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    Ears New York

    EARS NEW ORLEANS

    Written by Jeff Levenson

    Conventional wisdom has it that jazz began in New Orleans roughly 100 years ago.That it traveled up the Mississippi, passed through Chicago, then headed east to New York, where it currently lives in a penthouse overlooking Central Park. That’s the Jazz at Lincoln Center version of the story, compliments of Wynton Marsalis. I much prefer Woody Allen’s explanation: Slaves came to our shores 200 years ago and brought their record collections with them. Rim shot, please….

    EARS NEW YORK: JAZZ SAFARI, MONTEREY

    Written by Jeff Levenson

    It's no coincidence that the world's longest-running jazz festivals are branded by geography and destination. Newport, the mother of all fests, got its start in 1954. It was the brainchild of impresario George Wein, who understood that jazz on a summer's day was the perfect soundtrack for Rhode Island - bands of musicians, water meets sky, bands of blue horizons.

    EARS NEW ORLEANS - THE SAFARI EDITION

    Written by Jeff Levenson

    The idea of spontaneous combustion worked well for Sun Ra. For years he asserted that he was never born but rather "combusted" on a street corner while no one was looking. Fact? Fiction?  Can't really say, though I do have my doubts. (He never once mentioned safety footwear...)

    EARS NEW YORK: International Jazz Day

    As an annual happening, International Jazz Day aims to deliver the message that jazz is a universal language, that its power and story can bring together countries and peoples, races and religions. This year, on April 30, Istanbul served host to the IJD traveling road show replete with symposiums, workshops, photo ops and a megawatt concert designed to showcase the brightest of the bright. Those luminaries included jazz folk named Hancock, McLaughlin, Jarreau, Reeves, Shorter, Blanchard, Nascimento, Spalding et al, shining amidst a cast of 40-plus performers. The event was masterminded by UNESCO and The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

    EARS NEW YORK: TWO SINGERS

    Written by Jeff Levenson

    Two singers with new releases. One jazz, the other jazzy.....


    MADELEINE PEYROUX
    The Blue Room
    Decca

    When Madeleine Peyroux emerged in 1996, she declared herself a spiritual heir to Billie Holiday and Edit Piaf. Her sound was largely derivative, inviting that age-old debate regarding homage versus imitation. Was she an original voice synthesizing her influences, or a highly evolved mimic?

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