133 posts categorized "Sound and Vision"

Ring, Ring . . . Moblogging from the RIJF

This is a live update from from the Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, NY. Click on the bar to find out . . . it may be an interview on the street, suggestions for the later shows, updates on crowds and lines, and other things to allow you to experience some of the RIJF even if you're not here. Live from RIJF

This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

Art Loves Jazz (Take Two) . . . Angela Rossi Exhibit at the Baobab Cultural Center

Just a reminder that the "Jazzed emotions beyond time and space…" exhibit continues at the Baobab Cultural Center, at 728 University Avenue in the Art Walk neighborhood has opened and will be presenting a series of artworks by Italian artist Angela Rossi entitled Icons of Jazz, is a collection of 41 works on Plexiglas depicting jazz artists from Miles Davis to Lady Day.  This week there are two events for this exhibition:

  • Tomorrow, June 5th starting at 7 PM there is a lecture on the history of Jazz by a Rochester jazz aficionado, composer and musician, and RIT faculty member, Carl Atkins. This is open to the public, although seating will be limited.
  • On Thursday, June 7th from 7 pm-9 pm there will be a talk by the artist. By invitation only.
  • There are other events later in the month until the show closes on June 30, which are detailed in my earlier post here.

    Gallery hours are 1-5 pm Wednesday to Sunday, or by appointment. Community partners of the Baobab in this presentation of Rossi's work are The Commission Project, Casa Italiana, Nazareth College, The Italian American Community Center (IACC),  Provincia dell'Aquila. For details and to RSVP, contact Moka Lantum at 585.820.6403 or via email at baobab.center AT yahoo.com.

    This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

    Some Previews of What's to Come . . . Promoters of Rochester Jazz Festival Interviewed on the Jazz Session

    Just listened to Jason Crane's interview of Rochester International Jazz Festival Producer and Artistic Director John Nugent and and Co-Producer and Executive Director Marc Iacona on The Jazz Session, Crane's podcast that I've featured before.  John and Marc go over some of the lineup and highlights for this year's festival, some of the new venues and times that will give festival goers even more choice.

    They also address some of the commentary that has been leveled at the Rochester jazz festival lineup from the jazz purists.  As you'd know if you've been reading my posts about this and previous RIJFs, I feel that Nugent's programming is a great approach that will help build bridges to audiences that have never explored jazz. If Nugent and Iacona kept the festival "pure" (and that is such a subjective term), then you could fit the whole audience in Kilbourn or, perhaps, Eastman each night, and would not experience the wonderful sight and sounds of tens of thousands (this year it may be over 100,000) in the streets of downtown Rochester enjoying themselves; that's right in downtown Rochester at night AND they're spending money.  As Jason John Nugent notes in the podcast, would those who care about this city rather "see 10,000 that know all the obscure facts or 100,000 who dig music and are helping our city".  The fact is that over 85% of the music being played this year will be improvisational music that can be squarely placed in one of the many "jazz" columns.  One additional piece of information tells that the approach of Nugent et al. is on the right track—as of the date of the podcast, May 23rd, only a few hundred of the Club Passes were available. 

    This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

    Missed the Fest Last Year? Rochester International Jazz Festival on the Tube Tomorrow

    Well, this will be the first in a number of posts that will explore this year's Rochester International Jazz Festival and, in this case, the 2006 RIJF.  I just wanted to remind you all again that the a six-part television series produced by WXXI Public Broadcasting in Rochester, New York, kicks off tomorrow, May 27th, with a one-hour program airing at 7 p.m. (EST) on WXXI-TV 21 (cable 11) and WXXI-HD 21.1 (digital cable 1011).

    The series will include tomorrow's program and another five half-hour episodes. The hour-long broadcast features performances by Karrin Allyson, Mose Allison, Cedar Walton, the Charlie Hunter Trio and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band. I saw many of these shows last year and you're all in for a treat, especially if you can watch it in high definition.  Additionally, there are interviews with some of the artists, street scenes, and concert highlights from other festival artists including James Brown, Etta James, Susan Tedeschi, Woody Allen, Dickey Betts, Red Stick Ramblers, Phil Woods and Sliding Hammers.

