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  • richardmitnick 1:19 pm on August 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , NPR/music, , , streaming audio,   

    Q2 in the Next WQXR Pledge Drive 

    Q2 in the Next WQXR Pledge Drive

    The question being raised here is what will WQXR do in its next pledge drive, on its FM broadcast and the 105.9 web stream, to raise the visibility and bring to its listeners Q2, its web based New Music service? I am posting this here at “Whither…” because it is a large topic. But because this blog has been rather dormant, I will be posting it also at the more active MusicSprings. That’s a lot of work, folks, I hope someone reads it somewhere.

    Before that, a bit of a preamble about another PubRadio service in the New York Metropolitan area which has absolutely failed to do anything with its web assets.

    WBGO, Jazz 88, Newark, New Jersey, has tremendous web assets which are never pitched during pledge drives. I have called them incessantly during pledge drives and excoriated them for this failure. They have a 96k web stream for the broadcast. They produce wonderful concerts from the Village Vanguard and J&R Music which are then made available for listening and the occasional download by National Public Radio. Many of the concerts are available as videocasts. There is a huge treasure trove of video archives. WBGO originates broadcasts from jazz concerts around the country and Canada. None of this has been pitched in their pledge drives. WBGO seems to aim their pitches to downtown Newark.

    Public Radio, so much of it now available on the internet, needs to take advantage of its newly emerged global presence. Recently, the The Daily Trojan, from the University of Southern California, let us know that KUSC, Classical Public Radio in Los Angeles, has members in 38 states and 11 countires. That’s not exactly chopped liver.

    Now to the subject at hand.

    So, Q2 from WQXR has been with us now for what? Nine or ten months. Q2 is the on line 24/7/365 service devoted essentially to New Music, Classical and Avantgarde music of the late 20th century, and, as the mottos say, “500 years of new music”, and the “fearless music we crave”. It is the successor to wnyc2, a similar service of WNYC prior to the takeover of WQXR from the New York Times.

    It is safe to say that the people running Q2 have done an outstanding job of bringing us not only great music; but also a wonderful and ongoing series of special projects devoted to composers, musical styles, and the New York New Music scene. We have had “Eight Days of Steve”, devoted to the music of Steve Reich; the choral premier of David Lang’s Little Match Girl Passion for which there is an accompanying video ; Homophony, a celebration of the music of Gay and Lesbian Composers, with special guests Nico Muhly and Pauline Oliveros; the Look and Listen 2010 project from the Festival of the same name; Hammered, devoted to music for keyboards – of all kinds; Hope Springs Atonal a special segment “devoted to the high octane world of post-tonal music; Contact!, a series curated by Alan Gilbert and Composer- in Residence Magnus Lindberg with the New York Philharmonic “featuring world premiers from seven composers on the international contemporary music scene. Did I get them all? Whoops, no, I missed Cued Up on Q2, a Summer festival of New Music concerts recorded live in New york City, a whole series of audios of great performances. Boy, that’s like when George Harrison almost forgot to introduce Billy Preston at the Concert for Bangladesh.

    A super important component of all of this Q2 activity has been Nadia Sirota on Q2, a four hour segmented and quite modular production which has included a great deal of the above mentioned special programming. Nadia’s gig runs for four hours every weekday and night at noon and midnight.

    In fact, Nadia is, in my estimation, the Joe Namath/Derek Jeter/David Wright of Q2. She is Juilliard trained and a great teacher, along with being a rising force in her own right on the New Music scene as a violist. If I remember correctly, she was the rock of the John Cage project that ran some time ago on WNYC. Nadia is a founding member of ACME, the American Contemporary Music Ensemble. She has performed with The Meredith Monk Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, Continuum., and the Icelandic based Bedroom Community. You can read the rest of her accomplishments at her MySpace page, see About Nadia.

    I am a Q2 addict and fanboy. Q2 is saved as a bookmark on all of my computers in my own player Winamp.

    So, WQXR, what are you going to do on the radio to raise the visibility of this incredible resource in your future pledge drives. Are you going to fail, like WBGO, to spread the word? Does anyone at WQXR think I am off base or out of bounds? I hope that some person or people at WQXR will respond with comments.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:09 am on March 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    Freeze Frame – Start a New Music Library 

    Freeze Frame – Start a New Music Library

    Interesting title?

    I am sitting here this morning listening to Caleb Burhans and Alarm Will Sound on The Q. I first saw Caleb’s name in connection with an Innova disc, Fast Jump with performer Danny Holt.

    So, O.K., lots of ties here. And, the music to which I am listening is bright, inventive, I mean, I have no real academic basis for commenting. I just hear a lovely newness here.

    So, should I buy the work? If I do, will I even remember that I have it?

    What’s the problem? I have for a long time been fulfilling my stated modus of supporting living composers by purchasing their work, these days in .mp3. The problem is that anything I buy now disappears into 189 gigs of music files, 400 composers, 3056 albums, 34415 tracks.

    I look over at the wall of books in my Digiteria: Theology. Jewish and Christian Theology; Islamic, Jewish and Christian Mysticism, Dead Sea material; religious philosophy and Philosophy of Religion. The wall evinces a past activity, the material evidence of a 25 year study and search for meaning. It is not really stopped, I am into those books all of the time. But, that is what I did actively before Music. Hours and hours and thousands of dollars for my own library to be able to pick up any footnote and go to the shelf and get the book. Now it is a more passive interest. I found a theology that I could live with, the Grund theology of Meister Eckhart.

