My program notes for Henry Threadgill’s upcoming JALC performances are online. (UPDATE: The performances are postponed and will be rescheduled, more details TK.)
Lewis Porter listens to the most avant-garde moments of Art Tatum. That’s what I’m talkin’ about.
Adam Shatz offers the most detailed history of Mal Waldron yet. Bravo!
(Hmm. Tatum and Waldron are just about as far apart as you can get and still call it the same kind of music.)
Aaron Gilbreath researches Jutta Hipp. I went through Hipp’s Blue Note output earlier this year and was struck by an emotionally resonant “After Hours.” This Avery Parrish cover is overlooked in most articles about Hipp but it proves that you can play the blues no matter who you are or where you are from.
Another Hipp track that really stood out is her own composition, “Horacio,” written for her friend and influence Horace Silver, The articulation is perfect. It’s kind of like Horace laced with Tristano. Really hip. (Really Hipp?)
Will Robin writes about Amy Beach at 150. It is unquestionably odd that in this moment of heightened identity politics there are no performances of Beach scheduled this year by major orchestras. The Gaelic Symphony is enjoyable, but for my own taste, that kind of richly upholstered romanticism works even better with a star soloist. Beach’s Piano Concerto is a truly fine work next door to Rachmaninoff. It’s arguably better than those two MacDowell concerti, so, the next time someone wants an “early American piano concerto,” skip the MacDowells and play Beach instead.
I don’t mean to brag, but it takes something for somebody to unearth a powerful jazz pianist I haven’t heard of. Mr. Matthew Guerrieri manages this unlikely feat with an overview of François Rilhac,
Related: Ted Panken’s great interview with Abercrombie from 2012.