From: Aaron Cohen
Just wanted to add that reading all the posts here reaffirm how fortunate, and humbled, I am to converse with this group.
I couldn’t agree more with Angelika that Jason Moran’s Kennedy Center appointment can only mean great things for the institution, and for jazz itself. I didn’t know that his family established a scholarship named after him, but it doesn’t surprise me at all. His family has always supported his dreams, and I’m so glad that they’re also supporting the dreams of so many other talented music students. Also, I had forgotten to include Orrin Evans among musicians who give me confident hope for the future — although I just heard his discs, and his part in Bill McHenry’s group and haven’t seen him lead his own band. I’m looking forward to having that opportunity in 2012. I went to his blog posting on Angelika’s recommendation and he also makes astute points about the music business.
What my fellow Midwesterner Joe writes about genre boundaries being ignored among contemporary jazz musicians in Chicago is so true. This was also a big part of Danish scholar Fabian Holt’s book, Genre In Popular Music, a few years ago, where he gave considerable attention to Jeff Parker (pictured at top) and Thrill Jockey. I’d just add that there is a significant history to all of this in Chicago, particularly among musicians and arrangers for Chicago’s classic soul music in the 1960s and 1970s (like jazz arranger Tom Tom Washington, who worked for the Chi-Lites and Earth, Wind and Fire as well as Lionel Hampton). Anyway, that history is, hopefully, part of my next book (knock on wood there).
I had no idea about the Qatar jazz initiative until reading Kelvin’s post — that sure is a world away from what has been happening with the Occupy movement. Definitely all of these political, economic divisions are something to watch in 2012, and if/how these larger issues are reflected in the music. I also hadn’t jumped into the Mary Halvorson fan bus until this summer when I saw her perform an exciting set in a band with Ingrid Laubrock at the Chicago Jazz Festival.
Glad to see Tune-Yards’ Whokill in Nate’s year-end list. There’s another artist who ignores boundaries and is most certainly bringing jazz ideas into her take on what individualistic pop music should be (can’t remember the names of the saxophonists in her band). Anyway, my wife Lavonne and I loved the Tune-Yards show at Chicago’s Lincoln Hall a few months back. It ended with her offering to hug anyone in the audience who would donate at least $5 to African famine relief. Now that is beyond cool!