In recent years, pianist Ethan Iverson has been collaborating with a number of artists, particularly elder statesmen of the jazz tradition. In 2017, he appeared at the Village Vanguard with trumpeter Tom Harrell. The performances were document on Common Practice, Iverson’s most recent ECM recording. In addition to Harrell, the CD’s personnel includes bassist Ben Street and drummer Eric McPherson, longtime associates of the pianist.
The common practice to which the title refers are jazz standards, mostly from the Great American Songbook but also bebop originals. The group investigates a range of styles, from ardent balladry on “The Man I Love” to smoky lyricism on “I Can’t Get Started” to puckish wit on “Sentimental Journey.” Harrell and Iverson display imaginative recasting of harmonic changes throughout, but especially on vigorous versions of “All the Things You Are” and “Wee.” Iverson contributes two tunes, “Philadelphia Creamer” and “Jed from Teaneck,” both blues with twists and turns of the form.
On Wednesday, October 16th, the quartet reunites for two sets at Jazz Standard (details below). Their take on jazz’s common practice is not to be missed.
Ethan Iverson Quartet featuring Tom Harrell
Wednesday, October 16 - shows at 7:30 and 9:30 PM
116 E. 27th Street, NYC
Ethan Iverson – piano
Tom Harrell – trumpet, flugelhorn
Ben Street – bass
Eric McPherson – drums
This summer I am retooling the composer portion of my website.
If you require scores or information about a piece, please be in touch.
One of my favorite active vocal composers is Tom Cipullo. In the nineties, I performed his song cycle “Land of Nod,” which demonstrates his penchant for contemporary subjects, including pop culture, and the mixture in his music of lyricism, poignancy, and, occasionally, moments of wry humor. Cipullo’s work as an opera composer has delved into topics with weightier resonances. The following two works are no exception.
On Saturday, December 1st at Christ and St. Stephen’s Church, two of Cipullo’s one-act operas receive their New York premieres. Josephine shares a glimpse into the life of Josephine Baker. The setup is simple: before the final performance of her career, the entertainer receives an interviewer in her dressing room. However, the subject’s powerful life story is anything but simple. You would probably need five acts to convey a sense of Baker’s fascinating history. What Cipullo provides here will likely whet audience member’s appetites to learn more. Baker will be performed by soprano Melissa Wimbish, who created the part in the production’s world premiere staging in Baltimore by Groupmuse.
After Life brings together two other iconic Twentieth century figures: Gertrude Stein (played by Jennifer Beattie), and Pablo Picasso (performed by Stephen Eddy). The two come back from the hereafter to confront one another in a ghostly debate about art, aesthetics, and their lives and conduct in Paris during wartime. Their repartee is interrupted by a third ghost, a young girl who was a Holocaust victim (played by Sara Paar). This forces them to reconsider their lives and the meaning of death. Of the opera, Cipullo says, “The real value of art comes after such horrific moments, helping us, as individuals, and as a culture, make sense of the incomprehensible.”
|Chelsea Opera presents NY premieres|
After Life and Josephine
|Two one-act operas by Tom Cipullo|
December 1, 2018 7:00 pm
Christ & St. Stephen’s Church
120 West 69th Street New York, NY
|Tickets available online|
Preferred seats: $35 in advance/$45 at the door
General admission: $30 in advance/$40 at the door
Seniors/Students: $20 in advance/$25 at the door
A preview track from Mike Donovan’s “How to Get Your Record Played in Shops,” which will be out on 4/20 via Drag City.
*w/ Ty Segall and The Freedom Band
^ w/ Lars Finberg and The Bakersfield Moonlighters
It has been seven years since The Clientele’s last recording, The Minotaur EP. On Friday, via Merge, the group releases the LP Music for the Age of Miracles. As the lead off track “Everything You See Tonight is Different from Itself” (video below) demonstrates, they return with undiminished creativity and, in this turbulent time, a refreshing dose of optimism. Arpeggiated chords begin gently, buoying hushed vocals. This is followed by sustained notes from solo electric guitar, budding layers of keyboard patterns, and a pressing mid-tempo groove that urges the vocals to soar to swooning heights. The lyric, as advertised, brings promise of comfort and support.