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Jazz and the Net

Bits and Pieces

By Published: February 25, 2005

John Coltrane's original score and notes for A Love Supreme is a national treasure, the equivalent of the Declaration of Independence. Instead of being displayed at the Smithsonian, or on a travelling exhibit, it's going to be hanging in someone's living room. That just doesn't add up for me no matter how I try and justify it.

From Information to Distribution

Speaking of new media, last time, I wrote about how Starbucks and Apple are poised to become major players in the music world. This week, Yahoo announced the opening of a media center in Santa Monica, a stone's throw from Hollywood.

Ever since the dawn of the Internet revolution, Web companies have dreamed of allowing customers to call up films and television shows with the click of a mouse. Bit Torrent filesharing has managed to jumpstart this, in a way that finds the Supreme Court ready to consider the matter.

Nevertheless, the opening of the new Yahoo Center suggests that, at last, this era may begin in earnest. For now, Yahoo's goals are modest - it has no intention of producing a mega box office hit. Yet many people, yours truly included, believe that the day of original video programming for the web is just around the corner, and the trend could not only transform the entertainment industry but also turn firms like Yahoo into the Disneys of the new millennium.

New computer chips literally pack the power of a super computer onto a chip that goes into your PC. When they become the standard, in a few years, there will be a dramatic increase in the quality of video streamed over the Net.

The Internet is changing from an information platform to an entertainment point to point distribution medium. Companies like Yahoo, Microsoft and Google, have a natural advantage, and many observers expect them to parlay that knowledge into multimedia empires that reach across the entertainment landscape.

Stay tuned...


I finally caught up with the Tom Cruise/Jamie Foxx film Collateral last weekend on DVD. In case you haven't seen it, there's a very amusing scene involving Miles Davis, and his music.

Cruise plays a hit man, and Foxx, his driver (under protest). After several murders, Cruise has Foxx take him to an LA Jazz Club on Central Avenue where "Dexter Gordon used to play."

At the club, there's a trumpet player leading a group, playing "Spanish Key." Only it's not the musicians/actors in the film, but the original Miles recording, from Bitches Brew. In the film, they pretend like they're playing the music but for those of us "in the know," this is almost comical.

The trumpet player/club owner is in trouble with a drug cartel, hence the appearance of hit man Cruise. When confronted with the possibility of his death, the trumpeter offers to just disappear. Cruise makes him an offer, answer this question, and you can live: Where did Miles Davis study?

The trumpeter pauses and tells the story of how Miles' father was dentist with money and how he sent his son to Julliard for his music education.

At this point Cruise takes out his gun and blows him away. Jamie Foxx is rather upset, and asks why he was killed, that Miles did study at Julliard. As they step over the body and exit the club, Cruise tells him that Miles may have gone to Julliard, but that he only stayed three weeks and left, to work with Charlie Parker on 52nd. "That's where Miles studied," hitman Cruise tells us, "on 52nd Street with Bird."

So brush up on your Jazz trivia my friends, you never know... But if you see Tom Cruise coming, run anyway. He may try and convert you to Scientology.

Bret Primack, Filmmaker

I went to NYU Film School intending to be a filmmaker. After graduation, I worked in documentaries and industrials before falling in love with writing and becoming a journalist. After nearly two decades of pounding out priceless prose in articles, liner notes and press releases, and crafting several plays, I discovered the web. With seconds, I was hooked forever. I soon began my life as a web creator, which has been the focus of my activities the past decade. But all the while, the filmmaker within has been lurking. Waiting, patiently, hoping for a return.

In the past few years, with the advent of digital technology, it's now possible to make movies using a Mini DV Camera and video editing software. Add the Internet to the mix, a technology that allows for point to point distribution, and we have revolution in filmmaking taking place. Independent filmmakers are everywhere.

I am happy to report that I have recently joined this revolution, with my Digital Camcorder and Vegas Editing software. When I went to film school, back in the late 60s, we were entirely dependent on some very convoluted technology to make movies. Now, I can do it all myself, from shooting, editing, mixing, special effects, everything.

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