A bit of advice on Twitter last night from the ever-wise Ethan Iverson:
Happy 79th to Charles Wuorinen! Jazz players looking for relevant 12-tone music should try “Spinoff” and “The Blue Bamboula.”
— Ethan Iverson (@ethan_iverson) June 9, 2016
I think I’ve heard of Wuornin. Sure, what the heck.
A YouTube search directs me to a New York chamber outfit called Decoda.
Hey, that’s pretty cool. I like the pulsing feel. I have to admit, there are parts where the conga drums don’t feel like they “fit,” as if they’re just in there for the randomness of writing a piece for conga drums.
“Blue Bamboula” turns out to be a driven, bouncy piano piece with some rapid-fire quietude toward the end. There’s a partial version on YouTube with an image of adorable kittens, but I’d rather post a full version. This performance is by Molly Morkoski.
It’s always nice, and sadly kind of novel, to indulge in the music of a living composer. Iverson quickly corrected his tweet by noting Wuorinen is 78, not 79, but that doesn’t matter — it was still a good tip.