Tag Archives: jazz music

2014–A Bad Year for Jazz

And it’s not even September yet. I don’t know why, but this is shaping up to be the year that popular culture decided to take a dump on jazz.  Everyone from the normally sympathetic New Yorker to the Washington Post decided it was a slow news month, so time to let ‘er rip. But even …

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Miles, Marsalis, Mayhem

I know, Miles has been getting a lot of posts lately.  For a guy who has been dead over twenty years, it must seem like overkill.  Last one for a while, I promise. But today being the 86th anniversary of his birth, it got me thinking about an old conflict in a new light.  Of …

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Musings on Miles

Next Wednesday is the 20th anniversary of Miles Davis’ death.  I trust you have the altar in your home prepared, the candles ready for lighting. This year for Season Eighteen, the AJW is presenting Miles’ music for elementary school students.  That’s a tough one on a variety of levels.  I had some thoughts going in …

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Serendipity & Second Chances

The path leading me to the life of a jazz musician was not without its twists. I always loved music, and began playing in middle school.  But I dropped out of band in high school because I hated to march and didn’t see the point of playing yet another Percy Grainger air for wind ensemble.  …

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Dances with Dinosaurs

I saw recently that my old junior high band director, Gene Stephenson, had come out of retirement and is teaching at Coastal Bend College in his native Beeville.  I credit Mr. Stephenson with essentially handing me my livelihood.  He must be somewhere in his mid-70’s by now.  I’m glad to see he’s still musically active. …

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Growing Up Artistically

I just finished reading Weird City:  A Sense of Place and Creative Resistance in Austin, Texas by Joshua Long (University of Texas Press, 2010).  Found it a somewhat thin but nonetheless engaging account of recent chapters in the ongoing culture war that makes living in Austin a unique experience.  Not a ‘weird’ one, as some …

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Sounds Great! Could You Turn It Down?

No. Or more accurately, of course we can turn it down.  But why do you want us to?  We’re barely above a conversational level now. Why do people hire professional musicians and then put asinine restrictions on their ability to perform their job well?  I don’t get it.  You’re paying top dollar for this.  Don’t …

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