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Tag: David Holzman

Sunday, 4/29/12

Let’s go to church.

“Until I Die,” Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, Winston-Salem, N.C., 2001

**********

lagniappe

reading table

On the Death of Friends in Childhood

We shall not ever meet them bearded in heaven,
Nor sunning themselves among the bald of hell;
If anywhere, in the deserted schoolyard at twilight,
Forming a ring, perhaps, or joining hands
In games whose very names we have forgotten.
Come, memory, let us seek them there in the shadows.

—Donald Justice (Collected Poems, 2004)

***

“[We find] it impossible, when we have to analyze death, to imagine it in terms other than those of life.”

—Marcel Proust, The Fugitive (translated from French by Peter Collier)

*****

listening room: (some of) what’s playing

• The Dirtbombs, Ultraglide In Black (In the Red Records)

Wild Flag (Merge Records)

• That’s What They Want: The Best of Jerry McCain (Excello)

The Best of Slim Harpo (Hip-O)

• Ambrose Akinmusire, When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Blue Note)

• Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy, I Only Have Eyes For You (ECM)

• Anthony Braxton, 9 Compositions (Iridium)

• Chicago Tentet, American Landscapes 1 & 2 (Okka)

• Steve Lehman Octet, Travail, Transformation, and Flow (Pi Recordings)

• Joe McPhee, Nation Time (Unheard Music Series)

• Weasel Walter, Mary Halvorson, Peter Evans, Electric Fruit (Thirsty Ear)

• J. Berg’s Royal Rarities Vols. 2-3; A Cappella Archives, Vol. 3; Gospel Goldies, Vol. 2 (Rare Gospel)

• The Fisk Jubilee Quartet, There Breathes A Hope (Archeophone)

This May Be My Last Time Singing: Raw African-American Gospel On 45 RPM 1957-1982 (Tompkins Square)

• Bach, Suites for Unaccompanied Cello, Pierre Fournier, (Archiv Production/DG)

• Mozart, Piano Sonatas Nos. 16 and 17, Peter Serkin, piano (Pro Arte)

• Arnold Schoenberg, Das Klavierwerk, Peter Serkin, piano (Arcana)

The Art of Joseph Szigeti (Biddulph Recordings)

• Anton Webern, Five Movements For String Quartet, Op. 5; Six Bagatelles For String Quartet, Op. 9; String Quartet, Op. 28; Quartetto Italiano (Philips)

• Anton Webern, Complete Works for String Quartet and String Trio, Artis Quartet Wien (Nimbus)

Music of Stefan Wolpe, Vol. 6, David Holzman, piano (Bridge)

• WKCR-FM (broadcasting from Columbia University)

Bird Flight (Phil Schaap, jazz [Charlie Parker])
Traditions in Swing (Phil Schaap, jazz)
Eastern Standard Time (Carter Van Pelt, Jamaican music)
Rag Aur Taal (various, Indian)

• WFMU-FM

Mudd Up! (DJ/Rupture“new bass and beats”)
Sinner’s Crossroads 
(Kevin Nutt, gospel)
Cherry Blossom Clinic (Terre T, rock, etc.)
Fool’s Paradise (Rex; “Vintage rockabilly, R & B, blues, vocal groups, garage, instrumentals, hillbilly, soul and surf”)

• WHPK-FM (broadcasting from University of Chicago)

The Blues Excursion (Arkansas Red)

*****

radio

Happy Birthday, Duke!

All Ellington, all day: WKCR-FM.

Sunday, 6/19/11

Gospel, soul, blues—sometimes they seem inseparable.

Willie Banks and The Messengers, live, Mississippi (Jackson), 1990

“Things I Can’t Change”

***

“God Is Still In Charge”

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lagniappe

listening room: what’s playing

Talib Kweli, Gutter Rainbows (Javotti Media/3d)

Art Ensemble of Chicago, Full Force (ECM)

Anthony Braxton Quartet, (GTM) 2006 (Important Records)

John Coltrane (with Rashied Ali), Interstellar Space (Impulse!)

