The week-long Feeerieen festival is taking place in the park opposite the Palais Royal. A sort of big gazebo set up in its middle serves as (a very high) stage. Park benches fan out in front of it. Blue and green spotlights lighting up the trees, gently pulsating garlands of light and dry ice machines placed not only on the stage but also in the treetops conspire to give the event the Mists of Avalon feeling the title implies.
swod is a Berlin duo made up of laptopper/electronics guy Oliver Doerell and pianist Stephan Woermann. If jazzTronika is usually an updating of funky hardbop/soul jazz, then swod is Electronic Third Stream. The beats (and sometimes non-beats, when recurring noises give only the merest hint of propulsion) and piano-playing are minimalist: soft pulses connected by threads of static, clicks and gloops form fragile webs, while Woermann drops in icy chords or repeated melody fragments in careful doses that leave plenty of breathing room. swod skillfully avoids the piano-on-top-of-beats format, as the occasional more animated passages tend to be about the piano fully taking on a rhythmic chording role in the music's centre. Afterwards, I talked briefly with the od in swod (who is much more approachable than the retiring stage demeanour and skinny black suit would suggest) and bought their CD. I figure the music is better in the studio than on stage. Even if it's not, at least in my living room I won't have people behind me loudly voicing their displeasure.
The Jef Neve Trio continues to develop strongly (search for Jef Neve in the box at the top of the page, if you've missed the previous episodes). The last time I saw them, they played a tune Jef had written that afternoon. A few months down the line, it seems that "Second Love" has grown into a fully-fledged repertoire staple. The swinging 5/4, heavily chorded opening and closing sections have a Radiohead-ish feel to them (or a pianist-playing-Radiohead feel to them), while the middle 4/4 gives Jef a chance to do what he does so well, and is one of the main reasons he is so popular. I like to call it the "blossom" mode of soloing, as opposed to the traditional forward-moving string of ideas mode. Jef builds on the sound the composition has established, keeping strong melodic, harmonic and structural links to it, but pushing outwards at the same time. The melancholy "Lament" introduced this style a couple of years ago, "Second Love" is a more forceful take on it. The set-opener "Benny the Blues Goose" and "Ballad for Plastic Surgery" merit mention, at least for their titles. An old original like the joyously triumphant "When Spring Begins" continue to be tinkered with and so remains interesting after nearly three years and many performances. Perhaps sensing the audience's mood, the trio kept it fairly big: the tepid reaction to swod had shown that a carefully chosen dissonance that creates an ambiguous and affecting soundscape wasn't going to win this crowd over.
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Sunday, August 28, 2005
After DD Jackson, trombonist Robin Eubanks has launched a podcast. Both are available on iTunes.
Robin takes you aboard the luxurious Dave Holland big band tour bus and, most memorably, to a restaurant somewhere in Italy owned by a saxophone lover.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Sundays around 11:30 on Arte: an excellent series of jazz portraits. I didn't realise it was a series, but luckily caught parts of Count Basie and Coltrane episodes, both very well done. What seem to be the last two are coming up: Bill Evans and DeeDee Bridgewater.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
As I headed down the stairs, ready to go, I found IVN watching a Count Basie documentary on ARTE. It was very well done: lots of music footage and a pianist on hand to demonstrate some specific ways of piano playing Basie had pioneered. It ended with a massive jam featuring Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge and many others taking choruses. I thought this an auspicious start to a day of jazz festivaling.
We stopped briefly on the north-western outskirts of Brussels to pick up the notorious LeMo and another friend (PM), and discussed the growth patterns of magnolias.
Randy Weston awaited us in deSingel's Blue Room, but before that there was the inevitable costly detour past the vendors' tablefuls of CDs/LPs/etc. PM picked up 30+ CDs. I remained reasonable: Ran Blake's Suffield Gothic and a November 1968 issue of Actuel, because Jacques Coursil was on the cover. LeMo had mentioned him to me during the drive. Two appearances in one day by a Martiniquan musician I'd never heard of previously was a sign impossible to ignore.
Such a lovely giant
I'd never seen Randy Weston before, nor heard much of his music, but heard about him a fair amount. The solo concert was a sort of "Weston plays Weston" career-spanning retrospective thing. He started out with a medley of early pieces (two spirituals and two waltzes), then discussed and played his discovery of Africa and its music, elaborated on some blues-based originals and went on to combine Congolese children's songs with Gnawa music. He strung together "Caravan," "Well You Needn't" and several others for a cognescenti-pleasing encore.
