Category Archives: Commentary

Analog vs. Digital Recording

Warm or Not to Warm: the Dichotomy of Analog vs. Digital Recording

By Dawoud Kringle 

One of the most polarizing controversies among audiophiles is the dichotomy between analogue and digital recording. Surely you, dear reader, have been subjected to (or subjected someone else to) an impassioned soliloquy about how much warmer analog recording sound than digital. 

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Trump Continues to Threaten US Musicians and Musical Instrument Manufacturers

Text by  Dawoud Kringle

TrumpThe Trump tariff fiasco has reached a predictable outcome.

China played its hand as well as it could have. The thing that Trump and his like cannot understand is that China rarely thinks in terms of short term gains: they think in terms of decades and centuries. Trump underestimated them, and US businesses and economies are suffering because of it.

Of course Trump needs to scapegoat China with an economic war to detract people from his domestic filth, in an effort to win another election term. China is an easy target for his voting base. They fear China because US companies have become dependent upon buying from China. Trump squeezes the idea of IP theft for everything he can get from it; and it’s a fair assessment.  But every country is engaged in this game, including the US. Ultimately China has strongly contributed to almost 20 years of global prosperity. Slowing China is bad for the US, even though it hurts Trump’s ego (and his follower’s egos) to know that any other country is prospering.

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National Endowment or the Arts (NEA)

Trump Fights to Destroy the Arts. Artists and Arts Activists Fight Back.

Text by Dawoud Kringle

Trump Fights to Destroy the Arts. For the third year in a row, the Trump Administration repeated its efforts to destroy the arts in the US. The White House has proposed a federal budget that would shutter the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (which supports PBS and NPR) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Like the two previous years under Trump, the plans diminishing appropriations for each agency are a clear attempt to facilitate its demise.

The cuts total $897 million of the $4.7 trillion 2020 spending plan.

In the beginning of his administration, Trump called for the complete elimination of these agencies. The Republican-led Congress funded them both times, with the NEA, NEH and IMLS each seeing small increases in 2019. The 2020 budget provides $29 million for the NEA and $38 million for the NEH, both funded at $155 million this year. The CPB would receive $30 million, down from $465 million, and the IMLS would receive $23 million, a $219 million cut. This translates to about $1.35 per citizen per year.

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Randy Weston Remembered: A Master Musician Who Travelled the Bridge Between Africa and America

Text by By Dawoud Kringle

Randy WestonOn the morning of September 1st, 2018, pianist and composer Randy Weston was called home.

Randy Weston was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1926. to Vivian (née Moore; a native of Virginia) and Frank Weston (of Jamaican-Panamanian descent, who owned a restaurant in Brooklyn where Weston was raised). His father was a staunch Garveyite, who passed on the Pan-Africanist leader’s Afrocentric, self-reliant values to his son. He became interested in music at a young age. Among his early influences and inspirations were jazz giants such as Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Art Tatum, and Duke Ellington. He would often cite Thelonious Monk as having the greatest impact on him.

After serving in the US armed forces in WW2, taking time to study European classical piano, and later running a restaurant (which was frequented by many jazz musicians), Weston began performing in  the late 1940s with Bullmoose Jackson, Frank Culley and Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson. He worked with Kenny Dorham in 1953 and in 1954 with Cecil Payne. He formed his own trio and quartet and released his debut recording as a leader in 1954, “Cole Porter in a Modern Mood.” In 1955, Down Beat magazine’s International Critics’ Poll voted him New Star Pianist.

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