By now, Daniel Rossen's name is synonymous with the kind of raggedy, whimsical, airy music he writes. A contributing songwriter and musician in Grizzly Bear, Rossen often saved his most personal compositions for his other band, Department of Eagles, which shares Grizzly Bear's roots in Rossen's undergraduate years at NYU. Both bands saw success, and Rossen continued to work in both projects.
A surfer and songwriter, Ben Howard's two loves intertwined when the English surfing world became the first audience for his quiet, meditative music. At the encouragement of friends, Howard released two EPs and was soon invited to tour with Xavier Rudd. Howard is a talented artist in the vein of labelmate and influence Nick Drake, with similarly dark and soulful lyrics.
Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 3:09 pm
Pity the poor percussionist in Mozart's day. He didn't have much to do in the orchestra, save for the occasional punctuating roll of the kettledrum (usually supporting a burst of brass) or the rare ping of a triangle.
On Kenny Garrett's enthralling new album, Seeds From the Underground, the iconic alto saxophonist pays tribute to some of his significant lodestars. While he doesn't name any specific musician as the touchstone for "Welcome Earth Song," the track unquestionably recalls Pharoah Sanders' majestic Impulse! Records sound.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:04 pm
The headline of this feature story in the Green Bay Press-Gazette is "Saxophonist transcribes jazz to printed notes." Especially if you're not familiar with the mechanics of the craft, it is a rather amazing thing:
"There will be one measure with 65 notes in it," he said. "First of all, I have to write out every note and then divide each beat into however many notes until it hits on the next beat.
Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 2:48 pm
Tchaikovsky: String Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 1
Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 7 in F-sharp minor, Op. 108
Smetana: String Quartet No. 1 in E minor, "From My Life"
If you haven't yet heard the Pavel Haas Quartet, buckle your seat belt. This smart, incisive group from Prague with an ultra-warm sound and a sure sense of rhythmic play has been collecting accolades by the fistful ever since they burst onto the international scene six years ago.
New York-based composer and Peabody Institute faculty member Kevin Puts has won the Pulitizer Prize for music with Silent Night, his first opera. The work received its world premiere in November at the Minnesota Opera in St. Paul.
Pulitzer officials described Silent Night as "a stirring opera that recounts the true story of a spontaneous cease-fire among Scottish, French and Germans during World War I, displaying versatility of style and cutting straight to the heart."
It'll take just a few seconds to find out if you're likely to fall in love with Jolie Holland. That's what happened to me about eight years ago: Holland was a founding member of The Be Good Tanyas, and I've been listening faithfully to the Texas-born, Brooklyn-based singer ever since.