Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tearing the New Downbeat Apart Limb from Limb

So we're four days away from what Joe Biden has called (to paraphrase) the "most important election of your meaningless little existence," and the most important question that Downbeat can think of for musicians isn't "who are you voting for," or "who do you think will make the gas prices that are currently preventing people from touring go down," or even, "what has this never-ending election cycle inspired from you musically-" all lame but relevant questions- but instead "What jazz artist would make the best president."

"What jazz artist would make the best president?" Geri Allen's choice- Dr. Billy Taylor- actually made some sense due to his importance to and experience in administrating jazz education, but with her exception, it seems like everyone is on crack. Sonny Rollins got two votes (Benny Golson and Pee Wee Ellis both suggested him because, as far as I can tell, he loves music and he's a pretty chill dude), and Wynton Marsalis got a requisite vote (hell, Bush managed to win two elections in a row).

As for the actual issue, why Tony Williams? I mean, he's great, don't get me wrong, and easily one of the best jazz drummers of all time... but... why? He's dead, he hasn't had a record out in years, there's no archival series or major tribute going on... I suppose the Downbeat U Drum School tie-in almost makes sense... But why not Anat Cohen? Doesn't she deserve a cover? There's a pretty long article about her in this Downbeat, so why not?

Also, random sidenote, there are two Five Star albums in the reviews section of Downbeat. What? When was the last time Downbeat had two five star albums in one issue? Nevermind that, with John McLaughlin's new album, this makes three five star albums all year, and for some reason they never go to the albums I want them to. My picks for the best albums of the year have all received either 3 or 4 stars. But what do I know.

Next time I'll have a very long (last time I remember someone getting all snippy about how my Terri Lyne Carrington interview wasn't as long as advertised- well, you're in luck, for those of you with the interest there are a good 1700 words to sift through) interview with Christian Scott posted.

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