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JJA Talking Jazz Webinar: New Online Jazz Publications

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

Some time ago, Howard Mandel of the Jazz Journalists Association asked me to speak on a panel online as part of their ongoing Talking Jazz webinar series to speak about Nextbop @ Art of Cool as a new voice in the online jazz landscape alongside Giovanni Russonello of CapitalBop and Danilo Navas of LatinJazzNet. After a month of resolving technical issues (the largest of which was my busted laptop and the intermittent nature that is Clear's internet service), we held the webinar live last Wednesday, April 23. The discussion broached many topics about journalism, the various experiences of running a blog, where the genre is going, and many other issues about the scene (along with a few of my various gripes that I endure in this gig, love it though I do). Check out our hour and a half discussion wherein I code switch often, listen in to the party I'm not at going on outside the room at the time, make various jokes that possibly fall flat, and have a security guard throw me out of said room (everyone else was fun to talk with, too). Watch the talk after the jump.

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Tigran Drops 'Shadow Theater' on Austin Just In and Out of Time

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

The most important element that one would find of Tigran's signature style would be his unique sense of time. Compositionally, this is of course clear. The young 2006 Thelonious Monk Piano Competition winner has been wowing listeners the world over for years with his five albums -- the latest of which, Shadow Theater, just released yesterday on Sunnyside-- making well known how the Armenian rhythms he's always known have melded with so many other sounds around the world in such a purely jazz kind of way. It's this sense of time that seemingly comes to a tantalizing head in Shadow Theater and shifts even further to the fore last night on the album release show at Austin, Texas' The Belmont kicking off Tigran's US tour.

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Meditations on SXSW 2014

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

I spent months planning--organizing and promoting the Nextbop/Art of Cool day party, my own schedule of what I'd see, connecting with friends with whom I'd stay & my travel companion, and gathering supplies. I actually saved money, something about which I'm particularly horrible. I vacillated frequently between excited and worried. Nevertheless, last week in Austin, Texas, I tackled the South by SouthWest Music Festival. I saw quite a few bands, jazz and non-jazz alike. Yet more importantly, I had an adventure. As I do every year, I look at this experience not as some corporately funded free-for-all for attention. SXSW is a week in a city I love to visit and traverse and embed myself into its weirdness. It's a festival that encourages my ability to walk forever. It's an experience that makes stories even in its doldrums. Last week had a bevy of tales from so many others-- of spiritual uplifting, of unadulterated joy, of tribulation, of tedium, of consternation, of tragedy. No one ever has the same SXSW experience, that's the charm hidden in its constant, unwieldy expansion.

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Dr. Lonnie Smith's Trio Transfixes San Antonio

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

Sitting at his feet telling tales is a delight. He's the grandfather you always wanted. He considers his bandmates, guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg and drummer Johnathan Blake, his grandchildren. Yet from humble beginnings being called to play with George Benson, Dr. Lonnie Smith has been a beckoning call, through his being and through his Hammond B3. Transfixing. It's hard getting past that word when it comes to describing him. Watching him shuffle about, hearing him speak, the mystifying way his embracing the organ with the core of his being produces a sound that quells the soul. Everything about him seems to be on a certain vibration, the way he uses the organ or his trio (or his octet like on his latest double album In the Beginning, Vols. 1 & 2) is an amplification of that vibration, the vessels through which he projects his transfixing vibration throughout the world. That vibration reached San Antonio's Carver Community Cultural Center this past Friday, January 31.

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Anthony Dean-Harris' Favorite Jazz Albums of 2013

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

I had a discussion with some folks at KRTU about the importance of year-end lists as moments of assessment, of looking at this moment in time in a century-year-old genre of music and say this is where the music was at this point of the narrative. At a time where we're analyzing the culture at large at a rate as fast as the lives we're living in it, it's sometimes necessary to sit down and make a list, as internet-y as that may be. So here I am, one voice of many in this art form we call jazz, looking at what I considered the high points of this year and how they all fit in the history we make everyday.