That Eric Alper! – March 19, 2012

Pianist Lennie Tristano was born today in 1919. He performed in the cool jazz, bebop, post bop and avant-garde jazz genres. He remains a somewhat overlooked figure in jazz history, but his enormous originality and dazzling work as an improviser have long been appreciated by knowledgeable jazz fans. In addition, his work as a jazz educator meant that he has exerted a substantial influence on jazz through figures such as Lee Konitz and Bill Evans. http://youtu.be/lGLpczTtnEM

At 10:00 a.m. on Monday, March 19, 22-year-old Elvis Presley, accompanied by his parents, met Grant on a 13.8-acre ‘farm’ about 10 miles south of downtown Memphis in Whitehaven, an area that was still largely rural at that time. The property included a large, two-story house, a barn, and rolling pastures. Elvis surveyed the property for a few minutes, then baptized the house by playing some Rock ‘N’ Roll at a piano. Elvis, Vernon and Gladys Presley signed the sales contract on the spot as purchasers, and called it “Graceland.” : http://wp.me/p26Qb8-15Q

Esperanza Spalding is, at 27, frequently cited as an example of how much promise the younger generation of jazz musicians holds. After winning a slew of critics’ polls, the bassist and singer stunned the Grammy audience in 2011 by becoming the first jazz musician ever to win the Best New Artist award. The Obamas are big fans – Spalding performed when the President was awarded his Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 – and she is probably the best-known “young” jazz star since the emergence of the Marsalis brothers. But there’s a difference between being known and being heard, and Spalding finds it frustrating that mass-media radio and television offer only a “thin slice” of the riches available. “There’s all this music, that’s here and alive and well and thriving,” she says. “How do we connect the dots between the public at large and all this incredible music?” http://bit.ly/FS4blZ

Jazz fans can get the jump on the TD Halifax Jazz Festival with the announcement of three artists for the festival slated for July 6 to 14. On July 7, the blues and the guitar reign over the Halifax waterfront. Junior Watson, one of the most influential blues guitarists of his generation, is known for his seamless injection of swing into Chicago-styled blues and his feel for spontaneous original riffs and an oddball sense of humour. The evening also features The Garrett Mason & Keith Hallett Show, Atlantic Canadian performers who have been racking up accolades, such as Maple Blues Awards. On July 8, at Casino Nova Scotia, the heyday of vocal jazz performance is revived Sophie Milman. She’ll perform cheeky renditions of classics from composers like Gershwin, Kurt Weill, Gainsbourg, Jobim and Ellington. On July 13, the Festival Tent features Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires. Bradley has been dubbed the Screaming Eagle of Soul. He is joined by local neo-soul powerhouse, Cyndi Cain who brings a modern vibe to the ’60s sounds of R&B. Tickets are available now at halifaxjazzfestival.ca

The Future Of Music Coalition has published a case study profiles looking at artist revenues in a number of occupations: Jazz Bandleader-Composer, Indie Rock Composer-Performer, Jazz Sideman-Bandleader, Professional Orchestra Player and a Contemporary Chamber Ensemble: http://bit.ly/FR6zMN

The always thoughtful saxophonist-composer and record label (Inner Circle www.innercirclemusic.com) head Greg Osby weighs in on the audience in general, with a particular emphasis on calling into question musicians who only seem to play for their own self-aggrandizement and that of their peer musicians: http://wp.me/p26Qb8-166