Masterclasses Next Week

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(Two Harbors, MN, or "What I did on my summer vacation")

One Week from Today:

Tootie Heath will be giving a 3-hour masterclass for drummers Tuesday, September 2nd from 2 to 5 PM at:

“The Drawing Room”

56 Willoughby St. #3

btw Jay and Lawrence St. in downtown Brooklyn. Almost every subway train gets extremely close: Borough Hall for 4/5, Hoyt St for 2/3, Jay St for A/C/F…the very closest stop is Lawrence on R.

$20 for drummers that want to participate. $10 for those (including non-drummers) that want to watch and listen. The money goes straight to Tootie.

Ben Street and I will be on hand to play with Tootie a bit and perhaps play with others, depending on what Tootie wants to do.

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The same day

I'm going to have the first free Iverson masterclass for pianists from 6 - 9 at the same venue. Mostly for pianists; others welcome too. Sorry I haven't had one of these in so long; frankly I doubt I'll be able to have another real soon, either.

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The Tootie Heath/Iverson/Street trio is at the Chicago Jazz Fest this coming Sunday afternoon. 

Then: 

Wednesday, September 3, Jazz Standard NYC

Thursday, September 4, Ars Nova Workshop, Philadelphia

Saturday, Septever 6, An Die Musik, Baltimore

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Also, The Bad Plus Joshua Redman plays Detroit Jazz Fest Friday. Mark Stryker interviews Joshua Redman.

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The Bad Plus has a new album out, Inevitable Western, with artwork by David King. On Twitter, Mr. Daniel Pinkwaker just called it: "Transfusatory interbrainic non-objective vision-inducing." Which certainly is the best pull-quote about TBP I've ever seen.

Also on Twitter, David Wolff sent me this link, which I admit goes rather further than TBP Rite in certain ways...

08/26/2014

 

Summer Vacation

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I'm taking a month off from DTM and Twitter. Back around Labor Day.

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Liaisons: Re-Imagining Sondheim with pianist Anthony De Mare will be coming out on ECM in fall 2015. This IndieGogo page is raising funds for the last recording sessions. My arrangement is of "Send In the Clowns."

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Good recent online reading includes:

Kevin Whitehead at his spirited best, "Albert Ayler's Spiritual Unity Turns 50." Wondering Sound is a site I need to pay more attention to; at any rate I'm glad Kevin has a place where he can work so freely.

Jeremy Eichler muses about modernist mechanical music via George Antheil. (Kudos to Boston Globe for running such an interesting think piece.)

Nate Chinen on an important Jimmy Giuffre release. (Kudos to New York Times for running such an interesting think piece.)

In the Paris ReviewSam Stephenson profiles C.O. Simpkins, author of an essential text on John Coltrane. 

Sarah Deming's boxing coverage for Stiff Jab continues with "Open Letter to Gennady Golovkin."

In The Believer - not recent, but still just about my favorite essay ever - Paul La Farge suggests we "Destroy All Monsters." 

(I never played D&D; the closest I've ever really gotten to any kind of fantasy world was my youthful immersion into Doctor Who. While in no sense a firm fan of the reboot, I admit I will be looking out for Peter Capaldi's debut next month. Wish the music would get less Harry Potter, though.)

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Crime fiction critic: Three Graves Full Jamie Mason A terrific debut in the vein of Peter Abrahams. Perhaps A Simple Plan by Scott Smith is also an influence, but Mason is more pleasingly zany. Night Film (Marisha Pessl) Intoxicating metatextual postmordern noir; should have been 100 pages shorter. The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair (Joël Dicker) A smash hit, but I found it obvious and unengaging. Twin Peaks without any surrealism: who cares? Very French. No Man's Nightingale (Ruth Rendell) Superb. She's still got it. You'd think with Rendell still being around some other popular UK crime writers would feel the heat and up their game more. The Inside Man Jeff Abbott Likeable trash in the post-Bourne techno/spy/secret world power genre. The endless amping up of action feels a little rote: Abbott's characters are good, he should let them be contained in a space where they can actually develop.  

