BEST OF 2010
It's been a particularly
good year for new music, even if my own list contains perhaps more reissues
than new releases. The usual disclaimers stating the obvious but pertinent:
We were not able to hear all the concerts and discs of 2010. We merely give
credit to the ones we geographically, financially or by circumstance were able
to lay our ears upon.
Happy hunting to
all, and an artistically rich 2011.
New York City
Ten transcendental live gatherings from 2010 in sequential order.
@ Knitting Factory Brooklyn, NY 1/10/10
@ Coco 66 Brooklyn, NY 3/18/10
10 @ the
Bank Baltimore, MD 4/10/10
(Susie Ibarra, drums; Sylvie Courvoisier, piano; Ikue Mori, electronics) @ the
Stone NY, NY 6/25/10
SMITH seminar on his artwork @ the Stone NY, NY 7/26/10
WHITMAN @ Issue Project Room Brooklyn, NY 9/27/10
@ BAM Brooklyn, NY 10/2/10
Masonic Hall Brooklyn, NY 10/8/10
AKI ONDA &
CARBON @ Issue Project Room Brooklyn, NY 11/4/10
@ Le Poisson Rouge NY, NY 12/12/10
Cuidad México, D.F. / Mexico City
Artista Sonoro, guitarrista y ingeniero en audio
Sound artist, guitarist
and sound engineer
SCOTT. Yesterday You Said Tomorrow.
La reveladora y poderosa intimidad de un jazz moderno y digno de la nueva década.
The revealing and
powerful intimacy of a modern jazz worthy of the new decade.
2. MARC BURONFOSSE
SOUNDS QUARTET. Face The Music.
La contemporaneidad de su música unida a la belleza de sus melodías,
la convierte su música en una propuesta muy interesante y un jazz nuevo,
fresco y cautivador. marcburonfosse.com
nature of their music, together with the beauty of his melodies, becomes a very
interesting proposal of a new jazz, cool and captivating.
3. PORTICO QUARTET.
Un grupo joven, muy propositivo y fresco; un conjunto de sonidos que resultan
dulces al oído y entre todo esto la improvisación exuberante.
A young group,
very purposeful and fresh; a set of sounds that are sweet to the ear and also
an exuberant improvisation.
4. BRANDT BRAUER
FRICK. You Make Me Real.
La concepción basada en la composición electrónica pero
acústica los convierte en una propuesta muy interesante y creativa que
vale la pena escuchar. brandtbrauerfrick.de,
The concept based
on electronic composition but acoustic, very interesting and creative.
5. TRILOK GURTU.
La magia rítmica de Trilok es siempre cautivadora. Este disco es la confirmación
de la fusión de la música tradicional y las nuevas tendencias
musicales en la mente de Trilok Gurtu. BHM 1037-2, bhm-music.de,
magic is always captivating. This record is the confirmation of the fusion of
traditional music and new musical trends from the mind of Trilok Gurtu
El baterista Kendrick Scott rescata de la tradición jazzistica los elementos
esenciales y construye nuevas sonoridades que reafirman el jazz de los próximos
años. CrissCross Jazz 1316, crisscrossjazz.com,
Scott rescues the essential elements of jazz tradition and creates new sounds
which reaffirm jazz for years to come.
7. JASON MORAN.
Una música sutil y fina con toques contemporáneos que lo posicionan
dentro de los mejores discos de la lista. Blue Note 57186, bluenote.com,
A fine and subtle
music with contemporary touches which place it on my best albums list.
8. BRAD MEHLDAU.
La riqueza armónica de Brad y su piano deslumbran como siempre con un
jazz íntimo pero muy expresivo. Nonesuch 518655, nonesuch.com/albums/highway-rider,
The harmonic richness
of Brad and his dazzling piano jazz is, as always, intimate but very expressive.
