picking the jazz bracket - the first half
i have randomly created my own 64-artist bracket for jazz music. i'm sure i left some people out, but that's the way the cookie crumbles. just ask dick vitale. the matchups were picked randomly and there is no seeding in place. i chose people from a myriad of styles and influences, and considered their advancement upon a few criteria; popularity in the general public, contribution of tunes and concepts, unique prowess as a performer, international presence, and trails blazed for new frontiers in jazz. i chose most of the winners and, when i got stuck, consulted my jazz students with whom i'm performing a live soundtrack to the tennessee williams iconic play "a streetcar named desire". i took the photos of my brackets in that same space, explaining the colorful hues.
this sheet has great players and tough pairings. recognizable voices and players with their hands in more than one genre.
some pretty big names in this bunch, including avant garde leaders, historical guys and crossover artists.
bean vs. sinatra doesn't really seem fair. potter vs. vu is a no-brainer, and sinatra takes that matchup easily. hodges is super important, but i think i gotta go with gil (plus i love him). zorn takes the potty-mouthed buddy easily, but i think gil holds his own with one of my musical heroes and advances. elvin vs. trane is a paradox. did elvin make trane or was it vice versa? either way, trane is the clear winner and advances through both rounds. lee over maria is an upset to me, but not as big as jaco taking out keith. jaco is pretty amazing and somehow legitimized the electric bass. he easily ousts lee, setting the first group of sweet sixteeners.
benson and metheny both have flirted with great jazz and questionable smooth stuff, but i think metheny's body of work outshines here. derek bailey is outstanding and can play his rear end off, but he's really no match for monk - and neither is metheny. it seems weird to have miles in the tourney, assuming that he'll smoke anyone in his path. upset alert - braxton takes out mehldau and wynton unseats the late great brubeck. as much as i'd like to look the other way, wynton has probably stepped past braxton by now. lester young wipes out a living legend, as does getz - whose sound and bossa nova shoulders push him into the next round.
Posted by mg at 6:31 PM