Friday, April 11, 2003

This week at the Berkeley Library!

-Bill Evans Trio- Explorations: Brought to you from the good people at Fantasy, Inc located just a couple blocks from where Cathy and I live in West Berkeley, occupying a concrete monstrosity of a building. These are the same folks who distribute Vince Guaraldi’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas and oodles and oodles of other reissues. Which is great. But their building, man alive, it’s like a slice of bleakest industrial Manchester, England circa early 80’s. Which would, come to think of it, probably be just fine with me provided I could head down to the Hacienda, enjoy myself a pint and promptly lose myself in New Order’s Blue Monday. Alas, it’s Berkeley 2003 and that being such, the building and the blue gray murk of its accompanying sea of parking, mocks us.

- Jean-Yves Thibaudet -The Magic of Satie: This CD has the whiff of Boarders and Barnes and Noble about it. On its cover, Thibaudet, wearing what could best be envisioned as Leisure Suit/Miami Vice Black, elegantly leans against a wall- his eyes dreamily envisioning soccer moms while framed photographs of Satie gather, almost gnome like, at his feet. It’s pretty awesome.

-The Thelonious Monk Quartet- Monk’s Dream: I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of my copy of the Thelonious Monk Sextet’s, Monk’s Music. It’s the only Monk I’d ever heard before grabbing this one out of the return racks. (The return racks, when their out, are usually ripe with any library’s crème de la crème.) It’s totally gorgeous music. Monk’s plays the piano like a romantic with soil in every one of his fingernails, tossing bright melodies over his shoulders and shading them with filigrees of dissonance.

-Benny Goodman- Live At Carnegie Hall: From 1937. I’ve listened to Disc Two in the set about half a dozen times now and I can say, hands down, it’s some of the best music I’ve ever spent washing the floors of our place to ever. “I Got Rhythm,” which kicks off Disc Two, hyperventilates spastic fits of clarinet, piano and vibraphone. It grinds the engine. By songs end I’ve mopped through half the house.

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