Open Letter to Bill Frisell

Dear Bill, Your wife introduced us a few weeks ago, just after the Bill Frisell Harmony performance at the Big Ears Festival. I had just finished sobbing over the “We Shall Overcome” arrangement, so not at my most composed. I tried to express a sliver of what your work has meant to me, but it […]

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Art of the Improvisers

Springtime in Tallahassee offers a glut of high-caliber creative offerings that puts our little town, if only for a few weeks, on equal footing with the most celebrated cultural capitals. This weekend (April 12-14) , the Word of South Festival hosts its annual takeover of Cascades Park with a terrific lineup of music and literary […]

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We Interrupt Regular Programming…

I promised daily posts from the Big Ears hoolie. I failed. I promised an all-encompassing roundup that connects the dots between Africa, Appalachia, jazz, and the Euro-derived sonic explorations of the likes of Lucier, Budd, &c. I failed. Mea culpa. I apologize for not getting back to you sooner, but I’ve been busy having cancer.1I […]

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Ears Embiggened: Icons

(The fifth in a series of preview posts as we count down to the 2019 Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, TN. Part 1 here on the 50 year legacy of ECM Records.Part 2 here on 50 years of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Great Black Music: Ancient to the Future. Part 3 here on the magnificent Rhiannon Giddens and her Lucy Negro, […]

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Ears Embiggened: So Much Guitar

(The fourth in a series of preview posts as we count down to the 2019 Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, TN. Part 1 here on the 50 year legacy of ECM Records.Part 2 here on 50 years of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Great Black Music: Ancient to the Future. Part 3 here on the magnificent Rhiannon Giddens and her […]

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A Half Glass

Let’s give it another go, shall we? My last missive was, shall we say, a tad down in the mouth. Things could not possibly be so dire. As one critic would have it, it sounded as though my dog had died. Well, she did, in fact. The day before the election. And there is an enormous […]

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