Willie Ruff is a master of both the bass and the French horn, which he reveals to be a singularly beautiful jazz instrument. Trained as a classical musician, Ruff studied with Paul Hindemith at the Yale School of Music and signed as first horn with the Tel Aviv Symphony. He went on to team up with pianist Dwike Mitchell, with whom he formed the Mitchell-Ruff Duo and toured worldwide.
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Girlpool's Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad perform in unison: They play their guitars that way — Tucker on lead, Tividad on bass — and they sing the same angsty, funny words simultaneously, or as if emulating a nursery-rhyme-style round, a la "Row Row Row Your Boat."
You know how some older "legacy" artists program their concerts like a greatest-hits collection? Duke Ellington did some of that as he was getting older — people wanted to hear the Maestro lead "Satin Doll" and "Mood Indigo," after all — but he never stopped writing new music, either. And his late works didn't stop pushing his own boundaries.
This song couldn't have been released as anything other than a single. A full-length album would collapse under the plaintive, heartbreaking weight of Sara Rachele's "Rebecca," and picking songs to cushion it in a track list would be nearly impossible.
Ani Difranco has a line in her 2012 song, "If Yr Not," where she sings, "If you're not getting happier as you get older / Then you're [messing] up." Chicago alt-rock band Veruca Salt certainly didn't seem unhappy in their heyday in the mid- and late-'90s, but it's apparent within in ten seconds of the band's first album in nearly a decade, Ghost Notes, how much more fun they're having now.