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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Hollywood Tuba 12: 'Tis the Season TUBA Jolly!

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As would be anticipated, there's a lot of huffin' and puffin'--as well as a surprisingly wide range of color and modulation--on 'Tis the Season TUBA Jolly!, a delightful holiday album by tuba maestro Jim Self and the Hollywood Tuba 12. Its name notwithstanding, there aren't a dozen tubas present on any given track but a mere half- dozen, complemented by six of their close kinsmen, the euphonium, with percussionist Brian Kilgore and drummer Bernie Dresel raising the group's total size to fourteen. Self, a tireless promoter of his chosen instrument, has been presenting tuba-centered Christmas concerts for ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alice Babs: Vi minns Alice Babs

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This six-CD box set pays homage to Alice Babs, the Swedish jazz singer who died at the age of 90 in February, 2014. A soprano with a three octave range, she sang with Duke Ellington, most notably in his so-called sacred concerts. At the start of her career, in 1940, at the tender age of 16, Babs (real name Nilsson) was vilified in the Swedish press as a slyna, the politest translation of which is “hussy." The critic who attacked her so viciously for her role in the film Swing it magistern (Swing it, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

George Gershwin: Gershwin Performs Gershwin: Of Rhythm and Constipation

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Insert your favorite toilet joke here.I tried. I considered dozens of poop puns, then finally decided nothing could top reality. So here it is:In the 1930s, George Gershwin--already a huge star--hosted a radio show on which he played piano between laxative commercials.It's funny, really, when you hear it. And yet it doesn't detract from the music, which is sensational. Actually, the Feen-A-Mint ads are kind of charming.You can hear it yourself on a CD called “Gershwin Performs Gershwin: Rare Recordings 1931-1935." It's not hard to find. The CD came out in 1991 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dorothy Donegan: Strength, Energy, Imagination

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With this double album, Storyville Records--surely the greatest Danish invention since pastry--tells the story of a legend that never was. Dorothy Donegan, born in Chicago in 1924, trained as a classical pianist before switching to jazz and being hailed as “the female Art Tatum." She made her recording debut when she was 18 and three years later appeared in the movie “Sensations of 1945," sitting in with Cab Calloway's orchestra (see attached video). The following year, in July, she was featured on the cover of Ebony, Afro- American equivalent of Time magazine, and looked ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Philip Glass: The Photographer

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Apart from the recognizable repetitive patterns and melodies that adorn composer Philip Glass' music, there is also one recurring theme that reappears throughout his rich and illustrious career regardless if it is opera, symphony, theatre piece or soundtrack. That is the lives of luminaries, revolutionaries, discoverers, erudite scholars whose lives, words and actions have made a difference in the world and have inspired his music. In a range that includes Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Pharaoh Ankhnaten, Walt Disney, Galileo Galilei, Yukio Mishima, Allen Ginsberg or the Dalai Lama, these people have, one way or another, provided the creative fuel for ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Philip Glass: Visitors

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One of the most important, interesting and intriguing relationships in the world of film is the one shared by a director and composer. As is known, music is an important component of cinematic identity where many film makers that are considered to be “authors" would have lost their recognizability and allure if they didn't work with the same composers time and again. One of the most celebrated working relationships between a director and a film composer is that of director Godfrey Reggio and composer Philip Glass. Reggio and Glass have worked on four films together, creating some of the most ...

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Dorian Wallace

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Meet Dorian Wallace:Dorian Wallace is a composer, pianist, synthesist, writer, and teacher. His career has experienced a diverse musical palette including orchestral, chamber, avant-garde, jazz, free improvisation, classical dance, electronic, film, opera, hip-hop, and rock. He is co-founder/artistic director of Tenth Intervention and Trystero, as well as artistic director of Dorian Wallace and His Big Band. He also plays keyboard in the jam band, AmmoCake.Instrument(s):Composer, pianist, synthesist.Teachers and/or influences?Igor Stravinsky, Alban Berg, Frank Zappa, Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Elliot Carter, John Zorn, Wu-Tang Clan, Frank London, Meshuggah, Frederic Rzewski, Olivier ...



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