    This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

    DJ Bang spinning discs...Billy Bang takes a turn on WGMC

    Jazz violinist Billy Bang will join Jack Mindy as guest DJ on Thursday (May 3rd) drive time from 5-6 pm EST on the radio at WGMC Jazz 90.1 or on streaming on their website.  Bang is in town with his Quartet to back Garth Fagan Dance this weekend for their first spring performance in years at the Greece Athena Performing Arts Center. According to WGMC's announcement, Billy Bang will bring along some of his favorite jazz selections to share with listeners.  As I'm already involved with promoting dance in the area, Dianna and I already plan to go (hope the tickets are still available as we're going to buy them tomorrow) and will be tuning in.

    This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

    Get your jazz artist info at JazzCorner.com

    I found another great site for the jazz-inclined, JazzCorner.com, brought to you by Lois Gilbert.  In addition to being the "largest portal for the official websites of more than 180 jazz musicians and organizations", the site includes a number of other resources, including video sharing where you can upload and share jazz and blues videos, a jazz jukebox, and the JazzCorner Speakeasy, the busiest bulletin board for jazz. I found that there is a thread for Upstate NY.  I'm going to try to be on there more often to find out more about what's going on in Central and Western NY.  There is also a great podcast series called Innerviews (which I've added to my podcasting links), with interviews of established and new to the scene jazz artists.

    This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

    Yes, I still have a turntable (and a CD player), but what's playing on it?

    So, recently I quietly added a new "feature" in the left column, "On the Jazz@Rochester turntable..." that will contain a few of the jazz albums I'm currently listening to on the turntable (yes, I still have one and several hundred jazz, classical and rock albums).  These will include those that are in my collection (or ones I wish were in my collection)—new and old.  I'll change them periodically (a little less often than I change the CDs in my car or albums on my turntable). 

    Click through and buy one and I'll make a few pennies.  Now this is my first foray into the commercial side of the blogging.  I'm not quitting my day job anytime soon, though, that's a fact....

    This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

    Support local jazz radio and get aload of this space, while sipping wine and eating crudites, and buying art: Art Loves Jazz at Artisan Works.

    Our local 24/7 jazz radio, WGMC Jazz90.1 has announced the date of its fundraising party at Artisan Works—Art Loves Jazz. It was a great time last year. This year's shindig will be held on Thursday, May 17, from 7-10 P.M., will combines art and jazz, including  local jazz artists (including Bob Sneider, Mike Melito and DubbleStuff) to benefit Jazz90.1. This event will feature live art and silent auctions, gourmet food and live jazz throughout out the 60,000 SF gallery, which is really a sight to behold in case you haven't checked it out before. Tickets are $30.00, and can be purchased by calling (585) 966-2660. Only a limited amount of tickets will be sold, so if you want to go, better give them a call ASAP (Dianna and I plan to). Artisan Works is located at 565 Blossom Road.

    This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

    Live from Chicago...OK Evanston

    Live from Chicago...OK  Evanston

    The Jeff Marx Quartet at my old haunt Pete Miller's in Evanston, IL, that is.  Around 5 years ago, just before I moved to Rochester, my friend Matt and I went to see Jeff Marx's group play at Pete's.  It was a trip down memory lane last night, complete with an "El" ride from downtown.  Unfortunately, I came down with something just after getting back and I'm flat on my ....cough, hack....

    This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

    Give early, give often . . . Support 24/7 jazz radio

    Our local 24/7 jazz station, WGMC Jazz 90.1, has announced its 2007 upcoming spring 2007 membership campaign.  They have set a goal of $60,000 for the drive, which runs March 21-30.  WGMC is one of the last 24-hour jazz radio stations in the country and relies on donations to survive financially (in fact, their streaming has just become much more expensive after the recent decision by the Copyright Royalty Board). All donations are tax deductible.  The pledge drive will feature a variety of guest DJs and listeners are also invited to an open house at the Jazz90.1 studios, located inside the new library media center at Olympia High School, 1139 Maiden Lane, where you can drop in from 4 and 7 p.m. on Friday, March 23 to make a donation in person and tour the new studios. You can also make pledges by calling (585) 966-5299, 1-800-790-0415, or pledge securely on line at www.jazz901.org, where you can listen live any time, anywhere. Your support will help keep 24-hour jazz available in Rochester.

