music clip of the day


Month: May, 2010

Monday, May 31, 2010

impeccable, adj. faultless, flawless; irreproachable. E.g., Hank Jones.

Hank Jones, July 31, 1918-May 16, 2010

“Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin’,” live, Paris, 2009


“This Is This” (with Joe Lovano, saxophone), live


“Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child” (with Charlie Haden, bass), 1995



When you listen to a pianist, each note should have an identity, each note should have a soul of its own.—Hank Jones



Really dumb!

[Micachu & The Shapes, 5/29/10]

Sunday, May 30, 2010

You’re sitting, in 1926, in the back of a little church in Dallas. It’s hot and the windows are open. This woman, who’s been at the piano since you walked in, begins to play.

Arizona Dranes, piano, “Crucifixion,” 1926

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sometimes you don’t feel like Beethoven.

Or Miles Davis.

Or the Soul Stirrers.

What you want is a jolt.

Micachu & The Shapes, “Lips”



This is what I call PR.

[Mica Levi of Micachu & The Shapes is] the most singular artist leading the future-pop frontier, with an instinctual understanding of music only possible from one of those rare lives where rhythms, melodies, discord and noise have underpinned every last waking second.


Born in Guildford and raised in Watford, Mica Levi couldn’t have had much more of a musical upbringing if she was conceived between Mozart and an oboe and forced to grow up inside a grand piano.


‘Lips’ is a short, sharp procession of maddening fret-hits and taunting vocal refrains that lead you everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

—Rough Trade Records


live music on the radio

One of my favorite radio stations, WFMU-FM, is broadcasting live today from the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona: the Almighty Defenders, Cold Cave, Van Dyke Parks, et al.

Friday, May 28, 2010

two takes

“La-La Means I Love You”

The Delfonics, live, 2008 (originally recorded 1968)


Bill Frisell, live, New York (Rochester), 2007

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Chicago, Texas, Louisiana, West Coast—blues comes in lots of different shades.

Freddie King, with Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown; live (TV broadcast [The !!!! Beat]), 1966

Part 1


Part 2 (“Funnybone”)


Part 3 (“Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Funeral last week.

Ill this week.

What to listen to?

Beethoven, Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111/Claudio Arrau, piano (1970)

1st Movement


2nd Movement




A fascinating lecture-recital on this sonata, by pianist Andras Schiff, can be heard here.


Speaking of the second movement, pianist Alfred Brendel said:

. . . perhaps nowhere else in piano literature does mystical experience feel so immediately close at hand.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

more music from Mali

Bassekou Kouyate (ngoni) & Ngoni ba

“Ngoni fola” (2007)


Live, Mali (Timbuktu), 2010


Live, Germany (Rostock), 2007

Monday, May 24, 2010

music from Mali

Sometimes the groove is so deep and so wide and so relaxed that, even if someone’s talking over it in a language you don’t understand at all, you just want to lie down in it and stay there.

Ali Farka Toure, guitar and vocals, “Ai du”

Sunday, May 23, 2010

You don’t have to go to Chicago’s south or west sides to hear music that comes from the gospel tradition. The other day, at a Catholic church in a far northwest suburb (Barrington), a funeral service (for my uncle) closed with this.

Thomas A. Dorsey (1899-1993), “Precious Lord,” live,  c. 1981 (Say Amen, Somebody [1982])



More from Mr. Dorsey (and Say Amen, Somebody):


Since it’s the best-known gospel song [‘Precious Lord’], it was perfectly natural for Dr. Martin Luther King to request its performance the night of his death.

—Anthony Heilbut, The Gospel Sound: Good News and Bad Times (6th ed. 2002)


Want more gospel?

Here’s the theme song for one of my favorite radio shows, Kevin Nutt’s Sinner’s Crossroads (WFMU-FM), which can be heard live on Thursday night from 7-8 p.m. (EST) or at the archives anytime.

Silver Quintette, “Sinner’s Crossroads” (1956, Chicago)/mp3

(This comes from The Widow’s Might, a DVD containing [in mp3 format] every song played on Sinner’s Crossroads in 2009, which is available as a premium for a $75 pledge to WFMU.)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Here’s a piece that sounds different every time you hear it.

John Cage, 4’ 33” (1952)/David Tudor, piano




I didn’t wish it [4′ 33″] to appear, even to me, as something easy to do or as a joke. I wanted to mean it utterly and be able to live with it.


Until I die there will be sounds. And they will continue following my death. One need not fear about the future of music.

—John Cage



Thank you so much for this.

—Robert Ambrose (in response to an email letting him know that he and Bent Frequency were featured here)


art beat

Tomorrow’s the last day to see the William Eggleston exhibit at Chicago’s Art Institute.

Want more? Here. Here.

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