Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Jazz Gems @ In The Groove

My friend and frequent contributor to Jazz Note, Ken Laster, produces the best jazz podcast that I am aware of. In the Groove: Jazz and Beyond brings a lot of excellent jazz to the net every week. If you like jazz and are looking for good music to purchase, I can't think of a better site. His most recent podcast, however, offers something really unique and valuable.

K.L. and I agree that our frequent worship of jazz heroes (Wayne Shorter and Miles Davis in my case), runs the risk of eclipsing jazz artists alive and working right now. It reminds me of the joke about classical music fans: they believe that the only good musician is a dead musician. That's not quite true for us hard bop purists, but it's getting to be true. Ken does a lot more about this problem than I do. He gives you a lot of contemporary jazz at his site.

But in his recent podcast, "Heard Only Here", he gives you some music files that are not available anywhere else. Don't miss this one, because you might not get another chance. Everything on this podcast is toe-twitching good. I especially liked Star Eyes (alt 1), by Greg Abate. Since I first heard Abate on one of Ken's previous podcasts, I have purchased about half of his commercially available music. So much to get, so little coin! My favorite remains Monsters in the Night, a collection of hard bop compositions named after 1930's movie monsters. Halloween and hard bop, that pushes my buttons! But if you don't like Dracula, don't fear, it's all straight jazz.

I missed Greg when he played out in Rapid City, a mere five hours from where I live. Don't miss his piece on this podcast.

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