Daily Archives: December 18, 2014

“THE FIRST KIND OF MUSIC”

When I first began to search out New York live jazz performances, the news of who was playing where and when was often available in my local newspaper, the New York Times, The New Yorker, even Down Beat.  Some of the information, accessed weeks in advance, was no longer accurate by the time the gig happened, so there were some disappointments.  And much of what I learned was by word-of-mouth: “Do you know that Buddy Tate has a gig on Saturday at The Onliest Place?” and that bit of information could be investigated by telephone.

It would seem that jazz fans have it much easier in 2014.  The sources I’ve mentioned above still publish gig announcements, and several other periodicals — including The Wall Street Journal and New York — have joined in. I am very fond of Hot House Jazz Magazine (their first-rate website is here) and The New York Jazz Record (their website here) and both journals — free, published monthly — can be found at a variety of jazz clubs.

So that’s fine for someone who wants to plan out the next month’s gigs.  But what if you are especially fond of X and her Urbanites, and want to know when they are making music?  Of course, some media-wise creative types have their own websites; others have Facebook pages and event listings.  Each is quite valuable.

But you might have to be a Facebook friend of X and the Urbanites (or X herself) and it is possible that X might be so busy writing charts and rehearsing that she hasn’t kept her website current.

There is a new cyber-resource in addition that I’d like to call your attention to: David S. Isenberg’s weekly music blog — THE FIRST KIND OF MUSIC (its title comes from the Ellington comment that there are only two kinds of music; you can imagine which one David is praising): see it here.  I don’t entirely understand how it works: it Tumbles and Tweets at the same time?  That sounds exhausting. But it’s a truly worthy effort to get more information out to an eager public about the gigging of people we love and love to hear.  So do investigate.  It’s so much nicer to know about the gig in advance than to hear about what-happened-last-night-that-you-missed.

May your happiness increase!

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MORAL CENSURE in 4/4, WITH A STOP-AND-GO (at the SAN DIEGO JAZZ FEST): MARC CAPARONE, RAY SKJELBRED, BEAU SAMPLE, HAL SMITH (Nov. 28, 2014)

I’m very fond of NOBODY’S SWEETHEART NOW — both the music and the sadly censorious lyrics that wag a stern moral finger at the pretty girl who has left her home town to live a fast life in the Big Bad City.  Here is my leisurely explication-with-music of several songs that do the neat trick of delineating vice while saying how naughty it is and what sad consequences ensue.  (What other blog offers you fallen women all the way back to Thomas Hardy?  I ask you.)

But here, without its lyrics, is a 2014 Chicagoan version of that Sweetheart’s fall from grace — as performed at the San Diego Jazz Fest by four swing poets: Ray Skjelbred, piano; Marc Caparone, cornet; Beau Sample, string bass; Hal Smith, drums.  Watch out for the stop-and-go that begins its gradual ascent at about 5:20 — you’ll understand how it got its name.  And enjoy the hot lyricism:

Swing out, all you Ruined Maids!  And the rest of you, too.

May your happiness increase!