MUSINGS IN Cb: “My >2013 TOP MUSIC RELEASES< List”
We live in a great time of access to listeners for recording artists.
You don’t have to live in New York or Los Angeles or Chicago or Atlanta to have a recording career. Artists can be signed to major media companies or remain independent, and still have relevant and appropriate access to the recorded music marketplace.
The state of the live performance infrastructure to support all of the musicians being produced each graduating semester still needs to catch up with the technology available today. However, after almost two decades of digital distribution and the Internet being available to the general public - the art and science of recording, producing and distributing music is on point for the most part.
With a number of truly fine albums released by our label alone in 2013, unsurprisingly, my list contains lots of music out on the Artists Recording Collective (ARC) label, but objectively so. That music and the artists who recorded it stack up against anything released by any label [.]
THE HALF DOZEN
I chose 6 records (in no particular order of merit - all are brilliant) that were simply great by most any objective and artistic measurements; then, looked at all of the other non musical things like who the artist was, what label they were with, what fellowship or grants they won, any publicist generated hype, other reviews, etc.
MUSINGS IN Cb: “You Are An Artist AND A Business”
I think that more jazz studies and music programs (in general - large and small alike, urban and rural) across the USA should include a business class core curriculum for all the artists they are training who plan to come out into the world and make a significant portion of their living performing.
As both, a jazz artist/human being and businessman, I understand the importance of this fact in context within the parameters of my own life. Artist business is also vital to the scene because those considerations are on the front lines.
As an example, an artist generally would employ different tactics to promote a new record than to promote selling a band t-shirt. Regardless though, both require advanced planning beyond what it seems that most artists would think is necessary to do.
Another: If I were to immediately engage in promoting the fact that I have a gig two weeks from today, that would be better than not promoting at all - but, largely inadequate because I have not even given my own “fan base” enough reaction time to include my event in their personal schedules.
Kansas City is one of the places where several forms of “scene building” are being undertaken by both, artists and venues on significant levels. And, non-profit organizations like Charlotte Street Foundation, American Jazz Museum, Arts KC Regional Arts Council, and several others are integral parts of the arts infrastructure as well. We do an overall good job, but it seems that regardless of how relatively nice it is for jazz artists in KC most on our scene also understand that everyone can improve.
When I promote and market the venues and activities associated with the jazz museum, I am not marketing a monolithic entity, as most jazz venues typically are.
I am marketing and promoting a multi-faceted organization that produces a diverse array of well over a hundred arts events alone, each year (a volume similar to the quantity of live performances and training that the typical professional military bands will do). It is pretty cool actually, but lots different than promoting myself as a performing artist doing gigs, etc.
From what I have observed since returning home to the KC scene, there are a limited number of situations to promote as a jazz artist. They might include the following:
STEADY GIGS: If you are one of the artists with a “steady gig” at some venue, promote that fact. Use your personal email list, blog, website and Facebook musician page to say something like: “Every Thursday at (venue name here), etc.” A great example of someone doing this is Lonnie McFadden - join his mailing list and check him out for a free master class on artist promotion on the level we are addressing here.
SPECIALS: If you have been given the honor to perform at one of the top jazz venues in the area like The Blue Room at the American Jazz Museum, then you usually know 6-8 weeks out that you have a date. Since gigs like this don’t happen every month for most artists, you should make a point to promote the fact that you have this cool opportunity to your fan base. Great examples of local artists who pack the Blue Room include: James Ward Band, Roger Wilder and Darcus Gates to name only a few - check out what they do to promote their dates in the BR.
TOURS: If you are touring at any significant level, and want to have an audience in attendance where you perform along the route, you likely have engaged someone as your tour manager, since promotion for tours is usually done on several levels in advance of the actual performances. Check out any of the jazz agency roster artists and their websites for ideas - touring a project requires months of planning at the least.