    So, what about the music library. Freeze it. Start a new one. There is a new computer coming, an i5-520M. Start a new library. What is the basis to be? How will it differ? It will be based on the offerings of Q2, where I am enamored of the brilliance of Nadia Sirota; and music put forward by Marvin Rosen in his Classical Discoveries and Classical Discoveries Goes Avantgarde programs on WPRB, Public Radio in Princeton, NJ. Also, John Schaefer is constantly bringing forward new people at WNYC on Soundcheck and New Sounds . I don’t want to leave out noting the great contributions for Jazz that I have received from Dan Buskirk and Will Constantine Jr at WPRB. Among so many artists they have presented, Dan gave me Rhoda Scott, and a greater appreciation of Keith Jarrett. Will knows Latin Jazz better than anyone in radio. But, Jazz will stay with the current library. The new library will be limited to New Music, Bang On a Can composers, groups like the Bang On a Can All-Stars, Ethel, itsnotyouitsme (did I get that right?), eighth blackbird, new music from Innova, and the like.

    So, what happens to the old library? Nothing changes. I still love Miles, ‘Trane, Part, Glass & Reich, Bruce, The Allmans, Beethoven, Dvorak, Robbie Robertson, Streisand, Bebo and Chucho Valdez, The Traveling Wilburys, Paquito D’Rivera, Jerry and Andy Gonzalez, Bela Fleck and Edgar Meyer, Ken Field from Boston, Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood, Bob Dylan, Brian Eno, the Adderleys, Charlie Mingus, Chick Corea, Al DiMeola, egad, stop already.

    But, especially Nadia and Marvin, I do not know if you read what I write; but you have a huge responsibility. You bring the Truth of the New. Not just to me, to everyone who hears your programs. Nadia, I hope that you stick around Q2. I can see the day when your career as a violist will mean the end at The Q. That will be sad for us, but terrific for you. Marvin, you never let us down, you are simply the best person in New Music anywhere.

    The new computer, really purchased to add to my capabilities to “crunch” for scientific projects running BOINC software including those from World Community Grid, will be equipped with a Western Digital 1 terrabyte Passport external hard drive on which to build the new library. So, let’s fill it up.

    And, hey, any of you out there who might be interested in helping yourselves, your family members, and the Family of Man, take a look at the above mentioned World Community Grid and visit some of the projects shown on the BOINC web site. We “crunchers” have saved laboratory scientists literally thousands of hours of lab time on incredibly worthwhile research projects at august institutions an universities around the globe. We could sure use your help.

     
  • richardmitnick 4:51 pm on March 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    A New Look at Music From the Hearts of Space 

    A New Look at Music From the Hearts of Space

    I think that it is time for a new look at Hearts of Space. Hearts of Space, Music From the Hearts of Space, HOS, whatever one calls it, is the creation of Stephen Hill. HOS has been one of the singularities in performing what I see as the mission of Public Radio in music: to motivate the listener to spend money to support the artists and composers whose work we cherish. I thought about that last word, “cherish”, and I think it is the correct word to express how I feel about the music I love.

    Stephen started with Program 001, “First Flight” one January 1, 1983. There are now 903 programs in the Archive. I can listen to any program I want any time I am near one of my computers. I have subscriptions to HOS both at home and at work.

    But, it was not always so. I am going to quote directly from the web site. No one tells the story better than Stephen. I have done some editing to help readability. I hope that Stephen will not mind:

    “HEARTS of SPACE began as a San Francisco late night radio show in 1973, went national on Public Radio in 1983 and to our eternal amazement, grew to almost 300 stations. We started an independent record label in 1984, ultimately releasing almost 150 albums…

    “HEARTS of SPACE grew out of [Stephen’s] fascination with space-creating [Stephen is actually an architect], ambient and contemplative music. Beginning in the early 1970s, [he] hosted a weekly late-night radio program on KPFA-FM in the San Francisco Bay area. What began purely as a labor of love eventually became the most popular contemporary music program on Public Radio. Over the intervening quarter century, Hearts of Space evolved into a multifaceted music and broadcast producer encompassing radio syndication, a record company, and an Internet music service…

    “In January 1983, after ten years evolution as a local program, Hearts of Space began national syndication to 35 non-commercial public radio stations via the NPR satellite system. Hosted by Stephen and original co-producer Anna Turner, within three years the program signed its 200th station and became the most successful new music program in Public Radio history, as well as the most widely syndicated program of ‘spacemusic’ — a tastemaker for the genre…

    “Now in its 26th year of national syndication, a one hour program airs weekly on over 200 NPR affiliate stations, including three of the top five U.S. radio markets and a majority of the top fifty. The program is also heard nationally seven nights a week at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s ‘Spa’ Channel 72…

    “Internet streaming began in 1999 on pioneer webcasters NetRadio and WiredPlanet as well as Public Radio sites, and evolved in 2001 into a full blown subscription service offering on-demand access to the entire Archive, now over [900] programs created since 1983…

    “From the beginning, the program’s success has come from consistently high production quality and sensitive, knowledgeable music programming. The program has defined its own niche — a mix of ambient, electronic, world, new age, classical and experimental music. Artists and record companies around the world recognize Hearts of Space as the original, most widely heard, premiere showcase for ‘contemplative music, broadly defined’…

    “Quality crafting is the keystone of the HOS experience. After a brief intro, each one hour show is an uninterrupted musical journey, designed to create a relaxed but concentrated ambiance. Slow-paced, space-creating music from many cultures — ancient bell meditations, classical adagios, creative space jazz, and the latest electronic and acoustic ambient music are woven into a seamless sequence unified by sound, emotion, and spatial imagery…

    “Old as they are, contemplative sounds continue to evolve. [Stephen] says “What’s now being called Ambient music is the latest chapter in the contemplative music experience. Electronic instruments have created new expressive possibilities, but the coordinates of that expression remain the same. Space-creating sound is the medium. Moving, significant music is the goal…

    “The ancient resonances of drums, bells, and flutes, the exotic tones of gongs and gamelans, the digital sounds of the Ambient frontier; in its third decade, Hearts of Space continues to deliver the best of the contemplative sound experience, with spacemusic from near and far out….”

    O.K., that is the voice of Stephen.

