79 posts categorized "Sites to Check Out" Feed

I think it's time I riffed on some jazz links ....

Riffing The Links imageI'm always on the prowl for new ways to connect and provide you with jazz-related links that I've either come across or have been made hip to recently ...

  • Although Spring and Summer may seem a long way off (well, OK, they are...), radio station Jazz 90.1 recently announced the 2015 return of its popular jazz cruises aboard the historic Colonial Belle in Fairport on Monday May 18th, June 8th, July 13th and August 17th.
  • For those of us of a certain age, we still "wax" nostalgic for the days of vinyl.  Back at the end of October over on Marc Myers' JazzWax blog, he provided those of you who are younger a glimpse into the manufacture of those black discs of sumptuous sounds in How Records Were Made
  • I refer to jazz musicians in these pages as "artists," and that they are, but as the Boston-based Brilliant Corners blog points out in a short, but provocative, post they are also entertainers. Is paying too much attention to the "art" side of jazz rather than the toe-tapping entertainment side undermining its audience? I'd love to know what you thought after reading Jazz Musician: Entertainer or Artist?  Add a comment below...
  • Jazz at Lincoln Center has been putting out a webseries called on the life of a working jazz musician in New York City called A Day In the Life, which in documentary-style explores the multiple facets of a jazz musician's (Kyle Poole) life during the span of a day.  Below is the first of the series on YouTube and there are at least 3 more available (and I'm sure you can find the rest on YouTube after watching  below...):

 

I'm always finding new jazz links to put out there for you. They won't always get into these posts, but I'll usually share them on the Jazz@Rochester Twitter or the Facebook pages. If you have a jazz link to share here with the Rochester jazz community and beyond, send us an email by clicking on the Contact Us button below the banner.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Going "into the shed" ... virtually

Intotheshed logoA jazz player goes "into the shed" to practice on their instrument with a focused intensity that helps them to overcome walls or limitations they may be experiencing. A recently online venue helps artists and students do just that, allowing them to meet virtually "in the shed" and it is named, aptly intotheShed.com.

For students, intotheShed.com bills itself as a "marketplace to connect and study with the best and to find artists you would not have imagined possible to reach." For jazz artists who also teach (and most of you do, don't you?) the site offers tools to make it simple and secure to schedule, organize, promote and sell lesson times, providing live video lessons to students, either 1-on-1 or grougs, wherever they are ... at home, on tour or between the soundcheck and the gig. Oh, and they help you get paid.... (yes, of course, they take a cut...).

Although I'm neither a jazz artist, nor do I play, so I haven't actually used their service, intotheShed.com was different from other similar sites that have contacted me before and seems to be leveraging technology in an exciting way, so I thought I'd share them with my readers who are. Both artists and students in Rochester will be familiar many of the jazz artist/educators who already are teaching through intotheShed on a host of instruments, including trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, saxophonists JD Allen and Wayne Escoffery, pianist Eldar Djangirov, bassist Essiet Okon Essiet, B3 player Larry Goldings, trumpeters Jeremy Pelt and Lew Soloff, vocalist Sachal Vasandani, and vibraphone player Warren Wolf, to name a few.

Here's their introductory video. Take a look and decide for yourselves:


intotheShed Introduction from intotheShed on Vimeo.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

OK, enough with Jazz@Rochester... Where else can I get XRIJF info?

XRIJF logoSo, tired with my blather?  Be gone with ya! (just kidding...)  There's lots of coverage and information out there about this festival.  In addition to the official site for the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, there are a number of other media and other outlets covering the fest, including:

I'm sure there are others, but will start with these. Check back as I'll add them if folks let me know. 

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Want to have some data drive you to the next jazz club? Try FindTheBest ....

A new web service, FindTheBest.com, contacted me and other jazz bloggers about their Jazz Clubs listings. I get contacted by a lot of these types of sites, but FindTheBest was quite different so I'm passing it along. FindTheBest proposes to present users with the data-driven facts stripped of influence by marketing, which is often found on "pay-to-play" consumer comparison sites. This fits with my philosophy of presenting information and letting your informed decisions, rather than deciding what is "good" for you. Information is presented in tables with smart filters to help you drill down to what's important to you. There are a number of subdomains for different types of information, including Jazz Clubs.

f you register as a user, you can propose additions (perhaps like some jazz clubs in and around Rochester and Western New York, which are woefully absent from FTB's jazz clubs listings?). Proposed changes will be reviewed by FindTheBest staff for accuracy and approved or rejected accordingly.

... Oh and their Blogs subdomain includes a record for Jazz@Rochester as well as other music and jazz blogs. 

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Riffing the Jazz Links: A random romp around the jazz internet....

Riffing The Links imageI can't give you gifts for the holidays, so I'll share some links. I've looked in the pile of links I've gathered over the past months and came up with a few for you. 

  • I'd love to get down to NYC for the 2011 Winter Jazz Fest, which happens in five West Village venues on January 7-8 (until 4am each night). Last year's sounded like a lot of fun and a chance to see some of the newest sounds in jazz in a way that only the Big Apple can present it. It is co-sponsored by Search & Restore, my main source to find out what's happening in the jazz scene in NYC when I'm in town (which is way to seldom an occurrence).
  • Just pledged a few ducats to Jason Parker's Nick Drake Tribute CD project on Kickstarter, a great site for bands to raise money to record (or others to raise money to do many kinds of creative projects). I've always loved the beautiful songwriting of Drake and think that Kickstarter and sites like it are a path for musicians and other creative people to do their thing without having to work with the "industry"). Parker is a trumpet player who works out of the Seattle area. Kickstarter works like ArtistShare and Jason (who is on Twitter as @1workinmusician) needs to raise just $400 (now $380) before Christmas Eve, so check it out. Even a small "contribution" like mine yields a download of the tracks and access to the recording process.
  • In case you haven't seen the Jazz Robots yet, here's the one that started it all (or at least it's the first one I saw): These jazz robots are so killing.... They're starting to proliferate (here's another two here and here). WARNING! There is some language, so those with more sensitive ears should not click on any of these links.
  • Jazz musicians don't need to go to a room, they can go to the shed online at the Jazz Web Shed.

If you have a jazz link to share with the Rochester jazz community and beyond, send me an email by clicking on the Send an email to Jazz@Rochester link in the left panel. I'll post them in the next Riffing the Links.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

The more voices the better... Other XRIJF coverage

XRIJF Jazz StreetWhen I started writing about the Rochester International Jazz Festival in 2005 on this blog's predecessor (it's still out there), there wasn't much coverage of the festival in the local mainstream media—a few stories and some headliner interviews, etc.

With its success and the growing crowds, the festival is being covered widely—much more locally, but also nationally and internationally. It's a testament to the success of the festival itself and why it is becoming known as one of the top jazz and music festivals in the U.S. Check out other XRIJF coverage by our mainstream media outlets at:

  • The Democrat & Chronicle's coverage starts with their Jazz section online. There you'll find the stories appearing in the paper. There's also the Arts Blog, where you'll find posts by Jeff Spevak, Anna Reguero, Stuart Low and others. One highlight are the photo essays and other multimedia done by D&C photographer Will Yurman (here's last year's multimedia project).
  • Rochester City Newspaper has it's annual Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival Guide. There are listings for each day with links to the bios they've prepared (many of them are the same you'll find on the artist's page on the XRIJF site, with links to artist sites). Or you can look at all the artist bios in one place. City's music writers will all be blogging from the field as well.  I think it will be on the Music Blog.
  • Freetime Magazine has a bit different take for their XRIJF Guide. You can click on a venue and they've listed all of the artists who will be appearing there with times, etc.
  • This year WHAM Channel 13 has a "Jazz Lounge" where they'll be collecting their XRIJF coverage.

I'll try to link out to other coverage from national as well as local blogs and other sites as I come across them (please feel free to make them known to me).

All this other coverage feels a bit liberating. I've already given you my preliminary "itinerary" for the festival.  I will likely be working at my day job throughout the festival, so I just can't do the daily sum up posts I've been doing in past years. My coverage here will focus on images, short posts and moblogs "from the field," and possibly some short video interviews. I'll be tweeting, of course and, if you're on Twitter, you can follow the tweets of various XRIJF artists who are on Twitter on the list I've created. The posts here and some tweets will end up on the Jazz@Rochester Facebook page as well.  Please feel free to join in on these conversations!

