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Jazz and Bach have always made good company.
In her own time
On a first listen to Kate McGarry's new Girl Talk (Palmetto), you might not suspect any special agenda — this is simply the kind of original, heartfelt treatment of a well-chosen mix of songs that the singer has led us to expect in her half dozen releases over the past decade. But listen again.
The second season of The Borgias (Sunday at 9 pm, Showtime) enters a crowded Sunday night field: HBO's Game of Thrones , AMC's Mad Men , even AMC's much discredited The Killing .
Billy Hart still remembers his first drum "lesson."
"Is it my imagination, or is the lobby full of Negroes?"
This season is chock full of jazz goodies.
Listen: Robert Pinsky's PoemJazz .
All about transparency
"I'm discontented with homes that I've rented/so I have invented my own," sang Dominque Eade slowly, over a simple bass accompaniment.
What if — in place of the current three-story Museum of Science parking garage overlooking the Charles River — there loomed a giant Ferris wheel, on the order of the London Eye?
It's been almost exactly four years since Tim Berne's last visit to Boston— March 2008, to be precise, with jazz-prog guitarist David Torn's band Prezens.
"In My Mind"
I have to admit, I was not sanguine at the beginning of this highly anticipated concert by pianist and composer Jason Moran.
Full of surprises
I can't remember the last time I saw a costume change in the middle of a jazz show — if ever — but violinist Marissa Licata's performance with her father, saxophonist Charles Licata, and their band held all kinds of surprises.
On February 9, Boston is due to get an eye-popping new look at one of the city's oldest, most beloved public spaces — the Charles River Esplanade.
HBO goes to the races
You get the feeling that Milch and Mann just want to show off what they know about horse racing. When one of Marcus's crew keeps screaming out during the big Pick Six race, "What's going on!?," he speaking for the audience.
Jason Moran — 37-year-old MacArthur Fellow and New England Conservatory teacher — epitomizes what's best about the current jazz scene: a composer and pianist who can — and does — draw on all eras.
It's almost cliché to describe the sound of a veteran jazz singer as "lived in."
We have to wait for spring to see Charlie Haden's Quartet West and the Joshua Redman/Brad Mehldau duo, but there are still plenty of ways to keep an eye and ear on jazz in the winter months.
Mystics and monsters
Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite things from among the people, CDs, and performances I wrote about this year.
When I got the pianist and composer Vijay Iyer on the phone to talk about his upcoming Celebrity Series double-bill with the Miguel Zenón Quartet, I meant to talk to him about his serene and absorbing new album Tirtha (ACT), with the tabla player Nitin Mitta and guitarist Prasanna.
Gabrielle Agachiko's resume is impressive by any standards — studied at Juilliard, played in musical theater off-Broadway as well as with a touring production of Godspell, sang jazz with both Charlie Watts and Steve Lacy.
This month sees the publication by MIT Press of Small, Gritty, and Green: The Promise of America's Smaller Industrial Cities in a Low-Carbon World by Catherine Tumber.
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