"True or false: People need to be educated about music, before they can really appreciate it. False. People can enjoy and appreciate music without studying it."
Via rifftides, coverage of the Polar Music Prize from Sweden, this year honoring Sonny Rollins and Steve Reich. Some samples of both artists works are included in said coverage; right now I'm listening to Rollins' The Bridge. It has more drive and intensity than I remember.
I'm also impressed with the list of previous winners:
Valery Gergiev, Led Zeppelin, Gilberto Gil, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, B. B. King, György Ligeti, Keith Jarrett, Sofia Gubaidulina, Miriam Makeba, Burt Bacharach, Robert Moog, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Isaac Stern, Bob Dylan, Iannis Xenakis, Stevie Wonder, Ravi Shankar, Ray Charles, Eric Ericson, Bruce Springsteen, Joni Mitchell, Pierre Boulez, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Elton John, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Quincy Jones, Witold Lutoslawski, Dizzy Gillespie, Sir Paul McCartney and The Baltic States.
I can quibble along various dimensions but I think it's an interesting cross-section of the recent Western musical world.
Although retail music sales still suffer, kudos to Rasputin Music today for having a used copy of Duke Ellington's Indigos CD. As I had mentioned, the fifties recording of Mood Indigo has captured my attention. And from the liner notes, now I know about the trumpet soloist:
"Mood Indigo" is given a treatment as unusual and unexpected as that of "Solitude," The tradtional theme statement by three horns is dispensed with, and it becomes a vehicle for Shorty Baker's immaculate trumpet. Both as a section leader and a soloist, Baker was outstanding in his profession, but his gifts were more appreciated by musicians than by the public, perhaps because flamboyant, exhibitionistic exercises were not his forte. His sensitive, muted variations make this version of "Mood Indigo" a personal triumph nonetheless. "Shorty loves to play it," Ellington told Irving Townsend.