music clip of the day

jazz/blues/rock/classical/gospel/more

Month: September, 2011

Saturday, 10/1/11

serendipity

The other night, as I listened to the radio,* this (“Patient Observation”) floated out of the speakers.

Falling From Trees, Neon Productions, music by Peter Broderick
Premiered at The Place, London, 1/09

Excerpt, Part 2, “Patient Observation”

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Full Length

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Falling From Trees is a 30-minute production set in a psychiatric hospital that delves into the mind of a resident patient. The piece explores how a neurological disease can alter your sense of self and relationship to the world and people around you. Peter Broderick’s score has been created solely on piano and strings; it is also the first time Broderick has created music specifically for dance.

Neon Productions

*Mudd Up! with DJ/Rupture, WFMU-FMMonday, 8 p.m. (EST), archived shows here

Friday, 9/30/11

Mardi Gras Indians, New Orleans

Young Wild Magnolias, St. Joseph’s Night, 3/19/09

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United Indian Practice, Handa Wanda, 1/2/11

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Indian Practice, 7th Ward, 11/22/10

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Spy Boy Demond, Seminoles, c. 2010

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With some forms of musical expression, value is tied to scarcity: the smaller the number of people who can do something, the more highly it’s prized. But with others, the opposite is true: the more readily other folks can join in, the greater the value.

Thursday, 9/29/11

Today, in celebration of my son Alex’s 24th birthday, we revisit a few of the many posts he’s inspired.

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I’ve got a song for you to listen to . . .

—my (23-year-old) son Alex

tUnE-yArDs, “Bizness,” live, Austin (SXSW), 3/18/11

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(Originally posted 4/30/11.)

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I’ve got a song for you to listen to . . .

—my (23-year-old) son Alex

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, “Say No To Love” (2010)

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More? Here. And here.

(Originally posted 12/28/10.)

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The other night, after falling asleep, my older son Alex (now 22) had an unexpected visitor—this guy showed up and began to play.

Vijay Iyer Trio (VI, piano; Marcus Gilmore, drums; Stephan Crump, bass)

“Galang,” recording session (Historicity), New York (Systems Two Studios), 2009

(Originally posted 6/30/10.)

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Someday, just as I sometimes do with my own father, who’s been gone for over thirty years, my older son Alex, now twenty-three, will recall occasions, after I’m gone, when he and I went out to hear live music together, like, for instance, last night, when we saw this group, from Africa, who are on their first U.S. tour.

Group Doueh, live, San Francisco, 7/1/11

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More? Here. And here.

(Originally posted, with a different clip, 6/27/11.)

Wednesday, 9/28/11

Charisma needs no translation.

Mahmoud Ahmed & Badume’s Band, live, France (Festival de Sete), 2008

“Belomi Benna”

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“Atawurulegn Lela”

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Tuesday, 9/27/11

Listening to the Cubs—baseball’s always been a radio game for me—just hasn’t been the same without Ronnie.

Ron Santo
Cubs’ radio color commentator (and player)
February 25, 1940-December 3, 2010

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, “My Oh My” (2010)

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Dave Niehaus
Seattle Mariners’ radio play-by-play announcer
February 19, 1935-November 10, 2010

More? Here. And here.

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lagniappe

random thoughts

One of many remarkable things about the world we live in is the variety of ways you can die. It’s easy to imagine a world in which there was just one cause of death—say, heart attack. But here we have strokes, too. And there is colon cancer, and liver cancer, and breast cancer, and brain cancer. Don’t forget infectious diseases: pneumonia, tuberculosis, AIDS. Daily folks depart in car crashes. You could also drown. If death were a product sold in stores, imagine how many aisles it would occupy.

Monday, 9/26/11

three takes

Blues guitarists—great ones, anyway—aren’t instrumentalists; they’re singers with two voices.

“Born Under A Bad Sign” (W. Bell, B.T. Jones)

Albert King, live, Sweden, 1980

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Albert King, recording, 1967 (Stax)

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Jimi Hendrix, recorded in 1969 (Blues, 1994)

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What makes this last take effective? Part of it is the phrasing: Jimi, like Albert, doesn’t play anything that couldn’t be sung.

More Albert? Here.

