Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Sun Ra Does Gershwin

And then, suddenly, one afternoon, from out on the edges of the quantum foam comes the thought: I wonder if Sun Ra ever did any George Gershwin?

Of course Sun Ra did George Gershwin! They were both from outer space!

Why did it take me so long to make that connection? And to find a half dozen tunes! This one from 1960.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Ralph Ellison on Lester Young

Ralph Ellison recalling his first encounter with a 20-year-old Lester Young back in 1929:

"A tall, intense young musician . . . who, with his heavy white sweater, blue stocking cap and up-and-out-thrust silver saxophone left absolutely no reed player and few young players of any instrument unstirred by the wild, excitingly original flights of his imagination. . . . Lester Young . . . with his battered horn upset the entire Negro section of town. . . . [We tried] to absorb and transform the Youngian style."

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Bob Dylan: The Poet's Poet

The poet Michael McClure on Dylan in 1965: "I absolutely did NOT want to hear Dylan. I imagined, without admitting it to myself, that Dylan was a threat to poetry — or to my poetry. I sensed that a new mode of poetry, or rebirth of an old one, might replace my mode…. Joanna sat me down in front of the speaker and told me to listen to the words. I began to hear what the words were saying, not just the jangling of the guitar and the harmonica and the whining nasal voice. The next thing I knew I was crying. It was "Gates Of Eden.”… I had the idea that I was hallucinating, that it was William Blake's voice coming out of the walls and I stood up and put my hands on the walls and they were vibrating.

Then I went back to those people who had tried to get me to listen and I told them that I thought the revolution had begun."

Michael McClure's 1974 Rolling Stone article captures some of the profound excitement and revolutionary change Dylan represented in the mid-1960s.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Sinatra & Jobim: A Collaboration of Musical Greats

Looking forward to giving this listening party on Sinatra & Jobim on Monday, October 17. Hear selections from their two collaborations and other songs that give a broader context to the recordings. Discover the stories behind some of the tunes, including the role of a young Candice Bergen in Jobim’s “Bonita.” Learn some of the history of Bossa Nova and Sinatra’s surprising role in its early development. Get an insider’s view of recording sessions that had the atmosphere of intimate party-concerts—with an audience that included Vanessa Redgrave, George Plimpton, Mia Farrow, and Quincy Jones. And dig into the mystery of an album that was never released and the rarest 8-track tape of all time.

Monday, October 17 
6 pm
Landa Library
233 Bushnell Ave
San Antonio

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Jobim in Hollywood

Antônio Carlos Jobim. Hollywood, 1966.

Waiting around for Sinatra to show up for their recording sessions.