Rafi Zabor’s Updoc, Fri 11/7 & Tues 11/11

I wonder what it must be like to record a gobsmacking masterpiece version of Embraceable You and then tell the man you’d like to do another take. Well, you’d have to be Charlie Parker I guess, with a little phrase running through your head. Or maybe Bird had the idea handy, had been thinking about it, time to give it a try. This week’s Updoc—8PM on Friday and noon next Tuesday, 125th Street time—opens with the ‘lesser’ masterpiece version and then waxes philosophical through a saxophone set featuring Ornette Coleman (on the same tune); Stephen Riley; Dave Liebman in a blazing duet with Bob Moses; Julius Hemphill; and Arthur Blythe playing Monk. Then our contemplation switches to one of Leonard Bernstein’s finest early scores—for violin, strings and percussion—based on Plato’s Symposium on the varieties of Love: I found the Bernstein/Kremer version floridly overexpressed and made a date with Hillary Hahn when she was only twenty, chaperoned by David Zinman and some guys from Baltimore. After that, a jawdropping Sonny Rollins trio from Paris in 1965 can’t get started but knows three little words, and once you’ve cranked your jaw back into place and retrieved your eyeballs from the far side of the room, philosophy recommends a Mozart piano concerto to calm you back to a cast of mind in which you can contemplate all the varieties of Love now echoing in your soul. Murray from the Bronx delivers. Perahia, I mean. That’s him now, ringing you like a bell.

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