My Best Jazz Experiences of 2012 (in memory of James Hazard)



Here are my choices for best jazz albums and experiences of 2012

Links are to blogs I posted about this artist or recording.

  1. Ryan Truesdell/Gil Evans Project – Centennial (artistShare)
  2. Sam  Rivers/Dave Holland/Barry Altschul – Reunion: Live in New York (Pi)
  3. Amina Figarova – Twelve (In+Out)
  4. Vijay Iyer Trio  — Accelerando (ACT)
  5. Brad Mehldau Trio – Ode (ECM)
  6. Joel Harrison 7 — Search (Sunnyside)
  7. Henry Threadgill — Tomorrow Sunny/The Revelry, Spp (Pi)
  8. Luis Perdomo — Universal Mind (RKM)
  9. Philip Dizack — End of an Era (Truth Revolution)
  10. Torben Waldorff – Wah-Wah (artistShare)

Honorable mention: Hafez Modirzadeh — Post Chromodal Out! (Pi), Matt Ullery — By A Little Light (Greenleaf), David Virelles, Continuum (Pi).

Reading Tom Piazza — Devil Sent the Rain: Music and Writing in Desperate America — (A 2011 copyright but I read it in 2012 – recommended.)

Hearing the Jamie Breiwick Quintet doing two whole sets of Monk, include Bright Mississippi and Think of One. The Jazz Estate, Milwaukee.

Best Historical/Reissues

Charles Mingus — The Complete Columbia and RCA Albums Collection (Columbia Legacy)

Dave Brubeck —  The Complete Columbia Albums Collection (Columbia Legacy)

Weather Report — The Columbia Albums 1971-1975 ( Columbia Legacy) * An in-depth blog on this set will be posted here shortly.

Stan Getz – The Clef & Norgran Studio Albums (Hip-O Select) (In memory of James Hazard, poet and cornetist)

Note: James Hazard was a very gifted writer and a dedicated jazz cornetist who died in 2012. (disclosure: he was a professor of mine in grad school, 22 years ago. He was a warm, funny, soulful and deeply supportive teacher, and continued to champion my career efforts over the years. He loved especially Chet Baker and Stan Getz, among many jazz musicians) 



Writer and cornetist Jim Hazard with his spouse of 38 years, poet Susan Firer.

Coincidentally or not, Hazard and I both wrote Stan Getz poems. Hazard’s, “A True Biography of Stan Getz,” is great modern poetry, from this 1985 collection New Year’s Eve in Whiting Indiana, a masterful book-length ode to his hometown, shedding light on myriad shards and stories of naked, radiantly quirky humanity obscured by grimy smokestacks.

Jim’s poem suggests how Getz’s inimitable saxophone style channeled the romantic impulse in the young Hazard. My Getz poem is based on an actual encounter with Stan Getz (1927-1991), and quotes from his hit song “The Girl from Ipanema.”

Here are excerpts from:

A True Biography of Stan Getz

By James Hazard

“When you change the modes of music, the society changes.” — Confucius, via Gary Snyder

“Place yourself in the background.”, rule one , “An Approach to Style” — Strunk and White

I. 2013 Davis Ave., Whiting, Indiana

The place of his first grade appearance, 1950 or 1951. I was doing the Forbidden in the bathroom: listening to the radio while I bathed, heedless of electrocution and hoping for a jazz record , on the rhythm-and-blues Gary radio station.

Stan Getz played “Strike Up the Band” and I was heart-struck. I was already a heart-wreck, having seen Gene Tierney, her face hitting the screen as a flash flood in LAURA…

(Hearing for the first time that sound, the long and many noted phrases of it, but the sound itself carrying those long phrases out to the ends of breath as if Stan Getz’s lungs and heart would fall in on themselves, wreckage. And Gene Tierney filled one entire wall of the Hoosier Theater and like the bathroom radio – electric, fatal — could not be touched.)…


Bossa Not So Nova

Fattening and 57, Stan Getz

sweats out a melody, red-faced

“Hey thanks for the article. Can you carry my horn?” he croaks.

The sax sings light blue

Small, and tan, and young and handsome, a boy comes walking for an autograph.

Stan stops, signs, walks and goes ”Ahhhh, I’m bee-et. Just go slo-ow.

Hey can you find a doctor?”

They all sleep or smoke butts in cold ward halls.

Stan Getz wonders where Mader’s is.

His round belly rumbles.

The sax sings effortlessly,

“Tall and tan, and young and handsome,”

the boy from Ipa-nema is wheezin’

looking for a doctor or sauerbraten

while a woman somewhere dreams…

to the scratched record,

the sax singing effortlessly.

— Kevin Lynch


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.