Monday, November 22, 2010

Notes from the Net: Phil Perry's new collaboration; Mtume vs. Crouch; plus news, reviews, interviews, 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 this week's Miles Davis-related news, Davis' former percussionist James Mtume and journalist and critic Stanley Crouch recently debated the merits of the trumpeter's electric music of the 1970s, and their discussion was captured on video and posted online. Most opinions I've seen so far say Mtume schooled Crouch, but you can make up your own mind after watching the video clips here.

Meanwhile, Davis' iconic image remains as marketable as ever, with another recent example being Canada's using a limited edition print of a photo of Davis for a pledge premium.

* East St. Louis native Phil Perry (pictured) is the vocalist and co-writer on "Forever United," the first single released from Chicago flute player Nicole Mitchell's upcoming CD The Bi-Polar Music Project...Vol. 1: Licensed to Chill. Mitchell and Perry wrote the tune with Preston Glass, whose songs have been recorded by Aretha Franklin, Jermaine Stewart, Whitney Houston, Earth Wind and Fire, Kenny G, Lenny Williams and others. The single is showing on the Music Choice R&B/Soul channel and getting radio play in the U.K.

* In news of recent visitors to our town, the New Jersey public radio station WBGO's program The Checkout recently interviewed guitarist John McLaughlin, who was in St. Louis on Friday at the Sheldon Concert Hall as part of his current tour of North America. The guitarist also was interviewed by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette before a show in that city, and is the subject of Follow Your Heart, a recently published book by music journalist Walter Kolosky that offers a song-by-song analysis of McLaughlin's recorded work.

* Violinist Regina Carter played Jazz at the Bistro earlier this month, and then went to Minneapolis to perform at the Dakota, where Pamela Espelund of the Twin Cities jazz blog Bebopified caught the show and wrote a enthusiastic review.

* Pianist Vijay Iyer, who was here the weekend before last with Wadada Leo Smith's Golden Quartet, last week selected five of Smith's recordings for a sort of "intro to..." post about the trumpeter on NPR's A Blog Supreme.

* Saxophonist Victor Goines, who played the Sheldon that same weekend, just did a performance & lecture for the Chicago Humanities Festival exploring the standard "Body & Soul"

* Glancing quickly at the "coming attractions" file, The Bad Plus, who will be here in January at the Bistro, just played the London Jazz Festival

* Lastly, a few items of general interest to jazz fans: The Concord Music Group is offering 25% off the entire order when you spend at least $40 on recordings from the group's contemporary artists such as John Pizzarelli, Esperanza Spalding, Christian Scott, Stanton Moore, Stanley Clarke and others. Use the promo code NEWJAZZ to get the special pricing. There's also a free sampler album available for download, with tracks by Spalding, Scott, Mindi Abair, Fourplay, Hiromi, Lee Ritenour and Gerald Albright.

* Want to follow your favorite jazz artist(s) on Twitter? Donna, the single-named proprietress of the blog Elements of Jazz, has put together a handy yet comprehensive list of Twitter addresses for jazz musicians, receord labels, presenters, journalists, organizations, and so on.

* And from the "Handy Things You Can Do On The Internet" file, have you ever wanted to save the audio from a YouTube video as an .MP3 file for later reference? Turns out there are a number of websites created specifically for this purpose, and yr. humble StLJN editor recently has used two of them - and - with quite satisfactory results. Both sites are free, and neither requires registration. They do serve some pop-ups and interstitial ads, but if you don't mind clicking through that stuff, both seem to handle the conversion quickly and easily.

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