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Charlie Parker

“Decades after Parker’s death, a new album compiles previously unknown performances by the alto sax legend. Critic Kevin Whitehead says the record will please both jazz experts and casual listeners.”

More at NPR.

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“Bobby Hutcherson, a vibraphonist whose improvising and composition helped to define modernity for jazz as a whole, has died. He had long struggled with emphysema. He was 75.”

More at NPR.

Beginning on 14 August 2016

blog_images_1336518756-arvopartIn August 2016, the Arvo Pärt Centre will host its sixth series of Film Nights, showing films that feature Arvo Pärt’s music. For the first time, the makers of as many as two of the films to be shown, David Trueba and Piero Messina, will be in Tallinn to talk about the background to their films and their reasons for their choice of film music.

The film evenings will open with the Soldiers of Salamina, a film from 2003 by the versatile Spanish filmmaker David Trueba, which takes the audience to the battlefields of the Spanish Civil War as seen through the eyes of a contemporary writer. The film repeatedly uses and intertwines three often-used compositions: Fratres, Spiegel im Spiegel and Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten. [Read More]

From Flavorwire: “The press whirlwind for Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad which is being touted as his masterpiece, continues unabated. And the author is remarkably self-aware and smart about both the topical nature of his book in a moment of civil rights protest like we haven’t seen decade in an interview with New York Magazine‘s Boris Kachka. It’s fascinating to watch a writer having a big moment reflect on that moment with (at least what appears to be) genuine equanimity and understanding.

Whitehead talked about the racial politics of the moment, writing a “big serious novel,” and maturing as a person and writer.” [Read More]

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“Don Draper’s got nothing on Matthew Weiner. Weiner, after all, is the creator, director, executive producer, and writer of one the the most esteemed prestige dramas ever to light up our living rooms: Mad Men. For this week’s New York Public Library Podcast, we’re proud to present Weiner in conversation with the wonderful author A.M. Homes, discussing writing the character’s inner life, what he realized about Don Draper after seven seasons, and Frank O’Hara.”

More at The New York Public Library.

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Claudia Rankine (The New York Times) reviews a collection of the writer and photographer’s essays
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Teju Cole

Teju Cole’s captivating and lauded novels, “Open City” and “Every Day Is for the Thief,” reflect his identity as a writer with a global perspective — born in the United States and raised in Nigeria. His international access as an author, art historian and photographer — one who also teaches and is a photography critic for The New York Times Magazine — shapes not only his obsessions but, in a chicken-and-egg sense, determines his gaze. He takes in news from African countries and American cities; but also, by necessity and interest, Asian, European and Latin American culture and history. In short, the world belongs to Cole and is thornily and gloriously allied with his curiosity and his personhood. “Known and Strange Things,” his first collection of nonfiction, journeys through all the landscapes he has access to: international, personal, cultural, technological and emotional. When he feels homesick, he informs us in this book, he “visits” his parents in Nigeria through Google maps — a sweet if distant form of connection. (more…)

Source: The Guardian.

Philipp Meyer celebrates Cormac McCarthy’s dark and violent Western, Blood Meridian: Or, The Evening Redness in the West:

“[Blood Meridian] – his masterpiece – marks both a pinnacle and a turning point in his career. It is the first of his western novels and the last of his darker, meaner books. With one exception, all the books that follow Blood Meridian have a softer edge – sympathetic protagonists engaged in sympathetic quests.”

More at Picador.

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Bim Adewunmi shares her admiration for the British novelist and essayist:

“Smith, now 40, is a confidently quiet writer – sly and witty and acid sharp – who always draws a world that looks like the real one; it’s a welcome skill set in the often monochrome world of UK publishing. Away from long-form, Smith also writes short stories, interviews and journalism (I urge you to read her warm profile of comedians Key and Peele). But it’s her essays – covering ground from familial loss to comedy, advertising and city living – that I love the best. She’s smart, and she doesn’t hide it.”

More at The Guardian.

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It’s a little known fact that bebop trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie actually ran for president of the United States back in 1964:

“What began as one of Dizzy’s famous practical jokes, and a way to raise money for CORE (Congress for Racial Equality) and other civil rights organizations became something more, a way for Dizzy’s fans to imagine an alternative to the “millionaire’s-only” club represented by Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater.”

Open Culture

The White House, henceforth to be known as the ‘Blues House’ would comprise the following cabinet: (more…)

More at The LARB Blog.

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2001: A Space Odyssey (dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

From BFI: “Director Terry Gilliam reveals insights about Brazil (1985), his Orwellian retro-futurist fantasy. Gilliam also talks about his love of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), his dislike of middle management bureaucracy, and his experience of casting Robert De Niro.” (Source: BFI)

Source: Tor.com.

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Walter Kaufmann
“Kaufmann saw Nietzsche as something of an early existentialist, which brings us to these vintage lectures recorded in 1960 (right around the time that Kaufmann, a German-born convert to Judaism, also became a naturalized American citizen). The three lectures offer a short primer on existentialism and the modern crises philosophers grappled with.”

Listen at Open Culture.

Source: Open Culture.