a1431834809_10Guilhem Flouzat, Portraits (Sunnyside)

Ari Hoenig, The Pauper & The Magician (AH-HA)

Myra Melford & Ben Goldberg, Dialogue (BAG)

Mike Moreno, Lotus (World Culture)

Aruán Ortiz Trio, Hidden Voices (Intakt)

Jeremy Pelt, #Jiveculture (HighNote)

Tom Rainey Trio, Hotel Grief (Intakt Records)

Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Charlie (5Passion)

Sam Sadigursky, Follow the Stick (BJU)

Dave Scott Quintet, Brooklyn Aura (SteepleChase)

Yesterday my mom and dad celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Here’s my tribute to them — an overdubbed guitar arrangement of The Everly Brothers’ “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” which was their song back in the day.

Happy Anniversary mom & dad [click link]

Dear Diana,

Yesterday was hard. About a hundred of us gathered for your memorial, and spoke of how you touched our lives in so many ways.

We are wounded. But even from where you are, you’re bringing people together. It was so good to connect with dear Julie, Jess, Angela, the gang from Rivington Street. And your mom and dad, and Charles. So many new friends, too, since we were together. It was inspiring to see, all these connections, all this love. They all probably felt the sorrow I felt on New Year’s 2012, the first day of the first year without you.

You and I met in late 1990, October I think. At a party on East 7th Street, not far from your memorial. And you became my first real love. We lasted until about April 1994 and the end was not easy, but it’s all in the past. What I’ll keep with me is the sunshine and the joy — your middle name. And the music.

At some point your mom came up to New York from Memphis for a visit, and the three of us were walking down East 7th (that street again). We passed by the little jazz club Deanna’s, and a band was playing “Monk’s Dream” by Thelonious Monk. You and your mom began singing the difficult melody, accurately. I’m thinking you first heard Monk through me, maybe I’m mistaken, but it wasn’t long before Monk became one of your favorite songwriters. Of course! You loved him enough to get your mom hooked too.

I took you to Bradley’s to hear Benny Green and Christian McBride, smoking piano and bass duo, way before McBride became a star. We went to hear Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra at the Village Vanguard. They played “N’kosi Sikeleli Africa,” the anthem of the African National Congress. John Stubblefield was in the band, Ray Anderson, Tom Harrell. You knew about Harrell’s struggle with schizophrenia, and you were awed by his triumphant trumpet solo. You were rhapsodic after the show, about how jazz is life-giving, transcendent in spirit, open to the humanity in everyone.

Remember the drive to Memphis? We started seeing confederate flags and scary knives in the gas station shops in Virginia, almost ran out of gas in the hills of West Virginia, picked up your dad and spent the night in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, before driving straight across Tennessee to your hometown. Visited the Lorraine Motel, site of King’s assassination. Then there was our Adirondack trip — fantastic sights, left the mountains for a bit and stumbled on Lake Champlain. Nothing on our agenda, so we hopped on the Port Kent ferry to Burlington, Vermont. The water was gorgeous, the sky dark gray on one side, pure sun on the other. Drove across Vermont to New Hampshire, spent a half-hour watching a moose (!) wade in a roadside creek, stayed in a crap motel with mirrors on the ceiling. We watched a brand new MTV show, “Beavis and Butthead,” and didn’t get it at all. (Later I became a zealous convert.) The next morning it rained, so we hit the road again for Montreal, the big city. I loved those travels with you.

We weren’t in close touch for a long time, but I got the wonderful news of your marriage to Charles, and the birth of your darling Lily. And much too soon after that, the evil, unfathomable news of your disease. And the accounts of your incredible and valiant fight. We messaged on Facebook for months about getting together with our daughters for a play date. I’m thanking heaven every day that we actually did it, around August 2010, the last time I would ever see you. I was about to teach my first course; you gave me great feedback and insight. Tess wasn’t walking yet, but Lily was rocketing around the playground at 18 months. You looked good, and as far as I could see you felt good. I spoke to Charles yesterday about future play dates. I want that to happen. I want to watch Lily grow and do her mother proud, and I know she will.

