Visiting New York City is exhilarating. The hassle of air travel, the expense of the cabs and buses falls away and suddenly you are there, surrounded by familiar buildings, that great skyline beckoning, and people!
Thousands and millions of busy, hurried people swarm all around you and this is where the adrenaline kicks in. At first you feel like a fifth grader at university - slow, turned around and lost - but as the hours pass you acclimate and subtly and imperceptibly speed up. Suddenly there you are, keeping up, cutting ahead and jaywalking with the best of them; you are now at New York speed.
That is the impression I had with David Chesky's new album, "The New York Rags." At first the selections seem impossibly fast, clangorous and loud, but with repeated hearings those impressions fall away and you get to the music inside all those speeding notes.
Like bricks are to buildings, standard note values are to music, and Chesky's rags maybe short, but contain thousands of notes - pounding away, zipping this way and that. Patterns emerge and hang, often obscuring the music within.
It could be seen as a contradiction that the big, loud and brash covers up the quiet message, but that too is very New York.
Here are some selections from the album from Spotify
Just getting out of your taxi and taking in the city is best exemplified by the first rag, "The New Yorker." The Big Apple isn't always crowded, every now and again you round a corner and come across a small square or park and suddenly the big city falls away. This experience is personified in "The Circle at Fifth." There is also the day-to-day New York that fits any American city in, "Kids, You are late for School Rag."
This recording is in binaural sound, which can, with the proper equipment like headphones, give the illusion of depth or 3D sound.
I had no trouble listening to it on my computer speakers, but your mileage may vary.