St. Vincent, “New York,” “Los Ageless,” “Slow Disco,” live, Washington, D.C., 1/22/18
Last night, like many other nights, this kept me company, on repeat, as I slept.
Morton Feldman (1926-1987; MCOTD Hall of Fame), Piano and String Quartet (1985); Kronos Quartet with Aki Takahashi (piano)
art beat: other day, Art Institute of Chicago
Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), Head of Sorrow, 1882 (Rodin: Sculptor and Storyteller, through March 4th)
Amadou & Mariam, “Bofou Safou,” “Dimanche à Bamako,” “Filaou Bessame,” live, Washington, D.C., 1/19/2018
If I could play like this, I’d never stand up.
Johann Sebastian Bach, Cello Suite No. 2 in D minor, Prelude; Eva Lymenstull (baroque cello), 2017
I like this story from the N.Y. Times—a composition by a child in the third grade: ‘I told my little brother that when you die you cannot breathe and he did not say a word. He just kept on playing.’
—Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), Letter to Robert Lowell, September 8, 1948
sounds of New York
Jaimie Branch’s Fly or Die (JB, trumpet, compositions; Tomeka Reid, cello; Jason Ajemian, bass; Chad Taylor, drums), live, New York (Rye Bar, Brooklyn), 2016
Improvised music is like basketball: a great player makes everybody better.
other day, Oak Park, Ill.
No one plays ballads more tenderly—or tartly.
Von Freeman (MCOTD Hall of Fame, 1923-2012), “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” (E. Maschwitz & M. Sherwin) with Jodie Christian (piano), Rufus Reid (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums), live, Harrisburg, Penn., 1994
“I Can’t Get Started” (V. Duke, I. Gershwin), live, Belgium, 1992
“Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” (R. Rodgers, L. Hart) with Mike Allemena (guitar), Matt Ferguson (bass), Michael Raynor (drums), live, Chicago (Mandel Hall, University of Chicago), 2011
other day, Oak Park, Ill.
voices I miss
Von Freeman (MCOTD Hall of Fame), tenor saxophonist, 1923-2012
“Oleo” (S. Rollins) with Clifford Jordan (tenor saxophone), Willie Pickens (piano), Dan Shapera (bass), Robert Shy (drums), Chicago (Chicago Jazz Festival), 1988
“Take the ‘A’ Train” (B. Strayhorn) with Joanie Pallatto (vocals), Bettye Reynolds (vocals), Fred Anderson (tenor saxophone), Billy Brimfield (trumpet), John Young (piano), George Freeman (guitar), Larry Gray (bass), Michael Adams (drums), live, Chicago, 1999
my back pages
On a cold, snowy night forty-one years ago, at a church thirty miles north of Chicago, Von Freeman and John Young played at our—Suzanne’s and my—wedding. All of what they played that night—”Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” “It Never Entered My Mind,” “More” (before); “In a Sentimental Mood” (as Suzanne walked down the aisle); “My Favorite Things,” “Song for My Father” (after)—can be heard here (0:15-). Years later, John told me: “When I marry ’em, they stay married.”