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Amateur television critic: Sarah and I gulped down True Detective in just three sittings. It's hard to believe TV looks like this now. Just amazing cinematography and editing.

I mentioned Twin Peaks above. True Detective also brings Peaks to mind by use of the dead girl's diary. More tellingly, both shows lose their way immediately after the murderer is revealed. Apparently the show runners have to start desperately throwing in everything but the kitchen sink in an attempt to maintain tension. Fortunately for Detective, they only had one episode to flounder though, instead of half a season like Peaks.

After viewing, I went online to investigate further, where I quickly became bewildered: not just by all the ludicrous and fantastical hypotheses by cult fandom, but by what seemed to be almost the whole culture's relationship to the show. Just one example: In Slate's finale recap (spoilers!), David Haglund says:

The lowpoint of the finale, for me, was when Rust and Marty were looking at Marty’s laptop, going through ... tax records, I think it was? That did not strike me as the tightest bit of writing.

What? For me, putting the clues together was the best part of the finale. Indeed, that's my favorite thing about this show in general: cops using casework to chase down crimes. If you don't like clues, why are you watching a show called True Detective

The correct antidote to all this novice interpretation is Vince Keenan's superb overview of True Detective in the latest issue of Noir City. (How do you get Noir City? Sign up, donate, and a few hours later a download link is in your inbox. The whole issue is great.)

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Amateur movie critic: Sorry, but I thought Frozen was absolute dreck and one of the least feminist things I've ever seen. However, The LEGO Movie was a really nice surprise, a compelling mixture of many of my other favorites: The Matrix, The Princess Bride, Cabin in the Woods, and of course WALL-E

The song from LEGO Movie is a hit. But there's more to this current earworm than may be obvious on the surface. Looking for answers, I transcribed it.

Everything Is Awesome

Lotta fascinating details here. I missed out on some word painting ("stick together" - like LEGOs!) at first. The second voice harmonizes on the bridge with just one note, like a robot that can only speak an Eb.

The main event, though, is the unusual movement towards the end of the bridge and the change of key. Using the terminology of the film, this is very "weird" moment. (Word painting again: we are "working in harmony.")

The composers could have easily straightened this out and made it more of a chain restaurant: 

Everything Is Awesome (not weird)

The "weird" section is surely a nod to film's general theme of celebrating wacky individuality.

Unfortunately, I don't think the rest of the tune works so well. Hip-hop depends on swinging rhythm and precise texture, and that section in "Everything is Awesome!!!" shows once again how hard that genre is to appropriate. However, the goth rock Batman song "Untitled Self Portrait" is pretty great.

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A few days ago, Aline Rollin (webpage) did some lovely sketches of TBP performing in Souillac. Thanks Aline!

Bad-plus-batterieA

Bad-plus-contrebasseA

Bad-plus-pianoA

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Coming up: In August, The Bad Plus Joshua Redman swings back into action:

07 Rockport, MA -- Shalin Liu Performance Center 
08 Great Barrington, MA -- Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center 
09 East Hampton, NY -- Guild Hall 
29 Detroit, MI -- Detroit Jazz Festival

Josh has been really inspiring to work with. It seems like this grouping (the name, "The Bad Plus Joshua Redman," is official, BTW) will be active quite a bit starting next summer. I still can't get over how he showed up at the first gig a few years ago and played better than me on tunes I'd been working on for a decade.

In other TBP news: Our next record, Inevitable Western, comes out late August. All originals somewhat in the Never Stop and Made Possible tradition - or for that matter, the same tradition we've always been in. TBP music. To me, it seems like we just keep getting better.

The next new non-trio project is also rather exciting: The Bad Plus perform Ornette Coleman’s SCIENCE FICTION with Tim Berne, Ron Miles & Sam Newsome. As with On Sacred Ground, Duke Performances is the commissioner; thanks Aaron Greenwald! Much more about SciFi when DTM returns in September. 

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Thanks, George W. Harris, for the nice little review of Tootie Heath, Ben Street and me at the Blue Whale recently. It really means a lot to performers when gig is written about on the internet.

