With extended tenures in bands led by pianist McCoy Tyner and drummer Art Blakey–powerhouse percussionists both–bassist Charles Fambrough has learned more than a thing or two about holding the time together. He’s also apprenticed himself to the rhythms and song forms of Brazil, courtesy of Airto Moreira–whose band he anchored in the mid-70s–and gotten a […]
As a kid I hated circuses. The ringmaster was always making a lot of noise about nothing. The animal acts always looked like exercises in sadism. And the clowns, that band of bozos, never seemed funny. My attitude changed last fall when I checked out the eye-pleasing, mind-blowing Cirque du Soleil from Montreal. Now, part […]
Standard forms of musical logic don’t apply at all to James Moody’s art; instead, his improvisations (on the flute and tenor and alto saxes) depend on bop logic. He’ll transform the ballad “Autumn Leaves” into a fast rabble-rouser, the rabble-rouser “Cherokee” into a ballad, or he’ll play “Beer Barrel Polka” not as a joke but […]
IN MY FATHER’S COURT National Jewish Theater Even the best ingredients will be wasted if the chef can’t cook. A National Jewish Theater adaptation by Arnold Aprill and Jaqueline Penrod of the late Isaac Bashevis Singer’s colorful memoirs, In My Father’s Court seems blessed with promise, but though the inspiration is there, it hasn’t quite […]
The official position of the Catholic Church is one thing. What a compassionate pastor counsels in the privacy of his own rectory is often quite another.
Jocelyn Moorhouse’s sensitive and well-acted chamber drama focuses on a young man, blind since birth, who is obsessed with taking photographs. Cared for by a frustrated young housekeeper who both loves and despises him, he strikes up a friendship with another young man, and the story turns into a subtly nuanced romantic triangle and power […]
Among the Herculean tasks in the realm of popular culture, there may be none more daunting than this: making Van Halen look smart. The ponderous heavy-metal-lite band, perennially popular with millions of credulous teens, has not only always acted dumb, but rarely evinced any interest in acting otherwise. Enter a pair of novice video makers, […]
THE FAIRY QUEEN Les Arts Florissants at the Civic Opera House May 13 DIOCLESIAN, OR THE PROPHETESS Music of the Baroque at Grace Lutheran Church May 22 The musical world owes Henry Purcell a huge debt of gratitude. To begin with, there’s the sheer, shining pleasure of his tunefulness and unfailing inventiveness. There’s his vocal […]
The Evanston-based Symphony of the Shores is a lively little orchestra with a penchant for the unconventional; earlier in the season it gave a fairly traditional program then followed it with a pops concert. Now it has thrown caution to the winds for its season finale, a multimedia affair that juxtaposes opera’s past and present […]
Miles Davis’s 1949-50 “Birth of the Cool” little big band was a major step in jazz, not for its style–its several composers didn’t agree on a style–but for its curiously light yet bottom-heavy sound, for its rejection of big-band conventions, and for its repertoire, notably the classic “Israel.” Arranger-composer Gerry Mulligan was among the original […]
George Bernard Shaw once said, “The worst cliques are those which consist of one man.” But while it’s true that musically the last century would have been a damned sight poorer without such cooperative efforts as the Hot Fives and Sevens, the Family Stone, and “Ballad of Mott the Hoople,” it’s also true that there […]
The long break between the National Basketball Association semifinals and the finals was both surprising and welcome–like an intermission in a presentation of Shakespearean tragedy, except, of course, it wasn’t clear whether the Bulls’ season would come to a tragic end. Still, the Bulls elevated their reputation–at least as far as I was concerned–from potential […]
If the stand-up world wasn’t such a club of homophobic boys (and the girls who date them), lesbian comic monologuist Lisa Kron would be far better known nationally. This sharp-eyed, sharp-tongued observer of life has enough wit and wisdom packed into her one-woman show to cheer even the sourest disposition. But most comedy clubs wouldn’t […]
After a decade of bad luck, broken promises, and stupid government policy, a few lonely researchers prepare for the third boom in solar energy.
Lead Story The U.S. tax court ruled in March in favor of the Internal Revenue Service’s claim that Irwin Schiff owed $92,000 in back taxes and penalties. Schiff is coauthor of the 1982 book How Anyone Can Stop Paying Income Taxes, in which he put forth the thesis that the IRS lacked the authority to […]