New York Music Daily

Love's the Only Engine of Survival

Month: December, 2022

Winding Up 2022 With Stunning Beauty, Sheer Horror and Defiant Fun

In late 2021, this blog predicted that 2022 would be a much better year. For those who survived it, chances are it was. Here’s another prediction: good things are snowballing, and 2023 will be even better (or less lethal, depending on how you see it). The world is largely going to refuse the destruction of the cash economy, the forced implementation of digital coupons in place of money, and social credit scores. Big Finance will throw Big Pharma under the bus in a hail mary attempt to stay in power, but that won’t be enough. As control structures collapse, we will see whistleblowers and data leaks emerge from unexpected places. It is going to be an epic year.

Let’s look forward to that with a final collection of songs and visuals from 2022. As usual, click on artist names for their webpages, click on titles for watchable and listenable stuff.

At the top of the list, an absolutely harrowing painting, Apocalypse, from the brilliant artist Sasha Latypova, who is better known as a sharp-eyed analyst of Department of Defense biomedical crimes. As far as the apocalypse is concerned, Latypova reassures us that “I do not believe we are living through the real-deal one, only a theatrical performance scripted to look like one. It is fundamentally a bluff by a desperate (small) clique of deeply evil monsters. Do not fall for it.”

Another important investigative journalist and researcher who emerged in the spring of 2020, Tessa Lena is also a singer. She’s released a breathtaking new single, Kanchun Em, going to to the top of her stratospheric register for an impassioned take of this haunting old Armenian folk song, backed by elegant guitar, duduk and what sounds like a pandura.

On the baffling, creepy side, Andreas Oehler catches Tedros on camera: “Some Countries Are Using to Give Boosters to Kill Children.” ?!?!?! Is this a CYA move? By the way, these countries are Canada, the USA and Japan. “A small club,” as Oehler puts it.

For a world-class statistician unpacking global mortality data, Joel Smalley has a great sense of humor, and makes the occasional hilarious video. This is not one of the funny ones. It’s 1 minute 38 seconds of the Chopin Funeral March with graphics of a holocaust  unfolding over time.

Nicole Sirotek of America’s Frontline Nurses explains the difference between remdesivir and veklury, which is being offered to hospital patients who refuse “rundeathisnear.” Crucial information. 48 sec video via Karen Bracken‘s must-read Truth Bomb newsfeed.

Now let’s have some fun. Scroll to the bottom of this page for memestress and author Amy Sukwan‘s Pfizer rewards card.

Can you play the flute wearing two surgical masks? Super Sally in the Philippines shares this surreal, sick visual

The ThinkTwice Team specialize in memes that make fun of lockdowner propaganda posters. Abir Ballan, Andrea Bowler, David Charalambous & Sinéad Stringer are relentlessly funny and have a whole page of priceless parodies, with more on the way!

Here’s an intriguing new take on a classic album cover: Patrick Killelea‘s Sgt Pfizer’s Lonely Heart Clot Band

Visceral Adventure‘s Sayin’ a Lie is a snarky remake of a big BeeGees disco hit, frontwoman Tonika Todorova channeling calm defiance in a world where she’s “Got a dirty mask stuck on my shoe, and the nurses dancing in the ICU.”

Mark Oshinskie, one of the most painterly writers in the freedom movement, is also a punk rock songwriter. Don’t Gotta Go to Disney has one of the funniest videos in recent memory. Check out the shrine to the rat…and the other rat stuff.

Let’s wrap up the year with everybody’s favorite insane clown, Doctor Dr. McHonk-Honk doing Auld Jab Syne via Jeff Childers’ C&C News (scroll all the way down the page). Jeff’s provocative analysis of plandemic planning is also worth reading. Thanks to everybody, especially all you subscribers, for your support over the years and through this ordeal and see you next year!


Long Overdue New Retrospectives From an Americana Cult Heroine

A half century before the Brooklyn Americana scene exploded onto a national stage, Mimi Roman was representing for the borough. Now in her eighties, she remains a beloved figure in the vintage country music demimonde. The scion of a Brooklyn Jewish pickle empire, she was an outdoorsy girl who grew up riding horses and became enamored with all things western, including country music. By the time she’d graduated college, she’d become an accomplished guitarist and a hell of a singer, won a big talent contest and went on to regional stardom in the emerging medium of tv.

