Monday, January 12, 2009

It's time for an orgy

First, sorry to be so absent from the blogworld recently, especially with so much cool stuff passing through lately. (You'll see what's been keeping me busy, hopefully, on the blog soon) In the meantime, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Boston is, in addition to being knee-deep in snow, in the center of WHRB's annual orgy season, where they play hours and hours in a row of a single artist or theme. I missed the first week, and I'm not particularly interested in the five days of Mendhlesson they are currently playing, but there is some interesting stuff coming:

Friday 1/15 8pm- Saturday 1/16 5am: History of Hip-Hop orgy
Saturday 1/16 5am -7pm Jazz Funk orgy. Should be a lot of the good, the bad and the ugly from the 70s.
Sunday 1/17 - Met broadcast of Doctor Atomic. Not an orgy, but something I'm excited for.
Tuesday 1/20 2pm- "Jazz for Change"
Thursday 1/22 to Friday 1/23, various times- Elliot Carter orgy
Tuesday 1/29- the John Zorn orgy.

I would note that compared to years past, this is a very weak orgy season for jazz, and just about everything non-classical. Do we really need days and days of Martinu, and only one orgy dedicated exclusively to anything even remotely jazz (Zorn)? I've been very disheartened recently with the Boston jazz scene, and particularly the media's indifference. For instance, in their year in review columns, the Boston Globe had classical and pop reviews from their big guns, but not a word about jazz. And they have Steve Greenlee, a very solid and underrated critic, is nowhere to be found. The Globe is currently in a crunch, like all papers, but to see jazz increasingly written off there is disturbing.

More soon...

1 comment:

the medium lebowski said...

As a publicist who does a good bit of tour press, if you're working with quality artists, Boston is one of the most press-friendly markets in the country - especially for jazz. I can't really speak to the deadness of the Boston jazz scene right now as I'm not there (I'm in Philly) but the Boston Globe did publish Steve Greenlee's Top 10 of 2008 - perhaps not in the paper (though I do think they did) but at least online (http://www.boston.com/ae/music/packages/cds2008/gallery/14greenlee/). Greenlee is truly a diamond in the rough as Pat says - he also contributes to Jazz Times and really has very excellent taste in music (not just cuz he picked several records I promoted - he is genuinely a music freak - specificaly an improvised music freak and thus a treasure for the Boston jazz scene). This year he snuck in a few columns on free jazz (Raoul Bjorkenheim, Sun Ra, others I can't remember) mixed in with the ones on Wayne Shorter, Keith Jarrett and the SF Collective.

Also Siddhartha Mitter has excellect world music and jazz coverage in the Globe and I have to say that Jon Garelick really covers the bases in the Phoenix and Kevin Convey tries to review as much jazz as possible (often tieing CD reviews to live dates) in the Herald. WBUR's "Hear & Now" used to have a great critic in James Isaacs but his jazz-sympathetic producer Virginia Prescott left town for a job at New Hampshire Public Radio and the current producer is not very jazz friendly at all. You also have Jeff Turton, Eric Jackson, Steve Schwartz and a number of fine college stations in the area. So I I wouldn't go wringing my hands about the situation in Boston, Pat. We could stand for what you guys have in Philly, Pittsburgh, DC and Cleveland (let alone 10 other cities with jazz scenes).