Tag Archives: George Cables

Spectacular Music In New York City On A Summer Night



Last Friday night, July 5th, 2013 I was really fortunate to experience not only an outstanding classical music concert, The Planets- An HD Odyssey,  but I also made a dash afterwards for a wonderful late night jazz set by two of my favorite jazz musicians.

Imagine sitting in the glorious cool of Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center on an overly  hot,  sticky summer night. My excitement about the program was really high. I had purchased my ticket the moment I learned about the program.

The first piece was the  short piece Short Ride in a Fast Machine by my favorite contemporary classical composer John Adams.

Next was a rarely performed magical and subtle  piece Ballet of the Snowflakes by Offenbach from his fairy-tale opera,  Trip To The Moon. Listening to this one piece live would have been enough of a treat for me.  The program continued to delight me.

A beautiful waltz by Joseph Strauss,  Music of the Spheres , added to the excitement before the final spectacular performance of The Planets by Gustav Holst.

I had never heard a live performance of Holst’s masterpiece before and although I was gaga about the Venus The Bringer of Peace segment and I always  liked  the Jupiter The Bringer of Jollity, I had always found that in recordings  the other planets were quite lack luster by comparison to these segments.

I was amazed at how different the whole composition is when heard live. All of the seven segments are of comparable beauty, complexity  and intensity. When the outstanding  NASA pictures of the planets were projected on a screen behind the orchestra it made  an experience that I probably will remember for my whole life.

Here is the link to the New York Times review of the program. www.nytimes.com/2013/07/08/arts/music/new-york-philharmonics-the-planets-builds-on-holsts-work.html?_r=0   

For more information about the program, here is the link to the New York Philharmonic’s website with program notes     http://nyphil.org/ConcertsTickets/EventDetails?event={2BBDD777-44AA-4D33-B3B4-03C3793ABBDF}

The magic at the very end of the composition was thoroughly sustained by several minutes of complete silence as Conductor Bramwell Tovey literally held the tension and vibrancy of the music in his baton. It was really amazing!

Then I ran out, hopped in a taxi  to the Hotel Kitano to immerse myself in the incomparable  jazz of pianist George Cables, drummer Lewis Nash and the bass by David Wong.

What is  fascinating about  experiencing this trio is the very playful,  joyous interplay between the outstanding musicians.  The level of communication and  degree of being in synch with each other is so very high.  The pleasure and fun that the musicians are having is palpable.

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Wow! What a night!


Excellence in Musical Performance Nurtures and Inspires

By now you all have a pretty good idea of how much I love good music.

I want you all to know that I do not write about every performance that I attend. I actually do spare you information about the so-so evenings when the best part of the event is my getting home to relax.

I think that I have been really lucky for the past few months because there have been so many performances that leave me thrilled.

Weeks later I recall the performances, one at a time,  and my heart just sings with excitement.  I feel such a wave of gratitude that I live in this amazing city and I am able to fill every cell of my being with celestial music reproduced right here on earth.

Last week, on November 29th, I experienced the magic of Jeffrey Kahane as both conductor and pianist/ harpsichordist with the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall.

The program was ideal for me-  Bach’s Concerto in D minor for Oboe, Violin and Strings, (with soloists Cheryl Staples on violin and Liang Wang on oboe) Mozart’s Symphony No. 33, and Beethoven’s piano Concerto No. 1 in C major.

It was fascinating watching Kahane simultaneously conduct and play either the piano or the harpsichord. But what was evident in every subtle movement of his body that he used to coordinate the rest of the orchestra,  was the integration of his body, mind, emotional and maybe even spiritual being.

One tiny nuance of  movement would perfectly describe the quality he was trying to elicit from the performers. He looked like he was dancing and weaving a tapestry of texture and variation.

The level of mastery, excellence and wholeness catalyzed wonderful performances by all of the musicians .  I could feel the quality of entrainment.

This level of musical conversation and entrainment amongst the performers reminds me of the listening that is essential in with all kinds of musicians, dancers, and all performers working together as a unit. This level of communication is what we all aspire to achieve and maintain in our life relationships.

I am reminded of the post I wrote  after I went to see  George Cables, Lewis Nash and Peter Washington at the Kitano Hotel in August 2011. https://merylchodoshweiss.com/2011/08/26/more-new-york-city-nightlife-more-jazz/If you can recall I linked that post to an eloquent post on psychotherapist Jeffery Levine’s blog where he discusses the kind of listening that the trio’s musical entrainment produced. I just re-read his article and it is relevant here as well.

Often I will experience wonderful conductors with the gifted New York Philharmonic, but it is not so often that the very best of that orchestra is something that I can tangibly feel.

Here are two  U-Tube items so you can see and hear the artists themselves discussing just what I have finished writing about!

This one is great because it picks up on the theme of musical communications and conversation.

As I watched  Kahane speaking about the Mozart symphony on this clip it  underscores what I had experienced at the performance.

Finally here is the New York Times review of the concert which gives further information about Kahane.


More New York City Nightlife- More Jazz

In the past I’ve practically waxed poetic about Dizzie’s, raved about Mose at Jazz Standard. But I’ve never told you about the small, intimate musical conversations that fine artists have at the Kitano Hotel’s Lounge.

It is the one venue that feels like the artists are in your own living room because you are in such close proximity to them. The audience is advised that the house has a policy of total silence in the audience during the performance.

Last weekend my friends and I went to see Peter Washington, on double bass, Lewis Nash on drums and George Cables on the piano performing for the first time together as a trio.

The joy and expressiveness of the interplay between the three of them was so outstanding that we went back for another set the next night.

One of the members of Saturday night’s audience wrote a great article Really Listening To Each Other on his blog http://www.levinecounseling.com/jefflevineblog/. Jeff’s review of the performance from the perspective of what is makes excellent communication in all aspects of life, is really worth reading.

Here is a picture of Lewis Nash taken from Jeff’s blog post. Pictures of another trio performing at the Kitano, individual pictures of Peter Washington and George Cables, were taken from various googled sites.

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