Overcompressed digitized versions of her singles have been circulating on the web for years. But there’s never been a complete Mimi Roman album until this year, when Sundazed Music released the vinyl compilation The First of the Brooklyn Cowgirls, streaming at Bandcamp. The record begins with rare tv audio from 1954. It ends with a series of rare, low-key, often gorgeously nocturnal, mostly acoustic demos from late in the decade.

In general, the digitzation is very good, considering that much of the source material is wobbly old radio and tv clips and worn crate-digger vinyl. Many of these 35 tracks clock in at under two minutes. In the Nashville style of the era for female singers, Roman’s strong, expressive vocals are typically way out front, music in the back. These songs trace from the early 50s era of small groups with acoustic and electric guitar and fiddle or pedal steel, to a full-band rockabilly sound. Likewise, it’s a trip to hear Roman grow from a demure girl with an outer-borough accent to a polished, sophisticated frontwoman (check out her elegant jazz-inflected phrasing on the cover of Route 66 here).

The musicianship is often tremendous: there’s a mind-melting cyclotron pedal steel break in Bill Monroe’s Rocky Road Blues, purist honkytonk piano in places and lots of inspired fiddle and guitar picking.

The live material comes first. There are two versions of Weary Blues From Waitin’, an early theme for Roman which has a suspicious resemblance to a Hank Williams classic. The hazy, opiated cover of Folsom Prison Blues is chillingly brilliant. With its surprisingly risque lyrics, He’s My Marathon Man foreshadows some of her later material. And There’s No Holdin’ You is a tantalizing look at what Roman could do with a Memphis soul-tinged tune.

Wait, there’s more. Roman’s alter ego was Kitty Ford, whose much harder-rocking and often utterly bizarre 1961 album Pussycat has also been reissued on vinyl and is streaming at Bandcamp. The band – which includes piano, roller-rink organ, bass, electric guitars and occasional horns – scrambles and pounces, fueled by an uncredited, inspired extrovert drummer.

The title track is a proto Pink Panther theme. Things get seriously surreal in the faux-Middle Eastern Harry’s Harem. F.K.A. Roman gamely tackles proto-go-go soul, hi-de-ho Vegas balladry, campy proto Hairspray teen pop and bossa nova, with varying results. There’s also a faux French dixieland theme, a suspect stab at calypso and a regrettable phony cha-cha.

Allusively Sinister Lyrical Brilliance and Slyly Cynical New Wave Tunesmithing on Ward White’s New Album

“Ice cream chords” is a derisive musician’s term for cheesy, predictable changes. In the age of autotune, Microsoft Songsmith and indie rock, ice cream chords have come to reflect a rare level of craft. On his fourteenth album, streaming at Bandcamp, Ward White celebrates those and many more serious changes via various levels of subtly venomous humor, meta, and a classic anthemic sensibility.

At this point in his career, the songwriter who got his start around the turn of the century working the corners of what was then called alt-country has reached rarefied first-ballot hall-of-fame terrain typically reserved for people like David Bowie and Richard Thompson. It is not hype to say that White ranks with both: he can sing like the former if he feels like it, and like the latter can be a force of nature on the fretboard. But ultimately it’s tunesmithing that distinguishes him the most. He’s dabbled with glam, allusively macabre nonlinear art-rock (his Bob album topped the best-of-2013 list here) and new wave. Most recently White has been mining a jangly yet unpredictable three-minute song vein packed with triple entendres, literary references and frequent violence: Elvis Costello meets Warren Zevon out behind the Rat in Boston circa 1983.

This album is a slight change of pace, somewhat more lighthearted and new wave flavored: lyrically, it’s more of a Bond sci-fi weapon than a switchblade. The ravages of time are a recurrent theme. The opening number, Shorter is probably the only chorus-box guitar song ever to reference both 70s one-hit wonders Brewer & Shipley and the Police. Pulsing tightly along with White’s terse guitar and bass textures, Tyler Chester’s keys and Mark Stepro’s drums, it’s a slicker if equally aphoristic take on Tom Warnick’s Gravity Always Wins.

