Saturday, November 14, 2015



November 9, 2015
Homesickness Blues - Nora Bayes [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Orchestrated and arranged, done-up all proper, but not so tightly bolted together that it doesn't allow lots of give.

Marche Triomphale du Centenaire de Napoleon I - Louis Vierne - Auburn Symphony Orchestra,
Albert Dieudonné
Stewart Kershaw, David Di Fiore

I kept thinking of the scene in Abel Gance's Napoleon where Napoleon (Albert Dieudonné) visits, at midnight, the assembly room where the great figures of the revolution argued. Their ghosts appear one after the other bidding Napoleon to take up the mantel of the revolution for them - the spectral-heroic.

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra - Copland - Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz, Lorin Hollander

Lorin Hollander
This is among my favorite recordings of Copland, right up there with Bernstein's Billy The Kid. What takes it over the top is Lorin Hollander's unhinged swing, as though Robert Johnson's poly-tempi had been wound up way too tight. The piano could shatter at any moment.

Bacchus et Ariane - Albert Roussel - Orchestre National de France, Georges Pretre

Program music has become illustration, in the sense that the style of the music is more important to the sense of what is happening than the story - you buy this book for the pictures, not the words.

November 10, 2015
Variations for Piano, op. 27 - Webern - Peter Serkin

A blank, a void of perception, every tune an attempt to enlighten, but the void is always just to the side, inaudible.

Suite 8 - Artie Shaw [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Movie credit music, after which we find ourselves in a hoppin' joint for the first scene.

Dodo's Bounce - Dodo Marmarosa [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

The piano solo has a swing that's like steady eighths swerving wide in a fast turn, just this side of disaster.

Music of Changes - Cage - Herbert Henck
Herbert Henck

Narrow focus, nose to the page, a feat of concentration. The relations among what is within the immediate juxtapositional neighborhood of gesture are so complex as to make larger frame structures extremely problematic - hard to see the jungle as an organism when we can only see three or four leaves at a time. Large structures, if there are any, become objects of statistical perception. Come in anywhere. Leave any time. Or: stick it out, hang in there, participate in its feat-ness. Aside: writing music that only an expert could play, one assures oneself of being limited to only those sounds that an expert would play. One can not unlearn how to play piano. There will be no sound that doesn't project precisely, because expertise can make one incapable of anything less (and reinforces the notion that anything other than precise is less, rather than simply other.)

(I'll Remember) In the Still of the Nite - The Five Satins [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

Floating a tune around a circulating pattern.

Crying - Roy Orbison [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]

An object lesson in vocal production - he can float that high falsetto D out there perfectly in tune, but the last A, being pushed in full voice, is way out of whack.

November 12, 2015
Revolver - The Beatles

If I had to pick a favorite Beatles album this would probably be it. It isn't that my favorite songs are on it (they're not), but that the songs are so varied, that they don't do each other any harm moving from one to the next, and that it doesn't try to be anything other than a bunch of songs. I love that the last sung word is "beginning."

Hunky Dory - David Bowie

Tries on every hat he can find. Some of them are genuinely icky-creepy. Ever the arch-projectionist, he veers just away from the pastiche-play of Billy Joel and into something more like a critical memoir. He doesn't just 'do' Cat Stevens, for instance, his performance is a commentary from within the persona.

Darlin' Corey - Shorty Ralph Reynolds [from Art Rosenbaum's The Art of Field Recording Volume 1]

Fancy banjo time, after which he explains his tuning. Art asks him if there are any other songs that use that tuning. Apparently not. That tuning and that tune are one and the same.

Prince of Darkness (Sinner, Sinner) - Bow Wow Wow

Spawn of Thriller.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

November 8, 2015
Trio 151108 - Keith Eisenbrey

Back to the trio project after several busy weekends, this comprises three tracks on a suspended plow disk, two gears from a tractor clutch (hanging from a two-by-four A-frame), and a tenor banjo.

Banned Telepath 40 Somerville 151108 - Aaron Keyt

November 9, 2015
Banned Telepath 40 Seattle 151109 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Neal Kosály-Meyer
Banned Rehearsal 898 151109 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer

Tambourines across the continent! Shake it!

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