Double bassist Nat Baldwin will perform in the WestCo Café on Friday. Come hear songs from his new record In the Hollows before its release on April 29. You may also know him the bassist for the Dirty Projectors, or as a contributor to albums by Grizzly Bear, Vampire Weekend, and Department of Eagles. He is a brilliant musician, and, incidentally, learned some of his chops from Anthony Braxton, with whom he studied while living in Middletown. Check out his luminous new music video for “In the Hollows.”
Opening will be HAP, whose music has been variously described as “lend[ing] itself well to dancing” and sounding “like Dirty Projectors played out of a gameboy,” and who will perform in the company of The Admiral, an antique radio, their other-than-human fifth bandmate. Check out their phenomenal album Corners here.
Also opening will be producer Clement Gelly, premiering his sample-ample new album Salvatore’s Paradise, available here. Check out this song cowritten with Jack Ladd ’15, and see also “Wake Up,” a rap track.
Date: Friday, April 18
Time: 7-10 p.m.
Location: The WestCo Café
“I know I’m an African-American, and I know I play the saxophone, but I’m not a jazz musician. I’m not a classical musician, either. My music is like my life: It’s in between these areas.”
We have reached the end of an era.
In a chilly, crowded rehearsal hall on December 3, John Spencer Camp Professor of Music Anthony Braxton ended his last class of the semester, as he has for many years, discussing Ornette Coleman and the politics of being alive. But this was his last class session for undergraduates here at Wes–and after over 40 years of teaching, he’s ready to go. He was near tears as he described how lucky he has been to have worked so closely with so many great masters, and to have had the chance to work with college-age students for so long; his outlook on our generation is refreshing, given all the crap we’ve been getting lately. He expressed amazement at the ability of each generation to “do the work that needs to be done,” and said unequivocally that there is nothing this generation can’t do, if we set out to do it.
The recently named National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master is looking forward to an active retirement full of new works, remastering old works, and contrabass martinis. His presence has been a great gift to Wesleyan, and we wish him nothing but the best.
For some choice Braxton quotes from this semester’s MUSC276 (Music of Mingus, Coltrane, & Coleman), follow the jump.
“Were it not for his tenured post at Wesleyan, where he has taught for more than 20 years, ‘maybe I would be driving a taxicab or something,’ he said.”
With Professor Lucier’s long anticipated retirement finally taking effect, who takes up the mantle of the avant-garde in the Wesleyan music department? Who leads the way, towards seniority and distinction and towards the Arts pages of the New York Times?
“When in doubt, we follow Braxton,” comes the reply—from Taylor Ho Bynum ’98, MA ’04, cornetist, composer, bandleader, and former student of Braxton. He is conducting the group of vocalists that comprise the Syntactical Ghost Trance Music Choir; they are rehearsing Braxton’s “Composition No. 256,” preparing for a four-day festival of Braxton’s career and works that begins today in Brooklyn. “Encompassing unorthodox works and concepts from across his prolific career,” NYT‘s Nate Chinen writes, the festival is to be “as broad a survey of Braxtonia as has been presented in this country.”