El minimalismo electrónico claramente expresado y revitalizador de su
sonido, ejemplificado en su canción "Black Tick" y su concepto
bien definido lo hace un disco ideal para escuchar este 2010. Souvenir 26, souvenir-music.com,
The clearly expressed
electronic minimalism, well-defined concept and revitalization of their sound,
exemplified in their song "Black Tick," makes this a disc to hear
10. DAFT PUNK.
Tron Legacy (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack).
Una sorprendente orquestación creada por el grupo francés los
pone en un nuevo nivel en el que exploran nuevos horizontes realmente interesantes.
A surprising orchestration
created by the French group puts them on a new level which explores really interesting
Total Life Forever.
Un rock muy inspirado en los '80s, pero con el uso de patrones rítmicos
diversos les da un sonido único y muy prometedor, creando atmósferas
interesantes y frescas dentro del rock indie. foals.co.uk
by the '80s but the use of different rhythmic patterns gives them a unique,
forward-looking sound, creating an interesting and fresh atmosphere in indie
Ethnomusicologist, composer, improviser
Hello again. This
year's list includes world, avant classical, bird song, and improvised music's
- mixed together into a single alphabetical order. Rather than limit the pool
to strict dates, I've included the highlights of my own path of discoveries
during 2010. You'll notice that some of the music (and the interview) comes
from cool websites that have remarkable resources. I hope you discover sounds
that bring you great joy!
AMM. Sounding Music.
Pierluigi BILLONE. 1+1=1.
BIRDs. Bird Mimicry.
BRITISH EAST AFRICA-Columbia Library of Folk and Primitive Music.
Harley GABER. Indra's Net.
David GORTON. Trajectories.
Tim HODGKINSON. Klarnt.
INDONESIA. West Papua. Dema - Music from the Marind Anim.
Helmut LACHENMANN. In Conversation with Gene Coleman.
Rytis MAZULIS. Musica Falsa.
Stefan NICULESCU. Ison 1a; Ison 2; Echos.
Music. John Butcher, Ute Kanngiesser, Eddie Prevost, John Tilbury, and Christian
Wolff. Matchless Records. MRCD-77. 2010. matchlessrecordings.com
A lovely set from Freedom of the City Festival, recorded in London's Conway
Hall in 2009. Includes thought-provoking poetic liner notes by Harry Gilonis.
1+1=1. Vienna: Kairos 1260-2. 2006. www.kairos-music.com,
allegro-music.com Für zwei Bassklarinetten (2006) 70'02". I missed
this when it first came out. Billone is one of the few composers who knows how
to write meaningful extended techniques for bass clarinets. He dedicated a piece
to Evan Parker, and really understands the achievements of the improvisers.
"We have been planing this unique project for a long time: a composition
for two bass clarinets as a full evening program. Through intense research Pierluigi
Billone has acquired much experience in handling the bass clarinet and is the
ideal composer for this task. Billone has an open mind and original thoughts
about such a project. His formal conception can open new spaces for the listeners
and take them on a exciting journey into the souls of the bass clarinets. The
title of the work 1+1=1 is a quotation from an Andrey Tarkovskij film which
points to the special relation between the two instruments."
Mimicry. London: The British Library Board, NSA-CD-28. 2006. Available from
the Online Bookshop at bl.uk
This is a terrific collection of birds imitating other bird species, horse neighs,
human speech, and a computer modem. Most striking of all is the imitation by
a Bowerbird in Papua New Guinea, of ladders, hammering, sawing, ball bearings
inside a spray paint can, and Pidgin English speech.
AFRICA. The Columbia Library of Folk and Primitive Music, Vol. 10.
Never reissued on CD, this remarkable anthology was edited by the great Hugh
Tracey, and includes "Pfeni Ngoma" (on side B at 10:37-11:45), the
melody that I believe Albert Ayler heard and adopted for "Bells."
The song is from Zimbabwe, which at the time of the song's recording, was Southern
Rhodesia. I hope Rounder Records will continue its project of reissuing the
Columbia Library series on CD, including this important album.
