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John H. Armwood Jazz History Lecture Nashville's Cheekwood Arts Center 1989

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The New York Times > Arts > Music > Jazz Review: Soaking Up the Spaces at a New Jazz Center

The New York Times > Arts > Music > Jazz Review: Soaking Up the Spaces at a New Jazz Center: "Soaking Up the Spaces at a New Jazz Center
Soaking Up the Spaces at a New Jazz Center

Some basic impressions of Jazz at Lincoln Center's new space, which opened last night: It is a sophisticated, cosmopolitan, fairly expensive-feeling experience; it is flexible and alive.

Jazz has so many different connotations for different people. But at least some part of this three-theater complex, taking up the fifth and sixth floors of the Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle, could ring the bells of recognition of someone who had never been to a jazz performance before and only possessed the received wisdom of photographs and album covers: yes, this seems right; this is jazz. And it contains enough attention to detail to impress those who have spent the better part of their lives hearing it, too.

Last night's invitation-only opening shows, broadcast live on PBS, are not going to remain in the imagination as any kind of normal night: it was an evening for board members, donors, critics, musicians and those involved with the construction of the hall. And so it is too early to tell what it will feel like as the theaters begin their season-long schedule, with the bigger concerts in the 1,200-seat Rose Theater and the 550-seat Allen Room overlapping with shows in the 140-seat Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola.

The Rose Theater, especially, was hard to get a grip on in a first encounter. It was set up as a theater-in-the-round, which won't always be the case, and for the sake of television, the ceiling lights were torching the house. And there's no way that all the different configurations of music, with guests coming and going for every song (among them Abbey Lincoln, Tony Bennett, Mark O'Connor, Giovanni Hidalgo, Cyro Baptista and Wynton Marsalis's musical family) could have been sound-checked to their best advantage. The music itself worked as a statement of purpose: a version of the organization's desired eclecticism in miniature, with a blues, a New Orleans tune ("Dippermouth Blues"), an orchestration of forró music from Northeastern Brazil, ballads, Coltrane, Basie and so on.

But at certain moments - as when the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra suddenly cut away from the tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano, who played a few unaccompanied bars during his solo in "Body and Soul" - you could hear some of the richness we have in store. His saxophone sound had tremendous depth and resonance, a more intimate sound than we have become used to at Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall, where Jazz at Lincoln Center's concerts were held since the mid-1980's.

For the basic potential of hearing jazz in a theater, it might not get much better than the Allen Room. The Lincoln Center Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, eighteen musicians on an oval bandstand, set up there for three sets, through more than three hours of music, and they played their repertory, from Machito to new works like Tom Harrell's "Humility." The room is exceptionally well-balanced. With only light amplification (and the idea is that some performances in the future will have none), the music was detailed. Pablo Calogero's baritone saxophone came through as well as Milton Cardona's conga drums. And the high windows overlooking Central Park South give another staggering dimension: toward the top of the glass, you see the reflection of car headlights playing on the windows.

From the smaller windows behind the bandstand at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, you see half Trump International Hotel and Tower, half Central Park treetops. Bill Charlap played three sets there, a small space with a variety of guests sitting in, including Wynton Marsalis, who played whinnies and melodic inventions through "Just Friends," in front of Clark Terry, stopping by to check out the new place.

Adjustments, acoustic and otherwise, are made to nearly all theaters after they open. I've seen some clubs proceed for years in a fairly raw or problematic state. But already these rooms impressively translate into bricks-and-mortar reality how the planners of Jazz at Lincoln Center have raised the stakes for jazz to become visible and powerful in the city. In their thesis, jazz isn't secluded; it's right out there, exposed and imperious, peering over the street.

The New York Times > AP > Arts > New Home of Jazz Opens at Lincoln Center

The New York Times > AP > Arts > New Home of Jazz Opens at Lincoln Center: "October 18, 2004
October 18, 2004
New Home of Jazz Opens at Lincoln Center

Filed at 8:09 p.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Led by Wynton Marsalis, a swinging group of musicians belted out ``When the Saints Go Marching In'' as they strutted down Broadway to kick off the opening of the new home of Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Office workers clapped from open windows, and other onlookers tapped their feet. Some even started to jitterbug on the street as excitement of the traditional New Orleans-style parade of saxophones, trumpets, tubas and trombones filled the brisk air.

