Friday, December 30, 2011

Words about music

Burning Ambulance #5 Edited by Philip Freeman, BA is a quarterly magazine available as either print or e-book download. Their coverage is very diverse from interviewing straight-ahead jazz trumpeter Jeremy Pelt to the cover story on the great jazz/funk/call-it-anything ensemble Burn Sugar. The eclecticism is part of the fun, they investigate North American Black Metal in depth, then shift into an exposition by Freeman about Cecil Taylor’s recordings and concerts in the pivotal year of 1978, a turning point for the great pianist.

Innerviews: Music Without Borders by Anil Prasad is a book of interviews with musicians. What makes the book so interesting is that Prasad is a very intuitive interviewer, one that is able to go beyond superficial questions and get his subject to open up not only about music, but about life, spirituality and the state of the world. Prasad is particularly interested in “fusion” musicians, not necessarily jazz fusion, although several interview subjects could fall into that broad category. His focus is musicians that look beyond genre or as Duke Ellington would say, beyond category. From prog rock stalwarts like Bill Bruford and Jon Anderson to musicians like the the producer and bassist Bill Laswell and the Israeli/American singer Noa, Prasad is looking for musicians who cross borders, or ignore them entirely. His interviewing style makes even musicians who normally wouldn’t interest you seem compelling.

Point of Departure - Issue 37 of the venerable online music journal was posted in December of 2011 with a number of interesting articles. Publisher Bill Shoemaker’s Page One article about the great Jamaican/British saxophonist Joe Harriottt was what led me to but the Proper Box I wrote about yesterday. Kevin Whitehead updates a presentation he gave that places Anthony Braxton within the jazz tradition, while Brian Morton eulogizes composer and arranger Graham Collier. The issue also contains many reviews of recent releases of recorded music and excerpts from books recently published about music.

Paris Transatlantic The winter issue of this longstanding webzine covers jazz and various avant-garde musics. Reviews of new and reissued recordings are included along with editorials and book reviews.

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