Lucid Culture


Album of the Day 12/26/10

Every day, our 1000 best albums of all time countdown continues as it does every day, all the way to #1. Sunday’s album is #765:

Songs by Tom Lehrer

“What I like to do is to take some of the songs that we know and presumably love [pause for audience snickering] and get them when they’re down, and kick them.” From the time he debuted with this 1953 independently released, lo-fi solo piano album, Tom Lehrer understood that 90% of humor is based on cruelty. The prototypical funny guy with the piano was still at Harvard when he pressed a few dozen copies for his friends and classmates who’d seen his shtick in the student lounge. If he came out with this kind of stuff today, no doubt he’d have billions of youtube hits. Hostile, sarcastic and fearless, his satire is spot-on and strikingly timeless, despite the fact that it relies exclusively on innuendo and is therefore G-rated. One by one, he skewers dumb college football songs (Fight Fiercely, Harvard); hillbilly music (I Wanna Go Back to Dixie); cowboy songs (The Wild West Is Where I Want to Be); ghoulish Irish ballads; Stephen Foster-style schmaltz (My Home Town); and Strauss waltzes (The Weiner Schnitzel Waltz). He also includes an early stoner anthem (The Old Dope Peddler), a klezmer parody (Lobachevsky) that does double duty as a satire of academia, I Hold Your Hand in Mine (which predates the Addams Family) and When You Are Old and Grey, a snide and equally ghoulish sendup of old people. While it doesn’t have the Vatican Rag, I Got It from Agnes, Pollution or Poisoning Pigeons in the Park, it’s the most consistently excellent Lehrer collection out there. If you like this stuff you’ll also probably like his 1959 live album An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer. He retired from music early in the 1960s and went on to a slightly less acclaimed but ostensibly just as rewarding career as a Harvard math professor. Here’s a random torrent.

December 25, 2010 Posted by | lists, Music, music, concert, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Complete Lineup for 2011 Winter Jazzfest in NYC

Here’s the latest lineup for the absurdly excellent extravaganza formerly known as the Undead Jazz Festival, which we would like to call Operation Take Back Bleecker Street. A weekend pass is $35, which if you see a lot of these groups probably translates to less than a dollar per artist.

Friday January 7th
(Le) Poisson Rouge
6:15pm – The Respect Sextet
Eli Asher, trumpet, toys / James Hirschfeld, trombone, toys / Malcolm Kirby, bass / Ted Poor, drums / Josh Rutner, reeds, radio, toys / Red Wierenga, piano, keyboard, accordion
7:15pm – Anat Cohen Quartet with Jason Lindner
Anat Cohen, clarinet, tenor saxophone / Jason Lindner, piano / TBA, bass / TBA, drums
8:15pm – JD Allen VISIONFUGITIVE! Conducted by Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris
Butch Morris, conducts / JD Allen, tenor / Gregg August, bass /Danny Sedownick, percussion / Dezron Douglas, bass / Rudy Royston, drums / Jeremy “Bean” Clemons, drums /
Stacy Dillard, soprano / Logan Richardson, alto / Duane Eubanks, trumpet / Ben Waltzer, piano / Bryan Carrott, vibes
9:15pm – Chico Hamilton
Chico Hamilton, drums / Paul Ramsey, bass / Nick Demopoulos, guitar / Evan Schwam, flute, alto & tenor saxes / Mayu Saeki, flute / Jeremy Carlstedt, percussion
Kenny’s Castaways
6:00pm – Mike Pride’s From Bacteria To Boys
Darius Jones, alto saxophone / Peter Bitenc, bass / Alexis Marcelo, piano / Mike Pride, drums
7:00pm – Shane Endsley & The Music Band
Shane Endsley, trumpet / Matt Brewer, bass / Ted Poor, drums / TBA, piano
8:00pm – Jacob Garchik Trio
Jacob Garchik, trombone / Jacob Sacks, piano / Dan Weiss, drums
9:00pm – Jen Shyu & Jade Tongue
Jen Shyu, vocals, Rhodes, moon lute, dance / David Binney, alto sax / John Hebert, bass / Dan Weiss, drums 
10:00pm – Charles Gayle Trio
Charles Gayle, sax / Larry Roland, bass / Michael TA Thompson, drums
11:00pm – Chris Lightcap’s Bigmouth
Chris Lightcap, bass / Gerald Cleaver, drums / Tony Malaby, tenor sax / Bill McHenry, tenor sax 12:00am – Jason Lindner’s NOW vs. NOW
Jason Lindner, electronics, piano / Mark Gulliana, drums / Panagiotis Andreou, bass
1:00am – Chris Speed’s YeahNO
Chris Speed, saxophone / Skuli Sverrisson, bass / Jim Black, drums
2:00am – Dan Tepfer Trio
Dan Tepfer, piano / Thomas Morgan, bass / Ted Poor, drums
Zinc Bar
6:30pm – Amina Figarova
Amina Figarova, piano / Bart Platteau, flutes / Marc Mommaas, tenorsax / Ernie Hammes, trumpet / Jay Anderson, bass / Chris ‘Buckshot” Strik, drums
7:30pm – Eric Legnini featuring Krystle Warren
Eric Legnini, piano / Krystal Warren, vocals, guitar
8:30pm – Nguyen Le
Nguyen Le, guitar / Chris Jennings, acoustic bass / Mark Guiliana, drums
9:30pm – Proverb Trio featuring Dafnis Prieto, Kokayi & Jason Lindner
Dafnis Prieto, drums / Kokayi, vocals, poetry / Jason Lindner, keyboards
10:30pm – Source w/Abdoulaye Diabaté
Abdoulaye “Djoss” Diabate, guitar, vocal, percussion / Sylvain Leroux, flute, sax / Bailo Bah Fula, flute / Emi Yabuno, piano, keyboards / Mamadou Ba, bass / Sean Dixon, drums
11:30pm – Matana Roberts
Matana Roberts, Sax – solo
12:30am – Aaron Goldberg Trio
Aaron Goldberg, piano / Matt Penman, bass / Eric Harland, drums
1:30am – Marcus Strickland Quartet
Marcus Strickland, soprano & tenor saxophones / David Bryant, piano / Ben Williams, bass / E.J. Strickland, drums
2:30am – Shimrit Shoshan Trio
Shimrit Shoshan, piano / Ben Street, bass / Eric McPherson, drums
Saturday January 8th
(Le) Poisson Rouge

