Tag Archives: John Coltrane

Hank Jones Tribute

HOWARD MEGDAL: The passing of Hank Jones is a sad one from a musical perspective alone. Jones, who died last Monday at 91, was productive right up to his passing. Few artists can claim to release ten albums after age…

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Julia Child

AKIE BERMISS: Sometimes it hard having a specialized job. Being a chef or a poet or a musician by trade normally means you’ve had some sort of training, be it formal or informal. And probably means you take your job seriously. Still these are not things people are complete unaccustomed to doing for themselves. People write, people cook, people play music. I try very hard not to be dismissive of someone who calls his or herself a musician but actually just does it as a hobby. It a fair title, if you take something seriously, then you are quite obviously someone who does that thing. And yet, not every person who picks up a guitar a musician, not every person who writes in verse is a poet, and not everyone who cooks is a chef.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Basically, don’t buy Julia Child’s classic cookbook, because you’re too lazy and stupid to cook from it. Continue reading

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90s: The Golden Age of Music?

AKIE BERMISS: I should make it clear from the outset that it is not my position that the 90s was THE golden age of music. Just perhaps one of many golden mini-eras that come and go with the tides. And I should also make it clear that there is very little scientific evidence to back up the arguments I am going to presently make. What follows is, rather, a pseudo-scholarly attempt to draw up a basic outline of musical trends in the last half century or so.

I speak, of course, of music. Of the last great golden age of music: the 90s. But not as an isolated incident, rather, as a the most recent evidence of a decidedly unproven trend of artistic flowering under a Democratic presidency. It seems curious to me that we can so often think of artistic artifacts as being simply art’s domain when, in fact, we all know that outward influences are always at play. That often art is a sign of the times. Or art can act as a cultural and societal artifact as potently as an “artistic” one. Certainly anthropologists look to art in order to gauge the tenor and timbre of a civilization. Why shouldn’t we (albeit on a more micro-level)?

STEPHON JOHNSON: While the 90′s could be considered last real golden age for music, the way music was consumed and experienced back then might cloud our judgement of the decade. Continue reading

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Multipart Review: Kurt Elling Live at the Allen Room

HOWARD MEGDAL: While much of the jazz world eagerly anticipated Kurt Elling’s new album, my excitement was dulled a bit because I’d heard this concert live. This is not to suggest it isn’t worth your time; far from it.

AKIE BERMISS: But, while I could sing his praises forever, my purpose on this occasion is a grave one. In this article I must commit a kind of patricide, for its subject is his most recent album: Dedicated To You. In it he (and his collaborator and pianist, Laurence Hobgood) tackle the music of John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman. And, I fear, it simply is not up to snuff. Continue reading

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