January 28, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
Here are a few images from Jazz on the Mountain, Michael Bourne's yearly January retreat at the Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz. Fran Kaufman took these photos. Fran is always on the scene, taking shots of music in the making. Now thru February 24th, you can see more of Fran Kaufman's jazz photography at Brooklyn Academy of Music's Brooklyn Next Art series.
Finally, a note from Michael Bourne:
"Jazz on the Mountain" was the best it's been in the 9 years I've been working the jazzfest at Mohonk Mountain House. All three nights the enormous hotel was sold-out, first time ever for the whole Martin Luther King weekend. Every concert was a hit, which was especially heartening since I book artists that I personally like. Joe Locke was especially a hit, playing opening night with The Brazilian Trio (Helio Alves, Nilson Matta, Duduka da Fonseca) and Maucha Adnet, playing an electrifying show Saturday afternoon and getting a standing O with his own new Force of Four group, joining Dena DeRose on Sunday afternoon, and highlighting the free-form "Parlor Games" on Monday morning. When I asked folks which were favorite shows, every artist was enthusiastically named, including singer Kendra Shank, Steven Bernstein and the Millenial Territory Orchestra, Hipmotism with saxophonist Erik Lawrence and singer Marya Lawrence. Marya Lawrence was the surprise of the weekend, twice playing seriously bopping solos on a slide-kazoo. The Frank Vignola Quintet blew the roof off Sunday evening with the swinging vitality of Django's Hot Club Quintet but without trying to imitate Django. I "performed" "As Time Goes By" during the Monday morning musical mixing and matching of players from the weekend. We've already pretty much programmed next year's jazzfest, which will be my 10th at Mohonk." -- MBourne
© 2008 WBGO
January 21, 2008. Posted by Angelika Beener.
This year will mark the 40th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination. On this day - Martin Luther King Day - I reflect longer than usual on the times we're living in. I ponder on how much has changed since his being snatched away from us on that spring day in April. And I wonder what the real possibilities are for our nation to come together. There are still so many who believe that we should not even be honoring the civil rights leader and that his legacy is not worthy of a national holiday. In 2008, you would think we would have come a lot further than this. Then again, at 30 years old, I have older siblings who were alive when Dr. King and others were still fighting for the rights of Blacks to sit in the front of the bus. That always puts things into perspective for me. It's been a long time, but then again...not so much.
With the presidential race and the mantra of change in the forefront of our minds, I can say that I am still hopeful. Many are actually tired of hearing the word change, and want to hear tangible-type strategies for real problems that we are facing at this very fragile time in American and world history. I am one of those people. But if we are already tired of hearing about change, then we've got a long way to go...and so we do. Change is what it took for Dr. King to realize the dreams of so many Americans in this country. Change is what it's going to take to get us out of the deep trouble we're in as a nation four decades later. As I listen to one of my favorite singers, Bilal, sing "A Change Is Gonna Come", it is extremely haunting. Sam Cooke made this civil rights ballad in the heart of the movement, and the meaning is extremely apparent, when you look at the times. When I listen to Bilal - a singer of my generation, sing it here - I listen with a different ear. The fact that the lyrics are still so relevant...and the song is still so haunting let's me know that a CHANGE still needs to come. And I believe it will. Thank you, Dr. King.
© 2008 WBGO
January 18, 2008
I rarely work the morning shift around here. 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. newscasts are Doug Doyle territory and for good reason. It takes a special man to get up at 3:30 a.m. and get here in time to deliver the news at 6 a.m., sharp. Frankly, I ain't that special, man. Those of you who've heard me at that time in the morning, know what I'm talking about.Still, when Doug's out, I get the call. One recent morning, however, I was sitting at my desk, staring blankly at my computer monitor, the written word failing me, when all of a sudden, dripping from the speakers behind me, like honey on a nubile neck, comes Eliane Elias singing Jobim's "Photograph (Fotografia)."
The vocal, so lush and silken, insinuated itself into my soft gray matter and swirled around like the café in my café con leche. I closed my eyes and drank deeply, Eliane inside my brain. MMM. It's just about the only thing that went right that morning.
Eliane Elias is just smooth, man, (as both a singer and a pianist) so if you get a chance, I urge you to join us (yes, I'll be there) tomorrow at J&R Music's Park Row store (23 Park Row, NYC, Second Floor) for a FREE live performance and broadcast of some of the material from her new release "Something For You: Eliane Elias Sings and Plays Bill Evans."
The performance starts at 4 p.m. and, even if you're in Rio, Brasil, you can hear it live. - David Cruz
© 2008 WBGO