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Nicholas Payton Sexxxtet Jams, Swings, and Funks Up San Antonio

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris[at]nextbop.com

Originally written for African-American Reflections

There had to have been many who didn’t know what to expect on Sunday, February 20, when they entered the McAllister Auditorium on the campus of San Antonio College. The theater was the setting for another concert in the ongoing Musical Bridges Around the World series, now thirteen years running, but Sunday afternoon’s Nicholas Payton Sexxxtet concert was the only jazz show of the series this year and it was certainly something special.

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The Line-Up for 18 February 2011

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris[at]nextbop[dot]com / @retronius

It is a glorious day. Radiohead pulled the okey-doke on us all and released The King of Limbs a day in advance. I actually had planned to play this album in the mic breaks this episode anyway since I hoped to get the album around noon (since that's about midnight in England) but the push up in release made things much simpler. It's a good album. Not their best, but good. But I'm gushing too much about non-jazz issues. Here's this week's Line-Up.

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The Line-Up for 11 February 2011

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris[at]nextbop[dot]com / @retronius

I had an idea that I wanted to carry out for this week's Line-Up based largely on Flying Lotus' takeover of Benji B's show on BBC radio a couple of weeks ago. I listened to this set recently and I felt my life changing. I was rethinking jazz and radio and music in general and I just had to bring some of that vibe to The Line-Up this week. I think this is the most chill I've ever sounded on the radio. This may have been one of my favorite shows to have ever put together. Plus, I finally figured out how to play music in the background of my talking! Boy, is that ever complicated.

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2011 Grammy Award Winners for Jazz

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris [at] nextbop.com / @retronius

The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards were yesterday and the whole affair was interesting to say the least. The pre-show was a generally amiable, stripped down event that didn’t manage to bore too much (and actually picked up once Kathy Griffin took the stage, if you’re not repulsed by her). The picks for jazz were all sorts of expected, A Blog Supreme’s Patrick Jarenwattananon was 4 for 5 in his picks. Yet the biggest surprise of the evening was Esperanza Spalding beating out Justin Bieber for Best New Artist. Sure, she never sold out Madison Square Garden as angry teenaged girls are harping on Twitter, but the Biebs didn’t perform for the Obamas and Prince, so let’s just call it a day.

Anyway, ripped straight from Peter Hum’s post on the subject, here’s the listing of the major jazz awards, the winners are in bold...

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A Valediction Forbidding Jazz Mourning

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris[at]nextbop[dot]com / @retronius

The most humbling thing about my involvement in the jazz community is my ever increasing cognizance of what I don't know. There are so many figures of whom I'm not aware and so many works I've yet to take to the time to hear. There's such a wide history of the genre I need to learn and the task often seems daunting. Yet I continue to press on and learn what I can and I appreciate what I know little by little. It is in that spirit that I always try to keep a certain degree of sincerity, especially for those (seemingly) monumental figures who pass on (in an ever increasing frequency).