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
This world—the world one lives in, daily—is the most beautiful world one will live in, ever.
Hamid Drake (MCOTD Hall of Fame, drums), Sylvain Kassap (clarinets), Benjamin Duboc (bass), live, France (Pantin), 2016
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
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
in the big rain
—Kobayashi Issa, 1763-1827 (translated from Japanese by David G. Lanoue)
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)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Clarinet Quintet in A major; Hagen Quartet with Sabine Meyer (clarinet), live
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.)
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
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):
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
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 (a.pe.ri.od.ic). 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
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)