[The fiscal year ends for most of the United States on Thursday, September 30, and it's been a day widely predicted to augur calamity for our economy. That's nothing new. America's economy formally collapsed two years ago, on Sept. 28, 2008; it helped secure the election of Barack Obama and changed the way many Americans viewed the very fundamentals of our society. With a national "mid-term" election pending just over a month from now, the effects of that late September are bearing directly on conditions right now.
Writing now, four hours before the markets open, it's looking like yet another high-caliber bullet has been dodged. Europe and Asia have done nothing special today, so there's not likely to be a tidal wave of sudden defaults washing westward into America's TV screens, which is good news. But no matter what, residents of Jacksonville are guaranteed at least two pieces of world-class entertainment that night. The film "Music In Motion: Kind of Blue@50" is being screened at the newly historic 5 Points Theatre at 6:30 that evening, followed by a performance by Jennifer Chase and Arvid Smith at O'Brothers from 7-10pm. The two events are connected only by proximity--just a couple hundred feet, as Margaret Street terminates at the five-way stop, merging into Park Street--and the fact that I'll be at both.
I'm expecting more overlap than that. Jennifer Chase is one of those people who really makes the city what it is, a seasoned veteran musician, poet, playwright and educator, currently teaching at FSCJ, and also a mother of some really cool kids. (I'd go so far as to say that Mikey Rocks and Chuck English would themselves like them if they ever met--which is entirely possible.) Her musical "Majigeen" was one of the seminal moments in the history of performance art in the state of Florida. She doesn't play out as much, so her O'Brothers gig is a special treat. The venue--the best incarnation among countless businesses in that space--has been open for two or three years, maybe best-known for their epic bashes for Cinco De Mayo and especially St. Patrick's Day. I really enjoyed seeing the bluegrass trio called Grandpa's Cough Medicine there about a week ago.
Preceding that is the movie, which is being presented by my friend Jimmy Saal and his wife, Dr. Felecia Snead; he's an expat of note from what is now a resurgent New York jazz scene. Saal's a writer and former editor in their excellent jazz press, and has carried those values on to his new homebase of Northeast Florida. Their Atypical Arts Presents is showing "Music In Motion: Kind of Blue@50" as the first in a four-part "Talk+Music" series.
They are bringing in the author Ashley Kahn, who's had one of those careers any music fan would want to have. Since I'm reprinting the press release below, I don't have to say much more, but note that I've read all of Kahn's books, and can wholeheartedly recommend them all on their own merits. Now, if you're specializing in the subjects he's covering, the individual volumes are essential to proper study thereof. They are, in general, fine examples of solid, well-written, professional music journalism--adding some useful texture to extremely rough-hewn material. I'm sure Ron Chamblin's got the hook-up.
It's impossible to overstate the role played by Miles Davis in the evolution not only of American music, but also of the very functionality of the brain itself. The long-rumored Don Cheadle biopic is expected to add Oscar-worthy texture to one of the most complicated stories of "our" time. His album "Kind of Blue" was released in 1959, and remains one of the touchstones of music history; it has continued to sell through countless cycles of remastering and reissuing in every format available over all those years, even as the original release was a ground-breaking step forward in LP technology. In 2009, Sony (which owns Columbia) released a special triple-CD version of the album, and the great Jimmy Cobb, who held down the drum chair for those sessions, brought his own band down to Jacksonville to play the jazz festival last May.]
ATYPICAL ARTS PRESENTS Invites you to attend a Very Cool Event…
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 30th at Riverside’s historic 5 Points Theater
MUSIC IN MOTION: MILES DAVIS-KIND OF BLUE @ 50
(1st in a 4 part talk+music film series)
One of the single greatest achievements in recorded music. – Ed Bradley
It is a cornerstone record, not only for Jazz…for [all] music. Kind of Blue is a record you could recommend to anyone of any age from anywhere!
- Herbie Hancock
If you own just one jazz album, chances are it’s Kind of Blue by Miles Davis
- Renee Montaigne, NPR Morning Edition
Please join us as we welcome to Jacksonville, critically acclaimed author, music journalist and Jazz historian, ASHLEY KAHN, for a very special evening spotlighting the amazing legacy of Miles Davis! This event is part listening session (featuring rare cuts and video clips), part discussion and an engaging demonstration of cultural detective work that celebrates the first 15 years of Miles’ career. Kind of Blue is widely considered the greatest Jazz recording of all time, as well as one of the top modern recordings of any style. Well known as one of the most knowledgable experts on Miles Davis, combined with Ashley’s affable style (as heard on his reports for NPR) should make this a really unique and enjoyable event for both the serious and casual fan alike.
Ashley’s voice is often heard on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition.” He also teaches courses on music at New York University’s Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music. During a thirty-year career in the music business, Kahn has served as a music editor at VH1, the primary editor of Rolling Stone: The Seventies (Little, Brown), a deejay on a variety of radio stations, and – for a ten-year stint – tour manager for a multitude of music groups, including: Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel and…Britney Spears.
Ashley Kahn’s books include
- Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece
- A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane’s Signature Album
- The House That Trane Built: The Story of Impulse Records
- Somethin’ Else: The Story of Blue Note Records and the Birth of Modern Jazz (Ashley is currently writing this 70-year history of the most famous Jazz record label)
*There will be a live performance of selections from Kind of Blue by the Kelly Green Trio, featuring students from UNF’s music department.