Friday, January 02, 2009

Beer, Music, & Art

Good beer is like good music: with an introduction, an exposition, and a coda, it tells a story.

Freddie Hubbard was one such storyteller, arguably the greatest jazz trumpet (and flugelhorn) player to follow after Miles Davis, and the most influential to jazz trumpeters to follow.

Freddie Hubbard
Where Davis was introspective (until his fusion days, and even then, his lines were spare), Hubbard was pyrotechnical. On an NPR interview, he said that he played the trumpet as if it were a saxophone, gliding and whooping through the notes rather than just hitting them.

Hubbard had an evocatively lyrical side. And he was a composer, contributing several standards to the oeuvre, that, while not instantly recognizable to casual listeners, are favorites of jazz musicians.

When Hubbard split his lip in 1992, his prodigious technique became hindered to an extent. I was fortunate to hear him live, two years before that happened, in 1990, at Washington D.C.'s intimate One Step Down. His final set that night, and into the morning, consisted of extended variations on his gorgeous tune Little Sunflower.

If you're not familiar with Mr. Hubbard's music, I'd suggest his albums Red Clay, Bolivia, and Hub Cap; Wayne Shorter's album Speak No Evil; Herbie Hancock's album Maiden Voyage; and Oliver Nelson's Blues and the Abstract Truth.

God's jazz orchestra grew larger on Monday 29 December 2008. Freddie Hubbard passed away.

Now playing: Cedar Walton, Freddie Hubbard, Ralph Moore, Vincent Herring - Bolivia


FullSteam in Durham, North Carolina is a brewery in progress. As founder Sean Wilson states, FullSteam, when open
will experiment with local farmed ingredients and heirloom grains to develop a distinctly Southern style of beer. [The brewery uses a dot ag address to emphasize the local agricultural roots of beer.]

In early December, Sean invited folk in the good beer world to identify their favorite music album purchases of 2008. Charlie Papazian, Greg Koch, Marty Jones, Stan Hieronymus, Garrett Oliver, and some 20 in all wrote about their choices.

YFGF's selection was an out-of-print album from 34 years ago, purchased in 2008 on eBay.

Vocalist Cleo Laine somehow manages to humanize the stark lines of Arnold Shoenber's song cycle Pierrot Lunaire. Her gorgeous treatment of the final song makes it almost jazz-like.

A treasure from my college radio days, this is an amazing record that has never been re-released on CD or digital download.

Its liquid mirror: Albert Le Coq Imperial Stout.

Read the full list: Beer People Rock!


Beer blogger Jay Brooks has twin passions for beer and art. Once a week at his Brookston Beer Bulletin, he posts an image of an artwork whose subject is beer, primarily or tangentially.

Jay began the series in early November 2008. My favorite, to this point, is Still Life With A Beer Mug, by Fernand Léger, circa 1921.

Leger_Still life with Beer

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I've always wanted to do a beer and music pairing in response to all the beer dinners I've experienced. I really like the review Marty Jones wrote on Amy Winehouse. His beers lend themselves well to music, as I've paired his Ten Fidy with a few good listening sessions.

    Speaking of RIS, I'm going to have to go out of my way to try Cleo Laine performing Schoenberg Pierrot Lunaire whilst sipping on Albert Le Coq Imperial Stout and munching on Stilton cheesecake and pastry topped with figs and toasted walnuts drizzled with honey. Sounds like the perfect way to usher in a new presidency!


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