Weston rapidly established his distinguishing features: a touch that is both strong and supple (Leonard Feather might have called it virile), contrasting ideas that segue or interrupt each other often, but without being unpredictable, exactly. His playing was too muscular to be considered fanciful, but its nuances were both dramatic and fine-grained, shifting in mood, tone, weight, register and lyricism.
As Weston covered swing, blues, originals and standards, evoked Africa and childhood, creolised classical music, what he was really doing began to emerge. He was playing the whole (or, at least a large part) of the Black American experience, from sweet to discordant, its European parts, its African parts, its naivety and its horror.
Transition; passing on
The venue changed for the day's three remaining concerts. Several tents had been set up behind Park Van Den Brandt's castle (a real castle: it had moats), a big one containing the main stage, smaller ones for various purposes, such as protecting the smooth-voiced Marc Van Den Hoof as he serenaded radio listeners.
Things were meant to start at 5PM, but there was a 30-minute delay as paramedics treated what seemed to be (I was quite far away, I'm just repeating IVN's expert hypothesis) a heart attack in the first few rows. I don't know if the person made it through. It was odd.
And now for the Europeans (sort of)
Bzzz Pük is made up of French trombonist Geoffroy De Masure, Mauritian electric bassist Linley Marthe and AKA Moon drummer Stéphane Galland. Franco-Vietnamese guitarist Nguyen-Lê sat in. De Masure, as is often the case, was the most interesting musician. The spirit in which he plays seems to me quite different from that of his colleagues, whether in BP or other bands like Octurn. He always attempts to bring some levity to the seriousness of complicated composed meters, some swing to the egghead funk. I can't help but wonder if there aren't other musicians with whom the particular balance he seems to be seeking could be better realised. BP veered between spacey jazz-rock and aggressive jazz-rock, loud guitar-rock and some blissfully straight-forward dancey funk.
Galland was, as always, somewhat super-human, but, more than I did a few years ago, I find myself longing for less clutter, for some spring cleaning, for someone to tell him, loudly and repeatedly, that less really is more. The occasional stretches of lean 4/4 funk made it all so obvious. Apart from obnoxious sounds from a keyboard/sampler of some sort, Lê added big rock solos that got predictable cheers.
Fred Hersch's Trio + 2 was at one of the opposite ends of the spectrum from BP. Drummer Nasheet Waits and bassist John Hebert (oddly, the same pair as in Andrew Hill's trio) held a loose grip on the pulse, tightening it only slightly on arranged unison parts. Often, a rhythm section rumble lay underneath the piano's quiet reflections, as on the beautiful, sad "Black Dog Pays a Visit."
Hersch tackled some issues near to his heart with sincerity and a good sense of drama: "Out Someplace," inspired by the killing of Matthew Sheppard, began with small, high-pitched drones, scrapes and unpitched air, creating a solemn setting for the piano to expose a long-note melody later taken up with dignity by Ralph Alessi's trumpet. The brief return of the little noises at the end made for a chilling conclusion.
Overall, the music was a bit too polite and polished. Tony Malaby's feature on "Rain Waltz" (during which it actually did start raining: a downpour, rather than the moody drizzle the song hints at) exemplified the problem: pretty, controlled notes, but clearly, there was little room for him to dig in and stretch out.
Not him, the other one
The massed thousands finally got what they had been waiting for. I had only read of Wayne Shorter's triumphant return to small group acoustic music, so expectation was high. Danilo Perez is not Herbie Hancock. Brian Blade is not Tony Williams. Patitucci isn't Carter. Wayne Shorter is Wayne Shorter, but not that Wayne Shorter. The antithesis of a jukebox: he'll play his hits for you, but you'll have to accept that he's not playing what you put your 50 eurocents in for. "Forget the rules, I'm going for the unknown," was the newspaper's headlining quote. For once, the declaration was more than empty hype.
The group abandoned structure for flow, bar lines for an organically undulating tissue of improvisation and interaction. Instruments dropped in and out when they felt it necessary, rather than for effect or to adhere to a form. Shorter played tenor, mostly, but often in a very high register, for a very fragile, breathy sound, which complemented his tentative (in a good way) phrasing. When he dipped lower, he took on a firmer sound and a yearning beauty. When he did move to soprano, he was more affirmed and decisive: he ended the concert with it and an almost absurdly long series of piercing one-note blasts.
Perez was probably the most legible member of the group, his richly and delicately chorded accompaniment providing a nice point of entry and contrast to Patituci and Blade's hard-nosed layers of sound (as much, and sometimes more, sound than rhythm). And yet, the latter two would sometimes slip into something recalling a DeJohnette/Holland early-'70s-with-Miles groove.
I thought back to Andrew Hill again. Shorter and Hill, two grand old men making new, mysterious music, well outside the canons of modern jazz they helped establish, thereby making clear what they were really doing all those years ago. The crowd cheered long and hard. I was a bit puzzled by the unanimous response: it felt strange for a music that thrived on doubt to be welcomed so unambiguously.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Doesn't James Blunt's "You're Beautiful" read like an expanded Kiss & Ride missive from the Metro? *
"I saw your face/In a crowded place": on the platform, waiting for the 8.15 from [insert small town near you] to [insert big city slightly further away].
"And I don't think I'll see you again": do you take this line often? I haven't seen you on it before.
"'Cause I'll never be with you": the statistical probability of our meeting fortuitiously once more is very low, especially given that I take the same train every day and have never seen you before.
-- After looking up the lyrics --
"She smiled at me on the subway": even more crowded than the train station.
"Yeah, she caught my eye/As she walked on by": nice rhyme, James.
"But we shared a moment that will last till the end": the end of what? Since you'll never see her again, the end of this imagined relationship has already arrived. Not much of a moment, was it? That'll teach you to get high before going to work.
I still like the song. Maybe I could get a French translation of it published in the Metro. And include the obligatory flattering email address: firstname.lastname@example.org (sic, for adolescent authenticity).
* Come to think of it, it's also a kinda-sorta-like a less interesting "Fit But You Know It."
Saint Louis Jazz Notes alerted me to Greg Osby's presence on the AAJ boards. Some choice excerpts:
On the current jazz scene:
The only thing that is truly guaranteed is that the music will continue to advance at a snail's pace, conceptually speaking, because the artist line-ups at concerts don't change. Many artists refuse to challenge themselves stylistically or dare to hire young unknowns that may provoke them. So they and promoters take the easy route - "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". This sameness in the quality and methodology of recordings, performances and educational techniques has resulted in a grand apathy towards the music and is a definite repellant to potential new patrons.
On bandstand interaction:
And yes, there is a great deal of directing that goes on during our performances. I have subtle cues that are set up that everyone in the band is aware of. These transitions may happen at any time, during any composition so the players must be "all ears" during the entirety of the set. Daydreaming isn't an option. Once the cues are learned and the band knows what to listen for, that's when the real magic happens as the way that the compositions are played varies dramatically each night. Fast pieces become ballads and vice-versa, rhythmic modulations, direct transitions, compound metrics and a great deal of harmonic variants and personal approaches - all make for some unpredictable musical journeys. Sometimes the results are disastrous, but the truth is in the recovery.
Turns of phrase I like:
...at the major clubs many of the older cats would welcome you if you wanted to sit in. It's different now becasue many artists play original music and unless you can hear around corners sitting in is out of the question.
There's an audience for you out there. you just have to figure out how to connect with them, draw them in , and then lock the door so they can't get away....
On keeping the edge:
For the "Inner Circle" session there were only 2 rehearsals, as is my normal custom. I don't believe in rehearsing the soul out of the music by overdoing it. If the guys get the concepts, understand the forms, and can play what I wrote, then that's half the battle. I actually prefer that the pieces still feel a little foreign to the musicians - even during the recording process. I feel that the music has a bit of an edge if they are a little uncomfortable and haven't worked out little turns and devices that they intend to play. (There's nothing worse than a solo that sounds prepared or worked out!) As a result, there are many mistakes that I sometimes leave intact on the recordings if the vibe is satisfactory to me or if someone expresses themselves well during a great solo. I don't see the need in having every phrase played to note perfection. The music is sometimes difficult enough with out my guys having the pressure of nailing every little thing. This isn't classical music, and as much as the recordings should reflect what I am attempting as a composer, they should allow for the intellect and personalities of the the musicians to flourish as well.
