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IAJE in NYC

2007 NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Scott
Charlie Haden pays homage to Alice and Michael
exhibit-hall hoopla (recognize anyone?)
Christian McBride interviews ultra-hip Roy Haynes

Technically, the reason a sprawling, swinging convention occurred between Jan. 10 and 13 at Times Square’s Sheraton and Hilton hotels was jazz education. From its host (the International Association for Jazz Education), to the wandering hordes of teens skulking about in their embroidered windbreakers and woodshedding on Nestico charts, IAJE is an unofficial headquarters for all things Aebersold: It’s where clinicians, student big-bands and lab ensembles come to learn, to roost, to be coached and to be judged on an Olympian point-scale. It’s a scene that any Village-Vanguard-hopeful must conquer, and yet, to many who attend shows at the Vanguard, or buy records, or read JazzTimes, it’s often invisible. Somehow, IAJE offers much to these folks too.

With its panels, live interviews, modest tradeshow, business seminars, concerts and the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters ceremony-not to mention NYC’s regularly scheduled proffer-IAJE becomes something of a jazz analogy to rock ‘n’ roll’s annual South by Southwest assembly in Austin-albeit with less Budweiser. This year’s celebration was overcast with the deaths of Alice Coltrane and Michael Brecker (for a personal account of the group catharsis that occurred at the convention, read Bill Milkowski’s Solo column on pg. 26 of this magazine), but the powwow advanced with results alternately illuminating, arcane, funny, promising and outright brilliant.

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