Indra's Net. Munich: Edition RZ, 1022. 2010. edition-rz.de
This album represents the long-awaited return of a remarkable composer who was
active in the 1960s and 70s, then switched to visual art until recently. Devotees
of The Winds Rise in the North will be thrilled to have more music from
that fertile period. Also hear his new work on Innova Records, as well as his
excellent website. Welcome back Harley! From the liner notes:
"Both works on this CD form, in a manner of speaking, bookends for another
piece of mine, The Winds Rise in the North. The first of the two,
Sovereign of the Centre, was my initial attempt at putting a new musical
way of thinking into an ensemble rather than solo form. The second, The Realm
of Indra's Net, builds on musical "discoveries" I made in the
course of revising The Winds Rise in the North. It is a hybrid work in
as much as it is an "acoustic-tape piece" (not music concrete): There
are four tracks of solo violin mixed down in different track combinations. (The
one heard on this CD is a full-track mono version of the work.)" --Harley
Trajectories. Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom: Metier Records, MSVCD-92104.
David Gorton's first album demonstrates his unique voice, especially through
the string quartet "Trajectories," wherein he extends the pioneering
work of Giacinto Scelsi into new territory. This is a rich exploration of timbre
and small changes in pitch. Check out his YouTube video, with score excerpt.
Klarnt. Surrey, United Kingdom: ReR Megacorp, ZRTH-3. 2009. www.rermegacorp.com
This is a whole album of solo Bb clarinet music. The 44-minute set puts extended
techniques to the task of creating a coherent, flowing discourse. This is real
music, not grandstanding or experimentation. Maintaining the order of the original
performance (there are 11 tracks) has given the album a logic that results in
a fun, challenging, and satisfying whole. A fine addition to the solo woodwind
West Papua. Dema - Music from the Marind Anim. Leiden, The Netherlands:
PAN Records, 4018. panrecords.nl/content/index.php
This important album is only the sixth album of music from Irian Jaya, the Indonesian
half of the island of New Guinea, to be distributed internationally. And fascinating
music it is. PAN records continues its tremendous service of providing outstanding
recordings with valuable liner notes. From the website:
"The Verschueren collection 1962. Anthology of music from West Papua #2.
Father Jan Verschueren worked in West Papua as a catholic priest among the Marind
Anim from 1931-1970. This CD gives an overview of the recordings he made of
their traditional music in 1962. Together with the wax cylinder recordings he
made in 1933 these are the only existing recordings of the music accompanying
the grand Dema processions, rituals and cults which once formed the highlights
of the traditional Marind Anim culture.
Digipak with 20 page booklet."
Musique Concrète Instrumentale: Helmut Lachenmann in Conversation
with Gene Coleman. Philadelphia: Slought Foundation. MP3@64kbps. 75 minutes.
2008. slought.org A wonderful
site that also has free jazz and cutting edge intellectual postings. Here, Lachenmann
gives a great deal of insight into his music. From the website:
"Lachenmann has referred to his compositions as musique concrète
instrumentale. Here, Lachenmann implies a musical language that embraces the
entire sound-world made accessible through unconventional playing techniques.
According to the composer, this is music "in which the sound events are
chosen and organized so that the manner in which they are generated is at least
as important as the resultant acoustic qualities themselves. Consequently those
qualities, such as timbre, volume, etc., do not produce sounds for their own
sake, but describe or denote the concrete situation: listening, you hear the
conditions under which a sound- or noise-action is carried out, you hear what
materials and energies are involved and what resistance is encountered."
Lachenmann has consistently explored and elaborated new and innovative musical
languages. Using instruments and voices unconventionally, Lachenmann has questioned
past assumptions of the function and expectation of music."