You insisted that your memorial include “Happier Than the Morning Sun” by Stevie Wonder. As we all sat and listened to the track, and watched photos of you float by on the screen, I thought back to those Rivington Street days. In that apartment with probably a half-dozen roommates, we had Stevie’s ’70s albums in constant rotation, a soundtrack to all our lives. I’ve been revisiting Stevie Wonder in recent years and learning a lot of his music on the guitar, but I’d never thought to study this one, so close to your heart. Getting home from your memorial, I cracked open my case and learned it right away. A far from perfect rendition, but then, you weren’t a believer in perfect. It’s my goodbye to you, Diana Joy.

Trumpeter Bill Dixon has died at age 84. I’m extremely grateful to have seen him several times in New York in recent years. And to have written about his final* release, Tapestries for Small Orchestra. (*My colleague Hank Shteamer notes that Dixon’s final release is the double LP Weight/Counterweight. Apologies.)

One performance I heard was with a quartet at the Baha’i Center. In between numbers, Dixon shared memories of hearing Dizzy Gillespie’s big band play “Things to Come” in the ’40s. He spoke of it as a life-changing event, a view of music rearranged into “a fantastic new order.” Dixon was anything but a bebopper, but he knew bebop was not “conservative” (see yesterday’s post).

Dixon also said things I can’t even paraphrase about his long career, and remarked, “You know, as they say, every dog has his day. Well, I’ve been a very good dog. And I’m going to have two days.”

God bless him and look after him.

Great event on Monday! The results are in, and photos, more photos and dispatches are up at JJA News. More coverage and commentary in the days to come. Patrick of A Blog Supreme has some reflections here.

Ok, ready? Last night’s Undead Jazzfest, or at least the parts that I saw:

Trippy electronica opener with visuals from Graham Haynes and Hardedge, nice way to ease into it at Le Poisson Rouge. Tight modernism from Kneebody tenor saxist Ben Wendel with Gerald Clayton on Rhodes, Nir Felder on guitar, Ben Street on bass, Dan Weiss on drums — choice bassoon solo spot from Wendel, good band sound despite the crappy bass house amp, which would plague every group at Kenny’s Castaways. Matthew Shipp cast an effective spell on solo piano back at LPR, sandwiched in between Graham Haynes and an incendiary band set from Dave Douglas and Keystone, highlight of the night (Marcus Strickland!). At Kenny’s, caught just a bit of Uri Caine with Chris Speed, Jim Black, John Hebert, a violinist I hadn’t seen before. Then Dan Weiss/Miles Okazaki duo spun webs of interlocking cyclical rhythm — this project has reached a new level of power and excitement. Over to Sullivan Hall for just a bit of Ben Perowsky’s darkly funky, vampy Moodswing Orchestra with Adam Rogers, a rail-thin and head-shaven Josh Roseman. But then capped it off with Tony Malaby’s Novela, a remarkable project with eight horns plus drums and Kris Davis, the group’s arranger, on Fender Rhodes. All Malaby compositions, presented in a new light. Dave Douglas and Malaby sets will be my two picks for New York @ Night, July 2010 edition.

Circumstances will probably conspire to make me miss tonight’s blowout, but you shouldn’t.

In the new Philadelphia Weekly:

Brass, Skins & Strings Collective
Fri., June 11, 9pm. $10 ($8 advance). With Doug Hirlinger’s Waveform Razorback. Moonstone Arts Center, 110 S. 13th St. 215.735.9600 www.moonstoneartscenter.org

Philly is lucky to have a number of highly skilled musicians who perform on the streets when they’re not busy with other projects. Over a dozen of them have come together as the Brass, Skins & Strings Collective, and this month’s installment of the Lucky Old Souls series will feature a BSSC trio reduction — with Jafar Barron on cornet, Elliott Levin on reeds and poetry and Anthony Mohamed on percussion. Kicking off the night is drummer Doug Hirlinger and Waveform Razorback, a trio of a completely different stripe, with Matt Mitchell (of Tim Berne fame) on keyboards and Ben Gerstein covering the low end on trombone. — David R. Adler

And let the posting resume… soon, I promise.

Thanks to Lisa Taliano for this great new blog layout and for the whole adlermusic.com redesign.

Much more to come.

This blog is on pause while we migrate to WordPress, very shortly. Thanks and keep checking in.

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