recommendations: October 2010 Archives

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Miles Davis, Bitches Brew 40th Anniversary (Columbia). Here is everything you are likely to want to hear, know, ask or think about Davis' full-fledged leap into the rock ethic that informed his music in the 1970s. It is a lavish boxed package of two LPs, three CDs, a DVD, a book and a packet of posters, ticket replicas, photos, proof sheets and Columbia memos. For those willing to spend more than a hundred bucks, the memorabilia aspect is an attraction, but the music is the thing. Sidemen including Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Dave Holland, and post-production maven Teo Macero, helped Miles deliver on his celebrated claim, "I could put together the greatest rock & roll band you ever heard." Rock never lived up to his example.

October 4, 2010 11:06 AM | | Comments (0)

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Irene Kral, Second Chance (Jazzed Media). Kral's stock in trade was perfection—of intonation, time, feeling, diction and lyric interpretation. She sang with little movement, no show biz mannerisms, nothing resembling schtick. She was so good at 25 that in 1957 Maynard Ferguson hired her on the spot after hearing one song. Alan Broadbent became Kral's piano accompanist in 1974. Until her death four years later, they performed together on a plane of empathy rarely achieved in any genre of music. This previously unissued club performance from 1975 is an essential addition to their small discography.

October 4, 2010 11:03 AM | | Comments (0)

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Martin Wind, Get It? (Laika). The quartet's feeling of controlled abandon, symbolized in the cover shot, is notable in the title tune inspired by James Brown. There's a sense of slight danger even in the stately treatment of Billy Strayhorn's "Isfahan" and Wind's atmospheric, blues-inflected "Rainy River." The chance-taking is at a high point in Thad Jones' "Three and One," with a Scott Robinson tenor sax solo that slithers, growls and wails. Wind, Robinson, pianist Bill Cunliffe and drummer Tim Horner are a compelling combination. On two pieces, Wind makes his debut on cello.

October 4, 2010 11:02 AM | | Comments (0)

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Johnny Mercer, This Time The Dream's On Me (Warner Bros). Producer-director Bruce Ricker does a masterly job of integrating new and old material into a thorough biography of the great lyricist. The story of Mercer's life and artistry melds film clips and recordings of Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Mercer singing his songs. Colleagues including Johnny Mandel and Tony Bennett offer assessments of his gifts, and Mercer himself reflects on his career. There is no attempt to gloss over his drinking and affairs, but they are in proper perspective. The film leaves the viewer with an amazed sense of Mercer's brilliance, consistency and adaptability.

October 4, 2010 11:01 AM | | Comments (0)

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Nat Hentoff, At The Jazz Band Ball: Sixty Years On The Jazz Scene (U of California Press). Hentoff is our leading avatar of the proposition that jazz is a living expression of the principles embedded in the US constitution, of which he is also a scholar. He does not deal in technical analysis of music. He gives strong, informed opinions and tells stories about those he knew or knows intimately, among them Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane and Clark Terry. But he also writes about less famous figures whose blazing individuality "puts their lives, memories and expectations into the penetrating immediacy of their music." Hentoff wears his love for jazz on his sleeve, and he balances it with insight, knowledge and long experience.

October 4, 2010 11:00 AM | | Comments (0)

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the recommendations category from October 2010.

recommendations: July 2010 is the previous archive.

recommendations: November 2010 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
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world
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
State of the Art
innovations and impediments in not-for-profit 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
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
The Unanswered Question
Joe Horowitz on music

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

Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off

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
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