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Jazz Actually

Written by [Anthony Dean-Harris]

In the ongoing task that is convincing the world to like jazz, but not in that annoying kind of way, I couldn’t help but think about the Grammys once more. One of the most moving moments of this year’s Grammys was Maxwell picking up two awards for Best R&B album, BLACKsummers’night, and best R&B song, “Pretty Wings.” Not many people caught this moment, since the R&B awards were banished to the web stream only pre-Grammy ceremony (and even the fact that it was web streaming was a step up), but it was still an important one. After six prior nominations and eight years of subsequent silence, Maxwell returned with a good album and finally got the recognition he deserved.

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The Wild West of the Music Industry

Written by [Anthony Dean-Harris]

A friend of mine interviewed Lalah Hathaway yesterday. It was a rather exciting moment for him and I was really proud of him for pulling off that task. When he finished the interview, he emailed me the recording of the interview (through the glory that is Google Voice), and I marveled not just in the shout out he gave me (in referencing [Joe Sample Day] and how I remembered Joe’s birthday but Lalah Hathaway who recorded 1999’s The Song Lives On with Sample needed that reminder) but also in his poignant question on the uprising of independence in the music industry. Hathaway ultimately answered [Donovan Ramsey]’s question with the powerful sentence, “There is a revolution happening.”

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On This Joe Sample Day

Written by [Anthony Dean-Harris]

This Monday, February 1, my favorite pianist, Joseph Leslie Sample, turns 71 years old. This is typically a bigger deal to me than it is to most people. I can get why. Most folks don’t get excited about jazz (but we here at Nextbop certainly are trying to change that). Most folks certainly don’t get excited about septuagenarians. But when every February comes around, the music of Joe Sample (his solo work, The Crusaders, backing Anita Baker, Michael Franks, Al Jarreau, Miles Davis, George Benson, Herb Alpert, Hugh Masekela, and a long line of others over an ongoing career spanning at least 40 years) is all I’ll play for that magical first day of the month.

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Jazz is Scary (Just Like Everything Else)

Written by [Anthony Dean-Harris]

I have a tendency to fear large archives. I may run across something I could potentially like: webcomics, television shows, musicians, or whatever, and then I’ll pray that said item hasn’t existed for very long. Works with large archives can be rather daunting because there are folks out there who will overpower you with their large base of knowledge about these sorts of things. To many, this can quite often be a turn off.

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The Pitchfork of Jazz

Written by [Anthony Dean-Harris]

Some time ago, never mind when, I spent my usual time making my travels across the internet, hitting up my normal gamut of websites. As link leads on to link as the internet tends to do in some byzantine fashion, I eventually ran across [Ian C. Rogers’s blog post] challenging the jazz industry to step up its Internet game. His post essentially proposes jazz musicians finally run decent websites to promote themselves as any 21st Century musician should and to create a real network of jazz promotion over the internet. Rogers decried the aesthetic of [All About Jazz] and its waning ability to bring new fans into the fold. Rogers wrote a post about what I like to call a “noticeable absence.” It takes a gifted mind, specifically a trained mind, to see what doesn’t exist. Rogers in his post highlighted why jazz’s fan base is floundering where other niche genres are currently succeeding. The funny thing is Rogers made this claim in September of last year, sometime around the fledgling stages of this very website.