Sunday, August 29, 2010

Another Nail In The Coffin

I love jazz. I love listening to jazz. I love playing jazz. Jazz does not frighten me - it excites me and invigorates me. And I am willing to support the music I love by purchasing the music and going to clubs to hear the music live.

But I fear, more and more, that I am a dying breed.

I read an interview last week with Vijay Iyer. If you have not heard of Vijay, he is an amazing pianist, and has been getting rave reviews for the last couple of years in many influential magazines. His album Historicity was voted BEST ALBUM of the year in Downbeat magazine this year (2010).
This acclaimed album has sold about 7000 copies so far, after 12 months. That is pretty sad - the BEST album of the year can't even sell 10,000 copies.

The spread of digital music is so complete and prevalent - and basically free - it is harder and harder to get people to part with their money to buy music.

So this week a friend of mine introduced me to the latest nail in the musical coffin:

This amazing site allows you to search, and when you find a video you like it lets you separate the soundtrack of that video and instantly create an mp3 file for yourself.

AS I am writing this blog, I have been able to download a song from the Historicity album that was uploaded with an image to Youtube. I could also download and save his interviews, and some live performances that people have posted about Vijay.

Want some Charlie Parker? I am now downloading Bird and Diz playing "Hot House" in 1951 at the Downbeat Awards, when they received the best Alto Sax and Trumpet of the year awards.

Not much need to go to the local record store anymore...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Great Article about George Kahn and Courtney Lemmon

Kirk Silsbee just did a great write up about George and Courtney, performing tonight at First and Hope in Downtown LA.

A Blond Ingenue and a Middle-Aged Keyboard Sage Come Together at First & Hope
by Kirk Silsbee
Published: Friday, August 20, 2010 4:30 PM PDT
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - Strong musical marriages happen when one talent and artistic vision is complemented, encouraged and inspired by another. They flourish through creative stimulation and mutual respect. To musicians, these conjunctions are just as important as the matrimonial kind.

Jazz pianist, composer and arranger George Kahn shares one such union with singer Courtney Lemmon. The blond ingénue and the middle-aged keyboard sage make a striking pair and an example of inter-generational synchronicity. When she fronts his band, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Their special blend will be on display Thursday, Aug. 26, at Fedora, a small club inside the restaurant First & Hope.

Read the whole article here: