Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hilariously Incongruous Statements From the New Downbeat

There's a quote in the new Downbeat; a quote that's so good it warrants reprinting here over and over and over again, because it only gets funnier every time you read it and think about it a bit more. But first, here's a little bit of perspective for those of you who have not been turned onto Courtney Pine, possibly the most famous saxophone player (and jazz musician) from Britain: he loves pop music, especially hip hop and reggae, listens to it all the time, and lets that music influence his brand of jazz. If you don't believe me, here's his myspace. Still don't believe me? Here's his album, "Back in the Day;" according to the product description, it's for fans of "R&B, Soul, Urban, and Hip Hop as well as jazz." I'd say his music is more like a free jazz Two-Tone record from the 80s than, say, Duke Ellington. Also, just for perspective, here's Dr. (dig the part about prescription drugs) Wynton Marsalis- the most in touch cat in all of American jazz- talking about Hip Hop.

What does this have to do with Downbeat? The opening quote in their article about Courtney Pine:

"Courtney Pine might be dubbed the 'Wynton Marsalis of British jazz,' given his standing as spokesman and abettor of his home country's music"

I know what you're thinking: "It's not April fool's day, is it? Should I check my calendar? This isn't funny, jazz monster..." No, it isn't April Fool's day. This is an actual quote from the actual new issue of Downbeat. I'm assuming that in spite of the interview, the author (a certain unfortunately named Micheal Jackson, who has just made a faux pas the equivalent of hanging a baby out of a window) didn't bother to listen to Pine's music.

There isn't anything else quite that ridiculous in this issue, although there are a couple more random moments of hilarity, like, say, the incredibly ironic title of the cover article: "Ravi Coltrane: The Next Trane Finds His Voice." So, which is it? Is he the next Trane? Or did he find his voice? Plus, for an article about a young musician who apparently (according to the article, at least) sounds like no one else and doesn't stand in anybody's shadow, they sure do mention JC (No, I'm not talking about Jesus Christ, although this other cat also died a few years too young) a lot.

Also, there's another laugh-out-loud hilarious blind-fold test with Robert Glasper thinking that everyone and their mother is Gonzalo Rubacalba and admitting he hasn't really ever gotten into Vijay Iyer. And Gretchen Parlato signed to Obliqsound, but I knew that months ago. I can't remember if I mentioned it here or not; either way, she's a brilliant (and smokin') young singer and I'm excited to hear her next record.

Maybe next time I'll have a full-on lengthy review of Aaron Parks' "Invisible Cinema," or maybe I won't.

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