Jazz and the Net

Bret Primack offers his thoughts on the issues facing Jazz and the Internet...


Being Avant Garde: How to Pull Off the Creative Life

Read "Being Avant Garde: How to Pull Off the Creative Life" reviewed by Jeff Winke

Some appear to live the creative life effortlessly.Everything appears to contribute and help define an aesthetic that reflects a life lived as art. Everything is simple, beautiful, and just right for the moment. The cover from an unwanted fashion catalog gets absentmindedly folded into a square before being tossed into the recycling bin. But the folded square becomes a coaster for a freshly mixed mojito randomly poured into a Mason jar topped by a fresh sprig of mint.


The Grand Unified Field Of Harmony Part 1

Read "The Grand Unified Field Of Harmony Part 1" reviewed by Catrina Daimon Lee

A Wordy Introduction A “Grand Unification" type of harmonic theory, to be useful, has to be transportable over the entire terrain of authentic musical activity, covering as many stylizations and idioms as in existence. It must be diagnostic, generative and predictive. All harmonic and melodic systems past and present are idiomatically bound to one or a very few stylistic areas, and are proven to be of limited usability, except within their stylistic purview.I discovered ...


Sonny Rollins is My Rabbi

Read "Sonny Rollins is My Rabbi" reviewed by Bret Primack

I remember, quite well, the first time I met Sonny Rollins. It was in the fall of 1978, when I was writing for Down Beat. For a cover story, I traveled to his upstate New York home for an interview with the Saxophone Colossus. Over the years, I'd heard his music, both on recordings, and some remarkable performances. I'd also read all about this fellow and the more dramatic episodes of his life. Although he had a reputation ...


Summer Heat from Bird/Diz, and Sonny Rollins

Read "Summer Heat from Bird/Diz, and Sonny Rollins" reviewed by Bret Primack

A newly discovered live performance with fine acoustics, Dizzy Gillespie/Charlie Parker at Town Hall in 1945, and, Sonny Rollins' great new CD, recorded live at Berklee on September 15, 2001, have been instrumental in my survival this summer. Since I returned from a three week New York excursion in June (video to follow), it's been at least one hundred degrees every day here in Tucson. Of course the discomfort of a brutal summer in the desert pales in comparison with ...


Internet Television

Read "Internet Television" reviewed by Bret Primack

That pretty sounds cool, right? It certainly has to be better than regular television. During the fifth season of the Sopranos, I had digital cable, access to hundreds of channels, and most of time, nothing of interest. I don't like sports or shopping so that immediately cuts out a lot of channels. And in Arizona, where there are few African Americans, the local PBS station airs old Lawrence Welk programs every Saturday night. What do I like that ...


All Saxophonists Will Be Shot On Sight

Read "All Saxophonists Will Be Shot On Sight" reviewed by Bret Primack

I once wrote a play set in the near future, when a one world government decrees that musicians must play “the song." No other music is allowed. Everything else has been destroyed, except for the memories of certain musicians. In this petrified, angst ridden nether land, improvisation is banned and bebop is forbidden--any musician who disobeys is either shot on sight, or sent to a government re-education camp. In 1992, when I wrote this for a Jazz Theatre Workshop project ...


Bits and Pieces

Read "Bits and Pieces" reviewed by Bret Primack

Dr. Billy Taylor: An American Classic As a teenager, forty years ago, living in a New York suburb, I first heard Billy Taylor on WNEW-AM. He played great music, and was so cool and informative that he proved to be the catalyst for even greater exploration in my increasing fascination with Jazz. When I finally moved to Manhattan several years later, he became a regular part of my day on WLIB. Over the past ...


Fantasy Records: An Archive of Many Lifetimes

Read "Fantasy Records: An Archive of Many Lifetimes" reviewed by Bret Primack

During a recent trip to the Bay area, at the invitation of publicist extraordinaire Terri Hinte, I made my first visit to Fantasy Records, in Berkeley. For the last quarter century, I have been listening, intently, to Fantasy releases. As their website explains, the Fantasy story is “actually the story of a number of outstanding record labels which, over the last quarter century, have happened to find themselves under one roof."?My first Fantasy releases, back in the 60s, ...


The Future of Jazz

Read "The Future of Jazz" reviewed by Bret Primack

"Those who cannot learn from the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them." ~George SantayanaThese kids, here, they are the future of Jazz. Students at Leal Middle School, San Antonio, Texas, listening to the Jim Cullum Jazz Band . Mr. Cullum, an NPR staple with his long running, Riverwalk Jazz , is creating a Jazz Video curriculum aimed at inner-city San Antonio kids, grades 3-6.Up on Albany Avenue in Hartford, Connecticut, the Artists ...


They Will Never Die

Read "They Will Never Die" reviewed by Bret Primack

I write now of heroes, a species that in our time, has become as rare as an oasis in the desert. My heroes aren't Greek gods, they are merely mortal, yet like their divine counterparts, they also possess something eternal - their music. Whatever the joy and pain of their earthbound tenure, the creations of these passionate, remarkably inimitable people will sooth and inspire until we finally self-destruct. It appears that may be sooner than later.


The Big Sale (For Adults Only)

Read "The Big Sale (For Adults Only)" reviewed by Bret Primack

A couple of weeks ago Concord bought Fantasy for a small fortune, over $80 million, to be exact. Who says there's no money in Jazz?A bunch of hard working, dedicated people at Fantasy just picked up the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and that's always nice. Over the last thirty or so years, they developed and nurtured one super-heavy catalogue, some of the best music ever recorded. Between Fantasy, Riverside, Prestige, Milestone, Pablo, and ...


Digital Media Rules (Soon)

Read "Digital Media Rules (Soon)" reviewed by Bret Primack

This year, listeners will spend $256 million dollars on legitimate sites selling downloads, like I-Tunes. In 2005, $541 million. By 2007, $2.1 billion. That's the new music business. Goodbye CDs, hello digital media. If people are downloading files and getting tracks, is this the modern equivalent of the 45? Not quite, but we may be witnessing the end of the album era.The current legal downloading landscapes includes several major players, notably Apple, who has two thirds of the ...