Category Listening…

Preview…Pangea Jazz Fest 2015

Before the first jazz records were recorded in 1917, New Orleans musicians were part of a culturally diverse scene, a conglomeration of African American, European, Creole, Afro-Caribbean, Mexican, Brazilian, and many other cultures, religions, and genres. And with ears open to them all, these proto- and early jazz musicians incorporated elements of each in their performances […]

It’s All There: Filmmaker Carol Bash Premieres The Lady Who Swings the Band

On September 22, 2015, after twelve years in production and planning, the New York City premiere of Carol Bash’s documentary, Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band was met with great anticipation at a sold-out Harlem Stage Gatehouse.  The film, which was first premiered in February 2014 at the Los Angeles Pan-African Film Festival, […]

Polyphonies of Art and Action: Samuel Torres Premieres “Forced Displacement”at Zinc Bar

On Wednesday, August 12, 2015, conguero and composer Samuel Torres premiered his new recording, Forced Displacement (Zoho Records), at Zinc Bar in the West Village. As he explained in his introduction to the audience, the album is just one aspect of an ongoing project in San Juan de Urabá, Colombia, which will include a documentary […]

Previewing…Winter Jazz Fest 2015

I’ll be in New York City this week for the JazzConnect conference and Winter Jazz Fest. Tickets for the marathon of concerts on Friday and Saturday are only $55 each, which is less than the price of two sets by some of these artists. But WJF is also a unique opportunity to listen to some of […]

Nature Evolves toward the Beautiful: The Maria Schneider Orchestra at the Jazz Standard (November 28, 2014)

Every year the Maria Schneider Orchestra takes up residency at the Jazz Standard. This year they’re celebrating their 10th anniversary with an engagement that continues through November 30, 2014. I joined them on Friday, November 28th, for the 10pm set. The Orchestra began with “Dance You Monster to My Soft Song” from Evanescence, Schneider’s 1994 […]

Listening with Sympathetic Eyes: Sara Serpa and Ran Blake Live at the Kitano (June 6, 2014)

How appropriate that the Thursday night performance at the Kitano by Sara Serpa and Ran Blake began with “The Short Life of Barbara Monk”: the duo—still basking in the glow of their most recent and highly successful record Aurora—performed this Blake original as the first of many short vignettes, all characterized by subtle musicality and understated but unceasing […]

A belated happy 1st birthday to TRoS & the best 2013 jazz albums I (haven’t yet) heard

Such is the life of full-time professor who blogs part-time: lesson plans, class prep, and grading always come before new posts (the numerous half-drafted entries notwithstanding). I have been so immersed in grant applications, freelance academic writing, but most especially my majors-level jazz theory & improv course that I even forgot to mark the one-year […]