Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Notes from the Net: More Miles Davis news; a new solo CD from Rick Braun; NEA names 2010 Jazz Masters; and more

Though it's a bit smaller than usual, thanks to some slow news days over the holiday weekend and a still somewhat-gimpy computer here at StLJN HQ, 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:

* Though we've had a couple of Miles Davis-related items already during his birthday week, there's even more, starting with this review from Popdose.com of That's What Happened, a new DVD release of a 1987 Davis concert in Munich with a band featuring Kenny Garrett on sax and flute and go-go/funk master Ricky Weltman on drums.

Courtesy of Miles Davis Online, we also have news of a Miles "50th Anniversary T-Shirt; a brief audio interview Davis did with UK musician and broadcaster Jools Holland; and an essay about The Complete Columbia Recordings: Miles Davis & John Coltrane by Horace Mungin of BlogCritics.com

* Opening the "recent visitors" file, trumpeter Rick Braun (pictured), who was here in April with Jazz Attack at the Ameristar Casino's Bottleneck Blues Bar, will release a new solo CD called All It Takes in July. It's Braun's first solo release in four years.

* To round out this installment of NFTN, we've got some items of general interest to jazz fans. The National Endowment for the Arts has named eight Jazz Masters for 2010, including pianists Muhal Richard Abrams, Kenny Barron and Cedar Walton, composer/arranger Bill Holman, vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, saxophonist Yusef Lateef, singer Annie Ross, and, for his work as a "jazz advocate," producer, manager, critic and educator George Avakian. Congratulations to all the honorees.

* If it's really true that misery loves company, then perhaps St. Louisans who are lamenting this year's "hiatus" of the St. Louis Jazz and Heritage Festival will take some small solace in the fact that even the jazz capital of the world is having festival troubles right now, as seen in this New York Times article "New York Loses its Jazz Festival": "Around this time of year, posters for the JVC Jazz Festival would be appearing on the streets of New York, and jazz tourists would be finalizing plans to arrive in the middle of June for two weeks of bragworthy shows. But for the first time in 37 years, there will be no major summer jazz festival in New York. Nor will there be related series in Miami or Chicago, as the concert company behind them is suffering a financial crisis."

* Closing out on a somewhat more hopeful note, if you're an independent musician who'd like to make more money and sell more recordings, you may find some useful information over at Music Think Tank, which seems to have lots of ideas about marketing music in the digital age. You can see a list of some of the site's most popular posts here.

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