    What has HOS meant for me? First, as indicated by this weblog, music is my passion. Classical music was my father’s gift to me. He thought that he gave me a business, and, yes the business made me more than comfortable. But, the business is now history and my passion for music has not only never ceased, but it has grown. I have ventured farther out than my father ever did or imagined was possible. My particular tastes include a great many late 20th century Classical composers and Jazz. And, what I heard on HOS.

    HOS took me to the cutting edge. I learned about not only “space music”, but also a great many composers in genres with which I was not familiar. Celtic, Asian, Middle Eastern, just to name a few. There are programs designed to fit the seasons of the year. I must interject to be totally accurate that I have also learned a great deal from John Schaefer at WNYC . But John, equally deserving of efforts here, is not the subject of this post.

    If you would like to see the material presented, visit the HOS web site. Along with the archive of programs, there is also a library of complete albums which Stephen has arranged to be available for your listening enjoyment. Check out the play lists for the programs and take a look at the albums.

    So, what is it like to listen to HOS from the web site these days? Well, it is a far cry from days gone by, when on the FM broadcast one might also hear the interference of a jet plane flying overhead. The olden days of the streaming audio were not too shabby. The music was streamed in a Windows Media format, 64kbit for broadband and 32kbit for dial up. I was fortunate that by the time WNYC forced me to the greater pleasures of HOS streaming audio I had broadband. The 64kbit stream was pretty darned good. I always measured the quality of the broadcast on FM by the incredible presence of the short silences between pieces. There was nothing like it anywhere in broadcast radio. The broadband stream was just as clean and bright.

    But, there was no resting on laurels. There is now an incredible flash player. The new web site is beautiful, a work of art filled with works of art. Newly added is an image gallery where one finds images that are appropriate to some of the programs.

    The weekly program is available for free on Sundays. So, if you are interested, give HOS your ear on a Sunday, actually, several Sundays, to try and measure for yourself if this programming and music can be of value to you. If you like what you hear and you want to subscribe, there are several plans at varying prices.

    One warning: if you are ever hooked, you will never go back.

    I hope that you will listen, and then subscribe, and, finally, complete the mission of Hearts of Space – as I define it – by buying the work of the artists and composers you like in whatever format you choose from what ever vendor you choose.

     
    • Eric 3:18 pm on March 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Glad to hear you really enjoy Hearts of Space! Have you ever enjoyed any of the music from Hearts of Space Records? We released some of the great programs from the show as well in the “Best of Hearts of Space” Series (http://www.valley-entertainment.com/artists/best-of-hearts-of-space-series.html).

    • richardmitnick 3:50 pm on March 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Nice to make your acquaintance. I have listened to albums from the HOS web site. I have been a “fan” of HOS so long, I go back to probably PGM 15. If you know the folks at HOS, you can ask about me.

    • Leena Rogres 10:53 am on February 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I have every program from #1 to #936. It is pure joy to cycle to the top of the bluff and with my Bose unit (fully charged) watch the mad world below.

    • Septer McNamaste 3:36 pm on June 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I have every program braodcast.

  • richardmitnick 8:26 pm on February 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    A Bone to Pick with The New York Times 

    A Bone to Pick with The New York Times

    So, yes, a bone to pick.

    In many news organs, newspapers, magazines, certainly ezines and the like, readers find that they can make comments on the stories and articles they read. The writer may come back to comment. Or, the writer may leave the readers to their own squabbles.

    But, apparently not so in the NYT. At least, not always.

    The case in point is an article by Anthony Tommasini in the February 12, 2010 issue. This article had as its theme the breaking down of stereotypical genres in the serious music of the day.

    Now, this is important stuff. There is definitely, at least in Mr Tommasini’s back yard, a lot of genre bending going on. There is the Wordless Music Project. There is at (Le) Poisson Rouge in the old Village Gate a new destination for the New York New Music scene. Even the New York Philharmonic is getting into the act with Maestro Gilbert’s announcements concerning his second season, another NYT article we might like to address or attack. We have groups like Ethel and eighth blackbird. We have composers like Nico Muhly and David Lang one of the founders of Bang On A Can. David just won the Pulitzer for his Little Matchgirl Passion.

    And, on radio, we have it all being broadcast and streamed by Q2, the 24/7 eclectic music stream of WQXR. Putting it all in focus is young phenom violist Nadia Sirota on Q2, 12:00-4:00, noon and midnight, with many and varied slants on what is happening.

    Ann Midgette in The Washington Post was able to immediately respond. To her article one could make a comment. She also pointed the reader to a response by Kyle Gann. At The moment, Maestro Gann seems to be not taking comments; but he has in the past, and probably will again.

    In actual fact, Greg Sandow has been thinking about this for a long time, at least as far back as a 2003 article in New Music Box, the blog of the American Music Center, New York City. Looking at that article, there was no chance for comments on what Greg called Alternative Classical, shortened to alt-classical. But, rest assured, if you visit Greg’s current blog at Arts Journal, you will see that Greg is totally with the new environment that the Times is currently spurning. Greg is the Comment King. Sometimes, the comments exceed the total word count of Greg’s incredibly long pieces. And, Greg feeds off of the comments. He responds to some and writes new articles based on others. I wonder if Mr Tommasini reads Mr. Sandow?

    The point is, we the readers of Mr Tommasini’s article are not free to start up with either Mr Tommasini or each other. I view this as a failure of the NYT to keep up with the currency of today’s journalism. What I have described above are the leitmotifs (Pacem, Wagner fans) of the day. They are the bleeding edge. The Riley, Glass, & Reich company is beginning to look so establishment.

    It was the Times’ financial predicament which had it finally ship out WQXR in a triangular sale involving WNYC and a Spanish language station.

    The Times is going through all sorts of agonies to try and figure out its future. One place that it might look, admittedly one small place, is how to keep relevant to the people who read it in print, on line, in RSS, egad, maybe on their iPhones.

    Wake up Sulzbergers.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:56 pm on January 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply
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    Leonard Cohen anyone? You bet. 