Saturday, August 13, 2005
The Wayne Shorter Quintet, Randy Weston solo, Fred Hersch Trio + 2, Bzz Pük (trombonist Geoffroy de Masure, bassist Linley Marthe and drummer Stéphane Galland) + Nguyên Lê, all for €22? I'm there. I'll let you know if it was as good in the ears as on paper.
I would have liked to have gone on friday (notably to see Teun Verbruggen's Around the Drummer aggregation of regular and irregular partners) and/or monday as well, but I'm not made of money, y'know. Frankly, the other two days look rather weak. The club scene has been pretty dead of late, so it'll be nice to get something going again.
A few days later there's the Free Music Festival XXXII at the same place, which is ironic, as the FMF was founded lo those many years ago in Newport Rebels fashion (in a different part of Antwerpen) by Fred Van Hove and others excluded from... Jazz Middelheim.
Friday, August 12, 2005
If you live in or near Brussels, you should sign up to Vazy!'s weekly events listings or check it out online. It attractively suggests a chosen few cultural/entertainment options (from art galleries to DJ sets to films to etc.). The limited selection is a strong point rather than a weakness and quality seems high. I have no idea why I started getting the newsletter, but it's the one spam whose recommendations I actually follow.
The blogs keep on rolling in:
Don't explain (Nate Dorward. Need I say more?)
off-beater(mp3s, record business and Dutchness)
DevraDoWrite (Jim Hall's daughter)
jazz-not-jazz (lots of soul, too)
Armwood Jazz Blog (for copy-pasted interviews and news)
jazzofonikjamaica (it's all in the title)
St. Louis Jazz Notes (no need to apologise for geographic focus to be.jazz!)
redJazz (podcasting various shades of modern jazz)
erg's jazz and other blog (entrancingly minimal)
Jazz and Conversation (mp3 mixes)
Tim Postgate (another musician!)
Greg Hester Jazz
Jazz reviews (rather new, so who knows)
A Castle of my Dreams (musician)
Dino Dini (a singer/guitarist)
Mike Zwerin (not exactly a blog, but hey)
Friday, August 05, 2005
London Jazz Festival 2004 - Carla Bley & The Lost Chords
Originally uploaded by v11v11v11v.
Art After 5
The Jazz Festivals Pool
... if it ain't got that swing...
And there's always the jazz tag.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
This video needs to be watched by as many people as possible. She's like Keith Jarrett. In an alternate universe where Jarrett was a pseudo-pop star of fuzzy origin and still like electronic keyboards. And was a woman. Who performed in a bikini and see-through clothes.
Doug Ramsey brought up Roger Scruton's "Harmony and History" article, but only quoted part of it. Here's the whole thing. The historical part is fairly interesting, if dizzingly, inevitably, condensed. Then comes the contemporary questioning, in which Scruton falls into the old trap(s).
Last summer, I watched a semi-random bunch of people (some clearly regulars, others clearly passer-bys) congregate in a square in Gent and do traditional dances to traditional, and some not-so-traditional, music. I'd share a video of it with you, but my camera doesn't do sound along with video, so it wouldn't make much sense. It was there that I had a blinding(ly obvious, perhaps) revelation: this music, rather than classical music, is the ancestor of pop. In terms of complexity, the place of rhythm, instrumentation, social factors (who plays/writes/hears it, where, when and why), the relationship is quite clear. Later, seeing groups like Cor de la Plana or Nass El Ghiwane at Klinkende Munt, and thinking back to some traditional music I'd heard in Spain, only reinforced the notion.
That pop music comes from older popular music is a rather simple point, but it goes against our perception of musical history, which comes from music as it has been recorded. The traditional view is summarised in Scruton's article: church music, Renaissance, Classical, Romantic, Serialism. This kind of chronology is based pretty much entirely on music that was written down. Popular music wasn't written down, so it is erased from the history of Western music: I haven't read it, but I somehow doubt that Richard Taruskin's six-volume The Oxford History of Western Music deals with what peasants were dancing to at village parties. This sets up the fallacy, the apples 'n' oranges comparaison, that Scruton, like countless others, reproduces.
If it is assumed that contemporary pop music is the descendant of classical music (how that could be the case is never discussed, of course: it is enough to leap, as Scruton does, from Alban Berg's "Violin Concerto" to young people singing along to pop songs), there can only be a "the sky is falling" reaction. It would probably be more instructive to track the history of music that took place outside the palace walls and chic salons, and compare oranges to oranges. I haven't conducted this thorough-going study, obviously, but details of that sort have never stopped me from forming opinions.
