Saturday, September 18, 2010


Thanks to loyal readers who have dropped me a note.  I wish to emphasize that the blog will be back in some form.  I want to be able to talk or write about jazz and present jazz, as I have tried to do here.  I want to do that without any legal or moral compromises. 

Our Northern State University Radio Station committee is moving toward the institution of an internet radio station, and I will host a jazz show.  I expect we will broadcast using Live365, which covers all the royalty issues.  I am already planning shows.  My first show, as I envision it, will focus on Miles Davis' two great quintets.  I'll play music from Cookin' and Workin', and maybe ESP or the Plugged Nickel recordings.  I will also include cuts from Trane, Red Garland, Wayne Shorter, etc.  This will mirror my own jazz collecting.  

The show will have a jazz collectors theme, but towards the end I will break free of that restraint and play some contemporary jazz or whatever pleases my fancy.  I am hoping to attract people newly interested in jazz, and introduce undiscovered jazz artists and albums to advanced jazz fans.  I am also hoping to encourage working jazz artists to send me their music. 

I have in mind a number of subsequent shows.  I will do one on Monk, and one on covers of Monk compositions.  I will do one on Trane, and maybe a show on Top Ten Jazz Men, and/or Top Ten Jazz Albums.  If you have been reading this blog, you know what to expect.  

I am open to suggestions for shows.  Right now my imagination is on fire, but I expect to need kindling eventually.  If you are interested in any of this, check back now and then.  I will keep you posted. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Jazz Note Closes Down

I have some good news and some bad news.  The bad news is that this blog in its present form has run its course.  I have enjoyed doing it, and I greatly appreciate my readers.  I have turned on a lot of readers to the music I love.  I have taken some risk in offering music selections, and I am tired of having my posts shut down for that.  It  could have been worse.  I am also a little disappointed in the number of readers and the frequency of comments.  I am not scolding anyone here.  Things are what they are.  

The good news is that, the Jazz Gods willing, I will soon launch an online radio show.  Some industrious people at Northern State University, where I work, are determined to start a radio station.  KNSU or something like that.   They have asked me to produce a jazz show.  Well, I don't know..., yes.  When I grow up, I want to be Ken Laster.  

I expect that this blog site will be reborn as a companion to the online show/podcast.  So don't delete the bookmark.  With luck and fair winds, and royalties paid, you'll be hearing a lot more jazz from me in the future.  

Again: thanks to everyone who has read this blog, listened to my music, and posted a comment.  I love you all.  As the Terminator said, "I'll be back." 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Maximum Max Roach 4 Pennies

My eMusic subscription renewed yesterday.  As I noticed the renewed credits, I was thumbing through the Penguin Guide and came upon the Max Roach recordings.  I have the core collection entries, the Clifford Brown collaborations (Alone Together) and the civil rights hymn We Insist!  There is a lot of jazz history and heart in those two issues.  I have also commented on Roach's collaboration with Anthony Braxton.  

As I was contemplating all this, I noticed that a four and a half star PG recommendation was on eMusic for two credits.  That adds up, doing some math on the subscription price I pay, to about 80 cents.  There are some reasons it's so cheap.  The subtitle, Max Roach Quartet at the Jazz Workshop, makes it sound like an essay. The recording consists of two long numbers.  Probably not album of the month.  

In fact, this is brilliant jazz.  The two segments are what rock fans would call jams.  With Roach as leader, Clifford Jordan on tenor, Mal Waldron on piano, and Eddie Khan on bass, they take a simple blues line and milk it for all the passion it is worth.  It's worth a lot.  

Here is a sample.  It is about half of the first number.  Don't listen if you ain't got the dough to purchase the whole thing.