It’s a week for celebrations with a birthday, an anniversary and a chicken or pasta dinner on the musical menu for your mid-October listening and dining pleasure. Add a penetrating talk by one of musicology’s preeminent thinkers and public intellectuals and watch your calendar fill up. It all starts here.
You can’t blame bassist Noah Garabedian for hoping that the engagement Friday at Blu Jazz+ with his cooperative trio Ember will be a little less memorable than his last northeast Ohio visit. “Nobody was there,” Garabedian remembered.
It was Nov. 9, 2016, the day after the election.
I get a lot of music for my consideration, more than 430 (!) new releases in 2022. Almost all of them are notable for something, and I’d like to give them their due. So, when I’m not previewing events in northeast Ohio or profiling regional musicians, I’ll offer hot takes on recent releases.
When I moved to Cleveland in late 2019, one of the bands I most wanted to hear was the Afrofuturist collective Mourning [A] BLKstar. You can probably guess why that remains on my to-do list nearly three years and several COVID subvariants later, but it’s taken on new urgency with the release of Soothsayer (American Dreams Records), the spellbinding solo debut of M[A]B vocalist Kyle Kidd (all pronouns).
If you were born any time after 1975, you couldn’t avoid Jefferson Starship’s spectacularly dreadful “We Built This City on Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Even if that lyrical flex were true, it pales before the real-life exploits of the band Birth, who built the stage at one of the city’s great rock landmarks, literally. Next Saturday, the Cleveland-born band will return to that stage for the first time in many years, not with power tools, but with their instruments, for a long-overdue homecoming gig at the Happy Dog.