    Leonard Cohen anyone? You bet.

    This post has taken some time to develop. I have been immersing myself in Cohen’s music for about three weeks. Of course, I do not miss Nadia Sirota’s new gig at WQXR’s Q2; Dan Buskirk and Will Constantine spinning Jazz at WPRB; or Marvin Rosen’s “Classical Discoveries” and “Classical Discoveries Goes Avantgarde”, also at WPRB. But, beyond these, it has been pretty much Leonard Cohen steadily.

    The genesis of this post was the NPR presentation of the 2009 Leonard Cohen concert at the Beacon Theater in New York City. Unfortunately, NPR has not renewed the rights to keep the audio of this concert available in their archives.

    As an aside, I believe that NPR is not nearly proactive enough in keeping some archival material available. I wanted to begin listening to the NPR archives of the stellar Marian McPartland “Piano Jazz” series. I found that some of what I most wanted to hear was no longer available. I believe that this is short sighted on the part of NPR.

    But, the text article about Leonard Cohen is still available at NPR and it is worth reading. There is also a very good article about Leonard Cohen in Wikipedia. I am not going to repeat what is there. For anyone seriously interested, I recommend this well constructed biography.

    All I really knew of Leonard Cohen was his song “Suzanne”, on the 1968 album “The Songs of Leonard Cohen”. But listening to the concert on NPR stimulated my interest. Cohen was 74 years old at the time of this concert. His voice, deepened with age, is actually more interesting than what we hear on the early albums, from 1968 through 1979. The early voice is sweet, winsome, and somewhat fragile. There is greater depth beginning with the 1985 album “Various Positions”.

    Also, when one listens down through the early albums, the songs begin to take on a sameness that can get boring. Part of this might be Cohen’s parallel career as a writer of poetry and fiction. Sometimes, a wordsmith can fall in love with his own creations. Often, what works as a poem does not work in a song.

    Somewhere, I cannot any longer find it, Cohen was described as a reaction to the Beatles’ amped up musical productions. I see him as rather a sort of reaction to Bob Dylan. Both Cohen and Dylan are first and foremost lyricists. Where Dylan’s lyrics are topical, political and complex, Cohen’s are personal, deeply emotional and quite simple.

    Cohen is often placed in the genre of folk music. I do not think that this does him justice. I see him as a singer-songwriter, a troubadour. Cohen writes about the whole spectrum of human emotion, love, hate, sadness, loss, depression, the end of life.

    As Cohen recorded more material in his career, more instrumentation replaced the solo performances as I show below my present collection. I think that my collection is close to complete.

    After the NPR concert, my next experience was with the 2008 “Live in London” concert. The video was presented at some point on PBS. I caught a late night repeat by New Jersey Network. Of course, this presentation is not anywhere close to the complete concert. I now own the complete 2’36” concert. The PBS presentation was 1’30”, and some of that was taken up with pitching.

    A second aside: PBS stations are constantly hauling out musical concerts at pledge time. They tell us they are the place for us to come for this music, that they support this music, egad, they are insufferable. They practically never give us a complete concert. They want us to join and give them gobs of money and in return they will send us the CD’s, the DVD, a combo package, whatever. In this case, here is part of what NJN offered: The DVD of the concert for US$70.00. The two-disc CD set for US$90.00. Now, really, what would you want? They both contain the identical 26 songs. More to the point, you can buy the DVD for US$18.93, and the two-disc CD set for US$13.99. You can buy the .mp3 album of both CD’s for US$14.99, so NJN could have bought the materials at Amazon and used them for fulfillment and still turned a tidy profit.

    I do not mean to pick on little NJN. They are just this most recent case and involved in the music and the artist which and who are the subject here. WLIW, and its parent WNET, much larger than NJN, are just as guilty of this, sorry, just my opinion, this scam.

    I heartily recommend the music of Leonard Cohen. And, I recommend all of it. The way I do this is to get the music in .mp3 and put it on my Zune. I chronologize the music by placing the year of issue ahead of the title of the album. Then, I listen down through a cycle on my exercise walks, plane trips, visits to the dentist, wherever. Regarding the “Live in London” concert, I recommend both the DVD and the album in .mp3. The band, shown below, is really worth watching, especially Javier Mas on a series of twelve-string acoustic instruments.

    Here is my collection, complete with personnel:
    1968 The Songs of Leonard Cohen

    Solo performance

    1968 Songs From a Room

    Leonard Cohen, Ron Cornelius guitar, Bubba Fowler bass, banjo, violin, guitar, Charlie Daniels bass, violin, accoustic guitar, Bob Johnston keyboards

    1971 Songs of Love and Hate

    Leonard Cohen (vocals, acoustic guitar);Ron Cornelius (acoustic guitar, electric guitar);Bubba Fowler (acoustic guitar, banjo, bass instrument);Charlie Daniels (acoustic guitar, fiddle, bass instrument);Bob Johnston (piano);Carolyn Hanney, Susan Mussmano (background vocals).

    1973 Live Songs

    Leonard Cohen, Jennifer Warren, Charlie Daniels and unnamed others

    1974 New Skin for the Old Ceremony

    Leonard Cohen (vocals, guitar, harp, Jew’s harp);Leonard Cohen (acoustic guitar);John Lissauer (vocals, woodwinds, keyboards, background vocals);Emily Bindiger, Janis Ian (vocals, background vocals);Erin Dickins, Gail Kantor, Gail Kantor (vocals);Jeff Layton (guitar, banjo, mandolin, trumpet);Ralph Gibson, Ralph Gibson (guitar);Gerald Chamberlain, Gerald Chamberlain (trombone);John Miller , Don Paune bass.

