recommendations: August 2008 Archives

Miles From India (Times Square). Producer Bob Belden wound up a monumental series of Miles Davis reissue box sets for Sony/Columbia, then he and fellow arranger Louiz Banks turned to interpreting the trumpeter's Miles From India.jpgimmense output of recordings after 1959. This two-CD set considers the intersection of Indian music with Davis's adventures in scales and modes from Kind of Blue forward. Belden laid down the initial tracks in India, later adding soloists in New York. Among the players are sidemen from several Davis bands. They include Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb, Gary Bartz, Chick Corea and David Liebman. Trumpeter Wallace Roney evokes Davis. Guitarist John McLaughlin contributes the brilliant title track. This ambitious project is a success.

August 15, 2008 1:05 AM | | Comments (1)
Winstone.jpgNorma Winstone, Distances  (ECM). The British singer places the purity of her voice, intonation and phrasing in the spare setting of Glauco Venier's piano and Klaus Gesing's soprano sax. Winstone's songs include that rarity, a successful vocal version of John Coltrane's "Giant Steps," and pieces by Cole Porter, Eric Satie, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Peter Gabriel. She uses her artistic range to bring disparate compositional styles into a collection not unlike a suite. Winstone comes close to jauntiness in her calypso sparring with Gesing's bass clarinet in "A Song for England," but the pervasive characteristics of this recital of vocal chamber music are peacefulness and emotional depth.
August 15, 2008 1:04 AM | | Comments (0)
Griff and Jaws.jpgJohnny Griffin & Lockjaw Davis, Live in Copenhagen (Storyville). The hard-charging tenor saxophonists worked in tandem for twenty-six years. This 1984 club date at the Montmarte club two years before Davis's death is typical of the unremitting swing and visceral excitement of their live appearances. The rhythm section is pianist Harry Pickens, bassist Curtis Lundy and drummer Kenny Washington, in his mid-twenties and formidable. Griffin's blues "Call It Whatcha Wanna" is a highlight in a set that is itself a highlight. Now that Griffin has joined Davis, this is a memento of one of the great jazz partnerships.
August 15, 2008 1:03 AM | | Comments (0)
Joe Zawinul: A Musical Portrait  (ArtHaus Musik). This well crafted documentary offers generous helpings of Zawinul's music while outlining his life and philosophy. Zawinul's Zawinul.jpgluxurious existence in Malibu during his final years ("I have everything I want in life") contrasts with a visit to his boyhood home in Vienna and his account of surviving an Allied bombing in 1944. The sequences featuring the last edition of The Zawinul Syndicate illustrate his charisma and power as a leader. Director Mark Kidel's videography, editing and sound mixing give the production a human heart.
August 15, 2008 1:02 AM | | Comments (0)
Wildly Irish.jpgDick Wimmer, The Wildly Irish Sextet (Soft Skull Press). Following the elemental Seamus Boyne (Irish Wine: The Trilogy) into the genius painter's old age, Wimmer cuts his creation no senior citizen slack. Boyne is wilder, more famous and more self-centered than ever. Still, he manages to maintain his loved ones' and the reader's affection as he rampages through New York, Westchester, Long Island and much of Ireland. You wouldn't want him as a house guest, but he's a great drinking buddy. The novel has a manic rhythm that surmounts every suspension of belief that such a character could exist.
August 15, 2008 1:01 AM | | Comments (0)

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the recommendations category from August 2008.

recommendations: July 2008 is the previous archive.

recommendations: September 2008 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
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
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
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
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
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
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
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
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
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
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