Which 10 albums would you give to a jazz neophyte?
Among the notable musician deaths of this week was go-go pioneer Chuck Brown. As prelude to this week's links, I find it fascinating how jazz so directly led into something that could be called an original musical style. See: the Washington Post obituary, and YouTube footage of a "Go-Go Swing [It Don't Mean A Thing]/Midnight Sun/Moody's Mood For Love" medley. And now:
- This story is titled "Top Ten Jazz Albums for People Who Don't Know S— About Jazz." Let the debates begin. From Sean O'Connell/LA Weekly.
- DownBeat magazine has slowly been sprucing up its web presence. You'll see some current news and concert reports on the left-hand column, plus some editors' recommendations. The layout for archival material is a bit improved and it appears that some ad support is coming too.
- Gil Evans centennial celebrations are happening this week in New York. Nate Chinen writes about efforts to deliver the great composer/arranger's repertoire, including some new discoveries. Also from Chinen: Dafnis Prieto takes us through his day in uptown New York, when he isn't making next-level percussion things around the world.
- The Cabaret Card rules in New York had an awful lot of sway in who got to have careers in music prior to 1967. Nate Chinen gives the synopsis for JazzTimes.
- Taylor Eigsti, who came onto the scene as a piano prodigy a decade or so ago, also writes pieces for orchestra. (He's only 27.) He returns to his hometown for a performance with the Oakland-East Bay Symphony this week. From Richard Scheinin/San Jose Mercury News.
- Jason Moran and Alicia Hall Moran (his wife) just curated a week of performances at the Whitney Biennial. Ben Ratliff sums it up.
- Sidney Bechet, the first jazz review ever and the relationship between journalism and the "feeling" in black-origin music. From New England Public Radio.
- Don Cherry in the 1960s is the subject of this week's Night Lights, from WFIU.
- Latin jazz in the Bay Area is the subject of a documentary in progress. The Latin Jazz Corner has a short interview.
- Before Peggy Lee was great singer Peggy Lee — quite literally — she was a teenage train depot agent in North Dakota.
- Milton Babbitt's seminal "Who Cares if You Listen" article (opens PDF). Contributor Alex W. Rodriguez, himself a Ph.D. candidate, reminded me of this viewpoint with respect to the movement of jazz toward the academy.
- Two major musicologists argue to save the Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College Chicago. Testaments to this place's importance continue to pour in.
- "Hyatt Hotel Heir Denies He's Spent $100 Mil on Unfinished Jazz Film," reads the Forbes headline. You'll note that NPR first covered this story in 2007, when the filmmaker's "side-project" movie about Louis Armstrong had a different working title.
- Ted Panken's archives this week: a Jackie McLean remembrance.
- JazzWax has a variety of features up.
- The Jazz Session spoke with vocalist Maria Neckam and the trio of Colin Stranahan, Glenn Zaleski and Rick Rosato. It also announced a tour which we'll have more information about next week.
- The Checkout sat down with the great Chico Hamilton, and arranger Ryan Truesdell, who has arranged some newly-discovered Gil Evans charts.
Elsewhere at NPR Music: