This would be a pretty boring blog if all I did was link to articles I've written elsewhere. But given my drive to and from Richmond over the weekend, as well as work-related pressures, I've only been out to see one performance during the last week: the Met's rather fabulous Orfeo ed Euridice. At the request of my daytime employers, I wrote up a brief, cheeky report on the TONY Blog, which you'll find here. (My enthusiasm is clearly not shared by everyone.)
I'll be good and busy this weekend, but for the moment I'll have to send you elsewhere for diversion:
Here is my Time Out New York feature on the Bad Plus and their excellent new CD, Prog. The title is not mine; I wanted "Progressive talk." But I can live with it, given the context. From a purely technical perspective, this is also an instance in which my personal proclivity for occasional short, broken-off quotations was thwarted by the house preference for long paragraphs. The content remains exactly the same, but breaking up the exchanges between Ethan Iverson and Dave King into separate blocklets, I think, would have provided a better visual sense of the quick-witted repartee between these two old friends. Still, with any luck, some of the sheer fun of this conversation comes across.
From the same issue of TONY, here is my review of Heart Mountain, an absolutely gorgeous new CD by pianist Myra Melford and violinist-violist Tanya Kalmanovitch. Without question, this is one of the finest improv discs I've heard this year. A live set recorded in 2005, this was just issued on Kalmanovitch's label, Perspicacity (available via CD Baby, where you can listen to excerpts). New Englanders, take note: The duo plays Philadelphia on Friday, Baltimore on Saturday, New York City on Sunday (the Tenri Cultural Institute, to be exact) and Cambridge on Monday. Complete tour details are here.
Dr. LP, my soon-to-be-official better half, recently attended the Experience Music Project (EMP) Pop Conference in Seattle for the first time. NewMusicBox has her report ("EMP is the Elvis Costello of conferences.").
And back to the Bad Plus, sort of: Ethan Iverson's wife, Sarah Deming, has just published her first novel, Iris, Messenger. It's a fantasy tale for readers aged 10 and older, and a thoroughly charming, giddy, erudite delight. (I devoured the first 50 pages or so in a single sitting.) You can read a detailed review here. And do pay a visit to Sarah's blog, The Spiral Staircase.
Lorraine Hunt Lieberson and Roger Vignoles - Songs by Mahler, Handel and Peter Lieberson (Wigmore Hall Live)
Redhooker - The Future According to Yesterday (Soft Landing)
Napalm Death - Harmony Corruption and Death by Manipulation (Earache)
Immortal - Sons of Northern Darkness (Nuclear Blast)
Satoko Fujii Min-Yoh Ensemble - Fujin Raijin (Victo)
Vinicio Capossela - Ovunque Proteggi (Atlantic)