Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

A Hall of Fame Jazz Concert on April 25 at the New School

Here’s a killer concert for jazz fans in New York: this coming Wednesday, April 25 at 7:30 PM at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium at 66 W 12th St., a mix of hall-of-famers and rising stars get together to celebrate 25 years of the New School’s well-regarded jazz program. $30 tickets (a real bargain considering who’s on the bill) are still available as of this writing: your best bet is to call ahead to 212-229-5488 and make sure since tix go fast once word gets out. If you want to stop by and pick them up, the box office is open Monday-Thursday 4-7 PM and Friday 3-6 PM. Here’s the lineup:

– A tribute to Frank Foster and Benny Powell led by trumpeter/arranger Kenyatta Beasley, with Keith Loftis, tenor/soprano sax; Arun Luthra, alto sax; Chris Stover, trombone; Martha Kato, piano; Josh Ginsburg, bass; Marcus Baylor, drums; Billy Harper, tenor sax; Rory Stuart, guitar

– Piano duos with Junior Mance and violinist Michi Fuji plus Andy Milne and harmonicist Gregoire Maret

– A trumpet battle led by Jimmy Owens along with Alejandro Barti and Cecil Bridgewater with JoAnn Brackeen on piano, Tony Lannen on bass and Winand Harper on drums

– The Eyal Vilner Big Band, composed of New School alumni and joined by Jimmy Heath and Frank Wess plus Eyal Vilner, arranger/saxophone; Mike McGarill, alto/flute; Tom Abbott, alto/clarinet; Lucas Pino, tenor/clarinet; Asaf Yuria, tenor; Jason Marshall, Bari/bass clarinet; Cameron Johnson, trumpet; Takuya Kuroda, trumpet/flugelhorn; Ivan Malespin, trombone; John Mosca, trombone; Yonatan Riklis, piano; Mike Karn, bass; Joe Strasser, drums; Brianna Thomas, vocal.

See you there!

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April 17, 2012 Posted by | concert, jazz, Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Otherworldly Album and Upcoming Concert from Stile Antico

Pioneering Renaissance choir Stile Antico return to New York this coming Saturday, April 21 for an 8 PM concert put on by the Miller Theatre folks at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, 145 W 46th St. As of this writing, tix are still available via the Miller Theatre box office (Broadway and 116th St., and online). In case you might wonder how a choir singing five-hundred-year-old motets could possibly be pioneering, you haven’t heard Stile Antico. The self-directed twelve-voice group (they perform without a conductor, in the style of a string quartet) has made a career out of resurrecting obscure and underrated choral works from the 17th century and before then; their concerts are exhilarating. With their blend of male and female voices, they have a gyroscopic sonic balance, an absolutely necessity considering the dizzying and occasionally herculean demands of the music they sing. On their latest album Tune Thy Musicke to Thy Hart: Tudor & Jacobean Music for Private Devotion (out now on Harmonia Mundi), they’re joined on several tracks by noted early music viol ensemble Fretwork.

Thematically, it’s a bit of a change from the towering (and sometimes harrowing) compositions they’ve mined during the early part of their career (although their Advent and Christmas-themed album Puer Natus Est foreshadowed this turn in a somewhat sunnier direction). The works here tend to be shorter and often less ornate – which can mean quieter, and on a couple of occasions, a showcase for individual group voices as the harmonies literally make their rounds. In the case where the choir isn’t going full steam, the sonics are sometimes fleshed out by gentle yet stately string arrangements, along with a small handful of instrumental preludes. The beauty of the performance transcends any specific religious association (although it’s nice to be able to understand the words without having to dig out that old Latin dictionary). A lineup of well-rembered composers is represented – Thomas Tallis, John Dowland and William Byrd, among others – but as usual, the gems here are the rarest ones. The modernity and outright, awestruck dissonances in John Amner’s A Stranger Here are literally centuries ahead of their time; Robert Ramsey’s How Are the Mighty Fallen works a potently quiet, apprehensive counterpoint that threatens to break out into fullscale angst but never does. And Giovanni Croce’s From Profound Centre of My Heart would make a great pop anthem. Throughout the album, the low/high contrasts are characteristically vivid when they’re not so seamless that it seems like one single polyphonic voice is creating these otherworldly sonics, aided by the rich natural reverb of the church where they were recorded. Historically, much of this repertoire has been neglected in favor of better-known works from the church music canon; this is a richly enjoyable and valuable endeavor from two rightfully acclaimed ensembles.

April 17, 2012 Posted by | classical music, Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment