recommendations: June 2009 Archives

Thumbnail image for Stewart, Ellington.jpgGrant Stewart Plays The Music of Duke Ellington And Billy Strayhorn (Sharp Nine). If you like the way Sonny Rollins played the tenor saxophone in 1955, you'll like the way Grant Stewart plays it now. Stewart masters the harmony, phrasing and tone that Rollins applied in Work Time and other albums of his classic Prestige period. The similarity is stunning on "Raincheck" and "It Don't Mean a Thing," but the younger man is not a clone. On ballads including "The Star Crossed Lovers," Stewart creates new melodies with thoughtfulness and conviction. His rhythmic urgency is compelling even at slow tempos.

June 29, 2009 1:05 AM | | Comments (0)

Lovano Folk Art.jpg
Joe Lovano Us Five, Folk Art (Blue Note). As noted in the Rifftides coverage of the Portland Jazz Festival, the saxophonist's Us Five band is a playground of reaction and interaction among diverse but finely attuned musicians. The ages of the other band members, who include two drummers, no doubt average half of Lovano's. If they provide him inspiration and rhythmic fire, it works both ways. In spirit, the music is based in the post-Coltrane ethos of three decades ago. Lovano's energy, imagination and outsized personality make it distinctive. He dominates, but pianist James Weidman commands attention.

June 29, 2009 1:04 AM | | Comments (0)

D Sherman Mercer.jpgDaryl Sherman, Johnny Mercer: A Centennial Tribute (Arbors). So, you think you know all of Johnny Mercer? If you can recite the words to "The Bathtub Ran Over Again" and "Here Come the British," you probably do. Ms. Sherman also sings Mercer's lyrics to better-known songs, "Midnight Sun" and "Come Rain or Come Shine" among them. She accompanies herself and plays piano solos, with assistance from Jerry Dodgion, Wycliffe Gordon, Howard Alden, Jay Leonhart and Chuck Redd. Marian McPartland and Barbara Carroll make guest appearances in a collection of 14 Mercer songs splendidly performed.

June 29, 2009 1:03 AM | | Comments (0)

Hersch DVD.jpgFred Hersch, Let Yourself Go (Aha!). This skillful documentary delves into what makes Hersch one of the most distinctive pianists of his generation. It includes generous sequences of his playing and his articulate reflections on music. Among other admirers, his teacher, Sophia Rosoff, discusses the "basic emotional rhythm" that sets Hersch apart. The film also explores Hersch's significance as one of the first major jazz artists to go public about his homosexuality and his infection with the HIV virus. For a six-minute trailer, go here.

June 29, 2009 1:02 AM | | Comments (1)

Time & Tilting Earth.jpgMiller Williams, Time and the Tilting Earth (Louisiana). I have been a committed Williams fan since I first encountered his poetry in the 1960s. This little volume of new poems from late in his career is essence of Williams, a concentration of his brevity, warmth, wisdom, humor and absolute command of his craft. Williams' sense of wonder extends from the inner being to the cosmos. Much of his work suggests that they may be the same thing.

June 29, 2009 1:01 AM | | Comments (0)

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the recommendations category from June 2009.

recommendations: May 2009 is the previous archive.

recommendations: July 2009 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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