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October 21, 2010

Coltrane's "My Favorite Things" Turns 50

I just want to point out that today is the 50th anniversary of the recording date that John Coltrane laid down My Favorite Things. Put out on Atlantic Records, this date is also the first time we're hearing McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones alongside Coltrane in the form of his remarkable Quartet (sans Mr. Garrison). Portland's (and my local) jazz radio station KMHD will be airing some highlight recordings of Coltrane during that era from 12:30 to 1:00pm today. Tune in, let the music transcend you, and I do hope you revisit Coltrane's music throughout the rest of your day.

October 20, 2010

Marion Brown Tribute Post

Marion Brown left us recently. At age 79, he passed away Monday, October 18th in Hollywood, Florida.

I was exposed to Marion Brown early in my Jazz listening-hood. When I was first getting beyond Coltrane, Coleman, and Ayler, into the second wave of avant-garde players from the 60s, Brown was the first that I dove into. As a leader, he seemed to have a knack for commencing wonderful improvising sessions, and despite having many successes, Brown always seemed to fall under the radar of main stream Jazz. This is a sax-man that played along Archie Shepp and Pharoah Sanders in Coltrane's Ascension, has had recordings put out on Impulse, ESP-Disk', ECM, and many other boutique labels.

From the first time I heard Brown, I was instantly hooked. WKCR just wrote that this is "one of the most radical but romantic of free improvisers." That's it! That's all you need to know about Marion Brown to understand his music's existence. A statement that can only apply to so few Jazz artists, and Brown belongs at the epicenter.

Please experience his music. Whether it's on vinyl, iTunes, streamed from Rhapsody or Pandora -- but don't just listen, be part of it, mentally and physically. It is beautiful music, it's not just Jazz, but Great Black Music that America and the world is lucky to have.

Image Credit: Original painting by Martel Chapman.

Northern-Spy Entertainment

“The team that brought back ESP moves on to form new company: Northern-Spy Entertainment”
I guess my main question is...  What is happening with ESP-Disk'?
The staff responsible for resurrecting the iconic record label ESP-Disk’ in recent years -- Tom Abbs (General Manager), Douglas McGregor (Chief Financial Officer), Adam Downey (Director of Promotions) and Robert Keefe (Publishing Administrator) -- have all resigned their positions and struck out on their own to launch a new partnership, Northern-Spy Entertainment, LLC.
In the team’s last three years at ESP, they oversaw an unprecedented expansion of the label’s activities, with over sixty CD and vinyl releases produced in their tenure, including the first new recordings for the label in 35 years. The business was also expanded to include a distribution company, a retail store and a live music series, which culminated in this summer’s Albert Ayler Festival on Roosevelt Island.  Recent articles in Jazz Times and The Wall Street Journal, “ESP-Disk’ - Back in Business” and “The Artists Alone Decide - In a New Era”, hailed the team as bringing the label back to its original 60’s glory and at the same time rectifying years of mismanagement. But underneath this success, a series of longstanding labor disputes got in the way, and after months of failed negotiations the staff made the fateful decision to move on and start their own company.
Beginning right where they left off, the Northern-Spy team aims to position themselves as a major force on the Brooklyn music scene. The new venture will bring forth a 360° approach to music business, offering artists a wide array of production, distribution, promotions, licensing, publishing administration, and booking services. With an aggressive release schedule catering to the independent music scene and its strong industry ties, Northern-Spy is positioned to make waves in the coming months. Like the multitude of artist run-labels that came before it, Northern-Spy is buoyed by the team’s diverse experience on the music scene. Abbs is an accomplished recording artist with records out on Delmark, AUM Fidelity, 482 Music and even ESP, and has run a non-for-profit arts organization in New York for the last decade. McGregor is an accomplished guitarist, vocalist and recording engineer who runs his own studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Downey is a working DJ and bassist on the Brooklyn scene and Keefe is a sought after DJ, a film buff and writer.
The label's first artist signings include Colin Langenus from USAISAMONSTER, Arrington de Dionyso from Old Time Relijun, and the Italian fire-music team, Jooklo Duo. Releases will be in stores Tuesday, November 16th.
Visit our website at:

October 16, 2010

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey in Portland tonight.

From Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey:

Sat. Oct 16, 2010
JFJO in PDX w/Dead Kenny G's!

Doors: 8:30 PM | Show: 8:30 PM

JFJO returns to Portland to celebrate the new album Stay Gold at Mt. Tabor Theater with good friends the Dead Kenny G's as well as an opening set from Trio Subtonic
Mt Tabor Pub
4811 SE Hawthorne
Portland, OR 97215