Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes
*Bobby Watson shares his thoughts on the jazz scene with the Columbia Tribune. He performs at Murray's on New Year's Eve.
*The photographs of a recent Shay Estes gig by KCJazzLark are stunning.
*The Count Basie Orchestra is under new management. Here's the press release. There's a vastly superior new site as well. Before it disappears, I suggest taking one last look at the organization's absolutely brutal old site. (Tip via KCJazzLark.)
*Darcy James Argue offers an elegant appreciation of Bob Brookmeyer.
*Pat Metheny obsessives will want to take a look at this Flickr photostream chronicling his ambitious new project.
*Pat Metheny ranks #21 on Billboard's chart of the 25 best-selling jazz artists of the decade. A Swingin' Christmas, by Tony Bennett and the Count Basie Orchestra, ranks #40 on Billboard's chart of the best-selling jazz albums of the decade. And Ray Sings, Basie Swings comes in at #47 on the same chart. No other artists with Kansas City ties are listed. It's telling that not a single living purely acoustic jazz instrumentalist made either list.
*Mark Edelman runs down the week in live jazz.
*From Bram Wijnands' site: Bram Wijnands is back at the Majestic... In January, Bram Wijnands Trio will be performing at the Majestic on Friday and Saturday, 7-11 pm (except Friday 1-8 when Paul Shinn's Trio fills in).
*Mouth, the band that's not really a jazz band, offers yet another free download containing selections from a recent performance. How does this relate to "real" jazz musicians? Well, Darcy James Argue (referenced above), developed interest in his big band by disseminating live recordings. His proper 2009 release ranks highly on the year-end lists of many jazz critics. I implore local jazz artists to consider following this lead.
*Here's an amended version of a comment I left at KCJazzLark's site in response to his reference to the commonly cited statistic that three percent of music sales are jazz.
That 3% statistic is horribly misleading. Here's Billboard's ten best-selling jazz artists of 2009, in order: Michael Buble, Harry Connick, Jr., Diana Krall, Chris Botti, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand, Melody Gardot, Nat King Cole and Boney James. And here are the ten best-selling jazz artists of the decade, in order: Norah Jones, Diana Krall, Michael Buble, Kenny G, Harry Connick, Jr., Chris Botti, Tony Bennett, Boney James, Dave Koz and Herbie Hancock. My hunch is that these 14 crossover artists account for 90% of all jazz sales. If I'm correct, the so-called long tail of jazz is exceedingly thin and malnourished.
*Unlike previous years, I'm not dedicating a post to live jazz on New Year's Eve. Here are a few options:
-The Blue Room- Everette DeVan and Greg Carroll perform from 8-10:00. The James Ward Band plays from 10:30-12:30.
-Davey's Uptown- Plastic Sax favorites Hearts of Darkness will be the life of the party.
-Jardine's- The Wild Women of Kansas City go on at 6:00 and Ida McBeth performs at 9:00.
-Lucky Brewgrille- AfterGroove will make for a smooth celebration.
-The Majestic- The Bram Wijnands Quartet performs.
-Candace Evans plays the Lodge of Four Seasons in the Ozarks.
-Bobby Watson and Horizon bring in the new year in Columbia.
Me? I'm celebrating New Year's Eve a day early with Hot Club of Cowton at Knuckleheads.
(Original image by Plastic Sax.)