fri 22/01/2021

New Music Features

First Person: Paul Bullock on making BBC Young Jazz Musician 2020

Paul Bullock

Producing music programmes for TV with live performance during the past few months has not been without its challenges, but somehow doing so right now feels more important than ever – both for the pleasure it brings audiences and as support for the performing arts. 

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Singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter: 'I wanted to do something. I wanted to be useful in some way'

Liz Thomson

Music has never been more important than in these dark, dislocating and death-stalked days, fear and grief visiting us in ways once unimaginable. The lack of live music – the lack even of the possibility of live music in the near future – is an absence keenly felt. However much we love to listen in the isolation of our own headphones, nothing can ever replace the communal concert event.

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Ennio Morricone 1928-2020: A lost afternoon in his apartment in Rome

Peter Culshaw

Ennio Morricone was a genius, or as close to that description as makes no odds. If we mean someone who created a unique body of work, one that changed culture, had a distincive style and was massively influential, then Morricone fitted the bill. theartsdesk's Joe Muggs was discussing today on Facebook and Mixmag his influence on dubstep and Jamaican music, for example.

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The Songs of Coronavirus and Lockdown Life

Thomas H Green

At the start of March an obscure alt-metal outfit called Cegvera released a concept album titled The Sixth Glare. The physical album featured the headline “DISEASE” alongside a photograph of a woman in a protective facemask, and the sleeve notes expand on the idea that, if we don’t tend to our environment, an illness will arrive to which the world doesn’t have immunity.

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Little Richard (1932-2020) - sexuality, spirituality and rock'n'roll's gospel roots

mark Kidel

The day that Little Richard’s death was announced, my friend the soul singer PP Arnold wrote on her Instagram feed, of a “sanctified boogie-woogie piano style that was just electric”. She went on, recalling first hearing the man’s undiluted craziness: “I loved it when he did that "ooo" thing after the “Tutti Frutti aw Rudi” bit that sounded like one of the high soprano sisters in church”.

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Now is the hour - 103 and trending: Dame Vera Lynn eight decades after her debut

Liz Thomson

Last Sunday evening I was making lentil soup (words I never thought I’d type) when Radio 4’s discussion of wealth, or lack thereof, gave way to a profile of Dame Vera Lynn. She was “trending”, her NHS fundraising duet with Katherine Jenkins of “We’ll Meet Again” having hit number one on iTunes. A mash-up of the song, in aid of West End artists, is to follow.

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Joe Boyd's Recording Heaven

Joe Boyd

When it comes to making records, I love deadlines. Embarking on an open-ended project, particularly with the infinite number of overdubs made possible by ProTools, is my idea of hell. Back in the Nineties, I once spent an afternoon combining vocal takes line-by-line into a master track for one song. That’s when I started to think writing books might be a better way to make a living.

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Jazz musicians adapt to the lockdown - 'Welcome to our world!'

Sebastian Scotney

Jazz people,” one commentator has written this week “are amongst the most adaptable of our species as life mirrors art and we improvise our way through – we're uniquely qualified to weather the storm.”

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A simple twist of fate - how a chance encounter with 'Joan Baez, Vol 2' 50 years ago led to a festival in Downtown Manhattan

Liz Thomson

We’ve all spent time considering our desert island discs, which is of course why the programme Roy Plomley devised one winter’s night in 1942 is still thriving. The choices are perhaps less favourites than music that takes you back to a specific moment in time, that reminds you of someone, or something, special.  

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theartsdesk in Brussels - jazz, openness and youth at the start of the cultural year

Sebastian Scotney

“Brussels – The Cultural Guide” for 2020 is a very substantial book. It consists of 212 tightly-packed pages in a quite small font. The message is that there is indeed a lot going on culturally in Belgium’s capital city.

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