It's the last day of the Jazz 91.7 Spring Pledge Drive 2012 and it's been a pretty fun week. I got to hang out at the radio station all week. It's been a particularly fun week of content and discourse with Nextbop. This week's Line-Up essentially reflects this.
The Line-Up for 6 April 2012
Last year, I was privileged enough to not only attend Kenneth Whalum’s first performance at DC’s legendary Bohemian Caverns, but to meet with him as well. Since then, Whalum has been a great mentor and friend to me, so when I found out he was coming back to Bohemian this year, obviously there was no other option but to be in there for both nights. To no surprise, Whalum delivered even harder than last year, with an even bigger response from the jazz community. For those who wish they could’ve been there, I was able to get a few moments of the performance as well as speak with Kenneth in between sets. And I definitely couldn’t go and not get some pictures. Hope you enjoy!
The anticipation for ERIMAJ's Conflict of a Man continues to grow. Thus a nugget like this live performance as part of the Live at the Loft Show series of their new song, "Social Life", is like precious gold. 1) This party seems like the real jam and I'm filled with envy at not being able to attend it. 2) Once again, I can't wait for the album to drop. My feelings for ERIMAJ have been rejuvenated. I was juvenated before. Lost it (probably distracted by Black Radio, you know how it goes)... and got juvenated again. Rejuvenated. Check it.
Most times when you see me, I will be wearing a hat. I don't have nearly as many as I'd like, but I certainly have quite a few. Lately, I've been switching between a nice rotation of fedoras and drivers caps, typically worn backwards. The fedoras are a relatively recent thing but otherwise, yes, I'm a black man constantly trying to channel Samuel L. Jackson. (He's a Morehouse Man, too. Can you blame me?) My Kangol has sort of been my thing for many years (for the better part of a decade, really). So in my last year at Morehouse, when a school administrator told me to remove my hat while having a meal in the cafeteria, I got a little incensed. I could go at length about the history of hat etiquette and my subsequent strict adherence to it but I have a tendency to write too much anyway, but trust me, I'm detailed. Anyway, I was so upset about this administrator that I took to my column space in the opinions section of The Maroon Tiger. My column that week said this administrator was "a man who may possibly destroy the future of this institution of which I have grown quite fond." Through some odd rationale which would be improprietous for me to say, the piece made it to print and I had to have a meeting with the editor-in-chief, the managing editor, and the faculty advisor who read that sentence aloud and asked me, "When you read that, what do you think?" I replied, "Frankly, I'm glad I didn't end that sentence in a preposition." I was young, short-tempered, a smart alec, and I was just learning that my words have weight. In some ways, I still am a more moderate version all of these things, but I grow older and I get better at what I do. I learn over time and I am tempered by my experiences. I can't help but think about my own youthful impetuousness (a mere five years ago) when I think about some kids in Toronto whose new album I like.
Marc Rosenfeld Antunes
mra337[at]nyu.edu / @mcrantunes
Much jazz music that has been at the very forefront of acclaim recently has been totally clean. The most recent albums to point to would be Robert Glasper’s Black Radio, a super-produced listen, an album with its audio tracks manipulated and equalised to a powerful whole, and Esperanza Spalding’s Radio Music Society, a record making use of a large, fully synchronised, well-rehearsed band. And why should it not be so? The clean provides the listener with that glossy effect of perfection represented in sound. Walking Dark, the most recent album by Phronesis, released everywhere by Edition Records, is not imperfect, but it is opposite to that perception; it is a celebration of hot music, rather than cool, clean, and controlled music.