Abstract: The Blue Soul of Jazz

Just a day before the deadline, I’ve finished an abstract of a chapter for a collection on aesthetics and education (edited by Tyson Lewis and Megan Laverty). I share it here for those interested. “The Blue Soul of Jazz: Lessons on Waves of Anguish” “Love me companion. Do not abandon me. Follow me. Follow me, companion, on that wave of anguish.” —Pablo Neruda, translated from “Para Que Tu Me Oigas,” Veinte Poemas de Amor y Una Canción … [Read more...]

June 30, 2012 9:44pm

Francisco Mela, playing at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. (Taken with Instagram)Tonight I’ll go back and see The Bad Plus, plus Josh Redman. I plan on recording most, if not all, of their set and posting it here. Stay tuned. … [Read more...]

June 28, 2012 8:37pm

Catholic art is simple: art — beautiful art — created by a Catholic artist; nothing more, nothing less. Today I took this photo of a striking piece of Catholic art in a small bookshop in Alexandria, MN (where I also bought Leavings, a collection of poetry by the always unobjectionable Wendell Berry).Above: “How to Meditate,” by Jack Kerouac — a Catholic. (Taken with Instagram) … [Read more...]

A Beautiful Story

In my final address to Wabash College, I told a story I often tell in my classes; about an emeritus professor at Virginia Tech who gave his life for his students. A former student — and good friend — of mine, Bob Cassady, sent me a classroom story of his own today, via e-mail:“Over a beer my buddy Michael Thomas, who lived at the Catholic Worker, told me a beautiful story. He said that a seminarian of Holy Cross, who had completed a few years of a Math PhD before entering seminary, … [Read more...]

New Noisetrade Album

Things have been slow here over the past few days due to sickness. While I start my antibiotics and try to get back into my (un)usual work routine, here’s another little project for free listening and downloads. Enjoy! … [Read more...]

June 25, 2012 4:47pm

Stage shot from yesterday’s show. (Taken with Instagram) … [Read more...]

June 23, 2012 7:40pm

Titles and song order for my new, forthcoming album, “Late to Love.” (Taken with Instagram) … [Read more...]

Tomorrow: Mexicansoulmusique @Gather4Good

FINAL NOTICE: Tomorrow Shawn Kolles and I will be playing three sets of music at Gather4Good, sponsored by Catholic United Financial, at Cedar Lake Farm, in New Prague, MN. If you’re in the area come on out between 11 am and 3 pm. You can preregister for it here or call the number below. From the website: “This FREE event includes assembling care packages for the needy in our community (all supplies provided), a picnic lunch, musical entertainment, face painting, inflatable jumper and mo … [Read more...]

Review: Liquid Crystal Project 3

(Liquid Crystal Project 3, Groove Attack / Polar Ent / Greenstreets) This review is about good music, soundcraft, art. Soulcraft. I am not a jazz critic, a hip-hop head, or a media journalist. For the purposes of this review I am, first and foremost, a musician who also happens to be a writer. I offer this disclaimer from the outset to be clear what this album is not about. Liquid Crystal Project 3 is not about orthodoxy, reaching to meet standards and  expectations external to what is closest … [Read more...]

June 23, 2012 3:29am

I wasn’t, and am not, primarily concerned with injustice, but with art. Ralph Ellison, from an interview in the Paris Review. And this is just the tip of the iceburg; you absolutely must read this brilliant interview. … [Read more...]


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