Musica Falsa. Molenbeek, Belgium: Megadisc, CD-7794. 2010. megadisc-classics.com
"In the medieval theory 'musica falsa' stood for deviation from conventional
mode through introduction of chromatic sounds. In my work I often 'deviate'
the twelve-tone system, using smaller divisions of a semitone or an octave.
On the other hand, this term goes well with almost all pieces, recorded on this
CD, which represent new versions for flute(s) of earlier pieces, performed by
Manuel Zurria. The phenomenon of "false" music here reflects both
my compositional ideas, such as microtone scales and artificial tuning systems,
as well as the performance of Manuel, inventing new "weird" arrangements
of my music." -Rytis Mazulis
Ison 1a / Echos / Ison 2. Bucharest: Electrecord LP.
"Ison II" is a bit of a classic, and appeared on Attacca Records'
three-disc Rumanian Anthology. The ison is the drone in Byzantine
music. Niculescu scored "Ison 1a" for 14 instruments, and "Ison
2" for winds and percussion.
México, D.F. / Mexico City.
New Age Electronics
Sculpting music into impossible shapes
POINT NEVER. Returnal. Editions Mego, editionsmego.com,
Oversteps. Warp Records, warp.net/records/autechre
Does It Look Like I'm Here? Editions Mego, editionsmego.com
Location Momentum. Touch, touchmusic.org.uk,
- KEITH FULLERTON
WHITMAN. Disengenuity/Disengenuousness. Pan (3), pan-act.com,
Splazsh. Honest Jon's Records, honestjons.com
NAKAMURA. Egrets. Samadhi Sound, samadhisound.com/toshimarunakamura
- PAN SONIC.
Gravitoni. Blast First Petite, blastfirstpetite.com,
- FRANK BRETSCHNEIDER.
EXP. Raster-Noton, raster-noton.net,
- FLYING LOTUS.
Cosmograma. Warp Records, warp.net,
New York State
2010 Top Releases
All in all, not
a bad year. In no particular order, it's actually a top 11.5, since the Dave
Douglas consists of two separate and distinct discs.
- JEFF PLATZ
QUARTET & DANIEL CARTER - Panoramic (Skycap Records) skycap.de
- TOMAS FUJIWARA
& THE HOOK UP - Actionspeak (482 Music) 482music.com
- MARILYN CRISPELL
and DAVID ROTHENBERG - One Dark Night I Left My Silent House (ECM)
- SCOTT COLLEY
- Empire (CAM-Jazz)
- EVAN PARKER,
BARRY GUY, PAUL LYTTON - Nightwork (Marge) futuramarge.free.fr
- RALPH TOWNER
and PAOLO FRESU - Chiaroscuro (ECM) ecmrecords.com
- DAVE DOUGLAS'
KEYSTONE - Spark of Being - Expand & Soundtrack (Greenleaf)
- GERI ALLEN-
Flying Toward The Sound (Motema Music) motema.com
- JOHN ESCREET
- Don't Fight The Inevitable (Mythology) johnescreet.com
- HARRIS EISENSTADT
- Woodblock Prints (NoBusiness Records, vinyl only) nobusinessrecords.com
- MICHAEL FORMANEK
- The Rub And Spare Change (ECM) ecmrecords.com
New York City
Note: I'm usually
bemoaning how erratic the quality of music on the Innova label. This year it
seems as if I'm under their employ (I'm not).
HOW CAN IT BE? - SONGS OF LOVE, LUST AND CONTEMPT FROM THE 1920s AND 1930s.