In our age, artists are more empowered to reach and build audiences. There are so many resources today that connect us to people who love what we do - enough to support and sustain us beyond measure, if you consider the Internet alone.
Many promo resources are free - like Facebook!
Chris Burnett - www.BurnettPublishing.com
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Oh. Yes. (Photo Addendum to Original Post) The Hal Galper book is always an excellent and informative resource! Don’t know if anyone needs the book on selling cassettes though … Also, if you are connected with me on Facebook, check out some of the comments to this post there. Some pretty nice feedback. You can also post comments here.
A “must read” for anyone who is serious about this music and wants to get some real truths. Thanks for sharing, Bobby.
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On the Music Business
”I had done three records for Columbia, three records
for Blue Note, and I figured where are you going to go
from there? As my grandmother said, ‘All that glitters
isn’t gold.’ I’ve been to those places, and in certain ways it
was a disappointment. They didn’t support me in the way
that I thought they should. Everybody has a bucket-list.
I thought when I got with those record labels, I would be
able to clear out my bucket-list, and some of them didn’t
The whole thing about the business is, can you sign
your own check? Elvis couldn’t sign his own check. He was
a superstar but he didn’t own himself. If you look at all my
records, the one thing I always insisted on was that I was
producer. I didn’t get any extra money for it, but
it says in print ‘produced by Bobby Watson.’
This music is so deep, man. It’s not about
the Downbeat covers. It’s not about the jazz poll.
I was there, I saw it, I was on the mountaintop,
but it doesn’t mean anything. If you’re going to
go that way, you’re going to give up part of your
soul, and part of your independence.”
~ Bobby Watson (from DECEMBER 2013 + JANUARY 2014 JAM)
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For more visit BobbyWatsonSpeaks.BlogSpot.com
Kansas City’s 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival was the Visitors Choice Award winner this year. This is the 3rd year that the festival has won this award. Thank you Kansas City visitors and congratulations to the production team for creating such a wonderful community oriented festival again in 2013. The festival has been approved by the American Jazz Museum Board of Directors for production next year and will be held on Saturday, October 11, 2014. See the festival portal online at http://Festival.AmericanJazzMuseum.org.
The Blue Room continues presenting the best in jazz during December 2013 and January 2014. Be sure to join us in the Blue Room for our annual New Year’s Eve Party is a double-bill of music affair featuring Doug Talley with Julie Turner from 8pm until10pm; then, Charles Williams’ Motown Review featuring Chavona Adams from 10pm until 12:30. New Year’s Eve in the Blue Room includes Buffet, Free Champagne, Drinks Specials & Door prizes! See the Blue Room portal online at http://Club.AmericanJazzMuseum.org and call 816.474.6262 for tickets.
The American Jazz Museum is pleased to announce another great exhibition in our Changing Gallery, titled: “Convergence: Jazz, Films, Dance and the Visual Arts”. A collaboration between the American Jazz Museum and the David C. Driskell Center at the University of Maryland, Convergence shines a light on more than 60 significant works of African American art that have a strong connection to the jazz aesthetic in combination with rare jazz film footage capturing the art as it evolved in the early part of the 20th century. At our grand opening reception on November 8th, we enjoyed live music by the James Ward/Matt Hopper Band and a keynote by Dr. Robert O’Meally of Columbia University. His talk, “Looking at the Music: Jazz and the Visual Arts,” considers jazz music as a model for the structures, rhythms, and colors of contemporary visual art. What does it mean to visualize jazz? Our 90+ attendees were mesmerized from the beginning to the thought provoking conclusion of Dr. O’Meally’s presentation. For the first time, two important American institutions are joining forces to collaborate on a significant project centered on a uniquely American art form, Jazz. Convergence: The Intersection of visual, film, dance and performance art in Jazz is collaboration between the American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO) and the David C Driskell Center at the University of Maryland (College Park).
