First, thanks to all who enjoyed this afternoon's panel on MySpace, blogs, podcasts, and digital communities. I hope my contributions were helpful, especially for those who didn't know there was such a thing as "the jazz blogosphere." It was a pleasure to share the stage with mog.com's Michael Goldberg and artists like Brian Lynch, Lonnie Plaxico, Vinson Valega, Jaleel Shaw, and Deidre Rodman -- who I haven't seen since we were at Banff together back in 1999! Sorry for the lack of advance notice but there was some confusion about the number of panelists that could be included and I only knew I'd be part of this disucssion at the very last minute. If you're new to the Secret Society blog, I encourage you to poke around the archives (in the left sidebar -- scroll down) and, if you like, listen to or download some Secret Society MP3's (top right).
I'm currently liveblogging from one of the IAJE internet kiosks on the Hilton's third floor. I'd been hoping to do more updates from the site but my computer situation has been disasterous. See, I don't actually own a laptop -- I have to borrow Lindsay's every time I need to do a Finale workshop (or, um, go to Germany for a week), and while she has been incredibly understanding about this, needless to say she's never all that thrilled to be separated from her baby for very long. So I sprung for a MacBook Pro just before Christmas, only to have it fail catastrophically within 10 days. I had to ship the dead MacBook back to Amazon for a replacement, which was supposed to arrive on Wednesday. But it never turned up. When I put in the tracking number on the UPS site yesterday in the hopes of finding out what the hell happened, I get the following message:
MERCHANDISE IS MISSING. UPS WILL NOTIFY THE SENDER WITH ADDITIONAL DETAILS.;ALL MERCHANDISE MISSING, EMPTY CARTON WAS DISCARDED. UPS WILL NOTIFY THE SENDER WITH DETAILS OF THE DAMAGE
Draw your own conclusions.
Anyway, because of this and a few other issues that needed my attention on the home front, I didn't get to the conference until 4:30 PM today. But Ingrid Jensen let me sit in on the Sisters in Jazz rehearsal today -- since it's the tenth anniversary of this IAJE-sponsored mentorship program, I thought it might be cool to make a podcast (I bet you thought I wasn't ever going to do another podcast) featuring Ingrid and this year's SIJ participants -- Sharel Cassity, Chelsea Baratz, Mika Nishimura, Vanessa McGowan, and Tina Raymond. Today was just watching and recording the rehearsal and taking a few pictures. Tomorrow, after their hit, I'll try to get a little round table interview happening. This epsiode may take me a while to put together, but I figure you've already waited so long for Podcast #2, a few more days won't kill you.
After the panel, I managed to catch the final tune of singer Julia Dollison's hit. Julia was backed by Joe Locke on vibes and the unstoppable rhythm section of Geoff Keezer, Matt Clohesy, and Ted Poor. They did a version of "Night and Day" reharmonized with Coltrane changes, and I was surprised how much I liked it. Normally that sort of thing quickly turns into an empty exercise in harmonic hurdling, but this rendition had huge momentum behind it, thanks to Matt and Ted. I almost never get to hear those guys play straighahead swing, and it was a real treat to hear them bring the same relentless drive to that as they do in a more contemporary context. And Julia ate it up -- she's the real deal, no doubt.
Totally unexpectedly, I ran into a couple of old friends from NEC, tenor saxophonist John McClaggan and singer Lisa Berg (now Lisa McClaggan), who now both teach at Southwestern Community College in Creston, Iowa. Their school vocal group First Take is performing tomorrow, so they're in town representin'. I haven't seen these guys since we all graduated, so it was great to catch up.
I toyed with the idea of going to tongiht's Grand Ballroom hit (NEC Jazz Master Awards, plus the Clayton Brothers Quintet and the Dizzy GillespieTM All-Star Big Band), but by the time I was finished dinner, the lineup was absurd. (The lineup of people waiting to get into the hall, I mean -- not [necessarily] the lineup of musicians on the bill.) I figured now was a good time to feed the blog, and then head over to catch the last two hits of the night -- Jerry Bergonzi at 11 PM and Matt Wilson at 12:30 AM.