92: Best of 2017 Vol. 1
I think we can all agree that 2017 was an unusual year. It was intense, confusing, emotional. A little less than a year ago, as I decided to resume another “season” of episodes, I was determined to focus on community and on positivity through art and creative expression.
At least, that’s what I told myself, and it’s also what I told you. In the introduction to the first episode of 2017, an interview with jazz club owner and musician Spike Wilner, I said “I want to look at the role of community in supporting individual voices and in contextualizing those voices.”
As the year comes to an end, I decided to look back at a year’s worth of episodes to see if I delivered on that promise, and to figure out what were the big questions and the major themes that emerged. With the benefit of even just a little bit of hindsight, I can see that indeed the theme of community informed the whole journey.
In this, the first of two Best of 2017 episodes, I look back at conversations with club owners and music presenters Spike Wilner, Michael Dorf, Adam Schatz and Dave Jemilo who each explain their contribution to what seems to be universally and affectionately referred to as “the scene”.
Musicians Ben Wendel and George Colligan, and singer Hilary Gardner explore the values of non-New York scenes, and the role of the “village elders” on passing down the music from one generation to the next. And Irv Williams, the world’s oldest living jazz musician, explains what it’s like to be one of the village elders.
I looked at what it means for music to be “regional” and how place effects sound, style and attitude. Jeff Hamann and Mark Davis provided a case study in Milwaukee, and Andrew Crocker and Peter Giron painted the picture from the other side of the pond, in Paris.
In the second volume, I’ll continue to unravel the mysteries of 2017 seen through the eyes of The Third Story.