Sunday, December 25, 2011

...And One More For The Road

The joy of having a blog is that one can correct his mistakes - the flipside of that statement is that I make too many mistakes (all the more as I approach "alter kocker" status - look it up.)

In my previous post ("Rest of Best Of.."), I inadvertently omitted the splendid "Goldberg Variations/Variations" recording of pianist Dan Tepfer (Sunnyside). And, in my haste to complete the list before 2012, I left out a section of favorites that fall, for me, in the category of "Uncategorizable."  In June, I reviewed "Interstitials", the latest release by composer/vocalist/guitarist Joshua Stamper. Returning to the music over the past week, it still sounds fresh and refreshing; the blend of voices, guitars, low brass and woodwinds makes me smile, replacing the chill of the outside world with the joy of creation. My review (click here) still contains a link to the music.

"Flickers of Mime/Death of Memes", the latest "solo" creation of Alexander Berne & The Abandoned Orchestra (Innova Recordings) is filled with sounds that are wonderfully strange and familiar at the same time.  Berne's music is a mysterious world of sounds from many different sources, including instruments of his own making.  Like many other composers whose work is considered "out" (such as Roscoe Mitchell, Terry Riley, John Cage), the listener has to jettison preconceived notions of what music "should be" and revel in composer's sonic world.  Yes, easier writ than done but...  For more information and a fascinating visual experience, go to

There are numerous examples of musicians who came of age in the 1960s who still perform their "hits" on a regular basis - because they are in the "music business", many of them plow the same fields that gave them their fame.

Paul Simon will still perform his "big hits" but he is no nostalgia act.  He continues to write, record and go on tour, all the while continuing to experiment. Some work, some don't, but his music stays pliant and current.  "So Beautiful or So What" (Hear Music) shines, plain and simple.  Make of the lyrics what you will but this music, a wondrous amalgam of guitars, drums, blues and world music influences, is often exhilarating.

Darcy James Argue has added his voice (and the words of others) to the tributes for Bob Brookmeyer. Argue blends his heartfelt words with reflections from others who have been touched by the music and teachings of this man whose career spanned 6 decades and whose influence on large ensemble music can be compared to that of Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington. Go to to read the entire piece. 

Musician, yogi and teacher Pat Donaher also writes a lovely tribute to Mr. Brookmeyer - go to to read his fine words.

No comments:

Post a Comment