SOME PREACHING HERE.......
DON'T DOWNLOAD FREE MUSIC OR SHARE WITHOUT PAYING FOR ENTIRE ALBUMS OF JAZZ MUSICIANS. THIS IS AN ART THAT NEEDS TO THRIVE. NOT SIMPLY SURVIVE.
PLEASE THINK TO GIVE THE GIFT OF EITHER PHYSICAL CD's OR ONLINE PURCHASES FROM JAZZ ARTISTS THIS COMING YEAR. LET'S MAKE JAZZ AN STRONGER ART FORM IN 2017.
That said....I found the most exciting thing in jazz to be when Esperanza Spalding decided to take everyone on an interactive journey utilizing the Facebook LIVE application to create something extraordinarily beautiful in 77 hours of time - a project called, EXPOSURE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAOezi2Ea0k&t=1s
I chose to contribute to this endeavor and I'm now awaiting the delivery of the final product though...it's been 9 months. HELLO!!?? Where is the follow through????
Meanwhile though, I see that she was listed as the winner of the JAZZ FM AWARDS: Digital Initiative of the year. I am also now seeing that she's performing the pieces from this project and they're being posted on youtube...but WHERE IS MY literal CD!!???
Another project I contributed to was Quincy Jones' QwestTV - a tv station format made entirely of jazz music. He launched a Kickstarter campaign so that one could become a backer - this was all in the winter of 2017. Although I did receive an email (that went into a SPAM folder so I didn't get it until now), I'm now having to go through interface hoops just to get my account activated, and my 1 year subscription is now 6 months wasted! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/qwesttv/qwest-tv-quincy-jones-new-video-streaming-service?ref=user_menu
Both of these projects show that it's one thing to do such an innovative idea and execute it, but quite another to actually follow up with your fan base and DELIVER. Planning out the delivery of promised goods or services should be the NUMBER ONE goal upon LAUNCHING anything, and if it involves strictly online interaction to make it active, the process has to be really smooth or the backer misses out.
Now another jazz artist who DOES know how to innovate AND deliver rewards to his fans and was also nominated for the Digital Initiative of the Year of the JAZZ FM AWARDS was London- based Jacob Collier.
Jacob knows how to follow up with his fans and here is proof of him doing just that:
A bit outside of the more recognizable jazz world that happened so far this first half of 2018 has been the resurgence of the British 70's 'rock' band, Jethro Tull. Their jazz infused pieces shifted me more towards the larger world of jazz itself way more than when I attended a Freddie Hubbard concert when I was 13 and thought I wasn't into jazz. I just had not awoken to understanding the broader forms of it until Jethro Tull somehow connected me up to my exposure to Miles Davis and other earlier greats. I first saw Jethro Tull live when I was 14 years old and after 4 more of their concerts over the next two decades, I just attended their 50th Anniversary Tour in North America. They performed to a near sold-out crowd in one of Berkeley, California's most hollowed concert venues - The Greek Theatre.
Who knew that in June 2018 Ian Anderson was 70 years old, and has been performing regularly?! Although his voice is shot, he and the band more than made up for it with one of the BEST concerts I've experienced in my lifetime of great concerts (Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, Prince, Madonna, The Isley Brothers, Joni Mitchell, Terri Lyne Carrington, Al Jarreau, Geri Allen, Tia Fuller to name some).
So while a lot of the Tull sound is injected with jazz (and blues), and Ian's flute and harmonica playing sound fresh as ever, do try and catch them during this seemingly unending North American, European & beyond 50th anniversary tour. It's full of surprises and you won't be disappointed!
Some others that got my attention recently you may already know about - and check these peeps out if you haven't already -
The Ezra Collective: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egqklLjQ2dw
Laura Jurd (several projects) (Trumpeter & synthesist) Here she is with the jazz ensemble, Dinosaur:
My last mention in this post: A stand-up-straight-baritone voice can be found in the SF Bay Area native, Nicolas Bearde. Nicolas put out his first real JAZZ CD last year with Nat Adderly, Jr. and it is SUBLIME! Whether you still play CDs or stream, check out his INVITATION offering and you will not be one. bit. disappointed:
Here's the title tune: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeCotWx4hqw
His cover of Billy Strayhorn's LUSH LIFE will bring tears to your eyes, or you're missing some heart beats!
Enjoy and send me any of YOUR discoveries so far in 2018.