Whether she’s using a koto as an expressive vehicle for anything from jazz standards to electronic experimentation, writing idiosyncratic music for chorus and now orchestra, or creating music with plants and even insects crawling over her body, Miya Masaoka has been making us look and listen to the world around us in totally new ways for decades.
There’s a belief among musicians that there is a cabal of jazz writers, reporters, and critics who influence, undermine, and control jazz musicians. As someone who has had the tremendous privilege of working as a jazz writer, reporter, radio station music/program director, documentarian, and essayist for 25 years, I can honestly say that no such cabal exists.
Composers Jefferson Friedman and Craig Wedren have joined forces to shove their different-yet-connected musical worlds successfully closer together into the album On In Love. With the ensemble ACME, the two have constructed a group of songs that are dramatic, unpredictable, and beautifully crafted, serving up both both punch and substance.
I have poured a great deal of energy into the way I write about music, as I have similarly done for the way I compose and play music itself. I am discovering that it is not so much a matter of finding (or re-finding) the right note, the right chord, the right word. Rather, a note, a chord, a word, then another, then another, until you are out of space.
Maria Schneider, Paola Prestini, James M. Kendrick, John Nuechterlein and the American Composers Forum, plus the 27 recipients of the 2014 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, were honored by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) during its 15th Annual Concert Music Awards.