Rafi Zabor’s Updoc, Fri 8/21 & Tues 8/25


When I went to the Sacred Music Festival in Fez in 2006, the Azeri vocalist Aygün Baylar was unmistakably the star of the show: a small round bundle of joy with a voice to die for, who I was sure would hit the relative bigtime on the world music circuit and scatter brilliant recordings like a scad of frisbees throughout the global audiosphere. If it happened, I missed it, and this week, when I went looking for more of her music to play on the show—Friday at 8PM and noon next Tuesday, Lower Manhattan kebabçı time—I had to go back to the record she made in Spain the same year as her knockout appearance in Fez. Between Heaven and Earth, it’s well-named, and this time I played the long track about first love, in which the human and the divine are inextricably confounded. It’s the first twelve minutes of the show and if you miss it it’s your tough luck. I could have looped it for two hours but decided instead to play some new Nicholas Payton, a still vivid Trip from Art Pepper, some composed pieces from our friends Béla and Dmitri, and the second half—Pursuance and Psalm—of the totally committed burnout of the version of A Love Supreme Branford Marsalis recorded live in Amsterdam in 2003 and released a few months ago for the 50th anniversary of John Coltrane’s original. It’s a mug’s game to compete with that Mount Everest, but it’s a pleasure to hear four fine musicians give their all and then keep going, between heaven and earth and as the world turns.

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