6:15pm – Vernon Reid’s Artificial Afrika
Vernon Reid, guitar / Akim Funk Buddha, vocals / Leon Lamont, DJ, percussion
7:15pm – Tia Fuller
Tia Fuller, saxophones / Shamie Royston, piano / Mimi Jones, bass /Rudy Royston, drums
8:15pm – Don Byron’s New Gospel Quintet with special guest, Geri Allen
Don Byron, clarinet, tenor saxophone, background vocal / DK Dyson, vocal / Geri Allen, piano / Brad Jones, bass, background vocals / Pheeroan akLaff, drums
9:15pm – Charlie Hunter
Charlie Hunter, 7 string guitar / Eric Kalb, drums / Michael R. Williams, bass, trumpet
10:15pm – Nels Cline’s Stained Radiance
Nels Cline, guitar / Norton Wisdom, paint, canvas
11:15pm – Steve Coleman & Five Elements
Steve Coleman, sax / Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet / Miles Okazaki, guitar / David Virelles, piano / Marcus Gilmore, bass / Jen Shyu, vocals
12:15am – RedCred with John Medeski, Chris Speed, Ben Perowsky
Chris Speed, saxophone / John Medeski, keyboards / Ben Perowsky, drums
1:15am – Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey
Brian Hass, piano / Josh Raymer, drums / Chris Coombs, lap steele guitar / Jeff Harshbarger, double bass
2:15am – Ben Perowsky’s Moodswing Orchestra with TK Wonder
Ben Perowsky, drums, bells, sincussion, voice / Glenn Patscha, electric/acoustic piano, comb, voice / Markus Miller, turntables, electronics, dial tones / Oren Bloedow, bass, voice /
Marcus Rojas, tuba, voice / Doug Weiselman, clarinet, bass clarinet, wooden flute / Steven Bernstein, trumpet / Pamelia Kurstin, theremin / Jennifer Charles, voice / Miho Hatori, voice /
Elyas Khan, voice / Joan Wasser, voice  / Bebel Gilberto, voice / TK Wonder, voice
Kenny’s Castaways
6:00pm – Kirk Knuffke Quartet
Kirk Knuffke, trumpet / Brian Drye, trombone / Mark Helias, bass / Jeff Davis, drums
7:00pm – Bad Touch
Loren Stillman, alto saxophone / Nate Radley, guitar / Gary Versace, organ / Ted Poor, drums
8:00pm – Andrew D’Angelo’s AGOGIC
Andrew D’Angelo, alto sax, bass clarinet, electronics, composition / Cuong Vu, trumpet, electronics, compositions / Luke Bergman, electric bass / Evan Woodle, drums, compositions
9:00pm – James Carney Group
James Carney, piano / Tony Malaby, tenor sax / Chris Lightcap, bass / Mark Ferber, drums / Josh Roseman, trombone / Ralph Alessi, trumpet / Peter Epstein, sax
10:00pm – Donny McCaslin Trio with Uri Caine
Donny McCaslin, sax / Uri Caine, piano
11:00pm – Water Surgeons
Josh Roseman, trombone, bass, electronics, tenor / Jacob Garchik, trombone, accordion, soprano / Curtis “CURHA” Hasselbring trombone, guitar, bari /
Barney “Chas Degaulle” McAll, keyboards, samples
12:00am – Miles Okazaki / Damion Reid / Guillaume Perret
Miles Okazaki, guitar / Damion Reid, drums / Guillaume Perret, sax
1:00am – Aethereal Base – 3rd Eye
Nasheet Waits, drums / Abraham Burton, sax / Eric Mcpherson, drums
2:00am – Talibam!
Matt Mottel, keys / Kevin Shea, drums
Zinc Bar
6:30pm – Jacky Terrasson
Jacky Terrasson, piano / Ben Williams, bass / Jamire Williams, drums
7:30pm – Sofia Rei Koutsovitis
Sofia Rei Koutsovitis, vocals / Eric Kurimski, guitar / Jorge Roeder, bass / Yayo Serka, drums / Samuel Torres, percussion
8:30pm – Tineke Postema
Tineke Postema, sax / Marc van Roon, piano / Frans van der Hoeven, bass / Martijn Vink, drums
9:30pm – Juan-Carlos Formell & Johnny’s Dream Club
Personnel TBA
10:30pm – Mariani
Personnel TBA
11:30pm – Carmen Souza
Carmen Souza, voice, wurlitzer, acoustic guitar / Theo Pas’cal, bass, double bass / Dado Pasqualini, percussion / Victor Zamora or Jonathan Idiagbonya, acoustic piano / Tiago Santos, guitar
12:30am – Sameer Gupta’s Namaskar
Sameer Gupta, drumset, tabla / Neel Murgai, sitar / Theo Hill, piano, keyboards / Rashaan Carter, acoustic bass / Trina Basu, viola / Amali Premawardanan, cello
1:30am – Jean-Michel Pilc / Francois Moutin / Ari Hoenig
Jean Michel Pilc, piano / Francois Moutin, bass / Ari Hoenig, drums
2:30am –  The Inbetweens
                Mike Gamble, guitar / Noah Jarrett, bass / Conor Elmes, drums
Sullivan Hall
7:15pm – (U)nity
Amaury Acosta, drums / Axel Tosca Laugart, piano / Michael Valeanu, guitar / Christopher Smith, bass
8:15pm – Captain Black Big Band conducted by Orrin Evans
Orrin Evans, piano / Luques Curtis, bass / Donald Edwards, drums / Saxophones: Victor North, Chelsea Baratz, Mark Allen, Todd Bashore, Darryl Yokley / Trombones: Ernest Staurt,
Frank Lacy, Brent White / Trumpets: Tatum Greenblat, Leon Jordan Jr, Walter White, Duane Eubanks
9:15pm – Igmar Thomas & The Cypher
Igmar Thomas, trumpet / Justin Brown, drums / Ben Williams, bass / TBA, keys
10:15pm – Curtis Brothers Quartet featuring Giovanni Almonte
Zaccai Curtis, piano / Luques Curtis, bass / Richie Barshay, drums / Reinaldo De Jesus, congas / John Davis, drums / Joel Gonzalez, trumpet / Philip Dizack, trumpet / Zach Lucas, alto sax /
Louis Fouche, alto sax / Frank Kozyra, tenor sax
11:15pm – Derrick Hodge
Derrick Hodge, bass / Keyon Harrold, trumpet / Travis Sayles, piano / Chris Dave, drums
12:15am – Maurice Brown Effect
Maurice Brown, trumpet / Derek Douget, sax / Chris Rob, piano / Solomon Dorsey, bass / Joe Blaxx, drums
1:15am – Robert Glasper
Robert Glasper, piano / Chris Dave, drums / Derrick Hodge, bass / Casey Benjamin, vocoder, alto sax
2:15am – Kenneth Whalem Quartet
Kenneth Whalum, tenor sax / Justin Brown, drums / Ben Williams, bass / Lawrence Fields, keys
3:15am – Kendrick Scott
Kendrick Scott, drums / Mike Moreno, guitar / John Ellis, sax / Taylor Eigsti, piano / Joe Sanders, bass

The Bitter End
5:45pm – Gregory Porter
Personnel TBA
6:45pm – Jamie Baum Septet
Jamie Baum, flutes / Taylor Haskins, trumpet / Doug Yates, alto sax, bass clarinet / Brad Shepik, guitar / George Colligan, piano / Johannes Weidenmueller, bass / Jeff Hirshfield, drums
7:45pm – MILK & JADE by Dana Leong
                Dana Leong, cello, trombone, laptop / iLLspokiNN, vocals / Lex Sadler, electric bass / Yoni Halevy, drums

8:45pm – Dayna Kurtz
                Dayna Kurtz, voice, guitar / Dave Richards, upright bass / Peter Vitalone, piano, organ / Dan Reiser, drums
9:45pm – Doug Wamble
Doug Wamble, guitar, vocals / Adrian Harpham, drums / Derek Nievergelt, bass
10:45pm – Nomo
                Elliot Bergman, saxophone, electric kalimba / Erik Hall, guitar, nu-tones, drums / Quin Kirchner, drums, percussion / Dan Bennett, baritone saxophone / Justin Walter, trumpet, percussion /
Jamie Register, bass
11:45pm – Amir ElSaffar
Amir ElSaffar, trumpet, santour vocal / Rudresh Mahanthappa, alto saxophone / Carlo DeRosa, bass / Zafer Tawil, oud, percussion / Nasheet Waits, drums
12:45am – Underground Horns
Welf Dorr, alto sax / Mike Irwin, trumpet / Kevin Moehringer, trombone / Nate Rawls, tuba / Kevin Raczka, drums / Okai Fleurimont, percussion / Satoru Ohashi, trumpet /
Andreas Brade, drums / Ibanda Ruhumbika, tuba
1:45am – Noah Preminger Group
Noah Preminger, saxophone / Frank Kimbrough, piano / John Hébert, bass / Matt Wilson, drums
2:45am – TBA

December 25, 2010 Posted by | concert, jazz, Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Thoughtful, Pensive Collaboration from Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal

An elegant collection of mostly duo performances, the aptly titled Chamber Music by Malian kora virtuoso Ballaké Sissoko and enterprising French cellist Vincent Segal is a thoughtfully paced, generous collaboration. It is most likely composed all the way through, yet has a quietly inspired improvisational feel, as the two musicians trade off themes, lead melodies and basslines. Sometimes a bright kora theme will be transposed to the cello’s lower registers, other times they’ll switch a pizzicato cello bassline to the kora. The motifs here are very terse: Sissoko plays nimble, intricately twining lines rather than indulging in lickety-split displays of speed, while the cello is employed more frequently for rhythm than for atmospherics. With the lead lines mostly carried by the kora, this has much more of a Malian feel than a European one, although a couple of Segal compositions – particularly the marvelously pensive Histoire de Molly, with its eerie cello arpeggios – introduce elements of the baroque. This is an excellent headphone album, equally effective as late-night wind-down music.

The title track is a sort of synopsis of the whole album, a stately, swaying groove where both musicians echo each other, the kora introduces a dance and then turns it over to the cello – and then Sissoko’s solo, rather than being a crescendo, brings it down again. The next track is hypnotic and circular – imagine this as played by an electric band and you’d have Afrobeat. The following composition, by Sissoko, is basically a canon, featuring a rippling, twinkling balafon solo from Fassery Diabate. The album concludes with a wistful, 6/8 ballad, a suspensefully cinematic theme that kicks off with Indian raga influences, and a long, pensive, dynamically-charged overture. Throughout the album, the subtle, conversational interplay between the two musicians is full of unexpected twists and turns, a seemingly endless series of gently surprising ideas.

December 25, 2010 Posted by | avant garde music, Music, music, concert, review, Reviews, world music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Album of the Day 12/25/10

Every day, our 1000 best albums of all time countdown continues all the way to #1. Saturday’s album is #766:

Oum Kalthoum – Rak El Habib

On Christmas we give you a Muslim – so a year from now, when we hit #401, you should expect a Jew, or maybe a Hindu or an atheist or something. 35 years after her death, Oum Kalthoum remains more popular than Jesus and the Beatles combined. Publicly, she played up her roots as an Egyptian country mullah’s daughter; professionally, she was a member of the avant garde, a committed socialist and someone who would have been a millionaire many times over had she not given virtually of her money to charity – she was an advocate for Palestinian rights decades before it was cool. Oum Kalthoum (in Arabic, spelled أم كلثوم‎ – there are innumerable transliterations which bedevil English-language searches) is the iconic mother of all Arabic singers, arguably the most popular singer of all time, although in the English-speaking world she remains virtually ignored. Trying to choose among the literally thousands of her recordings is a thankless task. As a rivetingly beautiful example of one we have heard, we give you this haunting, hypnotic 1941 recording whose title track translates roughly as “Be Gentle, Sweetheart.” Arabic vocal music, like jazz, incorporates long improvisational passages, which she would work gradually so as not to blow out her voice after 45 minutes or so onstage. In additional to the title track, this lushly orchestrated album includes the optimistic El Ward Gamil (“When Roses Bloom”), the wary Gamal El Donia and two other tracks whose haunting microtonalities stretch out against the haunting, understated sweep of a Middle Eastern orchestra for over fifteen minutes at a clip. If she was alive today, she’d be on a terrorist watch list. Here’s a random torrent.

December 25, 2010 Posted by | lists, middle eastern music, Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment