Jazz music, news and views

Monday, August 13, 2007


A series of events unexpectedly sidelined me from blogging these past couple weeks, including a deadline for an upcoming project (more on that later), helping a friend move, and a trip to Kansas City.

The former two weren't terribly photo-worthy opportunities, but I snapped a few pics during my stay in KC. Levi, an old high school friend and bandmate from my days as a rock drummer, put me up (i.e. put up with me) for a few days and showed me around. Highlights for me included a nocturnal stroll through Westport Plaza, watching a rehearsal of his band (whose name and album are still forthcoming but will knock/rock your socks off), talking with DJ Murderbot at the Broadway Café, the Dead Homies CD release party at the Record Bar, and a visit to the American Jazz Museum and the adjacent Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Oh, and some great barbecue.

The jazz museum (which didn't allow cameras inside) wasn't quite as large as I'd imagined, but it did have a great deal of memorabilia, including Charlie Parker's plastic Grafton sax, a sequined dress worn by Ella Fitzgerald, and some great archival photos. There were also a few cool interactive audio exhibits that isolate, change, and explain different musical elements of jazz performance.

I didn't get a chance to check out any local jazz -– or visit Charlie Parker's grave, for that matter -– but if it's recommendations and reviews you want, check out Plastic Sax (also the proprietor of There Stands the Glass).

Without further ado, a few pictures (hold your mouse over them for any available captions; click to enlarge):

A few buildings from downtown KC, walking around 3rd and 10th on Walnut. Reminded me a bit of downtown Sacramento.

5th St. in the Kansas City River Market.

Highway 35 en route to Cottonwood Falls, KS. Our soundtrack for the drive was Levi's pick: Alison Krauss & Union Station: Lonely Runs Both Ways.

The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Cottonwood Falls, KS.

Council Grove, KS.

Highway 56 back to KC.

You can probably tell I was more eager to take pictures in Kansas (no slight intended to Kansas City). The open country was exactly what I came for.

Normal jazz-related blogging should resume soon. Thanks for sticking with me.


  • At 8/16/2007 10:54 AM, Anonymous etnobofin said…

    Some of those open country photos could be album covers... Bill Frisell? Pat Metheny on ECM?

    Sad news about Max Roach, I don't quite have the energy to post about him.

  • At 8/18/2007 1:54 AM, Blogger Kellen said…

    Thanks for the compliment! I'm a pretty lousy photographer (especially compared to the likes of Mwanji, Darcy and yourself), so I'm glad when I get something even remotely artistic-looking.

    Very sad indeed to hear about Max Roach -- but glad to see there are so many good appreciations out there.


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