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{ Category Archives } Jazz

Teaching jazz as a learning experience

It looks like the whole goodbye to teaching thing may have been premature. I was out of the country and away from easy internet access for most of the summer (thus no blogging). While I was away I got an email asking if I’d be interested in teaching the songwriting class again in the spring […]

Tagged Duke University, jazz, Miles Davis, music criticism, Stanley Crouch, teaching music

Motion and Emotion

One of the more impressive classical music-focussed blogs that I follow is On An Overgrown Path. A recent entry about Byzantine mosaics and frescoes in the Chora Church in Istanbul has, in addition to some gorgeous pictures, a link to a video of oud player Rahim AlHaj on YouTube. At the end he says the […]

Tagged Bach, Beethoven, classical music, Glenn Gould, jazz, Louis Armstrong, Rahim AlHaj, world music

The Ciompi Quartet with guest Branford Marsalis

Tonight, in the same hall Zorn played last night, it was the Ciompi Quartet with Branford Marsalis. I was looking forward to hearing my friend marc faris’s new composition Mountain Music which, as it turned out, is a beautifully restrained piece, distinctive, personal, and surprising. And yet, through no fault of the music or musicians, I was discontent. I was hoping for something grittier, and I end up thinking about other times I’ve heard Branford play or speak.

Tagged Branford Marsalis, Ciompi Quartet, classical music, crossover music, jazz

John Zorn’s Acoustic Masada at Page Auditorium

What a set! The four players—Zorn (alto sax), Dave Douglas (trumpet), Greg Cohen (bass) and Joey Baron (drums)—came onstage briskly, got in position with a minimum of fuss as Zorn shouted something I didn’t catch, and immediately launched into a frenetic free-form piece, Zorn playing with one hand and jabbing behind his back with the other to direct the drummer. Grunge jazz, in the best sense of the word, all the way down to Zorn’s camo pants.

Tagged Dave Douglas, jazz, John Zorn, live music, new music, Ornette Coleman