music clip of the day


Month: February, 2013

Thursday, February 28th


Something I just bumped into.

Trio WAZ (Ed Wilkerson, tenor saxophone; Tatsu Aoki, bass; Michael Zerang, drums), live, Michigan (Lakeside, concert presented by Portoluz), 2010



musical thoughts




Sometimes they’re more important than melody, or harmony, or rhythm.


reading table

“The Snow Man”
by Wallace Stevens (1879-1955)

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

Wednesday, February 27th

If you’d been in the back seat the other night, as my son Luke was zooming down the Kennedy Expressway—he was taking me home before heading back to school in Bloomington—here’s one of the things you would’ve heard jumping out of the radio.

J. Cole, “Power Trip” (feat. Miguel), 2013


Tuesday, February 26th

keep on dancing

Moodymann (AKA Moody), “Anotha Black Sunday” (2009)



random thoughts

One benefit of getting older, I’ve found, is that you develop a keener appreciation for just how much you have to be humble about.

Monday, February 25th

two takes

“When Something Is Wrong With My Baby” (I. Hayes & D. Porter)

Sam & Dave, live, Germany (Offenbach), 1967


Isaac Hayes, TV Show (Top of the Pops), England, 1995



reading table

“The World Contracted to a Recognizable Image”
by William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)

at the small end of an illness
there was a picture
probably Japanese
which filled my eye

an idiotic picture
except it was all I recognized
the wall lived for me in that picture
I clung to it as a fly

Sunday, February 24th

back to church

The Wings of Faith, of Waynesboro, Mississippi (pop. 5,197), live, 2012

Saturday, February 23rd

This seems, somehow, to these ears, anyway, to fit a day when the ashes of my mother-in-law are being buried.

Revolutionary Ensemble (Leroy Jenkins, violin; Sirone, bass; Jerome Cooper, drums), “Chicago” (Live at Moosham Castle, 1977)

Wednesday, February 20th

basement jukebox

Magic Sam (AKA Samuel Maghett, 1937-1969), Cobra Records, Chicago

“All Your Love,” 1957


“Love Me with a Feeling,” 1957


“Everything Gonna Be Alright,” 1958


“21 Days In Jail,” 1958


taking a break

I’m taking some time off—back soon.

Tuesday, February 19th

Kidd Jordan Quartet (KJ, tenor saxophone; Billy Bang, violin; William Parker, bass; Hamid Drake, drums), New York (Vision Festival), 2008



musical thoughts

We tend to take musical instruments for granted, as if their existence were inevitable. But the fact that something exists doesn’t mean it had to. We could’ve been born into a world that never heard a violin.


reading table

“What kind of heaven is that, you can’t have your records?”

—Michael Chabon, Telegraph Avenue

Monday, February 18th

yesterday afternoon 

I took a journey that began in late 18th-century Austria, proceeded to mid-20th-century Russia, and concluded in early 20th-century France. Joseph Haydn, Dmitri Shostakovich, Maurice Ravel—they were the hosts. These folks, playing at the University of Chicago’s new Logan Arts Center, were the guides. If one day I learned that my life would be over at midnight, I’d be happy to spend the afternoon, after lunching at a Mexican restaurant (maybe Nuevo Leon on 18th Street), listening to a string quartet.

Pacifica Quartet, New York, 2009; Leo Janacek (1854-1928), String Quartet No. 2 (“Intimate Letters”), first movement

Sunday, February 17th

Voices, hands.

Guitar, bass, drums.

And soul.

Sensational Friendly Brothers, Canton, Mississippi (St. James Missionary Baptist Church), 1978

“Where Shall I Be (When the First Trumpet Sounds)”


“Heaven Is My Goal”




Thanks, Richard—great clips too.

—George Saunders, featured here the other day

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