Rafi Zabor’s Updoc, Fri 12/4 & Tues 12/8


Well this is different. I was away for a few days, on an island out West, deprived of music and connection, so when I came back without a show I asked our leader Bob Rogers to pick an oldie for me for this week’s Updoc—Friday at 8PM and noon next Tuesday, back on East Coast time—and he pulled one up from almost three years ago featuring two Fifth Symphonies, some Pops and Duke, some Blossom Dearie and so on. Hmm. The Sibelius is Karajan’s early outing with the Philharmonia Orchestra, fine by me, stellar even; but the Mahler is by Pierre Boulez and the Viennas, and though I still like that, nowadays I’d plunk for Abbado with the Lucerne orchestra, something I aired about a year ago I think. But let’s see, or listen: the Sibelius is almost blindingly radiant, the Mahler doomstruck and lurching toward triumph, and how much younger and less baritonal will I sound on the intros? I was still naming my shows back then, and called this one Double Pumper Nickel, which sounds promising. I might have been in a good mood. Meet me at the line shack when it’s over, unarmed, and tell me what you think.

Rafi Zabor’s Updoc, Fri Nov 29 & Tues Dec 2


I’m sure it’s unimaginative of me to program Charles Ives’ Holidays Symphony, climaxing out of starvation gloom into the New England Transcendentalism of the Thanksgiving movement, on this week’s Updoc—8PM Friday and noon next Tuesday, Boston Red Sox time—but, hey, it’s a great if kinda long piece of music, and the show starts off with a set featuring pianist Orrin Evans with a trio and a quintet including especially the smokin’ tenor work of JD Allen, so there. Speaking of tenors, John Coltrane and Archie Shepp share a colloquy on a new release of Acknowledgment, and Sonny Rollins and Coleman Hawkins demonstrate Almost All the Things They Are on a live recording from 1963. What else? Chucho Valdes’ reboot of Irakere, Eddie Palmieri featuring Joe Locke, and some up and coming tenor playing from Noah Preminger and a fine rhythm section: among other things, they Try a Little Tenderness. As should we all, in this time of war, deceit, treachery, monstrosity, braggadocio, and last but I hope not least the light and warmth and gratitude for the sheer illimitable gift of Being we can garner in our hearts and amid family and friends, wheresoever we may be, in the November of the year of our Lord this year and onward.

Tone Science

Tone Science, hosted by David Menestres, has been added to the playlist. Listen to Tone Science Sundays beginning at 8pm or Thursdays at 6am.


For optimal listening conditions for next week’s all-Russian-music show, “How Russian Is It?”, prepare the Agrin/Zaborovsky family recipe for Odessa Cabbage Borscht (enormous pot everlasting version; timid people should make a half-recipe):

3 lbs. beef short ribs or flanken (same thing cut differently; flanken, cut in strips across the ribs, is traditional, but don’t worry about it)
1 large green cabbage
2  28-ounce cans of whole tomatoes
2  medium large onions
salt, lemon, water
(Since the ingredients are simple and yield an improbably rich, extraordinary result, quality of ingredients is important; taintradio recommends organic constituents when possible.)

Here’s what you do for best hi-fi result:
1.    Slice cabbage thin but not surgically fine.
2.    Coarsely chop onions.
3.    With a sharp knife de-fat the ribs the best you can, then scald them with boiling water, in a colander or pot.
4.    Place beef in bottom of pot, add water to cover, bring back to boil, skim off what comes to the top.
5.    Add cabbage, onions. Crush or slice up the tomatoes and add them.
6.    Add water to cover, and salt to approximate taste. Cook for one hour.
7.    Add juice of half a freshly squeezed lemon.
8.    Cook for one more hour, contrapuntally adding lemon juice and, if need be, salt, to bring a light tartness to the soup as it sweetens with cooking. You’ll understand what’s wanted as the taste develops, and will wonder how it can possibly taste this good.
9.    It’s done in two hours, but you can keep going if you like. It will only get better—up to a point, of course.

Serving suggestion: have a large bowl of soup, perhaps adding a grind of black pepper. When you’ve had enough of that, have some beef, with horse radish as a garnish, along with a side of plain boiled potato, buckwheat kasha (this is how Konstantin Levin prefers it in an early chapter of Anna Karenina), or potato laktes or kugel (family recipes for these available only on request).
Have another bowl of soup. Wipe your brow. Marvel at, by now, Moussorgsky, Shostakovich, and at the extraordinary largesse of the Russian soul under repression or otherwise. Although I don’t want to encourage excessive drinking, Vodka will aid you in this exercise. Help yourself from that bottle in the freezer. Is it Chopin, Ketel One, Iceberg, or humble Svedka? I can’t see from here, and don’t know what you can afford.