The Lester Young/Count Basie Sessions (1936-1940) (Mosaic)

• Various Artists, Ska Bonanza: The Studio One Ska Years (Heartbeat)

Stefan Wolpe: Compositions for Piano (1920-1952), David Holzman, piano (Bridge)

• Ann Southam: Simple Lines of Enquiry, Eve Egoyan, piano (Centrediscs)

Morton Feldman, For Bunita Marcus, Stephane Ginsburgh, piano (Sub Rosa); John Tilbury, piano, Morton Feldman, All Piano (London HALL)

WKCR-FM (broadcasting from Columbia University)
Bird Flight (Phil Schaap, jazz [Charlie Parker])
Traditions in Swing (Phil Schaap, jazz)
Out to Lunch (Various, jazz)
Jazz Profiles (Various, jazz)
Jazz Alternatives (Various, jazz)
Afternoon New Music (Various, classical and hard-to-peg)
Eastern Standard Time (Carter Van Pelt, Jamaican music)
Rag Aur Taal (Various, Indian)
Morning Ragas (Various, Indian)
Amazing Grace (Various, gospel)
Live Constructions (Various, hard-to-peg)

WFMU-FM
Mudd Up! (DJ/Rupture, “new bass and beats”)
Sinner’s Crossroads
(Kevin Nutt, gospel)
—Give The Drummer Some
(Doug Schulkind, sui generis)
Transpacific Sound Paradise (Rob Weisberg, “popular and unpopular music from around the world”)
Daniel Blumin (sui generis)
Airborne Event (Dan Boodah, sui generis)
The Push Bin with Lou (Lou Z., sui generis)

*****

art beat

One of the great things about having friends is that they invite you to things you’d never get to, or even know about, otherwise—like, for instance, this wonderful exhibit of illustrated architecture books (dating from 1511), something I wouldn’t have gotten to but for my friend Bob Blythe.

Sunday, 6/5/11

Some folks sing when they speak.

Bishop Robert Manley, Jr., Bethesda Temple Church of the Living God, Frankfort, Kentucky, 2008

Part 1

Vodpod videos no longer available.

***

Part 2

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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lagniappe

musical thoughts

I think there are certain aspects of music which do not have any equivalent in speech, in particular the pulse of music, the steady rhythm, and its synchronization with movement.

Oliver Sacks, M.D.

With all due respect to Dr. Sacks (whom I admire greatly), I think maybe he should get out more often—to, for instance, churches in Harlem.

*****

listening room: what’s playing

Professor Longhair, Crawfish Fiesta (Alligator); House Party New Orleans Style (Rounder); No Buts, No Maybes: The 1949-1957 Recordings (Hoodoo Records)

Arthur Russell, Calling Out Of Context (Audika)

Theo Parrish, Sound Sculptures Volume 1 (Sound Signature)

Eddie Jefferson at Ali’s Alley with Rashied Ali Quintet (Blue Music Group)

• Wadada Leo Smith’s Golden Quartet, Tabligh (Cuneiform)

• Henry Grimes & Rashied Ali, Going To The Ritual (Porter Records)

Paul Motian, Lost In A Dream (ECM) (with Chris Potter, Jason Moran); Rarum (ECM); Garden of Eden (ECM); Time and Time Again (ECM) (with Joe Lovano, Bill Frisell)

Jason Moran, Ten (Blue Note)

• Various Artists, Gospel Music (Hyena Records)

The Five Blind Boys of Mississippi: 1947-1954 (Acrobat)

Brother Claude Ely, Ain’t No Grave (Dust-to-Digital)

The Skatalites, Ball of Fire (Island)

Tinariwen: Imidiwan: Companions (World Village)

Ali Akbar Khan, Peerless (Navras)

Bach: Cello Suites, Nos. 1-3, Jean-Guinen Queyras (Harmonia Mundi)

Dmitri Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 15, Borodin Quartet (BMG Classics/Melodiya)

Music of Stefan Wolpe: Volume Six, David Holzman (Bridge Records)

Gyorgy Ligeti: String Quartets and Duets, Arditti String Quartet (Sony)

Morton Feldman: For Bunita Marcus, Stephane Ginsburgh (Sub Rosa); John TilburyMorton Feldman, All Piano (London HALL)

WKCR-FM (broadcasting from Columbia University)
Bird Flight (Phil Schaap, jazz [Charlie Parker])
Out to Lunch (Various, jazz)
Afternoon New Music (Various, classical and hard-to-peg)
Eastern Standard Time (Carter Van Pelt, Jamaican music)

WFMU-FM
Mudd Up! (DJ/Rupture, “new bass and beats”)
Sinner’s Crossroads
(Kevin Nutt, gospel)
—Give The Drummer Some
(Doug Schulkind, sui generis)
—Reggae Schoolhouse
(Jeff Sarge)
Transpacific Sound Paradise (Rob Weisberg, “popular and unpopular music from around the world”)
Daniel Blumin (sui generis)
—Primavera Sound Festival, Barcelona (live sets)

*****

mail

Richard:

Thanks and despite its brevity it is quite touching.

David [Holzman, in response to an email letting him know that he was featured here yesterday]

Saturday, 6/4/11

What would it be like to wake up in the morning, have a cup of coffee, then sit down at the piano and try, again, to open this up, let it breathe, let it sing?

David Holzman, piano/recording session, 7/10/10
Music of Stefan Wolpe, Volume 6 (Bridge Records), 2011
Stefan Wolpe (1902-1972), Four Studies on Basic Rows (Passacaglia)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

**********

lagniappe

I asked him to teach my class of young English student composers—feeling really that he at least would give the students one worthwhile class. He started talking about his Passacaglia, a piano work built of sections each based on a musical interval—minor second, major second, and so on. At once, sitting at the piano, he was caught up in a meditation on how wonderful these primary materials, intervals, were; playing each over and over again on the piano, singing, roaring, humming them, loudly, softly, quickly, slowly, short and detached or drawn out and expressive. All of us forgot time passing, when the class was to finish. As he led us from the smallest one, a minor second, to the largest, a major seventh—which took all afternoon—music was reborn, new light dawned, we all knew we would never again listen to music as we had. Stefan had made each of us experience very directly the living power of these primary elements. From then on indifference was impossible. Such a lesson most of us never had before or since, I imagine.

Elliott Carter

Sunday, 3/20/11

Sherman Washington Jr. (Zion Harmonizers)
December 13, 1925-March 14, 2011

Zion Harmonizers with Aaron Neville, “Wonderful,” live, New Orleans (Gospel Tent, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival), 1991

Vodpod videos no longer available.

*****

lagniappe

Sherman Washington Jr., the leader of the Zion Harmonizers and the godfather of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival’s Gospel Tent, died early Monday at his home in Boutte after a long illness. He was 85.

sherman washington 2002 fest.jpg

What Ellis Marsalis is to jazz, Mr. Washington was to gospel. For three decades, he hosted a Sunday morning gospel show on WYLD-AM that served as the gospel community’s town hall. He led the Zion Harmonizers, New Orleans’ longest-running gospel vocal group, since the 1940s. The Harmonizers appeared at the very first Jazz Fest, staged in 1970 in what is now Armstrong Park.

After the festival moved to the Fair Grounds in 1972, he oversaw the growth of the Gospel Tent, building it into a cornerstone of the festival’s roots-music presentation. The tent introduced a music largely unknown outside the African-American churches where it was born to a much broader audience.

Until deteriorating health finally slowed him down in recent years, he administered the Gospel Tent with a steadfast integrity and intimate knowledge of the music, musicians and singers. Given that many acts consist of large choirs, the tent features more performers than any other stage at the festival.

“Gospel, even after jazz and blues came down to the front of the bus, was still in the back of the bus,” said Jazz Fest producer/director Quint Davis. “To a large extent, Sherman’s work through the Gospel Tent has helped bring gospel music to the front of the bus. An enormous debt is owed to him by the festival, and the whole gospel world.”

Davis expects the upcoming Jazz Fest to feature a tribute to Mr. Washington.

“You can talk about soul with either a lower-case ‘s’ or an upper-case ‘S,'” Davis said. “Sherman had soul with a capital S.”

***

In the late 1960s, the Harmonizers roster included a Mississippi-born bass singer named John Hawkins. In early 1970, Hawkins met Quint Davis at Mason’s Hotel on Claiborne Avenue and came back to Mr. Washington with news of this young music fan who was organizing a music and heritage festival.

