robertogreco + jazz   80

Why Miles Davis's "Kind of Blue" Is So Beloved | JSTOR Daily
"A music scholar suggests that Miles Davis combined the blues with the musical avant garde in a manner reflecting the integrationist spirit of the era."

"Legendary jazz trumpeter Miles Davis recorded the second and final session of his seminal album Kind of Blue on April 22nd, 1959. It remains the best-selling jazz album of all time. Its unforgettable solos by Davis, tenor saxophonist John Coltrane, alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley, and pianist Bill Evans create an ethereal atmosphere; the album continues to be one of the most beloved records in jazz.

Kind of Blue popularized a new approach to improvisation. Rather than basing its five tunes on a rigid framework of changing chords, as was conventional for post-bop music, Davis and Evans wrote pieces with a more limited set of scales in different modes. “Modes” maintain the basic intervals of an underlying major or minor scale, but move the tonic (first note) to one of its other notes, creating different moods or coloration. As this detailed video on modal jazz by Polyphonic explains, this creates a more open network of harmonic relationships. Davis and Evans’s “cooler” approach shifts the musical emphasis from “harmonic rhythm” of post-bop jazz, toward the melodic inventiveness of individual players.

The modal approach to jazz became so popular it changed the way jazz was taught and analyzed. This has justified the significance of the album for many players and aficionados. Music scholar Samuel Barrett argues, however, that this narrative oversimplifies both the way Kind of Blue was composed and performed, and its true cultural impact.

Barrett stresses instead the way this new approach made the blues more accessible to its potential audience, as is hinted in the titles “All Blues” and “Blue in Green.” Contemporary audiences sometimes forget that musical culture and the recording industry were highly segregated between music aimed at whites and African-Americans (so-called “race records”). By the late 1950s, with the rise of R&B and rock-and-roll, younger white audiences were becoming more receptive to new modes of the blues.

Modal jazz emphasized melodies created through scales, just as the blues had always done, albeit with a more limited set of tools—typically the pentatonic scale. Many of the scales Davis chooses, despite being more abstract in their total conception, still employ many of the flatted thirds and sevenths characteristic of the blues. The slower tempos and cooler attitudes of the songs in Kind of Blue had already been proven to attract older white audiences throughout the “cool jazz” fad earlier in the decade.

Barrett argues that Davis thus authoritatively married the blues to the freer forms of the musical avant garde in a manner reflecting the integrationist spirit of the racial politics of the era. White pianist Bill Evans’s prominent role in writing and performing the work is only the most explicit sign of this fact.

It often surprises jazz fans how virulently Davis turned against this style by the later 1960s in favor of more esoteric rock and funk-influenced “fusion.” Barrett notes that by that point, owing to political compromises in the civil rights movement and the backlash of structural white supremacy, younger African Americans had departed the politics of integration toward black empowerment. Indeed, achieving integration remains a problem across much of twenty-first-century America. This doesn’t mean we can’t still love Kind of Blue. But its fetishization as the finest specimen of jazz ever may reveal something about how the genre’s popular appeal has become restricted more to academic and art appreciation over time."
milesdavis  jazz  blues  integration  2019  kindofblue  ericschewe  avantgarde  cannonballadderley  samuelbarrett 
april 2019 by robertogreco
Jim Merod | Oral Histories |
"Jim Merod is the founder of BluePort Sound recording studio and BluePort Jazz, his record label. Since the early 1990s, Jim has recorded a long list of legendary jazz, blues, and latin musicians including Herbie Hancock, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Kenny Barron, Clark Terry, and Wayne Shorter, just to name a few. Over the years, Jim has also written about music, recording, audio gear, and the jazz scene for the Los Angeles Times, the San Diego Union, Jazz News, the Jazz Link, Jazz Now, and other publications. Jim was a member of the board of directors at the Napa Valley Jazz Festival and played a vital role in establishing Elario’s Jazz Club, in La Jolla, California, as one of the premier jazz venues on the west coast."
jimmerod  jazz  music  history  2017 
february 2019 by robertogreco
Love is the Message: An Evening with Arthur Jafa - YouTube
"Artist, director, and award-wining cinematographer Arthur Jafa has spent three decades creating dynamic, multidisciplinary work that challenges cultural identity and race politics with the power of music and film.

On the eve of the opening of “The Message: New Media Works,” and for the first time in a public forum, Jafa was joined by renowned jazz musician Steve Coleman to discuss the intersections of their practices over the last 30 years. Coleman is among a selection of musicians participating in Listening Session, an experimental performance series presented in conjunction with Jafa’s Serpentine Gallery exhibition, “A Series of Utterly Improbable, Yet Extraordinary Renditions.”

Jafa’s seminal video work “Love is the Message, The Message is Death,” is on view in “The Message,” Nov. 18, 2017- April 22, 2018.

Surprise performance by Kokayi"
arthurjafa  art  film  cinematography  2018  race  music  filmmaking  stevecoleman  jazz  wildworldofsports  wildkingdom  mutualofomaha'swildkingdom  memory  memories  practice  work  labor 
april 2018 by robertogreco
An Interview with Fred Moten, Part 1 | Literary Hub
"In Praise of Harold Bloom, Collaboration and Book Fetishes"

[See also: "An Interview with Fred Moten, Pt. II | Literary Hub: On Radical Indistinctness and Thought Flavor à la Derrida" ]
fredmoten  interviews  2015  adamfitzgerald  jacquesderrida  tored  collaboration  poetry  music  jazz  improvisation 
january 2018 by robertogreco
CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts: March 10, 2017
"The writer and theorist Fred Moten once wrote that "to be invisible is to be seen, instantly and fascinatingly recognized as the unrecognizable."

David Hammons is also interested in the nature of invisibility—what it’s made of, how it behaves, what it does to the world, what forms it takes. He keeps the invisible invisible, or, at least, the visible unrecognizable.

There are many (many!) invisible people in the world, but perhaps the most well-known might be Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man (1952). This is the subject of Fred Moten's lecture.

This is the ninth event in our year-long season about and around the work of David Hammons."

[video: ]
fredmoten  davidhammons  invisibility  ralphellison  2017  wattisinstitute  race  visibility  racism  webdubois  frantzfanon  whiteness  blackness  jazz  milesdavis  louisarmstrong  icebergslim  music  aljarreau  jacoblawrence  wallacestevens  adreinhardt  art  erasure  aesthetics  artworld 
january 2018 by robertogreco
Gorgeous photos from the ‘Harlem of the West’ show the glory days of the San Francisco jazz scene
"Duke, Ella, and the rest stopped by the Fillmore District"

"an Francisco’s Fillmore District used to be one of the hottest nightlife spots in the country. Hip as jazz, cool as the blues, sexy like the R&B music bursting from its bars and clubs, the ‘Mo was the place to be in the 1940s and 50s. Duke Ellington? Check. Ella? Yup. T-Bone Walker? He was a regular at the Texas Playhouse on Fillmore and Sutter. The neighborhood was a bastion of black culture on the west coast. Like NYC’s Harlem, where a renaissance of black music and art had emerged in the 1920s, the Fillmore showcased a cultural utopia by and for African Americans two decades later.

