Wow and Wow!!! Josh Rutner’s Album of the Week

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Although I live in a college town, we’ve never really had a great radio station until about a year and a half ago, when finally, a very cool dude named Don Bedell founded 98.7 the freq, giving us the gift of “College radio …  all grown up!” Proving that it is serious about living up to its slogan, for some time now it has been broadcasting a little program called Josh Rutner’s Album of the Week. Rutner is a jazz musician — a saxophonist, clarinetist, and flutist living in Beacon, NY — but he is also a mind-blowingly talented writer and reviewer of music of various genres. His turns of phrases, his attention to detail, his ability to listen intently and make connections to other art forms and to earlier influences is what makes his album reviews so fascinating, even if you’re unfamiliar with the musician(s), which is the case for me much of the time. To my mind, Josh Rutner reviews music the way Michael Chabon writes novels, and I can only hope that he’ll continue in this pursuit. I highly urge you to visit his site (linked above), where you can listen to his Album of the Week podcasts or just read them (though you’re missing out if you don’t listen to his voice, which is a perfect-pitch match to his writing). And if you only listen to one of his podcasts, make it Episode 37: Masterpiece (Big Thief, 2016). Mesmerizing stuff!

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