Ben Verdery (my old pal!) plays some of the most soulful Bach you’ve ever heard

December 11th, 2016 at 8:42 am

As I like to say, let’s collect facts:

–One of my great friends from my youth is the classical guitarist Ben Verdery, though he’s really stylistically hard to pin down, as he is known to crush a Jimi Hendrix tune on occasion. This is particularly satisfying for me, because we discovered Jimi together when we were wee ones.

–The music of Bach is what you want to listen to when you have serious doubts about the capacity of the human race.

–Climate change is a real, existential threat.

OK, all of those facts come together here in Ben’s deeply soulful performance of Bach’s Chaconne. I can’t say I really know what a Chaconne is (it’s not an Italian pastry), but to my ears, it’s pretty close to the blues.




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7 comments in reply to "Ben Verdery (my old pal!) plays some of the most soulful Bach you’ve ever heard"

  1. Chuck Sheketoff says:

    This is just what I needed to start my Sunday morning with…thanks!

  2. Naseem Rakha says:

    I just wanted to tell you a story. For several years I was a facilitator for the Hanford Advisory Board, a group which advised the DOE on cleanup of the highly contaminated Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state along the Columbia River. it was a four-hour drive from my home in the Willamette Valley, and I would often ride with the member of the Environmental Restoration Committee, a geologist for the state of Oregon who also happened to be a well-known jazz musician. He was an older gentleman, a “gray beard” as he called himself, and we hit it off and became fast friends, talking about music and his times playing with the likes of Dizzy Gilesspie and Jimmy Hendrix.

    Back to Bach — I love classical music and when I would drive would often play it in my car. When the Chaconne came on Ralph rhapsodized about the piece. To him, it was the ultimate in fusion jazz, a simple tune built into more and more complex and organic shapes. It was the first I had ever heard of the piece described this way — your piece today—the second.

  3. Tom Cantlon says:

    Beautiful. Since my early 20s I’ve love Bach on lute, like this piece played by Lightnin’ Hopkins, er, Hopkinson Smith.

  4. Nick Batzdorf says:

    I was about to post that Bach is the soul of humanity, and then I read your second fact.


  5. Nick Batzdorf says:

    I was also going to ask how he recorded it so beautifully outdoors, because it didn’t sound like that and didn’t see a mic inside… and then I saw the studio credit. 🙂