Is the U.S. losing the music-streaming war? As I mentioned several weeks ago, the CD is pretty much a relic at this point. The download will be shortly. That's because music-streaming services such as the U.K.'s Spotify and now France's Deezer are on the rise. Eventually, we'll all be paying a fee to tap into vast libraries of music for high-end digital streams.
Interestingly, Deezer isn't bothering with the U.S. market. Instead, it's offering consumers in other countries unlimited access to music on demand through computers, smartphones and other devices. Deezer's strategy is to bypass the fierce competition here and make its service standard everywhere else—ultimately enticing a major U.S. company to buy it or forcing the U.S. marketplace to adapt the service.
I'm not rooting for or against Deezer. And I'm not singing the praises of digital music. My point is simply that music—like books, movies and everything else—is moving rapidly into a new world propelled by lure of convenience. The days of holding anything artistic in your hands is fading fast. I just hope that the music we like will be available and will sound terrific.
Stay tuned. For more on the Deezer story, go here.
Bill Evans at Town Hall. Bill Evans fans, make sure you're sitting down. Getty Images just acquired a bunch of photos from the February 1966 concert at Town Hall, a concert documented on the Verve release. To see the black-and-white images, go here.
Clifford Brown radio. WKCR in New York will be celebrating Clifford Brown's birthday by playing the trumpeter's recordings around-the-clock (EDT) on Tuesday, October 30. You can listen for free anywhere in the world by going here.
More Michael Pedicin. Here's more video from Bret Primack's interview with saxophonist Michael Pedicin and his gig at Vitello's in Studio City, Calif....
Dave McKenna interview. Photographer Hank O'Neal sent along an email alerting me to a fabulous interview that jazz journalist and blogger Ted Panken conducted with pianist Dave McKenna in 1999. To read it, go here.
CD discoveries of the week. It's brave for any singer to take on songs written by or associated with Abbey Lincoln. The late vocalist had a distinct laid-back style that many singers have found difficult to enter and explore. Not so Teri Roiger. On Dear Abbey: The Music of Abbey Lincoln, Roiger delivers a joyous, deeply felt vocal tribute that gives Lincoln's material fresh consideration. From the liners written by Teri: "Abbey Lincoln's music has had a profound influence on my life as a woman, singer, songwriter, lyricist and teacher. I was fortunate to have had the experience of hearing Abbey perform many times and have lived and breathed her music for over 20 years." Teri is joined by pianist Frank Kimbrough, bassist John Menegon and drummer Steve Williams—with guest appearances by alto saxophonist Greg Osby and guitarist Mark Dziuba. Sample Bird Alone and You Gotta Pay The Band. A vocalist who wraps Lincoln's complex songs around her finger.
Pianist Joe Gilman's Relativity (Capri) has enormous lift in the hard bop department. All of the compositions on his new CD are Gilman's own and tie into M.C. Escher's circuitous illustrations. The real action here is the tenor saxophonist Chad Lefkowiz-Brown, who soars effortlessly through uptempo tracks, and trumpeter Nick Frenay—particularly on Three Spheres and Smaller and Smaller. The album's ballads are less effective, but the fast and furious songs will capture you instantly.