The Tootie trio plays the Chicago Jazz Festival on August 31, followed by a few East Coast hits: The Jazz Standard in NYC on Wednesday September 3, Ars Nova in Philly on Thursday 4, and An Die Musik in Baltimore on Saturday 6. We will also be making a follow-up recording to Tootie's Tempo that week. 

It's an honor to be associated with Tootie. I couldn't resist taking a candid of him driving me and Ben around in Alberquerque.

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At 79, Tootie has done and seen it all. There's absolutely no "Get off my lawn" about him, though. He's really open and nonjudgmental about young people.

Unlike me? Perhaps because I've been playing more standard tunes with Tootie these days, I've been having fun hitting some of the jam sessions after the gigs when touring European festivals...

Get off my lawn! Don't use a fucking iPhone to look up the changes to common-practice repertoire! Get off my lawn! A jam session needs to be interactive and non-digital! Get off my lawn! Learn the tune by ear in a chorus or two, that's the jazz tradition!  Get off my lawn! Using the iReal Book dumbs this music down!

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I'll be going to Henry Threadgill at the Village Vanguard this week, won't you? Also, I'm going to take a full posse to Pedrito Martinez Group at Celebrate Brooklyn! on Friday. The Tyshawn Sorey residency at the Stone looks compelling, and don't forget Billy Hart, Buster Williams, Billy Childs, and Dave Liebman up at Birdland.

What else is coming up? Harold Mabern and George Cables both have weeks at the Vanguard. (It's been way too long since I've seen the great Victor Lewis play, I'll be laying for him with George for sure.) I really dig Steve Nelson, he's having a birthday gig at Smalls on August 11. 

Speaking of birthdays, Pierre Boulez is going to be 90 soon. If you have a taste for unrepentant modernism in uncompromising doses, Taka Kigawa's traversal of the the complete Boulez piano music at LPR on August 24 is a must.

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While I'm home during the next few weeks I'm going to spin LPs. A recent discovery is Piano Music of Haydn by Wilhelm Backhaus. I can't say I know Haydn all that well, but these old-school and tremendously virtuosic performances are making me want to learn more. The humorous "Fantasia in C Major" is brand-new to me, I can't believe I haven't heard this major work before. I do know the familiar "F minor Variations" of course but few play it as well as Backhaus. He's occasionally too stiff for me in other repertoire but here his sternness offsets the strange phrases in an enchanting way. A London LP, maybe late 50's? Great record. 

Aquiring the Backhaus reminded me to pull out some other LPs of sublime beauty and similar vintage. Also on London, The Artistry of Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli has an astonishing second side, Galuppi and Scarlatti sonatas with absolutely incandescent piano tone. And from the Monitor label, Sviatoslav Richter's epic renditions of Schumann's Humoreske and Franck's Prelude Chorale and Fugue remain the best I've yet heard. Piano the way it was meant to be played.

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07/29/2014

 

Sonny's Blues

I see from Twitter that today is Sonny Clark's birthday...

Sam Stephenson's pieces in the Paris Review have the most information on Clark extant (one, two). "One day a book," Sam says: Let's hope so.

By happy accident I transcribed some Sonny Clark yesterday on the plane. Dexter Gordon's Go is justly famous. Throughout the whole date, Clark, Butch Warren, and Billy Higgins set up a groove that just won't quit.

On "Second Balcony Jump," Clark plays some immortal rhythm changes.

Sonny C.

Sonny Clark on Second Balcony Jump

I took down only the first two choruses, a really marvelous mixture of blues and search. (The third chorus always seems like a mistake, like he has to keep going in order to perserve the exquisite take. I might be wrong, though.) 

It was probably only happenstance that James Baldwin called his famous short story "Sonny's Blues." The biographical details of the "Sonny" in Baldwin's tale don't match Clark's. Still, the short story and the real life story go together extremely well.   

(Update: Ahem. There is no fourth bar of rest! Also there's a wrong note in bar 59. Please blame my copyist.)

