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The Gig: Beats Me

Nate Chinen on streaming services and jazz

Nate Chinen
Nate Chinen

I’m AT MY COMPUTER and feel like SAVING THE WORLD with YOUR EX to JAZZ.

Uh, come again? What you just read was my current arrangement of The Sentence, a trademark feature of the splashy new streaming service Beats Music. As I type this, I’m listening to a playlist generated by those Mad Lib variables in all-caps. And what has this ransom-like command yielded musically? A 1950 recording of Charlie Parker’s “Mohawk,” from the album Bird and Diz. The glossy-funk title track of Freddie Hubbard’s Liquid Love, released on Columbia in ’75. “Confirmation,” another Parker track sprung from the vault at Verve. A gleeful romp through Thelonious Monk’s “Evidence” by the Jaki Byard Experience, featuring Roland Kirk on tenor saxophone. Then Monk himself, unveiling “Criss Cross” on a session for Blue Note. And so on.

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