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Articles by Sam Markson

ASSOCIATE ARTS EDITOR
August 26, 2011
Ravi Coltrane is maybe not for-the-semester music. Sometimes you need a specific cocktail, to regain your dignity, or remember what love feels like, or shake off some encroaching loneliness, if only for 40–60 minutes. Ravi Coltrane isn’t good for that. If I plan on getting work done, I’ll listen to Robert Fripp, or Radiohead. Maybe if I want to feel nostalgic, I’ll listen to Tom Waits or Animal Collective. These are specific cocktails. I enjoy them within a specific context. They are connected to people I know, and places where I’ve drunk them. These songs are the way I dogear the pages of life.
ASSOCIATE ARTS EDITOR
January 12, 2011
Tamir Hendelman is a young Israeli musician and a product of the Los Angeles jazz scene. His latest Boston performance at Sculler’s Jazz Club was particularly lively, with Tim Horner on drums and Martin Wind on bass. Hendelman’s music is quite accessible, and he does a particularly good job of combining various musical influences together. Credit should also be given to Horner and Wind, who gave a decisive edge to the trio’s sound. Tamir Hendelman has two recordings released to date: 2010’s Destinations with Lewis Nash and Marco Panascia, and 2008’s Playground with Jeff Hamilton and John Clayton.
ASSOCIATE ARTS EDITOR
September 3, 2010
<i>“You asked me recently why I maintain that I am afraid of you. As usual, I was unable to think of any answer to your question, partly for the very reason that I am afraid of you, and partly because an explanation of the grounds for this fear would mean going into far more details than I could even approximately keep in mind while talking.” </i>
ASSOCIATE ARTS EDITOR
August 27, 2010
I walk up two flights of stairs. The production is in a language learning center on the second floor. The decoration is sparse, the lighting fluorescent, industrial. There’s a small reception room with coffee and some chairs. The receptionist leads me around the corner to a small office room with fifteen chairs, facing inward at a single chair, and a bit table with a picture of Klara Hitler, Adolf’s mother. The windows are covered, one with a dark drape, another with a great red Nazi flag, with a manhole-sized Swastika in the middle. There are twelve of us. We are somewhat cramped. We wait.
ASSOCIATE ARTS EDITOR
August 4, 2010
<i>“You asked me recently why I maintain that I am afraid of you. As usual, I was unable to think of any answer to your question, partly for the very reason that I am afraid of you, and partly because an explanation of the grounds for this fear would mean going into far more details than I could even approximately keep in mind while talking.” </i>
STAFF WRITER
January 28, 2009
Joshua Redman has high notes. He has low notes. He has trills. I could go further, and talk about brilliant expressionism, the emotive quality of his playing and that of his ensemble. It’s easy to hear that he knows how to make “jazz.”
STAFF WRITER
January 21, 2009
The story of jazz is a desperate struggle of birth and rebirth, of constantly trying to ride the “new,” of reinventing how we feel and relate to the world. Today’s innovators fuse genres, add instruments, at once rejecting the past and later resurrecting it. The jazz gods need constant infusions of blood to stay happy.
STAFF WRITER
January 7, 2009
I could say that Hiromi Uehara is one part Santana, one part Robert Fripp, and one part Monk, but it wouldn’t do her justice. Brought up in the Japanese conservatory environment and trained at Berklee (joining in 2003), Hiromi has carved out her distinctive musical niche by marrying her traditional, virtuosic training with an avant-garde flavor.
STAFF WRITER
January 7, 2009
A little business, a lot of casual. The members of The Bad Plus look less like performers than the awkward guys who forgot to dress up for the dinner party that is 9:00 at the Village Vanguard. Thirty-something yuppies sip at their Cabernet Sauvignon while three dudes jam in the corner. Go to a Bad Plus show and you’ll be as likely to hear a Nirvana cover as a heavily warped version of a Ligeti composition. Bassist Reid Anderson wails out surreal, textured lines while drummer David King lays out a frenetic beat complete with baby toy tambourines and other contraptions as garnishes. Rock out with your Jazz-Purists’-Shock out. Jazz you can almost dance to?
STAFF REPORTER
January 7, 2009
I boarded the 12:30 December 31 New York-Boston bus at the Port Authority, as my peers in line scoffed “I wonder why so many people are going to Boston for New Years.” At the time, that made sense. I had initially planned to stay in New York, but convenience and fatigue turned the Peter Pan bus line into an inexpensive and only slightly sketchy hotel. I knew vaguely that there was an arts festival in Boston on December 31 — the so-called “First Night” — and that it had some pretty slick events. I was down, and I was looking forward to sleeping in a bed that belonged to me.
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