Still Alive and Writing!

Spiffy header image courtesy of Chris Albertson

It’s been another one of those blog dry-spells the past few months, what with the winding down of my life on the East Coast, gearing up for Los Angeles, and, you know, actually writing for a living every once in awhile. I’ve stopped posting individual links to my weekly Star-Ledger columns, but you Jersey locals can stay hip the scene by subscribing to the Star-Ledger Jazz RSS feed. Some good stuff has passed through recently!

Rather than go back and make separate posts, I’ve included links below to all of the other writing projects that have kept me busy this summer, in the style of STUFF WHAT I HAVE WROTE, the monthly series by one of my favorite citizens of the jazz blogosphere, Phil Freeman:

In addition to the weekly listings gig for the Star-Ledger, I also penned two features. The first, which ran in early May, previewed the Sonny Rollins hit at NJPAC on May 13. Along with the amazing chance to shoot the breeze with one of my all-time jazz heroes for the piece, I got to check out the show with my girlfriend that evening; she (somewhat of a jazz skeptic) and I both thoroughly dug it — that cat can play.

The next day, I presented a chapter of my M.A. thesis on Jack Teagarden at the CUNY Graduate Students in Music Symposium, which was another enjoyable experience. I got some great feedback on the paper from fellow music scholars, as well as the excellent moderator, Maureen Mahon from NYU. David McCarthy, who gave a fascinating presentation entitled “A Disco Dialectic?“, is also a fledgling blogger: check him out at McCarthyisms For Your Work Week.

For anyone curious to read my thesis, “White and Blue: Alternate Takes on Jack Teagarden,” I’d be happy to send you a .pdf copy by e-mail. I’m not entirely sure what else I’m going to do with it for now, but will certainly post any new information here when I make up my mind. I feel pretty good about how it turned out, all things considered, and am looking forward to moving on to new research at UCLA.

Later that month, I published another piece for the Star-Ledger, on the fast-growing Montclair-based nonprofit Jazz House Kids and their annual celebration concert, with Chick Corea as this year’s guest artist.

I’ve also been working steadily to help my favorite jazz radio station, WBGO, develop online content. For a daily dose of station news and relevant jazz links, birthdays, and upcoming NY/NJ-area events, check out my Morning Cup of Jazz at the WBGO Blog.

For something a little more in-depth, WBGO’s epic Billy Taylor tribute celebrates the piano master’s long and fruitful relationship with the station. I wrote “Taylor’s Take Four,” on his legacy at the UMass Jazz In July summer jazz workshop, which just celebrated its 30th anniversary.

I have also been helping my former professor and mentor Dr. Lewis Porter with his WBGO blog feature, “You Don’t Know Jazz!” Another post will be up soon, on early jazz drummers.

Stay tuned for more, too — I’ll be blogging live from the Newport Jazz Festival this weekend, and will also be at this month’s edition of The Checkout: Live From 92YTribeca, featuring Marcus Strickland and Eric Harland!

Finally, and completely off topic: HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my not-so-little brother Evan, who celebrates his quarter-century-mark today in sunny California (not that I’m jealous or anything …) I’m proud of you, bro!

About arodjazz

Writer, trombonist, and PhD Candidate in Ethnomusicology exploring the complexity of today's jazz world
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