07/21/2014

 

For Charlie Haden

1) Liberation Chorus (brand new memorial thoughts from Charlie Haden's extended family of musicians)

The above is the important thing. But DTM pages can talk to each other, so:

2) Interview with Charlie Haden (2007)

3) This is Our Mystic (Haden with Ornette) (2010) (slightly re-edited last week, still one of the best things on DTM)

4) Hampton Hawes and the Low Blues (2013)

5) Silence (A little new personal history, and an anthology of other bits about Charlie on DTM)

07/16/2014

 

Processional

New DTM page: "The Triumph of Time," for Harrison Birtwistle's 80th birthday.

07/15/2014

 

Big Band Detective

New DTM guest page: Adventures in Big Band Musicology, by Jeff Sultanof. 

Jeff's essay is another response to various DTM commentaries on Duke Ellington, this time by a professional editor and publisher who has spent decades unearthing and preparing scores. Jeff works with Rob Duboff for Jazz Lines Publications.

07/11/2014

 

This Here

One final DTM reminder: Tootie Heath, Ben Street, and me start a short tour tomorrow:

July 9 Dazzle Jazz (Denver)

10 Dazzle Jazz (Denver)

11 Blue Whale (LA)

12 Blue Whale (LA)

13 Outpost Performance Space (Albuquerque)

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There are hundreds of albums featuring Tootie Heath. For a quick overview last year to accompany the JazzTimes cover story, Ben and I choose 10 of the best. It was a hard exercise: for example, we didn't even list Coltrane, John's first album as a leader. (The Nina Simone that did make the cut is her very first album, too.) And since compiling this list we keep hearing new stuff with T that is just amazing: Ben found J.J. Johnson's J. J. Inc.; I found the Riverside Reunion Band Plays (Mostly) Monk

Still, these ten really are awfully good:

Nina Simone Little Girl Blue Like Connie Kay, Tootie Heath took the influence of Kenny Clarke and spread it to other kinds of black music besides straight-ahead jazz. His brushwork here shows remarkable depth for a 23-yr old, and his naturally undulating pulse helped some of these tracks become Simone’s biggest hits.

The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery This wasn’t a working band, just a thrown together assemblage for a record date, but many consider this to be the greatest jazz guitar LP ever made. Brothers Percy and Tootie Heath provide an immaculate carpet. Ben Street comes directly out of Percy on “D-Natural Blues.”

Bobby Timmons In Person This marvelous trio with Ron Carter has tight arrangements and smooth rhythm. They are kind of like a funkier version of the classic Ahmad Jamal trio with Israel Crosby and Vernell Fournier: Indeed, Tootie knew Fournier personally and credits him as an important influence.

Clifford Jordan Plays Leadbelly: These Are My Roots Tootie is heard giving his unique weight to a variety of folkloric beats, including an early appearance of his virtuosic tambourine. Jordan and Tootie both loved the old music and loved to experiment. They can change from being tricksters to intoning the deepest blues in a single phrase. 

Charles McPherson Bebop Revisited A great record that should be much better known, with Detroit turks McPherson and Barry Harris partnering with Tootie, newcomer Carmell Jones, and Bird bassist Nelson Boyd for playful yet deadly serious bop.

Kenny Dorham Trumpeta Toccata Dorham’s last album as a leader would be one of his best. Four long tracks with diverse feels give Tootie plenty to do. Tootie was almost the house drummer for Riverside, which may be why he isn’t on as many Blue Notes. At any rate, it’s nice to hear Rudy Van Gelder’s touch on the drums here.

Sonny Rollins In Denmark Vol. 1 A bootleg, yes, but what a bootleg: the longest, most ferocious “Four” ever recorded with Kenny Drew and Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen. Tootie kicks the Colossus along for over 40 minutes, neither giving the other any quarter.  

Herbie Hancock The Prisoner Tootie preceded Billy Hart in the Herbie’s first working band, a sextet. All three Hancock/Heath discs are great, but The Prisoner may be the best for some of Hancock’s most intricate writing, marvelous Tootie/Buster Williams interaction, and Joe Henderson solos that are simply outrageous.

