Letters

Letters 08-01-2016

Voter Suppression And Choice In 2013, five Supreme Court justices, each appointed by Republican presidents, knocked the teeth out of the Voting Rights Act. Immediately a majority of Republican-dominated states began passing laws aimed at suppressing the votes of their majority Democrat demographics: minorities, students and the elderly. These laws – requiring voter IDs, cutting early voting, eliminating same-day registration, closing selected polling places, banning straight-ticket voting, etc. — never flat-out deny a person’s right to vote; they just make actual registering and voting more difficult, and therefore make it more likely that individuals in certain groups will not vote. Think of voter suppression as a kind of reverse marketing strategy, one aimed at getting people not to do something...

Free Parking Patrick Sullivan’s good story on parking overlooked one source of “free parking” that has become an increasing problem in Traverse City: spill-over into adjacent neighborhoods. Instead of discouraging people from bringing cars downtown, we’re allowing them to park on both sides of narrow residential streets all day long...

Real American Duality Isiah Smith didn’t really put his deep thinking hat on before writing the “American Duality” commentary. First there’s geography. His daughter feels safer in Sweden than in the United States, at least partially because of the violence in Dallas, Baton Rouge and Minnesota. Really? Safer than in northern Michigan, which is further away from Dallas and Baton Rouge than Stockholm is from Ansbach, Paris or Brussels and no closer to Minnesota than Sweden is to Germany? Did Smith miss recent supremely violent events in those places? Alrighty then...

Home · Articles · News · Music · 4Play: Herbie HAncock, Esperanza...
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4Play: Herbie HAncock, Esperanza Spalding, Stanley Clark Band, Lee Ritenour

Kristi Kates - August 2nd, 2010
Herbie Hancock - The Imagine Project - HH Records
Hancock took “collaboration” to the nth degree on this, his latest album. No less than 18 fellow musicians assist Hancock in his goal of sharing themes of global peace and universal responsibility on these songs, which blend world music with Hancock’s own distinctive electronic sounds. Highlights include an “Imagine” suite on which Hancock works with Seal, Jeff Beck and India Arie; “The Times, They Are A-Changin’” with Irish talents The Chieftains; and a left-field assist from Dave Matthews on Hancock’s version of “Tomorrow Never Knows.”




Esperanza Spalding - Esperanza - Heads Up
An older album that is just now starting to gain momentum (due to Spalding’s performance at last year’s Nobel Peace Prize concert at the request of President Obama), Esperanza’s eponymous set is a great introduction to the jazz bassist/singer. Melding old-school jazz with modern sensibilities, her impressive voice and innate sense of arrangement are showcased on tracks like the folky “Ponte de Areia” and the samba-scat “I Adore You.” Spalding has a second album on the way this August, and you can bet jazz fans will be lined up for it.




Stanley Clarke Band - The Stanley Clarke Band - Heads Up
Clarke, much like Hancock, also collaborates on his current release, on which he works more in a band format than as a solo artist. He brings along his usual drummer, Ronald Bruner Jr., and his longtime keyboardist Ruslan Sirota, and adds in musical seasoning in the forms of saxophonist Bob Sheppard, drum programmer Chris Clarke, and The Manhattan Transfer’s Cheryl Bentyne, among others. “Bass Folk Song No. 10” has a chill feel, “Labyrinth” is appropriately complex, and “Soldier” adds a percussive, marching feel to the bass lines.




Lee Ritenour - 6 String Theory - Concord Records
Ritenour celebrates the guitar itself on his latest album, bringing in almost as many musical pals as Herbie and Stanley do. It’s a fete for several different genres of guitar music, actually, from rock and blues to jazz and classical, and those aforementioned pals help decipher it all. The vocal/musical talents of B.B. King and Jonny Lang (“Why I Sing the Blues”), Keb’ Mo’ and Taj Mahal (“Am I Wrong), and George Benson (“My One and Only Love”) are among the most standout tracks on the set, although they’re all worthy of the guitars they champion.

 
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