Brooklyn Jazz Underground

The Brooklyn Jazz Underground, a newly formed collective, is an association of independent bandleaders with a shared commitment to improvised music. Through cooperative effort, members of the BJU strive to create greater awareness of their work.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Tanya Kalmanovitch: The evolutionary function of music.

From today's New York Times. Clive Thompson's article on Daniel Levitin, a former pop producer turned neuropsychologist, who offers among other things, an argument for the evolutionary function of music:

"Not all of Dr. Levitin’s idea have been easily accepted. He argues, for example, that music is an evolutionary adaptation: something that men developed as a way to demonstrate reproductive fitness. (Before you laugh, consider the sex lives of today’s male rock stars.) Music also helped social groups cohere. “Music has got to be useful for survival, or we would have gotten rid of it years ago,” he said."

Read the whole article here.

Alan Ferber: Quick route to JFK, and other random stuff...

I'm writing this from the Phoenix airport where my flight back to NY has been delayed. This is helping to divert my attention away from the extremely large man across from me snoring REALLY loud. It's cutting through my Bose noise-cancelling headphones like a freshly-sharpened sword. Anyway, for all you musicians who make lots of trips to JFK and are tired of spending your previous night's salary from the 55 Bar on a car service, listen up! I took the Q train to Atlantic Ave (where a zillion other trains stop as well) and hopped on the LIRR to Jamaica. From Jamaica, I got the Airtrain which took me right to my terminal. The trip from my apartment to Atlantic took 10 minutes, from Atlantic to Jamaica took 20 minutes, and Airtrain to terminal took 10-15 minutes. The whole thing cost $12 ($2 subway + $5 LIRR + $5 Airtrain) and was a total breeze. I made it to the airport in an hour, all told, and had enough money left over to buy a $15 slice of pizza. Another perk: there was a jazz quartet playing at the Jetblue terminal and I was able to sit in on "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise" before running off to catch my flight. I don't really like that tune, but it definitely beat sitting in on a "jazzy" version of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Tanya Kalmanovitch's iTunes Party Shuffle

Here are the first 10 tracks that come up in iTunes when I hit "Party Shuffle". A quick-and-dirty snapshot of my listening world...

1. "Kilimanjaro" - Zbigniew Siefert, Kimilanjaro
2. "Impacto Tendremos" - Jimmy Bosch, Salsa Dura
3. "Adonde Vas" - Tipica 73, Charangueando con la Tipica 73
4. "Anthracite" - Myra Melford & Tanya Kalmanovitch, Heart Mountain
5. "Masqualero (Alternate Take)" - Miles Davis, Sorceror
6. "Klezmer Wedding Dance Medley" - Neshoma Orchestra, Mazel Tov!
7. "Stefi's Song" - Enrico Pieranunzi, Gabriele Mirabassi & Marc Johnson, Racconti Mediterranei
8. "Pointe de la Courte Dune" - Benoit Delbecq Unit, Phonetics
9. "Down From Dover" - Dolly Parton, Little Sparrow
10. "Musik Kime Aittir" - Nedim Nalbantoglu, Musik Kime Aittir

Anyone else care to give it a try?

Friday, December 29, 2006

Jerome Sabbagh: music I have been listening to

I thought I'd let people know about some of the music I have been listening to lately:

-Brahms: First Symphony, Karajan, Berlin, 1963 (Deutsche Grammophon): Apparently, Karajan recorded this at least 4 times. This particular recording sounds absolutely amazing to me and the piece is great.

-Ray Charles and Betty Carter: The whole album is fantastic but the first song, "Everytime We Say Goodbye" always sends shivers down my spine.

-Miles Davis: Live in Stockholm 1960: This is with Coltrane, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb. It's recorded during the last tour that Coltrane did with Miles. His playing, in particular, is unbelievable and clearly goes over the head of some listeners at the time. It's during that same tour that he gets booed at Salle Pleyel in Paris during "Bye Bye Blackbird". I especially like Trane on " On Green Dolphin Street" (the way he alludes to his composition "Like Sonny" for a whole chorus before launching into sheets of sound). But throughout the recording, the whole band sounds exceptional. The rhythm section plays some of the most swinging music I have ever heard.

That's it for now. More soon from myself or other BJU members.