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
The critic's have spoken, and here's The 2016 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll : The Record : NPR.
As a reader interested in the state of contemporary music, you've likely already seen that Henry Threadgill won this year's Pulitzer Prize in music, specifically for his 2015 album on Pi, In For a Penny, In for a Pound. Personally, I'm overjoyed. I've been following Threadgill since I first heard one of his records with … Continue reading Thread(ing) the Words, the World
First, the stats: 32 new releases in 31 days 147 new releases for the year UPDATED: With embedded document to see if it solve downloading problems. Current pace is for me to get through 588 recordings this year, which is holding pretty steady from the 2015 mark. The Recording of the Week series continues to … Continue reading A Month of Listening: March 2016
The Brooklyn Rail has a double issue for December and January, and will be out later in the month (the staff, guest editor and I are scrambling to finish up a deep joint inteview with Henry Threadgill and Jason Moran), so our listings will be delayed until then. But for early December, highly selective and recommended … Continue reading December Early Listings
In my latest article for the Brooklyn Rail, I lamented how the cost of living in New York City had driven out a lot of experimental musicians and put a lot of small venues out of business—the result being that summertime, which thirty years ago was bursting with surprises and discoveries every night, is now … Continue reading Henry Threadgill Zooid at the Village Vanguard
Links and Lists: You've read my Jazz Critics Poll ballot, now find the final, tabulated results here, results in all categorieshere, the list of individual ballotshere, and the top 10 essay from Francis Davis, the head mofo in charge. Daniel Barenboim's new recording of the Beethoven symphonies with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra was one of … Continue reading Keepin' It Real
Once again Rhapsody is going to be hosting the annual poll of jazz critics that Francis Davis has been organizing for the previous six years, and I have voted in it for the third year running (results will be published January). Here's the ballot I gave him, plus more. The nature of the list is … Continue reading Jazz of the Year 2012