Thursday, December 07, 2006

Crosstown traffic

First, housekeeping. I have (finally) added links to my first posting of the '73-'90 list and Behearer to the line on the left. I've also edited the list to add a couple of records we overlooked- Hemphill's Cool Bidness, and Bill Dixon's November 1981.

Tonight features a surfiet of improvised riches, not a given in Boston these days. Over in the people's republic of cambridge, the remarkable John Tchicai (pronounced, I think, ti- CHAI) is honored at the Longy School of Music, as part of the 10th anniversary of their Modern American Music program. The program also features Boston stalwart (and these days, criminally underrated saxophonist) Charlie Kohlhase and Longy students and faculty. The music will mix Tchicai's improvised music with more notated works.

Over at Jordan Hall, the New England Conservatory Big Band plays the music of Gil Evans. Knowing Ken Schaphorst, their director, it will be an interesting mix of the famous and less famous, vintage and later Gil. Since coming on board at NEC, Ken has done a yeoman's job with that band. I also think that big band is one place in jazz where a repitoiry band is a good idea- it's often hard to get a sense of the physical impact of the music from a recording, based on where people are, how the doublings of certain notes are physically positioned. With someone like Gil, who was so careful about everything, I expect to learn a lot. I've played some of this music, but never sat in the audience for it, so I'm looking forward to it.

Finally, the Boston Globe has a nice piece about "alternative classical concerts", concert music performed in non-concert venues. I read quite a lot of buzz about this in some of the classical and new music blogs elsewhere, but not surprisingly, Boston is a little behind the curve. (Actually, versions of this have been going on for several years now, so maybe just the media is behind the curve.) Again, I think those of us in the improvised music field have to think harder, and more creatively, about presentation. I do, just don't have many answers yet.

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