Tagged: music

Daniel Koren’s “The Most Important Thing”

When a performance is difficult to explain yet utterly cogent to live audiences, something suspiciously like art is probably happening. In the case of composer Daniel Koren’s “The Most Important Thing,” a mélange of music, video, dance, and comedy, the results are wildly entertaining, formally provocative, and resolutely their own thing. That’s not easy in...

Tierney Sutton’s “After Blue”

When one of the world’s greatest jazz singers, Tierney Sutton, interprets one of the world’s greatest songwriters, Joni Mitchell, the result, in the case of Sutton’s new “After Blue,” is a startlingly sublime work of art. Recording for the first time in a decade without her Tierney Sutton Band mates Christian Jacob and Ray Brinker...

Poem: Scandal

IN MEMORY OF EUGENE KONIK, born February 27, 1936. R.I.P.   And although I don’t share your candid misanthropy I understand and I am sorry. Father who left us all too soon I understand and I am sorry. Our species, the one you claimed to despise, having peered inside yourself and all around the carousel, having...

Laurence Hobgood’s “Christmas”

We’re on the record: the world needs another Christmas music collection about as much as another porno clip. We’ve got plenty. What more needs to be added, what else can be said on the subject of Christmas songs that hasn’t already been said wonderfully well by hundreds — thousands? — of others? Pianist-arranger-composer Laurence Hobgood,...

Late Quartet

Despite being handicapped by a complete absence of CGI natural disasters, murderous firearms, or human bloodshed, the feature film “A Late Quartet” is surprisingly interesting. You could say it’s an adult film — about four adults (members of a world-famous string quartet) playing adult music (Beethoven, Shostakovich), grappling with adult concerns (mortality, fidelity, honesty). Writer-director Yaron...

How to Grow a Band

The documentary How to Grow a Band is simultaneously an intimate examination of artists (visions, egos, eccentricities, the whole thing) and a brilliant advertisement for the film’s subject. That would be the Punch Brothers, an all-star modern bluegrass band formed around the charismatic mandolin virtuoso and singer Chris Thile. The band’s sublime and sensational music is...

Hindi Zahra

A French-Moroccan chanteuse who sings in English, French and Berber, Hindi Zahra sounds exactly like herself — which is to say unlike anyone else. Backed by as few instruments as she can get away with — a guitar, some bongos — Hindi fills the soundscape with her peculiarly seductive voice, a thin airy tone that suggests...

Cambodian Space Project

Aside from the usual side-effects of hypnotic music — tapping toes, pumping heads, swaying shoulders — one of the interesting results of listening to the Cambodian Space Project is the onset of what feels vaguely like a psychoactive hallucination. They’ve got a delightful weirdness factor (at least to unseasoned Western ears). You feel transported. But...

Don Johnson Big Band

Finland’s Don Johnson Big Band is an ironically named collective of modern hip-hop artists. They’re not big and they’ve got nothing to do with the former star of “Miami Vice,” but they are a band. A funky one. With percussion and a flute-and-sax man. They’re extremely groovy and unabashedly weird — klezmer gangsta rap, anyone? The best...

Here Lies Love

Entertaining, educational, and totally boogie-licious, the New York Public Theater production of “Here Lies Love” is the most fun we’ve had at a show since the age of disco. Originally a stellar recording project created by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, with vocals from, among others, Cyndi Lauper, Tori Amos, Nathalie Merchant, Santigold, Florence Welch,...