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Archive for January, 2012


THE JIMMY OWENS PROJECT

WAY OVERDUE : CD, PERFORMANCE, NEA JAZZ MASTER

it’s his time. and about time too.

to say that JIMMY OWENS plays the trumpet and flugelhorn, composes and arranges only begs his ourve. newly minted NEA Jazz Master/Advocate Owens has recorded what is hoped to be only the initial Thelonious Monk Project CD. its ten tracks contain familiar music by one of music’s more enigmatic and prolific composers but also an original penned by Owens for the occasion, “Thru Monk.”

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JOHN LEVY: THE PERSONIFICATION OF MANAGERIAL PERFEECTION

JOTTINGS FOR JOHN

guitarist Jim Hall, upon presenting the NEA Jazz Masters Advocate Award to manager John Levy quipped that he never expected to see his son-in-law as “older than me.” Levy, who passed January 20 at his Altadina, CA home, was married to Hall’s daughter Devra. Levy planned to celebrate his century mark in 2012. i was at his 90th which was celebrated at Carnegie Hall.

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LATIN JAZZ LIVES!

THE NAYSAYERS DON’T SEEM TO BE PAYING ATTENTION.

as i was saying, Latin Jazz is not an opinion, nor a subtext. the self-absorbed commercial –that used to be a dirty word among jazz people– elements of NARAS which oversees the Grammys have seen fit to unilaterally toss the category onto the junk heap. in reality the real junk heap are many of the remaining ones. the Jazz Journalists Association has also unceremoniously eliminated the category but for different reasons.

when i was a stringer for Billboard we jocularly posted the nonsensical expression, “it ain’t art if it don’t sell.” that was bullshit then and it remain as such.

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BOYCOTT THE GRAMMYS!

NOW THAT I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION…

the 2012 Grammy Awards is the first one to eliminate many categories, the most prominent being Latin Jazz. there are those who argue that Latin Jazz is not a separate genre but a substratum of other music. why not then, they suggest, a category for bebop, or swing, or Dixieland. the answer is simple: trad-jazz, i.e. Dixieland, or New Orleans jazz, Swing, Chicago-style, Kansas City and bebop are cogs in the evolution of contemporary, or modern jazz.

IN THE BEGINNING

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