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The Jazz Community Starts at Home

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

photo: "Harlem 1958" originally published in Esquire magazine in 1959

As I say quite often, I have a show on my local jazz radio station, [KRTU San Antonio], that deals primarily with the kind of jazz in which Nextbop specializes. If you ever wanted to hear the voice attached to the posts you read every week, you should probably tune in Fridays at 9pm Central time (we have a [webstream and audio archives], you know). Yet while my little hour on the radio plays nothing but (to hijack Seb again) SiCK modern mainstream jazz, the rest of the station runs the whole gamut of the genre.

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When the Artist's Work Finds the Right Audience...

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

photo by Michael Benevento

If you’ve been paying any attention to my radio show lately (Fridays at 9pm CDT on [KRTU San Antonio]) or following me on Twitter, you may know I’ve been obsessed with Marco Benevento’s latest album, Between the Needles and Nightfall . I first saw him on the rather impressive documentary series, Icons Among Us, speaking at length about the virtue of jam bands. (By the way, if you want to know what Nextbop is all about in a purely visual sense, Icons Among Us captures the feel of this site perfectly. There’s a reason why we’ve been ranting and raving about it so much.) I may have been thrown off a bit by Benevento’s embracing the title of “jam band” but I did bristle a little less at the sound after his explanation. What is jamming other than improvisation? What is the free-wheeling hodgepodge of music Benevento makes other than jazz that seems more palatable to an audience?

That’s really the matter at hand. We can go on and on about the split between traditionalists and modernists or the distribution of record sales or if the “pay what you want” model works when your name isn’t Yorke (according to Jason Parker, [it does]). The real challenge that jazz faces today is making sure the music finds an audience and ensuring that audience can sustain the creation of future music.

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Jazzaneutics

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

A. G. Amo statue

Back in my time at Morehouse College, I was greatly enamored with Antonius Gulielmus Amo’s ideas concerning hermeneutics, the study of interpretation. In his 1736 text, The Art of Philosophising Soberly and Accurately, Amo trumpeted the idea of a hermeneutic circle, the interconnectivity but clear delineation between the artist, the work, and the audience. Upon hearing this idea, I was shaken to my shoes thinking about all new ways to analyze a text. Even now, I think about it when I listen to music.

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My _____ Period

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

I’ve been relishing lately in the feeling I get from discovery. With all the talk we’ve been having lately about giving proper reverence to the past works of jazz while still looking to the future, I want to make sure I haven’t completely understated the importance of that looking back. There’s a certain majesty in going through your ______ period.

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Insular and Diminishing or Liberal and Proliferating

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

I can’t remember if I ever said this in print (er… pixels) before but I want to make sure people know this: I don’t read comic books. Outside of that period in which my friends encouraged me in college to voraciously devour Warren Ellis’ Transmetropolitan, I never was one to read comic books or graphic novels. My parents never introduced them to me as a kid and therefore I never truly picked them up down the line.