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10 Seconds: Robert Stillman

New series, altered format, one guest, eight picks.

First up is multi-instrumentalist Robert Stillman, whose silently startling Reality album should be on any 2019 must-hear list.

1. Laraaji - Unicorns in Paradise (6'12" - 6'22")


Laraaji ‎– Unicorns In Paradise (2015)

"Laraaji’s music is the ‘vertical’ dimension, but it is never static: repetition is almost always cut by a ‘WAKE UP’ moment like this one."

2. Nina Simone - Something Wonderful (0'19"-0'29")


Nina Simone

- Broadway-Blues-Ballads (1964)

"The harmonic clouds part, and Nina Simone’s voice shines through.

(Note: I tried to process the mystery of this musical moment in a mico-cover")

3. Abbey Lincoln - Straight Ahead (5'01"-5'11")


Abbey Lincoln - Straight Ahead (1961)

“My instrument is deepening and widening; it’s because I’m possessed of the spirit.”

(Abbey Lincoln, quoted in Fred Moten's In the Break: Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition, 2003).

4. John Coltrane Quartet - Afro Blue (4'46"-4'56")


John Coltrane - Live at Birdland (1963)

"Elvin Jones smash-opens a portal, and Coltrane’s light surges out, and up."

5. Maurice Ravel, perf. by Budapest String Quartet

- Movement 1: Allegro moderato-très doux”(4'20" - 4'30")


Budapest String Quartet -

Ravel:Quartet in F Major

"Another portal-opening event, this time, chordal."

6. Ornette Coleman - Love Life (2'31"-2'41")


Ornette Coleman

- Skies Of America (1972)

"His own sound appears (after so long!). At this moment, melody is water that flows into the source."

7. Milton Nascimento feat. Alaíde Costa - Me Deixa Em Paz (1'55"-2'05")


Milton Nascimento & Lô Borges

- Clube Da Esquina (1972)

"Eternity in/on ’the one’. When rhythm is this vivid, it outdoes normal clock time, and tells us the real time: “now"."

8. The Beatles feat. Billy Preston “Don’t Let Me down” (2'06"-2'16")


Let It Be....Naked (recorded 1969, released 2003)

"Billy Preston doubles George Harrison’s counter melody on the verse of ‘Don’t Let Me Down’, and in this moment on the roof, the joy that was lost is found again. George looks over to Yoko and laughs: it’s ok now. The band reforms as ‘Beatles’, a 6-piece with Billy Preston and Yoko Ono as official members."

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