Mostly, I'm going to concentrate on having some fun, hanging with my old "jazz fest buddies," and trying to communicate the experience to you best I can.  See you on Jazz Street!

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Riffing the Links: The return (again) of riffing off some jazz links

Riffing The Links imageI'm always finding new links to put out there for you, but sometimes I just don't get them into a post. You can also find occasional links on Twitter and the Jazz@Rochester Facebook page, some of which may be repeated here, but not all. So here are a few more... I'll look at my feeds and find some more soon.

  • At the Tritone Jazz Fantasy Camps, adult "jazz players and singers learn and play in a friendly, non-threatening environment, supported by a faculty of caring, professional jazz musician/educators and surrounded by kindred spirits" at a summer camp. There's one in the Rochester area July 25-30 at Nazareth College ... Jazz at Naz.
  • If you want to know what's up on the Latin jazz scene, check out Chip Boaz's Latin Jazz Corner blog.
  • TwitJazz.net was created recently to help build community among the growing numbers of folks from the jazz world—jazz fans, musicians, presenters, writers, and promoters (including yours truly)—who have established a presence on Twitter. The blog is being managed by a recent entry from D.C. @MaryamLovesJazz and veteran Pacific Northwest trombonist and jazz tweeter David Marriott (@RedRaspus) to help folks find more Twitter love for jazz. You can track and add to the conversations by using the hashtag #twitjazznet.
  • My friends in the local group Margaret Explosion have been recording their live shows for quite awhile and have made some of those recordings and cuts from some of their CDs available online for streaming and download. If you caught their gigs at The Little or elsewhere you know they are a great group of musicians making some unique sounds.
  • As I noted before, if you were unaware of it April is Jazz Appreciation Month, brought to you by the Smithsonian Institution. One of my jazz friends on Twitter has been doing some great things with it on her new blog Elements of Jazz.

If you have a jazz link to share with the Rochester jazz community and beyond, send me an email by clicking on the Send an email to Jazz@Rochester link in the left panel.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Jazz festival sponsor Xerox brings jazz "Idol" to Rochester in Jazz Star contest

One of the interesting new things that came out at the recent press conference announcing the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival  that will run from June 11-19 was Xerox's announcement that it was building on the momentum of the festival to present a jazz music competition in the "American Idol" vein called Jazz Star: The Search for a New Sensation. The proceeds from the talent show will raise money for Biz Kid$ Rochester, a city youth program that includes a camp where kids, aged 10-18 build their own small businesses.

XRIJF logoXerox is looking for local jazz artists and groups upload an up to 50 second video of their performance of jazz on the RochesterJazzStar.com site.  Videos must be received by midnight April 30th. Once the video is up on the site people will be able to vote for their favorites. The top 10 artists/groups will be interviewed on CW-16, WHAM-DT.  Top five finalists will be selected by another round of voting and each of these five will perform at the Grand Finale performance on June 9th, two nights before the opening sax solos of the 2010 XRIJF. During this finale show in the Xerox Auditorium, the top 5 will be reduced to 3 and a winner will be selected before a live audience of 700. The winning artist/group will receive eight hours of professional studio time at a local professional recording studio to record a demo, a designed CD cover and the option for their song to be uploaded to Amazon.com and/or iTunes for one year. In addition to that, there's the $2,000 in cash to motivate the aspiring jazz artist/group.

While I'm not much for Idol or talent shows in general, this might be fun and interesting. Right now no videos are up yet, but the site notes that they are starting to receive submissions. So check back and vote early and vote often (I'm from Chicago, what do you expect? I guess you'll have to check the rules before you do that...).I'll keep you updated as things develop....

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Riffing the Jazz Links: A few random destinations from the world wide web

Riffing The Links imageBeen awhile since I shared some jazz links with you all. While not a sign that I have a lot of time on my hands, I thought I'd reach into the vault and riff off a few:

  • JazzStandards.com, is a website that dedicated to preserving information about jazz standards. The site indicates its information is derived the from hundreds of reference books and historical documents with additional commentary by jazz performers, historians, and musicologists.
  • If you're heading over the Capital District and have a hankering for some jazz, you check out AlbanyJazz.com for a jazz calendar, reviews and other things about jazz. 
  • Want Coltrane, MMW or Mingus on your computer desktop? Jazzreview.com has a number of jazz-themed wallpaper images for your desktop created by the site's Artistic Director Juan Carlos Fenu.
  • Chicago jazz bassist Bill Harrison created PlayJazzNow.com to provide musicians with downloadable play-along recordings that could be used to hone their skills as accompanists and soloists. 
  • Jazz Inside Magazine is the new magazine by the publisher of Jazz Improv Magazine and Jazz Improv NY Magazine. Each edition includes a companion CD previewing full-length tracks from new and essential/reissued recordings by leading and emerging artists.
  • Mentioned in passing in riffing the best of 2009 links, but thought I'd note the WGBO radio show The Checkout, an hour-long music magazine hosted by the station's Special Projects Producer Josh Jackson that features what's new on the NYC jazz scene.

If you have a jazz link to share with the Rochester jazz community and beyond, send me an email by clicking on the Send an email to Jazz@Rochester link in the left panel.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Riffing the Jazz Links: The "Best of 2009" Edition

Riffing The Links imageThis can't start to be a series of posts until I do more than Number 1, and what better way to continue this series than with a number of "best of" lists that various jazz writers, bloggers and sites have published in the past couple of months. I'm woefully late to the party, but I'm trying to share with you some "best of 2009" lists from ears with a widely divergent range, of course, that may reflect but don't necessarily parallel mine (maybe next year I'll join them).

There's so much more that' I've probably missed, but had to stop this post somewhere. I've found some great sounds on these lists and hope to continue to (haven't even come close to listening to it all). I'll let you decide... If you have a favorite jazz CD of 2009, let us know in the comments. Looking forward to hearing what you listen to!

By the way, if you have a jazz link you've run across to share with the Rochester jazz community and beyond, send me an email by clicking on the Send an "Send an email to Jazz@Rochester" link in the left panel or join Jazz@Rochester's Facebook page and add it there.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Riffing the Jazz Links: Numero Uno

Riffing The Links imageSome of you may remember that awhile back I had a Take Five Friday posts (like this one), where I'd share some random jazz links that I'd found in my meanderings on the Interwebs. After doing those for some time, I realized that I didn't want to nail myself down every Friday (while there are lots of links to share, I just don't always have Fridays to share and I'd cornered myself into it by using Friday in the graphic). OK, this one is on Friday, but they don't have to be now. So, here we are with a different, less constricting graphic (that Wordle is so useful) and a new set of links:

  • Jazz Is Dead. Long Live Jazz. An article from mid-December in Newsweek, trying to separate out the question of "is jazz popular" from "is jazz good" and surveying the landscape of jazz. What do you think?
  • Notes on Jazz is a blog by jazz journalist Ralph A. Miriello, that he is using as a forum for discussion of jazz music, musicians, reviews of recent and historical releases, reviews of live performances, interviews and almost anything else he finds of interest.
  • Wolfgang's Vault has some great historical live recordings of a number of music events, including  1959 recording of the Horace Silver Quintet Newport Jazz Festival. You can stream them for free or, for a price, download high quality MP3 or FLAC files.
  • Some of my good friends are working musicians and there is a great website out there MusiciansWages.com that has a lot of resources for you guys and gals who are trying to make a living out there, including forums and several blogs.
  • And one more for the jazz musicians out there, Wikifonia.org bills itself as the place for musicians to publish and collaborate on lead sheets.
  • Jazz pianist, Vijay Iyer, who is on just about everyone's Best of 2009 list with his great album Historicity, has written a a thoughtful piece for JazzTimes, Thelonious Monk: Ode To A Sphere. Bone up a bit before heading out to see Monk, the Play at Exodus to Jazz later this month.
This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Bringing the jazz on the interwebs...Try it out

AccuJazz.com -- Click here to listenFor me, listening to jazz is always about discovery. Once you get past relying on only the names everyone knows—Coltrane, Miles, Armstrong, and on and on—and are exposed to the great jazz music being played and recorded all over the country and world, it's easy to let someone else put together some selections. That's why we always listened to radio in the past. As there are only a couple of radio stations featuring jazz in these parts (Jazz 90.1 and WJZR), one place we can turn to the Internet for our fix of new sounds. A place I am turning to more often is AccuJazz.com.