During World War II, the Fillmore became a hub for thousands of southern transplants lured to the Bay Area by the promise of jobs in the Kaiser shipyards across the bay in Richmond. They joined an already sizable community of black San Franciscans and ethnic Japanese who’d decamped from Chinatown to the area near Geary and Fillmore Streets after the 1906 earthquake. In 1942, when the entire population of Japan Town was effectively evicted by forced internment, black southerners took their place in the quickly crowding city. Young people with good jobs meant money to spend on fun, and the Fillmore’s already established entertainment sector took off like wildfire. Before long, the street was a blitz of nightclubs and late night eateries, record shops and shoe stores catering to the growing post-war middle class.

The newly reissued Harlem of the West: The San Francisco Fillmore Jazz Era collects oral histories and photographs from the Fillmore’s golden era, charting its rise and eventual fall to the market forces of redevelopment. In 1953, the Western Addition Project would begin by transforming two-lane Geary Street into a wider boulevard in an effort to ease movement to and from the city’s Richmond district. Eventually the project would subsume hundreds of city blocks in the neighborhoods west of City Hall, uprooting thousands of residents and turning what had been one of post-earthquake San Francisco’s main commercial districts into a veritable ghost town. By the late 1960s, all but a few of the great Fillmore music clubs were gone."
fillmoredistrict  sanfrancisco  history  jazz  music  classideas  westernaddition  oralhistory  photography 
may 2017 by robertogreco
LMU Magazine: Jumping Time
"For some time, I’d been shadowing artists like Massenburg, people who were expert at reading possibility in a mere gesture and reacting in the moment. I had been cataloging what sort of creative benefit bloomed out from a chance encounter — a serendipitous discovery, an open path or fresh new sense of self. But now, with so much infrastructure upended, their facility to do so resonated even more. As life became increasingly difficult to parse when the planned-for scenarios evaporated — or simply didn’t arrive — so many were looking for not just comfort but real tools to find their own “what’s next.”

Chance and Serendipity

We want to map a plan — a life — that’s what both our conscience and the culture tells us; a life/plan that nudges us toward “success” and ultimately a precisely articulated and fully realized you. The trouble with this premise is that what we already know too often obstructs what we might come to know — if we’re open to it. That’s the juncture where chance lies — and where serendipity — and often the greatest possibility can step in.

We think we can outline a foolproof strategy, one that keeps us on track, moving forward, but things break, sever, snap and shatter all of the time. Plans fizzle, promises are broken, things fall apart. Both life and the language we use to describe our derailments and defeats tell us that.

Planning, however, doesn’t stave off the inevitable detours that present themselves: There are moments when patterns are broken for us, and moments when we choose to break them. What happens when we walk into that void, that open question, is the first step toward the unknown and where faith and chance can take us.

As a journalist who writes about people who make elegant, jaw-dropping leaps — creatives who ultimately conceive beyond-category art, music and food, or design vibrant community landscapes or networks — I see many who seem to share a key trait: the ability to pivot, to “see in the dark.” The darkness in this case is uncertainty: blind turns and difficult passages that we all must navigate at some point to find our way to the next phase, chapter, summit. Why, I wondered, are some better at the pivot than others? That facility begins with feeling comfortable in the space of the unknown.

Near the end of Pico Iyer’s slim, astute meditation titled “The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere,” the essayist explores the importance of framing calamity: “It’s not our experiences that form us, but the way we respond to them; a hurricane sweeps through town reducing everything to rubble and one man sees it as liberation, a chance to start anew, while another, perhaps his brother, is traumatized for life.”

Iyer’s words reassured me that what we are handed is not just a measure of our mettle — how we move forward — but that the unexpected also can limit or enhance our life’s possibility. We choose.

I saw, much more clearly, that the stories I’d been assembling weren’t necessarily a catalog of successes. Rather the artists’ arcs I traced suggested that the real journey begins with instances others might categorize as dead-ends, failures, even tragedies: a deportation, a wife’s near-death experience, a diagnosis of a rare blindness. Instead of accepting an impasse, they understood a setback as a threshold, not an end, but a beginning. The ability to shake free from an outdated dream or shed a fixed desire — be it a job, a hunch or place in the world — and cultivate new inspirations is not a facility we often honor or celebrate. We should. Recalibrating — or, as one subject calls it, “bounce” — is critical to survival. Success, then, isn’t about achieving static goals or checking items off a list. It’s about mastery, acquiring insight and achieving breakthroughs.

We live in a moment of “vision boards” and Post-it affirmations — “See it. Be it.” But we forget that just as important as what we wish for ourselves is gleaning the insight that may seem beyond our imagination. That big life we crave, the one larger than we can conceive, is often the consequence of risk, misadventure and recovery. As one subject finally came to understand it: “Don’t look; leap. Trust the dark. Trust what you’ve cultivated inside.”

Jumping Time

In American roots music — jazz, blues, zydeco, bluegrass — there’s a term called “jumping time,” a moment that inevitably reveals itself on the bandstand. The singer perhaps forgets a verse, or the trumpet player, distracted, stumbles, barges in too soon, and the band must work together to pivot, restore order, move to the next line and not get jangled. It’s about moving forward: salvaging not just the moment, but the possibility for the one that follows.

I think about Massenburg and his own “salvaging” — the poetry of the pivot — finding not just a use for the stumbled upon and tossed aside, but a new narrative for it: “I remember John Outterbridge saying to me that art can be anything you want it to be. Even your life. So when I think about how I got here — it wasn’t straight-line.”

That left or right turn, it’s all about jumping time — sliding to the next spot, finding the treasure in the detritus, saving the moment. You can’t plan for it, just prepare.

Those beautiful dovetails in life that we watch from afar? They come with hard work and foresight: reacting adroitly, even poetically, at that fork in the road of thought, crisis and life shift is often our only control in chaos. That informed pivot — the one that takes us from disaster to possibility, the “new place” — can be the life-changing difference between simply surviving and thriving.
lynellgeorge  michaelmassenburg  johnoutterbridge  art  music  jazz  2016  picoiyer  chance  serendipity  planning  plans  possibility  certainty  uncertainty  presence  losangeles 
april 2017 by robertogreco
CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts: David Hammons
"Spirits aren’t something you see or even understand. That’s just not how they work. They are too abstract, too invisible, and move too quickly. They don’t live anywhere, but only run by and pass through, and no matter how old they are, they are always light years ahead. They do what they want, whenever they want. And under specific circumstances, at specific times, in specific places, to specific people, for specific reasons, they make their presence known.

In the Congo Basin in Central Africa, they are called minkisi. They are the hiding place for people’s souls.

David Hammons is a spirit catcher. He walks the streets the way an improviser searches for notes, looking for those places and objects where dormant spirits go to hide, and empowers them again. He knows about the streetlamps and the mailboxes where the winos hide their bottles in shame. Hammons calls it tragic magic—the art of converting pain into poetry.

[David Hammons. "Spade With Chains," 1973.]

Much has been said about the materials Hammons uses in his work. Most are taken from the street and cost very little—greasy paper bags, shovels, ice, cigarettes, rubber tubes, hair, rocks, basketballs, fried food, bikes, torn plastic tarps, Kool-Aid. Some of them are (knowingly) borrowed from the vocabulary of other artists, while others are closely tied to his own life and chosen surroundings in Harlem. Much has also been said about the meaning of his work—its arguments, its politics, what it’s “about.” And while much of what has been said has been useful, it has also been partly beside the point.

Materials are something one can see, and arguments are something one can understand, and that’s just not what Hammons is after. He’s interested in how much those wine bottles still somehow contain the lips that once drank from them. He’s after the pun on spirit—as in the drink, but also as in the presence of something far more abstract.
Black hair is the oldest hair in the world. You’ve got tons of people’s spirits in your hands when you work with that stuff.

