Dave Brubeck, jazz giant, has died

Dave Brubeck, known for as a mesmerizing improv jazz pianist and for merging many elements of the classical and jazz genres for a uniquely appealing sound, has died.

Brubeck, born in 1922 to a cattle rancher father and a mother who was a classically trained piano teacher, was born with a musical ear. As a child Brubeck was able to hide his inability to read music by his ability to play a piece after hearing it once or twice. In fact, the University of the Pacific only agreed to graduate him with a degree in music if he promised never to teach music.

After serving in the Army during WW II, he studied under the famous French composer, Darius Milhaud, who encouraged Brubeck to pursue his obvious gifts in jazz. In 1951, Brubeck formed the The Dave Brubeck Quartet which solidified his lifelong association Paul Desmond, who wrote the iconic Take Five, Brubeck's haunting piece that blends his knowledge of European harmonies with his irresistible attraction to African rhythm.

Brubeck disbanded the Quartet in the late 1960s and focused renewed interest in composing jazz symphonies and sacred music

Despite the best efforts of harsh jazz critics to take Brubeck down a notch or two over the decades ("...[Brubeck plays]...as if a man who knew 500 words of French were to attempt a novel in that language." - Joe Goldberg. Or this: "...the galloping pomposity of his piano solos." -- Dave Gelly), his fans apparently didn't get the word; Brubeck continued to pack any venue where he performed. His sons joined him in concert tours starting in the 1970s.

Brubeck, who would have been 92 tomorrow, died of heart failure while on his way to a regularly scheduled appointment with his cardiologist.

LISTEN!! Digital Music News: Sultry Soul, Japanese Koto, Scottish Lasses, Imagined Cinema Tunes

YOU can access almost 1,000 digital music albums directly through our AADL.org catalog. Stream or download as much as you like, DRM free, on any device you choose. No waiting for a copy. No due dates. Hooray!

ROCK
The Raindoggs: Beat-Heavy, Darkened Mix of R&B and Soul
"One Armed Bandits" is a multifaceted album, each song having a distinctly different influence and flavor. There are wide variations, from funky to ethereal to highly danceable to dirge-like. Even with this wide palette, the group never loses its cohesive, identifiable sound -- wah-wah guitars, saucy horns, liberal use of electronics and samples, and sultry vocals. Influences for The Raindoggs include Tom Waits, Snoop Dogg, The Heavy, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, The Lounge Lizards, and Amy Winehouse.

WORLD
Yumi Kurosawa: Melodic and Mixed World Tunes on Japanese Koto
Yumi Kurosawa was born and raised in Japan and began to study Koto when she was three. Her album, "Beginning of a Journey", offers an East-meets-West music experience. Not familiar with Koto? The traditional Japanese instrument is a kind of dulcimer, a board laced with plucked strings tuned with pyramidal blocks, set at intervals under each string, that give the curving surface the look of a mountainscape diorama. Other features on this recording include a violin ensemble, cello, trombone and computer sounds.

CLASSICAL / FOLK
Susan Rode Morris: Early Music Delivered with a Voluptuous Voice and Intensely Focused Delivery
"Among the Lasses, songs of Robert Burns (1759-1796)" is the second in the trio collection of the beloved songs of Scotland's national poet Robert Burns. Soprano Susan Rode Morris and harpsichordist Phebe Craig offer a look at one way Burns heard his songs played, creating their own bass lines and arrangements based on their knowledge of 18th century music. Burns was not a composer, but a great collector of his national music. He took existing songs that were only partly remembered and rewrote the verses to "mend them". He set his poetry to his favorite fiddle or bagpipe tunes.

AMBIENT / NEW AGE / ELECTRONIC
Ray Carl Daye: Atmospheric Ambient/Electronic Music
"Rapid Ear Movement", the second Magnatune release by Ray Carl Daye, is a diverse collection of electronic/ambient instrumentals full of emotion and creativity. The compositions range from the energetic, sequence-driven minimalism of "Endless Departure" and "Dervish Moon" to the radiant, melodic riff of "Aqua Lit". Other notable tracks are the sentimental, gentle meditation of "Quiet Remergence"; the glittering soundtrack-inspired "Elusian Spring" and cinematic atmosphere of "The Illuminated Earth". In all, "Rapid Ear Movement" presents fourteen short soundtracks for an imagined cinema.

