16 December 2012

Returning Summer 2013

School has kept me inactive, but that ends in June, whereupon I'll revive this here blog (maybe under a new name, maybe not). I've listened to so little jazz that it's kinda embarrassing to admit. (I did love new work from Vijay IyerThe Bad PlusRobert Glasper, and ERIMAJ, though).

Here are a few things that I'll be listening to in the meantime. See you in six months.

18 April 2012

tUnE-yArDs at Coachella

Not quite jazz, but I love the way Merrill Garbus incorporates improvisation into her live performances.

16 April 2012

10 April 2012

Jazz and Baseball

How Baseball Gave Us Jazz:
One hundred years ago, a hard-throwing but erratic minor league pitcher named Ben Henderson was getting ready for his opening day start for the Portland Beavers against the Los Angeles Angels. Henderson had pitched well for the Beavers the previous year, but he began the 1912 season with a well-earned reputation as an unreliable drunk.

Henderson gave a Los Angeles Times reporter a preview of what he had planned for the game. "I got a new curve this year," he explained, "and I'm goin' to pitch one or two of them tomorrow. I call it the Jazz ball because it wobbles and you simply can't do anything with it." The headline for the item, from April 2, 1912, was simply "Ben's Jazz Curve."
Be sure to read the whole thing.

Also, an interesting point on virality: A few jazz blogs linked this story about three weeks ago, but it wasn't until yesterday when I saw any baseball blogs link it. The long-tail theory does not account for bimodality, but considering the overlapping interest clusters that comprise the internet, perhaps it should.

Photo of Louis Armstrong baseball tam via Uni Watch

21 March 2012


  1. Bill Frisell - Winter Always Turns into Spring
  2. Emily Remler - Mocha Spice
  3. The Wee Trio - Avril 14th
  4. Medeski Martin & Wood - Down on Me
  5. The Bad Plus - Never Stop
  6. Duke Ellington - Lotus Blossom
  7. Ambrose Akinmusire - The Walls of Lechuguilla
  8. Vijay Iyer Trio - Mmhmm
  9. Jack DeJohnette and Bill Frisell - After the Rain
  10. Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers - United

19 March 2012

Eric Harland makes ruins sound like a drum kit

Via NPR Music. Eric Harland sounds like I think I do when I drum on my desk with pens, except a million times better. 

16 March 2012


Vijay Iyer's latest, Accelerando, was released earlier this week. He and trio-mates Stephan Crump and Marcus Gilmore have produced a worthy follow-up to 2009's masterful Historicity. As with Historicity, Accelerando is informed by a strong rhythmic sense that hypnotic sometimes, jarring others. I've been playing it on a constant loop for the past few days, and this should persist for awhile. As with Historicity, this one will probably be at or near the top of a slew of year-end best-of lists.

Actions Speak (recorded at Winter Jazzfest 2012 in NYC):



Image via.