[David Hammons. "Wine Leading the Wine," 1969. Courtesy of Hudgins Family Collection, New York. Photo: Tim Nighswander/IMAGING4ART.]

If Hammons is suspicious of all that is visible, it might be because the visible, in America, is all that is white. It’s all those Oscar winners, all those museum trustees, and all those faces on all those dollar bills. Some artists work to denounce, reveal, or illustrate racial injustice, and to make visible those who are not. Hammons, on the other hand, prefers invisibility—or placing the visible out of reach. He doesn’t have a lesson to teach or a point to prove, and his act of protest is simply to abstract, because that’s what will make the visible harder to recognize and the intelligible harder to understand.

If Duchamp was uninterested in what the eye can see, Hammons is oppressed by it—it’s not the same thing.

[David Hammons. "In the Hood," 1993. Courtesy of Tilton Gallery, New York.]
I’m trying to make abstract art out of my experience, just like Thelonius Monk.

For Hammons, musicians have always been both the model and the front line. When George Lewis says that “the truth of improvisation involves survival,” it’s because improv musicians look for a way forward, one note at a time, with no map to guide them and with no rules or languages to follow other than ones they invent and determine themselves. It forces them to analyze where they are and forces them to do something about it, on their own terms. Doesn’t get much more political than that.

Or, as Miles Davis once put it, “I do not play jazz.” He plays something that invents its own vocabulary—a vocabulary that is shared only by those who don’t need to know what to call it or how to contain it. And just as Miles Davis doesn’t play jazz, David Hammons doesn’t make art.

[David Hammons. "Blue Rooms," 2000 (installation view, The Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowkski Castle, Warsaw).]
I’m trying to create a hieroglyphics that was definitely black.

Hammons goes looking for spirits in music, poetry, and dirt. He knows they like to hide inside of sounds, lodge themselves between words or within puns, and linger around the used-up and the seemingly worthless. He knows he’s caught some when he succeeds in rousing the rubble and gets it to make its presence felt. Like Noah Purifoy, he ignores the new and the expensive in favor of the available. Like Federico Fellini, he spends his time in the bowels of culture and makes them sing.

[David Hammons. "(Untitled) Basketball Drawing," 2006.]

There are the materials that make the art—those are the foot soldiers—but there is also the attitude that makes the artist. Hammons has his way of thinking and his way of behaving, which is once again not something one sees or necessarily understands, but is something that makes its presence known, the way spirits make their presence felt. There will be some who won’t recognize it and others who do—and his work is meant only for those who see themselves in it.
Did you ever see Elvis Presley’s resume? Or John Lennon’s resume? Fuck that resume shit.

Ornette was Ornette because of what he could blow, but also because he never gave into other people’s agendas or expectations.

What matters even more than having your own agenda is letting others know that it doesn’t fit theirs. “To keep my rhythm,” as Hammons puts it, “there’s always a fight, with any structure.” The stakes are real because should you let your guard down, “they got rhythms for you,” and you’ll soon be thinking just like they do. And in a white and racist America, in a white and racist art world, Hammons doesn’t want to be thinking just like most people do. His is a recalcitrant politics of presence: where he doesn’t seem to belong, he appears; where he does belong, he vanishes.

In short: don’t play a game whose management you don’t control.

[David Hammons. "Higher Goals," 1987. Photo: Matt Weber.]
That’s the only way you have to treat people with money—you have to let these people know that your agenda is light years beyond their thinking patterns.

The Whitney Biennial? I don’t like the job description. A major museum retrospective? Get back to me with something I can’t understand.

Exhibitions are too clean and make too much sense—plus the very authority of many mainstream museums is premised on values that Hammons doesn’t consider legitimate or at least does not share. He is far more interested in walking and talking with Jr., a man living on the streets of the East Village, who taught him about how the homeless divide up their use of space according to lines marked by the positioning of bricks on a wall. Those lines have teeth. In a museum, art is stripped of all its menace.

[David Hammons. "Bliz-aard Ball Sale," 1983. Photo: Dawoud Bey.]

The painter Jack Whitten once explained of how music became so central to black American life with this allegory:
When my white slave masters discovered that my drum was a subversive instrument they took it from me…. The only instrument available was my body, so I used my skin: I clapped my hands, slapped my thighs, and stomped my feet in dynamic rhythms.

David Hammons began with his skin. He pressed his skin onto paper to make prints. Over the subsequent five decades, he has found his drum.

[David Hammons. "Phat Free," 1995-99 (video still). Courtesy of Zwirner & Wirth, New York.]"
davidhammons  anthonyhuberman  art  jazz  ornettecoleman  milesdavis  theloniousmonk  material  rules  trickster  outsiders  artworld  resumes  elvispresley  johnlennon  insiders  race  racism  us  power  authority  jackwhitten  music  museums  galleries  menace  homeless  nyc  management  structure  presence  belonging  expectations  artists  fellini  noahpurifoy  availability  culture  hieroglyphics  blackness  georgelewis  improvisation  oppression  marcelduchamp  visibility  invisibility  souls  spirits 
february 2017 by robertogreco
Cornel West on state of race in the U.S.: "We're in bad shape" - CBS News
[via: "Showed kids 60 Minutes with Cornel West last night. ("I'm unimpressed by smartness.") "

"+ See also West on Mandela: "a militant tenderness, subversive sweetness and radical gentleness." " ]

"Cornel West is a different kind of civil rights leader. His below-the-radar presence at racial flash points across America recently, stands in stark contrast to many of the more traditional civil rights leaders and their bright light press conferences.

Some of the new generation of African-American activists seem to be gravitating towards West, a charismatic academic scholar who doesn't lead an organization or have an entourage.

Cornel West has a message about how poor and disadvantaged Americans are being treated today and he can be searingly provocative on matters of race, never more so than when he criticizes President Obama.

Cornel West: When I call the president a black puppet of Wall Street, I was really talking about the degree to which Wall Street had a disproportionate amount of influence on his policies as opposed to poor people and working people.

James Brown: Why use such harsh language with-- showing no respect for the office of the president?

Cornel West: I tend to be one who just speaks from my soul, and so what comes out sometimes is rather harsh. In that sense I'm very much a part of the tradition of a Frederick Douglass or a Malcolm X who used hyperbolic language at times to bring attention to the state of emergency. So all of that rage and righteous indignation can lead one not to speak politely sometimes.

Eight years ago, Cornel West was a fervent supporter of candidate Barack Obama. Today, he blames the president for not doing more on issues like income inequality and racial justice. A product of the turbulent sixties, West has joined protests led by civil rights groups like Black Lives Matter. Here in Ferguson, Missouri, he was one of many arrested for civil disobedience.

James Brown: The young people who are leading the Black Lives Matter charge, you're all behind them?

Cornel West: Oh, very much so. I think that's a marvelous new militancy that has to do with courage, vision. The fundamental challenge always is will their rage be channeled through hatred and revenge or will it be channeled through love and justice. You got to push 'em toward love and justice.

James Brown: Why do you think you have that kind of currency with young people?

Cornel West: They know that I take their precious lives seriously. When I go to jail in Ferguson and say quite explicitly, "I'm old school, and I want the new school to know that some of us old folk love y'all to death" and they hear that and say, "Well, dang, you know, we might not always-- agree with this brother, but this Negro looks like a fighter for justice."

[March: This is what democracy looks like. Justice!]