A wonderfully-sequenced compilation of blues, Cajun, hokum, old-timey and their
subgenres, one theme per disc. Meager notes, but the price is very low. Another
plea against digipaks, as all three plastic panels were smashed when this arrived
in the mail. Dust-To-Digital DTD-16, 3 CDs, dust-digital.com
BAKER. Drum Suite Life. This joins the pantheon of solo percussion
discs by Milford Graves, Andrew Cyrille Pheeroan ak Laff and a few select others,
differing only in that these works were composed, touching on the traditions
of the drum in African-American history. Subtly breath-taking. Innova 238, 51:10,
Symphony 9. La Chambre Philharmonique, Emmanuel Krivine, conductor. Whereas
last year's Beethoven 3 by Andrew Manze gave me new ears, Krivine's HIP [historically-informed
performance] ensemble "merely" makes me hear the 9th with delight,
the winds especially frisky, the singers ensemble with the band. Naïve
V5202, 63:09, naiveclassique.com,
In Tribute, Volume 6: ALBAN BERG. Giacinto Scelsi: Poema No. 4 a la
memoire d'Alban Berg. Berg: Sonata for Piano; Four Songs op2. Ross Lee Finney:
10 Variations on a theme by Alban Berg. Jacob Gilboa: Reflections
on Three Chords of Alban Berg. Hans Erich Apostei: Variations from Lulu,
for four hands. Ieva Jokubaviciute, piano. Marjorie Dix, mezzo; Vlaimir Valja
revic, second piano. Labor LAB 7086, 60:55, laborrecords.com,
Swamphony. The quartet of John Lindberg, Ted Orr, Harvey Sorgen and Ralph
Carney conjure insidious swamp-themed improvisations. Innova 237, innova.mu,
Brein's World. Austrian bassist's delicious followup to last year's marvelous
Wien bleibt Krk. To get a sense of the joie de vivre of Breinschmid's
various groupings, imagine the joys of the Dutch free jazzers Han Bennink and
Willem Breuker, Viennese waltzes, Django, and cabaret. Excellent audio as well.
Preiser PR 90787, 2 CDs, &5:12 + 78:23, preiserrecords.at,
Anna Karenina. Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, SLSO. Stewart Robertson,
conductor. Libretto by Colin Graham. A new opera which, despite erratic vocal
writing, is dramatically compelling. Signum SIGCD154, 2 CDs, 72:12 + 67:35,
full notes and libretto, qualiton.com,
The Complete Recordings: 1981/1983. Will Connell, Jr., Jason Kao-Hwang,
William Parker, Takeshi Zen Matsuura. NoBusiness NBCD 14-15, 2 CDs, 75:35 +
SUGA DAIRO TRIO.
No English title given on this solid and wacky piano-bass-drums trio of standards
and originals. Let's just call it Joyous. Okay, the title on the DMG website:
Sakamoto Ryoma Handgun: S&W Model 2 of The Far East. CoolFool CLFL-0001,
BONNIE. On Tour. Exciting classic roots rock album expanded to four
discs in a cute but space-wasting "touring case" with a styofoam insert
holding the four digipaks and folio. Well worth the trip. Rhino Handmade RHM
52479, 4 CDs, rhinohandmade.com
At Lansdowne Studios, London . The a capella "Night Herding
Song" is a spine-tingling great yodel-call. And yes, that's nearly 90 minutes
on a single compact disc. Bear Family BCD 16330, 88:40, bear-family.de
and SYLVIA COURVOISIER. Oblivia. This violin-piano duo is equally
strong live and on disc. The improv is favored but the classical roots are totally
integrated. For spirit and mind. Tzadik TZ 7633, 51:35, tzadik.com,
HISTORY OF INDIAN FILM MUSIC: A SHOWCASE OF THE VERY BEST IN HINDI CINEMA.
A 128-page hardback book all in English and two folios of CDs in a thick cardboard
slipcase, this ambitious compilation covers the 1920s through today in all its
complexity and, sometimes, perplexity. I confess I prefer listening to film
music this way, without the visuals. Sare Sama TDICP 054S, 10 CDs and book,
Sonatas 1 and 2. Jeremy Denk, piano; Tara Helen O"Connor, flute.
Fluid and frisky, forceful without being crass, Denk proves an Ivesian of the
first rank. The melodies are integrated but clear. 24 pages of notes and photos.