    This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

    A rich source of all things Rochester . . . Rochesterblog.com

    Recently, I found out that Richard Shade Gardner over at Rochesterblog.com, an online cyberjournal about Rochester and its people, history, etc., had told my business partner that he wanted to link swap (and he has, in fact, linked to Jazz@Rochester).  I had come across Richard's blog awhile ago and had always meant to take a closer look, but hadn't.  You see, Richard writes....a lot and I've been having trouble recently doing the one thing required to follow someone like him . . . reading. But once I took the time, I found a rich source about all things Rochester. Once a week for several years he has written a long form article and published it on the blog. The articles span a gamut from a topless protest on Cobb's Hill to H.O.G. (House of Guitars for the uninitiated). 

    In looking back into Rochester's past, he even touches on its history of jazz, including a wonderful article on happening upon a plaque in the Swillburg neighborhood commemorating:

    In the middle of a small grassy square, encircled by Avon Place, Fountain Street, and Sycamore Street - tiny streets lined with small hundred-year-old homes - I spot a modest granite monument. I step across the grass and read the bronze plaque:

    Dedicated to Cabel "Cab" Calloway the king of "Hi-De-Ho" - An internationally known band leader, singer, dancer, actor and composer. Cab, an African-American, was born in Rochester, New York on December 25, 1907 and once lived at 14 Sycamore Street.

    As I've said many times before, Rochester has a rich jazz history and Cab Calloway is a big part of that history.  I really enjoyed reading and hope to find more of that history. Check out this short movie Hi-De-Ho with Cab and the band playing in a Santa Fe sleeper and at the Cotton Club (complete with fan dancers...):

    This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

    Tom Pethic returns to the airwaves with Artistry in Jazz

    Tom Pethic has built a new model of what for some of you will be a comfortable, old "shoe,"—the Artistry in Jazz radio show has returned after an over one year hiatus (an earlier version was on WGMC for 21 years) to radio on Legends 990 AM WLGZ and streaming at Legends990.com on Saturdays from 1-5 pm. While it is on AM radio, which is not known for its high fidelity, it is broadcast in "high-definition," which is touted as making AM OK for music again (if you have a high def radio that is).  I listened to the first show on Saturday.  I don't have high def radio, but the sound was OK (Jazz 90.1 doesn't come in that well here in the Park Ave area either), although the local commercials were cheesy.

    I didn't hear Pethic's most recent prior version and wasn't living in Rochester for the version on WGMC.  The slightly compromised sound quality of the new incarnation of Artistry in Jazz was more than overcome by having another good jazz radio program to choose from in Rochester.  Pethic likes to focus on local artists and defines that widely to include a lot of Western New York. His thoughtful commentary is evident both on the radio and on his site (I hesitate to call it a blog, although Tom does).  As Pethic told Ron Netsky, "[t]here's a lot of history in this area and I don't want people to forget this important piece of the jazz pie." I'm looking forward to it and look forward to listening to Pethic's show next Saturday and regularly thereafter.  Good luck, Tom!

    This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

    Jazz fodder for your Nano . . . Jason Crane

    Jazzsession_itunes Local broadcaster (formerly with WGMC Jazz 90.1), AllAboutJazz writer, Green Party candidate, labor organizer, and podcaster Jason Crane launched a new jazz interview podcast this week. Called The Jazz Session, the podcast features conversations with musicians, writers, broadcasters, podcasters and more. Jason has been doing jazz podcasts over at The Jason Crane Show for awhile. Jason is a good interviewer who likes to bring listeners behind the scenes and into the lives of the people who play and love jazz. I've been meaning to add links to him for awhile.  May need to add a new category of links . . . jazz podcasts?

    I listened to the inaugural show featuring tenor saxophonist Grant Stewart, who recently appeared here at the Strathallan with Bob Sneider, Mike Melito, et al.  I saw one of Stewart's sets at the Strath and listening to Jason's interview provided me an in depth view of the artist and his musical background. The Jazz Sessions podcast is also available on iTunes and where other fine podcast products are found.  It's going in my iPod Nano.

    This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

    A Day in Harlem At the Baobab Cultural Center

    Head down to the Baobab Cultural Center on Wednesday, February 28th at 7:00 p.m., for a screening of Director Jean Bach's 1998 documentary A Great Day in Harlem, which tells the story of Art Kane's wonderful photograph taken for Esquire magazine that was sort of a "class picture" of 57 jazz legends in 1958.  The Baobab is located at 728 University Avenue in Rochester. 

