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Tag: John Tilbury

Sunday, 2/19/12

the first voice Whitney heard

Emily “Cissy” Houston (born Emily Drinkard), singer, 1933-

The Drinkard Singers (Cissy Houston, lead vocals), “Lift Him Up,” live (TV broadcast), c. early 1960s

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lagniappe

Live (TV broadcast), 1970

“Be My Baby” (P. Spector, J. Barry & E. Greenwich)

***

“I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” (B. Bacharach & H. David)

*****

listening room: (some of) what’s playing

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

• Johann Sebastian Bach, Suites for Unaccompanied Cello, Pierre Fournier, cello (Archiv Production)

• Johann Sebastian Bach, Well-Tempered Clavier, Glenn Gould, piano (Sony)

• Johann Sebastian Bach, Partitas Nos. 3, 4, 6, Jeremy Denk, piano (Azica)

• Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Sonatas Nos. 14 (“Moonlight”), 8 (“Pathetique”), 23 (“Appassionata”), Rudolf Serkin, piano (CBS)

• Alfred Cortot, The Master Pianist (EMI)

• Claude Debussy, Pour Le Piano, Etudes Books 1 & 2, Gordon Fergus-Thompson, piano (Musical Heritage Society)

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

• Morton Feldman, For Bunita Marcus, John Tilbury, piano (London Hall)

• Morton Feldman, Piano and String Quartet, Aki Takahashi (piano), Kronos Quartet (Nonesuch)

• Mary Halvorson Quintet, Saturn Sings (Firehouse)

• Slim Harpo, The Best of Slim Harpo (Hip-O)

• Paul Hindemith, Benjamin Britten, Krzysztof Penderecki; Kim Kashkashian (viola), Stuttgarter Kammerorchester (Dennis Russell Davies, cond.), Lachrymae (ECM)

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

• Jimmie Lunceford, The Complete Jimmie Lunceford Decca Sessions (Mosaic)

• Guilliaume de Michaut, Motets, The Hilliard Ensemble (ECM)

• Paul Motian Trio (with Joe Lovano, Bill Frisell), Sound of Love (Winter & Winter)

• Mudd Up!, WFMU-FM (DJ/Rupture, “new bass and beats”)

• Pee Wee Russell, Swingin’ with Pee Wee (Prestige)

• Pharoah Sanders, Karma (GRP)

• Pharoah Sanders, Live (Evidence)

• Giacinto Scelsi, Natura Renovatur (ECM)

• Arnold Schoenberg, Piano Works, Peter Serkin, piano (Arcana)

• Sinner’s Crossroads, WFMU-FM (Kevin Nutt, gospel)

• Craig Taborn, Avenging Angel (ECM)

• Toru Takemitsu, Peter Serkin Plays the Music of Toru Takemitsu, Peter Serkin, piano (RCA/BMG)

• Anton Webern, Complete Music for String Quartet, Quartetto Italiano (Philips)

• Anton Webern, Works for String Quartet, Emerson Quartet (Deutsche Grammaphon)

• Wild Flag, Wild Flag (Merge)

Wednesday, 2/1/12

Morton Feldman, For Bunita Marcus (1985)
John Tilbury, piano

According to iTunes, I’ve listened to this piece, which I often put on “repeat” before going to sleep, over a thousand times.

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More Feldman?

Here.

And here.

Here. 

And here. And here. And here.

Here. 

And here.

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lagniappe

musical thoughts

Compositionally I always wanted to be like Fred Astaire.

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 I never feel that my music is sparse or minimal; the way fat people never really think they’re fat. I certainly don’t consider myself a minimalist at all.

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No one has the Houdini school of composition.

