The Charles Street Synagogue occupies a narrow, slightly ramshackle brownstone in the West Village. Inside the temple’s low-ceilinged main room, where the Andy Statman Trio has had a monthly gig for the past eighteen years, a long folding table covered with a plastic cloth holds halvah, currants, and macademia nuts, a perfect Jewish tableau completed by a box of Manischewitz marble cake mix.
I was in a state of high excitement at the prospect of seeing Pharoah Sanders play the Celebrate Brooklyn festival in June 2018. This was not just another musician gracing the great outdoor amphitheater stage in Prospect Park.
The Knockdown Center is a former window and door-frame factory in Maspeth, Queens, that has been transformed into a multi-purpose arts center. It has hosted concerts and exhibitions in the past, but has now taken a big step forward by starting to produce events of its own. One of these is a new series called Outline.
For the time being, we carried on. On March 4, I saw the concert, and it was spectacular. I looked around Town Hall, its 1,400 seats gradually filling, and thought, Should I really be here? A cough from an audience member set off a shudder of alarm.
The sound of Antibalas (Spanish for bulletproof) is thunderous. When this 15-piece horn-heavy ensemble is on stage, the effect is orchestral. Interlocking rhythms create a form of internal combustion, a self-generating energy source.
With its scores of stages already filled with superb musicians every night, does New York need a Jazzfest? Id say a strong yes. Besides offering a comparatively cheap way to see a ton of great music, it does link disparate musicians and their audiences in a larger enterprise.
In this column last month, for a piece called Vision and Revision, I concluded with a poem by Rumi (The Guest House) about the inevitability of change, and the need to accept it. The story struck a fairly optimistic note. But if I am honest, my predominant feeling lately has been one of dread. To open the newspaper is to unleash a cascade of barely imaginable stories. Yet how can we be surprised when we knew? The answer: We dont want to know.
Choreographer Trisha Brown once said of the artist Robert Rauschenberg, [He] arrives fresh at the scene of the accident hes about to create. I ran that line by composer and clarinetist Ben Goldberg recently, because it reminded me of his approach.
The films Scholl creates are open-ended; theyre narrative, but in a non-narrative context, says Ulrich. Its sort of like how we describe the music of Big Lazy, which people are always calling noir and cinematic: We write the music, you write the script.