The Jazz Loft Project

On December 3rd I attended the Jazz Loft Project book and website launch event at the West End Wine Bar in Durham, NC.  WUNC’s Frank Stasio, always on top of local goings on, clued me in.  It was packed, despite the venue being situated by LOCAL TRAFFIC ONLY signs from all approaches.  Where else would Jazz fans congregate, if not in some well-hidden bar that’s so small you’d need three of them just to hold all the people who came to hear the music?

Needless to say I bought the book, got it signed, and have since met people who are on their third reading of the text.  I’m trying to save it for Christmas!

I look forward to the time when, perhaps 40 years from now, The Miraverse has become the definitive archive for a new collection of music representing a meaningful continuum of talent and community.

Jazzin the Piedmont?

Jazzin the Black ForestLast month at the Ars Electronica 2008 conference and festival, I had a chance to discuss with a number of very smart folks both my physical studio project, Manifold Recording, and my approach to creating a new recording environment/context, the Miraverse.  In the course of those discussions, a number of people mentioned Jazzin the Black Forest, a Book/DVD combination that documents the amazing history of the German MPS label.

The letters MPS stand for “Most Perfect Sound”, and as John Kelman writes…

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Welcomed home by Stanley Jordan (and Bob Edwards)

Joi Ito invited me to be a speaker at the 2008 Ars Electronica Symposium and Festival, held each year in Linz, Austria. I chose to speak about Music, Software, and Sustainable Culture, tying together my free software and free culture sensibilities. But after discharging those responsibilities, and after meeting tons of new people and sharing lots of new information, it was time to come home.

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Seeds of Shakti grow in Durham

John Heitzenrater teaches sarongPage counts and advertising revenues may be down at our local newspaper, the News and Observer, but we still subscribe because it still brings us a lot of good news, reporting, and commentary.  This morning I read a particularly inspiring article about John Heitzenrater, an expert in South Asian instruments.

The article begins by noting that Heitzenrater’s roots are Swedish, his accent American, “[but] when John Heitzenrater fiercely strums the sarod, the music resonates, transcending geographical and ideological boundaries.”

It turns out that Heitzenrater was inspired by one of the great boundary-trascendents, John McLaughlin

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The Music Lesson

The Music Lesson (2006 Cover)

Last week Lyle Estill was scheduled to give a reading at Quail Ridge Books and I was asked to introduce him.  After his reading, which was excellent, and the questions, which were semi-interesting, he set himself to signing books for the 30+ people who came to hear him that evening.  And, being in one of the best real, local bookstores, I set myself to browsing.  I wandered over to the Music section, and was stunned to see that one of my favorite bass players, Victor Wooten, had written a book called The Music Lesson.  I cracked it to a random page, read the passage that said

“Sharing is on e of the most important tools needed for personal growth,” he once told me, also stating that many people never come to understand that point.  He said that many of us try to hoard our knowledge in order to stay ahead of everyone else.  I understood that completely because I used to use the same method.

Amen!

I had a trip to Oregon coming up, and I realized that with this book, I could be spending time with my man Victor.  Do you want to know what it was like?

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Power, Passion, and Beauty

Last month I had the opportunity to read Power, Passion, and Beauty, the story of the Mahavishu Orchestra, published by AbstractLogix. As many of you can imagine, I’m a huge fan of John McLaughlin, and as a fan, the book did not disappoint. Meticulously researched the book’s organizing structure of a timeline lets history tell the story without the author getting in the way. And what a history it was…

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