Morton Feldman (1926-87)

*****

reading table

Last week a record store in Dupont Circle announced that it was closing. The immediate cause of its demise—it had outlasted national and regional chains—was Price Check, Amazon’s new idea for exterminating competition. It is an app that allows shoppers to scan the bar code on any item in any store and transmit it to Amazon for purposes of comparison, and if it compares favorably to Amazon’s price, Amazon’s special promotion promises a discount on the same item. In this way shoppers become spies, and stores, merely by letting customers through their doors, become complicit in their own undoing. It will not do to shrug that this is capitalism, because it is a particular kind of capitalism: the kind that entertains fantasies of monopoly. For all its technological newness, Amazon’s “vision” is disgustingly familiar. (“Amazon is coming to eat me,” a small publisher of fine religious books stoically told me a few weeks ago.) Nor will it do to explain that Amazon’s app is convenient, unless one is prepared to acquiesce in a view of American existence according to which its supreme consideration must be convenience. How easy must every little thing be? A record store in your neighborhood is also convenient, and so is a bookstore. There is also a sinister side to the convenience of online shopping: hours once spent in the sensory world, in the diversified satisfaction of material needs and desires, can now be surrendered to work. It appears to be a law of American life that there shall be no respite from screens. And so Amazon’s practices raise the old question of the cultural consequences of market piggishness. For there are businesses that are not only businesses, that also have non-monetary reasons for being, that are public goods. Their devastation in the name of profit may be economically legitimate, but it is culturally calamitous. In a word, wrong.

WHEN MY FRIEND at Melody Records told me about the death of his store, I was bereft. This was in part because he is my friend—after my father died, I received a letter from the Holocaust Museum informing me that he had made a donation in my father’s memory—and now he must fend for himself and his family and his staff in the American wreckage. But my dejection was owed also to the fact that this store was one of the primary scenes of my personal cultivation. For thirty years it stimulated me, and provided a sanctuary from sadness and sterility. “Going to Melody” was a reliable way of improving my mind’s weather. The people who worked there had knowledge and taste: they apprised me of obscure pressings of Frank Martin’s chamber music, and warned me about the sound quality of certain reissues of Lucky Thompson and Don Byas, and turned me on to old salsa and new fado. They even teased me about my insane affection for Rihanna. When they added DVDs to the store, my pleasures multiplied. (Also my amusements. Not long ago Marcel Ophuls’ great film arrived in the shop, and the box declared: “Woody Allen presents The Sorrow and The Pity.” Beat that.) Of course all these discs can be found online. But the motive of my visits to the store was not acquisitiveness, it was inquisitiveness. I went there to engage in the time-honored intellectual and cultural activity known as browsing.

IT IS A MATTER OF some importance that the nature of browsing be properly understood. Browsing is a method of humanistic education. It gathers not information but impressions, and refines them by brief (but longer than 29 seconds!) immersions in sound or language. Browsing is to Amazon what flaneurie is to Google Earth. It is an immediate encounter with the actual object of curiosity. The browser (no, not that one) is the flaneur in a room. Browsing is not idleness; or rather, it is active idleness—an exploring capacity, a kind of questing non-instrumental behavior. Browsing is the opposite of “search.” Search is precise, browsing is imprecise. When you search, you find what you were looking for; when you browse, you find what you were not looking for. Search corrects your knowledge, browsing corrects your ignorance. Search narrows, browsing enlarges. It does so by means of accidents, of unexpected adjacencies and improbable associations. On Amazon, by contrast, there are no accidents. Its adjacencies are expected and its associations are probable, because it is programmed for precedents. It takes you to where you have already been—to what you have already bought or thought of buying, and to similar things. It sells similarities. After all, serendipity is a poor business model. But serendipity is how the spirit is renewed; and a record store, like a bookstore, is nothing less than an institution of spiritual renewal.

—Leon Wieseltier, “Going To Melody,” The New Republic, 2/2/12

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.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Who else (besides, of course, Bob Dylan) has played so many different roles so brilliantly?

Miles Davis (with Robben Ford & guest Carlos Santana, guitars), “Burn”
Live, Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey, 6/15/86

Listen to stuff long enough and it changes—or you do, anyway. Once I might have faulted this for being repetitive. But that’s a bit like faulting roast beef for being meat. Of course it’s repetitive. That’s part of what makes it soar.

More? Here.

