Where the Wynton Marsalis approval index has undoubtedly risen somewhat after yesterday's symbolic victory for jazz. (More coverage: NYTimes.)
--Jazz Concertgoing Is Down: And other life-affirming news from the NEA, which released its Survey of Public Participation in the Arts on Monday. A PDF document has the quick breakdown. Among the jazz highlights: only 7.8% of Americans saw a jazz show in 2008, down from 10.8% in 2002 and 9.6% in 1982; the median age of the jazz audience is now 46, a steady increase from from 29 (!) in 1982; the college-educated jazz audience has dropped 29% since 2002; 14.2% of Americans listened to jazz records or watched/listened to a jazz broadcast last year. Of course, any downward trends can be in large part accounted for by the recession and the decline of fine and performing arts attendance at large (less than 37% of Americans attended an arts museum or arts performance in 2008, a statistic that seems incredibly low to me). And the net, inflation-adjusted amount of money being spent on arts admissions is still rising -- the U.S. population is growing. But it's also a poor sign that jazz attendance is dropping, most markedly among 18-24 year olds, 17.5% of whom saw a jazz show in 1982 (really?) and 7.3% of whom went in 2008. Dear peers: peace to the 7.3% nation of gods and earths, but we can't do it alone, you know.
--Nate Chinen Has A Blog Now: It is here. For those of you who don't obsessively scan bylines in jazz media -- umm, what did I just admit to? -- dude writes about jazz for the New York Times, among other places. There are already nice little tidbits about members of Grizzly Bear meeting in jazz band camp and the unholy Mehldau/Motian/McHenry/mustachioed alliance that happened at the Vanguard last weekend. (Josh Jackson tipped me off about this, but unfortunately, our respective organizations had already reserved last Wednesday night's gig.) Anyway, this is another reason why you should read him: "I don't believe there's any fixed difference between writing about jazz and writing about the myriad variations on hip-hop, rock, R&B, or folkloric music," he states. Also, more Good Jazz Internet: hurrah.
--On Being Openly Gay In Jazz: Vibraphonist and Berklee College of Music president Gary Burton, pianist Fred Hersch and saxophonist Charlie Kohlhase say it's not a big deal. Well, at least today, it's not; Burton and Kohlhase recall times where it wasn't such a non-issue (see also: David Hajdu's Billy Strayhorn biography Lush Life). Burton's comments are especially curious, though: he says he's "lucky" that nothing about the way he presents himself smacks of stereotypical homosexual iconography -- insinuating that the intensely macho, male-dominated jazz world might not be so receptive to a flamboyantly gay man. Hersch says he positions himself similarly: as a musician who happens to be gay, rather than a gay musician. One wonders if there will ever be a Liberace-esque figure who is taken seriously by the jazz community for both musicianship and performative identity politics -- or, judging by the "no biggie" reaction seemingly common today, if there anyone will ever feel the desire to do that.
--Three Jazz Radio Programs/Podcasts: Monitoring the @blogsupreme Twitter feed hipped me to three different jazz interview/music podcasts -- all of which are thankfully unafraid to get into the woolier forms of our fair art. Jason Crane's The Jazz Session has interviews with New Orleans creative improviser (and blogger) Jeff Albert and the unique singer Lisa Sokolov, but also mixes it up with the likes of Hugh Masekela and David Sanborn. More fully dedicated to the "out" is the Uncertainty Music Series, run by an Anthony Braxton associate who curates a concert series in New Haven, Conn. (H/T to Glows In The Dark, who just played New Haven and are totally slept-on.) And out of France there's Taran's Free Jazz Hour, who's got his ear on a lot of names unfamiliar to me -- which I take as a good thing. By the way, if anyone is looking for a whole mess of public radio live jazz streams, check out the Live Jazz Streams link in the header above -- or just click here.