First up was Beethovens Symphony No. 1, and to the laymans ear, the Philharmonic breezed through it.
After interviewing Wadada Leo Smith, the composer, performer, and theorist of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians-fame, I struggled to summarize what it was like to approach his catalog for the first time (which I had done, somewhat ashamedly, in preparation for our interview).
I first heard Pylon in 2007. I had just moved to Pylon's home of Athens, Georgia, and that year DFA had reissued the band's 1980 debut album, Gyrate. Aptly named Gyrate Plus, the reissue opens with tracks from the band’s first single, Cool/Dub, from 1979, and closes with a select track from an out-of-print EP followed by an unreleased studio demo.
I began my night on Saturday, January 16, with a legal PEDa double espressoin anticipation of my first Winter Jazzfest marathon: twelve venues, seven hours, and 100-plus groups. By morning, instead of a 26.2 decal for the butt of my jeans, I had a knotty hangover and a move-the-decimal-one-to-the-right-size credit card bill. Notes on some damn good jazz performances, too.
For those who had been dreaming of a white 2017 Winter Jazzfest (I certainly hadn’t), that dream came true Saturday, January 7, the second and final marathon day of this annual festival.