A musician’s understanding of his artistry often deepens over time. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston gets a perspective from a jazz man who’s performed for over a half century. Guitarist and vocalist Jimi Odell has been called one of Philadelphia’s best-kept secrets. And even though he wasn’t born here, local jazz buffs proudly claim him as their own. Now in his '80s, Odell bought himself a guitar and an instruction book when he was 19. Looking back he says it’s not an easy instrument to master.
After injuring his hands, Philadelphia jazz pianist Jimmy Amadie stopped playing for decades. But a CD released this year documents his return to the concert stage, playing live at Art After 5 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Check out the CD here!
It was around 2008 when virtuoso pianist Helene Grimaud thought about adding the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 to her repertoire. Seemed like a good idea at the time. After all, she calls her love of Brahms "intimate." So intimate that she performs almost every work he composed for piano, solo or otherwise. And her relationship with his first piano concerto runs very deep.
It's an elegiac walk among portraits, surrounding the remembrance of JFK on Now Is the Time, Saturday, November 23rd at 9 pm—our new time, every Saturday night at 9 on WRTI-HD2 and the all-classical stream at wrti.org.
In Gallery for solo cello, Robert Muczynski takes us past paintings, similar to the how Mussorgsky does in Pictures at an Exhibition. A Kennedy Portrait for narrator and orchestra uses the words of President Kennedy and also some from the composer, William Kraft, in this work of exhilaration and hope.
From the CD Portraits & Elegies is Philip Lasser's Vocalise, poignant music for violin and piano. Returning to the single cello, Andrew Waggoner's Le Nom (Upperline) is a beautiful reminiscence of his hometown of New Orleans both before and after Hurricane Katrina. John Harbison walks us again through a gallery, but Six American Painters is more about the artists themselves—including Thomas Eakins and Winslow Homer—rather than their work.
If you're new to Now Is the Time, just go to wrti.org and click on the Listen: Classical button at the top. Day or night, that brings you the classical stream, and at 9 pm every Saturday, you'll hear Now Is the Time. In the Philadelphia area with an HD radio? Dial us up at 90.1 FM, HD2, or find all the frequencies here, depending on where you are, from the Shore to the Poconos to Harrisburg to Dover. Thanks for supporting American contemporary music on WRTI!