Saturday, December 3, 2016



November 26, 2016
Sonata in A, Op. 101 - Beethoven - Artur Schnabel

There are no straight paths. Grumbly trills. The pianos of Beethoven's day possessed a wider assortment of tone colors from top to bottom. Moving material into a different register didn't simply change the pitch level, it also changed the color of the sound. B doesn't rely on this bare effect, but also composes his own color shifts at every level of detail, putting his thumb on the scale, as it were, so we don't miss the point. This is part of why these pieces seem to shift so easily onto modern instruments with their more even tone-quality from top to bottom.

Barcorolle in F-sharp minor, Op. 60 - Chopin - Alfred Cortot [recorded on July 5, 1933]

Chopin loved finding deliciously odd pivot points for his multi-step modulations. Changing keys is a dance move.

Some Of These Days - Sophie Tucker [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Her voice is simply too big for the recording technology available at the time.

Shake It and Break It - Ladd's Black Aces [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Some fancy stop time shenanigans in there.

November 29, 2016
Sippie Wallace
Jack O' Diamonds - Louis Armstrong, Sippie Wallace, Hersal Thomas [from Alan Lowe's Really The Blues]

According to the notes I have, this piece was recorded on the day my dad was born: March 1, 1926. Heavy beat, but touched lightly, in an instant, like perfectly synchronized eye blinks.

God's Getting Worried - Virginia Dandies [from Goodbye Babylon]

About (y)our wicked ways.

Romeo et Juliette Cinquieme Tableaux - Prokofiev - Orchestre du Theatre Bolchoi de Moscou, Algis Juraitis

The topsy-turvy world of R&J is a dramatic composer's dream, just begging for extremes.

Portrait of a Guinea Farm - Claude Thornhill [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

This is a very strange thing indeed - somewhere between a tone poem, a novelty song, and a fugue.

December 1, 2016
We're Through - Sarah Vaughan, Dicky Well's Big Seven [from Interlude - Early Recordings 1944-1947]

Trying to arrange the cushions of consolation just so. It's so hard!

The Rake's Progress Act III - Stravinsky - Orchestra of St. Luke's, Robert Craft, Jayne West, Jon Garrison, Arthur Woodley, John Cheek, Shirley Love, Wendy White, Melvin Lowery, Jeffrey Johnson, Gregg Smith Singers

Pulling the rug out from under is standard operating procedure. This is theater in all its artificial glory, perfectly believable even with artifice tipping its hand at every moment. Ties everything up and puts a bow on it.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

November 28, 2016
Banned Telepath 50 161128 Anchorage
Banned Telepath 50 161128 Seattle
Banned Rehearsal 923 161128 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steven Kennedy, Neal Kosály-Meyer (Seattle); Aaron Keyt (Anchorage)

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