Think Denk Media TDM2567, 77:35, jeremydenk.net/blog/
Man'ish Boy (A Raw & Beautiful Thing). Deeply-rooted sax trio with
Cooper-Moore and and Rakalai Bob Moses. AUM Fidelity AUM057, 52:49, aumfidelity.com
& THE FAIRGROUND BOYS. Fidelity: Deluxe CD+DVD Edition. I love
the first two Pretenders albums, none after those. The lyrics sometimes a wee
earnest, but the group rocks. Chryssie sounds at her peak, which to say as she
did in the '70s. JP Jones is previously unknown to me, but his generic rocker's
voice meshes well with Hynde. The DVD contains one music video. I usually complain
about digipaks, but this all-cardboard package is mashed and torn down the spines.
La Mina/Rocket Science RSVFB026, rocketscienceventures.com,
Celebrating 40 Years at The Met. Corigliano's marvelous Ghosts of Versailles,
Lulu, Wozzeck, Figaro, Trittico, Bartered Bride, Ariade, Elektra, Rosenkavalier,
Don Carlo, Mahagonny, and In Concert At The Met. Met Opera (no catalog nr.),
21 DVDs, slipcase, metopera.org
Rocks. Thirty-five Imperial and one bonus Epic recording from the New
Orleans standard-bearer. Bear Family BCD 16676 AR, 85:43, bear-family.de
LIGETI. String Quartets 1 & 2, Andante and Allegretto. Parker
Quartet. The competition (Artemis on EMI, Hagen & LaSalle in a DG box) handles
different aspects slightly differently, but none is better and neither offer
the "Andante and Allegretto." Budget price. Naxos 8.570781, 55:46,
Dear Mrs. Parks. Detroit SO, Rackham Symphony Choir, Brazeal Dennard
Chorale, soloists, Thomas Wilkins conductor. The trumpeter and composer (earlier
known as Hannibal Marvin Peterson, then just Hannibal) skillfully weaves European,
African and American idioms in this modern classical oratorio recorded before
an appropriately enthusiastic live audience. Naxos 8.559668, 59:03, libretto,
Music for Words, Perhaps: Poems by Yeats and Wallace Stevens. Theo Bleckmann,
Shelley Hirsch. The pianist composer, known for his "hyperpiano,"
plays both inside and out, compositionally and pianistically, with most beautifully
sung and presumably notated spoken lines in the 40-minute Yeats cycle, which
finds Bleckmann in especially haunting voice. Innova 717, 65:05, texts, innova.mu,
FAMILY. Wild Mountain Thyme. TopicTSCD583, 50:23. Belfast folkies,
Muntu Recordings. Live and studio recordings from the '70s "loft
jazz" era. NoBusiness NBCD 7-8-9, 3CDs, and 114-page book in English, slipcover,
Fracture: Anti-Social Music. The cellist goes wild, slashing hardcore
alternately with, against and in confluence with various "chamber"
ensembles from flute and accordion to bass clarinet and viola. Equally appealing
to fans of jazzpunk skronk and French chamber music. Innova 760, 67:00, innova.mu,
NYFA COLLECTION: 25 Years of New York New Music. Five booklets with
detailed notes for each work of over 50 composers, more downtown than uptown
but some upstate, from Oliveros to E#, Halac, Chadabe and Mahanthappa to Vierk
to Tower and Tsontakis. The proverbial treasure trove, sponsored by the New
York Foundation For The Arts. Innova 233, 5 CDs, innova.mu
STOP IS VIETNAM: The War On Records: 1961-2008. Bear Family nails it
yet another breath-taking, thought-provoking topical anthology of interviews,
radio broadcasts, but in deed mostly pop songs related to the war pro, con and
neither. 13 CDs, 312-page, all-English 12" x 12" hardcover book with
images of each original vinyl disc or cover plus historical photos, and lots
of fascinating text. Bear Family BCD 16070 MS, hardboard slipcase, bear-family.de
NEW JAZZ TRIO +. Lonely Woman. Ornette's classic tune interpreted
six ways: quitar solo, trio and quintet with electronics from Sachiko M and
Jim O'Rourke. Mindblowing. Doubt dmf-138, 48:11, doubtmusic.com,
BARRY GUY, PAUL LYTTON. Nightwork: Live At The Sunset. Do you need
another disc with these guys? Yes. The secure feeling of master musicians who
listen to each other over two extended improvisations, far from high-energy
squeal. Marge 46, 61:10, futuramarge.free.fr,
PALENQUE: Champeta Criolla & Afro Roots In Colombia 1975-1991.