Nyle Fort: I think a lot of young people really gravitate towards him not only because he's a giant of an intellectual, he is somebody that you want to be around.

Nyle Fort is a 26-year-old activist and religion PhD student at Princeton. He first saw West speak at a rally four years ago.

James Brown: The manner in which Dr. West has been criticizing the president. Your reaction?

Nyle Fort: I think it's important for us to listen to the substance of his argument. And I think that his critiques not just of President Obama, but of our current state of democracy in this country, the current state of the world, is something that we need to pay attention to.

A favorite on the lecture circuit, we were with him at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, when the crowd of 1,500 broke into applause before he said a word.

Then, for more than an hour, an extemporaneous journey filled with biblical passages and quotes from philosophers and poets about decency and virtue. All in support of West's warning about the dangers of inequality.

Cornel West: I have nothing against rich brothers and sisters. Pray for 'em every day. But callousness and indifference, greed and avarice is something that's shot through all of us.

Cornel West has diverse influences to say the least; crediting jazz giants John Coltrane and Sarah Vaughan with helping him understand human suffering. West sees civil rights pioneer, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel as one of the great treasures of the 20th century.

Cornel West: It's never a question of skin pigmentation. It's never a question of just culture or sexual orientation or civilization. It's what kind of human being you're going to choose to be from your mama's womb to the tomb and what kind of legacy will you leave.

Cornel West was born 62 years ago in Oklahoma, but grew up in Glen Elder -- a predominantly black neighborhood near Sacramento, California. He is the second of four children. His father, Clifton was a federal administrator and his mother, Irene was a teacher. They were a close-knit, church-going family.

Cornel West: I feel as if I have been blessed to undergo a transformation from gangster to redeemed sinner with gangster proclivities.

James Brown: You actually were a thug when you were a youngster?

Cornel West: Oh absolutely, I got kicked out of school when I was seven-- seven years old.

James Brown: Doing what, Dr. West?

Cornel West: I refused to salute the flag because my great uncle had been lynched with the flag wrapped around his body. So I went back to Sacramento and said, "I'm not saluting the flag." And teacher went at me and hit me, and I hit back. And then we had a Joe Frazier/Muhammad Ali moment right there in the third grade.

Clifton West: He was the only student I ever knew that came home with all As and had to get a whipping.

Clifton West is Cornel's brother, best friend and was his role model growing up. He says behind his little brother's bad behavior, was a relentlessly curious mind.

Clifton West: We had this bookmobile. And we would come out, and check out a book, and go on back in the house and start reading it. So Corn, at one point, I don't know how long it took, he had read every book in the bookmobile.

James Brown: Excuse me?

Clifton West: I don't know it had to be 200 books, easy. And the bookmobile man, who was a white guy, went to all the neighborhoods, little chocolate neighborhoods, saying, "There's this guy in Glen Elder that read every book in here."

Anecdotes like that convinced teachers to give their troubled student an aptitude test. West's recorded IQ: 168.

Cornel West: I got a pretty high score. So they sent me over all the way on the other side of town. Mom used to drive me all the way to school and then drive back to her school where she was teaching first grade.

The new school had a gifted program that challenged his mind and changed his behavior.

James Brown: Was that when you first grabbed hold of the notion that you were smart?

Cornel West: You know, I never really thought I was that smart. Because there was so many other folk in school that I was deeply impressed by. But I'll say this, though, that I've never really been impressed by smartness."
cornelwest  barackobama  race  2016  via:ablerism  love  activism  socialjustice  blacklivesmatter  generations  inequality  values  nylefort  jamesbrown  cliftonwest  eddieglaude  decency  virtue  callousness  indifference  greed  avarice  jazz  suffering  humanism  abrahamjoshuaheschel  life  living  legacy  religion  belief  ferguson  racialjustice  racism  civildisobedience  wallstreet  intellectualism  intellect  curiosity  poverty  policy  language  malcolmx  frederickdouglass  rage  indignation  civilrights  johncoltrane  wisdom  smartness  sacrifice  conformism  sarahvaughan 
march 2016 by robertogreco
Skin Feeling – The New Inquiry
"What it is to be encountered as a surface, to be constantly exposed as something you are not."

"Skin feeling: to be encountered as a surface."

"Skin feeling: to be constantly exposed as something you are not."

"There are different kinds of exposure, of organization, of study, of strategy, of being together in public, of being skin."
sofiasamatar  2015  charlieparker  jamesbaldwin  invisibility  race  visibility  racism  michellealexander  ralphellison  camarillostatehospital  history  augustblume  jazz 
september 2015 by robertogreco
The Church of Saint Coltrane – a short film on jazz as religion – Aeon
"‘The worship of God is what we encourage, and we’re using the music of John Coltrane.’

So says Bishop Franzo King, who with his wife, the Reverend Mother Marina King, founded the Saint John Coltrane African Orthodox Church in San Francisco. Since its creation in 1971, it has evolved into the Saint John Will-I-Am Coltrane Church.

The vibe is a rapturous out-of-your-head-ness, where instead of the choir and the hymn book there is the sinuous, transcendent music of the jazz-saint, John Coltrane. In their magnificent and rarely seen film, the directors Jeff Swimmer and Gayle Gilman document life at the church, where music, in the words of the bishop, is for the ‘effectual transference of the Holy Spirit’, lighting the way towards a higher state of consciousness.

Amen to that."
music  johncoltrane  jazz  video  documentary  1996  gaylegilman  jeffswimmer  religion  philosophy 
june 2014 by robertogreco
THE SOURCE | Conversations with DOUG AITKEN [Theaster Gates]
[Alternate link for video: ]

Gates: "I have this great problem of space. When planners use words like blight and, uh, under-developed, it’s like actually what you’re talking about is available land. It’s just like no one’s really thought about it in those terms."

Aitken: "So tell us about this place that we’re in right now."

Gates: "We call this the archive house. It was just a shell of a building and I had 250, maybe 300 boxes of books in a basement. It really is an amalgam of labor over time that I think has made an amazing reading room."

Aitken: "And this kind of extends outside where I see a garden."

Gates: "I’m hoping that some of that willingness to grow things from very little will, will become hallmark to how we do things here on the block."

Aitken: "A lot of your palette and materials really is, you know, stuff that you find around you–these two by fours, this lumber, these bricks, it’s these, uh, trees have just been milled down into bark that you can put in your kiln."

Gates: "Yeah we talk about like how should these materials work? Like should we plane them, should we mill them? Should, should we sand them? And it’s not so much a story about like recycling this or that. But sometimes it’s just about what happens when you really care for the things that are in your life."

Aitken: "And when I see an exhibition of yours, you know, there’s a white wall, it’s a pristine space. It’s a gallery, it’s a museum. It’s very interesting to kind of see the isolation of the minimalism and like see this kind of like maximal landscape become very minimal."

Gates: "As artists, we’re always given the opportunity or we make the opportunity to say what a thing means. So let’s assume that the double cross in the atrium of the MCA is made from the same materials as this building right here. They function very differently in the world. Like say double cross will live in museums my–is my hope.

Gates: "At the same time, 6901, the building across the street where the guts of that building had in fact made double cross, that it gets to live here, a most excellent building that continues to function for our neighborhood. And I love that the same materials could do either work. It could either let you sit down and watch a good film or it, can help you imagine the sacredness."

Aitken: "So I, I want to come back to something else which I’m super curious about–performance."

Gates: "Yeah."

Aitken: "Yeah. Something's brewing inside."

