On a Sunday night in July, saxophonist Roy Nathanson was speaking from what might be called the stageactually more like the cornerof the basement room at the Sycamore Club, a small, friendly bar near his home in the Midwood section of Brooklyn.
This spring Animal Collective released its latest offering, the three-LP Animal Crack Box. The collection of mostly early studio jams and odds n ends retails for a killer $92 a boxor I should say retailed for $92, since the thousand-unit limited-edition pressing sold out within the first day or two of availability.
About a year ago, people began sending me a David Letterman clip in which Steve Martin, who also plays banjo, performs a bluegrass tune alongside world-famous Béla Fleck and a guitarist named Michael Daves, who I had never heard of. Daves looked odd next to his sleekly dressed stage partners.
Cyminology is an acoustic-jazz chamber ensemble whose first ECM recording, As Ney, has the hypnotic qualities of a dream. The disc takes us on a journey which has for its compass an ever-shifting definition of song.
Every generation claims that the pop music it heard when young was classic, and the stuff kids listen to nowadays is crap. Pure crankiness? Well, in the case of pop music of the last forty years, it may be true.