Masscult, Midcult, and Multiculti

Rhaposdy in Blue still packs a thrill, and it's still open to interpretation

What brings it all into focus is Brown's recomposed Rhapsody in Blue. The Peress remains my preferred version, but those hammered dulcimers are so spiky that for once I don't miss the banjo. Brown treats Gershwin as raw material, much the way Gershwin is often accused of treating jazz. But so what? This is what composers do. A story Robert Creeley once told about Richard Brautigan applies. Brautigan was already a published author by his first visit to an art museum, and what moved him most was seeing his own shadow on a Rembrandt. "That's not ego," Creeley cautioned. "That's saying 'count me in.' " Brown is saying the same thing, on behalf of the rainbow.


Michel Camilo: Conventional, but he does the trick.
photo: Jack Vartoogian/FrontRowPhotos
Michel Camilo: Conventional, but he does the trick.

Details

Anthony Brown Orchestra
Rhapsodies
Water Baby

Michel Camilo
Rhapsody in Blue
Telarc
Stream "Rhapsody in Blue " (Windows Media)
Stream "Concerto in F" (Windows Media)

Michael Camilo performs at the Blue Note April 25-30.

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