On the new ECM CD, Last Dance, with pianist Keith Jarrett, Charlie Haden’s extended bass solo on “Where Can I Go Without You?” magnificently extends the melodic contours and the meaning of the song, as if the question had been deposited directly in the heart of the listener.
Yet his epitaph might be another standard, “Everything Happens to Me.” Not as a solipsistic whine, this was a humble man. Rather, this musician lived a remarkably full creative existence,…Continue
Posted on July 14, 2014 at 2:00pm — 3 Comments
The Pabst Theatre crowd leapt to its feet and roared, and you knew he was coming back. Not only that, 65-year-old Richard Thompson suddenly scurried back out to his guitar, like a kid pouncing onto a Christmas present.
I’m standing the conventional concert review on its head because, as excellent as Thompson was from start to finish, the surprising end was so remarkable and telling. Thompson proceeded to play a seven-song encore with little prompting, including Otis…Continue
Posted on June 20, 2014 at 2:00pm — 31 Comments
This is an updated version of an article originally published in July, 2010 in YourNews.com, Madison, Wisc., edition.
FORT ATKINSON – If the carp ain’t bitin’ folk here just start writin’ -- and singin’ and pickin’. Actually locals have caught white bass lately in the Rock River, beside the café named for the infamous scavenger that slouches toward river bottoms. Does the Café Carpe, a rootsy music mecca, befit its homely name?…Continue
Posted on June 7, 2014 at 8:00am — 2 Comments
Devin Drobka evokes fellow composer-percussionist Paul Motian--one of his influences and heroes--like a kind of guiding light throughout this album. The CD-opening "Blues Town," exploits the fraught relationship between an elegantly unfolding, mournful melody and a rhythmic pulse that pushes the melody like waves lapping against a rocky shore.
Bell Dance Songs brims with such melodic and rhythmic tensions, often evoking dance-like rhythms, as a bell's ring might,…Continue
Posted on May 31, 2014 at 8:00am — 1 Comment