Saturday, February 19, 2011

My favorite jazz of 2010

This is my annual list of the new jazz albums I picked up and really liked. It's not representative, but if I didn't happen to buy it, it can't make my list!

Jacky Terrason, Push. I based on Nate Chinen's review and loved it. This was my favorite of the year. I need to go see him when he comes to Wilmington, Delaware's Piano Jazz Summit.

Gregory Porter, Water: This is a great vocal album. My wife would put it first without a doubt.

Keith Jarrett and Charlie Hayden, Jasmine. I love Keith Jarrett and he didn't let me done. Incidentally, I finally saw his trio live last June. Wow.

Those top three are way ahead.

Bobby Watson and the UMKC Concert Jazz Orchestra, The Gate's BBQ Suite. One reviewer said it's "smokin'." That's exactly right.

Esperanza Spalding, Chamber Music Society. Not exactly my thing, but it was just $5 at and I enjoyed it enough to play it repeatedly. Nice to see her win at the Grammys too.

Jason Moran, Ten. I never know why I don't listen to Moran's albums more because they really are good as the critics say, yet I don't.

The Bad Plus, Never Stop. It's good, but I still like Give better.

The only other new album I bought was Joey DeFrancesco's Michael Jackson tribute album. I hate the tracks with singing, but picking up just Billie Jean would have been worthwhile.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Speaking at Chester County Astronomical Society

I'm looking forward to giving a talk at the Chester County Astronomical Society on "Brown Dwarf Stars."
  • Tuesday, March 8, 2011 - CCAS Monthly Meeting, Room 113, Merion Science Center (former Boucher Building), West Chester University. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. Guest Speaker: Dr. John Gizis: “Brown Dwarf Stars.”
The mission of the CCAS of Pennsylvania:
The Chester County Astronomical Society was formed as a non-profit organization dedicated to the education and enjoyment of astronomy for the general public. The Society holds meetings (with member or guest speakers) and observing sessions once a month. Anyone who is interested in astronomy is welcome to attend meetings and become a member of the Society. In addition to the monthly meetings and observing sessions, the Society also provides a variety of services to the public, including astronomy classes as well as telescopes and expertise for "star parties" for school, scout, and other civic groups.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Time to move on Python

I've been starting some new projects and the unholy mix of IDL, Perl and Fortran I use to look at data and solve problems can't be efficient. So I've resolved to follow the smart people and move over to Python. It's free and there are lots of astronomy routines available, plus our undergrads at University of Delaware will all learn it in CISC 106, so I'll be able to use it for teaching too. Last year I said the same thing but only got as far as installing everything. Starting today, I'm going to get through the Astronomy Python Tutorial.