Rafi Zabor’s Updoc, Fri April 1 & Tues April 5


What can I say? After welcoming the season in with three brilliant versions of Stravinsky’s Sacre du Printemps over the last three weeks and now, finishing up with Stravinsky’s own 1960 recording—Friday at 8PM and noon next Tuesday, Carnegie Hall time—after doing a lot of close listening to all these versions, I have to ask myself: is there really anything of value that Messrs. Bernstein, Boulez, Svetlanov or any number of others can add to what the composer himself brought to the music? His performance used to sound a little hard and tight to me, constricted compared to Bernstein and the other showpiece versions that followed, but I don’t hear that anymore, while on the other hand is the somewhat saturnine Boulez really more detailed than the composer himself bringing out what he put in? Neither does Stravinsky’s performance lack any voltage of excitement. It’s got everything, along with a degree of authenticity no one else can supply. Listen in if you like, and see if you agree. In any case, the Sacre is great emough so that no performance can exhaust its possibilities. It’s the center of this virtually all-Stravinsky show—it opens with well-known Ornette Coleman and Charlie Parker quotes from the Sacre, and there’s also a Parker masterpiece in the midshow featuring what may be a Stravinsky variation—preceded by Bernstein’s exhilarating Petroushka, the ballet composed immediately before the Sacre, which may be Stravinsky’s most emotionally direct and open music, ever. The Sacre, though, remains his Citizen Kane, the work no one will let him live down, the work because of which he’s tasked with never having gone for broke again, for being brilliant and heartless and not sharing his soul with us throughout his neoclassical period—his late works are another story: taking up Schoenbergian dodecaphonics gave him an amazing boost of fresh greatness. We don’t go there this week, but we do have two major middle-period works: the deeply committed Symphony of Psalms—Shostakovich, for one, thought it the greatest work of the century’s greatest composer—in a stunning, maybe definitive performance led by John Eliot Gardiner, and the 1931 Violin Concerto played to a fare-thee-well by a great young Hillary Hahn. If you’re up for two hours of glittering genius-level dazzlement, this is the place.

Death Valley Radio Program 884

Death Valley Radio is a format-free program for the musically curious.

In this age of bland radio programming (both commercial and non-) and automated music services, DVR is still built by hand, non-algorithmically — one set at a time.

Death Valley Radio can be heard here at taintradio on Saturdays at 10:00 PM ET and Wednesdays at 10:00 AM ET.

DVR program 884 features country songs, bluegrass style (Lynn Morris, Cindy Woolf, Alecia Nugent, Del McCoury, Michael Daves); acoustic melancholia (Richmond Fontaine, John Mellencamp, Sara Watkins, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings); a choral arrangement of Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” as the setting for the Christian prayer “Agnus Dei.”; music composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Alva Noto and Bryce Dessner for Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu’s The Revenant; and guitarists Julian Lage, Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, Kevin Breit and Fred Frith. Also: new music from the nine-member Haitian ensemble Lakou Mizik and Cuban keyboardist Alfredo Rodríguez with Ibeyi.

Each week’s playlist will be archived until the end of time at deathvalleyradio.org.

