Moving Target

Andrew Durkin has a relevant book out: Decomposition: A Music Manifesto, which “explodes the age-old concept of musical composition as the work of individual genius, arguing instead that in both its composition and reception music is fundamentally a collaborative enterprise that comes into being only through mediation.” (Blurb from Amazon page.)

Durkin covers an exceptionally wide turf; indeed, I can’t think of reading a previous book that glosses jazz, classical, and pop in equal measure with equal conviction. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on Conlon Nancarrow and reproducing music machines.

Decomposition offers much food for thought. Many recent bloggers have guest appearances….

Durkin’s book is ahead of the curve, but trying to command it all will become familiar territory. (DTM is in that world, of course.) Matthew Guerrieri looks at it from another angle (“tourism”) in his latest smart dispatch from Boston.

I’ll be going to see Gabe Kahane’s The Ambassador at BAM this week. I’ve heard great things about it.

An evening of Requiems by the ASO somehow has the full NY premiere of Ligeti’s essential work in Latin.

At the Vanguard is Christian McBride with Christian Sands and Ulysses Owens, Jr. I saw them last year and really enjoyed a persuasive argument for core jazz values. This group should stay together a long time.

Azar Lawrence is playing A Love Supreme at Jazz Standard Tuesday and Wednesday with Benito Gonzalez, Reggie Workman, and Jeff Watts. H’mm! Kind of a must-see really.

John Eligon in NY Times: Police Killings Reveal Chasm Between Races

Jelani Cobb in the New Yorker: No Such Thing as Racial Profiling

Old-school Americana: Revival by Stephen King. His latest just might be the best of his that I’ve read. Recommended. On the charming dedication page King offers thanks to Bram Stoker, H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Donald Wandrei, Fritz Leiber, August Derleth, Shirley Jackson, Robert Bloch, Peter Straub, and Arthur Machen.

In related news, I also looked at Ring by Koji Suzuki. Very good, although actually I think the American movie The Ring is better, especially since the sex stuff is less convoluted. (Still haven’t seen the Japanese movie.)

That’s an easy bounce to Under the Skin, the recent movie masterwork with Scarlett Johansson. I haven’t been as impressed with something of this nature since the original Let the Right One In.

RIP P.D. James. I never really connected with James, and a lovely memorial note from Ruth Rendell explains why: James was politically conservative. Speaking of Rendell, the first two Wexfords came back into rotation recently and I am very impressed with good she was right from the beginning.

Solipsism section:

Howard Barnum listens hard to my performance of “It’s Easy to Remember.”

TBP played a sold-out show at a rock room at the London Jazz Festival recently and provoked an unusual amount of press, including two rather astonishingly negative reviews in The Guardian and The Telegraph. 15 years in, we’ve still got what it takes to raise a fuss! That’s really pretty cool.