My Nation column, “China Goes Dark,” is kind of about Apple’s labor exploitation and kind of about “Hard-hitting New York Times coverage has been journalism at its best—although the Chinese authorities apparently don't agree.” I suppose it’ll be behind a paywall for a few more days but it’s here, if you remember to click when it’s not.
In the meantime, there’s this: “Worse still is the continued employment of The Nation columnist Eric Alterman…"
Also, I have an ide for a new slogan for the ASA and the rest of the BDS mob: “BDS: More Palestinian than the Palestinians…”
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis put together a sixteen piece band to play songs you did not know were jazz–incluing “Jingle Bells” “Little Drummer Boy” and “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” The songs were arranged by various members of the Orchestra and introduced with his unique aplomb and charm by Mr. Marsalis. The highlights all involved the appearance of 23-year-old 2010 Thelonious Monk Competition winning vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant, whose charms I do not believe were captured on her cd, and so I’ve resisted her but her versatility and pitch-perfect delivery –as the pr material says, her “ability to refract the styles of such iconic performers of that era as Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, and Valaida Snow with 21st century freshness, expressivity, and soulfulness”–really shook up the place and made it a most memorable, if somewhat brief performance. The schedule is here.
I’ve also been spending time with Mosaic Records’ “The Complete Clifford Jordan Strata-East Sessions” Jordan worked as a sideman with Mingus, Max Roach, Eric Dolphy, Horace Silver and Randy Weston sometimes eclipsed his own brilliance as a leader. He was also well-known in the jazz world as a discoverer of emerging artistry and as a talented producer. This package–which lives up to Mosaic’s unequaled reputation for both scholarly and acoustic excellence, documents every aspect of his under publicized career. It’s a six cd set that includes his two best-known albums, 1969's In the World features Julian Priester, Wynton Kelly and Wilbur Ware, with Don Cherry and Albert 'Tootie' Heath alternating with Kenny Dorham, Ed Blackwell and Roy Haynes on two tracks each. Glass Bead Games (1973) features the fiery tenorman with two separate rhythm sections: Stanley Cowell, Bill Lee and Billy Higgins; and Cedar Walton, Sam Jones and Higgins. But we aslo get Zodiac: The Music of Cecil Payne, accompanied by Dorham, Kelly, Ware and Heath, Charles Brackeen's Rhythm X (1968) with Cherry, Charlie Haden and Blackwell on four Brackeen originals. Cherry and Blackwell can also be heard on Wilbur Ware's Super Bass, with Jordan on tenor. Next comes Shades of Edward Blackwell, available here for the very first time. Recorded in 1968, this was Blackwell's first recording as a and features Cherry, Ware and the under-recorded tenorman Luqman Lateef on two Blackwell originals. The second has Ornette Coleman alumni, Billy Higgins and Dennis Charles, along with Roger Blank, Huss Charles and Jordan again. Finally, we get Pharoah Sanders' 1969, Izipho Zam rounds out the set with its 30 minute title cult , with vocalist Leon Thomas, and joined on various cuts Sonny Fortune, Howard Johnson, Lonnie Liston Smith, Sonny Sharrock, Cecil McBee, Sirone, and a drum ensemble of Billy Hart, Majeed Shabazz, Chief Bey, Nat Bettis and Tony Wylie. An embarrassment of riches, really, and it’s only really imaginable from Mosaic. (Terrific liner notes too, of course, with photos.) More Mosaic here, (and check out the incredible Art Tatum….)