Coming out of my old home town of Chicago, Accujazz has taken its initial focus on a channel of mainstream and contemporary jazz into more than fifty streams that focus on different genres of jazz, instruments, composers and eras. The programming of music is eclectic, ranging across the universe of jazz. I've been following Accujazz on Twitter and seeing the way they respond to the community of listeners they are building on the web, releasing new stations with new ways of hearing jazz music (a recent release was a station that features only Beatles covers). Unlike Pandora and its music genome (which also is a great place to discover new music), the stations at AccuJazz are programmed by real jazz people.

For me listening to these Internet radio stations is sort of like John Nugent's tag line for the Xerox Rochester Jazz Festival, "it's not who you know, it's who you don't know" ... yet.  As anyone who lives here learns, there is a lot of fine musical talent out there. Find some more music to add to your list. Let us know what your favorite station is in the comments.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Seeing & hearing ... JazzCorner's JazzVision site let's you do both

Thought you might want to check out jazz site JazzCorner's JazzVision, which is the first videosharing site dedicated solely to jazz and blues videos for users to watch and even upload. Sign up is free if you want to join. Currently there are more than 1,200 videos, such as this one of the Dave Holland Quintet doing live at the 2002 Newport Jazz Festival with Robin Eubanks, Billy Kilson, Steve Nelson, Dave Holland, Chris Potter. You can search or browse by artist,instrument, groups, type of jazz, or even festivals (although RIJF hasn't uploaded any....).

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Join the conversation on Jazz@Rochester's Facebook page

While I've been on Facebook for awhile, I focus my activities there on friends and family.  Recently, I've seen a lot of local jazz artists (and other jazz artists) moving over to Facebook from the former "musician" hangout du jour of MySpace.  I had a Jazz@Rochester page on MySpace, but never could get that interface and it was just too much work to maintain. So, I've now created a page on Facebook for Jazz@Rochester. More of you are finding it and signing on, so I thought I'd let you know here.

This page is intended to be free-form improvisation so we'll see how it develops. Share links, start discussions, brainstorm ideas for promoting jazz here in Rochester, tell us stories about gigs you have played or heard, share your photos or video of live jazz in and around Rochester, etc. We're just getting started, but you all are welcome. Just keep it civil and focused on the music and we'll be straight. I'll contribute where I can, but it is mostly for readers of Jazz@Rochester to have their own conversations about jazz in and around Rochester, NY.

Jazz@Rochester on Facebook
This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Although not Friday, it's still time to take 5 (the Newport Edition)

TakeFiveFriday logoThe Newport Jazz Festival (and folk festival as well) seemed to be on their last legs recently, but legendary jazz promoter George Wein, stepped in with the health care products company CareFusion to save them. In honor of Newport, now George Wein's CareFusion Jazz Festival 55, which begins today in about 10 minutes, I'm going to give you five links related to this legendary festival. So...Take Five:

  • While you check these out, why don't you listen to the festival itself? Like they did with the Newport Folk Festival last weekend, performances from Newport will be webcast live on National Public Radio website today from 11:45-2:00 pm and tomorrow from 12:00-6:00 pm.
  • You can download a 12-track sampler of performers who will be playing Newport this weekend through NPR (and iTunes) as well here. These twelve tracks show the wide range of jazz artists that Wein is bringing together for Newport this year from Roy Haynes to the Vandermark 5, who appeared here Thursday night at the Bop Shop Atrium.
  • Follow live coverage of the festival on Twitter by following NPR's @blogsupreme or the #newportjazz "hashtag" feed.
  • Watch and listen to 10 minutes from Louis Armstrong's 1958 set at Newport.
  • Back to NPR, where you'll find archives of the performances (including some that are not being broadcast, I think) if you can't catch them live. National Public Radio is really doing this up well. Perhaps we can interest them in the 2010 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival?

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Before heading out to the Park Ave. Fest tomorrow ... why don't you Take Five?

TakeFiveFriday logoAnother weekend of festivals and summer (well, almost...) here in Rochester, but I have some more jazz links for you to check out:

  • In case you hadn't heard, local jazzman Fred Costello, who has played the organ during Amerks hockey games for 32 seasons, was recently told his services would no longer be needed. On the bright side for Costello, as he noted in the D&C article on his departure, Costello will “be able to play more with my jazz band in local clubs this winter”.
  • Back in June, NPR's weekly Take Five jazz sampler did a story on the evolution of the song Strange Fruit, a powerful protest against the lynchings of blacks and racism made famous by Billie Holiday who, with her pianist Sonny White, refashioned the poem and music of Abel Meeropol into Billie's deep cry of outrage that many of us know. Many have recorded this song. NPR's Take Five gives you five of them: Billie Holiday (of course), Nina Simone, Jeff Buckley, Rene Marie, and the Labor Camp Orchestra.
  • On Jazz.com's The Dozens, jazz writer Ted Panken explores twelve essential Gil Evans tracks selected by his assistant from 1985 to his death and multiple-Grammy winning composer in her own right, Maria Schneider.
  • There are a lot of good jazz blogs out there, so I'll keep pointing them out, especially those written by jazz writers with much more under their caps than the writer of this one—like Fred Kaplan's blog Jazz Messenger on the Stereophile site.
  • Earlier this year three videos of a 1956 TV performance by the Dave Brubeck Quartet materialized showing the group after Brubeck became famous after a TIME magazine cover story but before Joe Morello and Eugene Wright replaced Joe Dodge and Norman Bates on drums and bass. Doug Ramsey, who has more than a passing acquaintance with Brubeck through his exploration of the life and music of Paul Desmond, links to these three videos and provides some context in O Rare Dave Brubeck on Rifftides.

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Take Five Friday: Random jazz links

TakeFiveFriday logoWe're on a roll now; several weeks in a row! Just keep them jazz links coming....

  • Jazz promoter George Wein came out of "retirement" to provide funding to keep the legendary Newport Jazz Festival alive. Now called the CareFusion Jazz Festival 55, Newport is going to have a great lineup of jazz this summer in a couple of weeks, August 7-9. To download some free samples of some of the artists appearing there, check out the NPR Music at Newport Sampler.
  • I've heard a number of musicians around Rochester saying they spent the weekend in the "woodshed" or have been doing a lot of "woodshedding" recently. As Paul Klemperer explained in Woodshedding & the Jazz Tradition, "[w]oodshedding is the nuts-and-bolts part of jazz, the place where you work out the techniques that form the foundation of your improvisational ability." That explains it....
  • In many ways jazz itself came out of Africa as it has such a basic foundation in the music and culture of African-Americans. Well here's some jazz out of Africa brought to you by NPR's version of "Take Five".
  • 12VoltArts Jazz Practice Loops site provides practice loops for jazz musicians to use to practice their soloing.
  • Now this is just weird ... former Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan was a jazz musician for awhile. But somehow the "Green Man," as he was known, put aside a fairly promising career in jazz (Mingus thought he was alright) eventually to end up as one of the most powerful men in the U.S. economy. Perhaps he just didn't have the heart following his humiliation after challenging Coltrane to an onstage showdown in 1949 (via HotHouse blog).

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Take Five jazz links ... randomly yours

TakeFiveFriday logoIt's Friday and I have five more jazz links to check out.

  • The jazz education and history site A Passion for Jazz has a set of 20 tips for jazz musicians, such as #1 "Everyone should play the same tune."
  • The primary function of JazzDiscography.com is to share jazz discographies created with the "Brian" application (which can be downloaded off the site, although it appears a bit of a Web 1.0 app, it probably does the trick).
  • JazzCares was born after 9/11 to provide a means for musicians to help other musicians while helping themselves. Musicians or creators of jazz related merchandise decide how much they want to allocate to the organizations the Jazz Foundation of America and keep the rest, except for a small credit card processing fee. The site then puts the merchandise on the site.
  • Edmar Casteneda plays a traditional Columbian harp but at a young age found jazz and has been mashing together the traditional music of his country with the jazz he came to love. NPR has an interview with Castaneda along with some of his music, including a link to a concert by the Edmar Castaneda Trio with Joe Locke at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival. I was hoping I'd get a chance to listen to him live at RIJF this year, but I'll have to settle for these for now. Hat tip to Tom Marcello for learning about his project with Joe and getting me interested.
  • I was checking out The Gig, a blog by jazz writer Nate Chinen, and found this thoughtful post that by posing the question of a John Scofield edition of the popular game Guitar Hero, how it and other games like it are becoming yet another manner of distrbuting music, and then riffing on the implications on the state of jazz today.

