John Coltrane’s ‘Lost Album’ Is a Window into His Pursuit of the Impossible

June 28, 2018

The improbable new release by John Coltrane, Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album, arrives with the excitement of a rare celestial event. A small trove of previously unissued studio material recorded by the saxophonist and his quartet on a single day in 1963, it has already caused a commotion prior to its release this Friday. “Like finding a new room in the Great Pyramid,” is how Sonny Rollins described the discovery, in a quote from the liner notes that has widely circulated, as a fond gesture from one colossus to another.

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After 80 Years, The Barbershop Harmony Society Will Allow Women To Join

June 26, 2018

If you’re at all familiar with the modern perception of barbershop singing, you might have guessed that one of its leading organizations, the Barbershop Harmony Society, was an all-male — and all-white — organization at the time of its founding in 1938. The organization opened to people of color in 1963, as the country was living within the crucible of the civil rights movement. For 80 years, though, it remained closed to women.

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The Healing Sound of a Broken Orchestra

December 4, 2017

Over 1,000 damaged instruments are languishing in what are known as “instrument graveyards” in Philadelphia’s public school system, which lacks the funds to fix them. This weekend, 400 of these instruments will be played in performance by musicians ranging from members of the Philadelphia Orchestra to public school children. The goal is to get those broken instruments repaired and back to kids.

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