Clifford Jordan Half Note A rough and tumble live date from 1974, when down-the-middle music like this was going out of fashion. With Cedar Walton and Sam Jones, Tootie shows he is in the elite of New York drummers like Billy Higgins and Louis Hayes. 

Albert Heath, The Offering. Tootie’s own albums include a few group efforts with peers, several with the Heath Brothers, and now Tootie’s Tempo. The neglected gem of the bunch is this ultra-rare solo album, a dedication to his late son Mtume Patrick Heath (named after the well-known percussionist, R & B producer, and family member James Mtume). In the liner notes, Scot Ngozi-Brown explains: “For Heath, Mtume's death is a source of meditative reflection on life's complexity and brevity. In concert with many African spiritual and philosophical systems, the physical shrine on the cover is filled with some of Mtume's cherished possessions and commemorative objects which invoke a memory of different aspects of his life. The music itself flows from Tootie Heath's deeply personal and integrated perspectives about life as a beautiful, brief and contradictory odyssey.”

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More about the current trio under Tootie's Tempo. We are working on new repertoire in anticipation for the next record; those that come out for the tour this week may hear John Lewis "Concorde," Bobby Timmons "This Here," and Denzil Best "Move."

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(photo by John Rogers)

07/08/2014

 

Forumesque 15

This Sunday, June 29, Sam Newsome and I play duo at the Greenwich House Music School as part of the Sound it Out series.

Sincere thanks to everybody who came out for the Billy Hart Quartet this past month. Great gigs!

Now the Tootie Heath-Ethan Iverson-Ben Street (Tootie's Tempo) trio does a little tour in July:

9 Dazzle Jazz (Denver)

10 Dazzle Jazz (Denver)

11 Blue Whale (LA)

12 Blue Whale (LA)

13 Outpost Performance Space (Albuquerque)

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Tomorrow, an all-star tribute to Stephanie Stone (DTM guest post: "Stones" by Kevin Whitehead) is at Roulette.

Speaking of guest posts: if you enjoyed Dan Schmidt's ranking of Bond songs, his wife ranked the movies themselves.

And speaking of blogs: Thanks to the Jazz Journalists Association for choosing DTM as blog of the year recently. Naturally, I immediately informed Sarah that she must address me as "lord blogger" (accompanied by a special curtsy) at least once each morning, noon, and night. 

In all seriousness, it's a nice honor, although it also seems like jazz blogs (and maybe personal blogs in general?) are in a bit of a slump these days. I've just ruthlessly updated the links page and trimmed away a good deal of dead wood. Many of those left post only infrequently... 

Probably bloggers lose heart if they feel like they work in a vacuum. One thing that could help is what A Blog Supreme used to do, a weekly round-up of interesting links. 

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While working on the update I was pleased to see some recent interesting activity by some who have been on the blogroll for a long time.

Ronan Guilfoyle interviews Keith Copeland (part two, part one)

Matt Smiley transcribes a whole album of Charlie Haden 

Nicholas Payton returns with more about BAM and jazz

Excellent Ted Panken article on Geri Allen

Peter Magarsak has links and commentary about the late Lee Hyla (a very important composer for many members of the Brooklyn jazz scene including Tim Berne, Josh Sinton, and Darcy James Argue)

Sam Newsome remembers Gilles Laheurte 

Peter Hum listens to me at the Ottawa jam session (honestly, I started "Move" a bit fast that night)

And, new to the blogroll:

Dfan Says (the Bond song enthusiast, but also look at the Threadgill)

John Schott (old buddy and influence, this post made me laugh)

Steve Wallace (digs James P.)

Übergreifen (I know Dan Voss from Twitter; his blog uses Schenkerian analysis for jazz. Kind of unbelievable, try the voiceleading on Trane's "Transition"

Atlas Cops and Kids is Sarah's blog about her gym. Amazing writing by her kids (one, two)

(Another side of my wife's diverse activities is told in her memoir about writing erotica, "Game Face.")

