the year, tenor sax player of the year), while Silver received lifetime achievement honors for his impressive career as a composer, pianist and bandleader.

Here are four key awards:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A sad day for jazz in Boston (updated)

I expect the protests to start rapidly, accompanied by a severe fall off in the checks and pledges that fund Boston's premier public radio station.

Word came from broadcaster Steve Schwartz this afternoon that WGBH-FM in Boston is dropping his Friday night show, and it is eliminating jazz programming on weeknights as well. It is moving longtime host Eric Jackson (of Eric in the Evening fame) to weekends only. These changes take effect in July.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

CDs of Note - Evans and Evans

Taking a closer look at new CDs from Ryan Truesdell and Bill Evans....

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What a pair

Today’s the first day of issue in the United States and France for a pair of postage stamps being issued to honor jazz great Miles Davis and French singer Edith Piaf.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A sizzling victory of sorts for Latin jazz

Yes, boys and girls, there is value in being the skunk at the lawn party. We saw proof of it yesterday.

The Recording Academy has made a partial but significant rollback this week from its 2011 decision to cut 31 Grammy Awards categories. It’s decision, made by the Board of Trustees last month and announced yesterday, added two awards and reinstated the Best Latin Jazz Album category.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A solo treat, brief but solid

Every once in a while, it is good to revisit the earliest  jazz piano styles to reinforce one's appreciation for the bedrock upon which today's jazz developed. An opportunity to do that took place today in Venice, FL - and it drew hundreds of listeners.
Dick Hyman

Pianist-composer-arranger Dick Hyman gave a free 40-minute performance that opened a weekly music series through June to celebrate Venice Presbyterian Church's acquisition of a fine, new K. Kawai grand piano.

During this afternoon's mini-concert, Hyman performed a bit of ragtime (Scott Joplin's "Heliotrope Bouquet" and "Maple Leaf Rag,") "Basin Street Blues" and boogie-woogie pianist Meade Lux Lewis's "Honky Tonk Train," the latter tune bringing the set to a rollicking finish.