Gates: "So the monks, which is a combination of great jazz musicians, some gospel players, some great classically trained and soul singers mashed up to, to reflect on the history of black music and to also slow that down so that instead of the whole song we would concentrate on a phrase and then in mantra style work it out."

Gates: "So if I’m thinking about clay and I’m making a pot but it–that’s one thing–but if I sang, I was born with clay in my veins, that turns into I was born with clay–you know, and it, and it’s like let’s just stay there. Let’s just stay there, let’s stay there all night, you know?

Gates: "And then I, I look at them, I’m not–I’m not an object. And they do something and it makes me do something else that makes them do something else. That’s a freaking good connection."
theastergates  dougaitken  2014  urbanism  urban  blight  development  space  cities  archives  art  glvo  houses  collections  reuse  recycling  caring  objects  materials  performance  music  jazz  via:soulellis  place  process  patterns  archivehouse 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Why João Matters — Pop of Culture — Medium
"Gilberto performs alone. He appears onstage looking like an insurance office employee — thick glasses, humble sportcoat, nondescript demeanor. He sings in an interior, musing-to-himself voice, his nylon-string acoustic guitar standing in for an orchestra. There is no show business in his presentation. Notorious for walking off stage mid-tune if conditions don’t suit him, he insists on quiet. Insists. His terms are extreme: all or nothing. The uneasy quiet becomes his blank canvas, and from it, he sets forth a harrowingly vulnerable emotional landscape. Conjures it, really, out of thin air. In this place, everything, even soul-crushing disappointment, is explored in a stage whisper. His is a seduction of silences, measured pauses, infinite restraint. He understands that by not blurting out full details of his every feeling, he draws the sensitive listeners in, makes them anticipate the next turn in the road, activates their own longing for a distant, mostly unattainable serenity.

And yet, Gilberto’s voice itself is always serene, contented, smiling. He confides when he sings, telling stories in slopes and twists and arcs that simulate the graceful movements of butterflies. His phrasing flows like great conversation, but underneath it, running in the background, there’s this wicked crisp guitar, chopping up the time with murderous precision. The slicing, forward-moving syncopations — another signature contribution, the heartbeat of bossa nova — are intricate marvels all by themselves. Heard alone, the rhythms can seem like a relentless energy surge. But when his voice enters, it radiates a feeling of calm introspection that transforms the unsettled rhythm into something utterly sublime. Tension and release in the same instant.

Gilberto matters not simply because he sets rather extreme terms of engagement — itself a bold stance in our look-at-me age. But because out of that, he creates art that offers rare and elusive truths about what it means to be alive, in love, devoted to something other than the self. He may be removed from the spotlight, his work nearly forgotten, but his example endures as a high-level argument for that fast-disappearing quality at the root of so much great art: Nuance. After João Gilberto, just about everything sounds like shouting."
joãogilberto  music  brasil  jazz  2013  tommoon  nuance  silence  brazil 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Omar Sosa & Paolo Fresu: Tiny Desk Concert : NPR
"Fresu's work on trumpet and flugelhorn provides a perfect foil for Sosa's introspective intersection of jazz, Afro-Cuban sounds and a chamber-music mentality. In this concert at NPR Music's offices, the duo's quietly energetic performance hangs over the crowd like a soft mist."
tinydeskconcerts  tinydesk  musicomarsosa  paolofresu  2013  jazz  trumpet  flugelhorn  piano 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Jazz-Inspired Leadership: Change Observer: Design Observer
"Anticipated, Emergent, and Opportunistic Change

To understand why improvisation is important, consider the three types of organizational change.

Create a Learning Environment

A learning environment is a precondition for improvisation. One company I know of sends employees to visit its global locations, so they can learn from each others’ innovations and practices. “Steal with pride,” it tells them. People informally develop ways of working that could have great value if shared. When managers encourage employees to improve practices on their own, rather than mandate a strict flowchart of activities, they can nurture emergent change. And managers have to be on the lookout for emergent outcomes, and learn how and when to leverage them.

If improvisation is to be encouraged, then senior managers also need to allow some flexibility in budgeting and timetables. Again, small-scale experiments can help by reducing upfront commitments and by helping to define the costs and benefits of a larger-scale roll-out. Just as important, employees’ evaluation criteria should accommodate improvisation. Employees should not be penalized for experimenting — and possibly failing. And they should be rewarded for developing innovative emergent practices in the face of this change. When everyone recognizes that conditions are uncertain and the rules of the game are being created in the playing, plans become effective guidelines rather than rigid prescriptions for action.

The lessons in improvisation contained herein are relevant even when there is no internal ‘change project’ per se. eBay’s evolution from a marketplace for Pez dispensers is a perfect example. When Pierre Omidyar founded eBay in 1995, did his business plan map out how he would create a leading global enterprise in a decade? Hardly. Users of eBay have been improvising and leading the development of eBay ever since. The normal way of doing business at eBay is to seek out emergent change and turn it into new opportunities.

That type of improvisation makes an organization more adaptive when marketplaces shift, technologies develop, companies globalize or the landscape changes in other unexpected ways. And an improvisational approach is best facilitated by combining planning with ongoing experimentation and learning. Budgets, timetables and reward criteria should reinforce the ability of individuals to improvise in a way that allows the organization to keep right on playing amidst change, without missing a beat."
leadership  change  administration  jazz  improvisation  planning  adaptation  uncertainty  flexibility  learning  wandaorlikowski  experimentation  prototyping  risk  risktaking 
july 2013 by robertogreco
There is no Such Thing as Invention — I.M.H.O. — Medium
"I remember the very instant that I learned to be creative, to ‘invent’ things, to do things in an interesting and unusual way, and it happened by accident, literally.

I created mess around myself, the kind of chaos that would be very dangerous in an operating theater but which is synonymous with artists’ studios, and in that mess I edited the accidents. By increasing the amount of mess I had freed things up and increased the possibilities, I had maximised the adjacent possible and was able to create the appearance of inventing new things by editing the mistakes which appeared novel and interesting.

[photo with caption "Francis Bacon’s studio did not look like a clinical laboratory.']

If you really think about it, there is no other way. Whether this mess in internal in our brains, or external in our environment, we can only select things that are possible, invention is merely when the possible is new. Real invention, out of nowhere, not selecting from the possible, is impossible, by definition."

[via: ]
davidgalbraith  creativity  invention  messiness  adjacentpossible  2013  francisbacon  howwework  reynerbanham  alanturing  claudeshannon  jazz  harlem  richarddawkins  theselfishgene  stuartkauffman  naturalselection  siliconvalley  freedom  autonomy  burningman  openstudioproject  lcproject  environment  innovation  critical-messtheory  criticalmesses 
june 2013 by robertogreco
The Qualifier (b) Big Ears
"Jazz musicians have a term for fellow musicians who are exceptional listeners. That term is Big Ears.

Big Ears is an individual who is somehow able to hear beyond the boundaries of what is being played and discover its hidden possibilities. He brings sensibilities and forges connections in a way his fellow musicians cannot. Jazz legend Duke Ellington once said, “The most important thing I look for in a musician is whether or not he knows how to listen.” Ellington looked for Big Ears."

"To be a good listener, you have to want to listen. Ask yourself what motivates you to listen? Do you listen to understand so you can become a part of what is being said, or do you listen to gain control of the conversation? 

