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This guy is really, really good

I had the pleasure of attending a show at the Jazz Gallery last night.  Yesterday morning, I received a text from the Blogger Supreme that he’d be in the city checking out Ambrose Akinmusire‘s quintet there (Gerald Clayton, right, played especially well — more on that later.)  The suggestion couldn’t have come at a better time, because I was in need of an excuse to get out of my apartment.  So I rounded up a couple of friends and met him at the show.

I’ve lived in the New York City area for over eight months now, but I’ve only made it out to hear live jazz a couple of times in that span.  Part of it has to do with the fact that I’m a cash-deprived graduate student, part of it has to do with the fact that I didn’t have a group of jazz-loving friends to see shows with at first, but I think most of it has to do with my own unwillingness to experience jazz from the perspective of the audience member.  Slowly, that’s starting to change. Read the rest of this entry »

The epitome of hipness

The epitome of hipness

One of the important thrusts of this blog, and my own nascent career in jazz, is the way that the music is represented in writing.  The internet is, of course, the place where I see most jazz writing, and after three months I’ve gotten a feel for the general writing style of the many blogs I follow.

During this time, I have noticed a few posts peppered with a word that completely distracts me from the content of any sentence in which it appears:


I first remember seeing the word come up in a post by Howard Mandel (last paragraph) and sort of rolled my eyes, in the way I used to roll my eyes at my parents’ hopeless lack of hipness.  But days later, one of my favorite musician-bloggers Andrew Durkin used it to self-identify.  Another young jazz musician and blogger whom I greatly admire, Darcy James Argue, has used the term a few times as well.  The culmination came on Thursday, when uberjazzmetablogger Patrick Jarenwattanananon used it in A Blog Supreme’s Lester Young tribute.

So is jazzer an acceptable noun to describe jazz musicians now?  After the jump, I will discuss the origins of my own issues with the word.  And there’s a picture of cucumbers.  Post your take in the comments, please! Read the rest of this entry »

I just read a wonderful post by Cristina Nehring at Truthdig (via Koreanish) decrying the state of the modern American essay.  As a writer, I’ve always been particularly interested in personal essays, sometimes to a fault. (That academic paper I was supposed to write for my “Jazz in Film” class?  Yeah, turned it into a personal essay…)  Nehring makes some great points that really resonate, and highlight some of the issues I’m thinking about as I start this blog. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s been over two weeks since my last post.  As the time has ticked by, I have remained aware of my non-posting but unable to muster the energy to do anything about it, mostly because moving into my new apartment has been completely exhausting.  I have managed to keep up with my internet jazz reading, though, and have seen some interesting discussions emerge.  I know that two weeks is like years and years in internet time, but now that I’m back in the saddle I’d like to help you understand where I sit in these recent conversations.

Read the rest of this entry »

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