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AllenLowe

McCarthur Genius Grants Announced: Miguel Zenon and Alex Ross

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yikes, I know all about Ross, but anybody know anything about Zenon, a saxophonist who they think is bringing new things to music?

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I've seen him live just once, and think he plays beautifully and projects a great sense of spirit, but don't know much about him beyond that.

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nice player - just played some clips on youtube - his tone is a little too Cannonball-ish for my tastes (I love Cannonball but I don't like that sound on anybody else; comes across as shallow ) -

Edited by AllenLowe

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Larry and Clem, however, will be sending flowers to Ross -

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Zenon is a very good saxophonist. I first heard him with David Sanchez and subsequently with the Mingus Big Band, SFJAZZ Collective and his own projects. Despite my fondness for his playing, I do wonder what it is about him that merits a "genius grant", but I guess that can be said about recipients of any award. So I will just say congratulations to Mr. Zenon.

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Zenon is a very good saxophonist. I first heard him with David Sanchez and subsequently with the Mingus Big Band, SFJAZZ Collective and his own projects. Despite my fondness for his playing, I do wonder what it is about him that merits a "genius grant", but I guess that can be said about recipients of any award. So I will just say congratulations to Mr. Zenon.

It isn't actually called a genius grant, that is just what people have come to refer to it as. It is pretty awesome, though. Imagine picking up the phone one day, and the person on the other line says hello, you are being awarded $500,000, no strings attached, for being original, insightful, and having potential for greatness.

Here are how they are picked: MaccArthur Grant

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Zenon is a very good saxophonist. I first heard him with David Sanchez and subsequently with the Mingus Big Band, SFJAZZ Collective and his own projects. Despite my fondness for his playing, I do wonder what it is about him that merits a "genius grant", but I guess that can be said about recipients of any award. So I will just say congratulations to Mr. Zenon.

It isn't actually called a genius grant, that is just what people have come to refer to it as. It is pretty awesome, though. Imagine picking up the phone one day, and the person on the other line says hello, you are being awarded $500,000, no strings attached, for being original, insightful, and having potential for greatness.

Here are how they are picked: MaccArthur Grant

Thank you. That description helps the understanding significantly.

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Zenon is a very good saxophonist. I first heard him with David Sanchez and subsequently with the Mingus Big Band, SFJAZZ Collective and his own projects. Despite my fondness for his playing, I do wonder what it is about him that merits a "genius grant", but I guess that can be said about recipients of any award. So I will just say congratulations to Mr. Zenon.

It isn't actually called a genius grant, that is just what people have come to refer to it as. It is pretty awesome, though. Imagine picking up the phone one day, and the person on the other line says hello, you are being awarded $500,000, no strings attached, for being original, insightful, and having potential for greatness.

Here are how they are picked: MaccArthur Grant

Thank you. That description helps the understanding significantly.

I noticed this, also on their site:

Q. Is this the same thing as the "genius grant"? Why does the program not use the term "genius" regarding its Fellows?

A. Journalists and others sometimes use "genius grant" as a shorthand reference for the MacArthur Fellowship. We avoid using the term "genius" to describe MacArthur Fellows because it connotes a singular characteristic of intellectual prowess. The people we seek to support express many other important qualities: ability to transcend traditional boundaries, willingness to take risks, persistence in the face of personal and conceptual obstacles, capacity to synthesize disparate ideas and approaches.

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I have two of Zenon's CDs, and saw him live twice. He is an intense player in that his every note seems to be bursting with tightness--my subjective impression. He is no doubt "really good", but I have never warmed to him. He seems to have a certain dour or gloomy approach to everything, too. I have never understood why he gets such critical raves. To me, his music is the type that you are supposed to be able to appreciate. But maybe I am missing something big here.

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I see they passed over Wile E. Coyote again. Tsk, tsk.

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well, I can't say too much, but I can tell you, from some inside info, that when it comes to jazz granting they have nary a clue and usually end up going for what amounts to a kind of academic trendi-ness -

Edited by AllenLowe

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Yeah, he should be here harassing and insulting people. Some people miss that.

.

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i run into ken vandermark's parents quite often at the avant garde shows around boston. i once remarked to his mother, "it must be fun to say,"my son, the genius." she had a good chuckle over that.

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I have two of Zenon's CDs, and saw him live twice. He is an intense player in that his every note seems to be bursting with tightness--my subjective impression. He is no doubt "really good", but I have never warmed to him. He seems to have a certain dour or gloomy approach to everything, too. I have never understood why he gets such critical raves. To me, his music is the type that you are supposed to be able to appreciate. But maybe I am missing something big here.

Huh - dour and gloomy were the furthest adjectives from my mind at the show I saw.

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Where is Clem? He hasn't posted since July 28.

I know he's working on some heavy-duty writing projects. In other words, he DOES have a life outside of the board. His blog is also down/not in use.

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hard for me to judge these geniuses due to a personal conflict of interest - I see guys like that and I say to myself "hey, I write and play as well as he does." I do think the McCarthur people, when it comes to a lot of the jazz-related money they award, have not a clue - think Roswell Rudd, for one - still largely un-heralded - and could use the cash - as could Ursula Oppens or Louie Goldstein (non-jazz, but deserving) - hey, Larry Kart deserves it a LOT more than big Stanley -

Edited by AllenLowe

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Where is Clem? He hasn't posted since July 28.

I know he's working on some heavy-duty writing projects. In other words, he DOES have a life outside of the board. His blog is also down/not in use.

Really? I visited WWIB yesterday and it looked fairly active...guest-bloggers, maybe? (Hard to tell w/WWIB...I always assume that all of the pseudonyms/monikers are Clem.) Anyway, that's cool, glad to hear he's so busy (I still haven't finished reading all of NEW YORK CALLING) and thanks for the update, CT.

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It isn't actually called a genius grant, that is just what people have come to refer to it as. It is pretty awesome, though. Imagine picking up the phone one day, and the person on the other line says hello, you are being awarded $500,000, no strings attached, for being original, insightful, and having potential for greatness.

That would be great, especially if it would happen more often to more people and this country actually supported its artists. But we don't have the money for that. We spend our trillions on bailing out banks and wars and stuff.

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It isn't actually called a genius grant, that is just what people have come to refer to it as. It is pretty awesome, though. Imagine picking up the phone one day, and the person on the other line says hello, you are being awarded $500,000, no strings attached, for being original, insightful, and having potential for greatness.

That would be great, especially if it would happen more often to more people and this country actually supported its artists. But we don't have the money for that. We spend our trillions on bailing out banks and wars and stuff.

Indeed. The bail out is ridiculous, and they won't even lower the salaries for executives! The MacArthur Foundation is independent, though. I don't think it has any relation to what we are spending our govenment money on.

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Right, I know that. The reason private institutions have to do this is because there is no healthy art support from the government.

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