Saturday, December 23, 2006

Making a list, find the cost of opportunity

Hanukkah is over, Christmas and Kwanzaa are 'round the bend, and everybody's making lists of what went down this year. For my part, this is the first year in a long while where it would be entirely fallacious for me to generate my favourite releases of this year, never mind an overview of the year in general. Early in the year, with the strings project, I inhabited my own personal bubble, checking out a vast heritage of music otherwise unknown to me. Thanks to the blogosphere/Behearer movement, I spent a healthy amount of time in libraries digging for Threadgill, Hemphill, and others, instead of paying attention to charts and release listings. My big discoveries of the year were John Hollenbeck, Guillermo Klein, and Osvaldo Golijov. It's been a year of surprising experiences - I certainly never expected to commute between Montreal and New York on a regular basis, sit at the same table as Ethan Iverson and Adam Cruz watching Grimes, Cyrille & McHenry, nor did I ever envision myself playing Bob Marley's upright piano on my last port day of a cruise ship contract.

2007 will be a promising year, with the completion and fruition of BMI alone. Who knows what else it will bring. I realize I didn't blog about the reading session earlier this week; I find it difficult to write about it accurately, not knowing the names of most of the musicians who played our music, nor what the other composers intended in their work. There's some very interesting stuff going on, though - and I'm starting to become familiar with the various styles in the group of writers. More than the range of influence (which is large enough, I suppose), it's the multitude of ways similar influences can manifest themselves, and the infinite number of variations on a theme one can construct.

Happy holidays to all. I'll be on the air quite frequently the next few weeks, starting tomorrow morning, filling in for the esteemed Len Dobbin on Dobbin's Den (11 am-1 pm EST), and then three weeks consecutively of Jazz Euphorium (Wednesdays 8-10 pm EST).

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