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Author: John Chacona



The GRAMMY Awards nominations were announced yesterday. Normally, this would be a snooze for followers of the jazz and concert music scenes, but I read the list anyhow, and was delighted to find that Sarah Schuster Ericcson’s CD, “Night Breeze – Harp Music Of Carlos Salzedo,” has received a nomination for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without Orchestra) — that’s Category 101 for those of you who are keeping score at home.

Sarah is not merely the only American to be nominated in this category (the other nominees are Nelson Freire, Evgeny Kissin, Piotr Anderszewski and Maxim Vengerov), but also the only native (to my knowledge anyway) of my home town, Erie, PA, to be nominated.

Sarah’s is the only CD in the category — indeed, in any of the classical categories — that I have heard, so, I can’t say what her chances might be. But the CD itself is fairly astounding. Salzedo might be the Leopold Godowski of the harp, a player/composer who wrote attractive, finger-busting pieces as calling cards.

“Night Breeze” is full of them, tuneful and charming. It’s a terrific CD.

As fate would have it, I’ve been invited to join the New York chapter of NARAS (another story for another post). I only hope my application goes through in time to vote.

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The Two Lindseys

Nate Chinen from the New York Times (and also the Village Voice — now there’s a double) offers this review of Lindsey Horner’s new CD, “Don’t Count on Glory.”

My wife and I had dinner with Lindsey and his beloved Andrea, whom he met while he was in my home town with Bobby Previte’s Weather Clear, Track Fast band, and he gave me a copy of “Don’t Count on Glory.”

I will be reviewing it for the next issue of Signal to Noise, and while I’m not done with that review yet, I think Chinen pretty much nails it. Good record. Good review.

By the way, the teaser blurb on the Times’s Arts web page this morning reads, “New releases from Lindsay Lohan, Don Omar, Korn and Lindsey Horner.” How much fun is that?

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From the Miles Davis listserv this morning comes the sad news of the passing of Beatrice Rivers . Hers is a name that might not immediately be recognized by jazz fans except in abbreviation. She is the Bea of the RivBea Orchestras and of Studio RivBea, the New York loft at which so much great music — and arguably, a scene — was born in the 1970s.

I met Bea once, when her husband of 56 years, the protean Sam Rivers, blessed my little community in flyover country with a concert some years back. I was allowed to join the hangers on for a pre-concert dinner at which Bea’s charm. modesty and good cheer cast a beneficent glow over everyone. Sam delighted in her company, as we all did. It was clear that she meant the world to him and my thoughts and prayers go out to this great man on his very great loss.

Even if you didn’t know Bea, her graceful and gentle spirit is present in Sam’s ballad, “Beatrice.” To these ears, it’s one of the finest jazz lines of the last half century, and it’s never sounded as beautiful or moving as it does this morning.

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