MUSIC: good for what ails you

I’m off to the Montreal Jazz Festival tonight. I covered the festival for 17 years in a row (!) but I haven’t attended it since 2005. Home-owner adventures will keep me from most of the 30th-anniversary edition of the biggest, liveliest, and sometimes most rewarding music festival in North America, but tonight’s opening night and on Sunday Kenny Werner, Branford Marsalis, Josh Redman and Joe Lovano will all be playing, so two brief road trips are in order.

Anyway. I discover that on the badly-organized jazz page of iTunes, the 16th best-selling album this morning is Sky Blue by the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra. This CD has been in release for two years, until now only through a unique mail-order firm called ArtistShare, and since I knew none of you would go there and order it, I figured I wouldn’t bother telling you. But now all that has changed. So if I give you the iTunes link, and tell you this is one of the most heartstoppingly beautiful collections of large-ensemble jazz ever recorded, then maybe you will do the right thing. It is summer. Listen to some good music. Have I ever steered you wrong?

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