Saturday, June 14, 2008

Stop Reading This and Pick Up the New Downbeat

Uh, it's like the title says. If you don't already have your copy, you need to run, NOT WALK, and get the new Downbeat. I know, I don't usually act like a Downbeat PR guy, but seriously, the cover article is basically just Vijay Iyer, Jason Moran, and Matthew Shipp (known, as far as I'm concerned, as "the three most interesting working pianists in jazz") hanging out and talking about their craft. As if that weren't enough (I could sit through a twenty page article about how great Sonny Rollins still is in spite of his senility for the Iyer/Moran/Shipp dialogue), the next article is about Jenny Scheinman, who has two new albums (both of which have Bill Frisell, Tony Scherr, and Kenny Wollesen, and both of which I'm aching to hear) coming out in the near future. Even the excerpt of Victor Wooten's book, in spite of being a little bit patronizing (Woah! You can use a chromatic scale as a device in improvisation and notes outside of the key can sound good!), is enlightening.

Plus there's a hilarious Blindfold Test where Andy Bey manages to rival Gary Bartz (if you haven't read it, read it) for the "biggest schmuck during a blindfold test" award (He gives a track from Paul Motian's "On Broadway," with Chris Potter and Larry Grenadier, 0 stars. Uh-huh.). So go out and get it. You won't be disappointed.

In other news, the Thelonious Monk Institute (the birthplace of the careers of Lionel Loueke, Gretchen Parlato, Ambrose Akinmusire, Chris Dingman, Walter Smith III... well, basically everybody. If you didn't go to the Monk institute you've played with some young musician who did) decided it was worth risking being submerged and moved from USC to New Orleans. I don't think this will make any sort of difference to the jazz world, to be honest, but as long as the Monk Institute still exists I could care less where it is.

Next time I'll have a review of "Moonshine." Also, sometime soon I'll do a "Guess the Downbeat Critics Poll!" post.

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