The Bad Plus and David Rhyshpan say goodbye to New Orleans's own Earl Palmer. Palmer was the sound of early rock 'n roll -- maybe you don't recognize his name but you definitely recognize his beats. This video (linked to by both TBP and DR) is outstanding:
New Orleans has such a complex and specific musical history that it can be daunting for outsiders to try to approach it, or even evoke it obliquely. Especially if you happen to be a "classical" musician by training. And most definitely if you are trying to craft a musical response to the unimaginable and ongoing tragedy in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. That's what makes Ted Hearne's Katrina Ballads so remarkable -- it's the kind of ostentatiously ambitious work that by rights, should never work... and yet it does. I have a lot more to say about this piece and no time to say it (which is basically the story of this blog), but please check out Isaac Butler's review over at Buzzine. Ted Hearne is at the Stone Sunday night, performing some new music with a group that includes many players from the Katrina Ballads band.
Also new on New Amsterdam Records, Secret Society's own Sam Sadigurksy presents the second installment of The Words Project. Sam has crafted intricate musical settings of texts by literary heavyweights Andrew Boyd, Czeslaw Milosz, Langston Hughes, Sadi Ranson-Polizzotti, David Ignatow, Audre Lorde, and Caitlin Upton. You can stream the whole record here -- check it out.