Soundway SNDWCD022, 72:10, soundwayrecords.com
Chaal Baby. An easy winner for anyone into the klez-Baltic-jazz scene,
except this time the joy is sourced from India. Sin SR0100, 56:14, redbaraat.com
RHYTHM & BLUES. A deliciously programmed anthology of classic and
"retro" R&B artists, ranging from Snooks Eaglin and Irma Thomas,
to Keb' Mo' and Sharon King, but thank you for introducing me to Cracked Ice,
one of my favorite finds this year. Get their CD Soul Noir. Putomayo PUT 297-2,
El Encuentro. Sax, cello and the Metropole Orchestra join the great bandoneon
player in this live set of four beautiful (but not sappy) extended tracks. ECM
2155/ B0014477-02, 79:10, ecmrecords.com,
Yesterday You Said Tomorrow. Finally! A jazz disc that uses trad Blue
Note, Miles, and modernist settings but without pandering to soft, electronica,
fusion or wimpjazz elements. Perfectly realized modern jazz. Excellent ensemble
playing. Concord Jazz CJA-31412-02, concordmusicgroup.com,
The Atlantic Recordings. Underappreciated southern soul great who is
way more than "When A Man Loves A Woman." A perfect follow-up to last
year's Wilson Pickett Complete Atlantic. Rhino Handmade RHM2 526138,
4 CDs in an 8x8" velvet-hardbound book, 76:29 + 79:47 + +. rhinohandmade.com
Live In London 1970. A particularly squeaky and raucously fun set of,
dare I use the word tribal, sets at Queen Elizabeth Hall. Makes me recall Zappa/Mothers
recordings from there too. [A feature on the Transparency label is upcoming
in these pages.] Transparency 0317, 2 CDs, 70:00 + 46:00.
Come on and See Me: The Complete Solo Collection. Early recordings from
Checker, Scepter and Wand, all her Motown sides plus Live At The Roostertail
reveal many facets of this alternately sultry and vivacious singer. Excellent
fat booklet notes. Motown/Hip-O Select B0014792-02, 2 CDs, 72:49 + 64:57, hip-oselect.com
TONY JOE WHITE.
That On The Road Look. Live from 1971 with Duck Dunn, the Swamp Fox is
absolutely smoldering country funk soul. Warner/Rhinohandmade RHM2 524696, 66:46,
New York City Opera. Cinducted by Chrstian Curnyn. The production was excellent
overall, but the creamy voice and charming acting of Iestyn Davies as Prince
Armindo of Cornith was an exemplor of what countertenors should be like.
THE NOSE. Production by William Kentridge. Conducted by Valery Gergiev.
Metropolitan Opera. Beautifully sung by all, with amazing use of multimedia,
the set all at the service of a story of the absurd.
AND JACOB WICK, trumpet duo. Downtown Music Gallery, NYC. Free Sunday in-store
performance series. natewooley.com,
OF MARK TWAIN, Volume 1. Very single pragraph makes me grin or laugh out
loud. Too large to carry on the subway, it's the perfect bed or comfy-chair
book. University of California Press, 760 pages, oversize hardbound, ucpress.edu
NOTATIONS 21. Sauer compiles a striking art/music book of graphic scores,
taking up where John Cage's original Notations book left off. Beautiful
for musicians and nonmusicians alike. Look for concerts worldwide under the
Notations21 aegis. Mark Batty Publishers, large format hardbound, 320 pages,
Tony's World. Birch Brook Press ISBN 9780978997489, birchbrookpress.info
Poet Wallenstein, a contributor to these pages, creates a universe of savory
unsavory characters. Read my
review in Big City Lit.