Jazz Worldwide 126 28 March 2016

Song Title Artist Album Title Composer Record Label

Winter Always Turns to Spring Bill Frisell Ghost Town Bill Frisell Nonesuch
Spring Can Really Hang You up the Most Karrin Allyson ‘Round Midnight Fran Landesman-Tommy Wolf Concord Jazz
It Might as Well Be Spring Blossom Dearie Blossom Dearie Richard Rodgers-Oscar Hammerstein Verve-Polygram Jazz
They Say It’s Spring Blossom Dearie Blossom Dearie Marty Clark-Bob Haymes Verve-Polygram Jazz
You Must Believe in Spring Frank Morgan with Hank Jones You Must Believe in Spring Michel Legrand-Alan Bergman-Marilyn Bergman-Jacques Demy Antilles
Echo of Spring (K.D.’s Cab Ride) Kenny Dorham Afro-Cuban Kenny Dorham Blue Note
Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year Rahsaan Roland Kirk Roland Kirk’s Finest Hour Frank Loesser Verve
Younger Than Springtime Art Farmer Quartet The Complete Argo-Mercury Jazztet Sessions Richard Rodgers-Oscar Hammerstein Mosaic
Joy Spring Jens Wendelboe Big Band Fresh Heat Clifford Brown Rosa
A Fine Spring Morning Blossom Dearie Blossom Dearie Bob Haymes Verve-Polygram Jazz
April Come She Will Karrin Allyson ‘Round Midnight Paul Simon Concord Jazz
It Is Always Spring Mary Lou Williams with Leon Thomas Mary Lou’s Mass Leon Thomas Smithsonian Folkways
The Wein Machine Anat Cohen Luminosa Anat Cohen Anzic
Salt Song Dave Stryker Messin’ with Mr. T Milton Nascimento Strikezone
Vera Cruz Trio Da Paz Brasil from the Inside Milton Nascimento Concord Picante
Congo Angola Bahia Tiganá Santana Tempo & Magma Tiganá Santana Ajabu!
Gira Girou Duke Pearson with Flora Purim Mosaic Select: Duke Pearson Milton Nascimento Mosaic Select
Cais Anat Cohen Luminosa Milton Nascimento Anzic
Milagre Dos Peixes Jan Garbarek Group Dresden: In Concert Milton Nascimento ECM
4U Omar Sosa Ilé Omar Sosa Otá

Tone Science – 03/27/2016

tone science 243

Time Song Artist Album
Midnight Kick Out The Chair Skylar Gudasz Oleander
  Mass/Even the Vowels Kim Kyhr & Jenny Hval/Trondheim Jazz Orchestra In the End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of Paper
  Voice of America, part 2 Fred Frith, Bob Ostertag, Phil Minton Voice of America
  Circling Sloth Racket Triptych
  As Tranquil As An Apple/Rust and Comet Chris Abrahams Fluid to the Influence
  Boom Goes The Moon Joshua Ambrams Quartet Unknown Known
  Improvisation 2 VAP Roscoe Mitchell & Thomas Buckner 8 O'Clock: Two Improvisations
  Ocean Mysteries Harry Bertoia Sonambinet: Recordings of Harry Bertoia

Rafi Zabor’s Updoc, Fri 3/25 & Tues 3/29


I missed Cecil Taylor’s 87th birthday by almost two weeks—oops, but isn’t it fine to see so many jazz lives run at length rather than surrender prematurely to the rigors of the trail? The great Ernestine Anderson just left town at a comparable age, so that her midway intermission from the scene now seems but a brief pause in a majestic career; so, beginning with her, welcome to a Catchup Ball Special on this week’s Updoc, Friday at 8PM and noon next Tuesday, Washington Square Park, Northwest Corner time. With the onset of spring and the wealth of gesture Taylor derived—especially once he discarded set tempos and made his phrasing itself the muscle of his music—from the birdsong piano works of Olivier Messiaen, I thought I’d start off with an early example of the French master’s practice before opening the gate to Taylor’s solo-piano Garden and a quartet Unit piece. That led me to realize that I’d been listening to Messiaen all wrong for years, and that my disinclination to incline his way had to do not only with an incompatability in my preference in tone-colors but a hankering for high-modernist developmental logic that was increasingly alien to his work: never moreso than in his late, open-form, American-outdoorsy From the Canyon to the Stars, a piece that strikes me now as sufficiently plumb wonderful to excerpt on the show. As for the rest of it, Yevgeny Svetlanov conducts the USSR Symphony Orchestra in this week’s rendering of Stravinsky’s Sacre du Printemps, and what strikes me most about it is not some obvious Russianness but Svetlanov’s fluent sense of tempo—the rhythmic shifts feel breath-natural, with no sacrifice of precision—and his delineation of individual voices in the orchestra: we all know that Soviet ensembles either lack or didn’t try for the sectional creaminess of the capitalist competition, but the strandiness of the brass and especially the strings and woodwinds here seem an intentional branching back to the music’s folk roots. Stravinsky always denied that there were old Russian melodies in the Sacre, but he was lying through his dentures; Svetlanov doesn’t put up any billboards of peasant life, but he gets at something central I haven’t heard before. Stravinsky said that there “isn’t any room for soul-searching in the Sacre”. This performance doesn’t search but, springlike, finds it in the natural course of things and keeps going deeper.

