AU Musical Events: Spring Jazz Concert, 4/10

That’s right! AU’s formidable jazz orchestra/ensemble/band is putting on their renowned semesterly show THIS Friday! Led by the musical legend Joshua Bayer, this student/community group will bring their best in a nice (thunderstorm-ridden) spring night of jazz!

The band, including a VERY TALENTED drummer (me), will play through a set full of classic swing and bop tunes, spiced up with a couple of latin and funk numbers, and one student arrangement of a Joe Sample piece. Also playing will be the Frederick Community College Jazz Ensemble, and possibly a combo comprised of AU students as well!

Formally titled the “AU Jazz Orchestra Spring Swing Fling” (what a mouthful!), the event will be at 8pm in the Abramson Family Recital Hall. Tickets are $5 for students and community members, $10 for the general public.

Here’s the facebook event, and you can buy tickets here. Hope to see you there!

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Sweet New Arrivals: Shadow & Simon

As you saw yesterday, we just procured a large batch of new CDs. I’d like to take this time to highlight two personal favorites. These two CDs are very different from each other but both are tremendously important to the development of popular music. Each represents both a perfection of style and a watershed moment, shaping the sound of their respective genres while representing the best each had to offer.

 

DJ Shadow – Endtroducing….. (1996)

As far as sample-based hip hop production goes, it’s hard to top this album. While other great albums preceding it made use of extensive, creative sampling (Paul’s Boutique, Three Feet High & Rising, It Takes A Nation Of Millions…, etc.), their producers used the samples to create a backdrop for the featured rapper. Endtroducing….. features no rapper, and relies on scores of samples to provide a thematic narrative. DJ Shadow’s creative chopping of drum breaks, sampled rap lyrics, atmospheric pieces and movie dialogue keeps the album interesting throughout.

What truly stands out about Endtroducing….., however, is its compositional ambition. The songs stretch out into epic, jazzy expanses, often far longer than a traditional hip hop record. In fact, this album was such a jump from the traditional use of samples and breaks that it led to the new genre of “trip hop,” sort of a bridge between ambient music, psychedelia and jazz, anchored by rap beats. On this album the line was forever blurred between hip hop grooves and avant-garde musical exploration, and we can thank it for a wealth of creative hip hop that has since followed.

 

Paul Simon – Graceland (1986)

Ah, Graceland. The sight of it in our “new CDs” pile gives me an intense feeling of joy, as this is one of the best pop albums I’ve ever heard and (probably) that was ever made. Suffering from a failing marriage and a commercial slump in the early 1980s, singer-songwriter Paul Simon was inspired by a cassette of South African music and went to the apartheid-stricken country to record with some of the musicians there. After this trip he returned to New York City and wandered the streets, composing an incredible set of soul-searching, heart bearing, romantic but realistic lyrics. These lyrics rest among Simon’s best, often surrealistic, fantastical or futuristic, but all managing to hit upon beautiful understatements on the trials and tribulations of interpersonal relationships. They form a uniquely American point of view that meshes strangely well with the African musical background.

And what a background it is! Unstoppable percussion grooves and liquid bass lines anchor exuberantly twinkling guitar runs, conjuring a dreamlike state. Often the vocalists of South African a cappella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo sweep in, a tapestry of vocal timbre. These elements, previously unintroduced to American pop music, took Simon’s stellar set of lyrics to the next level, and paired with the occasional electronic drum kit and saxophone were able to create a pop sound that had never before been reached. Graceland truly represents the amazing possibilities of blending international pop styles, and it is a high watermark in pop musical history that has yet to be equaled- it’s hard to imagine such perfect chemistry occurring again.

Did I sell these well? Come check them out and see if they’re worth my hype. Or don’t, and I’ll keep listening to them during my shifts, it’s okay.

A Bunch of New CDs!

aaliyah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello, hello, happy Thursday evening, hope it doesn’t find you too thirsty! Guess what, we’ve got a bunch of new CDs for you to check out for the weekend, all kinds of genres! I’ll be covering a couple of them in further detail tomorrow, but for now here’s a list.

NEW CDs

Jean Grae – The Attack of the Attacking Things – CD 1960

The Slits – Cut – CD 8287

Paul Simon – Graceland – CD 2365

DJ Shadow – Endtroducing – CD 2435

Aaliyah – One in a Million – CD 4473

Soli Chamber Ensemble – Música, Por Un Tiempo – CD 2504

Fort Worth Opera – With Blood, With Ink – CD 2270

Delfeayo Marsalis – The Last Southern Gentleman – CD 2273

The President’s Own United States Marine Band – Be Glad Then, America – CD 2100

Mason Bates – Stereo is King – CD 8288

Massilia Sound System – Massilia – CD 2097

New Semester, New Arrivals S2015

Hello, 2015!

To kick off our spankin’ new semester we’ve got a deluge of new arrivals, scores and CDs! To save this poor blogger some time, we’ll be posting half of them today and some more tomorrow (arbitrarily chosen). Here’s day 1, and check back tomorrow for some more!

