Analysis

Rockin’ the Shtetl

Performers like the Klezmatics, David Krakauer, Hasidic New Wave, and John Zorn are all rockin’ the shtetl. As it turns out, that just happens to be the utterly traditional thing to do.

Brass Tacks

A number of prominent composers are either writing or awaiting premieres of new band works.

Appropriate Behavior

The value of bootlegs, copies, forgeries, tributes, covers, pastiches, variations, quotations, samples, rip-offs, hijacks, plagiarisms, and recontextualizations collide and crisscross in a potholed web that means many things to many people.

Racism: On the Notated Page As Well?

Willard Jenkins Racism, one of the ugliest of humankind’s most base impulses, is a subject that is broached perhaps more frankly in the arts than in the corporate canyons, but it is never an easy discussion. In the last two issues of the Jazz Journalists Association‘s in-house quarterly, Jazz Notes, I raised several specters of […]

Humor in Music

Daniel Felsenfeld Paul Bowles wrote, in his autobiography, of watching his friend John Cage listening, for the first time, to an acetate of one of his own string quartets—and laughing inconsolably. For years, we have been swallowing Cage and the PR machine around him as a truly serious presence, as a composer in the great […]

Saying No to Yes

Philip KennicottCourtesy of The Washington Post When I was a teenager, I didn’t have much use for popular culture and especially popular music. It didn’t speak to me and it didn’t offer any particularly useful clues to negotiating adolescence. I didn’t turn to music for rebellion (I got my rebellion elsewhere) because popular music didn’t […]