Wednesday, 2/9/11

by musicclipoftheday

clear, adj. bright, luminous; transparent; free from obscurity. E.g., alto saxophonists Rudresh Mahanthappa and Bunky Green.

Rudresh and Bunky, talking and playing (with Jason Moran, piano; Francois Moutin, bass; Jack DeJohnette and Damion Reid, drums)

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Listening to these guys, who’d ever guess that one is nearly twice as old as the other? (Rudresh is 39, Bunky 75.)


Here’s a track from their recent album (Apex, 2010), “Playing with Stones,” featuring Rudresh (Bunky sits out).

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My favorite moment in this next clip comes at 2:24, when alto saxophonist Greg Osby, listening to Bunky, tilts his head, as if to say, “Did you hear that?!”

Bunky Green (with alto saxophonists Greg Osby and Steffano di Battista), “Body and Soul,” live, Germany, 2008

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reading table

In the is-this-a-great-country-or-what department, how delicious to learn
that two great American artists—trumpeter Roy Eldridge and poet Elizabeth Bishop—were born, one hundred years ago, within days of each other. (Eldridge was born on January 30, 1911, Bishop on February 8th.)


The roaring alongside he takes for granted,
and that every so often the world is bound to shake.
He runs, he runs to the south, finical, awkward,
in a state of controlled panic, a student of Blake.

The beach hisses like fat. On his left, a sheet
of interrupting water comes and goes
and glazes over his dark and brittle feet.
He runs, he runs straight through it, watching his toes.

—Watching, rather, the spaces of sand between them
where (no detail too small) the Atlantic drains
rapidly backwards and downwards. As he runs,
he stares at the dragging grains.

The world is a mist. And then the world is
minute and vast and clear. The tide
is higher or lower. He couldn’t tell you which.
His beak is focussed; he is preoccupied,

looking for something, something, something.
Poor bird, he is obsessed!
The millions of grains are black, white, tan, and gray
mixed with quartz grains, rose and amethyst.

—Elizabeth Bishop