Monthly Archives: December 2011

Christmas Love 2011

Posted in Soul | 1 Comment

Finally Getting in the Holiday Spirit . . .

Have yourself a merry little Christmas! Or, as Stephen Bloom would counsel me to say, “Happy holidays.”

Posted in Movies | 2 Comments

A Touching Piece . . .

in the New York Times today about Boyd Lee Dunlop, an old jazz pianist discovered in a Buffalo nursing home.

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One of Nature’s True Noblemen

After reading that sad, wonderful passage from Kundera about Shoenberg, I found myself reading Dan Morgenstern’s Living with Jazz. Morgenstern, one of the great writers about jazz, was born in Germany, grew up in Austria, and fled with his family … Continue reading

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Forgetting Schoenberg

Once, as I was discussing this topic with a friend, I asked him: “Do you know ‘A Warsaw Survivor’?” “A survivor? Who? What survivor?” He didn’t know what I was talking about. And yet A Warsaw Survivor (Ein Überlebender aus … Continue reading

Posted in Classical | 1 Comment

The Smiles of the Duke

The first stanza of my favorite poem of William Blake’s goes: There is a smile of love, And there is a smile of deceit, And there is a smile of smiles In which those two smiles meet. It’s the perfect … Continue reading

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Nobility and Noise

Does nobility have a place in our noisy land of freedom?  I’m fearful that we’ve gotten so far from publicly valuing nobility that the word doesn’t conjure much beyond knights in shining armor or mustachioed racists striding through fluted columns.  … Continue reading

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I Like Them All

My God, I just found this incredibly rare clip: a great performance by a breathtaking lineup – a loose take on “Jumpin’ with Symphony Sid.” Pee Wee Russell on clarinet (the best ever), Charlie Shavers on trumpet (an absolute master, … Continue reading

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Cell Phones and Jazz

“The fourth song was a solo showcase for the trumpeter, who, I could now see, was indeed Wynton Marsalis, but who no more sounded than looked like what I expected. He played a ballad, ‘I Don’t Stand a Ghost of … Continue reading

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An Ethical Choice

“Steve Reich remembers attending composition classes where students showed off byzantine scores whose intellectual underpinnings could be discussed ad nauseam. Then he’d go to see Coltrane play with his quartet. He liked the idea that Coltrane could walk out with … Continue reading

Posted in Classical, Jazz | 1 Comment