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Presumably everyone has already read "The Case for Reparations" by Ta-Nehisi Coates. The Narrative Bibliography is also fascinating. Coates sparred wonderfully with Stephen Colbert and his constant Twitter feed is amusing as well as enlightening. Mr. Coates is clearly the man of the hour.

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Forumesque 15 is an opportunity to weigh in on recent posts and anything else in the contents. Factual corrections are welcomed; general questions are fine too. I will close the comments in about a week.

A guest post by Jeff Sultanof is up next on DTM, after which I will take a summer break.

32 Comments | 06/26/2014

 

Friends and Neighbors

New(ish) recordings of note:

Eric Revis In Memory of Things Yet Seen Wow, a really fun listen! Great tunes and a beautifully mysterious line-up: Darius Jones, Bill McHenry, and Chad Taylor, with Branford Marsalis on two tracks. Frequently the reference is the kind of blistering avant-garde music from the 60's Leroi Jones dubbed "New Black Music." But I haven't enjoyed a record made in that style so much as this one in years. Truthfully the compositional element trumps freedom, and on some tracks the horns don't even improvise. Revis's provocative and groovy bass is recorded well; the production overall is excellent. Branford sounds great in this context. It's more standard turf for Darius and Bill, and when they intertwine both pay attention to building a statement, not just blowing their brains out. Chad Taylor is a relatively new name for me; I'm paying attention as of now.

Bill's group with Eric, Orrin Evans, and Andrew Cyrille is at the Village Vanguard starting tonight. Cut and pasted from the website:

June 24 - June 29
BILL McHENRY
Bill McHenry-sax, Andrew Cyrille-d,
With:
Orrin Evans-p, Eric Revis-b (Tuesday, Wednesday)
Duo: Bill McHenry & Andrew Cyrille (Thursday)
Ben Monder-gtr, Reid Anderson-b (Friday & Saturday)
David Bryant-p, Jonathan Michel-b (Sunday)

Johnathan Blake Gone, But Not Forgotten Another seriously entertaining date. Who doesn't want to hear Mark Turner and Chris Potter try to cut each other in a bare bones situation? Actually the superb repertoire choices ensure that the testosterone stays at a managable level: Johnathan has selected pieces by recently departed masters Charles Fambrough, Trudy Pitts, Sid Simmons, Cedar Walton, Jim Hall, Mulgrew Miller, Paul Motian, Frank Foster, Frank Wess and Eddie Harris. Nifty arrangements with a very full sound despite the absence of piano. In this case I have to fault the production a bit, for Ben Street's bass really should be louder. Very swinging drumming and nice notes by David Adler, though. The standout track for me so far is "Firm Roots," I'm tempted to transcribe both Mark and Chris burning through this famous steeplechase.

Hiroko Sasaki Debussy Preludes The most unusual thing about Hiroko's recording - which is technically and musically excellent by any standard - is the instrument, a 1873 Pleyel. The sonority is grainier and more intimate than usual, and makes these familiar works sound new. "Historically informed performance practice" is one of the most exciting areas of classical music, and naturally sonority is one of the most important elements in that voyage of discovery.

That said, if you don't know the Debussy Preludes, than this wonderful recording is still a good place to start. (That's not true of all historical instrument recordings I've heard.)

When Sarah Deming interviewed Hiroko a few years ago for Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn, I especially enjoyed this exchange: 

Sarah: What does classical music have to teach us in the 21st century?

Hiroko: You tell me!  Actually, I think about this quite a bit.  Sometimes it feels so silly to me, everyone playing the same old repertoire that has already been played by millions of people.  It’s not like the old days, when recordings were not readily available, and people had to go to a concert to hear music, and the performers were closer, culturally, to the composers.  Or the really old days, when the performers were the composers.  Having said that, these are great works of art that have survived the test of time. We can always go back to them and be nourished.  I often notice that my impressions of a certain historical time and place are quite vivid, though they are informed almost entirely by music. Classical music takes people to different places in space and in time.