    This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

    Dr. Lonnie Smith @ VENU . . . a whole lotta head waggin goin on

    Caught Dr. Lonnie Smith appearing at the VENU Resto Club and Lounge on St. Paul in Rochester, part of the Exodus to Jazz series.  As he was before at the Rochester International Jazz Festival last year, the "beturbaned" Doctor was the funky Glenn Gould of the Hammond B3 organ, humming along as he played.  Appearing with guitarist Mel Henderson and drummer Yoron Israel (who had the last Exodus to Jazz performanace) on drums, the good Doctor played mostly material from his newest album Jungle Soul on Palmetto Records.  Forgot the camera again, so the impressionistic picture above will have to do [Added February 24, 2007: Well, thanks to Petra Henderson, we now have some less "impressionistic" images from the gig added at the bottom of the post]:

    Live views....

    Met Jose DaCosta, the promoter for Exodus to Jazz.  He is trying real hard to bring a quality live music experience to Rochester, which should be supported. Another great thing about the show was how diverse the crowd of about 100 was. I am always heartened when that occurs.

    The venue is well-suitedDrlonniesmith_ph to seeing live music.  A separate room, downstairs from the bar that you see at street level.  The stage is ample and the sound was pretty good for a smallish space.  There were about 100 souls in all.  There is food available, but unlike the former Montage Grill, they've got it right.  While you can get food (and it was quite good), it doesn't get in the way of Yoron_israel_dls_phthe experience of hearing the music.

    This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

    A Lush Life? A Film About Billy Strayhorn

    Although it premiered on some other stations Tuesday, this Sunday there will be a documentary on WXXI about Billy Strayhorn, who penned many of Duke Ellington's masterpieces, including the legendary Lush Life, but who still remains mostly unrecognized for the genius he was.  Starting a little late at 11:30pm, the film will be part of the Independent Lens series. There was a thoughtful piece by Ashley Kahn on NPR on Tuesday, who uses the autobiographical Lush Life to illustrate both Strayhorn's genius and his complicated life as an African-American gay man.  That song is one of my favorites in jazz.  Of the 500 hundred or so versions of it that have been recorded, I'm partial to the one with Johnny Hartman singing with John Coltrane.  Hope you can check it out; I plan to.

    This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

    Jazz 90.1 Salutes African-American History Month

    Jazz90.1 (WGMC-FM) has announced that it will be saluting influential African-American jazz musicians throughout the month of February.  The radio station will be honoring a different African-American jazz musician on Monday through Friday during the entire month. A biographical vignette of the featured artist will be broadcast four times each day at 7:40 A.M. and 12:40, 4:40, and 8:40 P.M. Vignettes will also be repeated during weekend programming. The vignettes will be followed by a selection of that artist's music. The station reports that the:

    [A]rtists selected represent a variety of instruments, ages, and levels of achievement, but each has a story to tell and each has contributed significantly to the growth and enhancement of jazz music. Jazz90.1 hopes listeners will take this opportunity to learn  more about and recognize the significant contributions of individual African-American jazz musicians.

    Featured musicians will include Wynton Marsalis, Lee Morgan, Sarah Vaughan, Charlie Parker, Nina Simone and Lester Young. For a complete list, listeners can visit their website

    This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

    More "Best of 2006" Jazz

    I'll send you out to look at some others' lists, but won't make them myself.  Why?  In 2006, I did buy the new disc of the Dave Holland Quintet, Critical Mass, and I picked up the new one by Joe Locke/Geoffrey Keezer Group while at their gig at Water Street, and I just recently downloaded a couple of tracks from Ornette Coleman's new album Sound Grammar (on many of the 2006 lists this year) to add to my new IPod Nano (Christmas present to myself...).  What I didn't do is hear enough of the new jazz albums out there this year to realistically give you a top 10. This blog is mostly about live jazz anyway.  So here it goes, a few more top 2006 jazz lists:

    Dan Ouellette over at Billboard noted that at least when looking at the charts, jazz had an "unadventurous year," writing:

    But for jazz aficionados who like their music melodically sublime, harmonically sophisticated and rhythmically alert and jarring, the death knell for the idiom rings prematurely. There's still vibrancy in a feast of 2006's forward-looking jazz projects -- none of which charted.

    So, they didn't chart?  Big deal.  We've heard some great new jazz in 2006.  Again, I invite you to leave a comment and let us all know which albums and/or new jazz artists really hit with you this year.

    This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

    Best of 2006? What do YOU think?

