I'm giving two masterclasses in August. They are free.
Saturday August 11 and Saturday August 18, 3-6 PM.
70 Willoughby Street (between Lawrence St. and Bridge St.) in downtown Brooklyn. When you are on my block, you will see a Petland store and a fish market. In between them is a doorway that has a purple awning above it that says "Fatou" beauty salon and the street number 70. This is the door to my building. Our studio is #2A. Go up one flight of stairs, and then follow the signs on your left for "The Drawing Room." There are subways everywhere to this location, the very closest stop is "Jay St./Metrotech" on the R.
For the first one I will talk about an imminent recording with Lee Konitz, Larry Grenadier, and Jorge Rossy. The next one will cover the Vanguard repertoire for Ben Street, Tootie Heath, and me (Aug. 21-26). But I will also listen to anyone who wants to play, time permitting.
(Mainly for pianists, but if you play something else and really want to come by, that's OK, too. Not sure how much non-pianists will play though. I'm new to managing this stuff.)
No RSVP required, just show up.
Some recent CDs on the stereo:
Dexter Gordon, Daddy Plays the Horn recommended by Martin Porter and Red Sullivan, two who listen to more straight-ahead jazz than I do. Amazing record from 1955 with Kenny Drew, Leroy Vinnegar, and the late Larance Marable, who I believe still lacks an obit from any mainstream paper of note. Presumably there will be mentions in the jazz magazines...
Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh Also from 1955. Everytime I've heard this classic -- everytime since high school, for crissake -- I've been turned off by Billy Bauer's guitar comping, for my money the worst comping ever heard on an otherwise great record, especially the loud and rhythmically imprecise chatter on the opening "Topsy." Still a crucial document, especially for the interracial pollination (Pettiford and Klook meet the Tristano school).
Lee told me to learn the Marsh solo on an earlier confab, "Fishin' Around." It unfurls like a real song, and indeed, I've heard that Warne Marsh would play this solo as a head for his own gigs. Makes sense.
"Marshmallow" is from the same June 1949 date with Sal Mosca, Arnold Fishkin and Denzil Best. I've been meaning to learn that piece of science fiction for several years now...
I rarely listen to recent jazz records unless I buy them myself. Matt Merewitz gave me some more CDs at Newport last weekend, and I told him, "I never listen to the records you give me." That's not entirely true, but regrettably it's close enough. If I could listen to everything I would, but as should be clear from DTM, I constantly study and fiercely engage with my collection mostly to selfishly further my own development (mostly old jazz and modern classical) and just don't have the time to catch up with peers, let alone new artists.
But Matt did give me a record that I had to listen to right away: Russ Lossing, Drum Music: Music of Paul Motian for solo piano. I had thought of doing something like this myself; probably Russ's record will only be the first of several looks at this canon from a solo keyboard perspective. Lossing has impressive technique in both hands and understands the essential "looseness" of this music. I'll try not to be too influenced by it.
(BTW, there have been some requests for the set of TBP/Bill Frisell playing mostly Motian at Newport to be streamed. As far as I know, that wasn't ever planned, but I personally am not against it being made available, it was a nice set. If something changes I'll update this space. Newport sets by others (what a great cast!) can be heard here.
UPDATE: It's up! Setlist: The Owl of Cranston, Mumbo Jumbo, No Moe, It Should've Happened A Long Time Ago, Abacus -- all Motian except Rollins at midpoint.)
Speaking of solo records by peers, my mind is fairly blown by Jacob Garchik's The Heavens: The Atheist Gospel Trombone Album. A miracle of multi-instrument overdubbing, this has to be heard by all brass players. Jacob's arsenal includes trombone, sousaphone, baritone horn, slide trumpet, and alto horn. The album has a heavenly length, too: only 28 minutes, perfect. The opening blare of C minor, "Creation's Creation," really ought to show up in a movie somewhere.
Because the real business of DTM is text, new books will be mentioned here more frequently than new records. My Bud Powell posts are updated with my review of Peter Pullman's essential biography, Wail: The Life of Bud Powell. The chronology on Peter's website is stunning; the Amazon page has some great reviews. Important note: you don't need a Kindle to read Wail, you can download an e-reader on to any computer for free.
I am name-checked as a reader inside Ted Gioia's brand-new The Jazz Standards: A Guide the Repertoire, but honestly I didn't do much but say, "Nice job!" after looking at a couple of chapters. I'm pleased to now have the whole thing on my shelf. The stories behind some of the most familar tunes are fascinating, especially those that came from a Broadway show. Interview with Marc Myers here.
Forumesque 11 is an opportunity to weigh in on recent posts and anything in the contents. Factual corrections are welcomed; general questions are fine too. I'll close the forum Sunday night.
UPDATE: comments running to two three pages.