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Beginning today I’m participating in an online conversation about jazz in 2009, conceived and facilitated by ubiquitous New York Times contributor Nate Chinen, who’s hosting it on his blog and who launched its opening salvo this morning. The discussion is modeled after the pop music conversation that Jody Rosen presents on Slate each year.
The other worthy constituents are Ben Ratliff (New York Times), Hank Shteamer (Time Out New York), and Andrey Henkin (All About Jazz New York). Midwest represent! Chinen’s kickoff post suggests there’s a wide-ranging discussion to come, and knowing what I do about the intelligence and curiosity of the other participants I expect it to be lively.
Speaking of online series, quirky Portland label Hometapes launched a cool feature on Friday, posting MP3s of new holiday tunes by acts on its roster. The first offering was a cover of “Little Drummer Boy” by Danish group Slarraffenland, and there are also songs by Brad Laner, Shannon Fields of Stars Like Fleas, and Pattern Is Movement. There are four more posts to go, and personally I’m hoping there’s something from Megafaun on the way.
Bebo Valdés & Chucho Valdés, Juntos Para Siempre (Sony Music Latin)
Yaron Herman Trio, Muse (Sunnyside)
Françoiz Breut, À L’aveuglette (T-Rec)
Kinks, Kinda Kinks (Sanctuary)
Syran Mbenza & Ensemble Rumba Kongo, Immortal Franco: Africa’s Unrivalled Guitar Legend (Riverboat)