Being a jazz musician in New York City has never been easy. For most of its century-long existence, jazz has gotten by on the margins, and so have those who’ve played it. But the gloomy consensus last night in a panel discussion at the CUNY Graduate Center was that being a jazz musician in the city has never been harder. Read More
The tune—if we may call it that—never settles in the mind, mostly because it is almost all rhythm and no melody. Read More
Two members of the Russian rock band Pussy Riot will appear at a concert for Amnesty International at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Feb. 5. Read More
Standing outside the Roseland Ballroom, a squat, three-story music venue on West 52nd Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue, it’s hard to ignore just how out of place the club looks amid the multitude of banks, hotels and high-rise condominiums jutting up in the near distance. So when Roseland closes in April, it should come as no surprise that the club will be demolished and a 59-story apartment building will be erected in its place, as The Observer learned from a spokesman for the club’s owner, developer Laurence Ginsberg. Read More
“I don’t want this Saturday to end.” Rebecca Black, controversial songstress, has come out with perhaps her most mature work yet in ‘Saturday,’ which picks up from where her premiere title left off. Yet this is an older and wiser version of Black than we heard on ‘Friday’: no longer is she “Lookin’ forward to the weekend (weekend),” but rather contemplating what it means for said period to already be on the wane. Read More
For a musician, nothing says you’ve made it like playing a sold-out show at Madison Square Garden. Just ask One Direction. Once you’ve made it there, you’re basically living the dream.
Though thanks to the deal Billy Joel signed yesterday to play a concert at the Garden every month until basically the end of his life (or career, whichever comes first), we have to imagine “the dream” has started to resemble a surreal version of Groundhog’s Day. Read More
Music fans of all ages convened yesterday at EN Japanese Brasserie on Hudson Street for a fundraising effort that could transform jazz great John Coltrane’s Dix Hills, Long Island home into a museum and educational center.
Among attendees vying for the preservation of the four-bedroom ranch home was Santana’s Carlos Santana and Mr. Coltrane’s son, Ravi
Coltrane, also a saxophonist, who according to reports played some of his father’s songs at the event. Read More
I always told myself I’d go see Cedar Walton, the great pianist who held court several times a year in jazz clubs throughout the city, most often at the Village Vanguard, that hallowed if claustrophobic room wedged into a basement in the West Village.
But this July, when I passed up an opportunity to see the man who played with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the early 1960s and went on to have one of the most notable solo careers in jazz, I lost my chance for good, as did everyone else who’s never seen him. He died on Monday, at 79.
While Mr. Walton’s death didn’t come as a complete surprise, it felt especially acute in light of a number of recent deaths in the jazz world. George Duke, a fine and influential keyboardist, died just two weeks ago, at 67, and on Sunday, we lost the 97-year-old Albert Murray, an esteemed jazz critic who, along with Stanley Crouch and Wynton Marsalis, helped found Jazz at Lincoln Center. Read More
The Observer recently had lunch with Michael Azerrad, the rock journalist who edits a new music website called The Talkhouse, in Williamsburg. Mr. Azerrad has many connections in the field, and when we met, the site had already featured reviews by well-known musicians like Roseanne Cash and Bob Mould.
But Mr. Azerrad hinted to us that he had an even bigger name in the docket. When pressed for an answer, he kept quiet, saying it was a surprise. Read More