Public Programs are as follows:
o Blue Room Performance:
Convergence In Blue featuring Eddie Moore and the Outer Circle is December 12, 2013 – 7:00 pm
o Jazz Poetry Jams:
“ConWORDgence” is January 21, 2014 – 7:00 pm
o Stories from the Vine:
“One-On-One” with Dr. David C. Driskell is February 27, 2014 – 6:00 pm
o Jazz Storytelling:
“I See Jazz, I Hear Jazz” is March 7, 2014 – 10:00 am
o Jazz Under the Lens with Greg Carroll is April 1, 2014 – 6:00 pm
o “C5”…..Convergence Concert & Collective Creative Conversation is April 10, 2014 – 6:00 pm
This exhibit will be in Kansas City from November 8, 2013 – April 27, 2014.
JAMMIN’ AT THE GEM SEASON CONTINUES
After the successful season opening concert on September 6 featuring Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band with special guest, James Carter during their brilliantly collective Latin interpretations of the music of John Coltrane - OLE COLTRANE. The capacity audience was treated to inspired performances. The remaining four concerts of the Jammin’ at the Gem performance series portend to be equally engaging.
CONCERT 2: Sat. Feb. 15 – Najee: The smooth jazz legend performs music from his latest release and pays tribute to some of the music of the late Kansas City jazz legend and American Jazz Museum Lifetime Achievement Award fellow, Alaadeen.
CONCERT 3: Sat. Mar. 22 – Newport 60th Anniversary Tour featuring Anat Cohen with luminaries: Karrin Allyson, Randy Brecker, Mark Whitfield, Larry Grenadier, Peter Martin, and Clarence Penn. A sure winner.
CONCERT 4: Sat. Apr. 19 – Lifetime Achievement Concert! featuring Dr. Nathan Davis, who brings an ensemble including NEA Jazz Master Curtis Fuller, along with George Cables, Abraham Laboriel, and Winard Harper. Not to be missed.
CONCERT 5: Sat. May 17 – Massey Hall 50th Anniversary featuring Bill Charlap and his trio of Kenny Washington and Peter Washington performing with special guests Jon Faddis and Jesse Davis in celebration of the historic Massey Hall Concert. A stunning jazz trio performing with two virtuosos in the roles of Dizzy and Bird - you bet!
Single Concert Pricing:
Jazz Waltz (3-Pack) Pricing:
Day of Show:
TICKETMASTER or Call (816) 474-6262 to place your order!
Visit our official website AmericanJazzMuseum.org and download our mobile app for iOS and Android. The app is free to own and receive updated versions. We also hope you enjoy your surfing experience at our recently launched website that allows you to arrive at your data destination on our site within 2 clicks. Both, website and app will allow users continual access to all events and information pertaining to American Jazz Museum venues and resources. And, the museum has a very interactive presence in the digital publishing world too, so be sure to “like” us on Facebook, “follow” us on Twitter and subscribe to our e-newsletter, “Jazz Notes”, which is now even more efficient in allowing you access to great events.
OFF THE VINE column - American Jazz Museum
Chris Burnett, Marketing + Communication Manager
MUSINGS IN Cb: “It’s Official, We are Jazz Duo Members of the American Jazz Museum”
I love it!
I have the opportunity to utilize a special skill set of other acquired professional abilities that are closely and inherently related to the business of being a musical performing artist, composer and entrepreneur.
And, I get to do lots of the things in my work at the AJM that the US military taught me about managing and promoting a professional musical organization, then gave me years of experience doing in the real world as part of my daily job.
I also concurrently am able to remain an active performing artist and jazz clinician, along with managing other related professional concerns at this point in my career because everything I do seems to fit together.
Where I work is a national treasure in many ways. As a “jazz” musician, the fact that the American Jazz Museum exists is a tremendously positive form of validation of the fact that Jazz music is an original form of art and unique to the USA.
So, it is natural that T and I became members a couple of months ago - even though I work here. Being a member of the American Jazz Museum shows our tangible support and puts our money (however small the contribution) behind something we believe is important.
