recommendations: August 2007 Archives

Maria Schneider, Sky Blue (artistShare). As I wrote in a Rifftides review of the album, this CD is the finest expression of the composer's restless and evolving talent. She writes with an ear for the capabilities and personalities of the musicians in her band. They respond with improvisations that suit the character of her music. It's a perfect marriage of a writer's intentions and her players' ability to carry them out.

August 27, 2007 1:05 AM | | Comments (0)

Jay Thomas-John Stowell Quartet, Streams of Consciousness(Pony Boy). Delightful, often profound, intimacies. Thomas on fluegelhorn and Stowell on guitar sometimes blend in ways reminiscent of the Art Farmer Quartet with Jim Hall. When Thomas switches to tenor saxophone, the music moves into Wayne Shorter territory. Those comparisons are unfair to the originality of both of these veteran players, but it's unlikely to be a coincidence that three of the tunes are by Shorter. Bassist Chuck Kistler and drummer Adam Kessler are full contributors to the success of this imaginative recording.

August 27, 2007 1:04 AM | | Comments (0)

Bing Crosby & Louis Armstrong, Havin' Fun (Storyville). A two-CD set containing several of Crosby's radio shows from the late 1940s and early '50s with Armstrong as the guest, but not the only one. Jack Teagarden, Joe Venuti, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Shore show up, too. The album title, as Louis might say, ain't no stage joke, neither. They really do have fun, occasionally sending up the stilted lines the writers hand them and improvising their own. Great live radio of a kind long gone. Kidding aside - and there's lots of that -- the main thing is the music, and it's all good.

August 27, 2007 1:03 AM | | Comments (0)

Miroslav Vitous, Live In Vienna (MVD Visual). Another in the series of bassists playing at Porgy & Bess in Vienna. This time the star is Vitous, an erstwhile wunderkind of the double bass who arrived in New York from Czechoslovakia in the late sixties and quickly installed himself in the US jazz scene. After concentrating on his role as an educator, he is again in heavy performance mode. In this concert, Vitous applies his formidable gifts to a range of music including Beethoven, Dvorak, Jewish melody, opera fragments, a lyrical ballad, free improvisation and straight-ahead jazz reflecting his days with Miles Davis. This is a solo bass recital. Despite the claim of the minimal liner notes that Vitous is accompanied by pianist Fritz Pauer and drummer John Hollenbeck, they are nowhere to be seen or heard.

August 27, 2007 1:02 AM | | Comments (0)

Andy Hamilton, Lee Konitz: Conversations on the Improviser's Art (Michigan). Unlike the overwhelming majority of books made up of verbatim interviews, this one works. Konitz's disarming candor about himself and others and Hamilton's organizational and writing skills transcend the form to create a balanced portrait of the alto saxophonist, one of the great individualists in jazz. Hamilton's transitions, insights, and interviews about Konitz with other musicians help make the book a success.

August 27, 2007 1:01 AM | | Comments (0)

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the recommendations category from August 2007.

recommendations: July 2007 is the previous archive.

recommendations: October 2007 is the next archive.

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About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
Rebuilding Gulf Culture after Katrina
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
On the Record
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds

Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
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