Rafi Zabor’s Updoc, Fri Nov 21 & Tues Nov 25

There isn’t a single focus or overall theme on this week’s Updoc—Friday at 8PM and noon next Tuesday, East Broadway Rundown time—but I think the music’s good enough to stop by for: first a set of jazz newcomers who recorded notable albums this year—Alfredo Rodriguez, Oran Etkin, Melissa Aldana et al—and then a kind of mournful song-set built around a performance of Jeff Buckley’s Grace—live on TV, four-piece band, no tricks and yes he could really sing like a soaring angel contemplating his oncoming death unbothered. The brackets are two of the stunningest melodies I know, Purcell’s Dido’s Lament and Buxtehude’s Klag-lied, and after a dazzle of D-minor Bach, Jacob Druckman and an orchestra wish Nor Spell Nor Charm trouble his friend Jan DeGaetani’s lully-lullay, and please annul her early death. Maybe the show does have a theme: Herbie Nichols is up next, and his successor Andrew Hill, then along comes maybe the most famous early death of all. I’ve been featuring Mozart piano concertos to close recent shows but this time I got distracted by the extraordinary brilliance of his String Quintet in D, the fifth of the six he composed, less famous than the G-minor but I think the stunner of the set: for most of its length it sounds like Beethoven’s Late Quartets decades before the fact. The canonical recording is by Grumiaux & Co. but I found even more to love in a recording by the Zukerman Chamber Players. I can’t say enough about the glories of this music, so I’ll let words fail and just hope you lend an ear.RichterBlueLarge

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