Joe Sarubo

There was my name coming out of the speakers all over the store again. Everyone in the store could hear it. It wasn’t about how I’m a great looking person that you needed to know about. The voice would reveal the latest task that I needed to perform. Aisles one through twelve, the backroom, and […]

Excavation of the Divine

Strutting tall and strutting proudThe needles pierce and twistDivine dance of the water chordsSnapping and creaking bones The needles pierce and twist Yogic edges grasp and grind Snapping and creaking bones Devour the light Yogic edges grasp and grind The unhinged knee. Devour the light The walk of drowning The unhinged knee Shedding the grip […]

“Weed, Jazz and the Cultural Shift” By Steve Provizer

Last year, I began a post this way: “No one seems happy about the fact that consciousness-altering substances have been at the center of American popular music for the past 100 years or so.” Since that time, I’ve seen cracks appear in the staunch American moral dam. Multiple states have moved toward legalization of medical marijuana and […]

Up from the Basement. Or, Lower Register-Philia by Steve Provizer

I was talking with friends about vocalist Johnny Hartman and his justifiably esteemed 1962-63 recording with John Coltrane. Dan said: “Very few things send chills up my spine like his entrance on My One and Only Love. Up out of the basement…”That got me thinking about other phrases that move dazzlingly up and down and out of […]

“Provizer Response to Pappademas Critique of Treme”

Alex Pappademas just pulished a scathing piece, The Frustrating Unlikeability of Treme. The title implies that the author wants the show to work, but his critical faculties just won’t let that happen. That’s hard to swallow, given the ferocity of his critique. This might seem a small nit to pick, but this apparent contradiction says to me that Pappademas has not come to terms […]

“Grace Kelly and Walt Kelly” By Steve Provizer

Maybe I should don the churl’s mantle for this. 19-year-old saxophonist Grace Kelly has been voted Best Boston Jazz musician for the 4th year in a row.  As I have often said, there are no Golden Ages and that includes a Golden Age of jazz audiences.  However-and I hope the talented and charming Ms. Kelly doesn’t take […]

Traditional Jazz and Storytelling

My last post(see just below) got a thread going on the Yahoo group of my band. Much of the conversation is about why young people-even those getting into jazz-don’t pick up on the New Orleans tradition. Brief HistoryThe style we now call Traditional New Orleans music was a vital force until about the mid-late 1920’s. Its influence was felt […]

“The Trad Jazz Paradox”

I play trumpet in The Second Line Social Aid and Pleasure Society Brass Band- a group that plays (mostly) a mix of newer and older styles of New Orleans Brass band music. Call me delusional, but audiences seem to really like the antideluvian stuff we play. It animates people; makes ’em want to move and smile (the Saints) or get serious, if necessary […]