- The Nesuhi Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame, an offshoot of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, has announced this year's class of inductees, highlighted by Ella Fitzgerald and Benny Goodman. Others include Charles Mingus, Roy Eldridge, Joe "King" Oliver, Earl "Fatha" Hines, "Papa Jo" Jones and Fats Waller, as well as the first two living inductees, Sonny Rollins and Max Roach. (The Hall's namesake, Ertegun, was a pioneer in the jazz recording industry, working as an A&R man for Atlantic Records, founded by his brother Ahmet, who gained recent attention by being portrayed in the movie Ray.)
- Bassist Keter Betts, who passed away this week, is the subject of a moving tribute by the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson. Here's a key quote from the article:
A great jazz number is evanescent; attempts to capture it on vinyl or magnetic tape, or to translate it into bits and bytes, are like putting a bird in a cage. Great jazz is meant to be performed live and appreciated live. When the music is gone, only memory can do it justice.Betts was one of those guys who was never a household name, but I promise you've heard his work; among other things, he recorded extensively with Ella Fitzgerald and returned from a South American trip infected with the rhythms that became the backbone of Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd's pioneering Jazz Samba recording.
- After months of fighting with its landlord and neighboring businesses over noise issues (about which I've written here a couple of times), the Brooklyn jazz cafe is moving to the Cedars area. I didn't get to visit Brooklyn in its old digs, but I hope to check out the new place (which will be substantially bigger) and maybe get my band a gig there someday.
Speedin' in Sweden: A Swedish insurance company is claming to be the first in its field to offer insurance against both speeding and parking tickets.
Another European guy in the doghouse: A driver in Germany accidentally backed over his wife in a parking lot; when he found out what he had done, he was so stunned that he managed to run over her again. (Miraculously, she survived.)