Jazz aficionados generally have little use for various-artist anthologies. They’re seen as gateway collections for beginners, whereas hardcore veteran listeners tend to want all-inclusive single-artist monoliths replete with alternate takes, unissued masters, etc. (Sony/Legacy’s Miles Davis series is an excellent example–even though the later electric boxes have drawn in some younger, non-aficionado buyers.) Exceptions are made, of course–particularly for comprehensive label overviews like Mosaic Records’ Commodore trilogy and sets that document lesser-known but important milieus or periods, such as the Wildflowers collection that captures the mid-1970s New York loft scene.
Mosaic Records has announced a forthcoming 3-CD Select set of saxophonist John Handy’s mid-1960s Columbia recordings, including some previously unreleased material from a 1967 concert performance. Other soon-to-be-issued projects include Louis Armstrong’s 1930s and 40s Decca recordings (March 2009), and a three-CD set of pianist Denny Zeitlin’s mid-1960s Columbia albums (February 2009).
*Columbia University’s Center for Jazz Studies has put up a Jazz Studies Online site, which I’m adding to the Night Lights blogroll page. Looks like a cool site–for starters, they’ve put up the entire first issue of the legendary but short-lived late-1950s journal Jazz Review.
*Speaking of cultural studies of a sort, check out this 1964 Playboy symposium on jazz, posted by Detroit Free Press music critic (and Bloomington native) Mark Stryker over at Organissimo. Participants included Cannonball Adderley, Dave Brubeck, Ralph Gleason, Charles Mingus, Stan Kenton, Dizzy Gillespie, and Gunther Schuller.
President-elect Barack Obama appeared on NBC’s weekly Sunday-morning program Meet the Press yesterday and gave indication that we’ll be seeing more jazz performances at the White House after he takes office:
The president-elect said his administration is interested in “elevating science once again, and having lectures in the White House where people are talking about traveling to the stars or breaking down atoms, inspiring our youth to get a sense of what discovery is all about.”
Blue Note Records sent out an e-mail today announcing more catalogue deletions, on the heels of a similar announcement two weeks ago. You can view the entire list (which includes titles from a larger family of Blue Note-related labels) at True Blue Music. Warning, folks: it’s a veritable bloodbath.
The Living Theater is reviving Jack Gelber’s groundbreaking 1959 play The Connection, a study of drug addicts (some of them jazz musicians) pontificating on their lives and chemical loves. The cast includes saxophonist Rene McLean, whose father Jackie performed in the original version, and will be directed once again by Judith Malina, who will also play the role of Sister Salvation.
Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, who died on Monday at the age of 70, was one of Indiana’s true jazz giants, rubbing historical shoulders with the likes of J.J. Johnson, Wes Montgomery, and Hoagy Carmichael. On Tuesday, December 30, longtime Hubbard friend and musical colleague David Baker stopped by the studio while I was guest-hosting WFIU’s Just You and Me and offered some remembrances and reflections during our 90-minute Hubbard tribute. He also brought along a rare live recording of the teenaged Hubbard’s 1957 Indianapolis group the Jazz Contemporaries, which included saxophonist James Spaulding and bassist Larry Ridley. Listen to the Just You and Me tribute to Freddie Hubbard with special guest David Baker, including classic Hubbard sides as a leader and as a sideman with Tina Brooks, Ornette Coleman and others.