Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*The Pitch gets the scoop on the Bird Lives Festival. The best news for most fans is that the Mutual Musicians Foundation will host "two outdoor stages with jazz & blues performances" on August 29.

*The Star reports that R Bar, a venue in the West Bottoms, is slated to open later this year. It "will feature jazz and bluegrass bands."

*Jazz blogger Peter Hum riffs on previous Plastic Sax editorials. Our friend Andrew Zender also figures prominently in the Canadian's musings.

*Former Kansas Citian Terry Teachout recently asked "Can Jazz Be Saved?" in an essay published by The Wall Street Journal. Several commenters on the piece cite the lack of radio support and formal music education as culprits in jazz's declining popularity. I don't buy it. Just last night I stood amid of crowd of 2,000 people at Crossroads listening to a bluegrass band. Ticket prices began at $25. The night's headliners receive no commercial radio play. And as far as I know, bluegrass isn't taught in school. The same is true for thousands of extreme metal, gangsta rap, conscious hip hop, jam band and electronica acts that enjoy massive underground support. My point? Fans manage to find the music that is most relevant and compelling to their lives. Jazz, by and large, doesn't rate.

*The Long Beach Press-Telegram chats with Norman Brown.

*The Chicago Tribune appreciates its city's Charlie Parker tribute.

*I failed to link to Joe Klopus' excellent editorial about jazz tribute shows in last week's News & Notes post.

*It's the talk of the town. In a music trivia match Monday at the Record Bar, my teammates and I failed to identify a Charlie Parker track. How humiliating! My excuse? DJ Robert Moore seemingly used a remastered mix that sounded too contemporary to be a Parker recording. Still, I'm deeply shamed.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)


Anonymous said...

jazz and bluegrass? bluegrass? odd bedfellows don't you think?

btw... heard an interesting tune by a band called the Coconut Monkeys. kinda jazz, kinda not. very interesting - like a mash-up.

the unthinking lemming said...

Bela Fleck

Happy In Bag said...

I've always felt, Anon, that jazz and bluegrass were actually quite similar. Here's why:
*emphasis on instrumental prowess
*lots of extended soloing
*vocals optional
*rigid sense of tradition
*both are indigenous American musics
*both are clearly outside mainstream culture