06/24/2014

 

Talking Harrison B

In the Talkhouse, I review Chamber Music by Harrison Birtwistle

Bonus tracks: Tom Service discusses Birtwistle in the Guardian. Two additional works I especially admire are The Triumph of Time for full orchestra and Carmen Arcadiae Mechanicae Perpetuum for chamber orchestra. (A live performance of Carmen Arcadiae Mechanicae Perpetuum by Alarm Will Sound in New York was one of my memorable concert experiences. )

For those sad that Ligeti only wrote a finite number of piano études, I highly recommend Harrison's Clocks. Both the Joanna MacGregor and Nicolas Hodges recordings are excellent.

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There’s a nice little Sinfini Music film about Sir Harry at home where you can see him find pitches on a keyboard and beat out polyrhythms.

06/20/2014

 

It Harrows Me With Fear and Wonder

What is American music? What is Black Music?

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Opus 1

Opus 2

Opus De Funk excerpt

This obviously isn't a proper obit: I'm still working on a more detailed Silver appreciation, perhaps for a future book.

From any angle you look at it, though, Horatio was one of the baddest. RIP

06/19/2014

 

"Blog" is Short for "Web log"

DTM blogroll is about to be updated. Mostly I'll be cutting away dead wood, but perhaps I'll be adding links as well. What are the good jazz blogs that DTM doesn't know about?

Comments are open but will not be published, only I will see them. Thanks in advance.

0 Comments | 06/12/2014

 

Press Blast

Once again, the e-card for the June tour:

BHQ e-card June tour

The Village Vanguard run is going really well. Cats are coming out to see the maestro. The first night Steve Jordan and Nasheet Waits posed with Billy in the kitchen:

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Last night, it was Johnathan Blake, Alvester Garnett, Bill Stewart, and Jun Saito.

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Thanks to the supportive New York critics, who have been very nice all around.

Blurbs from The New Yorker:

The veteran drummer Hart, the pianist ETHAN IVERSON, the bassist BEN STREET, and the accomplished saxophonist MARK TURNER have collaborated on one of the most persuasive recordings of the year so far, “One Is the Other,” which shows that the foursome, which has played together for the better part of a decade, is achieving its potential. The group’s original compositions are intriguing, and the musicians’ take on Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Some Enchanted Evening” is a thing of true beauty.

New York Times (Nate Chinen):

★ Billy Hart Quartet (Tuesday through June 8) Billy Hart is a drummer of earthy enlightenment, conversant in every branch of modern jazz but forever connected to its root. His quartet — with the tenor saxophonist Mark Turner, the pianist Ethan Iverson and the bassist Ben Street — has a typically fine new album, “One Is the Other,” which will provide much of the repertory for this run. At 8:30 and 10:30 p.m., Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th Street, West Village, 212-255-4037.

Village Voice (Jim Macnie):

As the veteran drummer’s foursome develops, the grace they broker becomes more essential to its personality. Can’t say if it’s the lithe horn lines of Mark Turner or the well-chosen asides of pianist Ethan Iverson, but the music on the newish One Is The Other  (ECM) has the kind of sweep that connects each passage to the next – it almost seems like one long piece. Of course Hart’s mastery at keeping everything fluid has a lot to do with it. On stage they’re a bit more tactile – and that physicality can be revelatory. Don’t miss.

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WBGO had Billy on the show Monday to talk with Shelia Anderson, archived here.

Martin Johnson reviewed Billy and Jeff Ballard albums in the Wall Street Journal. Hey, Jeff's in town at the Jazz Standard this week, too. Of course, there's also much more

DTM: Interview(s) with Billy Hart.

06/05/2014

 

Serenading 007

New DTM guest page: For Your Ears Only: Ranking the James Bond Songs (by Dan Schmidt).

06/03/2014

 

I Could Hear, So I Could Play It

New DTM page: Interview with Bob Cranshaw.

Bob may be best known for his work with Sonny Rollins. Recently Bill Beuttler spoke to Sonny for a fascinating post at Esquire

05/27/2014