Wednesday Jun 26


I'm hearing this amazing piece over my Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart channel on Pandora. It's a small string group, kind of like a quartet, but not quite. The music is transporting, ethereal yet easy, relaxed yet gripping. I checked the screen and found that I was being transported by Mozart's String Quintet in g minor K. 516, a piece I don't recall ever having heard before. Since I didn't know when Pandora's rotation might bring it up again, I decided to find it on CD and make it my own permanently. I was smart enough to take note of the cover illustration showing a portrait of an 18th century lady.

Mozart Quintets


This is a very special Duke Ellington CD.

Ellington was a man of many parts. He regularly introduced himself as "the piano player" and he was pleased with his role as "the world's greatest listener." (I have no doubt that many of the "We've had a request to play" announcements were self-referential.) On this CD we get to hear Ellington in both those roles along with Ellington the composer. And it offers an extra treat in the form of Ellington the producer.

As I listened to the exceptional jazz on this CD set, I felt the frustration and irritation welling up.

Hang in for a slight digression. I promise a proper discussion of Crosscurrents after just a couple of short paragraphs of reminiscence.

I can pretty much sum up Kenny Werner's Balloons by quoting the last two words of Bill Milkowski's liner notes:  "inspired evening."

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