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« If You March, The Messiah Will Come... Or, Who Is John Frum? | Main | Houston Man Is The Kissing Sailor »

August 03, 2007


Gotta love academic pedantry. I had no idea Iyer was a Cal grad, let alone that George Lewis, now at Columbia, was an adviser. And Matt Shipp! I've heard him live a handful of times, but most fun was running into him at Downtown Music Gallery a few years ago (the old location), where he nosed around daily.

For more such pedantry, by the way, see Critical Studies in Improvisation-√Čtudes critiques en improvisation, out of University of Guelph. (Wouldn't be truly pedantic if I didn't include the full bilingual version of the title.) Full disclosure: I have a contribution buried in the archives of the journal.

Whoa, Dean, that's a pretty heavy piece of work, about the political implications of dissonance. I'll look forward to reading it when I'm not working. If anyone else wants to take a look at Dean's work:

Why do Ph.D theses need to have unintelligible titles like "Microstructures of Feel, Macrostructures of Sound:Embodied Cognition in West African and African-American Musics"
instead of something like a media sound-bite "Blacks really know how to groove better than any others"?

My Ph.D thesis would be entitled "Propagation of Linguistic Jargon Memes in a Meta-analysis of Cross-disciplinary Studies and Culture Relativism: An Investigation". ;)

How are musicians like Iyer "keeping the jazz tradition current"? Aren't people tired of navel gazers? Maybe I'm biased as he was my TA at Cal many many years ago and just seemed a bit too pompous in his "fusing." For South Asians who don't neatly fall into the old "hey-I'm-Indian-let's-make-raga-tinged-jazz/imrpov/whatever" bind, check out Tisha Mukarji.

Chandan -- do you really think Iyer's music is raga-tinged? I think you're putting him in an ethnic box of sorts. My appraisal is based solely on Reimagining, but if anything the cultural referents for that record are Downtown 90s figures like Thomas Chapin, Brad Mehldau, and Matthew Shipp, more than the Indian classical tradition. If Iyer was promulgating theories in your class about fusing Indian music with jazz I'd love to hear about it. And the reason I think he's keeping jazz current is because he's writing new, interesting music that builds on the existing tradition but doesn't recycle it. That's what a jazz musician should do.

Also Keith Jarrett's influence is pretty audible as well...

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