    1977 Death Of A Ladies’ Man

    Leonard Cohen (vocals); Clydie King, Gerald Garrett, Oma Drake, Julia Tillman Waters, Billy Diez, Lorna Willard, Ronee Blakley, Venetta Fields, Bob Dylan, Brenda Bryant (vocals, background vocals); Sneaky Pete Kleinow (guitar, slide guitar); Dan Kessel (guitar, organ, keyboards, synthesizer, background vocals); Phil Spector (guitar, keyboards, background vocals); David Kessel (guitar, background vocals); Art Munson, Art Blaine, David Isaac, Jesse Ed Davis , Ray Pohlman (guitar); Al Perkins (slide guitar); Bobby Bruce (violin, fiddle); Don Menza, Steve Douglas (flute, saxophone, wind); Jay Migliori (saxophone); Conte Candoli (trumpet); Jack Redman, Charles Loper, Jack Redmond (trombone); Don Randi, Michael Lang , Mike Lang, Mike Long, Pete Jolly, Tom Hensley, Barry Goldberg , Bill Mays (keyboards); Devra Robitaille, Bob Robitaille (synthesizer); Terry Gibbs (vibraphone, percussion); Ray Neapolitan (upright bass, electric bass); Hal Blaine, Jim Keltner (drums); Emil Radocchia, Gene Estes, Robert Zimmitti (percussion); Sherlie Matthews, Gerry Garrett, Allen Ginsberg, Oren Waters, Bill Thedford, Julia Tillman (background vocals).

    1979 Recent Songs

    Leonard Cohen (vocals); Julia Tillman Waters, Roger St Kennerly, Jennifer Warnes, Jim Gilstrap, Maxine Willard Waters, Stephanie Spruill (vocals); Ricardo Gonzalez, Everado Sandoval, John Bilezikjian, Mitch Watkins (guitar); Earl Dumler (oboe); Paul Ostermayer (saxophone); Jose Perez, Pablo Sandoval (trumpet); Garth Hudson, John Lissauer, Randy Waldman, Bill Ginn (keyboards); Steve Meador (drums).

    1985 Various Positions

    Leonard Cohen (vocals, guitar); Jennifer Warnes (vocals); Sid McGinnis (guitar); Kenneth Kosek (fiddle); Ron Getman (harmonica, background vocals); John Lissauer (piano, keyboards, background vocals); John Crowder (bass, background vocals); Richard Crooks (drums); Lani Groves, Erin Dickins, Merle Miller, Yvonne Lewis, Anjani Thomas, Crissie Faith (background vocals).

    1988 I’m Your Man

    Leonard Cohen (vocals, arranger, various instruments); Anjani, Jennifer Warnes, Evelyine Hebey, Mayel Assouly, Elisabeth Valletti, Jude Johnstone (vocals); Jean-Philippe Rykiel, Jeff Fisher (arrangers, various instruments); Michel Robidoux (arranger, keyboards, drums); Roscoe Beck (arranger); Bob Stanley (guitar); Sneaky Pete Kleinow (steel guitar); John Bilezikjian (oud); Raffi Hakopian (violin); Richard Baudet (saxophone); Larry Cohen (keyboards); Peter Kisilenko (bass); Vinnie Colaiuta, Tom Brechtlein (drums); Lenny Castro (percussion).

    1992 The Future

    Leonard Cohen (vocals); Dean Parks (guitar, mandolin); Bob Metzger (guitar, bass); Paul Jackson Jr., Dennis Herring (guitar); Bob Furgo (violin); Brandon Fields, Lon Price (tenor saxophone); Greg Smith (baritone saxophone); Lee R. Thronburg (trumpet, trombone); Steve Lindsey (piano, organ, Mellotron, keyboards); Jim Cox, Greg Phillinganes (piano); Randy Kerber (keyboards, synthesizer); Jeff Fisher (keyboards); Bob Glaub, Lee Sklar (bass); James Gadson, Ed Greene, Steve Meador, Vinnie Colaiuta (drums); Lenny Castro (percussion); Bill Ginn, Steve Croes (programming); Anjani Thomas, Tony Warren, Valerie Pinkston-Mayo, LA Mass Choir, Peggy Blue, Edna Wright, Jean Johnson, Jacquelyn Gouche-Farris, David Morgan (background vocals).

    2001 Ten New Songs

    Leonard Cohen (vocals); Sharon Robinson (vocals, keyboards, synthesizer, programming); Bob Metzger (guitar).

    2004 Dear Heather

    Leonard Cohen (vocals, guitar, Jew’s harp); Leonard Cohen (piano); Sharon Robinson (vocals, various instruments); John Crowder (vocals, bass guitar); Raffi Hakopian, Raffi Hakopian (violin); Paul Ostermayer, Paul Ostermayer (flute); Sarah Kramer, Sarah Kramer (trumpet); Roscoe Beck (bass instrument); Stan Sargeant (bass guitar); Johnny Friday, Johnny Friday (drums); Mitch Watkins (vocals, guitar, electric guitar); Ron Getman (vocals, steel guitar); Anjani Thomas (vocals, piano, background vocals); John Bilezikjian (oud); Garth Hudson (accordion); Bob Sheppard (tenor saxophone); Bill Ginn (piano); Richard Crooks (drums).

    2008 Live in London

    Leonard Cohen (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Bob Metzger (guitar, pedal steel guitar); Charley Webb, Charles Webb (guitar, background vocals); Javier Mas (12-string guitar, bandurria, lute, archlute); Javier Más (12-string guitar, bandurria, archlute); Hattie Webb, Hattie Webb (harp, background vocals); Dino Soldo (harmonica, keyboards, wind, background vocals); Neil Larsen (keyboards); Roscoe Beck (upright bass, electric bass, background vocals); Rafael Gayol (drums, percussion); Sharon Robinson (background vocals).

     
  • richardmitnick 11:10 am on December 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply
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    Paul Winter Consort – Winter Solstice 2009 Concert 

    Paul Winter Consort – Winter Solstice 2009 Concert is now available for listening.

    This concert is given annually in New York City at The Cathedral of St John the Divine. This is the 29th year of this festival of international sound, a reunion for many of Paul Winter’s musical associates.

