To hear free music so beautifully contained and expressed in such inventive forms isn’t unheard of (Henry Threadgill? Vijay Iyer? Wadada Leo Smith?). But bassist Michael Formanek has his own way.
We’d returned to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. We’d ridden a paddle-wheeler on the Mississippi River. It was good to be back, and why we’ll go back every chance we get: to life.
Solo performance is still a way ahead for jazz pianists, judging from four CDs released in 2021.
The sum total of George Wein’s career was a successful wedding of art and commerce.
I’m still not sure I heard what’s revolutionary about Charlie Parker’s recordings — they’re very old news by now. But I warm to the expressions of unique genius, a beauty that in itself is radical.
By digging deep into Thomas McKeller, the Gardner Museum has not only resurrected a lost figure (and lost music, and “lost” art) but revealed and contributed to an ongoing history.
“Forgiveness is the key and love is the answer… Have a good Jazz Fest, but also have a good life.”
The show had an undercurrent that brought to the fore all the issues that have put Wynton Marsalis at the center of the culture wars.
Mostly the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival ends up being about the multiplicity and infinite variety of cultures and traditions, including generic funk.
You could sometimes be halfway into a Bad Plus show before hearing anything like a jazz chord from pianist Ethan Iverson.