music clip of the day


Category: clarinet

Tuesday, February 20th

sounds of the Netherlands

Whenever I hear him, I want to hear more.

Ab Baars (shakuhachi, clarinet, tenor saxophone), live, Netherlands (Utrecht), 2016




random sights

other day, Oak Park, Ill.

Thursday, November 9th

sounds of New York

I’ve been down with flu since Sunday. Encountering this last night, serendipitously, lifted me in ways only music can.

Retrograde (Matt LaVelle, trumpet, alto clarinet; Reggie Sylvester, drums), live, New York (First St. Green), 9/30/17



random thoughts

This world—the world one lives in, daily—is the most beautiful world one will live in, ever.

Tuesday, October 10th

drum festival
day two

Hamid Drake (MCOTD Hall of Fame, drums), Sylvain Kassap (clarinets), Benjamin Duboc (bass), live, France (Pantin), 2016




reading table

I haven’t died before, so I sometimes get a bad case of beginner’s nerves, but they soon pass.

—Cory Taylor (1955-2016), Dying: A Memoir

Saturday, October 7th


Lee Hyla (1952-2014), We Speak Etruscan (1992); Steven Banks (baritone saxophone), Andy Hudson (bass clarinet), live, Rome, 2016




random sights

yesterday, Oak Park, Ill.

Saturday, August 19th

mysterious, adj. Exciting wonder, curiosity, or surprise while baffling efforts to comprehend or identify. E.g., Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Sequences.

Anna Thorvaldsdottir (1977-), Sequences (bass flute, bass clarinet, baritone saxophone, contrabassoon), 2016; International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), live, New York, 2016




reading table

in the big rain
gushing down
little butterfly

—Kobayashi Issa, 1763-1827 (translated from Japanese by David G. Lanoue)

Thursday, August 17th

what’s new

Matt Wilson’s Honey and Salt (music inspired by the poetry of Carl Sandburg), 8/25/17




art beat: other day, Art Institute of Chicago

Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), Portrait Head of Martinique Woman with Kerchief, 1887-1888 (Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist, through September 10th)

Thursday, June 1st


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Clarinet Quintet in A major; Hagen Quartet with Sabine Meyer (clarinet), live

1st movt.


2nd movt.


3rd movt.


4th movt.



musical thoughts

Mozart was a kind of idol to me—this rapturous singing . . . that’s always on the edge of sadness and melancholy and disappointment and heartbreak, but always ready for an outburst of the most delicious music.

Saul Bellow (1915-2005)

(Taking a break—back in a while.)

Thursday, May 4th

Sometimes, like yesterday, when I bumped into this, what I really need, whether I know it or not, is something kaleidoscopic.

Enno Poppe (1969-), Holz (“Wood”); Ensemble Dal Niente (Enno Poppe, guest cond.), live, Chicago, 2016


Thursday, January 26th

What we need—now more than ever.

Clickety Clack! Clickety Clack!
What is this madness that Nixon has put upon us?
Clickety Clack! Clickety Clack!
Won’t someone bring the spirit back?

—Rahsaan Roland Kirk (1935-1977), 1973

Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Bright Moments, recorded live (San Francisco), 1973*


*Track list (courtesy of YouTube):
A1. Introduction
2. Pedal Up
3. You’ll Never Get To Heaven
4. Clickety Clack
5. Prelude To A Kiss
6. Talk (Electric Nose)
7. Fly Town Nose Blues
B1. Talk (Bright Moments)
2. Bright Moments Song
3. Dem Red Beans And Rice
4. If I Loved You
5. Talk (Fats Waller)
6. Jitterbug Waltz
7. Second Line Jump

Wednesday, December 7th

Sometimes I want to hear something that will quicken my pulse; sometimes I want something that will slow it—like this, for instance, which I heard the other night in Chicago, played by the group for whom it was written ( One sound . . . another . . . another . . .

Jürg Frey (1953-), Fragile Balance (2014), excerpt; Ensemble Grizzana (Jürg Frey, clarinet; Mira Benjamin, violin; Richard Craig, flute; Emma Richards, viola; Philip Thomas, piano; Seth Woods, cello); 2015



reading table

Winter seclusion—
sitting propped against
the same worn post

—Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), translated from Japanese by Sam Hamill (The Sound of Water: Haiku by Basho, Buson, Issa, and Other Poets)

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