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Last week, Caroline Shaw was featured by Kanye West in a live performance.  Say what you will about Kanye, but he has immaculate taste in music.

 

Here is a profile on Caroline published today in Pitchfork (an online music magazine) including musical examples.

 

I love what she does with the timbre of the voice.  The thing for string quartet is fun and the quartet performing it does a very convincing job of it.  There's also a cool piece for viola and choir.  I think I like the Allemande best.

 

I admire how her music manages to be serious and fun at the same time.

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Kanye West is not my thing, but I enjoyed hearing his wife talk on 'Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me' the quiz show last summer. She aced the quiz questions too.   Anytime good players get together to play is fine by me. I don't care to much for West's music, but I think you are spot on in saying he knows how to hire a band. Many performers that I don't care for understand how to put a band together. Frank Sinatra is one of them, he understood how to hire, and very importantly how to get an arranger to make his band sound good behind his particular voice. And he knew which songwriters to hit up for material. He picked Sammy Cahn's tunes a lot.

 

Funny I know Sammy Cahn's daughter very well and we were talking about how Sinatra picked his band and sound. This has been 15 years ago, I said well I never really liked Frank S., something about his sound (voice attitude)  bothers me, must be a generational thing because I know he sang your dads songs and I like Sammy's tunes. Then she said "Well you know I can't say anything bad about Uncle Frank, this house was paid for by Uncle Frank buying Dad's songs." 

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I don't love everything Kanye has done, but I liked My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (the video for which, a short film, featured classical dancers).

 

I loved Late Registration (2005) and Graduation (2007).

 

As for Sinatra, I fear I've been overexposed.  He has a sweet voice and a way with lyrics, but I don't every find myself wanting to hear him sing.  It doesn't surprise me to hear that he was a consummate showman though.  That's such a valuable skill to have as an artist.

 

I was reading an article yesterday that talked about the idea of "portfolio musicians" which was a term I hadn't heard before.  

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