Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ikea Red Hook

Music from ART FARMER - TO SWEDEN WITH LOVE (1964)Visa Vid Midsommartid (Midsummer Song)
Art Farmer – flugelhorn, Jim Hall – guitar, Steve Swallow – bass,Pete LaRoca – drums
Once upon a time, there was a quartet led by trumpet/ flugelhorn player Art Farmer and electric guitarist Jim Hall, like minded souls who got together to create music with lyrical melodies and adventurous solos. Here they transform these Swedish folk songs, making each one swing gently, and opening up the tunes to intense, meditative explorations. Farmer's flugelhorn and Hall's guitar lines are perfect foils, unfurling quiet, complex lines around each other. This is the second of only three recordings the group made, sandwiched between 1963’s Interaction and Live At The Half Note, also from 1964, with Walter Perkins replacing Pete LaRoca on drums. What’s interesting is that this group was put together after the demise of Farmer and Benny Golson’s Jazztet and after Hall’s tenure as an integral part of Sonny Rollins piano-less quartet. It seems like they both took what they learned in those groups and made it a part of this one, perhaps knocking things up a notch. This group should have lasted a lot longer than it did.

excerpt from the nytimes 8/11/08
Big Box Isn’t All Bad, By KAREEM FAHIM
The blue box opened, and so far, the sky hasn’t fallen.
When Ikea, the Swedish furniture giant, announced that it would open one of its trademark big-box stores on the Brooklyn waterfront in Red Hook, many in the area feared that throngs of shoppers would transform and scar a quiet neighborhood possessed of a battered industrial charm.
The battle lines were familiar to those who watch development brawls. Ikea and its supporters dangled the offer of new jobs and an economic spark for a depressed corner of Brooklyn, while their opponents — and they were easy to find — argued that the benefits would not offset what the neighborhood would lose, especially as untold numbers of cars poured in every week.
To make matters worse, just before the store opened in June, Ikea announced that it was renting a vast empty lot next to the store to accommodate overflow parking. “It’s going to be a madhouse,” said one resident, expressing a widely held feeling at the time.
But since the store opened, something unexpected has happened. Ikea has won grudging acceptance from some of its detractors, who admit, somewhat sheepishly, that the feared blue box has brought perks enjoyed even by those who have no interest in stepping into the store.
There is the daily water taxi and shuttle bus service provided free by Ikea, technically for its customers. But for residents, the boats and buses have made the hard-to-reach neighborhood without a subway stop a little less remote; the ferries in particular have given them a picturesque way to travel between Manhattan and Red Hook.

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