R. I. P.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I wonder what it is that the thousand-named-oneness (aka God, the Fates, etc.) seems to frequently take masterful musicians of contrasting genres off this planet within just a few days of one another. Last year Stockhausen and Ike Turner died on either end of the same week. Now two other music treasures have moved on; and their musics could not have been expressed in more disparate forms, while still sharing a uniquely 20th century vision. On the one hand, we mourn the passing of Henry Brant, orchestrator extraordinaire and inventor of “spatial” instrumental music. While on the other hand the jazz world will never again have anyone quite like composer/clarinetist Jimmy Guiffre, whose music was structurally so scaled back it was almost invisible, yet amazingly soulful. Mr. Brant eloquently showed us that we exist in a multi-planed dimension where front and back is just as important as high-pitched and low. Mr. Guiffre eloquently showed us that we are our own multi-planed dimension where internal and external are practically non-existent. We are lucky they have left so many auditory impressions for us to visit again and again.

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