Friday, July 03, 2009
Jaki Byard- L.H. Gateway Rag
It's not easy being a jazz guy in 2009.
I'm mercilessly mocked by associates who are mystified by my interest in the so-called dead art form. And much of the jazz community can't understand how I can also love the likes of Nas, AC/DC and Merle Haggard.
Some of the disconnect, perhaps, has to do with the loss of the great tricksters of jazz. Guys like Charles Mingus, Henry Threadgill, Lester Bowie and Jaki Byard regularly made raucous, genre-bending music that was genuinely funny.
This wooly track from an out-of-print 1978 session is propelled by Major Holley's tuba and Byard's odd ragtime goof. They even laugh out loud at 2:05. That experimental sense of fun is largely absent in jazz today. Just check out the angry comments to this stupendous live '65 video. What happened to our progressive sense of adventure?
I chose Shakespeare over Jonathan Richman on Monday. Luckily, some great fan footage is available. This clip includes JoJo's explanation of why the venue's air conditioning was turned off. Had I been there, I might have wrung his neck.
A dude recently posted a 1980 live recording of The Who at YouTube. The bootleg documents the first time I saw The Who. The Pretenders opened the concert.
Jason Harper laments the announcement that Shawnee's Needmore Discs will close in August.
The Village Voice profiles "fledgling R&B superstar" and native of Kansas City, Kansas, Janelle Monae.
Last week I battled rush hour traffic by shamelessly singing along with "When Will I See You Again." Yes, I even did the "precious moments' bit. Fayette Pinkney of the Three Degrees died last week. She was 61. (Tip via BGO.)
Kansas City Click: I might ask the women in long dresses if I can borrow their hula hoops tonight at Carbon Leaf's free concert at Crossroads KC.
I plan to check out Taste of Troost on the Fourth.
Jazz guitarist Jerry Hahn returns to Jardine's on Sunday.