Sunday, April 19, 2009

Brother, can you spare a dime?

If money were no object, there'd be no reaosn to pick and choose from the great jazz offerings around these days. It's hard to know what the best buy for your bebop bucks is ... but here are five hot buys I'd like to make:
1. Tickets to a John Scofield's "Piety Street" show. He's traveling with George Porter Jr., Jon Cleary and Ricky Fataar, doing shows that are getting raves all around. Sco's a great treat, consistently very good and when he's really on, hard to beat. I love how he always keeps one foot in the blues...
2. Brian Blade's CD "Mama Rosa": Due out next week, this sounds really intriguing ... know it or not, you've heard Blade drumming (unless you've avoided anyone in this list: Wayne Shorter, Joshua Redman, Kenny Garrett, Joni Mitchell, Emmylou Harris, Bill Frisell, and Seal and some guy named Dylan, Bob Dylan). BUT you've not heard him like this - a stripped-down collection of songs more Dylan than Shorter in style, with Blade singing and strumming a guitar. You've got to love a guy who seems to do it all ...
3. Tickets to the Blue Note 70th Anniversary shows: this would be steep, because I missed it at McCarter. Let's who is playing? Oh, yeah, it's Ravi Coltrane, Nicholas Peyton, Bill Charlap and Steve Wilson.
4. A WBGO donation ... because it's a great station and I want to hang with Gary Walker.
5. A Livio radio. These $150 boxes offer WiFI and Ethernet Internet connectivity and use Pandora software for Internet radio service. You can plug in earbuds, give tunes a thumbs up or thumbs down ... and never have to listen to "Freebird" again.

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