    As you may already know, this is the year where YOU are the Time Person of the Year (I recently heard someone say that he's just waiting for the first person to use it on their resume..."2006 Time Person of the Year").  I don't do "best of" columns if I can help it.  For one, I've been so busy during the past year that my listening to recorded jazz (or anything else) has been too limited to give any of the great music released this year anything approaching justice.  But I can point you to others, can't I?  Check out what others are saying.  Here's a few choices:

    • The Best Jazz Albums of 2006: Time and tide wait for no man, except maybe jazz musicians, by Fred Kaplan on Slate.com.
    • A podcast of an on air review of the Best of the Year in Jazz, brought to you through NPR Radio from NYC's WBGO on air hosts Gary Walker, Rhonda Hamilton & Michael Bourne.
    • C. Michael Bailey's Best Recordings of 2006 (and some from 2005) from AllAboutJazz.com.
    • The Top 25 jazz albums of 2006 from the writers on JazzUSA.com.
    • The 2006 Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards Winners on Jazzhouse.org.

    These are just a few.  As Mr. Bailey points out at the beginning of his column he decided to do it before the end of the year this year, which implies that many others wait until after the turning of the new year before putting out their lists.  I'll keep a watch out and report on it here after January 1st. 

    While there are some great ones on these lists, I'm sure that you may have some different ideas. I'd like to hear about YOUR top new jazz recordings for 2006.  Just leave a comment to this post.  I look forward to hearing from you.    

    This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

    You're only as young as you listen . . . WGMC adds a "hip" overnight

    Based on some feedback, local 24/7 jazz radio station WGMC Jazz 90.1 has developed a new overnight program called Jazz Horizons, through which they hope to introduce younger listeners in the 18-25 age group to the new jazz being recorded today. As they set out in their announcement on the Yahoo Jazz List that the station maintains, "Listeners will be treated to new "edgier" jazz selections by artists such as Nomo, The Bamboos, Christian McBride and Ben Allison" interspersed with classic jazz tracks that have always been part of their mix. Give it a listen from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily (even if you, like me, are quite a way outside of that age group).
    This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

    The Joe Locke / Geoffrey Keezer Group Live in Tokyo

    Local son and vibist Joe Locke with pianist Geoffrey Keeze has a video of a live performance of Gershwin's Summertime during the 2005 Tokyo Jazz Festival.  The Joe Locke/Geoffrey Keezer Group will be appearing again here in Rochester December 7th at Water Street, after some great sets at the Montage during the 2006 Rochester International Jazz Festival. Check out the video on Joe's site here.   

    This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

    Blue Movies . . . Monk in Oslo

    From YouTube (soon to be Googled?) comes a great 10+ minute clip from the video "Monk in Oslo," recorded by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation on April 15, 1966.  It shows Thelonious Monk and his Quartet in all its glory:

    With Monk are Charlie Rouse on tenor sax, Larry Gales on bass, and Ben Riley on drums.

    This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

    Yeah, I'm moblogging . . .

    Sorry it took me so long to explain (life's been that way recently), but the previous three posts are the result of an experiment in "moblogging," i.e., posting directly from my mobile phone.  In this case, the three pictures (albeit of middling quality...that's what I get from my 1.3 megapixel camera) from the Al Dimeola gig at Water Street.  These three were taken during the concert and emailed directly to the blog, posting within a couple of minutes of when they were sent.  It was quite a sight, me sitting there amongst the AD fans paying rapt attention, tapping away on my phone to get a quick post out. The text is sparse from the sheer insanity of trying to write anything at length using the methods available on my Motorola Razr.  Now, don't worry, I won't make a major habit of it, but I'll try to post "Live Views" from time to time when I'm sitting close enough for it to make sense and where the artist in question has not prohibited photography. 

    This post was originally published on JazzRochester.

    The Sun Ra also rises in Chicago . . .

    If you caught the Sun Ra Arkestra, of course sans Sun Ra, at Milestones a few years back, I thought I'd show you what you missed with the brother from another planet missing from the lineup.  I ran across this YouTube video of Sun Ra performing at the 1981 Chicago Jazz Festival. You gotta give him his props, he knew how to throw a show.

    What really flipped me out was that I WAS THERE!  I was flipping through some jazz on YouTube and . . . wait a minute . . . there's something familiar about this (I know, how can you say that about Sun Ra, I don't know). Enjoy!

    This post was originally published on JazzRochester.