Charles Lloyd—Wild Man Dance Suite Metropolitan Museum of Art – April 8, 2014
Charles Lloyd—Wild Man Dance Suite Metropolitan Museum of Art – April 8, 2014
I have completed my trial evaluation of beatsMUSIC. I am impressed with their interface and “human” curation. But unfortunately I found beatsMUSIC a “Closed” cloud music solution. I am a music technologist who respects innovation and music software development. beatsMUSIC achieves those attributes to a “degree” but it lacks being an extensive “development” platform. beatsMUSIC doesn’t publish an application programming interface that encourages music software development.
I am staying with Spotify because it is an “Open” cloud music platform. Spotify allows me as a subscriber to choose the music application I wish to use to grow my music listening experience. Spotify offers a cloud music architectural platform that embraces music software engineering (music hackathons) to take place on a global scale. We in turn as listeners get the advantage of harnessing those apps and interpreting music from new vantage points. I don’t get those options at all from beatsMUSIC. beatsMUSIC programs my music for me (didn’t radio do that for decades…) or I can build a music playlist, underwhelming options, already available elsewhere if you ask me.
The true competitive advantage Spotify has over beatsMUSIC, Pandora, etc. are the applications Just like on Apple’s iPhone or the Android phone the rich set of applications helps to sophisticate the use of these devices. Spotify like Apple’s iOS is a software platform.
Let’s look at Spotify from the jazz listener point of view. The Spotify Web application has the option App Finder listed under the Apps section. I found two premier Spotify Jazz apps from 2013, Blue Note Record’s Timeline and JazzTimes Magazine and Concord Music Group The Stylus. The Blue Note application leverages the Blue Note historical timeline of jazz. You can set various filters for jazz artists by sector (Tradition, Groove, Voices) and instruments.
The Stylus app was developed for JazzTimes and Concord Music Group by a development company known as Neon Roots. Albeit a random app to play with I find it intriguing to discover jazz genres and artists. Give it a spin sometime and see what I mean 😉
Spotify continues to innovate and invent on behalf of the music listener with a technological interest towards what lies next in the cloud music ecosystem.
I am a fan of Hunter S. Thompson‘s gonzo journalism. The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved by Hunter S. Thompson’s first appeared in Scanlan’s Monthly in June, 1970. It is considered by many to be Hunter S. Thompson’s gonzo journalism début (but one could argue that The Rum Diary (1961), which thankfully Johnny Depp resurrected for us on the screen was the origin of Hunter S. Thompson’s gonzo journalism).
The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved brought us the first collaboration of Hunter S. Thompson and Ralph Steadman, solidifying the foundation between the gonzo journalist and the crazed illustrations that forever captured our visual imaginations.
I came across a recent audio work project, The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved produced by Hal Willner, featuring the talents of Bill Frisell, Tim Robbins, Dr. John, singer Annie Ross and Ralph Steadman. This was due to a splendid article by Geoffrey Himes about Bill Frisell, Fear and Composing in the August issue of JazzTimes.
Bill Frisell is a brilliant creative/artistic musician who is always working on multiple project initiatives. He composed a well-articulated soundtrack for the backdrop of this inventive work. He draws us in with his sonic leanings keeping us ever focused on the unfolding narrative.
Tim Robbins performs a very skilful reading as Hunter S. Thompson. He has Hunter’s voice, intonation and controlled zaniness down pat.
Set aside some quality time and give The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved a listen on Spotify.
Yesterday was just one of the coolest, laid back days in my recent universe. Rosemary and I headed down to the West Village section of New York City to celebrate my sixtieth birthday. We first stopped off at Tabouli Grill in the Bulls Head section of Stamford. Rosemary has raved about this eatery so we had a quick-lunch which featured a Mango Smoothie and roasted veggie pita. It was delish.
We then proceeded on to the Jazz Record Center at 236 West 26th Street in Chelsea. I have yearned to shop at this store for years. I had just read an interesting article in Jazz Times magazine about jazz retail which gave me more specifics about this jazz mecca. It was well worth the journey as I immersed myself in one of the most extensive inventories of jazz merchandise I had ever browsed before. I made a solemn vow to return at another time to look and buy more extensively. The amount of books, vinyl and t-shirts to look at were amazing to say the least. I purchased three CDS, Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colussus, Charles Mingus, The Black Saint and The Sinner Lady, and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, A Night in Tunisia.
We then checked into our hotel, the SoHo Grand Hotel on West Broadway. Catching our breath for a second we soon headed off to the West Village for dinner and a late evening jazz concert at The Blue Note.
We parked near our son’s apartment which saved us a parking fee. Matthew joined us as we walked to One If By Land, Two If By Sea. It is a contemporary restaurant that used to be the carriage house of Aaron Burr. The food is over priced but very delectable. We had a few laughs and it was nice to dine as a family in our son’s backyard.
