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Sunday Recommendations 2.2.2020

Scott Robinson

When I think of Scott Robinson, I think of a giant musical figure of my teenage years - the kind of musician everyone in NYC knew about and respected. For my teenage self, who was studying at a jazz program in a NYC high school, there were many characters in the world of NYC jazz. There were many figures I had the privelage of looking up to and being inspired by. The first time I saw Scott Robinson was when he had come to our high school to demonstrate the contrabass saxophone. This freakish instrument and sound were forever etched in my mind. This momentforever cemented Robinson as a sort of quirky mad man, not afraid to pursue adventurous and wild sounds for the sake of fun, or whatever it is that drives us - indeed, "he`s one of us," I remember thinking.

Below a link to a segment CNN did on him in the 1990s. I can´t believe CNN had funny stories like this. Its hard to imagine them taking the time today to profile such a musician. Yet again, anything is possible in a world that has instruments like the contrabass saxophones. What a joke at the end! - "we believe in consentual sax"

I bring him up because, being on his email list, I got word of a new album where he only plays tenor saxophone. I thought to myself, its amazing to be a musician and belong to a group by extension with such other musicians, those who are constantly pushing themselves, constantly growing and developing their love of instruments and sound. This promo video enters us into a world of New York jazz, a world of sessions, dates, concert recordings, promotions, all for the love of this music which can be so enveloping to a person´s life. I think of this envelopment when I hear these musicians talking about their relationship to the project:

Masaaki Yuasa

I once asked an anime fan to recommend a series for me. I wanted something not about violence or action heroes, but more slow paced and heartfelt. He recommended Tatami Galaxy by Masaaki Yuasa, and I was pleasantly surprised. I later learnt that it little matters what a Yuasa project is about (Tatami Galaxy about a high school student who joins clubs; Devilman Crybaby on the other hand about a student who is half man half devil) but rather one can be impressed on how he handles the theme, how the animations are so unique and so creative. The unrealistic presentation of cartoons lend themselves to deep human emotions, but also incredible entertainment through the virtuosity of his handling. Can someone get me the complete Masaaki Yuasa on DVD? His works are so different from one another and yet so surprising and creative.

New York

Looking at this list, I realized that the New York I grew up and loved in the 1990s was really the New York of the 70s. Everything I admired about the city is in full display in these movies, and whatever it was that I admired, that was to be found in the 90s was a product of the 70s´ development. These movies must be heartbreaking for New Yorkers, given the changes the city has gone through.


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