This weekend found me writing Christmas cards, and trying to be cheerful about it. (If you didn't get one, I'm not done yet. If you still don't get one, don't worry I love you anyway) I mitigated the inevitable drudgery by catching up on some concert movies. (The Patriots winning big helped too.) The two on the hit parade so far were Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man and a Masada concert film from 1999. The fact that all this music has a very Jewish bent, and I'm a formerly good Catholic boy writing Christmas cards is not lost on me, but I don't know what it means.
More on Masada in a later post, but I highly recommend the Cohen video. Cohen himself only sings one song, "Tower of Song" backed by U2 of all people. Most of the music comes from a tribute concert featuring Martha and Rufus Wainwright, Nick Cave and several others. Of note to jazz fans, Hal Wilner produced the concert, 3/4 of Sex Mob anchor the house band, and Kenny Wolleson is great.
I was introduced to Cohen by one of my favorite jazz pianists, a Cohen nut, and am a fan but not a very knowledgeable one. The music is for the most part quite good, and really lets his lyrics, the most remarkable part of his writing, shine. The best part of the video, however, is doubtless the interviews with Cohen himself. He is a warm, thoughtful man, and I feel like his ruminations on the creative process is must material for just about any artist. And his speaking voice is pretty killin' to boot.