Good stuff over the next few days: Tonight at the DiMenna Center you can hear Ghost Ensemble, which is made up of smart, cool, and curious musicians and composers like Sky Macklay and Ben Richter, with something of a release show for their upcoming album We Who Walk Again—they’ll be playing music off that album. … Continue reading Things to Do
They don't make movie soundtracks like they used to… I'm not sure why, although certainly there is more than a single reason. I suspect some contributing causes are producers' business decisions to put together a soundtrack that will also serve as a pop music compilation they can package and sell. This goes all the way … Continue reading At The Movies
Archives like those for the old Columbia Records are the gift that keeps giving, not just in easy money for Sony but in new opportunities for music consumers. And now, finally, they’ve reissued one of the absolutely essential recordings in the classical repertory, the Budapest String Quartet's 1951-52 complete Beethoven Quartets. This is arguably the finest cycle … Continue reading Budapest String Quartet, Beethoven: Complete String Quartets
What makes someone a composer? What makes something a musical composition? A composer makes music, obviously, the common method being notating symbolic language on staff paper. But we have long ago accepted written language (text pieces) and images (graphic scores) as compositions. What is a composition? It's a set of instructions by which a musician-or … Continue reading Culture, Meet Revolver
There's been a lot written on Cecil Taylor this past week since his death, and as Taylor was an essential part of my coming of age as a serious musician and, especially, a serious listener and lover of music, it's been exciting to see how far he reached audiences outside of jazz and the even … Continue reading CT
Have your wallet say yes to the complete works of one of the greatest and most important composers in history.
Now that you've read my picks for the best jazz albums of 2017, you can read the final poll results here, and you can see each critic's individual ballot here. As to the vast range of opinions on display, and the relation to which I see myself, I'm ambivalent as always. I know I am … Continue reading The Results Are In
Galás is the high priestess of our savagery. She sings songs about love and death in a way that shows what they really are: songs about fucking and killing.