One of my favorite jazz vibraphonists, Bobby Hutcherson, died last week. I gotta say, I listened to every recording he made and if Bobby played a note in there somewhere that wasn’t as swinging as it was interesting, I missed it. And the dude played a lot of notes. Here’s a classic Hutch solo from a date with the alto saxophonist Frank Morgan. Bobby takes the first solo, and just listen to how he develops it, increasing stretching the rhythms and harmonics.
I don’t like to mix musical styles in these posts (though really, great music is just that: great music), but this past weekend I was reminded how much I love the last movement of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto #3 (~28:30). I mean, the whole piece is pretty blissful but there’s something about the last movement that completely demands my attention.
One of the things that grabs me is the wonderful argument between the major and the minor keys. The piece is in minor, but the major keeps fighting its way in there, and Beethoven keeps your ears on edge as you try to determine who’s making the best case for tonal dominance. The minor-key argument is loud and bossy, but the major key is not the slightest bit intimidated.
If you do nothing else this week, listen carefully to this movement and see if you hear the piano and orchestra having that argument, or alternatively, if I’m losing my mind.