From Far and Wide

News spots and nuggets from all corners of the jazz world, gathered by Fradley Garner.


FROM FAR AND WIDE

Saving Old Records to L.A. Throwback Bands

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Library of Congress Acts to Save Old RecordingsMore than half of the oldest sound recordings, including some masters by George Gershwin, Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra, have been lost over the years, according to the Library of Congress. Patrick Loughney, chief of the library's audiovisual conservation division, believes the nation has developed a “cultural amnesia," forgetting how much of its history was captured in recorded sound.The library has revealed an ambitious plan to help libraries and archives across the country reverse the trend. The nonprofit National Recording Preservation Foundation (NRPF) will award grants to smaller archives ...

FROM FAR AND WIDE

Guitarist Tomas Janzon Basks in Bassists

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Guitarist Tomas Janzon Basks in BassistsPlayers who lead trios and duos featuring a bassist tend to stick with one. Tomas Janzon is happy with Essiet Essiet, 56, drummer Art Blakey's last bassist.Yet, “There are so many extraordinary bassists in New York," the Big Apple-based Swedish guitarist tells me, “that I am happy to work with lots of them. They're all so different, and I always make it a conversation. Sometimes you interrupt, sometimes you just listen and nod."Only the guitar is slightly amplified. When bass and guitar quietly start to explore new ground in ...

FROM FAR AND WIDE

Shakespeare's Sonnets Sung to a Jazz Beat

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Shakespeare's Sonnets Sung to a Jazz Beat“If music be the food of love, play on." And while you're at it, set 16 of Shakespeare's sonnets to music, and play and sing them to a jazz beat. Which, by my troth, is exactly what Caroll Vanwelden has done. The comely Belgian pianist wanted to produce a new album of her own compositions. “One day I found a book of the sonnets I used 13 years ago when I worked with an Iranian composer who wanted to put Shakespeare on classical compositions" Vanwelden recalls. “I went through the pages sitting ...

FROM FAR AND WIDE

EU Sax Band of 12 Looks Across the Pond

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12 Horns Hope to Blow WestwardImagine a band of 12 saxophonists from 12 countries and musical backgrounds, with a touring calendar of at least 10 indoor and outdoor venues-including a marketplace and a train station-from July through December, 2012.Meet The European Saxophone Ensemble. Aged 18 to 34, the players range “from a virtuous contemporary reeds soloist to a punk baritone, from a jazz tenor to an Afro-soul Scandinavian baritone, from a chamber soprano to an alto playing in Eastern European traditional ensembles."The European Union-funded band was founded in 2008 by Belgian saxophonist and composer ...

FROM FAR AND WIDE

Record-Busting 100+ Bassists Serenade Tivoli

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Record-Busting 100+ Bassists Serenade TivoliThe seeds were planted by Oscar Pettiford, the seminal American cellist and bassist who put down roots in Copenhagen in 1958, and by the homegrown virtuoso Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, who played his vintage Italian bass like the nimblest-fingered guitarist when he wasn't bowing like Giovanni Bottesini. In August, 2012, the Danish capital's new Opera House was the locus of BASS2012, Europe's biennial and biggest convention of classical and jazz double bassists, lured by some 150 events: concerts, master classes, workshops, competitions--and schmoozing. A world record may have been broken when more than 100 stand-up ...

FROM FAR AND WIDE

Final Call to See "Pops" Making Records

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Final Call to See “Pops" Making Records September, 2012 is final call to catch Genius at Work: Louis Armstrong in the Recording Studio, the currently featured exhibit at the Louis Armstrong House and Museum in Corona, Queens, New York. “Records as well as photographs, scores and other artifacts reveal Armstrong hard at work recording his masterpieces," Jen Walden, a museum spokesperson tells me. “These treasures give you an inside look into what went on at the sessions, allowing you to listen to Armstrong's timeless music with fresh appreciation." A guided, 40-minute tour also pauses at Satchmo's 1961 summit ...

FROM FAR AND WIDE

Arabic Roots in Blues, Jazz, Rock?

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Arabic Roots in Blues, Jazz, Rock? Yes, Says Hofstra ProfDoes Islamic music have anything to do with the blues, jazz and rock? A whole lot, asserts Dr. Hussein Rashid, a native New Yorker who teaches religion at Hofstra University. In a lecture at Southern Methodist University in Texas, Rashid spoke of several waves of Islamic-Arabic immigration to America. Muslim Africans in slave-trade times were not allowed to practice their faith or play their ritual drums, and came to add their share to “Negro spirituals."He played a clip of the Adhaan, the muezzin's call to prayer, followed ...



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