Category Archives: NPR

Playing By Ear: The Bonesetter’s Daughter

I listened to an NPR Music story about The Bonesetter’s Daughter, a new opera by composer Stewart Wallace and librettist Amy Tan. It’s based on Tan’s novel of the same name and premieres tonight at the San Francisco Opera. The … Continue reading






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What Is Soul? ‘A Ham Hock In Your Cornflakes’

We all know ‘it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.’ What is swing? Gunther Schuller’s monumental treatise notwithstanding, it’s a word that defies strict definition. It’s like barbecue (just listen to Louis Armstrong’s Struttin’ with Some … Continue reading






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In Memoriam: Jerry Wexler

Jerry Wexler, the garrulous record producer with the golden ear, died yesterday at age 91. Wexler had so much to do with the sound track of my misspent youth. He gave us Ray Charles, Wilson Picket , Led Zeppelin, the … Continue reading






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Parting Words: George Carlin

George Carlin died six weeks ago. It’s Bad For Ya, his final comedy album, was released last Tuesday. It includes a bit about mourning friends for six weeks, then removing them ceremoniously from his address book like crossing them off … Continue reading






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Playing By Ear: 60 X 365

Composer David Morneau has concluded a heroic yearlong musical project. A doctoral candidate in composition at Ohio State., Morneau has been composing, producing, and blogging one 60-second piece of music daily for the past 12 months on a site called … Continue reading






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