Friday, August 28, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen, The President....

A happy 100th birthday (a day late) to Lester Young. I have been listening to some Prez today for the first time in a while and I must get some more into my rotation post-haste.

Lester is one of those cats that I always feel like I "should" listen to and never do. I have written about primary sources before and Prez CERTAINLY counts as one. All of my favorites have links back to him and, as today's listening has shown, he is QUITE heavy. His sense of line is something I want to dig into over the next few months. Currently, I'm digging "Ad Lib Blues" from Lester Young with the Oscar Peterson Trio. Just beautiful playing.

On a different note, I am adding the Twitter widget that Howard Mandel has put together. This is a great idea and I hope many will use it. It is designed to act as a way of tracking who is hearing live jazz direct response to the "Is Jazz Dead" article and conversation that has been going around. Here's what Howard has to say about it:

"Start a Twitter campaign, and see what happens! Do as many people hear live jazz in a week as attended Woodstock, say? Using the hashtag #jazzlives, a rough count is underway, supported by independent jazz activists, musicians, festivals, journalists but most of all the listeners themselves. It's a lesson in how people participate in culture now, with encouraging findings."

I am still formulating my own thoughts on the issue, at least trying to put them together in a coherent enough fashion for posting here but, based on the attendance and demographic at the Newport Jazz Festival a couple of weeks ago (at $75.00 a day!!) I am encouraged, with reservations. I'll be exploring those reservations in the next couple of days. Until then, dig some Prez...

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