music clip of the day

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Month: June, 2015

Saturday, June 20th

sounds of Chicago

Here, set to music, is a poem by Dorothy Parker (1893-1967).

Katie Ernst, “Bric-a-Brac” (music by K. Ernst), live (studio performance), Chicago, 2015

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Little things that no one needs—
Little things to joke about—
Little landscapes, done in beads.
Little morals, woven out,
Little wreaths of gilded grass,
Little brigs of whittled oak
Bottled painfully in glass;
These are made by lonely folk.

Lonely folk have lines of days
Long and faltering and thin;
Therefore—little wax bouquets,
Prayers cut upon a pin,
Little maps of pinkish lands,
Little charts of curly seas,
Little plats of linen strands,
Little verses, such as these.

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langiappe

random sights and sounds

Last night, while riding my bike in Chicago’s Columbus Park, I bumped into this—a performance by Isabelle Olivier (harp), Larry Gray (bass), and Paul Wertico (drums).

And, too, this great blue heron.

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Friday, June 19th

what’s new

Björk, “Stonemilker” (360 degree virtual reality), 2015

Thursday, June 18th

sounds from the other side of the moon

Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915), Piano Sonata No. 5; Dmitry Rachmanov, live, San Francisco, 2015

*****

Here’s another take.

Sviatoslav Richter (1915-1997), live recording, Prague, 1972

Wednesday, June 17th

not like this, not like that

Nate Wooley, “Polychoral for trumpets and 8-channel audio”; Nate Wooley & Peter Evans (trumpets), live, New York (Knockdown Center), 2015


*****

lagniappe

musical thoughts 

In 1915 no one had heard an electric guitar. In 2065 sounds we’ve never heard will be commonplace. What will they be?

Tuesday, June 16th

More of Ornette.

Ornette Coleman (alto saxophone) with Don Cherry (cornet), Charlie Haden (bass), and Billy Higgins (drums), The Shape of Jazz to Come, 1959*


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lagniappe

radio

WKCR’s memorial broadcast continues until 9:30 a.m. tomorrow.

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*Track list (courtesy of YouTube):

00:00 Lonely Woman
05:01 Eventually
09:24 Peace
18:25 Focus on Sanity
25:18 Congeniality
32:07 Chronology

Monday, June 15th

Some sounds seem as though they’ve always been there—you just didn’t notice them until now.

Tim Hecker (right) & Daniel Lopatin (left), live, Belgium (Leuven), 2013


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lagniappe

art beat: yesterday at the Art Institute of Chicago

Claude Monet (1840-1926), Waterloo Bridge Sunlight Effect (1903)

Monet

Sunday, June 14th

More of the Anointed Brown Sisters.

“He Is a Friend of Mine,” live, Alabama (Cortland), 2010


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lagniappe

random sights

Saturday morning
Oak Park, Illinois

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Saturday, June 13th

passings

Ornette Coleman, saxophonist (trumpeter and violinist, too), composer, bandleader, March 9, 1930-June 11, 2015

Today we remember him by revisiting earlier posts.

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3/9/11

His sound—his whole approach (simple melodies, vocal phrasing, off-center intonation)—is drenched in the blues.

Ornette Coleman (alto saxophone) with The Roots
Live, London (Meltdown Festival), 2009

#1


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#2


The tenor player at the end—that’s David Murray.

*****

3/9/12

Ornette Coleman Quartet with guests Joshua Redman (tenor saxophone), James Blood Ulmer (guitar), Charlie Haden (bass), live, Netherlands (North Sea Jazz Festival, Rotterdam), 2010

#1


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#2


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#3


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#4


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#5


*****

6/16/14

Ornette, at 84, still plays some of the most haunting blues I’ve ever heard.

Ornette Coleman (alto saxophone), with Henry Threadgill (alto saxophone; MCOTD Hall of Famer), David Murray (tenor saxophone), Savion Glover (tap dance), et al., live, New York (Prospect Park), 6/12/14

*****

odds & ends (from posts featuring clips no longer available)

On the Ornette Coleman Quartet (OC, Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, Ed Blackwell): The sounds you don’t hear can mean as much as the ones you do. Here, for instance, it’s hard to overstate the importance of what isn’t onstage—a harmony instrument (piano, guitar). Without it, the drums move forward in the mix. The bass has more space to fill. The sound of each instrument becomes clearer, more distinct. The group sound becomes lighter, more open.

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When we were on relief during the Depression, they’d give us dried-up old cheese and dried milk and we’d get ourselves all filled up and we’d kept this thing going, singing and dancing. I remember that when I play. You have to stick to your roots. Sometimes I play happy. Sometimes I play sad. But the condition of being alive is what I play all the time.

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You know what I realize? That all sound has a need. Otherwise it wouldn’t have a use. Sound has a use. . . . You use it to establish something—an invisible presence or some belief. . . . But isn’t it amazing that sound causes the idea to sound the way it is, more than the idea?

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Music has no face. Whatever gives oxygen its power, music is cut from the same cloth.

—Ornette Coleman

(The first and last quotes are from Ornette’s website. The second is from Ben Ratliff, The Jazz Ear: Conversations over Music [2008].)

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How can I turn emotion into knowledge? That’s what I try to do with my horn.

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It’s not that I reject categories. It’s that I don’t really know what categories are.

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You take the alphabet of the English language. A to Z. A symbol attached to a sound. In music you have what are called notes and the key. In life you’ve got an idea and an emotion. We think of them as different concepts. To me, there is no difference.

***

The violin, the saxophone, the trumpet: Each makes a very different sound but the very same notes. That’s pretty heavy, you know? Imagine how many different races make up the human race. I’m called colored, you’re called white, he’s called something else. We still got an asshole and a mouth. Pardon me.

***

I don’t try to please when I play. I try to cure.

—Ornette Coleman

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lagniappe

radio

WKCR’s memorial broadcast, where I spent much of yesterday, continues through Wednesday.

Friday, June 12th

only rock ‘n’ roll

MC5, “Looking at You,” live, Detroit, 1970


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lagniappe

radio

As you may have heard, Ornette Coleman died yesterday; WKCR (Columbia University) will be playing his music around the clock today, tomorrow, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, wrapping up its memorial broadcast Wednesday morning.

Thursday, June 11th

In response to Monday’s post on Dylan covers, a reader commented:

Fairport Convention’s “Si tu dois partir” (a French-language version of “If You Gotta Go, Go Now”) comes to mind.

Fairport Convention, “Si tu dois partir” (B. Dylan), recording, 1969

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lagniappe

random sights

Tuesday morning
Louisville, Kentucky

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