music clip of the day


Category: Chicago

Saturday, December 8th

tomorrow in Chicago

They’re performing at the University of Chicago’s Rockefeller Chapel.

The Tallis Scholars, live, France (Mont Saint-Michel), 2017




random sights

yesterday, Oak Park, Ill.

Friday, December 7th

This is Jimmy’s brother.

Syl Johnson, “Take Me to the River” (A. Green, M. Hodges), 1974



Another take.

Live (with Howard Grimes [drums], Leroy Hodges [bass], et al.), Memphis




random sights

other day, Oak Park, Ill.

Tuesday, December 4th


This guy, whom I worked with in the 1970s, co-producing this track and a few others for Alligator Records (Living Chicago Blues, Vol. 1), just turned ninety. One of my sons, now older than I was then, heard him the other night at a Chicago club, where, he said, his guitar playing was “robust.” How wonderful to be ninety years old and robust. How wonderful, too, to be able to share music with a son.

“Breaking up Somebody’s Home” (T. Matthews, A. Jackson), 1978



Here he is forty years later.

“People Get Ready” (C. Mayfield), “That’s All Right,” Chicago, 2018


Saturday, November 24th


Makaya McCraven, trailer for new album Universal Beings, 9/9/18



“Young Genius”




random sights

last night, Oak Park, Ill.

Friday, November 23rd

what’s new

Makaya McCraven (drums, compositions), et al., live (studio), 11/19/18


They’re playing tonight in Dublin, tomorrow in London, and Thursday in Chicago (MM’s hometown).

Tuesday, November 20th


Right now his music, which, I realize, may be an acquired taste, is giving me as much pleasure as anything.

Enno Poppe (1969-), Stoff (2015); Ensemble Dal Niente (Enno Poppe, guest cond.), live, Chicago, 2016


Wednesday, November 14th

voices I miss

No matter what kind of day you’re having, this will make it better.

Von Freeman (1923-2012, tenor saxophone, MCOTD Hall of Fame), with John Young (1922-2008, piano), et al., live (radio broadcast), late 1970s




random sights

yesterday, Oak Park

Tuesday, November 6th


Tyshawn Sorey Trio (TS, compositions, drums [2017 MacArthur Fellow]), Cory Smythe (piano), Chris Tordini (bass), live, New York, 2015

This I could listen to—I could lose myself in—for a long, long time.


They’re playing Thursday night at the University of Chicago.



random sights

last night, Oak Park, Ill.

Sunday, November 4th

two takes

“When the Gates Swing Open” (T. A. Dorsey)

Otis Clay (1942-2016), live, Chicago, c. 2007



Al Green (1946-), live, Memphis, 1983


Saturday, November 3rd

basement jukebox

“The Only Way Is Up” (G. Jackson, J. Henderson)

Otis Clay (1942-2016), 1980


A few years after Otis Clay recorded this song for his small Chicago label, another version was released in England, where it topped the charts for several weeks.

Yazz (1960-), 1988




reading table

It is Spring in the mountains.
I come alone seeking you.
The sound of chopping wood echoes
Between the silent peaks.
The streams are still icy.
There is snow on the trail.
At sunset I reach your grove
In the stony mountain pass.
You want nothing, although at night
You can see the aura of gold
And silver ore all around you.
You have learned to be gentle
As the mountain deer you have tamed.
The way back forgotten, hidden
Away, I become like you,
An empty boat, floating, adrift.

—Tu Fu (aka Du Fu, 712-729), “Written on the Wall of Chang’s Hermitage” (translated from Chinese by Kenneth Rexroth)

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