Friday, August 31, 2007

Zwerin Still Alive & Well

I'm thrilled to see that my buddy Mike Zwerin, Bloomberg News' jazz columnist, is out of hospital and still smiling.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Columbia University Jazz Symposium

As noted in an earlier post, I'll be part of a day-long symposium on globalism and jazz at Columbia University's School of Journalism in New York City on Saturday, September 29. Others featured throughout the day include Gary Giddins, Greg Tate, Francis Davis, Howard Mandel and Stanley Crouch, all from the U.S., and a raft of international jazz journalists, including fellow Canadian Ashante Infantry from The Toronto Star.

The symposium is part of a festival of music and jazz films sponsored by Columbia's jazz studies program and the community of Harlem, among others. You can get more details here.

Drop by if you're in the NYC area.

The Jazz Journalists Association will also be blogging live from the symposium, and I'll post more details on that as they develop.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Bad August

What a terrible month it has been for jazz creators and commentators of the first order.

First it was Art Davis, Max Roach and Herb Pomeroy, and now word has arrived of the death of British journalist Richard Cook, following a brief and very secret battle with cancer. Cook, probably best known for the series of Penguin guides he co-wrote with his friend Brian Morton, was only 50 years old.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Now Spinning

I thought I would introduce a new, ongoing section to catalogue what I'm currently listening to, any comments, and sometimes why.

Two drummers have my attention right now (perhaps because I'm missing Max Roach so damn much):

John Hollenbeck's new Claudia Quintet CD, For, on Cuneiform, because anything John does is worth hearing, and a friend just reminded me what a brilliant and original composer John is. So far I'm loving it.

Paul Motian's new live CD featuring his Trio 2000 with Greg Osby and Masabumi Kikuchi added. Motian's touch is just so great.

Friday, August 17, 2007

An Ear Hiatus

My vacation took me to Canada's east coast, and travelling with my aged parents meant that my wife and I didn't indulge in much music -- apart from catching a nice accordion duo at the famous Ship Pub in St. John's and a great, raucous reggae/ska band that my daughter loves.

I haven't gone this long without music in many, many years, and it creates an interesting effect that I relate to one of those palette-cleansing thimblefuls of sorbet you get at some restaurants. Everything sounds cleaner, deeper.

Thus refreshed, it's back into the fray. It promises to be an interesting fall, with a terrific lineup at the Guelph Jazz Festival, an international conference on jazz journalism at Columbia University, and an Ottawa gig (his first, I think) by John McLaughlin.