Catch the last City Park Jazz show online this Sunday — The Know
It’s safe to say that we all miss live music.
Usually, at this point in the year, I’ve experienced at least a few Red Rocks shows, a Denver Botanic Gardens concert or two, and multiple stops at Dazzle, The Boulder Theater and Nocturne. There also would be a good chance I’d be getting ready to head to Telluride for its annual jazz festival.
But since that’s all been put on hold (here’s hoping for a COVID-19 vaccine soon!) we have to take our sonic pleasures where we can get them. Fortunately, some artists are managing to appear online with streaming performances and new music, and there are some compelling releases arriving from the vaults as well.
The people behind City Park Jazz, always a well-attended weekly Denver summer event, came up with an inventive way for local music fans to take in the artists without the crowds. There is one remaining virtual Sunday performances scheduled for its online Home Edition: Chris Daniels & The Kings, who qualify as a Colorado tradition, on Aug. 9.
Both shows begin on your device at 6 each evening, via facebook.com/cityparkjazz. While the performances are free, supporters may want to pitch in a few bucks at cityparkjazz.org/united4jazz, since the organization relies on donations.
Other local live streams include presentations at Dazzle which has begun to allow socially-distanced, limited-capacity seating for some shows, and at Nocturne, which is operating on a reservation-only basis for live music but is streaming many performances on facebook.
In 2018, multiple Grammy-winning composer and bandleader Maria Schneider told me she was working on a project that addressed technology, and who is in charge of the information we receive.
“I’ve been thinking about big data companies, and something musically hit me. That’s what expression does. It may sound pretentious that art speaks the truth about society, but I think that’s true,” she said.
Schneider’s thoughtful project has finally come to fruition. “Data Lords” (ArtistShare) is an ambitious, fully realized meditation on the duality of life in the online and physical worlds, but you don’t need to delve too deeply into the set’s excellent liner notes to absorb the enjoyable spectrum of its music.
Divided into two CDs — the first evoking the sometimes-brutal cyber universe and the second a playful, gentle meditation on experiences in nature — “Data Lords” is an ideal demonstration of the big band’s possibilities in the 21st century. It’s challenging, therapeutic, and another admirable accomplishment for Schneider.
“Data Lords” can be obtained through the artist’s website, mariaschneider.com.
Another solid way to support independent jazz artists and labels in these times of COVID-19 is through bandcamp.com. The website has been suspending its usual (arguably nominal) withholding fees on the first Friday of every month, and will continue to do so throughout 2020. The next “Bandcamp Friday” takes place on Aug. 7, and for the entire day, the artists and labels will receive 100% of the proceeds.
In recent months, I’ve been partial to guitarist Miles Okazaki’s “Trickster’s Dream,” an amazing new virtual quartet concert at which each member performed from their own home base, but it sounds like they’re in the same room. I also love the re-emergence of an obscure date from the late organist Shirley Scott, “One For Me,” where she matches wits with the underappreciated saxophonist Harold Vick circa the mid-1970s, a collection of early studio recordings from England’s The Comet Is Coming.
Also essential for scholars of jazz from around the world: a just-released collection from South African saxophonist Dudu Pukwana and the “Spears,’ recorded from 1968 to 1969, which is hypnotically beautiful.
Bandcamp is a very deep well, and a wonderful place to drink from during isolation.
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