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

It's still Friday, so Take Five (jazz links that is...)

TakeFiveFriday logoThere is so much happening out on the "interwebs" about jazz and I try to cull out some random link for you each week on Friday. Here are five more:

  • I like jazz ... I like beer ... it's summer ... NPR's version of Take Five recently did a sampling pairing jazz cuts with summer beers. What could be better?
  • You can relive the epic Buddy Rich vs. Animal drum battle from Sesame Street on YouTube.
  • I love getting the back story on music and Marc Myers recently wrote a great piece in Jazz Wax providing the skinny on John Coltrane's Naima, a love song to his first wife Naima Grubb, recorded on the Giant Steps album in 1960.
  • The site doesn't do much for the eyes, but A Jazz Improvisation Almanac tries to "help the performer play jazz more effectively and ... the listener to better understand the performance of jazz. You be the judge ...
  • Up close and personal with Joe Lovano playing with Bob Sneider, Mike Melito, and Phil Flanigan at the after hours on the last night of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. Had to miss that last night due to a bum knee, but can get a bit of a taste...

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Inspire the development of more "Chops" around Rochester

Chops documentary posterOne of the things that you discover during the Rochester International Jazz Festival is that many of the high school jazz ensembles around here have "chops" way beyond those that my high school group had back in the 70s. I'm always impressed by them both as groups and some of the individual players.

I was recently contacted about a new documentary film called Chops. The film is about one high school jazz band's experience at the Essentially Ellington high school jazz competition, following them from their hometown of Jacksonville, Florida to NYC to participate in the 11th annual competition at Lincoln Center. The film has been endorsed by Jazz at Lincoln Center where the competition and festival is held and was screened there, film festivals throughout the country. One cool aspect about this film is how its makers and distributors are promoting it (in addition to contacting jazz blogs, that is). As jazz festivals and publications are hurting in today's economy, the film's distributor has set Chops up to be a great fund raising tool for jazz-related organizations, distributing it through a screening approach that allows anyone who hosts a screening to keep 100% of the proceeds from a screening. You can view the trailer for Chops at its official website and check out their unique approach to the screenings. There is also a page on Facebook to get updates about the film.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

The return of Take Five Friday ... Some jazz links for you

TakeFiveFriday logoGeez, I posted this first without an intro... We're back with Take Five Friday on Jazz@Rochester after another hiatus while we took in the Rochester International Jazz Festival and then had a bit of a rest. So, it's Friday and here are five more jazz-related links for you from around the interwebs:

  • Someone caught the whole June 16th performance of the Bill Tiberio Band at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival on video and you can catch the performance and a bunch of others from XRIJF 2009 on the RIJF's YouTube site.
  • There is this post on The Hope Chest blog that is built around a scan of a newspaper article on fitness that posits jazz as a drug, "just as intoxicating as morphine and cocaine; it is just as harmful....Jazz is killing some people; some are going insane; others are losing their religion." It's an interesting read along with the blogger's notes about the article and the intersection with race (the article from the black press in NY) (via Chris Van Hof of WXXI).
  • I've recently acquired more of a taste for the music of larger jazz ensembles (Maria Schneider and Dave Rivello's work comes to mind...). Another recent entry onto the larger ensemble scene is Darcy James Argue's Secret Society. I like Secret Society's mashing up of rock 'n roll and jazz and they have some major chops on their instruments. There are others as well and as Martin Johnson wrote recently in the Wall Street Journal, they're not your Grandpa's big band. The Secret Society even has a blog.
  • If you're a musician, you may want to check out the site AudioTuts (a tutorial site), there is a post with fourteen sites that will help you to practice music more effectively.
  • For those of us who missed it, like myself, there is a recording of the concert on the Internet Archive of Robert Randolph and the Family Band (with the Campbell Brothers) at the East Ave & Alexander St Stage, during the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Fest on June 19th. I'm not

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

It's Friday and time to Take Five jazz links....

TakeFiveFriday logoThere is a lot of interesting stuff out there about jazz and I've done a bit of surfing the past few days and found some interesting places to visit. So . . . Take Five:

  • One of the clubs that I really wanted to check out last time I was in New York City was Smalls, which is one of the great places to catch cutting edge jazz in the Big Apple. Never made it there, but now I can at least listen to sets from Smalls because they have put a huge number of them (and live video of sets when they're going on, too) on their website.
  • As you'll notice I don't do the jazz criticism much here, if at all. This week I came across the beginnings of a conversation, started by the new jazz blog at National Public Radio, A Blog Supreme and the Thriving on a Riff blog out of Ottawa, about the "grade inflation" and other issues surrounding jazz criticism and why you see so few posts panning a jazz CD.
  • I think Steve Bowie has been doing the jazz blog Blog-O-Jazz, where he collects various emphemera of jazz, about the same amount of time that I've been doing Jazz@Rochester.
  • We all have the economy in mind and recently National Public Radio teamed up with WDUQ in Pittsburgh, PA, to bring us the jazz and blues of "Hard Up: Jazz for Empty Pockets." Don't know if I can say "enjoy," but check out the "Take Five" selections of Mose Allison, Robert Walter, Jimmie Witherspoon, Art Tatum, and Jimmy Smith. 
  • Got this clip from YouTube of the Bill Tiberio Band playing the tune "Return of the King" with his band including Geoff Smith, Phil Lake, Joe Chiappone, and Scott Bradley, piano and composer of the tune. The video was recorded in the Fairport High School orchestra room.

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Do I have jazz links for you . . . so Take Five of them for now

TakeFiveFriday logo

  • Jason Crane recently announced the launch of a partnership of his podcast The Jazz Session with the website All About Jazz. The Jazz Session will be featured on the home page at allaboutjazz.com and they'll be working together in other ways, such as coverage from jazz festivals. Jason gives great interview ... so check it out as this new relationship develops.
  • While I'm not the only one who uses Take Five for a regular post in the jazz blog world, there's a new jazz blog in town brought to us by National Public Radio called A Blog Supreme. They're also doing a Friday jazz links post, called the Friday Link Dump. The more the merrier....
  • The Jazz Journalists Association has announced the finalists for the 13th Annual JJA Jazz Awards to be held on June 16th at the Jazz Standard in NYC. There are 42 categories of awards, including the top jazz blogs. Nope, I cannot even say that it was wonderful just to be nominated....
  • Marc Myers starts out his post in JazzWax on the Top 10 Jazz Ironies with "Like the music itself, the history of jazz is loaded with irony. Stuff happens for strange reasons, or there are coincidences that are spring-loaded with unsaid meaning and hidden messages."
  • Howard Mandel raises the question in Jazz Beyond Jazz of where women are as jazz listeners, noting:
    The problem is that no one in the jazz world, with the exception of jazz educators, has pleasantly invited women to partake of the music. Rather than being marketed to, women have been neglectfully, perhaps unconsciously, shut out.
    He makes a great plea for inclusion (and it's not just women who are excluded) and for jazz and jazz venues to being welcoming to women, finishing "Maybe we'll all listen first and identify the gender of creators later, if ever." Hear, hear ....!

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Another Friday in Kansas, but that doesn't mean you can't Take Five.

