Sorry for the unannounced hiatus last week. I wish I had a good excuse, but the truth is, I just needed a break. I will also confess to immersing myself in this story instead of making my usual rounds in the music blogosphere -- Amanda's a friend so this was personal, not business. [UPDATE: Amanda resigns. Dammit.]
Sooooo... ehm... how 'bout those Grammys, eh? I don't think I've ever actually watched a Grammy telecast, but this year Pat liveblogged it, as did Stereogum and Idolator. I am shocked -- shocked -- to learn that Stu Copeland is a
big fucking liar. (Ach, nevermind -- apparently, I don't see date stamps.) The Bad Plus riffed on the Police reunion a while back. The fabulous Molly Sheridan goes behind the scenes at the über-exclusive jazz+classical Grammy party. Except, of course, there isn't one. Thankfully, that doesn't stop her from channeling her inner Dorothy Parker ("If you want to hear Terfel sing 'Send in the Clowns,' this is apparently the recording to get."). Oh, and congrats to Bryan and Eddie -- a well-deserved get. Likewise to ACB.
This is cool -- eMusic is now offering exclusive alternate takes and bonus tracks from Ran Blake's All That Is Tied, a record that didn't seem to make many Best Of 2006 of lists, but certainly deserves at least as much attention as Keith Jarrett's Carnegie Hall Concert. Ethan has urged me to devote a post to Ran, and I will do my best to oblige soonish. Ran ranks as one of the most brilliantly original and emotionally gripping improvising pianists in jazz (though of course he would bristle at that description -- he doesn't consider himself a jazz musician). Sadly, Ran's music is largely unknown outside of Boston/NEC circles. But if you're in the area, keep an eye on his upcoming performances -- live Ran is a serious trip, especially if the conditions in the hall are right (i.e., so dark you can barely see him, and he can't see you) and he's in his comfort zone.
Via Ran's newsletter, I learned of this new book on the Lenox School of Jazz, an ahead-of-its-time summer program which operated from 1957 to 1960. Ran studied there. So did Ornette. In fact, they played on the same Faculty-Student concert back in 1959. (Separately, I'm assuming -- can you imagine Ornette and Ran playing together? In 1959? The mind reels... ) More info here.
Stereogum mocks my childhood faves, part XXXIV. ("Quick, name five songs that are explicitly linked to a particular dance. 'Macarena'? 'The Electric Slide'? 'The Hokie-Pokie'? That’s some rarefied air.")
Destination Out offers some great Zorn/Previtte bebop, from The Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet. (They had a blindfold test and I missed it? Damn.)
Idolator on the alt-Grammy fiasco. ("Thankfully, host David Cross was just as frustrated as we were, and he served as our own Herbert Morrison, narrating the increasingly horrific turn of events with some first-rate zingers.")
Galen H. Brown reviews Lee Hyla's latest. ("The disc starts with the Lydian String Quartet tearing into the opening notes of Hyla’s “String Quartet #4” (1999) as if it had insulted their mother.")
Will Layman on Charles Tolliver's bigband outing ("It is a Red Bull of a 'Round Midnight'")
Roger Bourland calls out Clint Eastwood for shitty film scores and nepotism. ("Clint hired quite a few Japanese artists for the film, why stop there? Since you made a film about WW2 from the Japanese point of view, why not give us a real Japanese composer?")