Jazz lovers have a love/hate thing with new formats for music. We love when the new format gives us better sound, portability, durability, selection of material or whatever else might actually benefit us as serious listeners. We hate when the new format is used to sell us the same thing for the third or fourth time. The DVD is such a format. You might get great sound and video in a portable format, and in some cases, bonus material heretofore unavailable. Or you might just get the same thing you bought on videotape 10 years ago. Prime example of the former: Jazz on a Summer’s Day. Of the latter: Jazz Casual shows. (Although, with the DVD, you can zoom directly into Count Basie’s ever-active sweat pores.)
Snit of the Year
Pat Metheny and Kenny G
In response to an e-mail to his Web site, Pat Metheny launched into a vicious attack on Kenny G, ostensibly for his desecration of Louis Armstrong by his virtual duet with Satchmo on “What a Wonderful World.” Pat’s nasty remarks led to various other parties, mostly anti-G forces, chiming in online and off. There was no response from the G-man, who has been enduring these onslaughts for as long as he’s gone without a complete last name. Although we are always eager to pile on when it comes to making fun of Kenny G (he is, after all, such an easy target), we should all remember that during his lifetime Armstrong was a popular artist who was not opposed to performing with all kinds of artists in all sorts of settings. Of course, he never called himself Louie A, did he?