Reread Jake’s words and let their meaning sink in. If you are someone who worries that you’ll find yourself not knowing what to say next, listen well and you’ll always know. Learn how to expand on what you hear."
music  howto  howtolisten  dukeellington  via:jenlowe  bigears  jazz  listening  from delicious
september 2012 by robertogreco
U B U W E B - Film & Video: Sun Ra - Brother from Another Planet (2005)
"Born in perhaps the most segregated place on Earth – early 20th-century Alabama – Herman Poole Blount rejected his name, his origins and the conventions of the time (or any other, for that matter), re-creating himself as Sun Ra, emissary from Saturn ("planet of discipline") and musical genius. Blending Egyptology and Space Age imagery, he projected a philosophy of radical empowerment for the entire cosmos; keeping a big band on the road for decades through independence and communal living, he became a patriarch of jazz and an avatar of freewheeling space music."

"Punk film legend Don Letts presents the Sun Ra story in all its glory, combining powerful footage of Ra and his legendary Arkestra, interviews with band members shot at their famous group house in Philadelphia, and testimony from Archie Shepp, Amiri Baraka, John Sinclair and Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore."
jazz  music  brotherfromanotherplanet  2005  documentaries  film  donletts  sunra  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
Branford Marsalis On Sensitive Musicians And The First Family Of Jazz : A Blog Supreme : NPR [full transcript: ]
"When you listen to a song like a Raffi song — a song about alligators or kangaroos or whatever it is — it's about that, it's about kangaroos. But, if you play Eine Kleine Nachtmusik for your kid, the music is whatever your kid wants it to be about. It's instrumental music. The kids' imaginations can run wild."

I used to watch my kids hear this music and say, "This music reminds me of ..." and they would basically tell stories. So the stories that the music tells are actually personal to the listener. I don't want the listener to come up with the same conclusions that I have come up with because they're not me, they haven't lived my life. They don't know nearly as much music as I do. …

I think any record is whatever you want it to be, particularly instrumental music because we don't have lyrics that tell us what the songs are about. So we just carve out our little sliver of reality and, you know, we - any time one person gets it, that's an awesome thing."
interviews  2012  experience  imagination  storytelling  nachtmusik  einekleine  raffi  instrumentals  jazz  music  branfordmarsalis  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
Colin Stetson

As heard on Q: ]

"Colin Stetson is in Studio Q to chat about the origin of his mighty bass sax and how he divides his time as a hired horn."

"Saxophonist and Polaris Prize nominee Colin Stetson joins us in Studio Q to perform "Judges" from his album "New History Warfare - Judges, Vol. 2". "

"Saxophone slinger Colin Stetson sets aside his elephantine bass sax to play "The Righteous Wrath of an Honorable Man""

"Canadian saxophonist Colin Stetson delivers another mesmerizing performance in Studio Q with "Fear of the Unknown and the Blazing Sun" "
experimental  saxophone  bass  basssaxophone  jazz  music  colinstetson  from delicious
july 2012 by robertogreco
Remembering Etta James, Stunning Singer : NPR
"[Jazz] was too disciplined and too confining," James said on Fresh Air. "I thought you had to be bourgeois to do that. I was a sloppy kid, wanted to be just wild. I think it took me maturing."
blues  jazz  music  2008  2012  ettajames  from delicious
january 2012 by robertogreco
lonelysandwich: Charlie Parker laughing at Coleman Hawkins’s attempt to do playback on his own recorded improvisation
"Charlie Parker laughing at Coleman Hawkins’s attempt to do playback on his own recorded improvisation

This is the coolest thing ever. In one of two known pieces of footage of Bird performing, the music is pre-recorded and the band is supposed to be pantomiming along. But he clearly thinks it’s stupid and starts to laugh until someone off-camera tells him to stop and then just look at his face. Bird was too cool for this world."
music  colemanhawkins  jazz  charlieparker  from delicious
december 2011 by robertogreco
The Aporeticus - by Mills Baker · How to Listen to Jazz
"…part of life is finding new things to love and new ways to love things more deeply, and understanding the creative arts —their scope, history, contemporary contexts, intentionality— opens them up for ever-deeper appreciation. But the most obvious way to learn an art is to become a practitioner of that art, a time-consuming and difficult task, and one impossible to pursue across all fields.

Fields that make such demands have a high barrier to audience entry.

…when I talk to people who find jazz musically intimidating, or unintelligible in its refusal to be as repetitive as popular music, I sometimes tell them to try to hear in the solos little musical structures, any one of which could be a song in itself, but each of which is built, explored, and discarded with breakneck speed. Popular music relies on the ecstasy of trance: repetition of what resonates. Jazz relies more on restless exploration."
millsbaker  jazz  music  appreciation  listening  learning  understanding  audience  2011  exploration  trance  repetition  craft  intentionality  from delicious
december 2011 by robertogreco
"Whether in music or in fiction, the most basic thing is rhythm. Your style needs to have good, natural, steady rhythm, or people won’t keep reading your work. I learned the importance of rhythm from music — and mainly from jazz. Next comes melody — which, in literature, means the appropriate arrangement of the words to match the rhythm. If the way the words fit the rhythm is smooth and beautiful, you can’t ask for anything more. Next is harmony — the internal mental sounds that support the words. Then comes the part I like best: free improvisation. Through some special channel, the story comes welling out freely from inside. All I have to do is get into the flow. Finally comes what may be the most important thing: that high you experience upon completing a work…

Practically everything I know about writing, then, I learned from music. It may sound paradoxical to say so, but if I had not been so obsessed with music, I might not have become a novelist."
via:frankchimero  harukimurakami  writing  music  jazz  howwewrite  2010  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
‪Mina Agossi - Voodoo Child‬‏ - YouTube
"Mina Agossi en studio enregistre une version de Voodoo Child de Jimi Hendrix"
music  minaagossi  jazz  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Musicians and cooks talk shop on "Treme" - Treme -
"David Simon's New Orleans drama "Treme" is very good at many different things, but it has a special knack for showing how artists make art, and what it actually means to make a living from creative work. It's not easy; in fact it's often infuriating, because society at large tends to see creative work as somehow "easier" than other kinds, and because artists themselves tend to be somewhat more eccentric or even volatile than other kinds of people, and more likely to be disconnected from mundane reality.

