Good night (but hopefully not goodbye) to The Jazz Bakery. As one can see, our coverage of other people's coverage of this is extensive:
UPDATE: And just so you don't think we only take one side of such troubling issues, here's a "counterpoint" opinion, published in the L.A. Times' Letters to the Editor on 6/06/09:
Bakery, get back in the groove
I couldn't care less that the Jazz Bakery is moving. I used to visit the place regularly when they featured mainstream musicians like Scott Hamilton, Ken Peplowski and Bob Wilber who played melodious songs written by qualified professional composers like Gershwin, Porter, Ellington, Arlen and Rodgers and Hart. I stopped going to the Jazz Bakery when its featured musicians spent practically the entire evening playing their "original compositions," usually an irritating array of tuneless, cacophonous numbers created to show the audience how many notes they can play in less than a minute. I walked out at least a half-dozen times before I stopped going altogether.
Classical music aficionados attend concerts where orchestras feature music by the same composers, over and over: Beethoven, Mozart, Wagner, etc. The Jazz Bakery, if it chooses to improve its attendance, should consider devoting at least half of its performances to musicians who feature the works of such mainstream modern musicians listed above, musicians who have respect for standard chord progressions and whose goal is to entertain the customers and not themselves.
Came across this quote concerning Jay Bennett, the multi-instrumental mathematician who passed away last week, in Greg Kot's thin but superb Wilco bio Learning How To Die. The quote is attibuted to another ex-Wilco member, drummer Ken Coomer: "Out of the blue, Jay pulled me aside and told me he wanted to talk. It was the most emotional and heartfelt conversation I have had with anyone in the band. He was going though some stuff, and he bascially told me how important I was to him. It reminded me of this bird I had for eleven years, a cockatiel, and one day he lands on my head, then jumps on my shoulder, talking to me. It was like he was seeking me out. The next day, he crawls into his cage and dies."
Oy vey. What a shitty way to start the summer.