Monday, October 21, 2013
Buttonwood and Firehouse Live + on CDs
The John Funkhouser Trio is, often, wildly inventive and great fun to watch and listen to - they can also play with grace and sweetness. The Buttonwood gig starts at 8 p.m. this Saturday (10/26). Go to www.buttonwood.org for more information and to reserve a seat (or 2). To learn more about Mr. Funkhouser and his talented comrades, go to www.johnfunkhouser.com.
This adventurous quartet plays 2 sets - 8:30 and 10 p.m. - for ticket information, go to firehouse12.org.
To learn more about James Ilgenfritz and his music, go to www.jamesilgenfritz.com.
Then, there is the music. Contemplative, rhythmical, challenging, lyrical, often enthralling, every piece makes sense to the listener when looking at the painting that inspired the music. The gentle sounds of "Japanese Music" follows the patterns in the painting, perhaps an overcast day with mist leaving shapes on the windows of the studio. The angular melodic fragments and changes in rhythm of "Piano Music" may be inspired by the different sections of the painting that inspired it, images and colors that flow into each other. "Moonless Night", the painting, features unconnected body parts, Picasso-like, while the music is straight-forward, melodic, minimal left-hand accompaniment, slow, stark, with quiet strength. "Still Life", the exquisite melody that closes the program, is breath-taking in its emotion and execution; the music resonates in your heart and mind long after the final notes fade.
You should discover this music for yourself, creating your own responses to the art of both Don Reich and Myra Melford. If you have paid any attention to her music, you already know Ms. Melford takes no short-cuts, does not play "down" to her audience, but does allow her muse to carry her "this way" and "that way." "Life Carries Me This Way" is, simply put, essential listening, timeless and richly rewarding. For more information, go to www.myramelford.com and to firehouse12records.com/releases.
Don't forget to look on the right of this column where you will see that "The Jazz Session" is back in business. Thanks to his many supporters, host/interviewer Jason Crane is back doing what he has done so well in the past, speaking with many of the people who create the music that many of us live to listen to. Two shows a month for the foreseeable future and you can still become a supporter. Click on one of the shows to listen and find out more. Welcome back, Jason!