Tag Archives: Music

Prey for Play?: From ‘Pay for Play’ to ‘Play for Pay’ and now this?

For a few years in the mid-1980s, I played in a pop music cover band in the Windsor/Detroit area. It was a lot of fun, and we actually made a reasonable amount of money. We generally played anywhere from four to seven nights a week, and our weekly take-home per member was about $300. In […]

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Duran Duran, Do Rand Do Rand: All You Need is Ayn?

I’m a big fan of Duran Duran and have been for a long time, but I was shocked when I played a gig at Billy’s Lounge–a popular blues club in Grand Rapids’ delightful EastTown district–with The Hip Pocket a few weeks ago, and the lonely old jukebox against the back wall was plastered with ads […]

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Beggars’ Banquet: New Music Schemes for New Music Dreams

Over the last decade, we’ve heard a lot about new marketing and funding strategies for music and musicians that were emerging in the age of ubiquitous internet coverage and access. Streaming music and video, Youtube, email lists, artist/group websites and blogs, fanzines, Facebook, digital and hardcopy sales, self-publishing, on-demand publishing, and others. As inexpensive and […]

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No Coda for Coda: Another Jazz Club Closes

Coda, a San Francisco jazz club closes, and Yoshi’s Jazz Club, one of the nation’s most famous and longstanding jazz clubs, is now relying “increasingly” on groups* like Mos Def and Public Enemy (while at the same time receiving millions in public funding). [See full story in the Bay Citizen.] I don’t enjoy delivering bad news about the […]

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Detroit Symphony Orchestra: Strike Up The Band

I’ve heard the marvelous Detroit Symphony Orchestra many times. Each time, I was enthralled by the incredible musicianship in display. There was, however, always something a bit odd about seeing an orchestra at this level in a city that was (when I first saw the orchestra in the late 1970s) clearly in bad shape. How […]

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Lush Life Lost: Toxic Jazz Mythologies

I’d been wanting to see the movie Let’s Get Lost (a film about Chet Baker) for many years. I heard about it when it first came out, but had a hard time finding it on video. I stumbled across it on YouTube, and watched the entire film (in 12 parts). At the same time, a friend […]

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Jazz Robots go Mr. Roboto: When Cats start Copying

A recent Xtranormal video has gone viral in the jazz community (which means all 64,270 of us in the world have watched it). The original, Jazz Robots, is funny and clever, making fun of the non-judgmental, insincere, praise-reflecting (and yet hyper complimentary) contemporary jazz lingo that mixes uncomfortably with the old ’50s hipster talk in a […]

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Music and Politics: Strange Bedfellows Get Stranger

Politics and music often cross paths. Most often, musicians use their celebrity pulpit to stump for candidates or to bring attention to a cause. Politicians, like many others, use music as a marketing tool (think of Clinton’s first campaign with Fleetwood Mac’s Don’t Stop (Thinkin’ About Tomorrow) which was featured prominently throughout as well as […]

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The C Major Scale is an F Major Chord: George Russell and Paul Hindemith

No commentary on this one, I’m just pondering this quote from the late George Russell’s “Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization.” Russell (who was called “The Invisible Guru” by Ian Carr) was a deep thinker whose philosophical approach to music influenced the development of jazz profoundly. (I haven’t seen evidence of that myself, but some […]

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Jazz Evolution: What happened to “Locked Hands” and “Drop-2”?

Note: If you’re not a jazz pianist/instrumentalist or jazz composer/arranger, this post might not be of much interest, but it’s a question I’ve wondered about for many years. —————————————————————————————————————————— There are two jazz piano voicings (closely related) known colloquially as “Locked Hands” and “Drop-2” voicings. In Locked Hands (often also referred to as the “Shearing […]

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