The Big City

”The more susbtantial an individual’s aesthetic experience is, the sounder his taste, the sharper his moral focus, the freer—though not necessarily the happier—he is.."

On May 1, Bandcamp is once again waiving their fees, so if you buy something 100% of the money goes to the artist (they’ll also be doing this at the beginning of June and July, if you want to gird your wallet).

Pi Recordings has started to issue a series called This is Now: Love in the Time of COVID, with quick and unusual new recordings from their group of artists. First is this solo album from saxophonist Steve Lehman, a very personal and idiosyncratic (and mind-blowing) set of studies he recorded in his car.

I flag this series in particular because Pi is distributing this for their artists, and the musicians get 100% of the money. Good guys all around.

“I dig the jacket!”

Kurt Elling

“George Grella, always on the money!”

G. Schirmer & Associates

Opera Philadelphia will be streaming five productions, starting Friday, May 1, and running through May 29, on their YouTube page and at operaphila.org.

Like other streaming opera presenters, there’s a schedule for when each of the performances will be available:

  • Denis & Katya (Philip Venables) , premiering May 1, 8pm, available through May 8, 7pm (North America only).
  • We Shall Not Be Moved (Daniel Bernard Roumain), premiering May 10, 3pm, available through August 31.
  • The Barber of Saville (Rossini), premiering May 15, 8pm, available through June 30.
  • Sky on Swings (Lembit Beecher), premiering May 22, 8pm, available through August 31.
  • Breaking the Waves (Missy Mazzoli), premiering May 29, 8pm, available through August 31.

“I dig the jacket!”

Kurt Elling

“George Grella, always on the money!”

G. Schirmer & Associates

Duke wrote reams and reams of wonderful music, with the perverse effect that tunes like “In a Sentimental Mood” and “East St. Louis Toodle-Oo” crowded out marvelous pieces like “Johnny Come Lately” and this, this exquisite performance of the exquisite “Passion Flower.” There’s little on the planet as sensuous as Johnny Hodges playing a ballad.

“I dig the jacket!”

Kurt Elling

“George Grella, always on the money!”

G. Schirmer & Associates

Tonight, April 29. 7:30—Timo Andres will live stream a recital he was schedule to give at Carnegie Hall, same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel. I was planning on reviewing this, so was feeling the loss, and now some gain. Tune in at his YouTube channel above or via this link.

Here’s the program, it’s the good stuff:

Robin Holcomb – Wherein Lies the Good

Donnacha Dennehy – Her Wits (About Him) 

Brad Mehldau – L.A. Pastorale

Gabriella Smith – Imaginary Pancake (YOUTUBE PREMIERE)

Louis Andriessen – Rimsky or La Monte Young

Steve Reich – For Bob

Timo Andres – Old Ground

Nico Muhly – Move

Timo Andres – Wise Words

Aaron Coplan – Piano Sonata

John Adams – I Still Play

Laurie Anderson – Song for Bob

Frederic Rzweski – Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues

Philip Glass – Evening Song No. 2

“I dig the jacket!”

Kurt Elling

“George Grella, always on the money!”

G. Schirmer & Associates

Duke Ellington, April 29, 1899.

This is about the best of America, and this, not the middle-aged white guys in midwestern diners that David Brooks and those who want to be him talk with (or invent) to get the pulse of “real” America, this is the real America.

“I dig the jacket!”

Kurt Elling

“George Grella, always on the money!”

G. Schirmer & Associates

Over the past five years or so, I’ve gotten deeply into the blues. It took me a long time to get at the core of what’s happening, the fantastic range of nuance, the layers of meaning, and especially the utter lack of fucking bullshit. You cannot bullshit with the blues. It is one of the few cures in the arsenal of resistance to the crushing bullshit of late-capitalist, decadent America. Dig it.

“I dig the jacket!”

Kurt Elling

“George Grella, always on the money!”

G. Schirmer & Associates