    The host, as usual, is none other than John Schaefer of WNYC New York Public Radio, where he hosts New Sounds and Soundcheck

    Give yourself a treat and listen to the two parts of this concert.

     
    • richardmitnick 2:56 pm on December 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Your reply was caught by our spam blocker. I saw no trace of anything bad, so I let your comment through. But, I would like to know just what it is that brings you to my weblog post.

      I need your reply to be in English.

      Thanks.

  • richardmitnick 5:19 pm on October 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , NPR/music,   

    MyYahoo! a great RSS feed reader is shooting itself in the foot. 

    10.17.09 MyYahoo! a great RSS feed reader is shooting itself in the foot.

    I have been using MyYahoo! as an RSS feed reader for quite some time.
    I have seven subscriptions, six of which have as many as 20-30 feeds.

    For me, the most important subscription I have deals with exactly the subject(s) of my weblog, Public Radio and serious music, Classical and Jazz. I have feeds from many “bloggers” (I despise that shortened form of the word and try to never use it.), e.g. Sequenza 21, Scanning The Dial, and Arts Journal/music and many critics, e.g. Greg Sandow , Alex Ross, and Alan Rich I also have feeds from NPR/music for concerts, especially from WBGO, Jazz 88, Newark, NJ and Jazz weblogs and critics, eg Jazzblog.ca, Peter Hum’s baby, and one of the very best, and Howard Mandel’s Jazz Beyond Jazz, another great source of knowledge (Hey Howard, if you are reading me, how are you?).

    This feed reader could be great. It is configurable for the number of days of feed, for what one sees prior to clicking on a feed, for moving feeds around and organizing one subscription by the use of tabs.

    But, alas, in my case it is broken, and often all I see is “Oops – There was a problem loading this content. Please check back later.”
    MyYahooOops2
    Boy, that took forever, it sucks, sorry, but it shows what happens. In this pictograph, just two, but often as many as 20-30, the whole thing. Not good. If I cannot get my feeds, of what use is MyYahoo!?

    I took this to them and they said that I needed to cut down my demand, use no “short summaries”, put the feeds into tabs, use an older template (which just reduced the color palette). I tried what they said with the tabs and only got 50% satisfaction. I got all of the music and none of the critics.

    This is nonsense. Yahoo should make their tools work. What happened to the “cloud”?

    So, I migrated the whole thing, all seven subscriptions to Google Reader. It works. It just plain works. Too plain. Too many days, no limit of days. If I have not looked at a subscription for three days, then I am not interested in those last three days, even so far as to mark them read. But, I am getting my content, my critics, news of music, concerts and the like.

    I hope that Yahoo, now advertising their whole big new self all over at least cable television, I hope that they can straighten this mess out. Believe me, if I am having this trouble, so are many others. MyYaoo! has been by far the most popular feed reader because when it has worked it is so very very good.

    I hope that some of these people I have mentioned, Peter Hum, Howard Mandel, Steve Janssen, Marty Ronish, Mona Seghatoleslami, Alex Ross, Alan Rich, and Greg Sandow, I hope that they have alerts set for their names (Google does that also). I really respect their work. From Peter, you can get links to a whole bevy of other bloggers and critics, the same and way more from Alex Ross.

    By the by, I am now working in an unsung but superb web browser, SeaMonkey, the latest iteration of the internet suite that began as Netscape, oh so many years ago. It is “feature complete” with browser, email, a composer. I use only the browser, but it is fantastic. You know, like that old television commercial said, “try it, you’ll like it”.

    10.21.09 Here is the latest from MyYahoo!
    A wee bit harder to read, take it from me, they all read “Oops”.

    MyYahoo

    12.18.09

    Oops is still going on at MyYahoo:

    Too bad, too bad.

     
    • Michael 10:53 pm on November 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Richard, thanks for the kind words about My Yahoo! and for pointing out an obvious bug that we were experiencing on the site. We believe we have fixed the majority of cases that cause the Oops error and invite you back to My Yahoo! again to try it out.

    • richardmitnick 1:07 am on November 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Incredible! The power of the press. Make no mistake about it, weblogs are now a well established part of the public’s access to the press.

      This is the second time that we have experienced this phenomenon. The first time was when I received a telephone call from a fellow at WNET when they saw my comments about the Miles Davis video that was aired on their WLIW outlet and no one knew about it. I appreciated their explanation and rejoined both stations.

      I very much appreciate the response from a representative of Yahoo. MyYahoo! is still the best of all possible RSS readers – when it works.

      So, what to do now. I went to one of my subscriptions at MyYahoo!. It only had two Oops.
      Maybe, depending on time, I will stay with Google Reader, but monitor MyYahoo for a while.
      If things have in fact improved, I will probably gravitate back to it. But, I take nothing for granted. Time will be a test.

    • richardmitnick 7:24 pm on November 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      So, this is an update. I am not sure who will see it.

      I want to take Yahoo! (http://www.myyahoo.com) at their word, that they are solving the ‘Ooops” problem. But this needs to be tested. What to do to test this?

      First, on one computer, I went into MyYahoo!, just one subscription, the worst one which happens to be also the most important one. On a second computer I opened that same subscription in the Google Reader (http://www.google.com/reader). I harmonized them, made sure that they each had the same RSS feeds. Where either one was missing a feed that the other one had, I put it on the one which was missing the feed.

      Next, since I have Google Reader configured to only show me one dya’s feeds, I went through the MyYahoo subscription and changed each and every feed to 24 hours. That is a lot of work. One must do each feed separately.

      So, now I am sort of at ground zero. The one thing I cannot configure identically is that MyYahoo has a limit of ten items per feed. Google Reader has no limit. But, since I know who has lots of items, in MyYahoo I can just click on the link and go directly to the webn page involved. So, all is not lost for MyYahoo. I mean, Google Reader can easily overwhelm the user. They think thnat they are doing us a favor to let us choose 1 day, 1 week, two weeks. Here, MyYahoo does a better job, 24 hours, one day, two days…seven days. Way better.