TakeFiveFriday logoStill out here with the parental units in S.E. Kansas and another Friday is coming (and going). So....Take Five (more jazz links):

  • Jazz Video Guy recently did an interesting video interview of one of my favorite jazz bloggers, Marc Myers, who writes the Jazz Wax blog and whom I've pointed you to in the direction of several times in Take Five links or elsewhere. Watch Portrait of a Jazz Blogger.
  • Here's an written interview with Saxophonist Greg Osby on the why and how of starting his own record label, Inner Circle in Open Sky Jazz's Independent Ear blog.
  • The good Doctor Lonnie Smith writes up a prescription for groove with Yoron Israel and my buddy Mel Henderson cookin on guitar in this video from an early Exodus to Jazz performance (am I right Jose?).
  • As a recovering lawyer with a lot of musician readers, friends and acquaintances, I thought I'd show that some of us attorneys really have their interests at heart in addition to ear. Josh Kaplan, who received his JD from the same law school I did (although about 10 years later), is (the) Lawyer for Musicians™ and he has a pretty cool blog/site serving up some good advice for musicians.
  • "The dozens" is an "informal exchange filled with ribaldry, taunting and clever put downs" in African-American traditions. It is also the name of a regular feature on Jazz.com, where the writer (who changes) takes 12 jazz tracks based on a particular theme or individual or event, providing his or her frank opinions on those tracks.

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

I'm in Kansas, so it's still Friday and time to Take Five....

TakeFiveFriday logoI'm out in S.E. Kansas visiting my parents again and hoping that the rain stops before the creek running next to the house becomes a river. While in Rochester, it's now Saturday, it's just turned 11:00 pm here. So it's still Friday here and time to "Take Five":

  • On April 29th, Life.com opened up a gallery of images of Duke Ellington, who was was born on that day in 1899. The seventeen images range across his career and include Duke with other jazz greats like Stan Kenton (hamming it up with Duke on CBS) and Billie Holiday.
  • For you working musicians in our readership, you might want to check out MusicianWages.com, the website for working musicians. A good place to start is the clear-eyed advice about using social media and other online tools in the post A Musician's Guide to Creating An Online Presence.
  • In July of 1965, FBI agents came to drummer Max Roach’s apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and began asking questions about the people he knew, his involvement in the civil rights movement and his connections to black activists. Andrew Lehrens has written an interesting article, "Jazz and the FBI: Guilty Until Proven Innocent," that throws some light, based on recently discovered archive materials, on this interview of Roach and the FBI's treatment of other jazz artists during the 1960s.
  • Although it will only be of help for you who have plans to visit the UK, or want to see where the cats who play in the UK series at this year's Rochester International Jazz Festival play when they're on their side of the pond, UK jazz radio JazzFM has created a map of jazz venues in the UK (and one in Mexico...). Perhaps we might do one for around here to add it to this site?
  • Way more than most of us want to know about John Coltrane's Giant Steps from the site SongTrellis: Music, Musical Know-how and Music Technology For You.

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

It's Friday, so let's do some exploring ... Take Five jazz links

TakeFiveFriday logoTwo weeks in a row! Now that's progress. I've looked through my jazz feeds and found five new links for you to check out. Without any further adoo...

  • Harvard Business School's take on Miles Davis's Kind of Blue. In a business case, HBS professor Robert D. Austin and Carl Størmer highlight the takeaways for thoughtful managers and executives from the story of the creation and innovation on this seminal album.
  • A live recording on NPR of Tom Harrell Quintet at the Village Vanguard.
  • Credit to local trumpeter Mike Kaupa for passing around this video of Ernestine Anderson singing Moanin'. As Mike wrote, "Ernestine is an angel, but the organ player plays for the other team."
  • If you are having trouble finding the chords for that song you're trying to learn, check out SeventhString's Fake Book Index.
  • I recently ran across Jazz Studies Online, which "aims to broaden thinking about jazz," selecting "a wide range of digital resources—journal articles, book chapters, magazines, teaching materials, talks, internet links, and performances—to represent the diversity and innovation in jazz studies.

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

The return of Take Five Friday

TakeFiveFriday logoClearly, I've been having trouble keeping up my end of the bargain, but I'd like to continue this series of posts as I'm always coming across jazz-related links that I'd like to share. Here are five more... so Take Five.

  • Baseball and nonsequitur king Yogi Berra knew all about jazz. I recently ran across him explaining jazz in an interview. Here's a taste:
    I can't, but I will. Ninety percent of all jazz is half improvisation. The other half is the part people play while others are playing something they never played with anyone who played that part. So if you play the wrong part, its right. If you play the right part, it might be right if you play it wrong enough. But if you play it too right, it's wrong.
    Read the rest on AllAboutJazz.com.
  • I don't know about you, but I spent a lot of time in my early youth (and later when my sister was growing up) watching this guy in a cardigan go to the "Land of Make Believe" and sing songs while talking to puppets. Holly Yarbrough's Mister Rogers Swings! has recast all your favorite songs from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood's as swinging, jazzy, uptempo covers. You can get a taste at Boing Boing where I got the tip (well in a podcast linked to from there).
  • Geoffrey Keezer, pianist and recent collaborator with Joe Locke (last time I saw him was here at Water Street in support of their great album The Joe Locke / Geoffrey Keezer Group - Live In Seattle) has really taken to blogging and other things social media. I've enjoyed reading his posts at Streaming News from Keezer's Brain. He's also on Twitter.
  • One of the great things about Wikipedia is it has such a wide diversity of information that when you hear something you can look it up. Recently I overheard some musicians talking about the "head" in music. I didn't know (I only play a musician on the Internet); now I do. Or do I? All you musicians who read this blog take a look and and let me know in the comments if the Wikipedia article is full of hooey. Better yet, sign in and edit the article yourself!
  • And we finish off with some scat ... by none other than swashbuckling spinach consumer, Popeye. It even has lyrics, so you can follow along!

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week ... I swear!

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Take Five Friday: A five click exploration

TakeFiveFriday logoFor your clicking pleasure, here are five more links about jazz and music that I've found in my meanderings about the Internet.

  • Last time I linked you to the recreation of Thelonious Monk's Town Hall concert that was put together Charles Tolliver. Doug Ramsey has some inside stuff on the concert over at the Rifftides blog.
  • Howard Mandel has some musings on the new President and his predecessors relationship with music in the Jazz Beyond Jazz blog with Big Ears in the White House: Obama's boomer soul, and predecessors.
  • There's a great series of conferences called simply TED that bring what they call "ideas worth spreading." The videos of these short presentations by people from all areas of life and practice talking or otherwise expressing themselves about their passions is worth a look itself. The performance of pianist Eric Lewis, who the TED blog describes as "driving the next evolution of jazz—forging new musical alloys of classic blue note scuttles, delicate improvisations and heady alt rock hooks" is really pretty amazing dancing on the ivories. You can link to the video on this TED blog post with an interview of Lewis.
  • On the NPR Series with a similar name as this (really, I didn't know about NPR's "Take Five" until I'd already started and it isn't the same anyway), last week on March 8th, International Women's Day, celebrated six women in jazz who "paved the way for women's work in a jazz world once dominated by men ... [or] are modern innovators" including Mary Lou Williams, Shirley Scott, Marian McPartland, Geri Allen, Regina Carter and Maria Schneider.
  • For those of you who like the innovative work of John Zorn, here is a two part YouTube documentary about him with footage of both performances and interviews (Part One) (Part Two).

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Take Five Friday strikes again ... more jazz links for you

TakeFiveFriday logoIt's time again for Take Five Friday, a relatively recurring post here on Jazz@Rochester collecting links about an assortment of things that you might find interesting, entertaining or even useful:

  • Local group Hard Logic won 1st place in the 2008 Billboard World Song Contest in the Jazz category for their song "Crudites" on their 2nd CD Group Theory. Congratulations guys!
  • Last Saturday marked the 50th Anniversary of Monk's great Town Hall Concert in NYC, where Monk, for the first time, presented his tunes scored for big band. Trumpeter and arranger Charles Tolliver, who attended Monk's Town Hall concert, recreated it almost 50 years to the day and National Public Radio has made the remake available for us to hear.
  • Wonder who died on a particular day? OK, I don't spend much time on it, but if you're interested, The Music's Over blog has collected profiles of musicians from all genres and publishes on the date of the anniversary of their death. Here's the Jazz category.
  • One of the organizations trying to help musicians build a sustainable career is ArtistHouse.org. They have a blog, too.
  • In honor of the Bop Arts' bringing Dave Liebman with Phil Haynes and Steve Adams to Rochester on March 24th, here is a video from the Jazz Video Guy of Liebman doing Trane Lives with Joey Calderazzo, Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette.

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Time to Take Five ... 5 more jazz links

TakeFiveFriday logoSorry I missed last week. Couldn't be avoided ... just ran out of steam by Friday (after returning from Kansas). Well, without much more ado, let's Take Five:

  • Bret Primack, the Jazz Video Guy notes that one part of Blue Note Records' 70th Anniversary was the creation of the Blue Note 7, a septet featuring Nicholas Payton, Steve Wilson, Ravi Coltrane, Bill Charlap, Peter Washington and Lewis Nash playing new workings of classic BN repertoire. Before a concert in Tucson, the group allowed Jazz Video Guy to make a video of them performing Wilson's arrangement of Thelonious Monk's Criss Cross.
  • I don't know if you've tried the virtual world Second Life. I have an avatar (while not female or some weird cross between a hippo and aardvark, he doesn't look anything like me, of course), who is sitting on a bench on the Thomson Reuters (my employer) island waiting for me to drop in and take him somewhere else. Although it has already taken place, I was intrigued by this Virtual Jazz Festival site announcing a virtual Toronto Jazz Festival last May. Not sure it actually happened...but I wish I had been able to attend (or my avatar, that is...).
  • Take some classes on jazz from the nation's museum, the Smithsonian on their jazz site.
  • I unfortunately missed saxophonist and composer Rudresh Mahanthappa when he appeared with his Indo-Pak Coalition at the Bop Shop Atrium this year. He recently wrote a guest post on the Destination...Out blog offering insights into his art and serving as primer on Indian music. Throughout the post are peppered some of the music that influenced Rudresh's music and life. For those not familiar with Rudresh’s recordings, the post has some tunes of his at the end.
  • Jazz Backstory is a blog with a collection of writing based on the blogger's position as Jazz Archive Director at Hamilton College, a position he has held since 1995. The Archive has collected individual videotaped interviews with about 300 musicians, writers, producers and spouses all intimately involved in the jazz world. Jazz Backstory shares writings based on those interviews. Here's a post relating to the recently-passed saxophonist Gerry Niewood.

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

It's Friday, so let's Take Five . . . more jazz links for you

TakeFiveFriday logoI've been too crazy busy and traveling to get this out in the past couple of weeks or check my "jazz feeds" for more Take Five post material. I've got a few, though. Five, to be exact:

  • Last month, jazz website All About Jazz put up its top 20 interviews of 2008 and Jason Crane had two on the list.
  • For those of you who missed (or who caught) Gabriel Alegria's Sextet at the Exodus to Jazz Series on January 30th, here's Doug Ramsey's take in Rifftides.
  • Some notes taken by saxophonist Steve Lacy of advice given by Thelonious Monk have been floating around the Internet. One of my favorites: "A note can be a small as a pin or as large as the world, it depends on your imagination." I found them on the blog The Adventures of an Accordian Man in the 21st Century.
  • Have been starting to read Kellen Yamanaka's Song with Orange blog.
  • Jazz.com now has a group on Facebook.

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Take links, add some jazz . . . Take Five

TakeFiveFriday logoMy posting will probably slow down for a few days (although I hope to get at least one post out while in NYC, hopefully from some great jazz club so it will be short as I'll be writing it on my phone. So let's Take Five:

  • As NY writer Larry Blumenfeld notes in the post "more change we can believe in" on his blog ListenGood, no Cuban musician who has shown an intention to return to the island has been able to enter the U.S. since 2003. The post links to more information about the policy and what you can do. Heck, I bet dollars to donuts that Bush didn't even like jazz. Obama had Marsalis in the White House on Inaugural night. Let's hope that O ends this silly policy that has deprived the U.S. of hearing this wonderful music again. Listen Good focuses on New Orleans and how its musical culture is trying struggling to survive, as well as live music in New York and elsewhere.
  • David Hill is writing over at Hot House, a blog dedicated to jazz criticism where he is "building a catalogue of critical writings, discussing jazz of many eras, reviewing books and new albums that come out, and trying to find an answer to the eternal question, 'What is jazz?'"
  • The Jazzarific site is dedicated to true jazz lovers and proclaims itself as "your one-stop resource for online jazz music and information on jazz artists and jazz monuments." It's also the home of the Jazz Vinyl Podcast.
  • They're listing the headliners for the 2009 Freihofer’s Jazz Festival at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center on the Creative Capital blog over at the Albany Times Union. We have to wait a couple more months before the Rochester International Jazz Festival releases its lineup.
  • The incomparable Ella Fitzgerald singing Misty with the Tommy Flanagan Trio around 1965 in London.

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Take Five jazz links and call me in the morning . . . oops it is already

TakeFiveFriday logoAs you can see from the prior post this evening, I was busy earlier listening to the outstanding Maria Schneider Orchestra in the Eastman Theater. Nonetheless, it's Friday and time to Take Five ... links that is (OK, technically it is Saturday, but it's still night, so I'm going to take some liberties):

  • In honor of Maria Schneider, who really put them on the map, check out ArtistShare, a site that has been allowing fans to show appreciation for their favorite artists by funding their recording projects in exchange for access to the creative process. Maybe buy Schneider's album Sky Blue.
  • A number of social networking sites for jazz artists have started to sprout around the Internet, including Jazz Musician Space: The Social Hang For Jazz Artists, where they can network, promote their music, and establish a web presence. They say fans are welcome as well.
  • Jonesin for some notes on hard bop? The Jazz Note SDP blog may just fit the bill. It is devoted mostly to that body of music produced between the early 1950s and the mid-1960s. The writer, Ken Blanchard places Miles at the center of it.
  • Mark Myers has two posts over at JazzWax, where he sets out "10 Jazz Genius Moments" (actually it's 10 each, adding up to 20), which are:

    ...mere moments in jazz recordings that blow me away. Some of these thrilling phrases and passages were planned out ahead of time by recording artists or arrangers. Others were improvised and turned out brilliantly. In either case, these subtle touches are the reasons why particular songs stand out for me and hit their target.

  • Veteran (and recently laid off) Village Voice writer Nat Hentoff mused recently on the role jazz played in hastening the Civil Rights movement. Our new President has Coltrane on his iPod ... just think about that for a minute ...

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

It's soooooo cold ... and as I'm not out hearing jazz, perhaps we should Take Five?

TakeFiveFriday logoIt's Friday and time to Take Five ... links that is:

  • What about an Undersecretary of Jazz? Quincy Jones has been trying for years to get Cabinet level Secretary of Culture. Somewhere north of 75,000 have signed the petition.
  • Evan Iverson of the Bad Plus has a great interview with Wynton Marsalis on Do The Math. Iverson used the interview as "an opportunity to learn about his current music, namely his most recent large-scale work, Congo Square, an unusually successful combination of conventional big band and the West African group Odadaa! led by Yacub Addy. Frankly, I came away enlightened, impressed, and motivated. I can now see how Wynton has obtained funding and respect for jazz at an unprecedented level: he is one of the most charismatic men I’ve ever met." It's a two parter post (Part 1 and Part 2), with a coda looking at Marsalis's influence on jazz in the U.S. and the controversy surrounding it.
  • Jazz Lives is the blog of Michael Steinman, who describes himself as an "unashamed jazz addict". Steinman writes for Cadence, CODA, Jazz Improv, and All About Jazz. He is the New York correspondent for The Mississippi Rag and writes liner notes for a number of jazz labels, including Arbors, Nagel-Heyer, Stomp Off, NifNuf, Jazzology, Audiophile, LaLa, Azica, Little Simmy, Amber Lake, and GelberMusic.
  • Check out Jazz Video Guy a video podcasts by Brett Primack. The most recent offering is the Phil Silvers show from the 50s about a jazzer getting drafted.
  • ...And speaking of video, here's one of e.s.t., the Esbjörn Svensson Trio, playing When God Created The Coffeebreak live at Jazz à Juan Les Pins festival in France in July 2003. Svensson died last year in a diving accident.

