Monday, June 08, 2009

Notes from the Net: Miles on MySpace; Zorn bio analyzed; the wages of swing; plus news, reviews and more

Here's the latest compilation of assorted news briefs and links related to jazz, improvisation, and creative music in St. Louis, including news of musicians originally from the Gateway City, recent visitors, and coming attractions, plus assorted other items of interest:

* In keeping with this feature's tradition of starting with a Miles Davis-related item or two, it seems there's now a page for the trumpeter on MySpace. This in itself is no big deal - lots of celebs, dead and alive, seem to be represented by pages they didn't personally put up - but the interesting part is that since it apparently is authorized by Sony, visitors with sufficient bandwidth can stream dozens of Miles' albums and compilations directly from the page.

For as long as it lasts, it would seem to be a very handy, low-cost way to investigate Davis' extensive catalog, or to turn a new fan on to some of your favorite Miles moments.

Also, Marc Myers' JazzWax blog also recently had a Miles-related entry in his new Photo Story series. (For more frequently updated Miles-related content, StLJN heartily recommends Jeffrey Hyatt's fine site Miles Davis Online.)

* Here's a review by Tom Greenland for of John Brackett's new book John Zorn: Tradition and Transgression. (Zorn studied at our town's Webster University in the 1970s.)

* Zorn also will be one of the featured performers at this year's Warsaw Summer Jazz Days in July, along with the World Saxophone Quartet, featuring St. Louis' own Hamiet Bluiett and former St. Louisan Oliver Lake (pictured).

* Turning to news of coming attractions, here's a feature from Pittsburgh City Paper on saxophonist Peter Brötzmann, who will be in St. Louis this Friday to perform at Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center.

* And here's a review for by Andrew Velez of Pizzarelli Party, a new CD release featuring the whole Pizzarelli clan, including guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli; his dad Bucky on guitar, brother Martin on bass, and his wife Jessica Molasky on vocals, plus pianist Larry Fuller and others. John Pizzarelli has been a frequent visitor to St. Louis in recent years, and the online tour information service Pollstar currently shows him returning again in 2010 to play Jazz at the Bistro.

* Latin/jazz group Tiempo Libre, who will perform next year at the Edison Theatre in St. Louis, this week are playing Dizzy's at Lincoln Center in NYC.

* The Chicago Afrobeat Project, who played The Gramophone at the end of May, will be touring extensively from the end of June through September. (There's no return St. Louis date on the schedule, but there are some spaces in the tour into which one conceivably could fit.)

* A look at the "recent visitors" file shows that guitarist John Jorgenson, who wrapped up the Sheldon Concert Hall's jazz series this year, is back home in California for a concert at a community college in Riverside.

* Lastly, a couple of items of general interest: National Public Radio's Web site is sporting a brand new jazz blog and it's a good one, with daily entries plus centralized, convenient access to NPR's various jazz programs, online streams, etc. Check out the modestly named A Blog Supreme here.

* Canadian jazz journalist Peter Ham asked the working musicians among his readers how much they make for a gig. The results - while somewhat depressing overall, as they show working musicians' wages generally remaining flat for years or even decades - reveal that St. Louis seems about on a par with cities of similar size. Read the whole thing here.


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