``I just had to be here for this,'' said Igor Butman, a sax player from Moscow. ``This is the first real jazz center in the world.''

It was an event that Kiyoshi Koyama, a jazz music writer from Tokyo, didn't want to miss either.

``This is one of the major events in the history of jazz,'' Koyama said.

The $128 million Frederick P. Rose Hall features three concert and performance spaces, including Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, a 140-seat jazz club; an education center that includes a combined rehearsal hall and recording studio large enough to house a symphony orchestra; two classrooms and a jazz Hall of Fame.

The 1,200-seat Rose Theater is designed for jazz but also will accommodate opera, ballet, theater and orchestra performances. The Allen Room is a 500-seat performance space reminiscent of a Greek amphitheater that provides an airy elegant setting with spectacular views through a 50-foot-by-90-foot glass wall overlooking Central Park.

Derek Gordon, who took over as executive director of Jazz at Lincoln Center last summer after 12 years at the Kennedy Center in Washington, where he created its jazz program, said the new center was ``dedicated to America's classical music, perhaps the only uniquely American art form.''

``This represents a higher level of acknowledgment, a new embracing of jazz as an art form,'' he said.

The opening festival continues through Nov. 5.

Marsalis, JALC'S artistic director who also was celebrating his 43rd birthday, said jazz giants such as Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie would be proud of the new center.

``They would probably start crying,'' said Marsalis, the first jazz artist to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize in music. ``They gave a lot and fought hard to earn the recognition for jazz in our culture. We respect them and honor them with this center.''


On the Net:

MSNBC > Reuters > Jazz finds a new home in a New York skyscraper

NEW YORK, Oct. 19th 2004 Perched above a shopping mall in a skyscraper at the heart of corporate America, the new home of New York's leading jazz orchestra is a long way from the smoky basements and soulful southern cities of the past.

''Welcome to the house of swing'' -- with those words Wynton Marsalis, of the legendary jazz family, opened the new headquarters of Jazz at Lincoln Center Monday night with a gala performance in an auditorium designed specially for the acoustics of jazz.
Earlier he led a New Orleans-style musical parade down Broadway, kicking off the inaugural festival at the three venues housed in the Time Warner Center that towers over the southwest corner of Central Park.
Public performances start Thursday with the Dizzy Gillespie Festival in the smallest and most intimate of the venues -- Dizzy's Club Coca Cola, whose curved walls, low lighting and tables give the atmosphere of a nightclub.
The Frederick P. Rose Hall complex, sitting above the clothes stores and cafes in the sleek new glass towers, was built at a cost of $128 million and includes recording studios and classrooms for lectures and educational events.
''We've built a house that really swings with the way jazz works, the way jazz feels, and most of all, the way jazz sounds,'' Marsalis said before the gala opening featuring names such as Tony Bennett and Abbey Lincoln, as well as another four members of the Marsalis clan.
Jazz has always been a family affair, and the new center aims to start them young. Children as young as two can join the singing and dancing in the WeBop! educational program.
The main 1,200-seat Rose Theater is designed for jazz but will also be used for opera, ballet, theater and orchestra performances. The most spectacular of the venues is the Allen Room, a 500-seat auditorium with dramatic views through a 50-foot-by-90-foot (15-meter by 27-meter) glass wall overlooking Central Park and the shimmering lights of the city.
Initial reactions were good. ''Sophisticated, cosmopolitan ... flexible and alive,'' was the verdict of The New York Times.
Artistic director Marsalis said it's all about the music. ''Either you can play or you can't play. That's the test.''

