Thursday, February 4, 2010
We're thinking about clearing out a space upstairs during First Saturday this weekend (6-9 pm) for those who are inspired to dance to the music of Ella Fitzgerald from the new album, "Twelve Nights in Hollywood." This is the first time these recordings have been made public. They were all recorded in a series of 12 live sessions at the Crescendo in Hollywood in 1961-62, and none of the cuts has been released before. The performances are intimate and swinging--pure Ella. She is accompanied only by a piano, bass, and drums. You may be used to hearing Ella only with big bands and orchestral arrangements, but try this one out. There are 4 discs in this album and a small book of information about the recording sessions.
We have a couple of the albums for sale. We've had a tough time finding them, but we have been able to find them for friends. They are expensive, 4 CD's for one thing, but worth every penny. Whether you check this out this weekend by looking at art and listening or getting up for a quick turn of dancing, this album is an experience.
Must mention also that we have been able to corner two of the LP's of Steve Martin's Grammy Award-winning banjo album (just this week). Even Rounder Records has no more, so they are sending us a handful of CD's so that those who are interested can get one this weekend. But the LP is terrific. It even has a special pop-up of Steve and the Crow on stage. Steve has long ties with Nashville. He performed at Exit In in another decade early in his career. This new album, "The Crow," is totally connected with Nashville. Is there a banjo anywhere not connected with Nashville?
WOODY AND DENISE
Thanks also to Rounder Records for sending us another unusual boxed set album, "The Dusty Road." Packaged like a small suitcase from the 1940s, this definitive collection of Woody Guthrie recordings from the mid-40s is Nashville rich by association, if nothing else. The haunted songs and sounds of folks coming out of the Depression have that long and lonesome Nashville feel and sound. The packaging of memorabilia, including reproductions from some of Woody's artwork, takes the listener back to the day. Again, this is on the expensive side of CDs, but worth the price for 4 CDs and all of the materials that come with it. I spotted this small vintage suitcase replica across the room in Denise Stiff's office. Denise has been singularly vigilant and tenacious in bringing The Fairfield Four, Allison Krauss to the forefront, and heavily involved in making the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack a classic. Denise is one of those people who ignites Nashville.
THE ARTS COMPANY AND NASHVILLE
What does it have to do with The Arts Company and Nashville? Everything. It's great music that has heart and soul. In our gallery, the art, music, ideas, and ambience are all eclectic, fresh, original, contemporary, and engaging. It's all about what we care about for ourselves and for our customers.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Lou Outlaw (aka Lucius Outlaw, Associate Provost at Vanderbilt University) has been a serious student of photography for many years. When he went to Washington last January to be part of the Obama inauguration, he reacted as a photographer. Instead of focusing on Obama taking the oath, at that very moment he could not resist capturing images of the impassioned response of a lady nearby who was totally into the moment of Obama's taking the oath. Lou turned his attention to her and started snapping. He called those moments "Jubilation." The resulting photographs are paired with some images he took a couple of years ago of the Nashville Freedom Riders re-convening in Nashville to re-take the famed civil rights bus ride from Nashville to Birmingham.
Lou has had a distinguished lifetime of personal and professional involvement in black history and civil rights, and has found his own way through photography to express his emotional and intellectual response to historic occasions that mark that part of our common history.
The Arts Company has invited Lou to be our guest during Art After Hours (Thursday, February 4, 5-7 PM). A conversation with Lou begins at 6 PM.
The February exhibit of Steven Walker's new paintings of "Nashville Town and Country" has been a long time coming, because of the demand for the work of this rising young artist in other cities. We scheduled this new series as soon as he felt he could complete the work after his last show. Steven's canvases are reminiscent of Edward Hopper's. Each new canvas has more abstract details than the last. We have not seen all of the canvases to be in the exhibit, but we are certain that they will be fresh and very well executed. To see a young painter interested in the traditional techniques of realism, but adding his own brand of insight and abstraction is particularly exciting to The Arts Company.
Steven's first passion in painting is clicking photographs of landscapes while riding down the highway. Typically, his landscapes are seen from a broad distance. But he also excels in selecting urban buildings and urban landscapes as subjects for his paintings. This particular exhibit focuses on both the town and country parts of Nashville. Seeing Nashville downtown up close and landscapes outside the city limits, presented side by side, offers a new context for thinking about this particular city through the eyes of a painter who is only recently acquainted with Nashville. He paints us as we are--a sophisticated and complex city in the middle of trees and farmhouses.
Steven will be in town to talk with guests during the First Saturday opening, 6-9 PM, February 6.