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Jazz Revolutionaries: Monk & Dizzy

Jazz Revolutionaries: Monk & Dizzy

Legion are the books on jazz that wave the banner of “revolution” above the chapter devoted to bebop, the improvised American music of swerving light and impossible speed, incandescent optimism…

Sidelining The Sideman

The one thing you can say about the all-too-familiar genre of posthumous documentary in which dozens of admirers bear dutiful witness to the deceased’s unrecognized artistic achievements, is that at…

Silent Hamlet

Silent Hamlet

Many have had a go at explaining the madness of Hamlet, not least generations of high school and college students faced with faking their way through that perennial exam essay…

Back In The DDR

Organists have long been present at, indeed participants in, great political events:  the 759 Byzantine delegation from Constantinople to the French court of Pippin the Great, the diplomatic mission that…

Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Blue

It is late August and millions of North Americans and Europeans continue to mass on beaches from Cape Code to the Costa del Sol, the mood of carefree seaside relaxation…

That Clancy Sigal Sound

That Clancy Sigal Sound

I learned of Clancy Sigal’s death on July 16th only on returning home Saturday to Ithaca, New York after five weeks on the road. I owed him an email. I’d…

The Organs Of Salamanca

Histories of the organ draw a stark distinction between the instrument’s origins in antiquity, where it was deployed in the arena to accompany gladiatorial combat, and its later life in…

The Brilliance of Velasquez

It there’s one comfort to be had in the mad scrum of high summer tourism it is that the crowds can still be escaped, even with just a few deft…

Dangerous Blues: Monk Does Vadim

The late 1950s were great years for black-and-white movies in France: I’m referring specifically to those with white people on screen, and black musicians invisible on the soundtrack. The most…

Coltrane At The Bridge

The longest John Coltrane solo available on recording is said to be the title track of One Down, One Up: Live at the Half Note made in the spring of 1965 in…

Musical Patriotism

With the ears of the body politic taking constant abuse from the choruses of recrimination echoing through and beyond White House and Capitol, we need the uplifting power of music…

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