We're still not yet blogging at full tilt because I, Felix Contreras, and The Boss Lady — and teams from both WBGO and Sirius/XM — are at Jazz At Lincoln Center tonight for the NEA Jazz Masters Ceremony and Concert (live Web stream here). But you know, I am delighted that we can take a week off during the music industry's quietest part of the year and still be flooded by Jazz Internet. It speaks to how much that community has grown in the past year. And now, a small sliver of that evidence:
—That Matthew Shipp Article: Among other things, David Adler's JazzTimes profile of pianist Matthew Shipp confronts the man for his occasional caustic comments about Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Keith Jarrett, etc. Which prompted responses from Tad Hendrickson, Peter Hum and Chris Rich. All I really have to say about this is that you, dear reader, are probably full of your own internal contradictions as well — Shipp just has the gumption to lay them all on the line. (I might too, were my career as an innovative musician at stake.) What's that line from Walt Whitman's "Song Of Myself"?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
Adler has pointed out to me that the title of the profile is, cheekily, "Matthew Shipp: Song Of Himself."
—Larry Young Vs. Richard Nixon: Lawrence Of Newark, in his hairiest space-rock guise, takes on the White House. Destination: Out has the music; WFMU's Beware Of The Blog has the full story.
—Matana Roberts At The Independent Ear: Peep the interview, and then the personal essay here titled "Jazz, Blackness and Shame". As with many of Willard Jenkins' blog activities, it has smart things to say about African American experiences in improvised music (see also: "An omission from Civil Rights Legacy?"). A sample:
I personally think the lack of black folks at my concerts and on the stage has more to do with the legacy of ghetto economics. And frankly the way jazz has become embraced by educational institutions does not make the ghetto economist leap with joy. What negro would pay close to 30 thousand dollars a year to essentially learn to be black? (This is a wide generalization I know, but work with me here please, I'm having fun.) Well this negro did, and I do regret it to some extent.
—Two Jazz Video Web sites: This weekend in New York jazz conference-land, I met Lois Gilbert of JazzCorner, who told me about her newest project JazzVideos.net, and also Greg Thomas, host of Jazz It Up!, which calls itself "A Jazz Entertainment News Series" (styled as an Internet video serial). Haven't had much time to check them out yet, but they both look very intriguing.
—Jazz = Heavy Metal?: According to Ben Ratliff in the Times. I know this was forever ago, but it's worth bringing back up, because Ratliff isn't just talking about their tendencies toward the experimental and virtuosic — he's making a point about the communities from which its practitioners increasingly originate:
Traditionally, jazz and metal were vernacular arts in which working-class players could make their mark, but, for better or worse, that's changing. It really does matter, in jazz, where you went to high school and college, which summer workshops you attended as a teenager. Likewise, I've got the names of five prominent, and totally beasting, young New York metal musicians who attended elite private schools. I won't release them.
—The True Story Of The Japanese "Jazz Opera": Courtesy Neil Tesser. Here it is again, just because: