2014-15 NBA Season Preview: Part 1

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The NBA 2014-2015 season is finally upon us. The offseason was invigorating, and the thousands of hours I spent this summer reading about basketball were all leading up to today. There were coaching changes, player swaps, and an owner ousting or two. Melo and Bosh stayed with their teams, but LeBron and Pierce left for greener pastures. Kevin Love and first-overall pick Andrew Wiggins switched franchises, the draft had its powerful moments, big contracts were signed.

Reigning MVP Kevin Durant and Celtics’ star Rajon Rondo got injured while Derek Rose spent the summer rehabilitating from a second ACL tear, having not played more than a month of healthy basketball in two full years. Kobe Bryant also missed time last season, but it’s a safe bet he won’t end the season as the 40th ranked player he is currently projected to be. With an offseason this tumultuous, it just might be the greatest year for basketball since James Naismith threw a soccer ball into a peach basket in 1891.

The following is a two-part guide to the upcoming season. In it, you will find the following: reasons why each team will be fun to watch, what their best-case scenario is for the season, and what the outcome would be if everything went horribly wrong for them. The season tips off with the defending champs (San Antonio Spurs, for those less informed) taking on the Dallas team that took them to 7 games in the playoffs last year. Tonight. 8:00 PM. Don’t miss it.

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5 things I learned from Jazz Jams

If someone were to ask you about Brown’s frat scene, how would you respond?

You might form an image of good ole Wriston and those dark basements that harbored grody sweat-fests. Certainly, the last thing to come to your mind would be what went down last night: Jazz Jams, hosted by Delta Tau (DTau, for colloquial purposes). This unlikely pairing of frat house rambunctiousness and jazz club sophistication created a unique ambiance that was surprisingly awesome. The Jazz Jams are twice-monthly events produced by The Jazz Sessions, a student group formed in 2011 by Matt Block ’13 and currently run by Ana Gonzalez ’15, Peter Enriquez ’16, Alex Han ’17, Zach Levine ’15, and Sumner Becker ’14. Jazz Jams have taken place all over Brown’s campus and the greater Providence area; notable venues include The Underground and Buxton. This is the first time Jazz Jams have ever been held at DTau. Here are a few conclusions I drew from the event:

1. Betches Brunonians love jazz. Everyone there was enjoying the music, whether they were focusing intensely on the sounds or grooving in their seats. There was a lot of applause after each solo, and each tune ended with a roar of shouting and clapping. A bunch of college kids vibing to jazz music at a frat house on a Wednesday night might sound unbelievable, but it was really happening last night.

2. Brown’s got talent! The musicians were excellent, whether they were soloing or supporting each other on the bandstand. The musicians were wailing out high notes, nailing intricate runs, singing their hearts out, and handling trickier tunes with ease.

Also, to whomever was playing the silver alto sax:

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Music for Studying: For the jazz piano enthusiast

On Jan. 24, 1975, pianist Keith Jarrett arrived at the Opera House in Köln, Germany in the early afternoon after an incredibly long and tiring drive from Zurich. The sold-out concert, organized by an 18-year-old concert promoter, was slated to start at 11:30 pm.  Jarrett initially refused to perform owing to the subpar quality of the piano provided, (it was apparently a small, out-of-tune baby grand piano with non-working pedals intended for rehearsals, not concerts) but he eventually appeared onstage.

What was the result of this exhausted pianist performing late at night on a terrible piano?  An hour of beautiful, totally improvised music, the recording of which went on to become not only the best selling solo jazz album of all time, but also fantastic music to study to.

You can listen to the entire concert here.