Death Valley Radio Program 883

Death Valley Radio is a format-free program for the musically curious.

In this age of bland radio programming (both commercial and non-) and automated music services, DVR is still built by hand, non-algorithmically — one set at a time.

Death Valley Radio can be heard here at taintradio on Saturdays at 10:00 PM ET and Wednesdays at 10:00 AM ET.

DVR program 883 features Punch Brothers’ slightly skewed take on the Greek myth of Icarus and Daedalus; more train songs (Bukka White with Washboard Sam, Robert Johnson, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters); sad memories (Uncle Tupelo, Richmond Fontaine, Funeral Bonsai Wedding); back stabbers (Son House, the Undisputed Truth, the O’Jays); Eric Hofbauer’s interpretation of Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring”; and new music from Michael Daves, Bilal, Frostlake and Mavis Staples.

Each week’s playlist will be archived until the end of time at deathvalleyradio.org.

Jazz Worldwide 125 21 March 2016

Song Title Artist Album Title Composer Record Label

Monsoon Avataar Petal Sundar Viswanathan InSound Records
Udaan (Liberation) Shankar Tucker Filament Shankar Tucker shankartucker.com
Blue Letters Michael Messer’s Mitra Call of the Blues Terry Clarke-Michael Messer Knife Edge
Shinobu Kaoru Watanabe Néo Kaoru Watanabe watanabekaoru.com
Thirsty Flower Gabriela Martina No White Shoes Gabriela Martina gabrielamartina.com
Amazon Farewell Camila Meza Traces Djavan-Brock Walsh-Mark Vieha Sunnyside
The Way You Play My Heart Tord Gustavsen with Simin Tander and Jarle Vespestad What Was Said Tord Gustavsen ECM
Chatter from All Sides Danny Green Trio Altered Narratives Danny Green OA2 Records
Here Tomorrow Ralph Alessi Quiver Ralph Alessi ECM
Light in the Sky Omar Sosa JOG Omar Sosa Otá
Interludio IV Omar Sosa Eggun Omar Sosa Otá
Amarinthine Jon Balke Warp Jon Balke ECM
Undergrunn Nils Økland Kjølvatn Nils Økland ECM
Part 5 Ferenc Snétberger In Concert Ferenc Snétberger ECM
Crooked As A Dog’s Hind Leg Leslie Pintchik True North Leslie Pintchik Pintch Hard
The Merge Danny Green Trio Altered Narratives Danny Green OA2 Records
In the Slow Lane Kenny Barron Trio Book of Intuition Kenny Barron Impulse
Para Volar Camila Meza Traces Camila Meza Sunnyside
Narcissus Gabriela Martina No White Shoes Gabriela Martina gabrielamartina.com
Galilean Lullaby (Tahlileh Jaliliyyeh) Reem Kelani Live at the Tabernacle Reem Kelani-Traditional Palestinian Fuse Records
Deliverance Anouar Brahem Souvenance Anouar Brahem ECM
Enchanted Breeze Omar Sosa JOG Omar Sosa Otá

Tone Science – 03/20/2016

tone science 242

Time Song Artist Album
Midnight Love is too Young Kataraina Glowicka/Rubens String Quartet/Arnon Zlotnik Seven Sonnets
  Five Poems I-V Karel Husa/Quintet of the Americas Recollections
  Epitaph I-V Antanas Rekasius/Apartment House Fonogramatika
  Rhizome Daniel Levin, Mat Maneri Vista Accumulation
  El Baz Ouichen Song for Male Voice (Tiznit) Rais Ahmed ben Bakrim Music of Morocco: Recorded by Paul Bowles, 1959
  Chorus and Dance (Tamanar) Rais Mahabad ben Mohammed and enesemble Music of Morocco: Recorded by Paul Bowles, 1959
  Hadouk Khail (Marrakech) Maallen Taleb ben Mbarek and chikhats Music of Morocco: Recorded by Paul Bowles, 1959
  Blues Deceiver Licht-Akiyama Trios (with Oren Ambarchi) Tomorrow Outside Tomorrow

Beyond the Groove Yard – 03/20/2016

Beyond the Groove Yard 3/20/16 & 3/24/16, ep 067 Tenor sax & organ combos in the 50’s & 60’s.

