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Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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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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SoTW 16: Bob Dylan, ‘Percy’s Song’

A real good thing happened to a real good friend this week. Neal Hendel was appointed to the Supreme Court here in Israel. It’s a little hard for me to digest. I don’t know a lot about the judging business, but I have an awful lot of respect for his judgment about things like morality […]

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SoTW 15: Tracy Nelson (Mother Earth), ‘Down So Low’

My friend Avi knows more about a whole range of subjects than your average person – computer graphics, carpentry terminology, and the mechanics of assault rifles, among a whole myriad of others. And music, he does know a whole lot about music. When I have a question about a concept (‘Was Van Gogh really that […]

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SoTW 13: Tim Hardin, ‘Black Sheep Boy’

Tim Hardin has perhaps the finest career I know of based on the fewest accomplishments. Two significant LPs in his mid-20s, a drug-ruined mess by 30, dead at 39, far fewer than a dozen great songs. But he managed to do more in two minutes than many others did in decades of writing and recording. Each song is a paragon of honesty and restraint – beautiful and precious, but without a millitrace of the maudlin. I guess it was hard to be so honest.

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012: Arvo Pärt, ‘Cantate Domino’

In which Jeff gets a lesson in tintinnabulation and religious serenity from the contemporary Estonian liturgical composer Arvo Pärt. A little trip to heaven.

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011: The Idea of North, ‘Fragile’ (Sting)

“Art is a matter of taste.” No one has the right to say what’s ‘good’ and what’s ‘bad’. Everyone’s entitled to his/her/its opinion. Well, I guess I begrudgingly go along with the idea that everyone is entitled to vote. But I wouldn’t go so far as to say that everyone has a right to an […]

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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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