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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Number One for January 21, 2015


To Miles, From Wayne on NPR's Jazz Night in America

From last year's Detroit Jazz Festival, Wallace Roney leads a jazz orchestra through some long languishing scores that Wayne Shorter wrote for Miles Davis. One was performed once, but none were recorded. A bit under-rehearsed, but still compelling. By the time the planned recording comes out it should be better, but what we have is still a great listen.

I need to root around this show's archives. I see they also have something from that Henry Threadgill retrospective festival Jason Moran put on last year.

Update - Having now listened to the Threadgill episode, I'm sorry to report that it upholds the longstanding NPR jazz tradition of having interviews or commentary take place over the music. For example, the first two or three minutes of "Spotted Dick is Pudding" has commentary about the title, how Threadgill's Chicago upbringing influenced his music, the instrumentation of the Sextett and how that makes the group sound the way it does before dumping us off at the beginning of the solos. I'm sure this all to keep me from getting filthy rich from selling bootleg copies, but it just points to a resistance to treating jazz a serious music. Can you imagine a New York Philharmonic broadcast with Alec Baldwin and Alan Gilbert having a discussion over the exposition section of a Beethoven symphony? Of course not! So why have some not very enlightening discussion over what's essentially the listener's gateway into the music?

And oh, I'm sorry, the tuba is an "unlikely instrument in jazz" ?!?!?

But don't let me discourage you, there is a lot of great music here, there's just a lot of spotted dick to put up with in the process.

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