The tone of the meeting was positive throughout. Marita and Phil assured us of WGBH’s long-term commitment to jazz and to Eric Jackson as the station’s voice of jazz, described their plans for enhancing the station’s jazz programming, and asked for community input on some of those plans. Perhaps most important, they agreed to continue the dialogue with a meeting next month.
How we opened the meeting
In our opening statement, we explained that JazzBoston was there as a representative of the Greater Boston jazz community because we are part of that community and have been supporting it since we were founded 6 –1/2 years ago. We said that we wanted to meet with WGBH to explain why the community feels so deeply about the loss of local jazz programming and what kinds of actions are being planned in response. We also said we wanted to ask some questions. We pointed out that about 10,000 people were following developments via Facebook, the JazzBoston website, The Arts Fuse, and other respected local blogs, in addition to those following via national blogs and the major print media. And we made it clear that we would be reporting back to the jazz community and the media on the meeting.
In describing the campaign now getting under way, we told Marita and Phil that eight teams were forming to find ways to replace what was lost in WGBH’s cutback, some of those teams were looking at ways to provide a platform for on-air jazz at other stations, and one team was pursuing regulatory and legal action. We noted that the team taking the legal route had people with a lot of FCC experience on it.
What we learned
WGBH plans to continue to play an important, rejuvenated role in jazz. They will keep Eric Jackson’s show on Friday – Sunday nights and integrate more arts and culture reporting, including jazz, into their news programming to give it a distinctive texture.
• Marita and Phil told us that jazz will be a permanent component of the station’s on-air and online offerings, and Eric will be the station’s voice of jazz.
• In addition to doing his own show, now back to its original name, “Eric in the Evening,” 9 hours per week, Eric will appear “regularly” on daytime talk shows. Once a month was mentioned.
• The station wants to present jazz “in a way that integrates more with what we’re doing . . . without compromising the reality we face as public media.”
• They are looking for “the next generation of DJs” for help with streaming content and in-studio recording sessions. The key word is “young,” Phil said.
WGBH plans to launch an Internet jazz station before the end of the year, possibly starting with 6 hours a day. Phil described the station as a work in progress and said he will seek input from the local jazz community.
• The programming will be live, not drawn from archives, with Eric as the main voice, but it wasn’t clear whether Eric will be curating or simply announcing.
• Phil indicated that younger voices might be more suitable for daytime spots.
• Some of the challenges Phil said they would like community input on are giving the Internet jazz station a name that brands it as local, incorporating a “local sensibility” into the programming, finding talented young DJs, and scheduling different styles of jazz for different audiences.
Marita and Phil said they want to “broaden community collaborations,” and Marita specifically asked for help letting listeners know who’s playing where, and reaching Boston’s huge student audience. We talked about ways to direct listeners to the events calendar on the JazzBoston website and publicize special WGBH programs to student audiences.
The Paul Combs Quintet will play the music of Tadd Dameron on Sunday June 3, at the Chit Chat Lounge, 103 Washington St., Haverhill, from 6 PM to 10 PM, and Monday, June 11 at the Press Room, 77 Daniel St., Portsmouth, NH from at 8 PM.
Tadd Dameron was one of the fathers of “Modern Jazz.” Close friend of and frequent collaborator with Dizzy Gillespie, he was known on the 1940s as the “architect of bop.” His influence extended into the 1950s and 1960s as a mentor of musicians such as Miles Davis and Benny Golson, and a primary influence on composer/arrangers such as Horace Silver, Quincy Jones, Frank Foster, and John LaBarbera, among others. Dameron’s biographer, Paul Combs has assembled a quintet dedicated to presenting Tadd’s music, much of it either unjustly neglected or previously unknown. Of course, the quintet will be playing Dameron’s well-known compositions such as “Good Bait,” “Lady Bird,” and “If You Could See Me Now,” as well.
Saxophonist Paul Combs is Tadd Dameron’s biographer. His book, Dameronia – the Life and Music of Tadd Dameron, will be at the end of the summer of this year. In his research, he has discovered many previously unknown Dameron compositions, almost all of them more than worthy of addition to the jazz “canon.”
