music clip of the day


Month: July, 2010

Saturday, 7/31/10

In the wrong hands no genre is more tedious.

In the right hands none is more riveting.

Robert Pete Williams, live, England, 1966


going forward

It will still be “music clip of the day”—it just won’t be every day. Some weeks, I expect, I’ll be here nearly every day; other weeks less often. Stay tuned.

Monday, 7/26/10

Looking for a soundtrack for today?

Daniel Lanois, guitar, 2010

(As with other clips, if you encounter brief interruptions when playing this clip, you can get rid of them by doing this: (1) start the clip at the beginning and then stop it immediately, so as to let the clip load completely; (2) once the clip is fully loaded, restart it.)



Simple music is the hardest music to play.

—Albert Collins


taking a break

After more than 300 consecutive daily posts, I’ve decided to take a little break. I shouldn’t be gone too long (probably a week or so). In the meantime, there’s plenty of wonderful music here. Enjoy!

Sunday, 7/25/10

what takes your breath away

It’s not the way she pulls out all the stops—lots of singers do that.

It’s how she pulls back (2:00-2:35, 3:00-3:20, etc.).

Whitney Houston (with mother Cissy Houston nearby), “A Quiet Place,” live (TV broadcast)

Saturday, 7/24/10

replay: a clip too good for just one day

Great drummers are like great basketball players—they lift everybody’s game.

Trixie Whitley with Brian Blade (drums) and Daniel Lanois, “I’d Rather Go Blind,” recording session, 2008


Johnny [Vidacovich, featured on 9/30/09], man . . . what an inspiration. His playing is so liquid but at the same time just the street of it is so intoxicating. Studying with him, the drumming aspect was never about fundamental things. It was never about the drums as much as it was about the music and playing with this melodic sensibility. That sticks with me even more than the thickness or the groove, which he never spoke about, really. That was like a given. If you have it inside of you, that groove, you need to lay it down. But also need to be able to sing through the drums.—Brian Blade

(Originally posted on 2/13/10.)

Friday, 7/23/10

two takes

“I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” (Burt Bacharach & Hal David)

Dusty Springfield, TV broadcast, 1964


The White Stripes, live, Australia, 2006

Thursday, 7/22/10

When the groove is strong enough, even the walls seem to sway.

Group Inerane, “Ano Nagarus,” live, Niger, 2004

Wednesday, 7/21/10

getting older

“Where did everybody go?” you wonder.

With each passing year, more of the musicians who’ve shaped your world—who’ve made life sing—are gone.

Ed Blackwell, Lester Bowie, Betty Carter, Malachi Favors, Steve Lacy, Kate McGarrigle, Art Pepper, Professor Longhair, Sun Ra, Junior Wells, Julius Hemphill (below): the list goes on, and on, and on.

World Saxophone Quartet (Julius Hemphill, alto saxophone; Oliver Lake, soprano and alto saxophones; David Murray, tenor saxophone; Hamiet Bluiett, baritone saxophone)

Medley: “West African Snap,” “I Heard That,” “Fast Life,” “Hattie Wall,” live (TV Broadcast [Night Music]), 1990 (music starts at 2:20)

Listening to Julius Hemphill (far left), a phrase from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech comes to mind: “the fierce urgency of now.” Hemphill has, it seems, so much to say—right now. Listen, for instance, to 4:30-6:35.


Live, with M’Boom (Max Roach’s 9-piece percussion ensemble), New York (The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine), 1981 (music starts at 1:55)

Want more? Here.



musical thoughts

Without music, life would be an error.

—Friedrich Nietzsche

Tuesday, 7/20/10


1 cup funkiness

1 cup elegance

Mix until thoroughly blended.

Professor Longhair (AKA Henry Roeland [“Roy”] Byrd), December 19, 1918-January 30, 1980

“Tipitina,” live


“Hey Little Girl,” live




Mike Kinnamon, Bonnie Bramlett’s Nashville-based manager, in response to an email letting him (and Bonnie) know that her music was featured here (Delaney, alas, is no longer alive), left a voice-mail message yesterday:

. . . I just love it when somebody like you cares enough to send stuff like that around. It’s really cool, and it lifts her [Bonnie] up, too. Thank you so much, buddy . . .

Monday, 7/19/10

What do I listen to these days?

This more than anything.

Each night it’s the last thing I hear before falling asleep. Having left the Bose on “repeat” (usually Hildegard Kleeb [Hat Hut], sometimes John Tilbury [Extraplatte]), it’s the first thing I hear upon awakening. It seems, sometimes, as if it’s always playing—whether I’m listening or not.

Morton Feldman, “For Bunita Marcus” (1985)/Mark Knoop (piano), live, London, 2010

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Part 4


Part 5


Part 6


Part 7


Part 8

Want more? Here. Here. Here. Here.



Almost all Feldman’s music is slow and soft. Only at first sight is this a limitation. I see it rather as a narrow door, to whose dimensions one has to adapt oneself (as in Alice in Wonderland) before one can pass through it into the state of being that is expressed in Feldman’s music. Only when one has become accustomed to the dimness of light can one begin to perceive the richness and variety of colour which is the material of the music. When one has passed through the narrow door and got accustomed to the dim light, one realises the range of his imagination and the significant differences that distinguish one piece from another . . .

Feldman sees the sounds as reverberating endlessly, never getting lost, changing their resonances as they die away, or rather do not die away, but recede from our ears, and soft because softness is compelling, because an insidious invasion of our senses is more effective than a frontal attack. Because our ears must strain to catch the music, they must become more sensitive before they perceive the world of sound in which Feldman’s music takes place.

Cornelius Cardew


Legend has it that after one group of players had crept their way as quietly as possible through a score of his Feldman barked, ‘It’s too fuckin’ loud, and it’s too fuckin’ fast.’

—Alex Ross, “American Sublime,” The New Yorker, 6/19/06

Sunday, 7/18/10

Everything I learned, I learned here in the church as a little girl.

—Sharon Jones

Sharon Jones, “Gospel Sunday,” New York (Queens)



reading table

In this short Life that only lasts an hour
How much—how little—is within our power

—Emily Dickinson (#1292)

%d bloggers like this: