Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*For shame! Several people have been imploring me to investigate recent events at the Mutual Musicians Foundation. I lacked the time and the stomach to go after the story. David Martin did the dirty work. His excellent coverage of the sickening sequence of events breaks my heart. Martin's accompanying editorial provides invaluable context.

*The ongoing troubles at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum are extremely bad news for the adjacent American Jazz Museum and for Kansas City as a whole. This sad story has generated a great deal of attention. The internet chatter about the possibility of the museum moving to Cooperstown seems to be gaining momentum. Here's an example.

*Back To Rockville checked in with Matt Chalk. Did you see him perform with the Dave Matthews Band at the Grammys?

*In stark contrast to last year, Kansas City-related jazz artists won no awards at this year's Grammys.

*The (mis)perception of danger in the Jazz District is addressed by KCJazzLark.

*KCTV provided a Grammy tie-in feature.

*Metheny mania: The New York Times jumps on the Pat Metheny bandwagon. I recommend the audio version of this fine Pat Metheny feature. And Steve Paul provides a few photos of Metheny's robots.

*John Simonson reminds readers of Count Basie's politics.

*Megan Birdsall' Mbird project has a Kickstarter account. She's trying to raise $2,000.

*Last Saturday's Masquerade Ball looks like a lot of fun. The People's Liberation Big Band and Hearts of Darkness provided the music.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)


Cb said...

@HIB - Regarding your post and link to the Pitch article about the MMF: This is a well written piece and fairly objective given the fact that the MMF had literally been taken from the membership by the old board of directors. However, I don't think that the fact that the board ignored the by-laws and essentially took over the MMF illegally was emphasized very well here. But, I guess that's not "high drama" enough. I think there is a bias toward highlighting controversy here. Just my $0.02 though...

Anyway... Personal differences (drama) between the principles in this Saga aside, there was no MMF membership because the members were summarily and purposely excluded over a period of time by attrition. I don't think that any of the new board members have anything against any of the old board members, we just wanted the membership to be a part of the organization and it was not under the old MMF board. I know and respect all of the old board members. They are great people and have done a lot of great work for the MMF, the music, and KC jazz.

To be fair toward her, Lisa Henry simply stated/wrote what many MMF members were thinking and signed her name to it, rather than remain politically correct. And, Betty Crow simply did what she had to do in order to keep the MMF going in some desperate times for the organization, regardless if those methods were subsequently found to not be in keeping with the organization's bylaws. With that said, most people don't buy into painting Betty as a villain, just someone who perhaps thought it necessary to sidestep procedure/red tape/drama in order to reach what was in her mind a positive end for the organization. As far as the "racism" issue, I've never seen it as a platform of anyone I've interacted with on the KC scene, including Betty Crow... but, I associate with cool people.

There are no sides to take in this issue. The MMF belongs to everyone. Period. I didn't even know any of that other irrelevant crap was going on and don't think all of the personal stuff is significant to the mission of the organization. That's just the way I think though...

Peace, Cb

Chris Burnett
Musician, Composer, Proud MMF member since returning home to KC in 2001 - also a newly elected "at-large" board member of the MMF

Anonymous said...

There are some serious issues here. Other than Cb no one is willing to open this can of worms.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous - Seriously don't think that this can of worms is worth opening. With reinstatement of MMF memberships and the election of a new board due largely to term limits of the old board, the organization is continuing on. All of the dirty laundry should go from the hamper straight to the washer. All of the personal beefs should be settled personally, not publicly...

Again, just my $0.02...

But, I am one of likely many people here on the scene who detests "drama"...

Peace, Cb

Anonymous said...


Who will fill the soap dispensers and refill the paper towels in the rest room. Who will give tours on a moments notice. Who will pay the expenses when membership dues cover only a small percentage. Who will inforce the membership dues?
Who will keep the place clean? Who will write the grants?

Cb, I look at the new board and I've got to be honest. I don't see anyone but you or Clarence Smith who have any business savvy or personality to lead.

In the 80's and 90's The MMF was a filthy mess. It smelled like pot and was a free for all. The patrons/membership showed little or no respect for the facility.

We don't need the MMF to turn back in to an eyesore again.