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.
Listening to music has increasingly become a solitary, disembodied experience, these days. Yet an opposite if so far unequal reaction is rising: a new interest in music that serves a social purpose.
In the dim past, all music was social. It was used for celebration and worship, to lull children to sleep and to blunt the drudgery of hard, repetitive labor. The social music that Chris Dingman will bring to his solo concert at Cleveland’s Bop Stop on Thursday is similarly intentional yet with a somewhat different purpose: healing.
I get a lot of music for my consideration, more than 460 new releases in 2020. Almost all of them are notable for something, and I’d like to give them their due. So, every week, more or less, I’ll offer hot takes on the releases of the preceding seven days.
It’s been a minute since I’ve called the roll. Nothing bad, just the usual procrastination and some fairly large-scale work for PostGenre Media and All About Jazz whose scribbling staffs I’ve been fortunate to join. In the midst of that work, holiday madness, some pressing matters of health and the near collapse of the Republic all dampened my enthusiasm for music and for writing. Now I’m back and there’s a lot of catching up to do. Moving backwards from the present . . . .
Vibraphonist Dan McCarthy recorded this 56-minute trio session in Brooklyn February 28, 2019. The following day, he packed his things and returned to Toronto. I guess that makes “A Place Where We Once Lived” (self-released, digital only) a breakup record of sorts, but