I look at let’s call this as a sort of chamber of commerce for the local scene. It’s important work, especially given the general indifference of the local media to improvised music in the Black American tradition and it’s great fun for me to do, a gateway for this NEO neophyte into the thriving local scene. But two posts a week takes a lot of time to crank out and with holiday travel, my anniversary and listening to catch up with before the yearend polls are due, the next couple of weeks will concentrate on these Countdown previews of upcoming events. Fortunately, there’s a lot to talk about, including more new releases, the first big event at a significant new venue and more. Buckle up. It’s going to be an interesting ride.
Tag: The Treelawn
Now that Halloween is over and it’s safe to go out again, a cornucopia of jazz and jazz-adjacent events awaits NEO music fans. Grab what’s left of those fun-sized chocolate treats and whatever money remains after Bandcamp Friday (yup, it’s that time again, maybe for the last time), and head out to hear a bountiful fall harvest of sound. Where do you start? Start below.
When this writer worked in the hospitality industry, we had a name for Halloween: Amateur Night. Normally this would serve as a warning to pursue domestic entertainments until it’s safe to go out again. But what if “going out” is more treat than trick? This week’s candy necklace of events will test that notion with a variety of fun-size gigs and not a kernel of candy corn among them (though the late Carla Bley’s “King Korn” would be great addition to a spooky setlist).
Kurt Elling and SuperBlue at Cleveland Museum of Art
In his 30-odd years on the scene, Grammy-winning singer Kurt Elling has topped the Down Beat Critics Poll 13 times and has received the Jazz Journalists Association Male Singer of the Year award eight times. He’s done this while singing texts written by Theodore Roethke and Walt Whitman, a Monkees hit, one of Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes. Whitney Balliett might have had Elling’s musical choices in mind when he wrote his famous characterization of jazz as being “the sound of surprise.”
Yet none of Elling’s neck-snapping musical eccentricities was as shocking as SuperBlue, which will come to Gartner Auditorium at the Cleveland Museum of Art Wednesday.