Hour One:
Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis: In the Kitchen The Cookbook Vol. 1 Prestige
Don Patterson: Donald Duck Hip Cake Walk Prestige
Red Holloway: Crib Time The Burner Prestige
Willis Jackson: Cookin’ Sherry Cookin’ Sherry Prestige
Jimmy Smith: Midnight Special Midnight Special Blue Note
Johnny “Hammond” Smith: Animal Farm Dirty Grape Prestige

Hour Two:
Edie “Lockjaw” Davis: The Broilers The Cookbook Vol. 2 Prestige
Jack McDuff: Opus de Funk Soul Circle Prestige
Rusty Bryant: Streak O’Lean Rusty Bryant Returns Prestige
Grant Green: Blues in Maude’s Flat Grantstand Blue Note
Shirley Scott: Stanley’s Time Hip Soul Prestige
Richard “Groove” Holmes: See See Rider That Healin’ Feelin’ Prestige
Sonny Phillips: Black on Black Black on Black Prestige
Sonny Stitt: My New Baby Shangri-:a Prestige

George Klein
Beyond the Groove Yard
Current shows: Sundays 2-4 pm ET, Thursdays 4-6 pm ET;
Older shows: Wednesdays 5-7 am ET, on taintradio.org
Archived at RadioFreeAmsterdam.com
Produced in beautiful mid-town Ypsilanti MI

Rafi Zabor’s Updoc, Fri 3/18 & Tues 3/22


Spring is here? Really? Something seems to have trumped it, and the weather keeps flipping its coin. What next? Bill Evans for starters, and we can’t usher the season in without goldbright notes from Clifford Brown and Django Reinhardt. So it goes at the start of this week’s Updoc—Friday at 8PM and noon next Tuesday, Hudson River Valley time—before running into Chinese music, Charlie Haden and Keith Jarrett, Albert Roussel’s neat-o springtime piece, Sheila Jordan and Eartha Kitt, respectively, when their worlds were young, and I forget the rest. Oh, more Clifford Brown, this time with Max and Sonny, but the wrap-up’s same as last week, only different: Stravinsky’s Sacre du Printemps, this time preceded by the master’s old-age piece The Requiem Canticles—as spare and sere a music as you will ever hear, right up against the end of life, telling what it sees, no code, in clear—and this week’s Sacre a 1963 Boulez performance with the ORTF that shows how far as you can travel from last week’s blazing Bernstein and still be playing the same music. At the turn of the ‘60s Lenny may have helped turn the epoch-making clamor of the Rite into a super-exciting orchestral showpiece, and this has framed most interpretations since, whether as commentary or in opposition. I’ve noticed that American conductors, including Michael Tilson-Thomas, an acknowledged master of the score, generally turn out bracing, celebratory music, stronger on birth and rebirth than on the human sacrifice, remember, that ends it. No such thing from Boulez, where dread’s in there from the downbeat: his interpretation hardly lacks excitement, but its inexorable, juggernaut tread is as intent on the bad news as the good, aware of the piece not only as breakthrough of all apparent limits but as prophecy of the devastation to come. As compensation, you hear notes and details that other performances obscure: Boulez is intent on presenting the entire picture, fact and vision both. I think it’s his best recording of the Sacre, and if you listen well, O Wolves, you’ll know you’ve been through something when it’s over. Next week Yevgeny Svetlanov keeps it Russian, and for this week’s ending Piaf sings Y a pas printemps and me I say you wanna bet?