Friday, August 28, 2020

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*Eddie Moore, Hermon Mehari and Jackie Myers are among the musicians paying tribute to Charlie Parker in an episode of Eight One Sixty.

*Television news stations reported on area Charlie Parker celebrations herehere and here.

*The New York Times lists the best ways to observe the centennial of Charlie Parker’s birth.

*Marcus Lewis chatted with Joe Dimino.

*The Kansas City Star reports that Johnson County Community College is rescheduling its fall concerts.  The slate included an appearance by Larry Carlton.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Kansas City PBS- Just in case you haven't heard: On the centennial of Charlie "Bird" Parker's birth, we're taking a look back at the 21 years #Bird spent in #KansasCity and his lasting impression on present-day #KC jazz. Take our word for it, you don't want to miss this premiere! August 29!

(Original image of Gary Giddins’ Celebrating Bird: The Triumph of Charlie Parker by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Call Me Karen

I was taken aback when I tuned in to a livestream of a jazz gig at a Kansas City nightclub last week.  None of the musicians wore masks.  Neither did any of the six or seven members of the audience in the sightline of the stationary camera.  Aside from a mask draped around the neck of a patron, no indication of these abnormal times was evident.  I take pride in nearing or exceeding my goal of catching 365 individual music performances every year.  The past five months have been devastating on a personal level- live music is my passion- and from a financial perspective- I’m not being paid to preview and review concerts as a professional critic.  Even though it’s excruciating, I do my part by staying home.  It’s a shame so many other people abandoned the communal effort.  Thanks for prolonging the agony, jerks.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Friday, August 21, 2020

Now's the Time: Charlie Parker

One of the most telling indications of Charlie Parker’s status as a pariah during his lifetime is the scarcity of video footage documenting the legend.  Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Hank Jones, Ray Brown and Buddy Rich pantomime to recordings in this 1950 clip.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Confirmation: Weekly News & Notes

*Chuck Haddix and Jon McGraw chatted with Steve Kraske about the Charlie Parker centennial for 17 minutes.  McGraw also reviewed his initiatives with Joe Dimino.

*The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra postponed its fall concerts.

*Marc Myers published an appreciation of Charlie Parker.

*Tweet o’ the Week: Riverfront Times - <i>Miles Davis' former home in East St. Louis has been repurposed into a nonprofit museum with educational programs for children and teens. (link)

*From the American Jazz Museum: Live music is back in the Gem Theater! Social distancing will be required, with only 100 tickets available for each concert and masks mandatory.  The American Jazz Museum presents a mini-series befitting of Bird himself on August 21st, 22nd, 28th, and 29th… Friday, August 21st, 4:30pm - 7:00pm ($15): Gerald Spaits Quintet featuring Charles Perkins and Jack Lightfoot;  Saturday, August 22nd, 4:30pm - 7:00pm ($15): SearchingforCharlieParker, An Ode to Bird Featuring Houston Smith and Morgan Faw; Friday, August 28th, 4:30pm - 7:00pm ($15): Will Matthews Organ Trio; Saturday, August 29th, 7:00am - 7:00pm 12-hour jam session-- Session 1 (free), 7:00am - 11:45am: Matt Otto Quartet, Bryan Alford Quartet featuring Amber Underwood, Andrew Ouellette Trio; Session 2 (free), 12:15pm - 3:15pm: James Ward Band, Peter Schlamb Quintet; Session 3 ($15), 3:45pm - 7:00pm: Eclipse featuring Lisa Henry, Bobby Watson.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Double Dealing

The politician representing the Jazz District on the Kansas City City Council mistakenly cited the Mississippi bluesman Big Joe Williams as a local jazz hero several weeks ago.  She obviously meant Big Joe Turner.  Melissa Robinson felt obliged to cite past masters in her introduction to a publicly-funded Jazzy Jamdemic performance that attracted less than 50 live viewers. Apparently unaware of the explosion of live-streaming, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver repeatedly insisted that his Jazzy Jamedemic initiative was the world’s sole outlet for jazz performances during his appearances in the series.  In themselves, the slips aren’t a big deal, but the faux pas are emblematic of Kansas City’s fraught relationship with jazz.  De rigueur lip service without historical understanding or a genuine passion for the music results in abuse, waste and further erosion in the public’s tenuous perception of jazz in Kansas City.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

Friday, August 14, 2020

Now's the Time: Ben Kynard

I’m fairly certain the longtime Kansas City resident Ben Kynard is part of the saxophone section of Lionel Hampton’s big band in this lively clip.  I documented Kynyrd’s 2010 appearance at the American Jazz Museum here. Kynard died two years later.