I’ve seen even less live music this past year than previously, something I hope to put right in 2019. But of those performances I have been fortunate enough to see, these are the most memorable.
Ethan’s Last Rent Party at Kings Place. Ethan Iverson, aided and abetted by fellow-pianists Alexander Hawkins and Adam Fairhall, exploring the links between British music in the first decades of the twentieth century and Black American music, syncopation and jazz.
Kairos 4tet at Rich Mix. Saxophonist Adam Waldman, leading a quartet through his own compositions, with Emilia Martensson and Alice Zawadski on vocals.
Amy Rigby at The Betsy Trotwood. A joyous and generous solo performance of Amy’s songs, with readings from her prose and poetry to match. Great evening!
Shostakovich 6th Symphony – LPO / Vladimir Jurowski at the Royal Festival Hall.
Shostakovich 1st Violin Concerto. Nicola Benedetti with the LSO /Gianandrea Noseda at the Barbican.
Shostakovich String Quartet No. 8 & Beethoven String Quartet No. 7. Emerson String Quartet at Milton Court.
And, pre-recorded, but very much a living experience, the Forty Part Motet (Spem in Alium – Tallis) arranged by Janet Cardiff at the Richmond Chapel, Penzance.
Just as Shostakovich tends to dominate the live music selection, so Thelonious Monk [no surprise!] dominates my selection of music on CD. Monk features a live session recorded in Copenhagen in March, 1963 and previously thought lost, and, similarly, Monk: The Lost Recordings, captures a 1967 concert in Rotterdam. Wadada Leo Smith’s Solo: Reflections & Meditations on Monk mixes his solo interpretations on trumpet of five Monk compositions with three of his own.
Tracey Thorn’s Record contains a number of beautifully written and crafted songs ,exploring the life of a woman not too far distant from, one imagines, herself. And the 14th Volume of the Bob Dylan Bootleg Series, More Blood, More Tracks, presents the original, stripped down versions of the songs from one of his best albums, Blood on the Tracks and encourages you to listen to them afresh.