Ear of the Behearer, La Lucha Continua

Posted by: Dave Douglas on December 21, 2006 @ 6:32 pm
Filed under: Dave Douglas (Artist Thoughts), Music

If you have not been over to visit Ear of the Behearer yet, please do. This is the site that was spawned by the discussion about jazz and culture in the seventies and eighties (and it’s named after a great Dewey Redman recording). Now instead of sitting around saying, “I can’t believe they left that record out,” or, “I was talking about that record back in the nineties!” you can go over there and add it to the history yourself, including comments and cetera.

Another upshot of Nate Chinen’s New York Times story (I’m not linking to it because you can read it in lots of places, plus you have to join to get it over there) about the story was that I got a call from Steve Backer who I hadn’t spoken to in years.

Steve Backer is a record producer who was responsible for signing artists like Anthony Braxton, Julius Hemphill, Cecil Taylor, Andrew Hill, Sam Rivers, Steve Lacy, World Saxophone Quartet, Henry Threadgill, Dewey Redman and many others at major labels in the seventies. I’m sure that took some doing. He’s a part of the reason we know these great, innovative artists. You can read his complete credits here, but interestingly enough a lot of his work for Impulse, Arista, Artista Freedom and RCA Novus doesn’t appear on All Music Guide.

Steve was also a presence in the room when I signed with RCA Victor and has always been a good friend and supporter. He told me he is extremely happy to see this music being talked about and documented. He’s also very keen to see a written history of the time and is working on getting a writer or writers interested in the project. It’s a story with many facets and I hope it continues to be discussed and thought about.

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