mjzee

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  1. Terry Teachout, R.I.P.

    He had an interesting background, per his obituary in the Journal: Terry Teachout, a prolific New York-based biographer and essayist who wrote exuberantly about drama for The Wall Street Journal, died early Thursday at a friend’s home in Smithtown, N.Y. He was 65 years old. His companion, Cheril Mulligan, said a cause of death hadn’t yet been determined. Mr. Teachout had written drama reviews for the Journal regularly since 2003. “He could never be pigeonholed,” said Eric Gibson, editor of the Journal’s Arts in Review pages. “Terry was never predictable.” He was known for his biographies of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, George Balanchine and H.L. Mencken. He also wrote plays and librettos. Born Feb. 6, 1956, he grew up in Sikeston, Mo. His father was a hardware salesman, and his mother was a receptionist and secretary. Mr. Teachout evoked his childhood in a 1991 memoir, “City Limits: Memories of a Small-Town Boy.” Sikeston, he wrote, was “still a place where people salute the flag and don’t ask for receipts, where everybody knows who your parents were and what they did for a living. It is narrow and kind and decent and good, and I am blessed to have been raised in its shabby, forgiving bosom.” As a teenager, he had the role of the fiddler in a local production of “Fiddler on the Roof” and played in a country band called Sour Mash. In 1979, he graduated from William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., where he studied journalism and music. He then worked as a bank teller in Kansas City, Mo., and wrote reviews for the Kansas City Star while finding gigs as a jazz bassist and striving to establish himself as a writer. Unsatisfied with his progress there, he moved to New York in the 1980s. He obtained an editing internship at Harper’s magazine and later wrote editorials for the New York Daily News. He also worked as a contributor of essays and criticism for a variety of publications, including the National Review, while establishing himself as a biographer. His wife, Hilary Dyson Teachout, died in 2020 after a double-lung transplant. He is survived by a brother, David Teachout. In an October blog post, he announced that he had fallen in love with Ms. Mulligan and described her as “a theater-and-film buff.” On Twitter, he described himself as a “critic, biographer, playwright, director, unabashed Steely Dan fan, ardent philosemite.” Though he led a sophisticated life of culture in New York, Mr. Teachout retained some of his small-town earnestness. “I still wear plaid shirts and think in Central Standard Time,” he wrote in his memoir. “I still eat tuna casserole with potato chips on top and worry about whether the farmers back home will get enough rain this year.”
  2. The Journal reports that Terry Teachout has passed. I'll miss his arts reviews and analysis, both in the Journal and in Commentary.
  3. Houston Person corner

    Release date January 16: Blue Vision, is Eric Person's eleventh CD release under his leadership. Here he leads an organ trio and is heard in collaboration with tenor-saxophone legend Houston Person. Blue Vision combines the blues with classic jazz, soul, gospel, and modern swing." Featured in the rhythm section are Adam Klipple on organ, Pete McCann on guitar, and Tony Jefferson on drums. During the initial conversation about the album’s concept, Houston emphatically stated his mantra, “don’t forget the blues.” Blue Vision has the blues, and so much more. The album features seven songs, five of which are Eric Person’s original compositions. There are updated versions of “Dear Old Stockholm” and Billie Holiday’s classic “Lover Man” as well as a couple of blues numbers: “Blue Vision” and “Old Hat Feathers.” “Geri,” featuring Eric on soprano saxophone, is a wonderful dedication to the late pianist Geri Allen. “Soul Saturation” is pure soul, gospel grit, with gutsy sophistication. The final track, “No Doubt True Dat” is a fast, modern swing number that teeters on the edge and will take you with it. About the Artist Born in St.Louis, Mo. Eric Person has been a fixture on the jazz scene since the early 80s. His diverse experiences have carried him across a wide spectrum of the jazz landscape. He has performed with such luminaries as McCoy Tyner, Dave Holland, Chico Hamilton, John Hicks, Wallace Roney, the World Saxophone Quartet, and many others. In rock and Funk, he's performed with Vernon Reid, Ben Harper, and Bootsy Collins. Person's eleven CDs emphasize his compositional talent, adventurous spirit, and versatility. Person is a multi-instrumentalist who plays alto, soprano, tenor saxophones, and flute. Houston Person, an award-winning artist and major figure on the jazz scene since the early 60s, is definitely not foreign to collaborations. His work alongside the late vocalist Etta Jones is legendary. He has also performed and recorded with some of the best in the business such as Lena Horn, Horace Silver, Ron Carter, Johnny Hammond, and Joey DeFrancesco to name only a few. Houston is also featured on 130 recordings as a leader.
  4. Whither Allen Lowe?

    Fabulous news! Keep it going!
  5. Sexiest album covers

    Thanks, Dan. There's an additional aspect to this. Many years ago (more than a decade?), there was a thread in Miscellaneous Music about a guy named Jandek. Jandek released many many albums that all sounded the same: one guy, with an out of tune guitar (and there was no indication that he could actually play it), mumbling incoherently about things. I learned about Jandek from the record buying office at the record store where I was employed. They got promo copies from him (some had the artist listed as "The Units" but was just still one incoherent guy with a guitar), and when we needed a laugh, we'd put one on of his records. Make no mistake, we were laughing at him, not in any way enjoying the music. The Jandek thread on this board had two members who enthusiastically discussed his music. They listened to his lyrics and dissected them, trying to discern their meaning. They discussed how his music differed from one album to the next. Jandek was very mysterious (people didn't know who he was), and they offered guesses as to his origins and artistic intent. Having heard some of his records, I couldn't believe there were people who took him seriously; I thought he sounded like a lunatic homeless person. So I mentioned that on the thread. Once they ascertained that I had actually heard some of these albums, they then politely asked me to not post further in the thread. They didn't doubt that I was sincere about my opinions, but they had different opinions and this was a space for them to discuss their views. My opinions were very caustic and negative, and could I simply leave them alone so they could continue their discussion? This seemed reasonable to me, and I didn't post in that thread any further. And so with the current discussion. Jsngry has made his point abundantly clear. Since we all now recognize his point, could he please leave the thread alone? Continuing to passive-aggressively try to derail the thread is what we are objecting to.
  6. Sexiest album covers

    It all went downhill around August 19 (page 511). Start there.
  7. New DONATE button

    As long as the cyberbullying continues in the Sexiest Album Covers thread, I'm reluctant to donate (although I have many times in the past). This is abuse that is easily avoided (as in "live and let live") with a little restraint, and yet it persists.
  8. Sexiest album covers

    Ah, the cyberbullying continues.
  9. Boris Kozlov Corner

    Release date February 11:
  10. What a great documentary! Brad, thanks for alerting us and giving us a chance to see it. I got in right under the wire: started it yesterday and finished it today. Very greasy. Great interviews. Wish they had a little less about death and cancer, and I wish it would have gone into the mysteries of all the stops and drawbars. But still, it was just great.
  11. Schumann Piano Music

    TtK, if I had to guess, I think what you're referring to as an "Americana" sound is that a lot of the music played behind early silent films sounds like that. Think of Buster Keaton's "The General."
  12. Jazz CD bargains

    Excellent!
  13. Harold Mabern R.I.P.

    Listening now to this - Mabern is on fire:
  14. McCoy Tyner

    I recently found a vinyl copy of "It's About Time." It's billed as by McCoy Tyner and Jackie McLean, but it seems to me like a Tyner album with McLean as part of the band. Jackie's only on 4 of the 6 tracks, and none are a showcase for him alone. It's a good album, although the SQ is sometimes funky. I think they missed an opportunity to call it McCoy and McLean.