Music And Pop Culture Writer Susan Whitall Visits

Thursday November 15, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Susan Whitall became the first woman to become editor of the irreverent Creem magazine in the late ‘70s. This rock journal was immortalized in the film “Almost Famous”.

Since the 1980s Susan has been a feature writer for the Detroit News, writing about pop culture, music and radio, often returning to stories about the R&B and soul music that came out of the Motor City.

Come hear Whitall discuss her career and amazing interviews!

Miyabi: Japanese Traditional Music

Everyone is welcome at the Downtown Library to hear traditional Japanese music played by Miyabi on Saturday, Nov. 10, 1-2 pm. Miyabi has been together since 1997 and is comprised of koto (instrument) players (Etsuko Aikawa, Yuko Asano, Harumi Omitsu), piano (Nobuko Kato) and flute (Satoko Fujiwara). The songs they will play are: Rokudan no Shirabe, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo, Aki no Kotonoha, Hanaikada, Red Dragonfly, El Condor Pasa and Sarashi fu Tegoto.

Oh, to live on Sugar Mountain

Forty-four years ago, on November 10, 1968, Neil Young (whose critically-acclaimed autobiography, Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippy Dream is currently a New York Times bestseller) recorded the song "Sugar Mountain" here in Ann Arbor at the now-legendary Canterbury House, then located at the end of this alley at 330 Maynard.

Recorded between the time of Young's membership with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, this ode to lost youth written four years earlier was acknowledged by fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell (who also played the Canterbury House) as the inspiration for her similarly-themed, The Circle Game. It's one of Young's earliest and more traditional folk songs, and the sincerity evident in this live recording is underscored by its remarkable intimacy.

Check out Sugar Mountain: Live at Canterbury House in our CD collection and some of our Oldnews articles about Ann Arbor's Canterbury House, at the time a coffee house music venue and center for outreach programs associated with St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. Local writer Alan Glenn wrote a great article about the Canterbury House in a recent issue of Michigan Today.

The Musical Genius of Leonard Bernstein

Bernstein

Consider the great man of music Leonard Bernstein. I had a vague sense of him: writing the score of West Side Story, conducting the New York Philharmonic, being the ambassador of music at concerts around the world. But after I watched this documentary, Leonard Bernstein, Reaching for the Note: The Definitive Look at the Man and His Music I wished I had paid more attention to his presence when he was alive and found I could appreciate the astounding career and character of this talented, larger-than-life conductor and passionate musician.

Maybe you remember Leonard Bernstein conducting Young People’s Concerts in Carnegie Hall, which were broadcast on television in the late 50s and early 60s. If you do, you can walk down memory lane and experience these treats again. If you missed out, its never too late for you, or your kids, to hear this greatest of conductors explain and demonstrate the special musical features of symphonies, concertos, humor in music and great composers, such as his favorite, Gustav Mahler.

We also own concert collections of Bernstein’s around the world tours and historic tv broadcasts which include, besides performances, lectures and master classes presented by Bernstein, who always perceived part of his mission as a musician to inspire passion for music in the wide world and the next generation.

For a really ecstatic experience watch Leonard Bernstein conducting the Vienna Philharmonic playing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, featuring a very young Placido Domingo and a resounding bass singer I had never seen before, Martti Talvela. Bernstein's conducting is a performance in itself, which some people find too distracting, but I find complements the grandeur of the Ninth and helps me to "see" it.

UMS Night School - Session 2: Discussion Of Mariinsky Orchestra of St. Petersburg

Monday October 29, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

UMS Night School focuses this season on 100 years of UMS at Hill Auditorium - illuminating the special history behind the great performers and performances that have shaped our community. Professor Mark Clague again serves as host and resident scholar.

These 90-minute "classes" combine conversation, interactive exercises, and lectures with genre experts to draw you into the themes behind each performance. Sessions are designed to deepen the knowledge of the performing arts and the connections with other audience members.

Session 2 will consist of a recap and discussion of the Mariinsky Orchestra of St. Petersburg performance on October 27.

