Are you making a mistake downloading music at the iTunes store? Apparently so. Apple, it seems, has a policy that allows only a set number of your computers to access the music you purchased from its retail arm.
What does this mean? If you buy computers over the years, as most people do when they wear out, then each computer you registered with iTunes counts as one. Of course, if you use iTunes, then you're going to register each new computer you purchase. Naturally, the registrations add up eventually.
Here's the problem: When you finally reach Apple's limit of five computers, you no longer can access your music. Unless, that is, you can find your old computers and de-register them. Except that the music you purchased is your property, not Apple's. For some strange reason, Apple seems to think the music you paid for and downloaded is on loan from them.
Meanwhile, Amazon and other online download sites don't have this mousetrap problem. You pay for a song, it's yours. Period. Which makes downloading at sites other than iTunes much smarter from a consumer's standpoint.
Given the news on Friday that top Internet providers are joining to develop a systematic approach to identifying customers suspected of digital copyright infringement through illegal downloads, one can only hope that someone will have a look at Apple's iTunes policies. The key question is this: Why does a company that sells you a product feel it can bar you from using it—even though you paid for it?
Dig Al Haig? Then you're in luck. Today, my boy Sid Gribetz of WKCR in New York is devoting five hours to the spring-loaded bebop pianist and his prolific recording career over four decades—from Charlie Parker and Stan Getz to his lush and restless trio outings. When: Today, from 2 to 7 p.m. (EDT). Where: You can listen from anywhere in the world on your computer by going here.
How about Booker Little and Eric Dolphy? In that case, jazz musician, educator and writer Bill Kirchner tonight is hosting Jazz From the Archives on New York's WBGO. Bill's show will spotlight Little and Dolphy over a seven-month period—from December 1960 to July 1961—including Dolphy's Far Cry and At the Five Spot, and Little's Out Front. When: Tonight, from 11 p.m. to midnight (EDT). Where: You can listen from anywhere in the world on your computer by going here.
Tenor gladness. Bret Primack filmed saxophonists Bootsie Barnes, Tim Warfield and Quamon Fowler battling at the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival...
Time out. If you dig wristwatches, as I do (purely for the design), you'll enjoy Hodinkee (Czech for "watch"), a smart blog for watch collectors and enthusiasts. JazzWax reader Eric Wind writes a column there. Good stuff. Go here.
One more This or That. Sorry, I can't help it. I love this tune and came across yet another super version, this time from Benny Goodman's Swing Into Spring from April 1958. That's Jo Stafford, Harry James, Teddy Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald, Red Norvo and the McGuire Sisters...
The lousy sound of CDs. In response to my earlier post on the deteriorating sound of new CDs, JazzWax reader Michael Pettersen, host of the Freddie Green tribute site and an executive at a major manufacturer of professional microphones, had this to say:
"There generally are three reasons for poor fidelity today: 1) Microphone selections and placements that work for live sound are often not the best choice for recordings. 2) Many engineers and producers today are 'knob twisters' but do not understand the fundamental reason for the knob being there in the first place. 3) Ears that have learned sound from compressed mp3 files and do not know what 'good sound' actually is."
Women and the big bands. In response to my interview with big-band vocalist Betty Bennett, JazzWax reader Kurt Kolstad sent along the following clip...
Before you laugh. When JazzWax reader Pat Gannon sent along a clip of a senior gentleman with a tenor sax facing a stereo system, I groaned and said to myself, "Oh no, now what?:" Then I clicked on the clip. Here's what I heard from Texas tenor Aubra Graves (hope you're sitting down)...
CD discoveries of the week. Itai Kriss is one of the most exciting new flutist-composers I've heard in some time. If you dig Herbie Mann, Sam Most and Bobby Jaspar from the '50s, you'll relate to Kriss' approach. On The Shark (Avenue K), Kriss employs a soaring technique and phrasing that is both aggressive and pastoral. You don't hear too many pure jazz flutists today, and when you do they don't seem to have listened to predecessors prior to 1979. Here, you sense Kriss has dug everything and everyone but still retains a modern feel and his own bag. There are hardbop, fusion, free, funk and World flavored tracks here, each offering swing and tension. More about Kriss here. And you'll find this album here.
Taste is everything to me. So when pianist Peter Zak opens Down East (Steeplechase) with Duke Pearson's Is That So?, the choice tells me Zak does a lot of listening and wants to be taken seriously. And his passion shows in the most delicate way. Joined by bassist Peter Washington and drummer Rodney Green, Zak exhibits maturity and an exuberance for the melodic essence of jazz. Also on the album are Clifford Brown's Tiny Capers, Henry Mancini's Dreamsville and Harry Revel's Love Thy Neighbor, in waltz time no less. See what I mean? Very, very satisfying stuff. More about Zak here. You'll find this one here.
Christian Pabst has an ear for texture. On Days of Infinity (Challenge), Pabst plays both acoustic piano and Fender Rhodes, and the result is a cool heat found in Bobby Hutcherson's vibes in the late '60s. Playing original compositions, Pabst reaches inside for a brooding, think-out-loud approach that never loses sight of melody or drama. On tracks where he adds the Fender Rhodes, there's a completely different mood—a little more pensive and fully aware of how the ringing chimes sound of the notes will affect the listener. Pabst's trio is joined on some tracks by guest trumpeter and flugelhornist Gerard Presencer. A solid album. More about Pabst here. You'll find this one here.
Miles Davis during his electric period takes a different kind of listening head. His recordings can be onerous, in some cases dated today, and at times half-baked—with impromptu squeaks and squawks. But actually seeing Miles and his bands in action on stage during this period is another matter. A new DVD, Miles Davis: Live at Montreux Highlights 1973-1991 (Eagle Rock), puts you up close to the action, which is exciting. This video compilation not only features some of Davis' best performances from the period but also gives you a vivid feel for the trumpeter's sense of smoldering drama and taut cool as he struggled to reinvent his sound. Included are two '91 performances of The Pan Piper and Solea from Sketches of Spain as well as an interview with Carlos Santana. You'll find this one here.
Oddball album cover of the week. There's literal and then there's downright unimaginative. This cover was for a 1957 album by the Pepper Adams Quintet. Not content to have an assistant rush out to buy a peck of peppers at the produce stand (get it, Pepper and peppers?), our art director also rustled up a feline model to spice things up. Why she's sneaking up on the skewered peperoncini is hard to fathom. And upon careful inspection of her pupils, it would seem her eyeballs are rolling up in her head from the piquant photo shoot.