Now who you jivin’ with that cosmic debris? – Zappa
Item 1 – From the International Jazz Day web site: In November 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially designated April 30 as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe. (The site under ‘Events’ has a long list of things happening that day.)
Apparently every year, a different city is picked to be the host city. This year it’s Washington, D.C. And in fact, President and Mrs. Obama – who if nothing else have proven to have impeccable musical taste – will be hosting an All-Star Global Concert to be broadcast in the U.S. on ABC on April 30. (Not sure what the international broadcast schedule looks like).
A short list of performers includes Herbie Hancock, Sting, Aretha Franklin, Diana Krall, John McLaughlin, Al Jarreu, Buddy Guy, Esperanza Spalding, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, Pat Metheny, Terri Lyne Carrington. (Terri is a Boston-based drummer. I met her once years ago when I was trying to get into playing music. She was then dating a guy named Andre, the very guy who turned me on to Prince).
And since it would be wrong to leave you without a tune for International Jazz Day, here’s Wynton Marsalis doing Miles Davis’s “Donna Lee”:
Item 2 – Rolling Stone magazine – who love their lists – published the 40 Greatest Punk Albums of All Time. I think sometimes that RS editors are gluttons for punishment. Every time they publish a list of any sort (best guitarist, top 500 albums, etc.) they get mercilessly slogged by the Internet crowd.
The British mag, The Observer, takes on, shall we say, the counter-argument in its article entitled, succinctly, Rolling Stone Gets Punk Rock Wrong, Again. And then reminds us, in several different ways, that “the authors of the Rolling Stone list have spent a significant portion of the last 40 years living in the mucosal folds of Glenn Frey’s transverse colon.” Whoa! Careful with that axe, Eugene.
If you don’t feel like reading the whole list, here’s the Top Ten per Rolling Stone. For the record, with exceptions, I wasn’t much of a punk fan, hence own none of these:
10. Nevermind, Nirvana; 9. Los Angeles, X; 8. Damaged, Black Flag; 7. Double Nickles on the Dime, Minutemen; 6. Pink Flag, Wire; 5. Entertainment, Gang of Four; 4. Funhouse, The Stooges; 3. Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols, Sex Pistols; 2. The Clash, The Clash; 1. Ramones, Ramones.
I ask you. What other blog site has both Wynton Marsalis and The Ramones on the same page? You’re welcome.
Item 3 –The original Woodstock-era Santana reformed to record Santana IV. It was released about a week ago. First impression on listening to is they’ve lost no power but not sure if the material is as great as it used to be. It’s not making me forget “Abraxas” or their first album. Also don’t hear any hits per se but maybe not their intention. But good to have them back anyway. Worth another listen or two before I decide whether or not to buy.
Item 4–On this week’s NOT-so-cool list is Steve Miller’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I happen to like the guy’s stuff and think he deserves it. (He’s more than just classic rock. He learned how to play blues from T-Bone Walker. His parents were friends of Les Paul’s!)
But I think he totally fucked up by getting pissed off backstage and ranting about how the music industry is a bunch of crooks and how he didn’t even want to attend. He was inducted by the guys in the Black Keys who, he said, he’d never heard of. After they listened to his rant, they didn’t even stick around for his whole set. The Keys are getting Internet heat for being whiny.
No, the guys didn’t do anything wrong. Dan Auerbach said he flew to the induction on his own dime, away from his kids to honor this guy. And then there’s all this negativity from Miller. So the Keys said they wished they’d never gone to the induction.
As to Steve Miller, open letter to you, dude. (Yeah, right, like he reads my blog). Listen, you have every right to think that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions are politically motivated or a sham or whatever it is you think.
But if that’s the case, you should have just refused the honor – that’s what it is, baby – and boycotted the fucking thing. Would have saved everybody a lot of grief. And then they could have instead inducted the long overdue Yes.