Tag Archives: Jazz

My Lucky Quarter

I perform for children.  A lot of children.  Every day, with the children.  One hundred thirty shows a year, just for the children.  As they say, it keeps you young.  It also presents a rich opportunity for teachable moments. For example: we played a school show a couple of weeks ago.  Not important where.  Let’s …

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A Bad Case of Whiplash

OK, so I’m a little slow getting around to things in popular culture–for example, I stopped listening to new music thirty years ago–but I finally got around to seeing the movie Whiplash.  I put it off awhile because, as a UNT grad, it sounded an awful lot like Orals, which is something that sounds fun …

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Does Jazz Belong in Nightclubs?

Just asking the question makes me feel queasy. I mean, on the one hand–of course it does!  Jazz was born in nightclubs.  And speakeasies.  And whorehouses.  (Sorry, Mom…) But that was over a hundred years ago.  Is it still a good fit? I’ve been thinking about it lately because of recent efforts in Portland, Oregon …

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Au Revoir, Miles

The moment is finally here.  In seven days, we put the AJW’s Miles Davis season to bed. It didn’t feel like it would ever end, back in September of last year.  Then, we were looking at an unbroken sea of 124 dates.  Today, there are five left. Over the last nine months, I learned a …

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How to Make a Million Dollars Playing Jazz

Start with two million… I know, ancient, right?  But there is a reason the conventional wisdom is just that. A while back, a friend told me he had been talking about me with his private students.  I assumed it was just another instance of someone offering me up as a cautionary tale, but no.  He …

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Remembering Marty Allen and Bill Kirchner

No, not the comedian and the saxophonist.  Those are two different fellows. Marty Allen was a pianist and dear friend who moved to Austin from the Bay Area some seventeen years ago.  A remarkably gifted musician with a highly original approach, Marty worked with many people, and as a soloist, until he died unexpectedly of …

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Meet me at the intersection of Commerce and Art

  A friend asked me recently, “Doesn’t it give you a lot of pleasure when you perform to look out and see everyone dancing and enjoying your music?” Well, of course it does.  But it’s not the main motivator in doing what I do. I guess people forget that this is a business.  Music is …

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Dead, from New York!

Years ago, in an early season of Saturday Night Live, there was a phony ad for a concert featuring Elvis Presley’s coat.  ‘The King’ himself had recently passed away, but the announcer cheerfully invited folks out to see the coat that started it all.  Like a lot of early SNL, it was irreverent, tasteless, and …

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Babes in Bopsiland

One of the things I appreciate about the AJW project is how it encourages the presentation of types of music that may be outside my comfort zone as a player. I mean, we have done Monk, Gershwin, Jobim, Ellington, Rahsaan, etc. Now we’re doing Miles, which is to say four distinct musical movements as we …

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