SCORES:

Baker – Mickey Baker’s Complete Course in Jazz Guitar, books 1-2 – MT582 .B2 1955

Baker – Mickey Baker’s Jazz Guitar – MT582 .B2 1973

Glenn & Taylor (ed.) – Classic Italian Songs for School and Studio, Vol. III – M1619 .G536 C5 v. 3

Lu – Partita for brass trio – 357.4 .L8 P37 2013

Meacham – American Patrol; German Trombone Vibration, arr. for trombone quartet by Jorg Vollerthun – M459 .M43 A44 2011

Mozart – Concerto no. 14 in E-flat major for Piano and Orchestra (KV 449) – M1011 .M93 K.449 1990

Mozart – Concerto no. 27 in B-flat major for Piano and Orchestra (KV 595) – M1011 .M92 K.595 2011

Mozart – Piano Concerto in G Major piano reduction (KV 453) – M1011 .M93 K.453 2006

Mozart – Piano Concerto in C Major piano reduction (KV 467) – M1011 .M93 K.467 2006

Phillips – Catamaran for brass septet – M757.4 .P45 C38 2013

Saint-Saens – Concerto no. 1 in A for Violoncello and Orchestra, op. 33 – M1016 .S15 op. 33 2001

Segovia – Diatonic Major and Minor Scales – MT585 .S44 D53 2011

Sousa – The Gladiator March, arr. for trombone quartet by Andrew Converse – M459 .S68 G53 2010

Sousa – Stars and Stripes Forever, arr. for trombone by Brad Howland – M459 .S68 .S83 1999

Tiger Rag, arr. for trombone quartet by Jack Gale – M459 .T541 1993

Von Suppe – Light Cavalry (the good parts), arr. for trombone quartet by Craig Kaucher – M459 S88 2006

Wagner – Ride of the Valkyries, arr. for trombone by David Uber – M459 .W25 R46 2002

 

CDS:

Allen Anderson – An Opportunity for Mischief – CD 6962

David Claman, Ryan Vigil, John McDonald – Keypunch – CD 7089

Trouble Funk – Drop The Bomb – CD 1892

Love’s Labour’s Lost (Original Cast Recording) – CD 8289

A Loving Home’s A Happy Home: 19th Century Moravian Parlor Music – CD 8279

Otha Turner and the Afrosippi Allstars feat. the Rising Star Fife and Drum Band – From Senegal to Senatobia – CD 2204

Yann Tiersen – Music from the Motion Picture Amelie – CD 2080

 

AU Musical Events: Jazz in the Fall, 11/21

Awesome quick show announcement, folks! This Friday, join the inimitable Josh Bayer as he leads a group of AU jazz aces through a bunch of rip-roaring big band tunes for our “Jazz in the Fall” semesterly jazz show!

Bayer’s band this semester are really a good group (and I could tell you, I’m the drummer!). This year we’ve really achieved a balance of lush instrumentation with brash bombast. If I do say so myself.

For this show the band will feature world-class pianist Robert Redd (and I could tell you, he played with us on Saturday!). His superchops prove to match well with the band, whether we’re playing swing, bossa, big band or funk; all will be played at this concert. Redd will also be featured in a more intimate combo-style ensemble to lead off the night (also featuring yours truly).

This awesome event will go down this Friday (11/21) at 8pm in the Abramson Recital Hall in Katzen. Tickets are $10 for the general public, $5 for students and AU community members. What a steal! Hope to see you there!

And heeeere’s the all-important facebook event, which includes a link to pre-order tickets. Make sure to click “attending!”

 

AU Musical Events: WVAU brings BadBadNotGood!

Friday night boys! WVAU, our beloved college radio station (recently voted #1 student-run/internet-only station in the whole country) is hosting their fall semester concert! In the past they’ve had successful shows with artists such as Dan Deacon, Deerhunter and Mac DeMarco, always with a band that’s a great balance of fun and musically interesting.

This semester, they’re bringing the great BadBadNotGood. For those who don’t know, BBNG is a trio of Canadian dudes in their young 20s who play music that’s hard to classify. Essentially they filter their considerable technical jazz chops through a love of hip-hop, electronic music and making noise. Or is it the other way around? Think a more irreverent Herbie Hancock smashing keys over a hard-knocking rap beat with the occasional spastic Aphex Twin-esque drum fill. Their aforementioned affinity for electronic music is clear in their skill at building up momentum to a crescendo on nearly every song before an itch-scratching “drop” of sorts, most often a flurry of soloing, exploratory bass and explosive drums.

One thing’s for sure: these guys will keep your attention in a tight hold as they blaze through their set, usually a mix of originals with a litany of covers: Odd Future, Kanye West, A Tribe Called Quest, James Blake, Joy Division, the list goes on and on. These guys clearly have a massive musical vocabulary and they put it to good use. First gaining popularity on YouTube via their Odd Future covers when they were young college students, they’ve only developed their skills since, releasing three studio albums as well as several live albums and EPs.

This show is sure to be an awesome time. WVAU favorite Ace Cosgrove, a MD-based rapper who’s only getting bigger, is opening. The event is free for all AU students, but it’s closed to the public, so you can leave your 30 year-old Tinder date behind for this one. In Tavern @ 8pm, this Friday!

FB event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/970469399635205/