recommendations: September 2009 Archives

PepperArt Cover.jpgArt Pepper, The Art History Project (Widow's Taste). This is the latest segment in Laurie Pepper's guided tour of her husband's musical life. It begins in 1950 with the alto saxophonist on Stan Kenton's band and ends a year before his death in 1982. About a third of the music is previously unreleased. All of it is fascinating. Whether Pepper is full of youth and optimism in the '50s, obsessing over Coltrane in the '60s or declaring his persona in a blistering blues in the '80s, we hear in this three-CD set one of the music's indomitable individualists.

September 2, 2009 1:05 AM | | Comments (0)

Higgins Standards.jpgEddie Higgins, Standards by Request, 1st Day and 2nd Day(Venus). Among those mourning Higgins' death are virtually all other jazz pianists and the Japanese. He was a celebrity among the large and enthusiastic coterie of listeners in Japan who are devoted to piano jazz. Higgins recorded nearly two dozen albums for Japan's Venus label. These solo CDs from 2008 present him in all of his sleek melodicism, harmonic resourcefulness, subtle swing and quiet wit. Most of these interpretations of standards last around four minutes. That's all he needed to find the heart of a song.

September 2, 2009 1:04 AM | | Comments (1)

Flashbacks.jpgBarney McAll, Flashbacks (Extra Celestial Arts). Since he arrived in New York from Australia more than a decade ago, McAll has been a pianist in bands and a composer for motion pictures. He has been nominated for a Grammy for his film work and played with Gary Bartz, Billy Harper and Kurt Rosenwinkel, among other jazz adventurers. His best composing in this engrossing CD incorporates influences from a profusion of sources. It has the drama and variety of a good film score. McAll, guitarist Rosenwinkel and tenor saxophonist Jay Rodriguez stand out among the soloists.

September 2, 2009 1:03 AM | | Comments (0)

Mays DVD.jpgBill Mays, Solo! (Mays). The pianist performs compositions by some of his forerunners, among them Monk, Rowles, Evans, Shearing, Hancock and Sonny Clark. There are no studio or production gimmicks here. It's just Mays, a Steinway, an attentive audience, good sound and lighting, smooth camera work and alert direction. From the opening "Cool Struttin'" by Clark to "Monk's Mood" at the end, Mays does more than pay tribute. He upholds quality and tradition while confirming his place in a distinguished succession of pianists.

September 2, 2009 1:02 AM | | Comments (1)

Ghosts of Harlem.jpgHank O'Neal, Ghosts of Harlem (Vanderbilt). At last, those who read only English can do more than look at the pictures in this magnificent volume first published in French twelve years ago. O'Neal's subjects are key jazz figures including Cab Calloway, Benny Carter, Maxine Sullivan, Dizzy Gillespie and Clark Terry. He also covers more than a score of less famous important musicians like Tommy Benford, Doc Cheatham and Lawrence Lucie. As skilled an interviewer as he is a photographer, O'Neal provides knowledge, insights and entertainment. Anyone interested in Harlem's role in the development of jazz will luxuriate in this invaluable book.

September 2, 2009 1:01 AM | | Comments (0)

About this Archive

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

recommendations: July 2009 is the previous archive.

recommendations: October 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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