Kurt Weill

Tony Bennett Duets
September 16, 2011

A musical duet is no less susceptible to power dynamics than any other intimate collaboration between two partners. In creative terms, someone is usually on top. Even when figures of virtually equal standing join up, as Kanye West and Jay-Z did recently with their extravagantly produced and even more extravagantly hyped match-up, Watch the Throne, it’s usually clear that one—in this case, Kanye—exerted more influence, if not quite dominance, over the other.

Heart Music
May 16, 2005

Fred Hersch, Leaves of Grass (Palmetto) First published 150 years ago this summer, Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass was always a work in progress--or a series of works that varied in character and grew exponentially in size over more than three decades, until the poet's death in 1892. The first edition, first published one hundred fifty years ago this July and something of a vanity project manufactured with typesetting assistance from Whitman himself, presented a dozen poems on ninety-five pages. The second, published fourteen months later, contained thirty-two poems.