One of the most interesting jazz releases of 2007 has to be Herbie Hancock's River: The Joni Letters. On it, the legendary composer and pianist covers a number of classic Joni Mitchell songs--only "cover" doesn't quite describe it. In true modern jazz fashion, the takes are more thematic and spiritual than literal. The combination of Mitchell's haunting lyrics, Hancock's revamped melodies, and vocal cameos by artists from Norah Jones to Tina Turner is often stunning.
InfoWorld is reporting that IBM may soon open source key parts of its Jazz collaboration software. Jazz comes from the Rational side of IBM's business, and is a development tool that facilitates code collaboration between developers. It's not the sexiest project out there, but arguably a useful one.We might think about open-sourcing some of the very lowest layers (of the framework) so that the APIs (application programming interfaces) are available, and people could build on the kernel.
The reason? To drive pervasiveness of the Jazz platform.
Open source is just about the only way to get platform ubiquity in today's software world. IBM understands this better than most. What it might want to watch out for is its messaging around the move....… Read more
Maria Schneider is a jazz composer, but on "Sky Blue" (artistShare) her music doesn't immediately sound like jazz--it's more meditative and expansive than what you might expect--it glides more than grooves. On paper her group, which has been together since 1988, looks like a big band, but it definitely sounds like an orchestra.
I recently spoke with Schneider about her music and she said "I want to create beauty and hopefully each time you listen to the CD, you'll hear something new." Well, with arrangements as densely layered as Schneider's that's … Read more
I read the sad news yesterday of the death of jazz drummer Max Roach, he was 83. He played on the first bebop records with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker in the 1940s and later worked with Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins and many, many others. He remained active until fairly recently.
I literally bumped into Max Roach at the Tower Records store near Lincoln Center in the early 1980s. We were both deep in browsing mode when we collided; I looked up and immediately recognized him. We each excused ourselves while I tried to remain calm as we … Read more
It seems like Charlie Hunter has always played a Novax eight string guitar, but for the new CD he slimmed the neck down and nixed a string.
Even so, those remaining seven strings never sounded better than they do on Mistico (Fantasy Records). Hunter's a major genre jumper, he teamed up with DJ Logic in 2005 to make his Longitude CD, his all-instrumental Bob Marley homage Natty Dread was a career highpoint; his funk outfit TJ Kirk exclusively played reworkings of James Brown, Thelonious Monk, and Roland Kirk tunes; and early on he covered Kurt Cobain's "Come … Read more
Before Apple came along and integrated multitouch-screen technology into the iPhone, one of the first companies to weave multitouch into a commercial product was a boutique music controller company named JazzMutant. Their first product, the Lemur, was an extremely niche (and pricey) product that allowed musicians to use the Lemur's suite of touch-screen tools to play and tweak their music. You know its cool if Bjork takes it out on tour.