To say that "Treme" gets all this would be an understatement. In fact, the creative process is often the glue holding the show's other disparate elements together."
treme  creativity  thecreativeprocess  howwework  howwecreate  davidsimon  2011  jazz  music  craft  food  cooking  sewing  glvo  artists  art  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Presumed Guilty | The Public Domain |
"The problem is not simply that Shakespeare flourished without copyright protection for his work. It is that he made liberal use of the work of others in his own plays in ways that would today almost certainly generate a lawsuit. Like many readers, I found myself wondering whether Shakespeare would have survived copyright, never mind the web. Certainly, the dense interplay of unidentified quotation, paraphrase and plot lifting that characterizes much of Elizabethan theatre would have been very different; imagine what jazz would sound like if musicians had to pay for every fragment of another tune they work into a solo."
publicdomain  copyright  internet  oped  web  jamesboyle  via:preoccupations  shakespeare  law  jazz  remix  remixculture  music  remixing  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Michal Levy » Giant Steps
A classic animation of a classic. Not sure why I didn't already have this bookmarked.
music  animation  jazz  flash  art  johncoltrane  michallevy  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
The History of Jazz, Animated in Shadow Art | Brain Pickings
"The film focuses on five milestone eras in the evolution of jazz — the early music of field workers, ragtime, New Orleans jazz, swing, and bebop — each represented by a separate room, in which 3D sculptures cast complex shadow images in different directions simultaneously, making each form interpretable as multiple symbolic objects."
jazz  history  art  shadows  shadowart  music  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Gottlieb Jazz Photos - a set on Flickr
"Celebrated jazz artists come to life in photographs by William P. Gottlieb. His images document the jazz scene in New York City and Washington, D.C., from 1938 to 1948, a time recognized by many as the "Golden Age of Jazz".
jazz  music  photography  flickr  1930s  1940s  history  loc  williamgottlieb 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Julio Cortázar, el jazzman : : Diario El Litoral - Santa Fe - Argentina : :
"En “El argentino que se hizo querer de todos”, García Márquez refiere un viaje en tren de París a Praga junto con Carlos Fuentes y Cortázar, donde al preguntársele (a Cortázar) sobre la introducción del piano en la orquesta de jazz desarrolló por horas “una lección histórica y estética de increíble versación, rematada con una apología de Thelenious Monk”.
juliocortázar  music  jazz 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Mario Vargas Llosa: Cortázar, veinte años: La trompeta de Deyá
"En su caso, a diferencia de tantos colegas nuestros que optaron por una militancia semejante pero por esnobismo u oportunismo -un modus vivendi y una manera de escalar posiciones en el establecimiento intelectual, que era y en cierta forma sigue siendo monopolio de la izquierda en el mundo de lengua española-, esta mudanza fue genuina, dictada más por la ética que por la ideología (a la que siguió siendo alérgico) y de una coherencia total. Su vida se organizó en función de ella, y se volvió pública, casi promiscua, y buena parte de su obra se dispersó en la circunstancia y en la actualidad, hasta parecer escrita por otra persona, muy distinta de aquella que, antes, percibía la política como algo lejano y con irónico desdén."
mariovargasllosa  juliocortázar  socialism  politics  happiness  jazz  pretension  authenticity  youth 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Julio Cortázar, el del jazz -
"Jorge Luis Borges es, en el contexto de estas líneas, el de las milongas. Y Julio Cortázar, el del jazz.

Mientras Borges echaba una mirada retrospectiva para salvar del olvido (en pleno auge del modernismo) al cuchillero de extramuros con el que construyó toda una mitología poética y ensayística plasmada, por ejemplo, en "Para la seis cuerdas" y en "Evaristo Carriego", Cortázar trasladaba su origen barrial, su asimilación europea, su cultura formal de clase media, y su mundo alternativo entre París y Plaza Once a lo largo de sus cuentos y novelas, mientras husmeaba en el mundo del jazz.

En sus obras, Cortázar desordenaba el arte en favor de la vida, al cuestionar el lenguaje establecido."
borges  juliocortázar  music  jazz  milongas  argentina  gabrielgarcíamárquez  theloniousmonk  charlieparker  carlosfuentes 
august 2010 by robertogreco
¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡TURISTA LIBRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!: One Tijuana band you really, really need to know plays San Diego tonight
"These days, the border and its tag-along cultural barrier keep a pretty tight lid on the flow of Tijuana bands playing shows in San Diego and vice versa. Which is sad, really, because a lot is going on in both towns that the other would no doubt appreciate. So when acts like TJ indie jazz-fusion band Madame Ur y Sus Hombres land a gig in the Gaslamp, you, dear San Diegan, should really go. Cafe Sevilla, 9 p.m. tonight."
tijuana  sandiego  music  jazz  jazzfusion  madameurysushombres 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Football: a dear friend to capitalism | Terry Eagleton | Comment is free | The Guardian
"If every rightwing thinktank came up w/ a scheme to distract populace from political injustice & compensate them for lives of hard labour, the solution in each case would be same: football. No finer way of resolving the problems of capitalism has been dreamed up, bar socialism. & in tussle between them, football is several light years ahead.
football  soccer  socialism  society  via:javierarbona  terryeagleton  worldcup  josémourinho  rimbaud  bertholdbrecht  symbolism  sports  spectacle  sociology  spectators  teamwork  individualism  balance  distraction  genius  artistry  jazz  cooperation  competition  rivalry  identity  class  tradition  religion  history  conflict  politics  change  populism  conformism  policy  power  falseconciousness  marxism  capitalism  philosophy  2010  futbol 
june 2010 by robertogreco
"The famous Jazz-Revisited Radio Show with the legendary moderator Hazen Schumacher includes about 1.500 half-hour Jazz-broadcasts with Jazz of the years 1917 to 1947.
jazz  music  online  history  jazzmuseumbixeiben 
april 2010 by robertogreco
pensamientos genericos - Looking for Herb
"The Tijuana sound had been in the making way before Herb Alpert set foot in Tijuana for the first time in 1962 to experience the sound and atmosphere of la fiesta brava (bullfights) in the bullring known as El Toreo de Tijuana. During the 1920s, many bars and cabarets that catered to visitors from California during Prohibition had musical acts. Musicians came to the city from the north and south, looking for work in American-owned establishments."

[also at: ]
tijuana  history  music  jazz  herbalbert  charlesmingus  jellyrollmorton  tjb 
april 2010 by robertogreco
"Monk liked to wear a formidable ring bearing his name when he played, an encumbrance that no pianist in his right mind would want to burden a hand with. While he was flashing his ring for the world to see, from his own perspective he saw something else. "KNOW" said the ring, more or less, to the audience. "MONK" was the reply when he saw it himself."
theloniousmonk  biography  reviews  music  jazz  books  history 
december 2009 by robertogreco
A Robot Named Shimon Wants To Jam With You : NPR
"What was billed as the first intercontinental musical interaction between humans and robots took place the weekend of Dec. 17. It involved humans in Japan using an application called ZoozBeat on their iPhones and a robot named Shimon in Atlanta.

According to its makers, unlike other robots that can play music, Shimon is perceptual. The robot can listen to what is played, analyze it and then improvise. And it has been taught to improvise like some jazz masters.

Gil Weinberg of Georgia Tech's music technology program recently spoke to NPR's Robert Siegel from Japan, where he witnessed the historic interaction. Weinberg says the result is music meant to inspire people — not an effort to turn our music-making over to robots.

"The whole idea is to use computer algorithms to create music in ways that humans will never create," Weinberg says. "Our motto is, 'Listen like a human, but improvise like a machine.' ""

