December 1, 2015 |
Saturday night at Chris' Jazz Café, guitarist Pat Martino leaned into his set-opening solo on Wes Montgomery's "Full House" as if he and his quintet had been playing at full rage for two hours already. Epochal is too small a word. Minute after minute, Martino, 71, explored a universe of expressive treasures, playing loud, taking it down, bringing it back up, with melody, wit, delicacy, precision, and wisdom. Not only is it physically forbidding to play as he does, it also takes a deep soul, years of living, of playing, imagining, understanding.
December 10, 2014 |
T OM HANKS , Sting , Lily Tomlin , Al Green and ballerina Patricia McBride were feted at this year's Kennedy Center Honors on Sunday night, in Washington, D.C. For the first time, the show was hosted by Stephen Colbert , although it did perfectly fine without a host in the years since Walter Cronkite was emcee. But Colbert is coming to CBS, and CBS airs the show (Dec. 30), so it was either him or the cast of "NCIS. " David Letterman , Steven Spielberg and filmmaker George Stevens Jr. saluted Hanks.
March 19, 2014 |
The prevailing music-industry take on how much a listener needs to know about a piece before hearing it is the more the better. I am more dubious than ever after Sunday afternoon at the American Philosophical Society, when New York Woodwind Quintet clarinetist Charles Neidich told the audience that the composer of the next piece belonged to that unfortunate grouping that had perished in concentration camps during World War II. As the pendulum swings,...
February 16, 2014 |
Storm? What storm? The Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater was populated as if nothing unusual was happening outside Thursday, and even picked up extra listeners from the canceled Philadelphia Orchestra, whose members took the opportunity to hear the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet. "You must be brave," said the quintet's hornist Fergus McWilliam to the audience. "But then, we got here, too. " Though a specialized instrumentation with a slim repertoire, the wind quintet's program was anchored with two formidable works that would be known more widely if always heard in the caliber of performance delivered by the Berliners Thursday in a Philadelphia Chamber Music Society concert.
December 31, 2013 |
To most of the world, Ben Vaughn is known for his work in television (composing and scoring 3rd Rock From the Sun and That '70s Show , among other programs), his role as a producer of goofballs (Ween, for one), and his syndicated radio show, The Many Moods of Ben Vaughn . To radio jock Jerry Blavat, Vaughn is the "hottest thing since popcorn. " To his (former) fellow Philadelphians, however, Vaughn is a twang-bar king whose inspirations range from rockabilly icons (Duane Eddy)
March 14, 2013 |
JUST AS FANS started to get good and worked up about the Eagles' inactivity in the early hours of free agency, the team dropped a load of signings on the reeling Twitterverse. Five new Eagles joined the roster, though they weren't the splashy, top-of-the-market guys some fans always seem to want, in the face of solid evidence that trying to build a winner that way doesn't work. The signings reflected what general manager Howie Roseman and new coach Chip Kelly said in the weeks leading up to the opening of the market: The Eagles need players, as they transition from the Andy Reid era to new systems.
November 8, 2011 |
It's a dream come true, times five. "When we were freshmen, I never could have imagined this would happen to all of us," said Rob Alessandrine, the slick shortstop who is one of five Gloucester Catholic baseball players who will sign NCAA Division I scholarships on Wednesday. Alessandrine, outfielder Pat Kane, and infielders Joe Brooks, John Brue, and Brett Tenuto have been key players for Gloucester Catholic teams that have won the last two Non-Public B state championships and pushed the program back into national prominence.
September 16, 2011 |
When Clap Your Hands Say Yeah went to work on its third album 21/2 years ago, members reached an impasse. Their self-released, self-titled, and self-distributed debut had been an indie sensation in 2005. For their second album, 2007's more difficult Some Loud Thunder, they worked with acclaimed producer Dave Fridmann. But then they needed to regroup. "We were just not firing on all cylinders at that particular time," says Alec Ounsworth, on the phone between tour stops in Germany.
April 7, 2011
With his swinging, acoustic gypsy jazz tunes in the Django Reinhardt tradition, Jorgenson coulda/shoulda been on the French-focused PIFA schedule (see above). But he's caught our eye as one of the first attractions of merit at the spanking new World Cafe Live in Wilmington, only a half-hour drive down I-95. JJ's foursome performs in the smaller, plainer Upstairs room carved out of lobby space in this 50-years-abandoned, $25 million renovated movie theater. But while you're there, sneak a peek at the fascinating "archeological dig" design elements in stairwells and the main, two-level theater with state-of-the-art (though in some balcony spots too reverberant)
September 8, 2010
The New and Improved Stages of Grief. Mary Carpenter's solo performance is, as she explains, her own work, that of "a non-doctor, but practitioner. " The show, though based on her experience navigating the minefield of modern mourning rituals - after losing her high school boyfriend, her brother, and finally, close friend and Philly Comedy?Sportz icon Mike Young - is, at its core, a comic piece. After all, Carpenter has been a ComedySportz improv performer for nearly 20 years. A wry update of the five stages of grief as outlined in Elizabeth Kubler-Ross' 1969 book On Death and Dying , Carpenter hosts a slide show for each stage, and suggests its replacement.