Mr. Washington went to meet Davis and partner Allison Miner, and the Zion Harmonizers were booked for the first Jazz Fest at Congo Square. The forerunner of today’s Gospel Tent was a 15-by-20-foot open-sided tent with an upright piano and no floor, stage or sound system.

When Jazz Fest moved to the Fair Grounds in 1972, Davis approached Mr. Washington with an idea.

“Quint said, ‘I had a dream,’” Mr. Washington recalled. “And I thought, ‘This isn’t Dr. King, is it?’ He said, ‘I had a dream that I’m going to build a Gospel Tent, and I want you to run it.’ ”

Mr. Washington’s diplomatic skills came in handy. In the early 1970s, gospel choirs rarely performed outside of churches or church functions. They certainly didn’t perform at “hippie” events where beer was served. Pastors resisted the idea of choirs performing at Jazz Fest.

“The preachers were against me,” Mr. Washington said, “because people would drink beer in the Gospel Tent. I would ask the choir’s president or manager, and he’d tell me yeah. Then he’d come back and say, ‘Our pastor doesn’t want us to sing in the Gospel Tent.’ ”

So instead of church choirs, Mr. Washington booked vocal quartets that weren’t affiliated with churches.

“Those are the ones I had to depend on,” he said. “They would tear the place up, pack it out. We didn’t pay those preachers no mind. We kept going.”

Opinions eventually changed and choirs lobbied Mr. Washington to be included. “I think the choir members got on the pastors about it. Because if a person drinks a beer or something, that’s their soul, not yours. If you’re singing, you’re doing what God wants you to do.”

Eventually, a small staff was assigned to assist Mr. Washington, but he still screened most acts in person. He attended rehearsals and private auditions, offering advice along the way.

“He had never been in a role like this,” Davis said. “He was a true man of God who was not in it to advance himself or build an empire. He worked through his community and spiritual connections to put it all together. He knew who was the real deal, who needed to play.”

Mr. Washington insisted on a high level of professionalism and skill, as he knew any group could well be some Jazz Fest’s attendee’s first exposure to gospel. He wanted the music to make a good first impression.

“This Gospel Tent has brought more white people to gospel than anybody had ever seen, ” Mr. Washington said in 2002. “Now, it’s more white people than black people. And they get into it. It brings the white and black together. People get together and stand up, you don’t know who is who.”

—Keith Spera, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 3/14/11

On March 14, 2011 at 2:36 AM, the music stopped and his lyrics became a reality.

Obituary (The Times-Picayune)

*****

listening room: what’s playing

• Bach, Cello Suites, Steven Isserlis, Jean-Guihen Queyras

• Von Freeman, Walkin’ Tuff, Vonski Speaks, Young & Foolish

• Milton Babbitt, Piano Works, Robert Taub

• Buddy & Julie Miller, Written in Chalk

Nneka, Concrete Jungle

Jason Moran, Ten

Steve Lehman, Travail, Transformation, and Flow

Friedrich Gulda, Piano Recital 1959 (Bach, Haydn, Beethoven)

• Theo Parrish, First Floor

• Theo Parrish, Sound Sculptures, Vol. 1

• Roger Sessions, Works for Violin, Cello, Piano; Curtis Macomber (violin), Joel Krosnick (cello), Barry David Salwen (piano)

• Roger Sessions, Sonatas Nos. 1 & 3; Ralph Shapey, Mutations and Mutations II, 21 Variations, David Holzman (piano)

• Yascha Heifetz (violin), Chamber Music Collection, Vol. 1 (Mozart, et al.)

• Morton Feldman, For Bunita Marcus, Stephane Ginsburgh (piano)

Sinner’s Crossroads, Kevin Nutt, WFMU-FM (Thursday, 8-9 p.m. [EST])

Gospel Memories, Bob Marovich, WLUW-FM (Saturday 10-11 a.m. [CST])

Give the Drummer Some, Doug Schulkind, WFMU-FM (Friday, 9 a.m.-noon [EST]; web stream only)

Bird Flight, Phil Schaap, WKCR-FM (M-F, 8:20-9:30 a.m. [EST])

• WFMU-FM, Annual Fundraising Marathon

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