Rafi Zabor’s Updoc, Fri. 1/17 & Tues. 1/21

On this week’s Updoc—Friday at 8PM and noon next Tuesday, Broadway time—I’ve taken advantage of the season to raid the ten-best lists of a number of jazz critics to the tune of Cecile McLorin Salvant, Eric Revis, Matthew Shipp, Aaron Diehl and some others, but thought it would be best to start out startling you with some music that startled me when I first heard it: Grá agus Bás—what?—by Donnacha Dennehy—who? Grá etc. means Love and Death in Gaelic, Dennehy’s an Irish composer born in 1970, and while his orchestration betrays traces of American minimalism the striking thing is the unexpectedly full-throated Irish traditional voice of Iarla O’Lionárd brilliantly set against the bowing and piping of the Crash Ensemble under Alan Pierson. It’s enough to stand you up or make all fall down, and it will be ringing in the chambers of your memory through the ten-best jazz stuff, and some Saariaho songs, and Buddy Bolden’s Blues: a dream you may not step out of even when Braxton plays the tune of that name in duet with Dave Holland. So wind up the family cyclotron, sit yourself down a spell, and a warming drink will not go amiss this time of year.GraCrashEns

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