“Shedding Everything”: Gretchen Parlato’s The Lost and Found

Miles Davis once famously said, “It’s not the notes you play; it’s the notes you don’t play.” He meant that there was another way of entering jazz than through rapid-fire chord changes and solos; that restraint could be just as illuminating, if not more so, than the blistering dexterity so common to his day.

Gretchen Parlato seems an undeniable descendant of this school of thought. Her voice, feather-soft, rarely rises above that unmistakable, signature whisper. She improvises, but bypasses intricate scat singing for solos with fewer notes and less-pronounced syllables. In a similar fashion to Davis, her music is more about what she doesn’t do than what she does.

Behind Shaolin Jazz-The 37th Chamber

When Gerald Watson approached DJ 2-Tone about creating a “mixtape”, or a natural blend of some of the grittiest Wu-Tang verses in history, and some of the more obscure and varied jazz artists over a number of generations, a few questions came to mind. 2-Tone recalls, “When Gerald first approached me about the concept, I knew instantly this was going to be somewhat of a challenge. As an example, the time signature differences between a lot of jazz and hip-hop in their musical forms, and another factor was the sound quality of a number of older and earlier jazz records from some of the big band groups, some of the early Count Basie and Ellington.”

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National Recording Registry Inducts This Year’s 25 Albums

The National Recording Registry, of the Library of Congress selects 25 items to induct into the archives each year. This year, many historical jazz recordings were selected, including works by Nat “King” Cole, Les Paul and Buddy Rich. The selection of the recordings is somewhat controversial, and the gathering of the best quality works is also a somewhat difficult endeavor. More info provided here.