Rafi Zabor’s Updoc Fri 10/31 & Tues 11/4

When Jack Bruce died at the age of 71 the other day, the grief and praise were equilateral—I didn’t hear sectarian sniffing about rock thisaway and jazz thataway from anyone anywhere: seems he was loved in all departments for his rock heldentenor, his bravura bassplaying in any number of idioms; and that indicates general recognition of the power of music pouring out of the man. Next week Kip Hanrahan, who worked with Jack on a number of projects over a thirty-year span, will clock in with a show more deeply felt and informed than anything I can provide, but I thought I’d get a memorial set in anyway—Friday at 8PM and noon next Tuesday, off-Broadway time. There’s some Cream and Lifetime but more than half of it scattershots Jack’s work with Hanrahan. There was not much precedent for the singing Kip asked Jack to do—unrhymed poetry of extreme intelligence, powerfully sexual, political and confessional while also lifting the lid on minds and souls all over the modern world, plus Latin percussion as not heard before, plus advanced jazz musicians finding their freedom in the mix—but Jack absolutely nailed it, then lifted it skyward. Sorry Kip but I have to say it: overall it’s one of the major accomplishments of modern American music. (And for my Mistake of the Week I kept saying Belfast instead of Glasgow.) Then it’s okay to present the brilliant young pianist Igor Levit taking leave of late Beethoven for Bach’s Partitas; he was Schnabelescent with LvB and I hear Lipatti this time out; but the cat can play and it’s a pleasure to hear a Bach pianist who doesn’t try to sound like Gould. Then two more from Branford at Grace Cathedral, chased though not chastened by Trane, and last another Mozart piano concerto, in which apparent thematic simplicity yields a dialogue of beauty and grace that is balm from Gilead and if you tilt your head just right will tell you everything you need to know.JackLast

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