My son gave me a great gift for my sixtieth birthday, The SMiLE Sessions Box Set by The Beach Boys, the long-lost now, happily resurrected music collection has finally seen the light of day in late 2011.
Trust me this going to get a serious listen on the Bose sound system the next few days 🙂
Music is God’s Voice – Brian Wilson
Rosemary and I bid Matt goodnight. We headed around the corner to 131 West 3rd Street to The Blue Note to catch Chris Botti and friends at the 10:30 p.m. show. We waited online outside the prestigious jazz venue. It was our first time attending a jazz concert at The Blue Note. It was cold and we were online for an hour before they let us inside. We were given really good center section seats directly across from the bandstand where Chris Botti would be stationed.
They squeeze you in tightly at the long tables but the chairs were more comfortable than they appeared. Chris Botti and his band took the stage at 11:00 pm and played an eclectic 90 minute set. This was our first Chris Botti concert. We liked his horn playing and his stage camaraderie a lot.
I have just become familiar with the music and mastery of Chris Botti. He is a very apt horn player, bandleader and composer. He cuts a great figure as a celebrity and he is a fashionable guy.
This is his seventh annual extended appearance at The Blue Note. He calls this jazz club his residency, deservedly so. Chris exudes a strong electric magnetism which increased my respect for his musicianship. He plays the horn in a very skilful way that is never intimidating, captivating your senses. He serenades on the trumpet as you find yourself being happily carried along.
The Blue Note jazz club creates an immediacy that allows you to interact with this popular jazz artist and his fellow musicians. Chris Botti was joined by Geoffrey Keezer on keyboards. I first discovered Geoffrey Keezer on Artist Share where I downloaded Aurea. He proved to be phenomenal live, proficient with his touch on the keys.
Carlitos del Puerto from Cuba played standup and electric bass. He articulated the instrument well. I enjoyed how he accented notes and chord progressions. He was fun to watch. Leonardo Amudeo was the lead and rhythm guitarist from Uruguay. He proved to be powerfully deceptive as the evening progressed. I was taken with his guitar playing, which I found confident and explorative.
The core musician who blew me away the most was Billy Kilson. He had such a way of popping the drums in his kit that I was never bored with any selection he played. He brings an excitement to the drums as Chris Botti pointed out. When Billy Kilson hit his stride I was bopping along enthusiastically and Chris Botti took delight in my enthusiasm for his drummer.
There were two special guests that added a rich dimension to the evening’s music. Caroline Campbell was a spirited and authoritative violinist. She had a very commanding style with the violin which you eagerly followed.
The other guest was Lisa Fischer who is a very strong r&b (and much more) songstress. Her demeanor puts you immediately at ease as she ranged from torch song to opera to popular song. I could see readily why Mick Jagger values her as a backup singer for the Rolling Stones. Chris Botti mentioned that Lisa Fischer has been singing with him these past 18 months and the benefits of that partnership were quite clear last night.
I love that Chris Botti made himself available after the show to sign his new CD. I had him sign his Chris Botti in Boston work. I thanked him for making my 60th birthday very special. He smiled as he looked up from signing and said, “Happy Birthday”. It was a cool way to end a marvelous evening.
I have read a perceptive article about Charles Lloyd, “The Fires Are Still Burning”. The JazzTimes story is authored by my favorite jazz music journalist, Ashley Kahn. (Webzine edition can be found here.)
Ashley Kahn is the author of several pivotal jazz books in my collection. I have come to depend upon him to unlock the inner secrets of jazz legends and he has never failed my expectations. His article expands the depth and vision of Charles Lloyd spiritual saxophonist/band leader.
I saw the Charles Lloyd Quartet at the beginning of this year in concert at Wesleyan University. I wrote about that stellar experience in this blog post. Wesleyan University was so taken with my concert review I was awarded two free tickets to a concert of my choice, anytime in the future.
The year got busy on me and I lost sight of Charles Lloyd’s musical output. ECM released Athens Concert on September 13, 2011 and I meant to get a copy at that time. The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.
Fortunately life provides second chances and as luck would have it I found the JazzTimes article so I ordered a copy of Athens Concert. It’s due to arrive today by parcel post from Amazon. I am eager to delve into this double-disc package recorded live at the outdoor Herodion amphitheater at the base of the Acropolis. Every bone in my body tells me this is a monumental work consisting of 18 well articulated, melodic songs.
I’ve never been to Greece nor have I sat in an outdoor stone amphitheater to listen to jazz under the stars. Athens Concert affords me the rare opportunity to carry out both without leaving the comfort of my listening chair.
I can’t wait to report back to you what I have discovered about Athens Concert. (Reserves this space to share with you what I will learn and absorb shortly…)