We have just added more articles and music to the site. In addition the pages are now reasonably complete. Of special interest is the narrative edited from Paul’s 1991 interview with the legendary bop-era arranger Gil Fuller. You can find this on the Articles page. (Please note: because the articles are listed starting with the most recent part 2 is listed above part 1.)
Work on Dameronia – the Life and Music of Tadd Dameron is moving ahead on schedule. but as a result BoMuse News postings have had to take a back seat. We hope to resume timely postings shortly.
Trombonist Joe Ciavardone died last week. He was a veteran of many of the finest big bands of the post WWII Era, and a friend. If you knew Joe and would like to leave a comment in the online memorial guest book for him you can do so here.
I was asked by the editor of the magazine of AFM Local 802 in New York to write a remembrance of Joe. Since most of you reading this are not members of 802, I will repeat it here, with some minor changes.
I met Joe for the first time in the late 90s through a couple of mutual friends. I was working on my biography of Tadd Dameron, Joe had something he wanted to share with me. Continue reading Joe Ciavardone, Rest In Peace
The great drummer Jimmy Cobb will be Honored with the Donostiako Jazzaldia award at this year’s Donostiako Jazzaldia Festival de Jazz in San Sebastián, Spain. Jimmy Cobb should need no introduction here. His career as one of the great jazz drummers goes back to the 1950s, and continues today. Previous winners of this award include 21 other giants of jazz. The festival takes place for five days, July 19 – 23.
The following comes courtesy of Bob Seymour of WUSF/Tampa, FL. Again, apologies for not posting this in a timely manner, since the Festival mentioned her has past.
“Broadcasters who follow the jazz birthday calendar may have noticed that violinist Svend Asmussen turned 96 last week. We got together last weekend to enjoy a night of live music in Sarasota, where Svend and his wife Ellen have spent recent winters, and where Svend will be honored this Saturday night at the 32nd Sarasota Jazz Festival.”
“A very brief sketch: Svend shared the stage with Fats Waller, and with his idol, Stuff Smith, who became a good friend. He collaborated with Goodman and Ellington, and led the very popular Swe-Danes Trio. And worked with the many expatriate musicians in Copenhagen, including a group with Kenny Drew and Ed Thigpen. (As early as WW2, his prominence had led to his being among those rounded up by the Nazis, which led to solitary confinement for months in Berlin.)”
“Svend recorded for Arbors just a few years ago (“Makin’ Whoopee…and Music”) and would occasionally sit in locally, including a memorable Dick Hyman/Peter Appleyard concert where Svend was special guest, 4 years ago. The past couple of seasons, a stroke has hampered his bowing arm; as he said the other day, ‘Well, I gave it about 90 years.’ And he is just a delightful cat.”
“Since its earliest days, the Jazz Club of Sarasota has given the Satchmo Award during the festival, to a long list of jazz greats. This year’s finale on Saturday is Dick & Derek at the Movies, with Dick Hyman and Derek Smith. (And happy 85th this week to Dick – he and Svend first played together on a Benny Goodman tour in 1950.) The plan is to show some film clips to the crowd, of Svend with Toots, Goodman, etc., as he is given the honor before a sold-out house this weekend.”
UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, and one of everyone’s favorite jazz pianists, Herbie Hancock has declared April 30 to be International Jazz Day. As announced in the Huffington Post, “The official kick-off will be on April 27 with an all-day program at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris that will include master classes, roundtable discussions and improvisational workshops. An evening concert will feature Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, South Africa’s Hugh Masekela and Brazil’s Tania Maria, among others.”
Jazz Boston will be coordinating its Jazz Week with these festivities.
(With apologies for not getting this up in a timely manner)
Veteran bassist Charlie Byrd, probably best known for his work with his guitarist brother, the late Charlie Byrd. He was also a first-call jazz bassist in his home town of Washington DC. Here is the obituary from the Washington Post.
I waited all month for a proper obituary for the Singer Ann Marie Moss, but it never materialized. Ms. Moss was a highly regarded jazz singer and teacher. She worked with many well-established musicians, most notably Maynard Furguson and Jackie Paris. She died on February 29 in New York City. The following are links to the various biographies, all of them a little thin.