Julius Eastman comes to Los Angeles

Composer Julius Eastman | Photo by Donald Burkhardt Ed. note: Composer Julius Eastman’s “Gay Guerilla,” an initially dappled minimalist excursion for four pianos that morphs into a weighty, deeply personal anthem — nearly a hymnal — had its Los Angeles premiere at last night’s Jacaranda’s “Indivisible” concert. To mark the occasion, arts·meme is  pleased to ...

Juan de Marcos’s Afro-Cuban beat to pulsate The Soraya

Featured · Music
Cuban music has tantalized and insinuated itself into the United States since the 19th Century. New Orleans-born composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869) was smitten with the Cuban tresillo, cinquillo and habanera, and incorporated those elements into his compositions. Ragtime pianists were subsequently taken with what Jelly Roll Morton called “the Spanish tinge.” Then came the ...

Low-key & tasty: Kenny Burrell’s swinging guitar a generation ago today

Ed. note: Universal Music continues to mine the Verve catalog for jazz treasures. arts·meme jazz writer Kirk Silsbee shares his liner notes for‘’A Generation Ago Today.’ When Kenny Burrell’s A Generation Ago Today was released in the spring of 1967, a debate was raging in jazz. It was the dawn of the Age of Aquarius, ...

A bubbly New Year’s Day ‘Salute to Vienna’ concert

Dance · Music
Vienna, we salute you! The timeless tunes of Johann Strauss, Franz Lehar and Emmerich Kálmán will bubble like champagne around the mellifluous chamber of Walt Disney Concert Hall in a traditional Viennese New Year’s Day afternoon concert. A mix of operetta, ballroom dance, and the delicate beauty of ballet with acclaimed European singers and dancers ...

You’re much too much, and just too ‘very, very,’ Frankie

Language & ideas · Music
In this holiday season, we show how Frankie does lyricist Harold Arlen SO RIGHT. You’re just too marvelous, too marvelous for words Like “glorious”, “glamorous” and that old standby “amorous”. It’s all too wonderful, I’ll never find the words That say enough, tell enough, I mean they just aren’t swell enough. You’re much too much, ...

At Zardi’s in Hollywood … with Ella Fitzgerald 1

Ed. note: Universal Music continues to mine the Verve catalog for Ella Fitzgerald material. arts·meme jazz writer Kirk Silsbee excerpts his liner notes to ‘Ella at Zardi’s.’ ♣               ♣               ♣               ♣ In his enviable career as a jazz entrepreneur, Norman Granz (1918-2001) balanced far-reaching vision and a social change agenda with shrewd business acumen. His ...

Kirk Silsbee’s holiday-music picks for 2017

During the 1950s, the United States was rebuilding Western Europe and creating the highest standard of living ever enjoyed by the most people in world history. But by year’s end, most Americans just wanted to be with family and friends. It’s ironic how many contemporary holiday recordings still tap that era’s home-and-hearth heritage. The holiday ...

Buy Neil Young toy trains, guitars, ‘grunge’ shirt

Fashion · Music
An upcoming auction includes singer/songwriter Neil Young’s exceptional collection of model trains, gobs of sound equipment, cool rock clothing and, hey, how about a Neil Young guitar? That would make some lucky twanger pretty happy at Christmas Julien’s Auctions will honor the rock legend in an auction presenting the multi-Grammy and Juno award winning singer/songwriter’s ...

Influential Brazilian-beat album recreated in CAP UCLA concert, That Bad Donato

In 1970, two landmark recordings changed the world. On Bitches Brew, Miles Davis infused jazz with the rhythms and textures of cutting-edge pop, exemplified by James Brown and Jimi Hendrix. The fusion genre sprang from that album. Concurrently,  keyboardist and composer João Donato thrust electronics and the cross-rhythms of funk into Brazilian jazz with A ...

Thanksgiving love for Lydia the Tattooed Lady 1

Film · Music
Our holiday pick: The Brothers Marx in their ode to the much-marked Lydia the Tattooed Lady. In Thanksgiving gratitude for Yip Harburg‘s brilliant lyric, “And a torso even moreso!” Kermit loves her too. Guitarist Gary Lucas plucks the polyphony – and poetry – in Groucho Marx’s torch song to the scribbled dame.