Most of the world's music is simple, rather than complex. Or may be complex/sophisticated in one or two regards, and very simple in others. Scruton gives an example of this, in how harmony is often limited to unison in the modal musics of India and Arabic cultures. Traditional European musics, just like traditional musics from around the world, it seems to me, were nowhere near the harmonic explorations of the palace composers. Further, contrary to a popular belief reinforced by written music-centric histories, European music doesn't lack rhythm, nor is rhythm some distant concern (flamenco, Irish music, Greek Koumbania... Maybe it's just the church-derived stuff that sounds stiff). I think that contemporary pop flows quite naturally from the same (social/cultural/musical) place these older musics came from.
I've honestly never read this view anywhere, so I'm either completely out at sea, stating the unspokenly obvious or radically original, whichever suits you best. Still, I've seen the "we've gone from Mozart to this?" lamentations so many times...
And now for some smaller nitpicks. Scruton says:
Here is the most remarkable fact about our music, one that has never been sufficiently commented upon: A musical person, familiar with the outline of our tradition, can at once assign a date to almost any piece of our music, however unfamiliar. Western music is through and through historical, in just the peculiar way that Western civilization is historical: We hear history in it, and even if it is only a delicate nuance of style that distinguishes the language of Mendelssohn from that of Schubert, you know at once that the "Hebrides" overture was written a few years later than the Unfinished Symphony. In such experiences you perceive, through the ear, something of the spiritual development of a civilization and the unique place of the individual within it.
Is this kind of historicity really so particular to Western music? Is there really no reason to think musical evolution did not follow psycho-social evolution in non-Western societies?
The old culture of listening depended on something else that is no longer easily obtainable: silence. (...) We owe it to young people to turn off the noise. We must re-create silence, so that silence can turn to song. If we do not do this, then our musical culture will die. It is not we, but our children, who will be the losers.
I see the situation differently. The "natural sonic state" of the world is not silence (from which song may spring), or even relative silence, but noise. Certainly in cities, Muzak isn't the main source of noise. Go out in the country: a fieldful of crickets make a huge amount of noise. Go up in the Alps, those cowbells are really loud. In Martinique at night, the crickets are joined by the frogs and who knows what else. Nature hates a void. From that, I come to the conclusion that silence (even relative silence) exists only in music. And that music sounds nothing like real life, even though it tells us a great deal about it.
I wanted to go to the Museum of Musical Instruments, but I had underestimated the cheapskateness of the human race. The line of people waiting to take advantage of the "free entrance on the first Wednesday of the month" policy stretched well up the street. So I decided to head for the Palais des Beaux-Arts and its Young Belgian Painters Award. Entrance was, of course, free.
The first room I visited was Cindy Wright's. You can see my photos for yourself, but three things I found particularly interesting:
-She was the only painter present in the competition, which I found weird. Unless it's like one of those jazz festivals in which jazz is a minority interest.
-The photo-realism of her work disappears when you get close and it looks like, well, brush-strokes. I found this interesting, because it showed me that the effect was less a matter of technique than intent. So the real and not real are made in pretty much the same way.
- From a distance, I didn't like the portrait of the older man, but up close it really was really affection: heavy, present, powerful.
There was also a portrait of Che Guevara, which I found ugly, but that may have been because I don't like the Che very much. The cube of bacon and the sleeping guy were my favourites.
The second room was taken up by Kris Vleeschouwer's "Glasswerk." This was awesome. I entered with some apprehension: broken glass, which has clearly fallen from some height, tends to make one uneasy. At first I thought it was some boring conceptual thing and just when I was reading the signboard to find out what it was supposed to represent, the machine started to move.
The machine that pushes the bottles off the shelves is controlled by sensors placed in five glass recycling "bubbles" all around Brussels. Whenever someone deposits bottles into one of the bubbles, another is pushed off a shelf. Five webcams allowed gallery visitors to survey activity around these recycling points. The installation made me think of Flickr and the civic journalism that got talked about after the London bombings and how, in a networked society, information is distributed and used to unpredictable ends.
