Sidetracks

A Non-Review

Normally, this space would be filled with a book review. But this month, Thomas Cunniffe became quite frustrated with a new jazz listener’s guide he was asked to review. As he writes,This book is a particularly egregious example of shoddy work, which was pushed into the marketplace without recognition of its responsibilities or consequences. Cunniffe uses the faults of the book to address the problems with some of today’s jazz scholarship.

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The Unedited Paul Desmond

Paul Desmond’s blazing improvisation on The Way You Look Tonight (from the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s album Jazz at Oberlin) has long been considered one of the saxophonist’s greatest solos. An alert JHO reader discovered that the solo was edited when transferred from 10 LP to EP and 12 LP. In this Sidetracks feature, Thomas Cunniffe notes that the edit completely changes the feel of the solo. Both versions are embedded in this article.

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Retro Technology

Invent a new recording technology and someone will claim that the old technology was better. The CD vs. LP discussion has gone on for the past several years, but Sony Music is going one step further, claiming that Miles Davis’ first 9 Columbia albums were designed to be heard in mono. Thomas Cunniffe speculates on Sony’s reasoning in this month’s Sidetracks.

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A Sick Kind of Humor

The New Yorker’s fake Sonny Rollins interview has probably gotten more attention than it ever deserved, but the suicide of Robin Williams has brought out a new and disturbing element about the Rollins article. In this special edition of Sidetracks, Thomas Cunniffe explores the darker side of the New Yorker’s satire.

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A Midsummer Night’s Stream

In recent years, many jazz venues have added live video streaming as a way to add to their revenue and recognition. Theoretically, a live feed should be the next best thing to being there, but in this month’s Sidetracks, Thomas Cunniffe discusses the highs and lows of video streaming, and spotlights a club that’s trying to set the bar higher.

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Timme Rosenkrantz and the Town Hall Concert (June 9, 1945)

The June 9, 1945 Town Hall concert produced by Timme Rosenkrantz was ostensibly a celebration of small group swing, featuring Red Norvo, Gene Krupa, Bill Coleman, Teddy Wilson, Don Byas and Stuff Smith. However, there were elements of the newly emerging bebop style for anyone who was listening. Thomas Cunniffe discusses the music and tells of the concert’s fascinating back story in this month’s Sidetracks.

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