Ephemera, errata, and well-disguised erudition.
—On Charles Mingus' "Fables of Faubus": Marc Myers, whose JazzWax is one of the brilliant corners of the jazz Internet, has penned a concise and well-researched appreciation of Charles Mingus' rousing political statement, first recorded 50 years ago. I distinctly remember Mingus Ah Um being my first exposure to Charles Mingus, and liking it instantly. I also remember having my mind blown several years later upon learning that the song had censored lyrics (see: Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus, on Candid); furthermore, learning that this was only the tip of the Mingus iceberg. Why the jazz canon seems to remember the sanitized version over than the recording done more the way the artist intended remains a mystery to me.
—Video: Wynton Marsalis Talks Basketball: There are so many things wrong with this feature that I don't know where to start. (That's not an anti-Wynton statement either; he does the best he can at comparing apples to orange juice.) I'll just say that at least one financially struggling organization approved the decision to install a basketball hoop in a Jazz at Lincoln Center practice room.
—Will Friedwald On Discography: Perhaps the nerdiest of all jazz enthusiasts are the discographers — I say that having tried my hand at it myself before. But what they do — as differentiated from "making a listing of all your albums," as the term "discography" is commonly understood — is invaluable to historians and researchers. So I'm glad to link to any appreciation of the craft — this one happens to come from a writer best known for his work with jazz singing. I also totally agree with Friedwald that JazzDiscography.com deserves a shout-out for having pioneered the form in the online universe: "there's an app for that," one might say.
—Ernest Dawkins' New Horizons Ensemble: An AACM (relative) old-timer celebrates 30 years with his ensemble. It's not the deepest or most insightful profile ever, but it does contain a quotation which reminds me why I love the AACM: "Everything was avant-garde, but I wanted a band that was avant-garde, straight-ahead, funk, blues, gospel — all aesthetics of African and African-American music. And I wanted to incorporate that it into a sound and a concept," Dawkins says. Amen.
—Dan Thai Jazz Bistro: As a Thai-American and a jazz fan, I hereby exercise a copyright claim on this North Carolina restaurant and/or jazz venue. Or at least would settle with being able to visit. (It has its own organic vegetable greenhouse!) Cheekily, the writer also found cause to mention the jazz fandom of a one HRM Bhumibol Adulyadej.
—Roundup: Jazz Critics And Grade Inflation Responses: Once again, Thriving On A Riff leads the charge in responding not once, but twice to my postulates about bad jazz reviews. And via Twitter (we're @blogsupreme, by the way), Lucas Gillan of AccuJazz.com internet radio sent over a few more archival opinions on the matter. Of course, since penning that piece, I've began to notice many more lukewarm or poor jazz reviews ... but does all that really constitute a proper traffic cop for the jazz community?