Thursday, September 14, 2017

A Much Longer Hiatus Than Expected + Recommended Listening!

Hard to believe that it has been 18 days since I posted a review or a concert preview or even a video. It's not that music hasn't entered my house and subsequently my ears. My lassitude has come about from the intersection of surgery and the beginning of school.  The surgery, not life-threatening, took place in late July and the doctor/surgeon said that the recovery time was 8-12 weeks but that I could start school on August 28 as long as I paced myself, sat and talked with students instead my usual pacing around the room, and took the elevator up to the third floor as opposed to my usual taking the stairs.  One of the side-effects of going back to the classroom somewhat early is that after my third class is over, I am quite tired.  Still.

That writ, music has been a constant companion of my "down" time.  Fred Hersch's "Open Air" plus Australian pianist Tim Stevens's "Media Vita", both of which  I reviewed in August (click here), have been filling the rooms of our house with their sweet, sometimes hard-edged, sounds.  But there have been others and my recommendations are below - I may review them in depth when I can but, in the meantime, I can show you covers and give you links.
I love poetry inspired by music and vice versa.  I saw the listing from Cedille Records for "Portraits: Works for Flute, Clarinet, & Piano", an album that features the McGill/McHale Trio playing music composed by Chris Rogerson, Guillame Connesson, Sergei Rachmaninov, Paul Schoenfield, Phillip Hammond, and the brilliant "Portrait of Langston" by Valerie Coleman, a 26-minute piece that features the poetry of Langston Hughes read by Mahershala Ali.  I purchased the album from the label and am deeply moved as well as excited by the performance.  To find out more, go to

Follow this link to hear a piece from the album:

I have reviewed several recordings by the duo of Eddie Daniels (clarinet) and Roger Kellaway (piano), all recorded since the turn of the 21st Century. Imagine my delight when Resonance Records sent "Just Friends", recorded live at The Village Vanguard one November night in 1988! Best of all, the two master musicians employ the delightful rhythm section of Buster Williams (bass) and the irrepressible Al Foster (drums).  The co-leaders each contribute two compositions plus the classic title track (composed in 1931 by John Klenner with words by Samuel Lewis).  Label head George Klabin found the tape of this music in his collection in 2016: amazingly, he had used a cassette recorder with one condenser microphone yet one feels like he is in the first row with the musicians a few feet away.

The album will be released on September 29 and, believe me, the music will brighten your days and warm the house at night.

For more information, go to

No comments:

Post a Comment