[see also: ]
theloniousmonk  jazz  computing  robots  music  shimon  japan  programming  zoozbeat  improvisation 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original |
"Miles Davis made more money. Duke Ellington was more prolific. Charlie Parker was more revered. But no one had a more profound impact on modern jazz than Thelonious Monk...Who knew, for instance, that the godfather of bebop‚ was a devoted family man, loving husband, and diaper-changing, doting father who lived in the same modest Manhattan apartment for a half century? Or that the pianist whose playing style was ravaged by critics for being “dissonant‚ unschooled‚ and primitive‚“ was in fact well-schooled in classical music at a young age and could play many difficult pieces from memory? But his real passion was kindled by the kind of jazz he heard as a teen, wafting through the halls and open windows of his San Juan Hill neighborhood, a densely populated melting pot of black and Caribbean transplants...if there is a single word that would most aptly define Monk’s music, it’s freedom."
books  toread  jazz  biography  theloniousmonk  music  history  unschooling  glvo  edg  srg  bebop 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Archival Sound Recordings
"Explore 44,500 selected recordings of music, spoken word, and human and natural environments: accents and dialects; arts, literature and performance; classical music; environment and nature; jazz and popular music; oral history; sound recording history; world and traditional music"
art  history  music  uk  britishlibrary  library  sounds  recordings  samples  ethnography  multimedia  database  free  audio  sound  online  world  jazz  classical  environment  nature  arts  literature  poetry  accents  spokenword  media  archives  repository  tcsnmy  libraries 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Eduardo Galeano Contemplates History’s Paradoxes
"I found the context of this radio interview intriguing for a number of reasons. The setting of a cafe as a place to think and plot and plan future worlds — of course this is resonant to me. The right cafes are peerless as places to think, observe, meet people, write, sketch, ponder. Much, much better than just about any of the social settings available in digital environments. I mean, really — Facebook is an obscure diacritic in the language of human social practices as far as my experience suggests."
eduardogaleano  thinking  facebook  writing  thirdplaces  julianbleecker  djangoreinhardt  jazz  cafes  music  books  latinamerica  uruguay  writers  thirdspaces  openstudioproject 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Eduardo Galeano Contemplates History's Paradoxes : NPR
"Now 68, the Uruguayan author spends most days at his favorite cafe in Montevideo, Uruguay, where fans phone to ask if he is there or when he's expected. Sometimes they leave letters and books for him to sign. Galeano says he was formed in this cafe and others like it:

"These were my universities. Here in cafes is where I learned the art of storytelling — great anonymous storytellers that taught me how to do it," he says. "I love these places where we may have time to lose time. It is a luxury in this world." ... When it's time to leave the cafe, a friend appears outside to give him a lift. Galeano doesn't drive, nor does he use his cell phone much. He suspects his computer — and all computers — drink whiskey at night when nobody's watching.

"And that's why next day they do some enigmatic things that nobody can understand," he says."

[via: ]
eduardogaleano  writing  thinking  technology  mobile  phones  computers  myth  storytelling  history  thirdplaces  paradox  jazz  djangoreinhardt  music  books  writers  latinamerica  uruguay  cafes  thirdspaces  openstudioproject 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Relevant History: Fred Kaplan on creative freedom
"Lots of creative moments combine prep & training w/ serendipity or the creativity that emerges out of responding to in-the-moment challenges or opportunities...Other creative acts are grounded in, or push the boundaries of, the nature & limits of the media you're working w/ (applies equally to crayons, Lie groups or reinforced concrete). The tinkering movement recognizes the fundamental materiality of most creative work & puts engagement with stuff at its Matthew Crawford & Richard Sennett argue in their books, the creativity of everyone from machinists to musicians is tested & tempered by the demands that their materials make & the traditions in which they work. In other words, thinking of "creativity" as mainly an expression of a psychological gift– a capacity to be creative– is wrong. Or it's incomplete. People aren't creative when they're free to do whatever they want. They're creative when they're free to experiment, to try out new things, to fail at the boundaries."
alexsoojung-kimpang  creativity  constraints  tinkering  serendipity  materiality  innovation  cultofyouth  risk  jazz  experimentation  milesdavis 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Eric Lewis strikes chords to rock the jazz world | Video on
"Eric Lewis, an astonishingly talented crossover jazz pianist -- seen by many for the first time at TED2009 -- sets fire to the keys with his shattering rendition of Evanescence's chart-topper, "Going Under.""

[See interview: ]
ericlewis  music  jazz  piano  ted 
march 2009 by robertogreco
At Home In Paris With Pianist Martial Solal : NPR Music
"Though still little-known in the U.S., Solal is one of the greatest European musicians alive today. His life at the piano ranges from lessons with his opera-singer mother in Algiers to post-war collaborations with Django Reinhardt and Sidney Bechet in Paris, to a wide variety of film work.

Solal's music is as complex as his life. Born to Algerian Jewish parents, he moved to France in 1950 when he was 23. He began playing in the underground jazz dives around St.-Germain-des-Pres, and before long, he was recording with the great jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt and ex-pat American saxophonist Don Byas. Fame came to Solal for the music he composed for Jean-Luc Godard's 1960 breakthrough film, Breathless (A Bout de Souffle)."
music  jazz  npr  martialsolal  france  piano 
january 2009 by robertogreco
The 50 greatest arts videos on YouTube | Technology | The Observer
"YouTube is best known for its offbeat videos that become viral sensations. But among its millions of clips is a treasure trove of rare and fascinating arts footage, lovingly posted by fans. Ajesh Patalay selects 50 of the best - Joy Division's TV debut, readings by Jack Kerouac, a Marlene Dietrich screen test, Madonna's first performance... and much more"
youtube  art  video  history  music  culture  film  literature  jazz  poetry  entertainment 
september 2008 by robertogreco
"audioblog started by James Morris in April of 2004. A year later it was hijacked by a number of additional writers, many of them divas. We update Monday through Friday, putting up all sorts of music and as much text as the occasion seems to call for. We
audio  mp3  music  blogs  blues  jazz  hiphop  punk  mp3blog  audioblog 
november 2007 by robertogreco
The Believer - Interview with Dave Hickey
"The MFA system produces "Almost no one. Idiots with low-grade depression...The MFA thing is an invention of the ’70s. Its raison d’être is evaporating."
art  brain  creativity  criticism  thinking  writing  jazz  davehickey  mfa  education  academia  culture  richardserra  glvo  edruscha  frankgehry  danflavin  donaldjudd  andywarhol  anthonycaro  brucenauman  ellsworthkelly  sollewitt 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Herbie Hancock Talks Math, Music and Mastering the Tech Toolbox
"In this Q&A, Hancock explains how he used a cinematic mental-imagery technique to record his latest album, River: The Joni Letters, featuring guest vocals by Mitchell, Norah Jones, Leonard Cohen, Tina Turner and others."
music  jazz  math  herbiehancock 
october 2007 by robertogreco
NPR : Ornette Coleman Wins Music Pulitzer
"Ornette Coleman has won the Pulitzer Prize for music with his recording Sound Grammar, a document of a 2005 concert recorded live in Italy."
jazz  media  music  ornettecoleman 
april 2007 by robertogreco
JazzTube-Great Perfprmances In Jazz
"This site is devoted to giving you the best videos on Jazz that have been collected by Jazz lovers thru out the world and made available on the great YOU Tube"
jazz  music  video  youtube 
february 2007 by robertogreco
IDEO’s Urban Pre-Planning | Metropolis Magazine
"Can its “Smart Space” practice shake up the lumbering world of infrastructure, zoning, and public process?"
cities  community  planning  urban  space  urbanism  design  architecture  jazz  music  history  ethnography  sustainability  technology  innovation  ideo  streets  process  business 
october 2006 by robertogreco
Giant Steps by Michal Levy
three dimensional representation of Coltrane's "Giant Steps"
animation  architecture  art  design  jazz  visualization  video  music 
september 2006 by robertogreco
In synch with Tommy Flanagan
two dimensional represantaion of Coltrane's "Giant Steps"
animation  art  design  jazz  music  sound  visualization 
september 2006 by robertogreco
Wired News: From Crypto to Jazz
"for his latest release, Codebook, from Pi Recordings, the artist looked instead to cryptography and number theory for inspiration. "
code  jazz  math  music  mp3  cryptography 
september 2006 by robertogreco
jon snydal .:. portfolio: information design
"Viewing the Miles Davis composition All Blues through the lens of ImproViz illustrates the contrasting melodic and harmonic styles of three musicians: Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley and John Coltrane."
music  jazz  information  design  graphics 
october 2005 by robertogreco

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