• Streisand Returns to the Village Vanguard

    September 26, 2009. Posted by Amy Niles.

    Are you going?

    48 years ago, she was the opening act for Miles Davis ( well, according to her website, she WANTED to open for Miles but she didn't get the gig).

    Lorraine Gordon, the owner of the Vanguard-  has a deep philosophical connection to Streisand-they both share the same attitude about the causes they believe in and will stop at nothing for what they believe. Two dynamic women who have passions that transcend this business of music.

    So, I approach Streisand's return to her acoustic, un- overproduced roots with optimism. Maybe she picked the Vanguard because she is finally ready to allow us to hear her instrument again. You can't hide anything at the Vanguard-  Lorraine won't let you.

    She has a new album. Diana Krall is on piano. She makes the connection singing Bernstein's "Some Other Time", a song recorded to perfection by Tony Bennett and the Vanguard's house pianist of that other time, Bill Evans.  I reserve judgment until I hear it.

    I am not going to her concert. I didn't even try to enter the lottery to get one of only 80 tickets. I will watch the video along with the gizillions of others next week, after she has had her chance to make sure that it is up to her standards.

    Gee, when  we make our monthly broadcast from the Vanguard, you get to hear and watch the artist live. Warts and all. That's jazz.

  • Village Vanguard on Super Bowl

    February 1, 2009. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Yes, it's a commercial for beer...What else do they try to sell during football games?  But check out the great set location.  It's the Village Vanguard!  Right after we finished our December broadcast of the Cedar Walton Trio, a crew of seventeen people, not including actors, took over the club and created this thirty second ad with John Turturro.

  • Grammy Nominations Announced - Have Your Say

    December 4, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Grammy Logo

    It's official - the nominations for the 51st Annual Grammy Awards have been announced. Proof that jazz musicians are versatile? Charlie Haden gets nominated for Best Country Instrumental! Strangest sight? How about drummer Jack DeJohnette in the New Age category!

    Nominations are the exclusive domain of National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences members, but that doesn't prohibit you from speaking (or writing) your mind. So have your say. Who should have been nominated but wasn't? Who would you pick to win? Be sure to include category and name of artist. Click "Read more" to see the list. Then make your comments.
    Read more

  • Coda: Trumpeter Jon Faddis and the Naked Campaign

    November 12, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.


    It's been a week since our nation's historic election.  One of the most artful methods of election coverage was The Naked Campaign, a series of videos featuring New Yorker illustrator Steve Brodner.  As a project, the Naked Campaign demonstrates that all the tools of drawing, painting, writing, and filmmaking can be utilized to create a distinct point of view.  You don't necessarily have to agree with that point of view, but if you're a jazz fan, you'll certainly appreciate this final installment of the series.  Jon Faddis is the trumpeter.  Considering that Faddis is the protege of Dizzy Gillespie, who ran for president in 1964, it is a coda indeed.

  • "NPR Community" Announcement: Dewey Wins!

    September 29, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Big news this weekend from the mothership. National Public Radio gets in the social media game with their launch of the NPR Community, a public media framework that ties all digital content posted on the NPR website - both from insiders and member station producers (Disclosure: I am the latter) - to the good people who actually consume it on their computers, mobile devices, and other emerging gadgets.

    I'll be joining the community of NPR/member station employees, listeners, and visitors to the NPR Music Site for the online cabal. According to Dick Meyer, Editorial Director at NPR Digital Media, "Many big news operations have had open comments and other "social media" functions for quite awhile. Some of you are grizzled veterans of Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and online news commenting; for some this will be new."

    He added, "NPR has been cautious because we want to do it right; we want the comments and the conversations to be useful, friendly and civil; we want NPR employees to participate and talk about their work. We needed the right tools and the right philosophy to come together. Now it has." Read the full announcement.

    It's another victory lap for John Dewey's assertions on the role of journalism in a democratic society and another perp walk for Walter Lippman's treatise. Or an uneasy alliance of the two competing philosophies. To me, it's Dewey's "Great Society" turned "Great Community" for public radio's content makers and users. Supported by taxpayers like you. Cool. Meyer adds, "We are not launching the project to get more "hits" that will make more money. We are doing it because it is the respectful thing to do for the NPR community."

    True, but the service will bring more traffic to NPR's website, and consequently, more underwriting sponsorship. Station managers grappling with overtaxed work forces, limited resources, and budget shortfalls of their own will view this with the requisite admiration, envy, and possibly some concern. Will the largesse, an unintended consequence or otherwise, trickle down to stations? And while everyone in public radio has their eye on growing the audience, NPR Digital and other capitalized public media institutions (including a handful of stations) are making the concept of an audience disappear. It's being replaced with citizens and collaborators and users in a participatory online environment. People who naturally consume information, love to share it, comment on it, and engage with it. Not to mention the occasional conservative hecklers and critics of public media. It's an interesting experiment, and finding a solution to the fiscal equation is like finding the next prime number. But organizations like NPR are risking revenue for innovation. Stay tuned.

    Meanwhile, I'll be hanging out in my bleacher seat on the NPR Community, connecting to the music lover who visits some of the content I contribute (including the WBGO/NPR Music Concert Series, Live at the Village Vanguard). I'm joining because it's my bit part in the whole liberal (and I use that word in its true definition) utopian process. After all, what's a great society or great community without some great music?