4 items from 2016
Today being international jazz day, there will be much celebrating of the greatness of its history. I’ve done that in the past; it is a great history. But it is not all back in historical times; jazz lives, and evolves, and continues to be great. Yet how many lists of the greatest jazz albums include anything from the current century?
That they do not is no indictment of them; only sixteen percent of the years when recorded jazz has existed (not counting the present year yet) are in the twenty-first century, after all, and some prefer to bestow the label of greatness after more perspective has been achieved than sixteen (or fewer, for newer releases) years.
Nonetheless, if people are to respect jazz as a living art form, a look back at the best of its more recent releases seems worthwhile. Here’s one man’s “baker’s dozen »
This year’s best documentary feature nominees continues a long trend of music docs being recognized by the Academy, as two music-related films have earned nominations at this year’s Oscars.
Amy, which tells the story of late songstress Amy Winehouse in her own words through never-before-seen archival footage and unreleased tracks and is nominated for best doc this year, earned nominations for the Queer Palm and Golden Eye awards at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival for director Asif Kapadia.
Filmmaker Liz Garbus earned the second nomination of her career with the Netflix documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone? The film focuses on the life of iconic R&B singer Nina Simone and her life as a singer, mother, and civil rights activist. Garbus earned her first Oscar nomination in 1998 for her documentary The Farm: Angola, USA.
Music-related docs have been a hot topic for the Academy in years past, »
- Patrick Shanley
This concludes my look back at 2015 with the newer new albums -- the ones with new, or at least contemporary, compositions, most by living composers.
1. Soloists/Warsaw Boys' Choir/Warsaw Philharmonic Male Choir/Warsaw Philharmonic Choir & Orchestra/Antoni Wit Penderecki: Magnificat; Kadisz (Naxos) Naxos' invaluable Krzysztof Penderecki (b. 1933) project continues to bring us conductor Antoni Wit's impeccable renderings of the Polish composer's complex and challenging music, especially excelling in the choral works, as here. One of the longer settings of this text (here nearly 45 minutes), Penderecki's Magnificat (1973-74) is also epic in sound, written in a high-avant style similar to his iconic St. Luke Passion, with extended singing effects (especially long glissandi, but also speaking and whispering), highly disjunctive melodies, extremely dense dissonance, and colorful cluster interjections by the orchestra, especially the winds.
It has a prominent if intermittent role for solo bassist (here Wojtek Gerlach), surprising »
Andre 3000 has been busy working on his new role for ABC's anthology series American Crime's second season, but that hasn't kept him from making music. In an interview with Billboard, the rapper discussed his first major TV recurring role, where he plays Michael Lacroix, the architect husband of Regina King, along with working on new tracks and his "Hello" collaboration with Erykah Badu, with whom he shares a son.
The Outkast member said that he's "always recording," even while performing on the small and big screen. "I still get time to think about music. »
4 items from 2016
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