“Old Man Dancing” (Carla Bley, 1936-): Chet Doxas (clarinet, tenor saxophone), Carla Bley (piano), Karen Mantler (keyboard), Steve Swallow (bass), 2020
yesterday, Oak Park, Ill.
This is the point in prefaces where I customarily say something nice about my wife. This time, however, I can’t think of anything that even comes anywhere near doing her justice. Her name is Susan Patek Booth.
Berkeley, California May 3, 1997
—Stephen Booth (1933-2020), from Precious Nonsense: The Gettysburg Address, Ben Jonson’s Epitaphs on His Children, and Twelfth Night (1998)
Tonight, at 1 a.m. (EST), one of the year’s great musical events begins: the annual Bach Festival—now in its 40th year—broadcast on WKCR-FM (Columbia University). All Bach, all the time, until midnight New Year’s Eve. Hope, beauty, inspiration: they aren’t luxuries; they’re necessities.
Johann Sebastian Bach, Mass in B minor (excerpt, “Dona nobis pacem”); Berlin Philharmonic (Ton Koopman, cond.) with RIAS Chamber Choir (Justin Doyle, chorus master), live, Berlin, 10/28/17
Johann Sebastian Bach, Cello Suite No. 6 in D major; Mischa Maisky (cello), live
William Parker’s In Order To Survive (WP, bass, composition; Hamid Drake, drums, MCOTD Hall of Fame;* Lewis Barnes, trumpet; Rob Brown, alto saxophone; Cooper-Moore, piano), “Criminals in the White House,” live, New York, 2013
*With saxophonists Von Freeman and Henry Threadgill; trumpeter Lester Bowie; gospel singer Dorothy Love Coates; composer Morton Feldman; poets John Berryman, William Bronk, and Wislawa Szymborska; and photographer Helen Levitt.
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello, Mstislav Rostropovich (1927-2007), cello
If I had to list a dozen recordings I couldn’t live without, surely a set of Bach’s cello suites would be among them. I first heard them in the early ’70s, when I was in college—and I’ve been living with them ever since.
Bach Festival, WKCR-FM (see yesterday’s post): Day One.
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in D Minor, Jascha Heifetz (1901-1987), violin
One of the year’s truly great musical events begins Friday at 1 a.m. (EST)—the annual Bach Festival on WKCR-FM (Columbia University). All Bach, all the time, until midnight New Year’s Eve. If, after the last few months, you just can’t take any more clarity and light, you might want to skip it.