Don Byron New Gospel Quintet (DB, tenor saxophone & clarinet; DK Dyson, vocals; Xavier Davis, piano; Brad Jones, bass; Pheeroan akLaff, drums), “Precious Lord” (T. A. Dorsey), live, Brazil (São Paulo), 2010
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Last night I heard these folks live at the University of Chicago. Whenever I go out and hear someone, I’m reminded, again, that even (especially?) today, when records and the ’net make more music more available than ever before, there’s no substitute for live music. No recording offers the textures and nuances of a great live performance. (Never, for instance, have I heard a recording that truly reproduces the sounds of a drum kit, much less the interplay between horn and drums.) Not only is there more to hear live, your focus is sharper: you know you won’t have another opportunity to experience these sounds. And when you go to a club or a concert hall, you become, for that night, a member of an ad hoc musical community—something you can’t do sitting in your living room.