Monday, December 26, 2016

The Top Jazz-Related Stories and Trends of 2016

1.Dicking around
A resounding tempest in a teapot, John Scott’s characterization of adventurous improvisation as “jazz dick music” in an article about the dearth of jazz-oriented venues roiled the insular scene.  The owner of the Green Lady Lounge apologized for his choice of words here.

2. Not so festive
The American Jazz Museum elected not to present a festival in 2016.  The Jazz in the Woods festival was transformed into the decidedly non-jazz SoJo Summerfest and the Parkville River Jam, a previously reliable showcase for jazz musicians, was discontinued.

3. The sound of silence
The American Restaurant, Louie’s Wine Dive, Art Factory and Prohibition Hall are among the venues that once presented jazz that either closed or changed formats in 2016.

4. Buds
Eddie V’s and Ça Va are among the new and established restaurants that began hosting jazz performances.

5. Jazz millions
A new round of public funding and redevelopment of the Jazz District began.  Additionally, Paseo Park is being transformed into the Urban Youth Academy.

6. Blue notes
With the release of Shift on Blue Note Records/Universal Music Group, Logan Richardson became the first jazz artist from Kansas City other than Karrin Allyson or Pat Metheny to issue an album on a major label in the new millennium.

7. Cold shoulders
While this site, KCUR and Jam magazine assiduously reviewed albums by locally based musicians, very few of these efforts received more than a smidgen of attention from publications outside of the Kansas City area. 

8. Prince Edward
Eddie Moore, Plastic Sax’s Person of the Year, was saluted by hundreds of new fans and by several institutions.

9. Straight and narrow
The swinging drummer Todd Strait returned to Kansas City.

10. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Pat Metheny and Bobby Watson performed at the White House in April to mark International Jazz Day.

Plastic Sax conducted similar exercises in 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

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