Weekend Extra: NPR’s Basic Library

Here is the critic A.B. Spellman on Ornette Coleman's groundbreaking Change Of The Century album. A large part of the credit I believe must be given to the rhythm section. Because in Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins you have two Hall of Fame musicians. And this rhythm section again was working with a different kind of sense of accents. You had a strong melodic lead in the bass of Charlie Haden, because without a piano, the bass then has more responsibility for sort of leading the group. The … [Read more...]


Alec Wilder on Irving Berlin's "Puttin' On The Ritz." Berlin keeps you totally off-balance until the fifth bar, where he sensibly lands on a whole note tied to a half note and then whips you with the title phrase in eighth notes. The release, again sensibly, he leaves for the most part unrhythmic. The structure is straight A-A-B-A. It's a marvelous song. Wilder: American Popular Song (Oxford) … [Read more...]


DevraDoWrite is peeved about website inadequacies and excesses and doesn't mind saying so. As an example: Ineffective site search tool – If you do any kind of research, search tools are invaluable. I believe that sites with a lot of content, be they static or ever changing and growing blogs, should provide a search tool specific to that site. On this blog, for example, you can search for Luther Henderson and see a listing of only those posts in which his name appears. Amen to that and all of … [Read more...]