Sunday, 9/25/11

Don Byron New Gospel Quintet (DB, tenor saxophone & clarinet; DK Dyson, vocals; Xavier Davis, piano; Brad Jones, bass; Pheeroan akLaff, drums), “Precious Lord” (T. A. Dorsey), live, Brazil (São Paulo), 2010

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Last night I heard these folks live at the University of Chicago. Whenever I go out and hear someone, I’m reminded, again, that even (especially?) today, when records and the ’net make more music more available than ever before, there’s no substitute for live music. No recording offers the textures and nuances of a great live performance. (Never, for instance, have I heard a recording that truly reproduces the sounds of a drum kit, much less the interplay between horn and drums.) Not only is there more to hear live, your focus is sharper: you know you won’t have another opportunity to experience these sounds. And when you go to a club or a concert hall, you become, for that night, a member of an ad hoc musical community—something you can’t do sitting in your living room.

Saturday, 9/24/11

Morton Feldman, For Christian Wolff (flute, piano, celesta; 1986)

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Listening to this, you can find it hard to remember, after an hour or so, what the world sounded like before it began playing.

More? Here. And here. And here. And here. And here. And here.

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lagniappe

Imagine a long, narrow hallway with paintings—subtle, shimmering abstracts by Mark Rothko—hung along both walls. Imagine walking through the hallway, stopping to examine one painting closely before moving on to the next. Imagine the hallway extends for three miles without an exit. This should give you some idea of what listening to For Christian Wolff is like. What might be hell to some people could be an all-too-brief time spent in paradise for others.

—Art Lange, Fanfare, July/August 2009

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At the beginning of Morton Feldman’s “For Christian Wolff” at the Alternative Museum last Sunday afternoon, Nils Vigeland – who played the piano and celesta to Eberhard Blum’s flute – invited listeners with other engagements or expired patience to leave at will.

The few who did walk out before this three-and-a-half-hour musical experience was over neither insulted the spirit of the late Mr. Feldman’s piece nor necessarily missed anything. This music, with its trancelike exposition of simple intervals, can haunt one as much in one hour as it can in three.

“For Christian Wolff” is music whose internal clock has stopped. It offers us the moment, invites us to forget what has already happened and discourages any curiosity about the future. Mr. Wolff was on hand to honor his late colleague. His introductory words – which said little about either the music, the composer or himself – seemed terribly appropriate to the occasion.

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“For Christian Wolff” . . . gives us a deflected image of silence. Like the shadows of Plato’s cave, it is a corporeal flicker of pure nothingness – the kind of music that in the heavens surely sets the toes of gods to tapping.

—Bernard Holland, New York Times, 4/1/90

Friday, 9/23/11

Happy (85th) Birthday, Trane!

John Coltrane, September 23, 1926-July 17, 1967

John Coltrane Quartet (JC, tenor saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones, drums), “I Want To Talk About You,” live, Sweden (Stockholm), 1962

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More? Here. And here. And here. And here.

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lagniappe

radio

All Trane, all day: WKCR-FM (broadcasting from Columbia University).

Thursday, 9/22/11

You’re probably in the same boat—no MacArthur “genius” grant this year. Oh, well. These folks, unlike you and me, are half a million dollars richer than they were Monday.

Dafnis Prieto (b. 1974), drummer, composer

Proverb Trio: DP, drums; Kokayi, vocals; Jason Lindner, keyboards
Live, Puerto Rico (San Juan), 8/1/11

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Alisa Weilerstein (b. 1982), cellist

Zoltán Kodály, Sonata for Solo Cello, Op. 8 (1915), excerpt (1st Mvt.)
Live, Massachusetts (Worchester, College of Holy Cross),  c. 2008

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Kay Ryan (b. 1945), poet

We’re Building the Ship as We Sail It

The first fear
being drowning, the
ship’s first shape
was a raft, which
was hard to unflatten
after that didn’t
happen. It’s awkward
to have to do one’s
planning in extremis
in the early years—
so hard to hide later:
sleekening the hull,
making things
more gracious.

The Niagara River

However carved up
or pared down we get,
we keep on making
the best of it as though
it doesn’t matter that
our acre’s down to
a square foot. As
though our garden
could be one bean
and we’d rejoice if
it flourishes, as
though one bean
could nourish us.

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