Sometimes there is a perfect marriage of an artist and the material (s)he chooses or stumbles upon. I think of Lester Young and the slow blues; Louis Armstrong and the songs of Harold Arlen; Lee Wiley and SUGAR . . . you can continue my list or compile your own.
One such remarkable pairing — lively and sad, wry and deeply ethical, sardonic and hopeful — is that of guitarist / singer / improviser Matt Munisteri and the body of work composed and sung by Willard Robison. Serious songhounds know Robison immediately for OLD FOLKS, A COTTAGE FOR SALE, ‘T’AIN’T SO, HONEY, ‘T’AIN’T SO, and several others, but it took Munisteri to bring him back to life for us in all his multi-faceted surprising glory. Robison is simultaneously philosophical and goofy, spiritual and naughty . . . and his playful, profound spirit animates his music and lyrics. He has found the perfect person to levitate his art from the flat surfaces of sheet music and shellac discs in Munisteri, whose art is anything but one-dimensional.
I’ve written enthusiastically about Matt’s new Robison CD — the one we’ve been waiting for! — here.
And NPR got it, too — npr.
But right now what I am suggesting is that anyone within reach of downtown Manhattan saddle up the pony, rent a car, hitch a ride, get on the bus . . . and go to Joe’s Pub for the official CD release show in slightly over a week — that’s Tuesday, July 10. I’ve heard Matt perform the Robison material live, and he is brilliantly cutting his own new paths through this surprising world.
Here are the details! JOE’S PUB is at 425 Lafayette Street in New York City — easy to reach by public transit. The show begins at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $20 on the day of the show and $18 in advance. Joe’s Pub now has assigned seating and I expect the show to sell out, so don’t be caught short with a mournful look . . . stuck outside while the sweet music happens within. And this is the link to Buy Tickets
May your happiness increase.