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CD Picks of the Week

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Terrance McKnight
As a kind of musical icebreaker, WNYC's new Evening Music host Terrance McKnight joins us to share four selections that illustrate different musical phases of his life -- one for each decade.

First decade: Mahalia Jackson, "The Best of Mahalia Jackson. [Sony, 1995]

I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, in a religious family. My dad was a pastor and he wouldn’t allow us to listen or watch anything willy-nilly. That didn’t stop my cousins and me from emulating the Jackson Five, who were all the rage at the time. But for me it’s another Jackson that really demonstrated the power of music. Mahalia Jackson was the first queen of gospel and her voice was the soundtrack for hope -- at least in my household. I’ve seen grown-up people break down in tears listening to her. Now I’m that fully grown person, I still tear up too. This song is called "I Will Move On Up A Little Higher."

Second decade: Oscar Peterson, "Tracks" [Polygram, 1970]

My next CD pick represents the second decade in my life, when I got into any pop record that my older siblings would bring home: Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Chaka Kahn, Al Green. One day my brother came in with a dusty album of this older guy sitting grinning at a piano, looked pretty harmless. It was Oscar Peterson, from his 1970 self-titled album. Listening to him I realized I knew nothing about music, although I was playing trumpet in the high school orchestra and had three church jobs playing in a neighborhood band. Listen to this song, "Honeysuckle Rose," and you’ll know what I mean.

Third decade: Saint Seans, Tchaikovsky Concertos. Andre Watts, piano. Yoel Levi conducting the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra [Telarc, 1995]

In college, it was a lot easier getting dates if you said you were a pre-med major. So I majored in biology at Morehouse. But that is not where my heart was ... and I went back to music, joining the Morehouse College Glee Club. One year, one of my professors gave me a ticket to a concert and pianist Andre Watts was the soloist. He is African American and when I saw him at the stage I thought… wow, he looks a lot like me, and he is taking total ownership of this music, which implied I could too.

Fourth Decade: Oswaldo Golijov, "Ainadamar," Robert Spano conducting the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. [Deutsche Grammophone, 2006]

Now based in Boston, Osvaldo Golijov is Jewish and grew up in Argentina. So, his music reflects all the stuff that he’s interested in, which means a lot of cultures. I believe that is the direction that great music is heading: Inclusiveness, with many perspectives and voices treated as equals.

Guests:

Terrance McKnight

Comments [7]

karen harber from brooklyn new york

forgive my bad typing!!

Apr. 30 2009 02:29 PM
karen harber from brooklyn new york

I love your program - I wish you woudl proviode a little more info on the music you play - just naming the composer can be very frustrating. You have incredible taste your choiuces are always so interesting and diverse.

Apr. 30 2009 02:27 PM
Elizabeth Park

I used to listen to Evening Music occasionally, and always enjoyed it. Now, however, I listen as often as I can and enjoy it even more. Your choices reflect the multiple aesthetic systems of the world we really live in, and your commentary always helps build bridges from one aesthetic to another. The show is fantastic.

Jun. 05 2008 08:54 PM
Ronald Walker from Cleveland, Ohio

Terrance, I really enjoyed your CD picks of the week. I wish you well and as your childhood friend, I'm proud of all of your accomplishents.

RW

Mar. 22 2008 05:36 AM
Richard Hoffman from Rye Brook, NY

Welcome to NY. Heard your interview with Leonard Lopate. So refreshing to hear someone who believes music is music regardless of origin, era, or style. Look forward to many evening musical experiences. RSH

Mar. 04 2008 03:12 PM
greg sholette from nyc

really enjoyed this evening - wishing you the best of luck for your new gig here in NYC - thanks for heading north!- gs

Mar. 03 2008 09:10 PM
FREDERICK ALLEN from BROOKLYN, NEW YORK

HOW DO YOU DO.

BEST WISHES FOR A SUCCESSFUL STINT.

1. TOO LITTLE, THESE DAYS, IS HEARD OF CARL NIELSEN AND/OR NIELS GADE.

2. DON SHIRLEY...PIANO ARANGEMENTS OF FAMOUS SPIRITUALS

Mar. 03 2008 07:56 PM

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