By Roger Crane, the Song Scout The ground-breaking big band Dizzy Gillespie formed in 1946 was one of the most powerful and exciting in the history of jazz. Its brass and reed sections were given arrangements that demanded heavy expenditures of energy. It didn’t take long for Gillespie to realize that his horns needed more… Read More A ROGER CRANE SONG SCOUT AURAL BACK RUB: Five by the Elegant MJQ
By Jane Rosenberg In a program that succeeded artistically, intellectually, and politically, Alvin Ailey’s American Dance Theater offered an evening both challenging and joyful, with works ranging from Ailey’s 1960 masterpiece, Revelations, to Hope Boykin’s involving and evocative 2016 r-Evolution, Dream. Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speeches and sermons, Hope Boykin, a longtime… Read More Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles
By Jane Rosenberg Since the 1960s, Trisha Brown has been experimenting with movement in a spirit of scientific investigation. Like abstract painting and sculpture, her dances are about form and structure and the poetics of space. It is fitting that the work of this pioneering artist should be performed at various art venues around Los… Read More Trisha Brown: In Plain Site Los Angeles at LACMA
By Brian Arsenault Just past twilight. First dark. The fire pit burning well but modestly. Saying something of little consequence to Kath when her eyes go beyond me and wonder comes into them. I turn in my chair and am startled to see two foxes bounding toward us. For an instance I feel I must… Read More Brian Arsenault Takes On: Kitsune Weddings and Magic on the Lawn.
By Roger Crane, the Song Scout Background/Discussion Jimmy Van Heusen wrote “Darn That Dream” for the unsuccessful Broadway production Swingin’ the Dream. The original show incorporated artwork and sets by Walt Disney, music by the Benny Goodman Sextet, and an extravagant cast of 150 people, including Louis Armstrong, Maxine Sullivan and the Dandridge Sisters. Despite… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “Darn That Dream”
By Jane Rosenberg In the daunting role of Salome, the soprano needs the sustained vocal power to be heard over a surging orchestra, the acting skills to convey an emotionally damaged fifteen-year-old overcome by lust and longing, and the charisma and grace to attack the famous ‘Dance of the Seven Veils’ without falling into awkwardness… Read More LA Opera’s Salome at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
By Brian Arsenault Islands seem to float above the water in the North Atlantic in Winter. I learned that from a fourth generation islander. I’d seen it myself but didn’t want to mention it for fear of being accused of submitting to the new New England marijuana laws. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.… Read More Brian Arsenault Takes On: Floating Islands and Spaghetti Eating Ravens