The Read: Dec. 19, 2011

1. Mama Buzz Cafe in Oakland might be closing soon. The cafe has apparently been struggling, but the real blow is that the landlord simply wants to reconfigure the space.

2. Moe! Staiano‘s Surplus 1980 CD, Relapse in Response, gets a brief review in East Bay Express. Hadn’t thought of the Fred Schneider comparison. (Other links: My CD review; live-show pictures.)

3. Darren Johnston‘s latest CD, with his Nice Guy Trio. It’s on Porto Franco.

4. Drummer Weasel Walter talks to the Village Voice about working with Mary Halvorson. They’ve now got two duo albums — I mentioned the first one here — and the fine Electric Fruit with Peter Evans.

5. ROVA conducted a remix contest, handing fans some source material to play with. Here are the results.

6. Thirty years later, Peter Apfelbaum still convenes the Hieroglyphics Ensemble (now “NY Hieroglyphics”) once in a while. While it’s not much of a read, per se, here’s his NY Times jazz listing for last Friday’s show.

7. Here’s something new: jealousy of the Bay Area jazz scene. Whereas we might complain about how much talent gravitates to the east coast and stays there, the L.A. Times recently made mention of “touring artists who sometimes mysteriously pass by Los Angeles” to instead visit “the Bay Area’s rising jazz scene.” I think they were talking more about mainstream jazz and the pull it gets from Yoshi’s and SFJazz. Then again, the point of the blurb was to lament that an organizer of the Angel City Jazz Festival — a bill that, this year, included Rudresh Mahanthappa and the duo of Satoko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura — is directing his energies at an Oakland restaurant-to-be. It might be this place, in which case it doesn’t sound exactly like an avant-jazz haven.

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