What to do on a Saturday

18 04 2014

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One of our favorite people, and photographer of the vinyl elite, Eilon Paz is launching his book this weekend at the PowerHouse Arena, 37 Main St, Brooklyn, New York. The fun starts at 4pm and looks like it will go late into the night at the afterparty. Party this Saturday, April 19. All the details are here.

It’s also Record Store Day so they’ve scheduled a whole day of groovy fun, including an exhibition of the pics, spins by the collectors in those pics and a meet-and-greet with the author eager to sign a copy of his book just for you!

Don’t forget to check out the Dust and Grooves blog also. I can’t make the event, but I’ll be there in spirit – oh, and in the book too!





FOR COLLECTORS ONLY (everyone is a collector)

1 04 2014

Artist Allen Ruppersberg has a show up in London based on a large collection of 78rpm recordings here at the ARChive. The Barrie H. Thorpe/Batavia Public Library Collection was donated to ARC last year, comprising some 48,000 seventy-eight rpm discs, and is scheduled for digitization, But for now you can virtually tour the show here, and if you just happen to be in London, do have a look. Runs till the 19th (coincidentally, Record Store Day).
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FOR COLLECTORS ONLY (everyone is a collector)
greengrassi
1a Kempsford Road
SE11 4NU London
England
T +44 (0)20 7840 9101
info@greengrassi.com

http://www.greengrassi.com





I Herd of Theremins

27 03 2014

Herding cats, collecting moonbeams, getting a great $10 dinner on the upper East Side – these are a few of the impossibilities that can’t hold a candle to an upcoming NY Theremin Orchestra concert this Sat in Brooklyn. Yes they’ll be waving their arms in the air (say ho!) to a hard-to-wrangle SiFi beat, slipin’ anda slidin’ electronically, guessing at notes just for you. Our pal P. George will be one of the players. Plus some amazing ringer, like Dorit Chrysler and Rob Schwimmer, who will add gravitas and gracenotes proper.

T-society

NY THEREMIN SOCIETY CONCERT
Saturday March 29th, at 8pm
Dorit Chrysler, Rob Schwimmer & The NY Theremin Orchestra at
Pioneer Works, Center for Art and Innovation
159 Pioneer Street Brooklyn, NY 11231
tel : (718) 596-3001
Admission: $20





Ann Coulter + Afrika Bambaataa, Together Again!

7 03 2014

Strange bedfellows last night at the the We Are Family Foundation Gala in NYC.  But for a good cause.  The evening honored Little Steven Van Zandt and your host was ARC Board member Nile Rodgers, whose foundation mentors young high-minded go-getters and builds schools around the world.

        Nile_web

OK, so AC and AB were not on the stage together, but she did introduce big supporters, members of the Mellon family, and this speaks tons for good causes bringing a WIDE variety of people together.  It was a great night, lots of money raised (how much would you pay for an autographed “Get Lucky” single?) and a rollicking version of “Sun City” performed by Bambaataa, Melle Mel, Steve Van Zandt, a Sister Sledge, Nona Hendryx and Nile with the latest version of Chic. Not stuffy and a very nice evening indeed.





A Hollow Muscular Organ

14 02 2014

Yes, it’s that time of year again

- Happy V day from your pals @ the ARC – B, Fred + Quinn!

BlandHarpo





Happy New Year from Chinatown

2 02 2014

Happy Chinese New Year!  And wasn’t it nice of New York City to fly in a heard of Broncos to celebrate the year of the Horse on Super Sunday!  I visited Chinatown for some casual music and big bangs.

Wading through foot-high piles of red firecracker paper and dodging explosions are a thing of the past, replaced by big bang sticks that shoot confetti.  As one container says, “erupt into the sky and bulid [sic] an atmosphere of joy and happiness.”

confetti_airconfetti_street





The History of Jazz

30 01 2014

historyjazzThe history of jazz is a long, often-told story for which there are quite possibly over a hundred books. Here at the ARC, we have cataloged more than one thousand books that make reference to jazz in one way or another.

In 2011, Oxford University Press published the second edition of a book suitably titled “The History of Jazz,” written by Ted Gioia. At 388 pages (not counting notes, indexes, etc.), it is a very comprehensive story of jazz: how it was invented and developed; how it went through different phases of popularity; how it grew; how it fragmented into disparate styles; and finally, the state of jazz today.

Having been an avid listener of jazz since the late sixties and having read many books and liner notes dealing with the subject, it can be said that, for the most part, Gioia gets it right. He tells all the key stories and recites all the biographies of jazz’s most important artists in an interesting and concise manner that keeps the story moving at an even pace. Gioia knows his subject well, and he explains it all with the enthusiasm and care that the subject deserves. Indeed, if you read this book, you will find yourself wanting to listen to the recordings that he mentions on nearly every page. Perhaps in the future, books like this will be coupled with a website where referenced recordings may be sampled by the reader. This would make it much easier for the attentive reader to understand what the author is discussing.

However, Gioia gets two things wrong: one is rather major; the other is admittedly nitpicking on the part of this reviewer.

Jazz began splitting apart in several styles most apparently during the forties. Traditional, Dixieland-style had become a cult. Swing was still the thing. Modern styles like bebop and chamber jazz were being played in the clubs. Gioia notes all of this. What he does not note is that rhythm & blues (thus, rock ’n’ roll) also developed out of the swing tradition. The most notable artist (not mentioned at all in “The History of Jazz”) is Louis Jordan. Jordan was an alto saxophonist and singer with the great orchestra led by the influential drummer Chick Webb. After splitting from Webb, Jordan’s small combo recordings were immensely popular and became the template for practitioners of jump blues, and subsequently rock ’n’ roll. The most obvious example would be Bill Haley and His Comets, which is basically a hillbilly act trying to be Louis Jordan and His Tympani Five. Other examples of rock ‘n’ roll having been an offshoot of jazz include Big Joe Turner, who sang with Art Tatum; and Johnny Otis, who drummed behind Lester Young.

Indeed, Gioia’s knowledge of rock music seems to be lacking in other aspects, also. It is more likely that he does not care for it. When discussing jazz styles, particularly fusion’s mix of jazz and rock, the subject of The Brecker Brothers comes up. On page 331 Gioia states that Randy Becker “had played on the first Blood, Sweat & Tears album…” (a fact) but on the next page, when discussing the jazz-influenced horn section of the rock band Blood, Sweat & Tears, he states, “…recording of Billie Holiday’s ‘God Bless the Child’ from their debut album…” The song was actually on B,S&T’s second album, possibly confused by the fact that its title was eponymous.

As stated earlier, this latter beef is nitpicking. The former beef, however, is one that is rarely mentioned in jazz histories, as if the authors do not want jazz to be held liable for what passes for rock music in the 21st Century. One can not blame them, but it should be noted here that jazz is even more directly responsible for a phenomena that is even worse than contemporary rock music: smooth jazz!

In all, Ted Gioia’s Second Edition of “The History of Jazz” is a wonderful read. Gioia’s love of the art form is infectious and reading it will send you to where ever you get your music from these days (record store, online store, youtube, etc) to listen to the titles he discusses. It will also send you to the bookstore to read more about the many fascinating characters a tome like this can only allow a few paragraphs to: Jelly Roll Morton, Art Tatum, Benny Goodman, Billy Holiday, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell… way too many to list here!

If you only read one book on jazz in your life, this would be a good one. Read the book. Dig the music.

For more on the author, check out his website: http://tedgioia.com/

Fred Patterson, Head Archivist, ARC








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