Police Beat: Punk Rocker's Bad Gig

In 1989 Kevin Michael Allin, aka G.G. Allin, and his punk rock band Toilet Rockers gave a concert at the East Quad's Halfway Inn. The band was known for it's in-your-face onstage antics that included self-inflicted beatings, nudity and fights with the audience. Unfortunately, things got out of hand and Allin was charged with three counts of assault including kicking a member of the audience, hitting another one with a chair and then following the concert, beating and burning a "groupie." After declaring Charles Manson his "hero", Allin was ordered to undergo psychiatric examination. He eventually pleaded no contest to the charges.

While serving his term Allin vowed to begin a hunger strike that never materialized and was considered a publicity stunt . Not long after his parole Allin was again arrested in Milwaukee on disorderly conduct charges that included throwing bodily discharges at the audience. After more than 50 arrests the leader of the Murder Junkies, Toilet Rockers and Disappointments, died in New York City of an apparent overdose. Despite his many run-ins with the law, Allin was a prolific recording artist and his "official "website offers his CDs, DVDs and artwork for sale.

LISTEN!! Digital Music News: Fiddles, Poetry, Pop Earworms, Relaxation

YOU can access almost 1,000 digital music albums directly through our AADL.org catalog. Stream or download as much as you like, DRM free, on any device you choose. No waiting for a copy. No due dates. Hooray!

COUNTRY / FOLK-ROCK
The Ranchhands: Fiddle Driven Modern Country Music
True fans of country music will find the perfect marriage of traditional and modern country in The Ranchhands' "Back Home" album. Well crafted songs, a powerful and heartfelt vocal delivery by Mickey Kennedy, electrifying fiddle playing by Chris Tedesco, and lush 3 and 4 part vocal harmonies make this record soar. Glowing reviews from Texas to France gave this album and band international acclaim and a worldwide fanbase that continues to grow.

CLASSICAL / CHORAL
Susan Rode Morris: Early Music Delivered With a Voluptuous Voice
When singer Susan Rode Morris and harpsichordist Phebe Craig met and performed with renowned Scottish fiddle Alasdair Fraser, they discovered the songs of Robert Burns, Scotland's National Poet. Few people know that Burns collected his native tunes and songs and created poetry to many of the wonderful fiddle tunes he loved. "Between Late and Early - Romantic Songs of Robert Burns (1759-1796)" includes the original version of Auld Lang Syne, which plays on public radio on New Year's Eve. "This wonderful performance engendered more response that just about any recording we can remember, in this or any other year" said Martin Goldsmith of Performance Today of NPR. "Hauntingly beautiful renditions, skilled, loving, exquisite."

POP / ALT ROCK
Kurt Hunter: If Jason Mraz Wrote Upbeat Pop Songs for James Taylor to Sing
"Up Too Late" is an album of catchy tunes you'll be singing all day, brought to you by a refreshing blend of acoustic and electric instruments. Although you may not know his name, Kurt's instantly singable music is well-known from TV commercials, the latest one being for Esurance.

NEW AGE
Keri Newdigate: Evocative, Atmospheric, Soothing Piano
"Still Waters" is music to soothe your soul, soothe your nerves, soothe your child -- Music to help to you relax, unwind, meditate, go to sleep, recharge your batteries, refresh your inner self, rejuvenate your spirit, think, ponder, wander, meander, remember. If your life is busy and you feel bombarded by noise, images or deadlines, Still Waters will help you unwind, destress, relax and find a peaceful sanctuary. Suitable for massage, reading, creating, work, quiet times.

Street Dance Demo: Locking, Popping & Hip Hop with Jade Zuberi

Learn more about the street styles of Locking, Popping, House, Hip Hop, New Style, Robotics, Funk Skating,
Krump and B-boying!

Jade "Soul" Zuberi is here to present this demo and discussion! Jade, a 20-year-old all-stylist who specializes in these street dance styles, has won numerous street dance competitions in Ann Arbor, Detroit, New York and throughout the Midwest.

Jade seeks to raise a Street Dance Legacy through dedication, passion, determination and skill and by teaching others the elements and moves of Street Dance!

Happening at the Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room, Friday, October 12 | 7-8:30 PM | Grade 9 - Adult

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