DL BIG BAND TOUR: There’s nothing like hitting every night and for a big band, with all the diverse ingredients, it is even more true. We had a chance to do three in a row and as it is said “what a difference a day makes!” Time spent is everything-you have to do it to become it. I could finally hear what the band could be like if and when we get the chance to play on some kind of regular schedule. My appreciation to the guys for making it work.
DIFFERENT BUT THE SAME EUROPEAN TOUR: Of course with a small group (Ellery Eskelin-sax; Jim Black-drums; Tony Marino-bass), the same is true about being able to hit regularly. The difference is that with good musicians something ALWAYS happens musically that is special, more so if you have an incredible talent like Jim Black playing with you. I really enjoy the music we make in this group, which we are going to record in the next month.
MCCOY AND MIKE NOCK: What a great week in
WATERS ASHORE-Last summer in
TRANEUMENTARY-a great series on Trane with interviews by many people including Joe Lovano, Sonny Rollins, Joshua Redman and myself constituting an ongoing, weekly series. Also recently on You Tube, a short version of “Vigil” featuring a great duo with Trane and Elvin from the best filmed performance of Trane from
LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA: One thing about a long flight (
ANDREW HILL:Talk about an true individualist, a man who followed his own star and
never relented. On that alone Andrew Hill would be required listening, but the complexity, sophistication and passion of his music, both in the 60s and in the past several years stands as a monument to what great music is about.
TONY SCOTT:An incredible clarinetist who could play from the beginning of jazz through the present and as well one of the first to travel and musically mix with other cultures, Tony was something else. When he would come to see you in
DON ALIAS/ ALICE COLTRANE:I guess it is getting older, but it seems like there have been too many of these recently. A small and very private affair at a
THE LEGACY OF WORLD WAR II:A rare recording of the Israeli anthem "Hatikva " from 61 years ago. It was recorded by a British reporter in May 1945 in
INFLATED VALUE?:On E bay, my first recording done in 1967 under the leadership of Lars Werner in
THE WAVE OF THE FUTURE-CHINA : (from the NY TIMES) “With stunning swiftness China’s surging ranks of classical musicians have found a home in Western concert halls, conservatories and opera houses, jolting a musical tradition born in the courts and churches of Europe.-With the same energy, drive and sheer population weight that has made it an economic power, China has become a considerable force in Western classical music. Conservatories are bulging. Provincial cities demand orchestras and concert halls. Pianos and violins made in China fill shipping containers leaving its ports.The Chinese enthusiasm suggests the potential for a growing market for recorded music and live performances just as an aging fan base and declining record sales worry many professionals in Europe and the United States. Sales for a top-selling classical recording in the West number merely in the thousands instead of the tens of thousands 25 years ago. Large solo fees, plush orchestra jobs, an established audience and the presence of teachers steeped in the tradition have lured them to American and European cities. The phenomenon, which has been building for at least a decade, has gathered steam in the last few years, injecting new vitality into the American classical music scene after historic influxes of Italians, Germans and Russian Jews, and more recently Japanese, Taiwanese and Koreans. “I honestly think that in some real sense the future of classical music depends on developments in
Will this be true in jazz?
ANOTHER WAVE OF THE FUTURE!! (again from the NY Times)-This is about a musician I met at the bar of the hotel we were staying at in
“The orchestra is down to 12 traditional instrumentalists, including four reeds and three horns, with only a lonely violin and cello to sweeten the mix. So why does it seem as dense as it did on Broadway? Why is the string sound so big, if not exactly Bernstein-y? That would be the work of musician No. 13, sitting behind the reed with a Qwerty keyboard attached to an ordinary PC running a software program called Notion and wired into the sound system. This copy of Notion has been loaded with all the string parts for "Wonderful Town," broken down in individual instrumental lines that can be muted or played at will, all triggered by a finger tapping the rhythm on any key in the A-S-D-F row.
Notion comes on CDs that sell for about $600.These products are also cheaper and more compact than human musicians. They do not get sick or have bad nights. And after years of gradual improvements, their sound is now good enough to fool many nonexperts, especially since they are almost always used, as recommended, alongside traditional instruments. Their processing capacities are large enough so that details of articulation and attack, vibrato and decay, can be reasonably approximated, if not gorgeously rendered. (Brass and bass drum, I mean you.) And the notes themselves are no longer digitally created but are based on thousands of samples from real instrumentalists. Notion's main sample source is the London Symphony Orchestra. Why London? No American ensemble would cooperate. Whether jobs are being lost as a result is a matter of interpretation. Yes, "
levels of production but at the lowest. "Technology is always a threat to live music," said Bruce Pomahac, director of music at Rodgers & Hammerstein. "When the pianoforte
replaced the harpsichord, every harpsichordist was out of a job. And we all
fall in love with the art we grew up with. But this is not about putting musicians out of work. They're already out of work. This is about trying to get back, in some new form, something that's lost. "That may end up being the best the musicians union can hope for too. Sinfonia doesn't just mimic cymbals and saxophones. It can be programmed to control scenery too.”