      So, now we will see. On this one subscription I will go to the trouble to read both Google Reader and MyYahoo and report back.

    • GrermaVep 5:53 pm on January 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Phat post, good looking website, added it to my favorites!

    • anon 1:20 am on June 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Yahoo is lying about “having the problem fixed”. I rarely get all of my feeds (about a dozen) to work correctly, so am moving to Google (which “Just Works”)!

    • richardmitnick 10:26 am on June 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for your note. Google Reader was my choice. It is not as configurable, you cannot limit what show up to the last day, or week, etc., or how many from one source. But, it all shows up. I just hope that it keeps up.

    • Cherokee 8:01 pm on July 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      well, for about a week now My Yahoo has been doing this with the local news for Salisbury, NC and Charlotte, NC. I rely on those but Yahoo seems to be saying, you don’t need those. I’m about to move to Google myself because they work there.

  • richardmitnick 12:04 pm on September 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , NPR/music, , ,   

    Jazz Is Very Serious Music 

    Jazz Is Very Serious Music

    Jazz is hard work.

    Classical music is, at least for me, not so hard. I learned to love Classical music as a child. My father had a very large collection of LP’s, Beethoven through maybe Sibelius and some Aaron Copland. French Impressionists. The Russian Big Five. Some Opera. I recently rebuilt what was essentially the core of his collection, but in digital form. I go from, now, Bach, through the Romantics and into the 20th century, Nancarrow, Partch, Varese, and Antheil. Part and Messiaen. Glass, Reich, Riley, Young, and Adams. Mark O’Connor and Osvaldo Golijov. After my father, my best teachers have been John Schaefer and David Garland at WNYC. The element of Ambient music I learned from Stephen Hill and Hearts of Space.

    But, none of this has been really difficult. If I am buying the Beethoven symphonies, does it really matter among Bernstein and the NY Philharmonic, Von Karajan or Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic? Violin concerti, I want Hilary Hahn. Terry Riley’s “In C”, Bang On A Can. Reich’s Music for Eighteen musicians, The fabulous Grand Valley State University players (Innova).

    My knowledge in all music is five miles wide and a half of an inch thick. Anyone reading this that is really knowledgeable will see that immediately.

    If you like Bach, Bartok, Sibelius, and Stravinsky, you might just take well to Jazz.

    Jazz is really hard. Everyone has their own starting point. My father started in Classical at Beethoven, but I have some Bach, by Glenn Gould AND Keith Jarrett.

    My starting point in Jazz is Bop, MDD (Miles Dewey Davis), and John Coltrane. I use MDD really to honor Michael Tilson Thomas, known as “MTT”. If this great conductor can be MTT, then Miles is for me MDD. My first teacher was Steve Rowland. Steve has two radio projects, “The Miles Davis Radio Project”, and “Tell Me how Long ‘Trane’s Been Gone”. I bought these two series in .mp3, put them on my Zune .mp3 player and listened to them on walks, on planes, at the dentist. Wherever. Over and over. I started to acquire their music. Amazon’s Jazz library is just literally huge.But, what was it? Bop? Bebop? Post-Bop? West Coast? Who was it? Which quartet or quintet? Each had two great bands, known by various names. Miles had The First Quintet and the Second Quintet. Coltrane had the Classic Quartet and the Second Quartet. Who was in each band? It matters.

    Coltrane played with Miles. Twice. Everyone played with Thelonius Monk.

    You cannot study this music and these people without immersing yourself in the work of Eric Dolphy. You need to hear Ornette Coleman and Sonny Rollins, himself a saxophone colossus.

    You need to pay attention to the producer Rudy Van Gelder. Why? Everyone wanted to work with him.

    You need also to read about these people. Wikipedia is a very good resource. Gary Giddins’ books, Visions of Jazz – The First Century (1998) and Weatherbird (2004), are very worthwhile. The first is basically portraits in word of artists. The second is a collection of the writer’s reviews of concerts and albums.

    Terry Teachout wrote recently in The Wall Street Journal that Jazz, taken out of the club and into the concert hall, is dying a slow death. . If Terry were to listen to Jazz on WPRB, WBGO, any of the countless outlets in the database of Public Radio Fan or the niche streams at AccuRadio and Live365; if Mr. Teachout were to give a listen to the Jazz Calendars presented by WPRB and WBGO, he might change his tune.

    Bill Evans and Gil Evans matter. Differently. Bill was the consummate piano virtuoso. Gil was Miles’ other half as an arranger. There is a short film, “The Sound of Miles Davis, with Miles’ quintet (which one?) playing with the Gil Evans Orchestra. In this video, Coltrane’s solo in “So What” (from Kind of Blue)blows the whole group away.

    To understand McCoy Tyner, you need to hear Paul Hindemith. Dave Brubeck studied with Darious Milhaud and wrote Jazz fugues for The Octet. It matters. Miles studied at Juilliard. John Coltrane studied Bela Bartok.
    “The Birth of the Cool” really matters. Miles and Gerry Mulligan tried to emulate the sound of the Claude Thornhill Orchestra in nine instruments, a nonet. This matters big time. Some consider this the most important album ever produced.

    MDD’s “Bitches Brew” matters because of Jazz Fusion. The work was one of the first projects in Jazz Fusion. Wayne Shorter played with Miles in the Second Great Quintet. But, he also played with Joe Zawinul in Weather Report which was a Jazz Fusion band. But Joe wrote Mercy, Mercy, Mercy for Cannonball Adderley’s quintet. This is not Fusion.

