Monday, July 23, 2007

jazz and blogs #18

Alexander Hawkins
Young British pianist at the crossroads between jazz and improv. His Convergence Quartet (with Dominic Lash, see below, Taylor Ho Bynum and Harris Eisenstadt, perhaps the first-ever fully-blogging jazz group?) has just put out a record I look forward to checking out at some point. You can also hear some of his music on myspace (currently, it's all solo piano). There's a diamond-hard edge to his touch and a Taylorian bent to his brief, sort-of unison motifs, though his improvising prefers fast-flying detail to all-devouring flurries.

Forces of Circumstance
Dominic Lash, bassist. Soberly well-written. Read about his practice regimen and various concert reviews.

Fred Kaplan
If, like me, you were frustrated that Kaplan didn't write about jazz more often on Slate (although his politics/security/war articles there are fascinating), check out his new blog. Lots of good writing (on Jarrett, Konitz, Moran, Anat Cohen, JJA Awards, etc.), but a great bit of news I'd totally missed: Sonny Rollins is to perform and record with Christian McBride and Roy Haynes. My admiration for Haynes knows no bounds: did any other early bebop player match his ability to follow avant-bop evolution for 20-30 years, from Parker, to J. Coltrane, to Kirk, to Corea, to A. Coltrane and more I'm probably forgetting?). Perhaps this album will please those who feel that Rollins has been coasting for the last few decades. [via The Jazz Clinic]

Learning To Listen
Richard Pinnell: Cathnor label owner, man-about-eai-cyberspace. His label recently released MIMEO's sight, which has garnered much discussion where you'd expect it to.

exhumed ephemera
Stephen V. Funk's mp3 blog. Not only jazz, but enough of it, and well chosen.