Bernstein teaches

Recently I decided to educate myself a little more on classical forms. I always felt a bit lost when I tried to compose something that was supposed to be a formal piece, realising that I was to unsure about what the rules actually were.
I discovered this video that is part of a series of Leonard Bernstein teaching us how to listen to classical music. The series on the sonata form is for kids and crystal clear (and a bit simple). It consists of four parts, so you can continue to the next part after finishing this one. I will soon post some other episodes of the same series. His introductions of composers are some of the best I’ve ever encountered. Enjoy!

Bonny Raitt

Through Bob Lefsetz’s mailinglist I sort of rediscovered Bonny Raitt. In the future I will write an extensive post about Lefsetz too. He is a source of great musical inspiration and wit. I knew the albums of Bonny Raitt were amazing products of the recording gods of this world, but I never could imagine she was this funky. Listen to this song that is originally an Chris Smither song I believe (excellent too).
If you think this is not your cup of tea wait till the last chorus. It has a guitar noodle that will make you bounce and sing all day. Guaranteed!

Roland never imagined dance music

This is a great picture. Jazz Pianist Oscar Peterson is playing along with two of Roland’s most famous synthesizers. The TR-606 and the TB-303 were meant to be used as a drumcomputer and a bass guitar. Too bad. The machines sounded nothing like the real thing at all and after 20000 pieces they stopped production.
When electronic dance music hit the fan (we’re talking eighties), the machines were newly discovered as noise makers. Their rare status drove up the price to three times the original retail price and makes them highly sought after today. The sound of the 303 is iconic.

Portishead

Youtube now has the great feature of broadcasting whole concerts. This is a great way to watch all those rare concerts that are so hard to get on a dvd nowadays.
This is the concert Portishead will always be remembered by. Amazing arrangements with strings and a band that is playing as small as they can to make these complex layers work.Listen to all the tiny original sounds that this concert is filled with. The great guitarist Adrian Utley is a creative sound designer that makes this recording a listening journey.
Also notice the creative use of the turntablist (dj) as an instrument. No showing off here, just an extra percussive and melodic element. Brilliant!

Jaco is the foundation

In this nice video Jaco Pastorius teaches basstechniques. He shows us what he practices and how he approaches a song. It’s a great watch even as a non-bass player and it opened up my ears for the richness of his playing. I always understand someone’s playing better if I know what he/she practices. Plus it’s really fun to see Pastorius talk. Contrary to his reputation, it seems like a nice guy.