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lagniappe

listening room: what’s playing

Rashied Ali Quintet, Live In Europe (Survival Records)

• Paul Motian (with Chris Potter, Jason Moran), Lost In A Dream (ECM)

Charlie Parker, The Complete Royal Roost Live Recordings on Savoy, Vol. 3 (Columbia Japan)

Eric Dolphy At The Five Spot, Vol. 2 (with Booker Little, Mal Waldron, Richard Davis, Ed Blackwell; Prestige)

• Various Artists, Fire In My Bones: Raw + Rare + Other-Worldly African-American Gospel (1944-2007) (Tompkins Square)

• Reverend Charlie Jackson, God’s Got It: The Legendary Booker and Jackson Singles (CaseQuarter)

Group Doueh, Guitar Music from the Western Sahara (Sublime Frequencies)

Mozart: Piano Sonata No. 8 in A Minor, Helene Grimaud, Resonances (Deutsche Grammophon)

Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 23 (“Appasionata”) and No. 29 (“Hammerklavier”), Solomon, The Master Pianist (EMI Classics)

Anton Webern: String Quartet, Six Bagatelles for String Quartet, String Quartet Op. 28, LaSalle Quartet (Brilliant Classics)

• Arnold Schoenberg: String Quartet in D major, LaSalle Quartet (Brilliant Classics)

Roger Sessions: String Quartet No. 2, Julliard String Quartet (Composers Recordings)

Morton Feldman: For Bunita Marcus, John TilburyMorton Feldman, All Piano (London HALL)

WKCR-FM (broadcasting from Columbia University)
Bird Flight (Phil Schaap, jazz [Charlie Parker])
Morning Classical (Various)
Amazing Grace (Various)

WFMU-FM
Mudd Up! (DJ/Rupture, “new bass and beats”)
Sinner’s Crossroads
(Kevin Nutt, gospel)
—Give The Drummer Some
(Doug Schulkind, sui generis)
—Fool’s Paradise
(Rex, sui generis)
Transpacific Sound Paradise (Rob Weisberg, “popular and unpopular music from around the world”)

Sunday, 5/8/11

Feet, hands, voices—spirits, too.

Christian Home Baptist Church Hymn Choir, “Hezekiah—You Got To Die!”
Live, McConnells, South Carolina (Mt. Do-Well Baptist Church), 1994

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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lagniappe

serendipity

If you keep your ears open, music turns up unexpectedly. Last month, for instance, I was in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where I got to talking with a Harvard student who’s from Greenville, South Carolina. He’s studying religion, hoping to be a minister. I told him, referring to performances like the one featured today, that I’d heard gospel music from the Greenville area that I loved. As it turned out, he’d grown up with the music—his grandfather sang in quartets. Now he sings, too.

Damaris Taylor, “’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus”
Live, Cambridge, Massachusetts (Harvard BSA Apollo Night), 2010

Vodpod videos no longer available.

*****

listening room: what’s playing

• The Complete Blue Note Recordings of Herbie Nichols (Mosaic)

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

• Equal Interest (Joseph Jarman, Leroy Jenkins, Myra Melford), Equal Interest (OmniTone)

Billy Bang Quintet, Above and Beyond (Justin Time)

Various Artists, Trojan Box Set: Lovers (Trojan)

• Various Artists, Fire In My Bones: Raw + Rare + Other-Worldly African-American Gospel (1944-2007) (Tompkins Square)

Ernest Bloch: String Quartets 1-4, The Griller String Quartet (Decca)

Sviatoslav Richter, Richter Rediscovered: Carnegie Hall Recital 1960 (RCA Red Seal)

Alfred Schnittke: String Quartet No. 3, The Britten Quartet (Collins Classics)

Morton Feldman: For Bunita Marcus, John TilburyMorton Feldman, All Piano (London HALL)

WKCR-FM (broadcasting from Columbia University)
Bird Flight (Phil Schaap, jazz [Charlie Parker])
Morning Classical (Various)

WFMU-FM
Mudd Up! (DJ/Rupture, “new bass and beats”)
—Toothpick Rhythm
(Betsey Nichols, country)
Sinner’s Crossroads
(Kevin Nutt, gospel)
—Give The Drummer Some
(Doug Schulkind, sui generis)
—Downtown Soulville
(Mr. Fine Wine, soul)
Pseu Braun
(sui generis)
—Fool’s Paradise
(Rex, sui generis)
Transpacific Sound Paradise (Rob Weisberg, “popular and unpopular music from around the world”)
Daniel Blumin (sui generis)

*****

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Today MCOTD celebrates its 600th post.

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