Saturday, March 18, 2017



March 11, 2017
Katya Kabanova - Leoš Janáček - Seattle Opera
McCaw Hall, Seattle

The plot and characters are strong, but it's the pitch work commands attention. Similar in approach to Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande, but with sharper edges.


March 12, 2017
Sweetheart O' Mine - Jelly Roll Morton [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

JRM plays a Lisztian trick with his pianism, in that it sounds like a transcription of music for a much larger ensemble.

Shout Sister Shout - Boswell Sisters [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
Boswell Sisters - Hats!

They arrange their voices like a horn section.

Oh Baby Maybe Someday -  Ivy Anderson [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Arrangement, orchestration, song-writing, and composition, are all identical activities. The only difference is social attitude.

Loose Lid Special -  Tommy Dorsey [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

Big massed sound choirs. The instrumental soloists imitate singers.

This Subdues My Passion - Charles Mingus [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]

I kept getting the feeling that the band was manipulating (lip-ipulating?) the sound of their instruments to imitate the sound of older recordings.

I've Got You Under My Skin - Charlie Parker [from The Cole Porter Songbook]

'On the beat' in the sense of there being a sheer dance floor between his sound and the beat he's on. Crazy break-dance too, and not even a shred of effort is heard.

Symphony - Stefan Wolpe - Orchestra of the 20th Century, Arthur Wesberg

Imagine a troop of jugglers performing multiple game-based jugglings simultaneously, each juggler juggling not just what whirls in the air but their specific interior gang of characters, one for each game.

Beginnings are beginnings. Endings are where what it is happens to get lopped off.

The Mountains High - Dick and DeeDee

The development of electronic amplification allowed live sound to begin to duplicate what was only possible in the studio before - and for live sound and studio sound to imitate each other, inventing themselves along the way. Pretty fancy singing back there too.

Cinque Variationi - Luciano Berio - David Burge

Ann Peebles
The piano writing reminds me of Art Tatum, in its melodic superabundance, and of Thelonius Monk, in its unblinking clarity. Melodic variations at heart, but standing in for a single melody is a thicket of tunes, and of sets of nuanced weights and subtle angles.

I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down - Ann Peebles [from Original Funk Soul Sister The Best of Ann Peebles]

A political knife attack from the past. Damn she's good!

Concerto - Walter PistonSeattle Symphony Orchestra, Juilliard Quartet, Gerard Schwarz

I believe I recorded this off the radio some many years back. Its 'concerto-ness', that is, the sense of its contrasting sounds, is not a contrast of opposition, or of vying equals. Rather, the quartet provides a new sound region within the orchestral sound, now hidden, now revealed - and further in each quartet member reveals individual smaller regions within the quartet sound region within the whole sound. It's also got some lip smacking pizzicato passages.

Revereware - Keith Johnston, J. K. Randall - [from Inter/Play]

Reed and no reed. That old familiar Crumar sound slowly molding the bend. There is a sense of proximity play. Each sound source exists in specific relation to the listening mic. Hide and go seek. Each proximal node carefully nurtured for coexistence. Didjeridu makes the Seattle Stu connection, I presume. If one had a choice in all the world's musical history for who would be the best person to be in charge of your pitch-bend wheel, it would have to be Jim. Were pitches ever bent to so vivid a drapery of sound?

March 16, 2017
Graceland - Paul Simon [from Graceland]

Attributions jumbled and uncertain. Who says what when? The instrumental rhythm, oh so impeccable, appears to be solvable, but then one wonders.

Banned Rehearsal 243 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt [January 1991]

Recorded hot, small instruments scraped banged and rummaged through. Clearly not great music, but just as clearly intently engaged, and in the clear intent of being only and purely intently engaged.  || the Jaymar before it fell apart!! Ah how we miss thee!! || Getting to a place where, in music, if it were speaking it was doing, would be speaking in tongues.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

March 13, 2017
Banned Rehearsal 930 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer

Steve constructs a tiny set of drums on top of the xylophone. Karen revisits the bug guitar. Keith roams about what catches his eye. Aaron provides treble trombone talking points. Neal cuts it up in pieces.

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