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Michael Cuscuna: We Need A Book!


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Reading the liner notes to the CD reissue of "Meet Betty Carter And Ray Bryant," I'm struck yet again by how well Cuscuna writes: he's concise, pithy, to the point, and has a lively writing style that never calls attention to himself.  I've love to read a book that compiles his liner notes; perhaps he could also pen a fresh essay about his years in jazz.  I'd buy it!

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I too have read Michael’s liners numerous times, and been super impressed almost every time.

I’d preorder a whole book in a heart beat, and even contribute to a Kickstarter (as a vote of confidence), should such an arrangement happen to be necessary.

All the better if it were a combination of history personally witnessed, and memoir.

Edited by Rooster_Ties
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On 11/19/2022 at 4:53 PM, Fer Urbina said:

Hear, hear.

Curio: This is the ending of an early review (first ever?) of some ECM LPs by 32-year old Michael Cuscuna on Downbeat (May 11, 1972).

FB_IMG_1668897996432.thumb.jpg.0f5eaaa6cbb579fa74e75cdb9ecfcd8b.jpg

 

Something else from 1972:

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Upper right, third down.

There is/was a lot more to Michael Cuscuna than "Blue Note"/Mosaic.

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Let me add my voice to others but with a direct prescription: What the world needs is a memoir from Michael about his alert and influential life lived within the marrow of the music business. THAT would be an ESSENTIAL read and revealing window into the last 50 years of jazz across the stylistic spectrum -- the musicians who made it and the people who produced and recorded it, packaged it, and sold and presented it, as well as the conditions in which they all worked. 

And for Jesus Fuck's Sake, would the NEA please give him the Jazz Master award for advocacy. It's a mockery that he remains unrecognized in this way. 

Edited by Mark Stryker
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25 minutes ago, Mark Stryker said:

Let me add my voice to others but with a direct prescription: What the world needs is a memoir from Michael about his alert and influential life lived within the marrow of the music business. THAT would be an ESSENTIAL read and revealing window into the last 50 years of jazz across the stylistic spectrum -- the people who made it, produced and recorded it, packaged it, and sold and presented it, as well as the conditions in which they all worked. 

Yes.  This.

 

26 minutes ago, Mark Stryker said:

And for Jesus Fuck's Sake, would the NEA please give him the Jazz Master award for advocacy. It's a mockery that he remains unrecognized in this way. 

And this too!

 

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On 11/21/2022 at 10:25 AM, Mark Stryker said:

Let me add my voice to others but with a direct prescription: What the world needs is a memoir from Michael about his alert and influential life lived within the marrow of the music business. THAT would be an ESSENTIAL read and revealing window into the last 50 years of jazz across the stylistic spectrum -- the musicians who made it and the people who produced and recorded it, packaged it, and sold and presented it, as well as the conditions in which they all worked. 

And for Jesus Fuck's Sake, would the NEA please give him the Jazz Master award for advocacy. It's a mockery that he remains unrecognized in this way. 

Mark, have you nominated him?

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On 11/21/2022 at 7:25 AM, Mark Stryker said:

Let me add my voice to others but with a direct prescription: What the world needs is a memoir from Michael about his alert and influential life lived within the marrow of the music business. THAT would be an ESSENTIAL read and revealing window into the last 50 years of jazz across the stylistic spectrum -- the musicians who made it and the people who produced and recorded it, packaged it, and sold and presented it, as well as the conditions in which they all worked. 

And for Jesus Fuck's Sake, would the NEA please give him the Jazz Master award for advocacy. It's a mockery that he remains unrecognized in this way. 

Hear, Hear!

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Yes, they take submissions from the public. But they don't want campaigns, so 50 of us on the board cannot all nominate him. Just one of us.

Whether someone with pull like Mark has more chance than a nobody like me I am not sure, but I would not be surprised. There is a mystery committee which I suspect includes several previous honorees, such as HH. I could be wrong.

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2 hours ago, bertrand said:

Yes, they take submissions from the public. But they don't want campaigns, so 50 of us on the board cannot all nominate him. Just one of us.

Whether someone with pull like Mark has more chance than a nobody like me I am not sure, but I would not be surprised. There is a mystery committee which I suspect includes several previous honorees, such as HH. I could be wrong.

How does a federal agency get away with having a secret committee? Given that there's money involved, you don't want the word "secret" attached to it. Seems weird.

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13 hours ago, bresna said:

How does a federal agency get away with having a secret committee? Given that there's money involved, you don't want the word "secret" attached to it. Seems weird.

Well, I have never seen it described as such so I am just speculating.

I never tried to ask. The current administrator is a friend of mine but she will not answer ANY questions about her job.

I guess someone who is not friends with the administrator could write and make a claim that they have the right to know who is on the committee under a variation of the FIA. If someone chooses to do so, please do report back!

I sure would like to know how things actually went down when the committee at the time decided to award it to the ENTIRE Marsalis clan. Only the Cassandra Wilson decision dwarfed this one in stupidity. One could have reasonably suspected that politics were involved, and in the USA politics are usually of a green hue, if you get my drift.

PS: I would like to ask the committee why my Joe Chambers nomination has been ignored for EIGHT years now and counting. Someone suggested it was because he was grumpy. If that was the criteria, then how the fuck did Keith Jarrett get it?

Edited by bertrand
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22 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

I sent an email to Dan Morgenstern asking how such a nomination could/should be made. Dan should know.

Dan may well be on the committee but I am sure he cannot say so.

43 minutes ago, gmonahan said:

Well, yes he should, since he was one in 2007!!

That does not guarantee he will know. I doubt Wayne Shorter knows how he became a Jazz Master exactly, just that someone nominated him.

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