Cherry-picking the Jazz Internet at the tail end of cherry season.
—Matthew Shipp On Piano Jazz: All this week, Lars Gotrich has been filing in excess for NPR Music, and especially for A Blog Supreme. But he couldn't let this week's Piano Jazz go without comment:
All this talk about getting 20-somethings into jazz got me thinking beyond the Jazz Now project. Late in college, I discovered Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz on my local NPR station, WUGA. While the guests weren't always my taste in jazz, the interviews were consistently engaging. Imagine my surprise just a year later when A) I became Piano Jazz's Web producer and B) that avant-jazz pianist and composer Matthew Shipp was slated as a guest in Dec. 2006. I listened with fascination — McPartland was completely game to Shipp's angular chords and melodic sidesteps. After improvising one of her famous musician portraits of Shipp, McPartland said, "It's inspiring to hear someone like you play, because it does make me sort of think differently." This, of course, forever sold me on McPartland, the classy pianist with encyclopedic jazz knowledge. And since then, McPartland has been a large part of my jazz education not just because she can hang with the avant-cats (Cecil Taylor and Andrew Hill have also appeared on the show), but because she teases new information and realizations out of all of her guests. With that, I'm excited to point y'all to the Matthew Shipp Piano Jazz session, which re-ran on-air this past week, and now lives on our little piece of the interwebs.
—The John H. Baker Film Collection: Columbus, Ohio lawyer John Baker — a non-musician and hard of hearing — was almost single-mindedly obsessed with collecting jazz on film. It was a constant issue with his wife and children. He even sold 10,000 jazz records in 1972 to finance his jazz film habit. And now, Kansas City's American Jazz Museum is opening a permanent exhibit of Baker's collection. As a Columbus Dispatch article says, the 10,000 feet of film restored so far amounts to all of 1% of his collection.
—Jazz In Tokyo: At the Wall Street Journal, a lengthy survey of the Tokyo jazz club scene. Among interesting notes: that coffee shops dedicated to spinning jazz recordings are all over the city; that U.S. conservatory grads are populous enough that they've been labeled "Berklee jazz"; and that the Blue Note Tokyo charges $70 to $170 in covers. (!) Fascinating stuff that I assume needs to be lived to be fully understood.
—Guitarist Rez Abbasi On WNYC's Soundcheck: Performing from his new album Things To Come with Vijay Iyer, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Dan Weiss, Johannes Weidenmueller and Kiran Ahluwalia. The big guns turn up for a studio performance and interview.