Saturday, December 11, 2010



Symphony in c-minor (#8) - Bruckner - Staatskapelle Dresden/Eugen Jochum

Lives on what it seems about to do, long deferred. I often get strong whiffs of late Schubert piano sonatas while listening to Bruckner. In addition to that, something about the way entrances appear out of nowhere was giving me a shiver of Varese, an image of dire spiritual necessity. Seeking, then re-seeking. Expanding, then re-expanding. Dreaming, then re-dreaming. In-radiating, then re-in-radiating. Blazing, then re-blazing. Opening an inner space of infinite depth.

Three-Page Sonata - Ives - Clive Lythgoe

Streichsextette in F-Dur, op. 118 - Reger - Die Kammermusiker Zurich

Contrapuntal expressionism. The way out is long from here and night deepens. No sweetness without poignance.

Three Orchestral Preludes from "Palestrina" - Pfitzner - Berliner Philharmoniker/Ferdinand Leitner

Concerning: a desire to let the world have its evil if only we can remain unsullied.
Concerning: worldly business and domestic business
Concerning: responsibility and conculpitude

 Lovin' Sam from Alabam - Mamie Smith

Symphony #1, op. 35 - Alexander Krein - London PO/Martyn Brabbins


Sweet Sweet Woman - Douglas Finnell and his Royal Stompers
String Quartet No. 1, op. 7 - Hans Erich Apostel - LaSalle Q

A frantic plea - shriller - desparater

A Good Man is Hard to Find (exerpt) - Miff Mole
Don't Blame Me - Billy Eckstein Orchestra/Sarah Vaughn

Most of the jazz & blues stuff that gets thrown into the listening comes from the collections That Devilin' Tune, and Really The Blues put together by Allen Lowe. I can not give Mr. Lowe a big enough shoutout for these. Bravo!

Quintet for Clarinet, Two Violas, and Two Cellos - Diamond - Chamber Music Northwest

It isn't that Diamond is deaf to the high histrionics of Apostel & Co. or even trying to pretend they didn't happen, but that he is attempting to comfort us in the face of it. The music runs a risk of flippancy for all its musical sophistication, a notion that, in spite of what has just occurred, we can can continue as we were.

Sunflower Sutra - Allen Ginsberg

Mr. Ginsberg begs to differ.

Mr. Blue - The Fleetwoods
Diamond Head - The Ventures
Radio Spot for Hawaii Five-O Album - The Ventures

An afternoon of local bands on the make.

The Who by Numbers - The Who

Default move: Go to power. This quickly runs into diminishing returns. It is always a pleasure to listen to Keith & John do their thing, but the general bad-feeling of the album gets tiresome.


Gradus #184 - Neal Meyer

Crosstalk (website)
Jesse Canterbury, clarinet & bass clarinet; Brian Cobb, bass; Paul Kikuchi, drums; Tiffany Lin, piano
at the Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, Seattle

#3 - Jesse Canterbury

Arrangement of "Cage" - Charles Ives
Steady - Brian Cobb

I lost track of what the pieces were, and also of who did the arrangement of the Charles Ives song Cage (??), though Jesse gave credit from the stage.

One aspect of jazz that can distinguish it as a mode of musical discourse is the play between images of tight and loose. A typical expression of 'tight' comes during the high-bebop, wickedly syncopated, unison performance of the head, that of 'loose' during the more strictly improvisatory solo bits. The joy of it is in how this works out in the wild of the event, the loose invading the tight and the tight the loose. Crosstalk is a newly formed group with strong players still learning to deal with each other in this configuration. Personally I love listening to learning happen and I was having a great time. I look forward to hearing this group as their tight gets tighter and their loose gets looser.

Being a pianist myself, in ensembles like this I tend to root for the keyboard player. I was sitting where I felt I had the best chance of hearing what Tiffany was doing, but even at that she may have been working at an acoustic disadvantage. Much of what distinguishes the piano sound from the timbrally similar clarinet & upright bass (slightly amplified) is the quality of its attack. The Kimball at the Chapel has a lovely, subtle, rich attack, but it is asking too much of it, without help, to compete with a drum-kit's huge dynamic. When Paul was playing with brushes (low incidence of attacks) the balance was just about perfect. I'm not sure there's a good solution to this. Amplification of the piano may be the best. What gets lost in the process may not have been audible live anyhow. None of this should be a problem on well-engineered recordings.

That aside, I really loved what this crew was doing and enjoyed myself immensely. Thank you!

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