It was understood by anyone who called on the services of jazz bassist Chuck Metcalf (1931-2002) that he would go the extra mile. Part of that effort included organizing sessions, gigs, and recording dates; in a word, Chuck was a leader. But he led from the back of the band.
The 2013 edition of Jazz Camp West is officially over. On Saturday, June 29, everyone packed their belongings and went to the last round of concerts before the barbecue lunch that was our last camp meal. But I had the pleasure of performing in several concerts featuring JCW artists in the days immediately following this year’s camp.
One of the reasons many artists involved in JCW feel that it is one of the high points of their year is that it’s not an institutional environment that needs to negate intuition and passion, but rather a learning environment that fosters and salutes them. It’s a bridge between the traditional and modern approaches to jazz education, where the former was steeped in mentorship and the latter in academic meritocracy.
During the Summer of Love everyone on Haight Street seemed to be living the life of Byron; but, like Lord Byron’s life, the mood was cut short as the musical rage—psychedelic rock—became another product for the Great American Culture Machine to mass produce.
I see the whole concert hall paradigm as a way to lease entitlement to a leisure class. While I don’t begrudge anyone going to hear live music in a concert hall, I do think that the current trend to make jazz a concert hall music is gutting the source of that music: the jazz club.
Going through my mother’s effects has been like traversing an emotionally charged landscape that unrolls to reveal a fascinating design of discovered and rediscovered possessions of a person I’ve known from the start of my life. The material that currently has my attention is vinyl.
Though luckily there were no drug cartel-associated mass murders in Monterrey as their had been on the opening night of last year’s festival and again on the morning after the last performance, this year’s Encuentro Internacional de Jazz y Música Viva was framed by its own internal controversy that emerged from its saxophone competition.
This is the eleventh year that Encuentro Internacional de Jazz y Música Viva has been held in Monterrey, Mexico, which is where I’m writing this. This year’s lineup includes artists from Germany (via the U.S.), France, Mexico, Costa Rica, and the United States.
Tuesday was International Jazz Day (IJD) and marked the end of Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM), a title that April has held since JAM was launched by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in 2002. JAM website’s FAQ page includes the question, “Why is [JAM] needed?” The answer includes the idea that “JAM will encourage people to take jazz more seriously as a vital part of America’s cultural patrimony.”
There are many, many other venues, extant and defunct, that were left out of my discussion last week of exemplary ways in which musicians have advocated for their colleagues. So I’d like to add a few more names to this list.