Friday, May 05, 2006

Double-bacon geniusburgers.

Stopgap measures (not that you asked).

There was much high-end deliciousness on the Interwaves this week, much of it of such a high calibre that the impact was equal parts amazement, gratitude, and shrinkage:

Darcy James Argue reported in detail his impressions of the American Music Center's award banquet/concert Monday night, which featured performances by Matthew Shipp, Meridian Arts Ensemble, and Pamela Z. Honorees included the New Yorker's Alex Ross and jazz's Billy Taylor. Darcy's knowledge of what he's talking about, and forthrightness (whether he knows or not), is bracing. (Many links to be found in DJA's post.) Argue has also indirectly hipped me to a locus of what appears to be a community of composers, and also the great be.jazz, which is one of those blogs I wasn't ready for back when I first saw it months ago? years ago? DJA has also of late brought his musical acumen to bear on two nifty production-related posts, one citing a long Stylus article on compression, and one big-upping Neko Case's loathing of auto-tune.

SFJ did a similar blow-by-blow for the Paris Review's recent big night. Guess who: They should donate some of their good-lookingness to charity because they are fucking up the whole curve just by walking around and being bodacious.

If you already know of the EMP conference, there will be nothing new here, but Carl Wilson, whose digital garment hem I touch with much respect, has two posts worth your time, one on some Stephin Merritt contretemps (I look at Merritt's name now and it easily conjures Stepin Fetchit), and one on everything else.

Tim OT alerted me to the power of the Pitchfork, possibly.

Warning: do not click on this unless you have an open hour, hour-and-a-half in front of you. Really: Best. Wikipedia entry. Ever.

And for the weekend drive: Do not be an angel, but do call home.

Later: Forgot to mention the jazzhead eggheadedness on display at the always superb Point of Departure. PoD main man Bill Shoemaker convened a virtual roundtable on the state of jazz criticism in the twenty-first century: do the old standards apply? Or, as he put it: "What critical methods best assess work from this [i.e., current] period? Do old school expectations of acuity and adept execution still apply? What recently articulated evaluative criteria do you think will withstand the test of time?" Discussing this are George E. Lewis, Fred Ho, Ajay Heble (director and founder of the Guelph Jazz Festival), Caroline Kraabel, and George McKay. And don't miss part two. I confess to finding much of it tough-going, if not impenetrable, and got a lot more out of the Dave Douglas jukebox jury-style feature here, a reprint of a Jazz Review article by Shoemaker from 2004. Douglas has some ears on him. Either that, or he was tipped off, Quiz Show style. Either way, some perceptive listening and commenting from the trumpeter and new label-head. Douglas blogs, and here is his recent, empassioned defense of Miles' Cellar Door Sessions. Bye-ya.

Monday, May 01, 2006


Of riches for NYC-based jazz fans this month, as The Stone turns May into a memorial for the late Derek Bailey, who was to have curated this month himself. Lots of solo perfs, which, in the intimate space of The Stone (no distracting passing trays or [unintentionally] mishandled glassware), could be truly beautiful. Some great guitar throughout the month, natch.

Suggested listening:
Derek Bailey - "Gone with the Wind," from Ballads (Tzadik, 2002). Read about it. Buy it.