Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Let's Jazz Things Up a Bit

OK, time to talk about jazz for a while:
  • Item the first: Wynton Marsalis is back in his hometown of New Orleans to kick off a weeklong festival that hopes to bring the city's scattered jazz musicians back home:
    "We're going to kill ourselves this week to bring the spirit of jazz (back to New Orleans)," Marsalis said.

    The city hopes to lure musicians with a "Musicians' Village" being built by Habitat for Humanity and the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity.

    "Musicians are hurting right now. They're spread out all over the country," Mayor Ray Nagin said at a news conference.

    Marsalis said he's been deeply affected by what's happened to his native city. "It's like somebody violated your mamma. You can't really explain that," he said.
    As I said last month when I visited New Orleans for the first time since Katrina, there are a lot of places that are open for business again, but there's no doubt that the musicians' community took as big of a hit as anyone. Even some of the more financially well-off players are still dealing with housing issues...assuming they've come back to town at all yet. I hope that this week's event will be a big catalyst in bringing everyone back again.

  • Item the second: A recent thread on the Green Room (the UNT jazz discussion forum) led me to this site, where jazz musician Steve Coleman talks about why he allows some of his music to be downloaded for free:
    Giving some ideas and music away does not mean that all needs to be given away for free. But there are some people who either cannot pay for the music or would never even listen to it in the first place if they had to pay for it. For this group of people, and for all the others who have purchased and supported the music in the past, there should be an area where they can go to listen to the music at no charge. I envision a situation where maybe one third to one half of the music that I create and make available to the public will be free of charge. The same would apply to other ideas about the music, general information, music theory, philosophy, etc.
    This seems to dovetail with what I've written before (I'll dig up the links eventually) about a common-sense philosophy for music downloading: Allow a few samples (a complete track or two, even) so that new listeners can get familiar with your music, but then have other stuff for sale so that you can pay your bills, feed your family, etc. Yet another reason to DIY and totally bypass the Machine...
Adventures in music, part deux: First, it was playing in a classical ensemble on Easter morning. Next on my list of rarely-done musical events was playing drums, which happened today in afternoon combo. My numbers were down due to a choir trip this week, and the drummer who was in town didn't show. I only hacked my way through one blues tune, but a couple of good things did happen: I didn't lose time on the hi-hat when I put in a (rather easy) little fill between choruses, and I made it through an entire tune without my calves giving out on me. Still, I think I'll stick to saxophone...


Anonymous said...

tony mcnerney
kevin williams

i'll let you decide


Kev said...

I think I'd go with Tony McNerney, just because there are probably a zillion Kevin Williams in the world already...