America lacks support and venues for jazz music, especially outside the biggest cities. Only in a handful of comparatively smaller places is there some kind of team interested in presenting the music as a labor of love.
Jon W. Poses is the Executive & Artistic Director for the “We Always Swing” Jazz Series in Columbia, Missouri. Through Poses, The Bad Plus has played several times at Murry’s, a good restaurant that puts on jazz several times a season.
Jon is an old-school fan who began as a collector before getting more and more involved in the business: writing liner notes, managing artists, and now We Always Swing. He got addicted young and now still needs the jazz fix.
We Always Swing has a storefront in Columbia that has a remarkable lending library dedicated to the memory of Von Freeman. I stopped in for what I thought would be for a few minutes and ended up demanding to hear records. I’d been looking for Hod O’Brien’s first LP with Teddy Kotick and Jimmy Wormworth for years. Jon’s library gave me the chance to audition, and it proved to be a really nice bebop trio.
(Just recently I saw O’Brien at Mezzrow. He’s still got authentic notes and phasing; it was also a great opportunity for youngblood bassist Darryl Hall to get some really fabulous experience playing with the real deal.)
Once again, thanks to everybody who puts time and effort into this music. I tend to just praise the musicians themselves on DTM but the whole eco-system matters.