Charles Mingus : The Jazz Workshop Concerts: 1964-1965

When Sy Johnson, a jazz pianist and arranger, used to visit Charles Mingus at his apartment in the East Village in the 1960s, there was always a pot of soup on the stove, and Mingus—a gourmand who once interrupted a concert to eat a steak dinner on the bandstand—was constantly tasting it. “He would say—‘Needs […]

American Original : John Fahey (1939-2001)

“I consider myself a classical guitar player, but I’m categorized as a folk musician,” John Fahey says ruefully in the new documentary In Search of Blind Joe Death—The Saga of John Fahey. In true Fahey fashion, he speaks humbly while taking Occam’s Razor to his own complicated place in music history. One thing that Fahey […]

Abbey Lincoln : A Turtle’s Dream

Singer Abbey Lincoln has been persuasive in her recordings over the past few years, but in her latest release, “A Turtle’s Dream,” she attains a new expressive depth and ardor. Probably the best recording of her career, “A Turtle’s Dream”  documents an artist who has pared down her means and her message to their essence. […]

Maurice Duruflé : The Last Impressionist

Maurice Duruflé (11 January 1902 – 16 June 1986) was a French composer, organist, and teacher. Although he was born in 1902 and died in 1986, Maurice Duruflé is not a typical 20th-century musician. Compared with other great composers of his day — Bernstein, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Britten — he seems strangely out of touch with […]

Composer Profile : Kate Soper

Kate Soper is a composer, performer, and writer whose work explores the integration of drama and rhetoric into musical structure, the slippery continuums of expressivity, intelligibility and sense, and the wonderfully treacherous landscape of the human voice. She has been hailed by the Boston Globe as “a composer of trenchant, sometimes discomfiting, power” and praised […]