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Scott Gutterman

Scott Gutterman has written about art and music for Artforum, GQ, The New Yorker, Vogue, and other publications. His most recent book is Sunlight on the River: Poems about Paintings, Paintings about Poems (Prestel, 2015). He is deputy director of Neue Galerie New York and lives in Brooklyn.

Andy Statman: Practical Mystic

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.

Pharoah Sanders: Spirit Ascending

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.

Outline: A Festival for All Seasons

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.

Listening in: Vision and Revision

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.

Listening In: All the Way Live

So now we stumble headlong into the majesty of fall, autumn in New York. It won’t contain its usual energy, its rush of activity, the endless stream of cultural refreshment. What will take its place?

Amayo: Fist of Flowers

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.

Winter Jazzfest

Winter Jazzfest 2020:
My Kind of Marathon

With its scores of stages already filled with superb musicians every night, does New York need a Jazzfest? I’d 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.

Listening In: Version and Inversion

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 don’t want to know.

Goldberg Variations

Choreographer Trisha Brown once said of the artist Robert Rauschenberg, “[He] arrives fresh at the scene of the accident he’s about to create.” I ran that line by composer and clarinetist Ben Goldberg recently, because it reminded me of his approach.

Listening In

The films Scholl creates are open-ended; “they’re narrative, but in a non-narrative context,” says Ulrich. “It’s 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.’”  


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2020

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