Down Beat Magazine used to have a category in its Readers and Critics Polls called TDWR, or Talent Deserving Wider Recognition. (They've since changed it to "Rising Stars," which sounds too corny and Hollywood for me, but that's another story.) Our guest artist for camp this week, Dick Oatts, is revered within the jazz world, but his is still a talent that deserves recognition among the general public (though that number undoubtedly grew after our concert last night, when a lot of parents and friends were in attendance).
Having Dick here was a great experience. He's an amazing player on three saxophones (and is immediately recognizable as himself on each of them), a fine writer, and a great educator (giving two very informative clinics today; I picked up a load of teaching tips from there, as well as at last night's dinner). He's also an incredible nice guy who's great to be around; it was an honor to share the stage with him last night.
(Evidently, he's better known in Europe than he is here, so America needs to get on the stick and get listening. If our "oldies" stations played less Hall & Oates and more Dial and Oatts--his small group from the '90s--this would be a hipper place over here.)
As I've said, camp pretty much consumes my days this week, but I felt the need to pop on and throw out the name of Dick Oatts in one more place on the Web; if even one more person checks out his music because of this site, then these few minutes have been time well spent.
OK, this is hip too: Watch an animation of John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" being transcribed in real time on a YouTube video. (Talk about timing--a friend sent me the link to this over AIM as I was typing up this post.)