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068: Hermeto Pascoal, ‘Santa Catarina’

Hermeto Pasocal is a 78-year old albino Brazilian sorcerer who makes music from gargling water and processing football commentators, as well as from more conventional sources, like the bass harmonica and the voice of his 30something wife. Miles Davis called him “the most impressive musician in the world”.

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067: Musica Nuda, ‘I Will Survive’

I’ve always been a fan of minimalism in music. In jazz it’s pretty easy because the default is four or five players. But my predilections in classical music are almost exclusively for solo or chamber music; or in The Beatles, Rubber Soul over Magical Mystery Tour. I like to hear what I’m listening to. To […]

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059: The Real Group, ‘Joy Spring’

Joy Spring, Walking Down the Street, There Will Never Be Another You Ok, I confess. I am a member of a cult. A proud, card-carrying, dues-paying proselyte, full of missionary zeal, collaring unsuspecting wedding guests, subjecting them to my fanatic preaching of The Word. Or, in this case, The Music. A cappella (unaccompanied vocal) jazz […]

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055: Miles Davis/Gil Evans, ‘Concierto de Aranjuez’

Thanks this week to my friend MK, who has so generously and virulently argued with me over the last couple of weeks about the sanctity and inviolability of classical music. She believes in all her heart and soul that it’s legitimate to cover Bruce Springsteen but not Bob Schumann. You know, I pretty much agree […]

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021: Mal Waldron & Steve Lacy, ‘Snake Out’

A serendipitous happenstance, as my mother used to say. On the one hand, I just returned from a short visit to Paris (hence my absence last week), and was looking for a  French connection Song of The Week, having quite a hard time of it. It says a lot about my lack of appreciation for […]

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SoTW 17: Chano Dominguez, ‘Tangos del Fuego’ (Red Sea Jazz Festival)

This week’s SoTW is by Chano Dominguez, a Spanish jazz pianist (b. 1960) who’s carved a successful career of fusing a modern jazz sensibility with traditional flamenco music (palos), dance (baile) and song (cante). Unfortunately, I can’t even spell Andalusian without peeking, and I know virtually nothing about flamenco or Chano, so you’re not going […]

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007: John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, ‘My One and Only Love’

This week I had the unique pleasure to spend a day with Kurt Elling, taking him on a day trip to Jerusalem, talking music with him, then attending his knockout show. I’m busy writing it up, and will share it with you soon. In the meantime, here’s some a posting from way back, very relevant to Mr Elling.
Johnny Hartman had a respectable though not brilliant career as a crooner contemporaneously with and then beyond Coltrane. His voice is so smooth it makes Billy Eckstine sound like Mick Jagger, Nat Cole like Joe Cocker. His acknowledged masterpiece is their joint venture, “John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman”. Only 30 minutes long, it’s enough of a classic to warrant an homage by as fine an artist as Kurt Elling.

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SoTW 27: Lennie Tristano, ‘Wow’

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Lennie Tristano. I’m probably not going too far out on a limb if I assume that very few of you have ever heard of him. Chicago pianist, blind from birth, 1919-1978. Moved to NYC 1946, at the height of the bebop’s popularity. Made a few recordings. Made friends and enemies with […]

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