ANGELS IN AMERICA:
A Gay Fantasia on National Themes by Tony Kushner. Cast: Robin Bartlett
(Hannah Pitt), Christian Borle (Prior Walter), Bill Heck (Joe Pitt), Zoe Kazan
(Harper Pitt), Billy Porter (Belize), Zachary Quinto (Louis Ironson), Robin
Weigert (the Angel) and Frank Wood (Roy Cohn). Directed by Michael Grief. Signature
Theatre, NYC. The texture and tone remain fierce, and the slight revisions refocus
on the contemporary and "national themes." signaturetheatre.org/angels
IN SPOKANE by Martin McDonagh. Atlantic Theater Company. Schoenfeld Theatre,
NYC. Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Anthony Mackie, Zoe Kazan. Directed by
John Crowley. Wickedly funny script, each was at the top of his craft but Rockwell
nearly stole the show. atlantictheater.org
by David Hirson. Directed by Matthew Warchus. Music Box Theatre, NYC. Mark Rylance's
role and performance were the epitome of a tour de force, but the largely non-speaking
David Hyde Pierce was a brilliant straight man, his whole body responding in
subtle horror to Rylance's antics.
by Donald Margulies. Linda Lavin and Sarah Paulson. Directed by Lynne Meadow.
Samuel J Friedman Theatre, NYC. We knew Lavin was going to be brilliant here,
but the surprise was the shading of Paulson's characterization of the writer's
mentee; the subtle evolution of her character's strength was mind-boggling.
and A KIND OF ALASKA by Harold Pinter. Classic Stage Company, Atlantic Theater
Company, NYC. Karen Kohlhaas, director. Larry Brygman. Darren Pettie, Rebecca
Henderson, Matt McGrath, Lisa Emory. Pitch-perfect performances of these Pinter
A FREE MAN OF
COLOR by John Guare. George C. Wolfe, director. Vivian Beaumont Theater,
Lincoln Center, NYC. Deliciously sprawling entertainment of American history
as a very American French farce. lct.org
THE GLASS MENAGERIE
by Tennessee Williams. Roundabout Theatre Company, NYC. Directed by Gordon Eisenstein.
Patch Darragh, Judith Ivey, Keira Kelley, Michael Mosley. A true ensemble cast
with Judith Ivey 's unique tour de understated force as Amanda. roundabouttheatre.org
by Edna O'Brien. Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester (Brits Off Broadway series)
59E59 Theater, NYC. Directed by Braham Murray. Brenda Blethyn, Niall Buggy,
Beth Cooke. Perhaps the saddest play I ever experienced, brilliantly acted and
brilliantly written; Blethyn was shattering. britsoffbroadway.com,
I NEVER SANG
FOR MY FATHER by Robert Anderson. Directed by Jonathan Silverstein. Keen
Company: Keir Dullea, Marsha Mason & Company. The film leaves me cold; I
couldn't imagine a more moving performance than this one.
by William Shakespeare. The Guerilla Shakespeare Project. Medicine Show Theater,
NYC. Directed by Jordan Reeves. Ginger Eckert as Constance left us breathless,
less a performance than an appropriately terrifying embodiment. guerillashakespeare.com
STILL by Donald Margulies. Cort Theatre, NYC. Laura Linney, Brian d'Arcy
James, Eric Bogosian, Christina Ricci. Directed by Daniel Sullivan. Linney and
Ricci embodied incredible solid, nuanced personas on which the plot was pinned.