There are so many great things that happen everyday at the American Jazz Museum which go largely unnoticed. But, I know for sure that this place is one of the real jewels of our Statue of Liberty's crown.
The place is a testament to positivity winning out over negativity. Love defeating hate in the long term. Goodwill trumping ill will.
Jazz in its practice of spontaneity and creativity and quest for originality defies all but positive/in tune vibrations … We gotta support that!
Now this is pretty cool … musical instruction applications seem endless too … Cb
MUSINGS IN Cb: “HAPPY BIRTHDAY”
Cb at 58 = Balance. Thankful. Home again. Serious practicing, writing and listening schedule went into effect this month. Look for a new trio project soon too - most of the music is written now and my bass player Elliot Kuykendall is now in KC. Tour in conjunction with a European vacation to visit our kids. Celebrated two-year anniversary of marketing more great events at the American Jazz Museum. Working with a great group of students in private teaching studio and as faculty at the Metropolitan Jazz Workshop - KC.
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I admit to still enjoying listening to LP recordings, but I also enjoy listening to digital music on my iDevices as well.
We still have our vintage Pioneer PL570 direct-drive turntable from the late 1970s. It was considered “top of the line” in its modest price range back then.
Our Pioneer PL570 is in “near mint condition” appearance-wise and was pampered in order to function brilliantly to original specs.
(Specifications - http://www.vinylengine.com/library/pioneer/pl-570.shtml)
It is a true collectors item, if you are into that type of thing. So, I will be packing it back up soon and using the Clear Audio Concept turntable when it arrives.
The mid-1990s era integrated JVC amplifier powers everything nicely enough for a home system needs, including enough to handle both, our JBL and Bose 6 ohm speaker sets. We have a cassette player and CD changer in our “old school” system as well.
One thing I noticed with the newer digital amplifiers is that there is no connection for a turntable integrated within most of them - even higher end stuff. But, most do have WiFi capability that allows you to stream music from any digital music playing device (iPod, iPad, iMac, etc.) in your home; and, our vintage JVC has to use a cable line to connect any iDevices to play music via the Auxiliary port.
We have finally unpacked our LP collection of 40+ years and are sad to say that some of the records didn’t make it mostly due to “mold” - yuck.
However, many of our LPs did … listening to great pop, jazz and classical music on vinyl is still so cool.
We can’t wait to share it with our grandchildren, who likely don’t even know what LPs are …
Peace, Cb | www.BurnettFamilyUS.org
So, Imagine that the company you work for held a poll, and asked everyone if they thought it would be a good idea to put a soda machine in the break room. The poll came back, and the majority of your colleagues said “Yes”, indicating that they would like a soda machine. Some said no, but the majority said yes. So, a week later, there’s a soda machine. Now imagine that Bill in accounting voted against the soda machine. He has a strong hatred for caffeinated soft drinks, thinks they are bad for you, whatever. He campaigns throughout the office to get the machine removed. Well, management decides “OK, we’ll ask again” and again, the majority of people say “Yes, lets keep the soda machine.” Bill continues to campaign, and management continues to ask the employees, and every time, the answer is in favor of the soda machine. This happens, lets say… 35 times. Eventually, Bill says “OK, I’M NOT PROCESSING PAYROLL ANYMORE UNTIL THE SODA MACHINE IS REMOVED”, so nobody will get paid unless management removes the machine. What should we do???
Answer: Fire Bill and get someone who will do the fucking job.
Bonus: Bill tells everyone that he was willing to “Negotiate”, to come to a solution where everyone got their payroll checks, but only so long as that negotiation capitulated to his demand to remove the soda machine.
Bill is a fucking jackass.
Brian Krewson (via themetricruler)
A very enjoyable debut release …
Listen/purchase: MATT WHITE - THE SUPER VILLIAN JAZZ BAND (ARC-2505)