In the third room, they were showing a short film by Simona Denicolai & Ivo Provoost. It was about a couple of people who find out that they can't take plants to America. So they buy a small cactus, make a fake one out of clay, take both on the American Airlines flight, are told they have to leave the real cactus behind, drive and then walk out into the desert, plant the fake cactus and put a piece of yellow and blue cardboard behind it, thus substituting their imagined desert (sand, sky, cactus) for Death Valley's real one (a rather drab affair). I tend to take this kind of thing quite light-heartedly, but the signboard made grave declarations at me about paranoia and other stuff I can't remember.
Number four (out of six, and, don't worry, the rest will be quick) were Frenchman Sébastien Reuzé's unadorned, unmanipulated and sometimes bizarre, unsettling, confusing or plain... plain photographs of stuff stumbled across in Paris. Some photographs must have been quite recent: there was one of Angelina Jolie posing as Mrs. Smith. The cool ones used reflections on glass (a car or train window, for example) to skew perspective or happy coincidences to create unexpected meanings (a huge poster of a face (make-up, perfume?) trapped behind the shutters of a closed shop). The best ones created visual situations for which the source was untraceable, lost under myriad angles or a single glitch made the familiar strange.
To enter Carlos Aire's multi-part contribution, you had to step through the wardrobe, into a corridor with a bunch of framed b&w photographs hanging on both walls. Exactly the same photographs, arranged in mirror-image: Toots, Britney (several times), Prince Harry, porn stars, anons... Then there was a series of photographs of unusual people (a dwarf bull-fighter, a cross-dressing cabaret dancer...) and further still, a projection of a transvestite lip-synching in a night-club (aren't transvestites kinda 1999, though?). Fun, but there wasn't much more to it than that. Of course, the signboard disagreed, as always.
Finally (or, should I say, last and least), was Olivier Foulon's series of reproductions of reproductions of art. After about 5 seconds, I was thinking "Okay, that's enough of that." Still, it ended with a great installation: a slideshow (old-fashioned, not PowerPoint) of playing cards was projected onto a piece of paper folded in half and standing on its side a few centimeters away. It was a note one of the Bozar's press service people had sent to Foulon, asking him for the title of his piece, as it's useful for promo.
A final thing that impressed me was that the Bozar staff had painted stuff like directions, arrows and the name of the exhibition directly onto the walls. A classy touch.
Monday, August 01, 2005
Arts Journal recently added their first jazz blog, Doug Ramsey's Rifftides. The other three music blogs are about classical music. Quantitively, AJ is a fair representation of the classical:jazz ratio. There is an abundance of classical blogs by instrumentalists, singers, composers, critics, industry people and fans, for which jazz has no equivalent. A few examples (discounting those already on my blogroll):
Pianist Jeremy Denk's Think Denk, one of the greatest music blogs I've come across. He pretty much achieves that Holy Grail of musical discussion: the junction between subjectivity and objectivity, what is heard and what is felt. And it's superbly written.
Sequenza 21 brings together a lot of different voices (fans, composers, performers) in animated debate and provides a portal to many composers' blogs.
Opera singers Tomness and Canadienne are lively and insightful.
And there's no point even going into the various shades of pop blogosphere. There is simply nothing like this in the jazz blogosphere (or, more precisely, there is almost no jazz blogosphere), and I really can't figure out why. The threads by Robin Eubanks, Dennis Gonzalez and Ellery Eskelin on JazzCorner are active and are sort of halfway blogs, but it's not the same thing, since they're mainly Q & As.
Guitarist Gary Lucas has a blog, a rare thing among well-known (and even little-known, it seems) jazz (?) musicians, AFAIK. The Bad Plus used to have a nice blog which all three members contributed to, but it's been deleted and not replaced by a blog on their official site, as was promised. Saxophonist Chris Kelsey's blog used to be about music and some of the posts were awesome. Now, not only has he switched to berating Republicans, he's also erased the old, interesting archives. A sad loss. Still, there are jazz blogs, here are a few more, in no particular order:
David Valdez (I've just found this one, a musician blog, it looks very good)
Josh Roseman (a rare musician blog, but it's... idiosyncratic)
musicircus (Rob seems to be talking about jazz more and more frequently)
Jazz & Blues Music Reviews
The Jazz Authority
I f00k for jazz
Armwood Jazz Blog
And then there are podcasts. I haven't had time to find the really good ones yet, but pianist DD Jackson has started one. He speaks fast, which should be unsurprising to those who've heard his music. Another good one (at least, the two parts of the Dan Balmer interview I've heard are good) is Portland Jazz Jams.