Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Review: A Celebration of the Poetry of Langston Hughes at White Recital Hall
I've written more than my fair share of tepid reviews. I'm therefore unable to object to the lukewarm response a critic for The Washington Post gave to a Vinson Cole recital two months ago.
Yet the famed vocalist's performance for an audience of about fifty at White Recital Hall on Sunday was as dazzling as anything I've heard in recent months. Cole's affecting renditions of John Musto's "Litany" and Margaret Bond's "Minstrel Man" during a free concert titled A Celebration of the Poetry of Langston Hughes stirred my soul.
The majority of the concert was dedicated to the work of William Averitt. The composer was in attendance. The notes he wrote for the program refer to the blues, gospel and jazz inflections in his compositions. I didn't hear much of that. In fact, his settings were antithetical to this treatment of Hughes' work.
I was struck by the way in which Averitt's treatments successfully placed the poetry of Hughes in contemporary classical settings. The performances by the 24-member Conservatory Singers under the direction of Robert Bode and the accompaniment by pianists Lee D. Thompson and Melissa Loehnig were splendid.
I reviewed the audio version of Pat Metheny's The Orchestrion Project at Plastic Sax.
Steve Paul wrote an extensive profile of Prairie Village native Joyce DiDonato.
Erik Voeks' new album Sandbox is RIYL Tommy Keene, Marshall Crenshaw, Young Fresh Fellows. (Initial tip from There Stands the Glass reader Gary.)
Kutt Calhoun's Black Gold was released today. "Self Preservation" is a representative track.
Kenny Clutch, the Kansas City-affiliated rapper who was killed in the highly-publicized shooting on the Las Vegas strip, was clearly influenced by Rich the Factor. (Tip about the local connection via Tony's Kansas City.)
Electric Word, the new album by the Relatives, is RIYL if you like the Holmes Brothers, church, the Black Keys.
I'm slated to appear on KCUR's Up to Date program at 11 a.m. CST on Friday.
Kansas City Click: Sleepy LaBeef is slated to perform Tuesday at Knuckleheads.
The Blue Room hosts a tribute to J Dilla on Wednesday.
Todd Clouser performs at the Brick on Thursday.
(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)