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Kathleen Loves Music

Archive for May, 2008

The Impressions.

May 17th, 2008

The Impressions > We’re a Winner

It doesn’t take much to get me in an impressionistic mood, so our friend Steve Woolf’s photo and title moved me there today.

Was Curtis Mayfield the most impressive singer/songwriter of his day? Of his genre? Probably. And it’s probably why it took me so long to pick a single to feature here. I ended up with We’re a Winner because aside from being a favorite I seem to remember it being a core sample for something from the Space Jam soundtrack, so I thought some of the older young folk reading might recognize it.


“I’m trying to get you to learn how to listen to Charlie Parker.”

May 17th, 2008

Earle Warren & Phil Schaap

Earle Warren & Phil Schaap, Columbia University, 1985; Photography by Nancy Miller Elliott

Phil Schaap’s obsessive nature has made him an invaluable resource in the world of jazz (and plagued many of his relationships he’s had that I’ve witnessed). And he’s become such a fixture in the New York radio community that the editor of The New Yorker has devoted an extensive profile of Phil this week that I’d recommend to anyone who loves Charlie Parker.

Anyone who knows Phil (he and I were in college radio in the early 70s; he still broadcasts on the station today) can argue pro and con for slightly less long than his description of a, say, 1947 Count Basie recording session, but I found his philosophy of jazz incredibly refreshing when he told me about it at a bar in 1999, and is recounted in the profile:

“The school system is creating six thousand unemployable musicians a year—from the Berklee College of Music, Rutgers, Mannes, Manhattan, Juilliard, plus all the high schools,” he said. “There are more and more musicians, and no gigs, no one to listen. So what happens to these kids? They work their way back to the educational system and help create more unemployable musicians. My rant is this: I’m not trying to teach you to play the alto sax. No. I’m trying to get you to learn how to listen to Charlie Parker.”

Phil Schaap by Risko
Phil Schaap by Risko

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