Here's the latest, from a press release that just arrived in my email box:
Free Listening Party with Bassist/Composer Ben Allison April 6
In time for Jazz Appreciation Month, Jazz at Lincoln Center hosts its eighth Listening Party of the 2010-11 season with bassist and composer Ben Allison as he offers a sneak preview of his newest release, Action-Refraction (Palmetto Records, to be released on April 12), with Jazz at Lincoln Center's Ken Druker.
The release of Action-Refraction marks gifted bassist, composer, and bandleader Ben Allison's tenth album—and first collection of music by other artists. With nine critically acclaimed albums as a bandleader to his credit (the last six reaching number one on the CMJ National Jazz Radio Chart), Allison has solidified his reputation as a cutting edge composer. To celebrate his tenth album release, Allison has turned his ear towards the music of some of his favorite artists, creating an inspired, atmospheric, and at times, art-rock mixtape featuring the music of PJ Harvey, Donny Hathaway, Thelonious Monk, Neil Young, Samuel Barber, and Roger Nichols. The idea was sparked when Allison wondered how it would sound "to refract some of my favorite tunes through the prism of an electro-acoustic orchestra featuring two electric guitars, bass clarinet, saxophone, analog synthesizer, piano, acoustic bass, and drums." The album is full of "happy accidents"—unplanned moments that capture a musical conversation in flux.
For more information on this series, visit jalc.org/listeningparty.
When: Wednesday, April 6, 2011, 7 p.m.Past listening parties have featured Randy Weston, Matt Wilson, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Vijay Iyer, Joe Lovano, and Maria Schneider, to name a few.
Where: Nesuhi Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame at Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 60th Street, New York, NY.
How: Event is free and seating is open to the public on a first come, first served basis. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
How hard would it be to do this in Minneapolis/St. Paul? Plenty of area artists release CDs, and they have CD release events, most often at clubs and cafes. But those are performances. I'm assuming a listening party involves the artist(s) talking about the music and how it came about, and fielding questions from the audience. It's an opportunity to go inside the music with the artist and understand it better.
Who could do this? MacPhail? McNally-Smith? The West Bank School of Music? Studio Z? Homewood Studio? The Rogue Buddha gallery, former home of the now-defunct iQuit music series? Is there a room at the Walker? (I don't mention the Dakota only because it costs a lot to open their doors. Any venue must be staffed, and staff must be paid.) What about a room at a Minneapolis public library?