    I am just going through my collection as I write this. Chick Corea is an incredible pianist, as is Keith Jarrett. Both can write and both can improvise. Chick has had the Elektric Band and the Akoustic Band. And, the Fusion band, Return To Forever, with especially Al DiMeola. Keith has had the Standards Trio, The American Trio, The American Quartet, the European Quartet. He also has himself in all of the solo albums and solo concerts. The Koln Concert album is one of the best selling piano solo albums of all time. All of this matters. It matters also that Keith recorded Bach’s Goldberg Variations on harpsichord. It matters that Keith and Chick concertized and recorded the Mozart Double Concerto. Master musicians. Who they are and what they do matters.

    Who is Percy Heath? Jimmy Heath? Albert Heath?

    I have some Thelonius Monk, some Charlie Parker and some Dizzy Gillespie. But I have not yet gotten well educated enough to appreciate them.

    But, I go further back with a very modern band. I go to Dixieland with the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, Ken Field’s very able crew from Boston, Mass. I love this band. They are so hip, so cool in the modern sense of the word.

    Since Steve Rowland, my best support has come from Will Constantine and Dan Buskirk at WPRB, Princeton; Josh Jackson and the concerts from WBGO, Newark, and NPR/music. At NPR, there are the Jazz Profiles, over seventy biographic accounts of great Jazz composers and players. These are available for download. Again, I put them on my Zune and took them with me everywhere. NPR also features concerts from WBGO at The Village Vanguard and J&R Music.

    Latin Jazz matters very much. The movie “Calle 54” is the best introduction one can have for this sub-genre. I got it from Netflix. Latin Jazz, Jerry and Andy Gonzalez, Paquito D’Rivera, Chano Dominguez, Michel Camilo, Gato Barbieri, Eliane Elias, Bebo Valdez and Chucho Valdez, all very important.
    The Modern jazz Quartet began, in a sense like David Byrne’s “Music for ‘The Knee Plays” at Philip Glass’ “Einstein on the Beach”, as a sort of intermission entertainment. It was, first, The Milt Jackson Quartet, and they played as part of the Dizzy Gillespie orchestra. When the orchestra took a break, this quartet filled the time. Look what happened. It is important.

    Singers like Mose Allison and Nina Simone are very important.

    Pat Metheny and Al DiMeola are consummate Jazz guitarists.

    I just watched a video, “Keith Jarrett – The Art of Improvisation”. The video goes way beyond improvisation. It is a valuable biographical story of Keith’s oerve. One piece, played by the European Quartet- they matter a lot – is called “The Windup”. I recognized it immediately. I searched my hard drive. I could not find it. I got the album, “Belonging” (1974), so I could listen a few times. Actually, it was not as good as I remembered. This arrangement (8’22”) is too fast. Then, I remembered that I had an album, “Fort Yawuh” about which I learned from Dan Buskirk. Maybe it was there under another name. These days, I have a large library of Keith Jarrett’s recordings. But, for some time, this album had been my only Keith Jarrett work beyond the well known “Koln Concert”. Sure enough, the first track of “Fort Yawuh”, ‘(If the) Misfits (Wear It)’ (1973) is the same melody, but the exposition is for me much better at 13’15”.

    I am done. I could go on forever here. Here are some things which are important. There are three other important Coltrane’s: Alice, Ravi, and Oran. Steve Gadd is all over the place as a drummer. Cyro Baptista who I first encountered with Paul Simon, is all over John Zorn’s work. John Zorn: he deserves a huge weblog post all for himself. Some players have been around for a long time and deserve respect. None more than Brian Blade. Cedar Walton is still making music.

    Whoops, I never mentioned Duke Ellington. There are no words. His big orchestra is not my style. But I did get his “Black, Brown & Beige”, “The Far East Suite”, “Latin America Suite”, and the absolutely fantastic “Such Sweet Thunder”. Somehow, for me, The Duke is a Classical composer.

    This is not anywhere near complete. No mention of Kenny Clark the drummer, Philly Joe Jones, Connie Kay, also drummers. Stanley Clark, Ron Carter, two bassists extraordinaire. Or Kurt Rosenwinkel, Stanley Turrentine. Sun Ra, off somewhere in a world of his own creation. There are just so many people, each unique in what they bring to the music.

    If you give Jazz a go, expect to be very serious about it and expect to work very hard.

     
    • Classical Music 8:27 am on September 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      It provides all tracks in the universally compatible MP3 format at prices as low as 27 cents ( 23c) a track. Classical Music

      • richardmitnick 11:47 am on September 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        I looked at your site, it is very nice. But I could not find where one would buy music.

        >>RSM

    • Lori 11:13 am on October 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Just wanted to tell you that I read your comment on the WQXR/NYC deal, and was sufficiently intrigued to check out your blog. Very interesting, well-written (unlike this comment?). Keep up the good work.

    • richardmitnick 11:27 am on October 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Lori-

      Thanks. I try very hard to be relevant. I appreciate your comment. Comments, good or bad, are hard to come by.

      >>RSM

  • richardmitnick 3:35 pm on August 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , NPR/music, , ,   

    Jazz at Newport 2009 Comes to Highland Park 

    Jazz at Newport 2009 Comes to Highland Park

    Well, not really. However, since I am slightly agoraphobic, but mostly lazy and cheap, I just could not get myself to the Newport Jazz Festival. So, courtesy of NPR/music, and WBGO I was able to bring a touch of Newport to Highland Park.

    You could listen, download or record
    Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Coalition

    You could listen or record
    Claudia Acuna

    The Bad Plus with Wendy Lewis

    Steven Bernstein’s Millenial Territory Orchestra

    Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band

    Dave Brubeck Quartet

    Michel Camilo Trio

    James Carter Organ Trio

    Joe Lovano UsFive

    Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Coalition

    Cedar Walton All-Stars with Lew Tabackin & Curtis
    Fuller

    There are some others that you might enjoy. Take a look.

    And, by the way, did you happen to see Terry Teachout’s eulogy for Jazz in the Wall Street Journal? Well, read Howard Mandel’s answer at his weblog, Jazz Beyond Jazz.

     
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