RIP Art D'Lugoff, owner of the Village Gate.
--Salsa Vs. Latin Jazz: One of Art D'Lugoff's most well-known productions at the Village Gate was the Salsa Meets Jazz series. In an odd coincidence, earlier this week Chip Boaz wrote about the fine line between salsa and Latin jazz. In his characterization, salsa enjoys a predominantly Afro-Cuban heritage geared toward dancing and commercial appeal, while Latin jazz is oriented more toward risky personal expression and a diverse set of influences from traditional jazz to pan-Latin folkloric musics. Of course, a series like Salsa Meets Jazz is designed to entertain by blurring those lines, but Boaz still sees a value in the separate classification. Do you? (Related: a 2008 New York Times piece on D'Lugoff returning to Le Poisson Rouge, the club which now occupies the Village Gate's old space, to guest curate a new Salsa Meets Jazz series.)
--Words, Words, Words: Peter Hum writes on some slippery words abused in jazz writing. As anyone who has ever written about this music before knows, it's difficult to avoid slipping into cliches and potentially-loaded terms for the sake of convenience. (Hum follows up with the point that one can't just write "dude was killin' last night!" and expect that to be meaningful.) Some usual suspects are discussed here: "modern," "voice," "risky," "accessible," etc. Since I could go on about this at length, I'll stop myself at the term "avant-garde." Salim Washington has an interesting essay related to the idea of a permanent avant-garde, revolving around Charles Mingus.
--How To Get To Sesame Street: How to explain all the jazz on Sesame Street over its 40 years? Like, to the tune of Wynton and Branford, Tito Puente, George Benson, Herbie Hancock, Diana Krall, Ray Barretto and Cab Calloway? Perhaps it might be noted that the show has always been modeled after and filmed in New York City.
--Spinal Tap On Jazz: As David Brent Johnson notes, "I guess they've turned their backs on it since Jazz Odyssey."