music clip of the day


Month: July, 2012

Tuesday, 7/31/12

Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy (LB, trumpet; Malachi Thompson, trumpet; Steve Turre, trombone; Phillip Wilson, drums, et al.), “I Only Have Eyes For You” (H. Warren & A. Dubin), 1984



this just in

Lester Bowie, whose singular playing and presence have often been celebrated here,* has just been inducted, posthumously, into the ultra-exclusive MCOTD Hall of Fame, joining tenor saxophonist Von Freeman and poets Wislawa Szymborska and William Bronk.


*Here (Art Ensemble of Chicago). Here (with Digable Planets). Here (Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy). Here (Art Ensemble of Chicago). Here (with Sun Ra All Stars). And here (Lester Bowie Brass & Steel Band).

Monday, 7/30/12

joy, n. listening to Monk alone at the piano playing a standard.

Thelonious Monk, piano

“Don’t Blame Me” (J. McHugh & D. Fields), Denmark, 1966


“Just a Gigolo” (I. Caesar & L. Casucci), 1963

Sunday, 7/29/12

old stuff

Does anyone, in any genre, sing and play with more intensity?

Blind Willie Johnson, “Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed,” 1927

Saturday, 7/28/12

two takes

The Heptones, “Book of Rules”

Recording, 1973

This bass line I could live in all day.


Live, London (Jazz Cafe), 2009




WKCR Proudly Presents: The Jamaican Independence Festival

Starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, July 28th, 2012, WKCR will broadcast 43 hours of music from Jamaica spanning the development of more than 50 years of recorded music. August 6, 2012 is the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence from Great Britain. The emergence of Jamaica’s modern recording industry began in the late 1950s followed by the emergence of ska in the early 60s. Ska was the first in a continuum of music genres–rock steady, reggae, dub, lover’s rock, and dancehall–that would have global influence in the next 50 years. The WKCR Jamaican Independence Festival will celebrate this musical and cultural legacy through a 43 hour broadcast running until 3 a.m. Monday, July 30th.

The dates of the festival fall between Jamaican Independence Day and Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie’s birthday on July 23rd. Saturday evening, a segment of the festival will focus on Rastafarian music specifically. The Rastafarian movement, which began in Jamaica in the 1930s after Ras Tafari Makonnen’s coronation as Haile Selassie, was a major cultural force in the Jamaican recording industry as many musicians were Rastafarians. The festival will celebrate the Jamaican community, and educate the larger New York audience in preparation for other cultural events the following week. The festival will be segmented to illustrate specific developments in genres, and periods of Jamaican music. Iconic artists whose influence deserves recognition will receive special one-hour profiles, and Sunday evening will feature a live, in-studio performance by the Brooklyn-based Full Watts Band, which specializes in rock steady and early reggae.

Here is a full schedule of the festival:

8-10 Festival Reggae / Independence Songs
10-12 Ska
12-14 Reggae Got Soul
14-19 Tributes to Deceased Icons: Alton Ellis, Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown, Sugar Minott, Bob Marley/Peter Tosh 1 hour each.
19-21 Early Dancehall/Rubadub/Early 80’s Sound
21-23 Guest (stay tuned for details)
23-(1 Sunday) Rastafari

(23 Saturday)-1 Rastafari
1-3 Deejay Style
3-6 Digital Reggae
6-8 Dub
8-10 Jamaican Gospel
10-12 Mento
12-14 Rocksteady/Early Reggae
14-20 Tributes to Living Icons: Bunny Wailer, Bob Andy, Ken Booth, Leroy Sibles, John Holt, Jimmy Cliff 1 hour each.
20-22 Full Watts Band Live Set/Interview
22-(1 Monday) Harmony Groups

(22 Sunday)-1 Harmony Groups
1-3 Dub Till Dawn

Friday, 7/27/12

The voice, too, is a rhythm instrument.

Yasiin Bey, AKA Mos Def
Live (studio performance), Paris, 3/5/12*

*“Quiet Dog,” “Niggas In Poorest,” “Sunshine/Screwface,” “Forever Alive”

Thursday, 7/26/12

Julius Hemphill (alto saxophone), with Abdul Wadud (cello), Baikida E.J. Carroll (trumpet), Phillip Wilson (drums), “Dogon A.D.” (Dogon A.D.), 1972

The drumming is genius—he’s like the Zigaboo Modeliste of free-jazz. . . . Any musician who doesn’t like this should just stop—this is what it’s all about. It’s such a raw sound, right up in your face. This is the perfect introduction to someone who’s never heard free-jazz before. I wouldn’t mind if this piece went on for a couple hours.

Mats Gustafsson, Downbeat, 6/12

Wednesday, 7/25/12

Suppose that, for the rest of your life, you could listen to only one piece of music.

What would you choose?

Morton Feldman (1926-1987), For Bunita Marcus (1985)
Hildegard Kleeb, piano (1994)

Another take? Here. And here.



musical thoughts

[Morton Feldman and I] were driving back from some place in New England where a concert had been given. He is a large man and falls asleep easily. Out of a sound sleep, he awoke to say, “Now that things are so simple, there’s so much to do.” And then he went back to sleep.

—John Cage, in Silence: Lectures and Writings by John Cage (1961)

Tuesday, 7/24/12

George Lewis (1952-), “Will to Adorn” (2011)
International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Chicago, 2012

[W]hen writing “The Will To Adorn,” Lewis was especially “interested in this idea of adornment—color, color, color everywhere.” The piece represents Lewis’ current musical goal to get “more color energy into the pieces.”

Joe Bucciero, Columbia Spectator, 11/10/11



musical thoughts

In February, when I left this concert, which took place on a Sunday afternoon at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, I felt both exhilarated and wistful. This performance, which had been such a joy to hear, I would never be able to experience again. Or so I thought, until, just the other day, I discovered this recording online. Young people, many of them, anyway, would see nothing remarkable in being able, thanks to the ’net, to return to a musical experience whenever, and wherever, you want. To me it seems a small miracle.


reading table

I was trying to assert myself as the man in the house, taking charge of things no one could control.

—Richard Ford, Canada (2012)

Monday, 7/23/12

Monday, n. the day the weekly tide of confusion rolls in.

How about something simple?

John Cage (1912-1992), Six Melodies (for violin and keyboard; dedicated to Josef & Anni Albers), 1950; Annelie Gahl (violin) & Klaus Lang (electric piano), 2010

Sunday, 7/22/12

Dorothy Love Coates (1928-2002), “The Lord Will Answer Prayer,” 1981

More? Here. And here. And here.



Were gospel to be more publicly acclaimed, she [Dorothy Love Coates] might have the stature of a Billie Holiday or a Judy Garland. Instead, for thousands of black people, she is the message carrier.

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


[I]t was obvious that Keith [Richards] and Gram [Parsons] enjoyed spending time together. . . . [W]e just all cared deeply about the same things. We just loved, for instance, to sit and listen to Dorothy Love Coates, the gospel singer.

Stanley Booth

(Quotes originally posted 3/28/10.)

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