Spreading the love: The Field Negro Guide To Arts & Culture

I’m a big fan of a podcast called The Field Negro Guide To Arts & Culture, hosted by guitarist Vernon Reid and comedian W. Kamau Bell. I like smart people anyway, but these two guys are particularly inspiring on a variety of topics both in — and far beyond — their chosen fields. So I was thrilled when I saw that their Producer Extraordinaire, Alex Thornton, posted this on their site. Thanks, guys.

By the way, you can follow all three members of the FNGTAC crew on Twitter:

Holy canoli! The LA Times just named me one of 25 to follow on Twitter

Thank you to the LA Times’ Culture Monster column for naming me as one of 25 arts & culture people to follow on Twitter.

An interview with lil’ ol’ me

The wonderful Willard Jenkins (who was my guest on TJS #123) just posted an interview with me about The Jazz Session.

Check it out over at Willard’s blog, The Independent Ear.

One note: Willard refers to me in his introduction as a “broadcaster-poet.” I think that may be the single nicest description of me ever.

Jazz + basketball = link love

My recent interview with basketball writer Nathaniel Friedman is getting some exposure on the Interwebs. It will help to know that Nathaniel Friedman’s pen name is Bethlehem Shoals:

RIP, Gerry Niewood


Saxophonist and flutist Gerry Niewood died in the plane crash in Buffalo last night. He was a wonderful player whose saxophone was heard most famously with Chuck Mangione and on the Concert In Central Park album by Simon & Garfunkel.

Niewood was one of the first horn players I ever knew by name because Paul Simon yells out his name after a solo on that live album. I’ve always been a huge Chuck Mangione fan, too, and own all the LPs that Chuck and Gerry made together, many of them recorded in their native Rochester.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Gerry Niewood in 2004 at Jazz90.1. He was very gracious, humble and funny. I interviewed his son Adam in the fall of last year. He’s also a very talented saxophonist, and he talked quite a bit about Gerry during the interview.

LISTEN to the interview with Adam Niewood. He starts talking about his dad halfway through.

My condolences go out to Adam and the entire Niewood family. What a sad, sad day.

UPDATE: Here are some of the many press stories about Gerry’s passing: