JazzWax Nominated for Two Awards. Last week JazzWax was named a finalist in two Jazz Journalists Association Awards categories—"Best Blog of the Year" and the "Helen Dance-Robert Palmer Award for Review and Feature Writing." Naturally, I'm flattered. The 2010 winners will be announced on June 14th in New York. Here are the nominees in both categories:
Blog of the Year...
- The Gig—Nate Chinen.
- A Blog Supreme—Patrick Jarenwattananon.
- Do The Math—Ethan Iverson
- Rifftides—Doug Ramsey
- JazzWax—Marc Myers
The Helen Dance-Robert Palmer Award for Review and Feature Writing (print and/or online)...
- David Adler
- Nate Chinen
- Gary Giddins
- Marc Myers
- Doug Ramsey
- Ben Ratliff
Nancy Wilson. Many readers worldwide wrote in last week during my interview series with Nancy Wilson to share their stories about seeing Nancy over the years in concert and at clubs, and to express their feelings about Nancy's recordings. Quite a number asked if Nancy's first recording in 1955 with Rusty Bryant (Don't Tell Me) was available. It turns out that the song is indeed available as a download here.
Bob Mintzer. Video documentarian Bret Primack recently spent time in the studio taping tenor saxophonist Bob Mintzer as he and organist Larry Goldings and drummer Peter Erskine recorded Thaddeus for Mintzer's upcoming album Canyon Cove...
Claudio Roditi and Charles Mingus. Saxophonist and jazz writer and educator Bill Kirchner hosts a radio show tonight (Sunday) featuring trumpeter Claudio Roditi [pictured]. The show (on WBGO in New York) airs from 11 p.m. to midnight (EDT). To listen from anywhere in the world, go here.
Next Thursday (April 22nd), WKCR in New York will air its annual Charles Mingus Birthday Broadcast, a 24-hour event. To listen from anywhere in the world, go here.
CD discoveries of the week: Alive & Kickin'! from Organissimo—the organ-guitar-drums trio—has a groovy pulse. Driven by organist Jim Alfredson, the 10-year-old group serves up one funky slider after the next. Alfredson, guitarist Joe Gloss and drummer Randy Marsh work seamlessly together on their fourth CD to delivery a mixed grill of punchy energy and excitement. If you're unfamiliar with Alfredson, he's a superb organist in the Don Patterson tradition, building on textured riffs and maximizing the instrument's many sonic personalities. You'll find Alive & Kickin'! (Big O) here.
Trumpeter and flugelhornist Pharez Whitted's new album Transient Journey is a hard bop gem. The CD provokes from start to finish, and it never winds up traveling in circles or backpedaling. You put on the album and it keeps you hooked, without bogging down or fizzling out. Whitted plays a firm and busy horn that never overheats. He's joined here by Eddie Bayard on saxophones, Bobby Broom on guitar, Ron Perrillo on keyboards, Dennis Carroll on bass and Greg Artry on drums. You'll find Transient Journey (Owl Studios) here.
Oddball album cover of the week: I have no idea what's cooking on the cover of this 1956 Riverside release. It appears Randy Weston is posing in front an unfinished storefront (the Cafe Bohemia?) while a beatnik sketches him and a street kid rates the pianist with a No. 7. And what's with the chalkboard drawing of a golf course or dance steps? Bohemia indeed.