An informal poll on Twitter reveals that 18 followers prefer the version of "Watermelon Man" from Herbie Hancock's debut album Takin' Off, and 16 prefer the electric funk version of "Watermelon Man" on Head Hunters. Several others registered a "both" vote. And now, these news:
International Jazz Day, Herbie Hancock's global jazz initiative, is Monday. Their jazzday.com website has a free stream of the New Orleans and New York all-star concerts. Plus, the event is encouraging all to play "Watermelon Man," and even made lead sheets available for a quintet arrangement. (Sounds a lot like the Takin' Off version.)
Eddie Gomez, bassist with Bill Evans for years (among many other associations), is the subject of a JazzTimes story. Earlier this year, he was on a Bill Evans tribute recording with Chick Corea and Paul Motian.
Bassist Mark Dresser is profiled in a San Diego music blog. The piece makes the interesting observation that internationally-known musicians like Dresser often have trouble gigging in their home towns, especially if they don't live in a major jazz town.
Wayne Shorter on his current quartet, which has played over 600 shows together. "Danilo [Perez] is involved in humanity."
The Ars Nova Workshop blog has commissioned a series of posts about the collaboration between composer Muhal Richard Abrams and Philadelphia bandleader Bobby Zankel. It all coincides with the premiere of a new big band piece this weekend.
On "ghost bands": groups that continue on after their famous leaders' deaths. This is from the L.A. Times in 1998, but I thought of it when it was announced that Brian McKnight would tour with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Yes, that Brian McKnight.
A new executive director is in at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Greg Scholl is a former NBC Universal executive with a history with independent record labels and a huge collection of 78 rpm records. Wynton Marsalis appears poised to take on a greater management role too.
Bird Is The Worm is a new blog I've been following, from a guy who deals with a lot of relatively unknown musicians for AllAboutJazz and eMusic. Mostly new stuff.
Critic John Fordham of The Guardian has a new monthly column. Here's the first edition, featuring 50 years of The Bridge, Tineke Postma and the New York Standards Quartet.
The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is making a push to expand, with a $22 million capital campaign. The plan is to grow into a new space near the Apollo Theater. Related: Willard Jenkins on modern jazz at the Apollo.
New album from pianist Romain Collin, The Calling, is streaming now at Nextbop. It's with fellow young players Luques Curtis (bass) and Kendrick Scott (drums).
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fest is back. The Times-Picayune has wall-to-wall coverage. Local music mag OffBeat has some items too.
The Black Hawk, a long-gone San Francisco club where Monk, Miles and Brubeck once recorded live albums, is finally recognized by the city. Doug Ramsey has the scoop.
Another biography on Baroness Pannonica, the great modern jazz patron, is out. This one is from her niece, Hannah Rothschild, who has already made a documentary film on the subject. Last year, author David Kastin released Nica's Dream.
RIP Joe Muranyi, Louis Armstrong's last clarinetist. Remembrance is from biographer Ricky Riccardi. Also, you may have heard that Armstrong's last recorded concert has finally been re-issued, with a booklet of his favorite recipes. Really.
Destination: Out has posted tunes from clarinetist Perry Robinson's 1962 Funk Dumpling, with Kenny Barron, Henry Grimes and Paul Motian.
The Jazz Session spoke with bassist/bass trombonist Chris Brubeck and pianist Romain Collin.
The Checkout has a studio session with Mike Moreno, plus a look at three intertwined albums out this week.
Elsewhere at NPR Music:
Steve Coleman and members of his band allowed us to film them doing their thing in a special off-piste recording from Newport Jazz Festival 2011. He explains a bit about his unique music.
Third World Love live in concert.
Now Vs. Now live in concert.
JazzSet features harmonica master Toots Thielemans, with pianist Kenny Werner.
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz features the Clare Fischer episode.
Kenny Garrett is featured on Song of the Day.
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