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Jazz links in 5/4 time . . . Take Five

TakeFiveFriday logoIt's Friday and time to Take Five ... links that is:

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

It's Friday, so let's Take Five and look back before looking forward... Best of 2008

TakeFiveFriday logoDidn't get the usual "Best of 2008" post that music blogs are prone to put out, so I'm going to use this Take Five Friday post as an opportunity to make up for that. "Best of" lists are not really my bag, so I'll let you know about a few that I've run across elsewhere. So...Take Five:

  • All About Jazz NY, a newsletter about NYC jazz distributed by AllAboutJazz.com has a Best of 2008 special feature, including best of categories of: Musicians, Labels, Club, Performances, Albums, Unearthed Gems, Tributes, Reissues, Latin Jazz, Debuts, Large Ensembles, Vocals, Boxed Sets, Books and Original Album Artwork. Get it here (a 4mb PDF).
  • National Public Radio's Take Five series (seriously, I didn't know when I put this together and spent all that time on the fancy graphic) asked contributing jazz partners WBGO, WDUQ and Jazz24 radio to recommend Take Five's top jazz albums of the year and compiled what they thought were the very best of the best with their own picks. If you want to see the full lists, NPR had them too, including WGBO's The Year In Jazz: Best CDs Of 2008 and Seattle's KPLU Living Your Life With 2008's Best In Jazz.
  • Fred Kaplan's Top 10 Jazz Albums of 2008: Crowned by one immortal recording, in Slate.
  • AllAboutJazz.com's Managing Editor John Kelman's Best of 2008 with his selected picks representing the top recorded events in jazz and beyond for 2008.
  • OpenSkyJazz's personal take on the Independent Ear blog of recommended 2008 recordings compiled during a year of hosting a new releases program on WWOZ in New Orleans.

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Just moved into a new neighborhood of jazz . . . on Alltop

On Twitter, I've been watching announcements of new categories on the new aggregator Alltop, which gathers feeds of the five most recent posts from "all the top" blogs and online information sources about all kinds of topics from A to Z. They recently opened up one in the "jazz" category and guess what? There was Jazz@Rochester! Cool...

If you'd like to check out a bunch of other great jazz blogs and jazz news sources, we're in a great neighborhood of jazz on Alltop, including many of those you'll find in my blogroll and some others you'll probably find there soon enough. I encourage you to check it out as well as the hundreds (thousands?) of other categories.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Take Five Friday . . . the Yuletide version

TakeFiveFriday logoWell, the recent weather situation here in Rochester sort of put me off track. I was writing the Take Five Friday post and after coming home and shoveling for what seemed hours, my back ached and I didn't remember to finish and publish the post on Friday (this is becoming a trend...). Well since it's the holidays and I'll be visiting the wife's family on Friday, by executive fiat this post is likely going to serve as your Take Five Friday post for both December 19th and December 26th (who knows, I may relent). We'll get back on schedule in 2009....

  • Straight, No Chaser Blog is doing a Top Ten Jazz Christmas Albums Countdown starting with this December 10th post, to be completed this weekend, I think.
  • On NPR's Take Five sampler, they're letting you listsen to Cajun Carols: New Orleans Christmas Jazz
  • Also from NPR is this broadcast of a Jazz Piano Christmas 2008 for you to give a listen, with Arturo O'Farrill, Ellis Marsalis, Eliane Elias, Angel Echevarria, and Rebeca Mauleon.
  • Check out the Swingin' Christmas station on AccuJazz.com.
  • While I can get into some Vince Guaraldi as much as the next guy, and have 3 or 4 other LPs and CDs with holiday jazz, I think my favorite his Blue Note's Yule Be Boppin' with some hep cat stuff on Cool Yule from Kurt Elling, Bob Dorough reprising his bit with Miles on Blue Xmas. and cuts from Pat Martino, Joe Lovano, Charlie Hunter, Elaine Elias and a host of others.

Sorry, but I couldn't find anything exciting jazz-wise for Hanukkah. If you're aware of something nifty, I encourage you to tell us about it in the comments to this post. 

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week. Have a Yule that's cool....

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Take Five Friday on Sunday . . . ? Some jazz links for you to explore

TakeFiveFriday logoOK ... OK ... it's Sunday, but I have a good excuse. However, I don't want to short change you, so away we go--this time it's Take Five Sunday ....

  • As a former Chicagoan, I have a special place in my thoughts for Studs Terkel, a truly remarkable human being who was an essential part of that great city's character.  In 1992, Studs appeared on Marion McPartland's Piano Jazz radio program on NPR. 
  • "Hey, that cat is soooo out" ... Jazz has always had its own lingo.  AllAboutJazz.com has started to collect some of this word jazz. Also check out Boing Boing's post awhile back on a lexicon of jazz hipster talk "Vout" that Slim Gaillard (heard on Kerouac's On the Road) put together.
  • Thelonious Monk plays Lulu's Back In Town for the Norwegians in 1966 on YouTube, with Charlie Rouse (tenor sax), Larry Gales (bass), and Ben Riley (drums).
  • Larry Blumenfeld writes the blog ListenGood, another ArtsJournal blog, which looks at the "crisis in New Orleans; the struggles of a musical culture to survive. Live music in New York and elsewhere. Life-affirming sounds caught in performance, on recordings, and anywhere else I find them." As a new father, Larry's not writing as much as before, but it's worth a look.
  • In 1995, Dr. Billy Taylor did a 4-part series of lectures on What is Jazz? at the Kennedy Center. The files are .au files. Try clicking on them and give them time to download.

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Even though I'm out of town, it's still Friday. So Take Five ...

TakeFiveFriday logoFriday and I'm so far from home (although being with my parents always is home as well). No jazz here in the small 2,500+ town in SE Kansas (except on the iPod, that is).

  • In 2007, I shared a great YouTube video of a Looney Tunes cartoon The Three Little Bops (you know, the one about the Big Bad Wolf...). Mark Myers over at JazzWax recently explored the lineup of musicians playing those hipster porkers (were they wearing pork pie hats?), which to date has been shrouded in mystery. Investigative reporting at its best....
  • As you might remember, I've started a Flickr image pool for Jazz@Rochester where I and several others have uploaded photos of jazz musicians and other jazz images. There's a pool out there of vinyl record covers called Vinyl Junkie, which has a number of images of covers for jazz record album covers. If you're of a certain age, like me, you may still have some of these in your collection.
  • OK, it's a bit odd and macabre, but Dutch photographer Jaap van de Klomp has written a book that ranges across the U.S. and Europe to get images of the grave sites of legendary jazz musicians. It's called Jazz Lives (long "i" sound or it would be weirder).
  • I don't know if you're familiar with Ning, the DIY social networking folks, but you may want to join up and network with some other jazzers at The Jazz Network, which is one of the growing number of Ning communities featuring jazz. I haven't joined myself (not ready to take on another community yet), but assume I will soon. If you're already there let us know what you think about it in the comments.
  • A little plug (in addition to the one up there for the Flickr pool). I've been using the microblogging service Twitter for awhile and created a Twitter account for this blog. If you're on Twitter, follow me at jazzrochester (I have another account where some of my other personalities come out... gregorybell).

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Take Five links ... it's Friday

TakeFiveFriday logoIt's Friday and, even though its the holiday weekend, I have a fresh batch of links for you:

  • WXXI's Mark Grube has some thoughts on the 50th anniversary edition of Miles Davis' Kind of Blue in a post titled Suibokugo.
  • In a collaboration with Google, Life magazine has placed millions of photos from their archive online. At least 200 appear when searching for "jazz" (and if you're creative you might find more). The images can be purchased. (Thanks to David Marriott, Jr. at Red Raspus for the link).
  • I really enjoyed seeing Dave Liebman Group during 2008's Rochester International Jazz Festival. Here's a review of his November 22nd concert at the Art of Jazz series at Buffalo's Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
  • Can't get down to the Village to catch a set at the Village Vanguard? NPR's got you covered, with a new live performance recorded at the venerable NYC jazz club every month. November's offering is Ravi Coltrane Quartet.
  • Bay Area bass player Chip Boaz (I was introduced to Chip on Twitter) is doing the Latin Jazz Corner blog, which looks at Latin jazz across the country. Look for it in my blogroll soon.

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

It's Friday, so Take Five . . . .

