Is Jazz Urhobo Music? I Odeyovwi; Kọdiọ rẹ ihweje [If it is so good; every one lays claim to it.] - Ancient Urhobo saying. Ọmẹ v’ọroavware diọvo. [My own and…
Urhobo Music Is 21st Century Ready
An overview of Modern Urhobo music played by traditional exponents, Okpan Arhibo and King Enakpodia. The modern sound of the Isologu played by Lucky Adada. (more…)
Creed Taylor and the Origins of Smooth Jazz
There few people who popularised and brought money into jazz like producer, Creed Taylor, did. Beginning with creating the international Bossa Nova phenomenon of the 1960s, he went on to pioneer smooth jazz in definitive terms. (more…)
The Lure of Collecting Jazz Albums
I am often asked by newer jazz fans for advice on collecting good or classic jazz records. My answer; “only you can decide what a classic is“ and “it depends on the path of collection you choose to adopt.” A jazz collection without the Miles’ Kind of Blue, Coltrane‘s Giant Steps, Hancock‘s Maiden Voyage, Blakey and the Jazz Messengers‘ Moanin’, Mingus‘ Mingus Ah Um, or Brubeck‘s Time Out albums may attract little interest, an unsolicited lecture or even ridicule. Owning Dolphy’s Out to Lunch, Ornette’s The Shape of Jazz to Come, Jarret’s The Koln Concert or Terry’s Haig and Haig albums can bring you instant respect from many. Such shows a well-defined culture of acquisition that transcends the sounds of jazz. (more…)
What Is Academic Jazz, Does It matter?
“Academic jazz” is a phrase that startles me. What does it mean? Today, jazz music, jazz dance and jazz poetry are mainstream academic subjects. Libraries of books on jazz theory, performance, improvisation, history, analyses, events, styles, and personalities abound. Many believe jazz, particularly in its bebop and Avant-Garde forms, is intellectual, making it suitable for academic inquiry. If public intellectual giants such as Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Cornel West, Jack Kerouac, Amiri Baraka, have been steep in jazz and its expression, it has to be intellectual.
Nevertheless, jazz music is not a creation of university departments or conservatories of music. It came out of Africa, a continent perceived as backward. Most of the earliest practitioners of jazz in the USA could not read nor write English or music. They learnt and played their musical crafts by ear. That said, we may confront with the question, does academic jazz or the jazz of academics matter? (more…)