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Noted Blogs.Com > Wynton Marsalis on 60 Minutes today on CBS

Wynton Marsalis on 60 Minutes today on CBS - Wednesday, October 13th. You could say that Wynton Marsalis is at a crossroads. Wynton Marsalis about to turn 43, he just changed record labels and he and his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra are about to move from Alice Tully Hall, where they have performed for almost two decades, to a new, 1,200 seat room that is the first concert hall built specifically for Jazz. And while some critics have said that Jazz itself is at a crossroads, struggling to survive, Wynton Marsalis disagrees. To hear why, watch Ed Bradley?s report this week on 60 Minutes Wednesday (CBS, October 13, 8PM EST/PT).
A fixture on the American cultural scene, Wynton Marsalis has brought Jazz back to centre stage in the U.S.A. through his relentless work ethic and drive. He is also a distinguished classical performer whose many recordings for Sony Classical have been an important aspect of his career since it began. In 1997 he became the first Jazz musician to win the Pulitzer Prize in music, for his epic oratorio on the subject of slavery, "Blood on the Fields". As a composer and performer, Wynton Marsalis is also represented on a quartet of Sony Classical releases, "At the Octoroon Balls: String Quartet No. 1," "A Fiddler's Tale," "Reel Time" and "Sweet Release" and "Ghost Story: Two More Ballets" by Wynton Marsalis. All are volumes of an eight-CD series, titled "Swinging Into The 21st", that is an unprecedented set of albums released recently featuring a remarkable scope of original compositions and standards, from Jazz to Classical to Ballet, by composers from Jelly Roll Morton to Stra!
vinsky to Monk, in addition to Wynton Marsalis.
Posted by Jean-Luc RAYMOND at 06:37 PM in In the media | Permalink

YAHOO NEWS> Entertainment - AP Gossip/Celebrity Charlie Parker's Remains May Be Moved

Wed Oct 13, 3:09 PM ET
Entertainment - AP Gossip/Celebrity
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The American Jazz Museum Board is considering moving jazz musician Charlie Parker's remains to a new grave.

The board voted Tuesday to explore the idea of moving Parker's remains to the 18th and Vine District in Kansas City. The vote was prompted by a recent trash dumping at Lincoln Cemetery, where Parker is buried.
The board favors moving Parker's remains to a mausoleum in a sculpture of Parker at Charlie Parker Memorial Plaza, near the jazz museum.
"It would be good to move it (the grave) from an area where no one can find it to down here where ... people can come and pay their respects," said board member Mike White.
Before any final decision is made, the board will research the legal requirements and costs of such a move.
On the Net:
http://www /music/parker

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Trademark Blog > CECIL McBEE: Did Trap Sales Create Personal Jurisdiction?

Friday, October 01, 2004
Sometime after the jazz musician Cecil McBee played in Japan for the first time, someone opened a CECIL McBEE clothing store there and now it's a successful chain. McBee has sued in Japan under a theory of right of personality, with mixed success. A front page article in today's Wall Street Journal on the on-going dispute indicates (without comment) that McBee's US lawyers had agents order clothes from Japan to be shipped here. McBee then used those sales to allege personal jurisdiction and sued the Japanese chain store here. Hmmmm. There are cases that have rejected this ploy, stating that a plaintiff may not manufacture personal jurisdiction over a defendant. See, e.g. Maritz v. Cybergold (discussed in this journal article). discussed the District Court case here and Perkins Coie discussed it here. It is not clear whether the three sales to Maine referred to in the case are the 'trap' sales referred to in the article.

Friday, October 01, 2004

INDB.Com > Stars Pay Tribute to Ray Charles

A host of musical stars paid tribute to the late Ray Charles at a special concert in California Wednesday night. Artists including Stevie Wonder and Michael McDonald performed the blues singer's hits at the tribute show hosted by legendary comedian Bill Cosby. Cosby quipped to the audience which included Quincy Jones and Travis Tritt that Charles, "lived more lives than any 900 hundred of you." He also shared some of his memories of the star, including an occasion when the blind musician appeared at a jazz festival backed by an all white band. Cosby said, "I said to Ray, 'Your band is all white'. He said, 'That's funny. They don't sound white'." Charles passed away aged 73 when his liver failed earlier this year. All proceeds from the tribute concert will go to the Morehouse College Centre in Atlanta, to which Charles donated $2 million during his lifetime.