Matthew Gurewitsch
Matthew Gurewitsch
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

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The Easter Bunny says, "April Fool!"
Catch of the Day #33, revisited (April 1)

April 2, 2018

At a loss how to observe this year's rare April Fool's Day Easter Sunday, I let the chips fall where they might, starting with Tribute to Bobby, the new jazz album on the Challenge label. According to the classically trained Mexican pianist and torch singer Consuelo Velázquez, she wrote her indelible bolero "Bésame mucho" (Kiss me a lot) before she had ever been kissed, knowing only that kissing was a terrible sin. Rather than dwell on the smoldering, smothered sensuality she gave it, Steve Hobbs (marimba and vibes) and his killer wingmen—Adam Kolker (tenor and soprano sax), Bill O'Connell (piano), Peter Washington (bass), and John Riley (drums)—skitter from incongruous, shivery bubble-gum euphoria into nervous, ever-escalating swerves and jitters. The Bobby in question is the late vibraphone and marimba legend Bobby Hutcherson, Hobbs's longtime inspiration, mentor, and friend.

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Opera Aloha!
Hawaii Opera Theatre, past and future

April 1, 2018  •  Oper! Das Magazin (Germany), April 2018

Those who dwell on remote islands have good cause to fear invasive species. Now that the mosquito, the mongoose, the coqui frog, the little fire ant, and the African tulip tree have made themselves at home, endangering native flora and fauna or even driving them to extinction, the Hawaiian island chain is no longer quite the paradise it is still widely thought to be.

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New Names on Catch of the Day (airdate: March 25, 2018)
Meet Mesdames Lord, Schwartz, Rachvelishvili, De Prato, Hughes

March 27, 2018

The Haitian-born Canadian opera singer Marie-Josée Lord has come out with a collection of arias under the title "Femmes" (Women, on the ATMA label). In "Pleurez, pleurez, mes yeux," from Massenet's Le Cid, the heroine Chimène bewails the death of her father in a duel with her lover. Dulcet in the higher registers, Lord's soprano turns husky and dark below, powerfully suggesting the turmoil in her character's soul. In Musetta's Waltz, from La Bohème, Lord goes kittenish to the point of a startling, hilarious, over-the-top meow at which I suspect Puccini would have drawn the line. The conductor is Alain Trudel, leading the Orchestre symphonique de Laval.

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Americana in brief
Star power from Audrey Luna with the Maui Chamber Orchestra

March 25, 2018

"Americana," the latest program from the Maui Chamber Orchestra at the Iao Theatre in Wailuku (played March 24 and 25), added up to a crash course in the so-called "American sound" of Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber, and Virgil Thomson. Or should I say a marathon? The concert clocked in at a punishing two and a half hours. Less could have been more.

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Brain waves, etc.
Revisiting Catch of the day #30 (March 4, 2018)

March 5, 2018

And now for something completely different: The Brainwave Music Project (Mulatta Records 038), from Brad Garton and Dave Soldier, longtime colleagues (as I gather) at the Columbia Computer Music Center, New York. The tracks marry sounds generated electronically from brain-wave activity to acoustic improvisation of a more conventional sort. (For scoop from the horses' mouths, click here.)

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Books by Matthew Gurewitsch

Cover of Rafal Olbinski Women Cover of When Stars Blow Out

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