Just a few short musical notes: I've learned that Jimmy Page's project of remastering all the Led Zep albums, first talked about in 2012, is proceeding, and he expects to release the first three albums this year, with greatly improved sound quality. Along with (the hope is) some outtakes from the sessions paralleled by some selects from his own reportedly large archive of unreleased material.
This is not happening as quickly as expected, but as long as he gets to "Physical Graffiti" in my lifetime I guess I'm okay with it. (That and "On the Beach" were probably the favorite two albums of the most misspent year of my literally misspent youth.)
We last mentioned Imogen Heap (in "Canticle for a Tuesday Morning") when it was difficult to find Transit's a cappella version of her song "Hide and Seek." That's now easy to get: iTunes has it (search "Transit Vocal Band." Oren, who has a thing for a cappella, told me about that beautiful piece, which sounds like a hymn and is a reminder that "a cappella" means "of the chapel"). Speaking of a cappella, I assume fans have seen her virtuoso self-accompaniment in "Just For Now," which has aggregated almost five million views on YouTube. The woman is a wonder of nature and a treasure. So here's another nice thing: Imogen and Jeff Beck doing a fine version of Imogen's beautiful song "Blanket" at Ronnie Scott's in Soho in London. Beck's guitar is a perfect match for the song. With Tal Wilkenfeld, who I love, on bass. (I think Tal plays with Herbie Hancock now.)
One of the problems I have in writing these days is the feeling that I've written the same thing before and I'm repeating myself. I don't think I've linked this to Beck/Heap "Blanket" before, but if I have, I hope you'll forgive me for repeating myself. I just ran across it again by chance, first time in years, and was reminded how much I like it. (I've mentioned Tal before here.)
Fans of lyrical, wistful indie rock injected with touches of '90s Britpop atmospherics might try Ivy's "Apartment Life," to which I just gave my once-a-decade listen and found holding up surprisingly well considering its advancing age. (Even though I'm pretty sure I heard some non-ironic horns in there. Which, okay, are beautiful in "Baker.") Songs to sample: "Never Do That Again" and "You Don't Know Anything."
Classical fans, tell me what you think of man o' the moment Jeremy Denk's 80 minutes of G major (i.e., Goldbergs). I'm finding the performance lyrical and full of color, not very musicological or "period" but loaded with musical understanding and feeling. I like, very much, but then I'm self educated, which makes me an "ignoramus visited with arrogance."
(Photo courtesy imogenheap.com)
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Featured Comments from:
Jakub: "I like the Denk quite a bit as well. I have several versions and didn't expect much new in his take, but there is something fresh and easy in his performance that sets it apart. Glad to see someone else has heard of Ivy. Also a good recommendation."
Mike replies: Well said..."something fresh and easy in his performance that sets it apart" is a very good expression of my response to it too.