TakeFiveFriday logoIt's Friday and I have a fresh batch of links for you:

  • AccuJazz is a multichannel jazz radio station, featuring nearly a dozen channels of classic and mainstream jazz.
  • Sing along with jazz or closet karaoke crooner? Jazzbacks has play along backing tracks of jazz standards for instrumentalists and vocalists, each has a description of its arrangement and can be played using the Real Book.
  • A scat poem Presenting the Harlem Jazziacs (for Larry Scott), by Michael A. Gonzales, on the Blackpower: News, Blogs and Commentary for Metropolitan Thinkers.
  • A new season of Jazz It Up! featuring Esperanza Spalding, Benny Golson, Lewis Nash, Bill Evans, and jazz news. Jazz It Up! is a production of BrownStone Digital, Inc., and contains live performances, news, and discussions by artists playing the array of styles that make jazz.
  • Check out Marc Myers' take in Jazz Wax on Boz Scaggs' recently released CD Speak Low. He may make you think twice about having pooh-poohed Boz's appearance as a headliner at this year's Rochester International Jazz Festival, writing "[h]is voice continues to amaze with a soft leather-on-burlap feel."

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

While we elected Obama, Jason interviewed Sonny Rollins

jazz session itunes logoAfter a short hiatus while he settled in his new digs near Albany, Jason Crane has been recording his great interviews with jazz artists and publishing them regularly at the Jazz Session blog again (since August with an occasional post in May-July). While we were out making the world safe for democracy, Jason was interviewing Sonny Rollins about his new album of live cuts Road Shows: Vol. 1 (Doxy Records, 2008) and "everything from the prospect of an Obama presidency and the crisis of global warming to the mystery and beauty of jazz improvisation." I need to add him back into my podcast queue and catch up.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

It's Friday, so Take Five ....

TakeFiveFriday logoIt's Take Five Friday and I have a fresh batch of links for you to sample:

  • I'm not the only place where you'll find Take Five.  Although not necessarily on Friday, NPR's Take Five: A Weekly Jazz Sampler is meant to help you to get to know jazz fives songs at a time.
  • Going on a trip somewhere, here's CNN's list of nine great jazz joints across the world.
  • It's hard to get a blog started and especially one like Improvised Communications, which is setting up shop to promote creative improvised music. Tom Kohn at the Bop Shop will probably be a reader, so will I.
  • Mark Grube shares his thoughts about the Cassandra Wilson concert at the State Theater in Ithaca last Sunday in 'Til There Was You in his blog over at WXXI.
  • You've seen the big pictures around downtown Rochester. They're the result of the Big Picture Rochester project. There's a photo essay on BPR's site showing them putting up the one with Wynton Marsalis and Bob Sneider from the Rochester International Jazz Festival, at the Rochester Plaza Hotel.

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

It's Take Five Friday...time for fresh jazz links

TakeFiveFriday logoIt's Take Five Friday (almost Saturday, but I had a thing...) and a fresh batch of links for you:

  • Howard Mandel searches for joyous music after the election of Obama, but "can't think of a movement akin to the bells ringing in Tchaikovsky's '1812 Overture' in the repertoire of Miles, Ornette, Cecil or Coltrane, Mingus, Monk, Bird and Diz, or Ellington, Basie and Goodman . . . . Jazz seems to temper its joy with the thought that the struggle continues and it's folly to forget that for even a moment." Read The jazz of victory and celebration in Mandel's Jazz Beyond Jazz blog.
  • Another favorite of mine, Rifftides, opened my eyes to the fact that one of the characters of the story of my earlier life in Chicago, Studs Terkel, wrote a book Giants of Jazz, published in 1957, that ends with Coltrane who was just emerging. I didn't know that! Doug Ramsey's post has some great links to learn more about this amazing individual spirit.
  • In case you missed it, "Over the Rainbow," played by ukelele sensation Jake Shimabukuro at last year's Rochester International Jazz Festival.
  • As the Jazz Impact website says, "[g]ood jazz and high performance business depend on creativity, agility, empathy and flexibility."  Jazz Impact is a company that uses jazz to teach businesses and their employees the skills of collaboration.
  • The sweet Ms. Ella Fitzgerald sings "Useless Landscape" by Jobim in Montreux in 1969 with Tommy Flanagan.

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments ....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

It's Take Five Friday and I have some fresh links for you.

TakeFiveFriday logoIt's Take Five Friday and a fresh batch of links for you:

  • The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, which has a mission to offer public school-based jazz education programs for young people around the world, has begun a series of online animated Journeys Into Jazz to teach kids about jazz. The host is Herbie Hancock and uses his Memorized Logarhythmic Deporter to Yesteryear (or MeLoDY) to transport kids back to the roots of jazz.
  • Just some Brazilians in a garage on a farm with their guitars and a tractor holding down the beat on Sweet Georgia Brown (with thanks to Mike Kaupa and Carl Atkins). Added image Actually, I have no idea where they're at. I had Brazilian YouTube hijack my browser for awhile... When it happened again this week, I started wondering why all the jazz videos were coming up on Brazil's YouTube.
  • The website/blog of the Esencia Latina Radio program on Jazz 90.1, which details everything happening in the world of salsa, merengue, bachata, etc., every Saturday from 6-10am NY Time on Jazz 90.1
  • You think I have a lot of links, you should check out the links on Kurt Elling's site.
  • A community with some sax appeal ... Saxophone People.

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Please jump into the Jazz@Rochester image pool

I love to add pictures to the posts on this blog, but have a lousy camera and always forget to bring it to gigs anyway. A number of blogs that I've come across have created image pools to draw new images from and I thought . . . why not? . . . I'd love to start highlighting images taken by readers on Jazz@Rochester. So I created the Jazz@Rochester image pool on Flickr (I think you need to have a Flickr account to do so).ETJ image If you take some images at a gig or have jazz-oriented pictures that you'd like to share with other Jazz@Rochester readers, then I invite you to come by join the group.  To get things started, I've posted a few of the Listings "wordles" and some images that I've taken from the past couple of years at jazz gigs.  Make sure that you take a look at the group rules and make sure you indicate how you would like attribution when you leave images (if you don't, I'll use your Flickr ID anyway).  Let me know what you think in the comments.

Flickr logSo, if you're interested, visit the image pool, take a dip, leave an image or two.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Take Five Friday ... take "Time Out" for jazz exploration

I thought I'd start a new regular post on Fridays, which I've decided to call Take Five Friday and designed a special image (with a deep bow to the Dave Brubeck Quartet album Time Out on which Paul Desmond's Take Five is found).  Each Friday, I'll do a post with five links to jazz-oriented sites and sounds I've come across out there in the wide world of the "interwebs" that were unique, made me stop and listen or read, or I thought my be interesting. Here is the first set:

So take five and explore. Let me know what you think in the comments....There will be five more next week.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Readin and writin jazz...JazzFirst Books

Jazz First Books image Ted Hodgetts of JazzFirst Books in Millbrook, Ontario, Canada, contacted me recently about the new site for his online bookstore. JazzFirst carries used, first edition books and ephemera with a specialty in jazz and blues. While I'm not a collector of anything but the music (heck, I haven't even been able to get to read all the books I already own on jazz-related subjects), I thought I'd pass the link along to you since I know some of you have an "unhealthy" obsession with all things jazz and this may be another place you can get your fix.

Looks like Ted has a pretty up-front policies about his books, their provenance, the shipping costs, and how he does business.  Seems to be a stand-up operation, but let me know if you have any issues with JazzFirst and I'll remove the links.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.

Some more wishes for 2009's RIJF from a new (to me) site...

RIJF logoI have searches that look for references to the Rochester International Jazz Festival and other jazz stuff of interest out there on the World Wide Web and, unfortunately only recently, Mark Grube's blog over at local public television station WXXI's interactive site popped up in my feed. It was for a post Mark wrote in late June, just after this year's festival, setting out who he'd like to hear in 2009, so to augment my recently reported "results" (here and here) from the survey reported on this site, I thought I'd call attention to that post (also you should read the comments). I want to add a bit "here, here" to his suggestions for next year...all of them...although I'll confirm the comment that Kurt Elling will be appearing here at the Eastman Theater on October 19th at the annual Jazz for the Park benefit for Wilson Commencement Park, appearing with saxophonist Ernie Watts and Ellings's regular band, the Laurence Hobgood Trio.

WXXI garland logoMark Grube is the host on WXXI (and WRUR) radio of What's New, showcasing new jazz releases and other recordings by those artists from the station's record library. He also writes some great posts on jazz (including this recent one on Ken Vandermark), music and other stuff. I'm glad I ran across Mark's blog...just wish it had happened before the jazz festival.

This post was originally published on JazzRochester. © Gregory V. Bell. All rights reserved.