For the last few days Feudalism has been in the studio recording another run of selections for you to one day enjoy. A project that has been a long time coming was started a year ago with the writing of new songs, saw a brief chance at possibly a summer release and is now gearing up for a winter time redemption. New sounds and instrument choice as well as new players will be featured on this upcoming release. Saxophones that can bring a soothing yet forceful melancholy to jazz blended folk melodies are sure to hit the spot. Expect some analog organ a la the Napoleon Dynamite soundtrack as well as guitar sounds drenched in enough reverb to make even Dick Dale jealous. In short we hope that you are as excited as we are to share this with you.
Awesome show at the Clash Bar, Clifton’s (only?) music venue last saturday. We head to the studio on thursday to finish our heavily awaited release “Shrub”!
Photo Credit: Rob Fitzgerald
A note from Fresh Air contributor Lloyd Schwartz:
After my Fresh Air piece on Vermeer and the exhibit of paintings from The Hague visiting New York’s Frick Collection (December 5), several people asked me about my choice of the title Officer and Smiling Girl for the Vermeer painting usually called Officer and Laughing Girl—the title it has at home at the Frick. Vermeer’s titles were mainly not his own and over the centuries have never been written in stone. The Frick’s title derived from a 1696 sale in Amsterdam where it was simply listed, without a title, as “a soldier with a laughing girl, very beautiful.” In a series of poems I wrote about Vermeer, I myself used the more traditional title. In some older Vermeer books, the painting is called A Soldier with a Laughing Girl. But neither of these titles seem truly accurate. In his landmark Study of Vermeer, art historian (and Rilke translator) Edward Snow refers to the painting as Soldier and Young Girl Smiling, which is a far more descriptive of what the painting looks like. The expression on the young girl’s face is so poignant precisely because it’s so ambiguous—her smile, tender and loving, is also a little forced, even fearful. That soldier looming opposite her, silhouetted with his back to the viewer, is clearly about to go out into the world—there’s an open window next to him and a map on the wall behind the girl. She seems (at least to me) to not to want him to leave, maybe even desperate for him to stay. Definitely not laughing.
Practically every scholar writing about Vermeer gives one of the Frick’s other Vermeers—the one the Frick calls Mistress and Maid—a different title. One of the great Vermeers in the National Gallery in Washington used to be called Woman Weighing Pearls, then Woman Weighing Gold, and is now, probably most correctly, just Woman with a Balance. And for years, before the book and movie inspired by the iconic Vermeer from The Hague that’s the centerpiece of the current loan exhibit, that painting was not called Girl with the Pearl Earring but, blandly, Head of a Young Girl. Vermeer himself, evidently, didn’t seem to care what his paintings were called.
image: Officer and a Laughing Girl by Johannes Vermeer
Sweet photos from last weeks show at Cooler Ranch NB! Photo Cred: Dan Bassini
Jazz guitarist, composer and arranger Jim Hall died on Tuesday in his sleep. He was 83. Hall was known for a subtle, lyrical playing style, a gift for innovation, and collaborations with a host of talented musicians in a career that stretched over seven decades. Critic Andrew Gilbert called Hall “one of jazz’s most respected improvisers, an artist who wields his guitar like a paintbrush, shaping and shading each note to achieve just the right hue and texture.”
Hall played guitar as a teenager and got a degree in music theory in 1955. He was an original member of the Chico Hamilton Quintet, and his 1962 album with saxophonist Sonny Rollins, The Bridge created a stir in the jazz world. Hall went on to play with many other artists, including Bill Evans, Paul Desmond and Ella Fitzgerald and influenced a generation of jazz guitarists. In 2004 he earned a Jazz Masters Award from the National Endowment for the Arts. He was still performing as recently as this summer. Terry spoke to Jim Hall near Christmas time in 1989.
Today, we revisit that interview.
image via Chicago Reader