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William C. Altreuter
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Monday, March 13, 2006

To Dewey Redman at Bruce Eaton's Microsoft Art of Jazz yesterday, expecting something along the lines of Ornette Coleman, and getting more of a hard bop thing, which was mighty fine indeed. Anchored by Matt Wilson, and featuring Frank Kimbrough on piano (he'd just been through with the Maria Schneider Orchestra)the band swung along beautifully. Eaton's pre-show talk was something of a preview for next season, and something of a discussion about the state of jazz. Like most aficionados, Eaton is troubled by the fact that this music is less appreciated in the US than abroad. I'm not so sure that this is a bad thing-- the reality is that the economics of the music industry is changing radically-- in all genres. Jazz more than most has been a form that has depended upon the sale of recordings, really from its inception, and that's not how music is distributed in the 21st Century. If musicians are going to make money, they are going to have to do two things: they are going to have to get out and tour-- a lot-- and they are going to have to sell their music themselves, over the web and at their performances. Maria Schneider gets it, but too many people haven't worked this out yet.

I got a call last week from a singer who wanted to go work in Japan, and had some legal questions. You could back a truck up and fill it with what I don't know about Japanese law, but I knew where to send her, and I wish her luck. I think it is terrific that Paulette McWilliams is appreciated in Japan, and can make a buck doing what she loves-- and I think it is terrific that she is out there doing it for herself, instead of waiting for Blue Note to do it for her.

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