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Olympic Jam Sessions

Music was arguably more crucial at the ancient Olympic games than at the globalized modern ones, where it not only buttresses big ritualistic moments—the opening ceremonies, the doling out of…

The Soundtracks Of Solipsism

The Soundtracks Of Solipsism

Among the countless contradictions that the Olympic Games bring into relief is that between private and public music. There is a chasm, unbreachable even by the world’s best long-jumpers and…

The Last Years of Bud Powell

The Last Years of Bud Powell

Is it a terrible thing to sound old when you are still young? Narratives of artistic development often seek greatness in late style that visionary realm explored as the struggles…

From Here To Eternity

From Here To Eternity

It’s a set-up that itself sounds like the scenario for a musical: big-time London theater-makers transplant a flop from the West End to a regional summer stage in an off-the-beaten-track…

Stuck In Houston On The Cusp Of The Apocalypse

Stuck In Houston On The Cusp Of The Apocalypse

There’s that mythic line from America’s long-abandoned manned lunar space adventures: “Houston, we have a problem.” Nearly fifty years on, I can correct that statement from my hotel room in…

Bernie & Beethoven

When Bernie Saunders informed Rolling Stone last year that he “really loves music” and that his tastes were “eclectic,” I believed what he said. In his short interview with the…

Born To Be Blue

The notion of the zeitgeist has fallen into disrepute as too metaphysical, too German. No longer does the spirit of the time manifest itself in art and culture; instead, things…

Berlin: Full of Beauty, Devoid of Virtue

When far from home in foreign cities, slowed by saddle sores or jet leg, menaced by security pat-downs or highwaymen’s pistols, the traveler is often beset by two contending impulses:…

Miles Davis: Ace Of Baseness

Must the virtuoso but virtuous? In The Republic Plato answered the question with an emphatic, uptight: yes. Most moderns by contrast are blithely willing to separate, as necessary, the musician…

Bad Day At Black Rock

In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s big win in the New York Primary this past Tuesday, the electoral map — in the color scheme adopted by the New York Times…

Ithaca To Berlin with Hank Mobley

It took me sixteen hours door-to-door in automobile, plane and subway train to get from my house in the center of New York state to this apartment in the center…

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