Louisville, the town that gave the world both Victor Mature and the cheeseburger, is slowly entering into the Season of Impossible Traffic on Shelbyville Road. We're hours away from the holidays and just a short jump into the onset of a New Year. Rest assured, though. Reports from the experts are showing that jazz is Y2K compatible. So Miles Davis will sound just as good in the next century as he does now.
First, some organization-type news: the Louisville Jazz Society has elected new officers for the upcoming year. Lil Gascoyne is now President, WFPK's Phil Bailey is Vice-President, Flora Gray is Treasurer and Myron Koch is Secretary. Former LJS president Kathy Hopper will now edit the group's newsletter. Another former LJS president, Todd Lowe, will be in charge of public relations.
Lil says she's working with Jamey Aebersold to pull together a schedule of upcoming shows for the organization's First Monday series. Once it's ready, I'll pass it along to you here.
The Jamey Aebersold Jazz Studies Program at the University of Louisville has quite a lineup for you at its First Annual Jazz Showcase on Tuesday, February 23 at the U of L School of Music. Featured artists will include Don Braden, Harry Pickens, Miles Davis (the instrument repairer, not the late trumpeter), Mary Means, Chris and John Bizannes, Kristy Norter, Dick Sisto, and the proverbial many, many more. For ticket information, call the School of Music at 852-6907.
The death of veteran vibemaster Milt Jackson has left a hole in the lineup for next year's Jazz Week at U of L. There's no word yet on a replacement performer.
It may not be every jazz-lover's can of meat, but Chicago's Liquid Soul, the smooth blend of acid- jazz, funk and hip-hop, is coming to town as part of the Lonesome Pine Special series. They'll be at the Bomhard Theater at the Kentucky Center for the Arts on Friday, November 19. Call 584-7777 for ticket information.
If you're not able to catch Liquid Soul, you can always see Splatch. Their two gigs this month are Friday, November 5 at Air Devils Inn from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., and on November 21 at Clifton's Pizza on Frankfort Avenue, from 7:30 to 10:30.
A little more than a year ago, I put my (alleged) critical reputation on the line and made a bold declaration about a CD that had just been released: Patricia Barber's Modern Cool. I said it was destined to rank alongside Miles Davis' Bitches' Brew or Ella Fitzgerald's Songbook series because of its combination of songwriting, performance, production quality, and arrangements. I maintained that Barber's songwriting and delivery were a cross between Patti Smith and Diana Krall: silk with razor-sharp seams.
Last month, Barber released Companion, a follow-up to Modern Cool. See my review of it in the "Recordings Reviews" section of this fine publication.
Finally, sympathies go to former Java Men drummer Ray Rizzo at the loss of his mother. Mary Rizzo, a native of Dover, New Hampshire, died at her home on Thursday, October 14. She was 61 years old.
"Jazzin'" columnist Tim Roberts is pleased to announce that his column is now Y2K compliant. Send your jazz-related dispatches to email@example.com, or to his attention to the editorial offices of Louisville Music News.