White can’t resist paying a visit to the Mr. Softee truck to kick off the more powerpop-flavored but similarly metaphorical Rumors: the guitar solo joke is too hilarious to spoil. With lingering tremolo guitar, airconditioned organ and a loping beat, DeSoto is not a reference to the proto-conquistador but an old Chrysler brand: violence and madness make their first appearances, quietly if not particularly efficiently.

Mezcal Moth – which has a cruelly funny spy story video on White’s homepage – is a return to skittishly strutting, cynically imagistic new wave with goofy late 60s/early 70s guitar effects. This is what happens when you eat zee bugs!

Spacy keys waft over ominously lingering tremolo guitar and gospel-tinged piano in the album’s title track, a slow, coldly imagistic anthem contemplating the perils of fame and selling out….among other things. The pace and the jokes pick up again with Like a Bridge, although the song also has the cruelest Vietnam War allusion ever committed to vinyl or its digital analogue.

“Ever get the sinking feeling your best years are behind you?” White asks in Born Again, one of his signature, meticulously detailed portraits of a real sicko. “That spattered pattern on the ceiling, that’s how they’re going to find you, you stayed too long.”

Horses is not the Patti Smith song but a subtly bossa-soul flavored original. “This inkblot Camelot is eating on me every day,” White muses and hits his fuzz pedal before continuing with an offhandedly sinister John Perkins-style deep state tale. The band pick up from a goofy Men at Work strut to lush Byrds jangle and back in Prominent Frogman: “You can bend me all the way to ten though my offer stands at nine,” White gnomically advises. There’s screaming subtext here, the question is what.

Signore is a seedy end-of-vacation scenario that wouldn’t be out of place in the Steve Wynn catalog, White tossing off some unexpected flamenco phrasing amid the warpy synth, terse piano and wry guitar-sitar lines.

The funniest joke on the album is the guitar riffage that opens 50,000 Watts Ago, but it’s only of many in this subtly caustic middle-finger salute to mockingbird radio. “I didn’t earn this nametag just by doing what I’m told/You’ll never move that Trinitron until the black-and-whites have been sold,” White warns over a distantly ominous midtempo psych-pop backdrop on the album’s final cut. Slouch.

Several of these tracks could easily qualify for best song of 2022, as could this album as a whole. Stick around a couple of weeks for when the year-end lists hit the front page here, a little late, and find out where this lands.

Frank Carlberg’s Brilliant New Album Evokes the Most Disquieting Side of Thelonious Monk

Is it possible that there have been a million Thelonious Monk tribute albums released to date? Maybe not, but it sure feels like that. Rather than trying to match an icon at his own game, pianist Frank Carlberg and his trio – bassist John Hebert and drummer Francisco Mela – have released a darkly playful, often haunting, spot-on album, Reflections 1952, streaming at 577 Records. It’s a highly improvisational take on many iconic Monk themes, inspired by the hat-wearing pianist’s iconic 1952 and 1954 Van Gelder studio sessions. There aren’t a lot of jazz pianists who really “get” Monk’s phantasmagoria – Fred Hersch is one – but for Carlberg, this is ripe territory for his signature, carnivalesque explorations. And as the song titles indicate, there are so many good jokes and quotes here that it would be just plain wrong to spoil them. Carlberg and the trio play the album release show on Jan 3 at Mezzrow, with sets at 7:30/9 PM; cover is $25 cash at the door

The opening number, Spherical Nightmares begins with a muted crash, flickers from the bass and drums. Carlberg scurries and pounces a little, takes a warm but stern detour into boogie-woogie, then backs away for a sepulchrally dancing interlude. It ends decidedly unresolved.

Carlberg’s daughter Priya contributes airy, similarly ghostly vocals on the second number, A Crowd of Gigolo, which comes across as a drifting, electroacoustic jam on America the Beautiful. Sweet and Sour, Pungent and Lovely has a loose-limbed swing: it’s as tongue-in-cheek jaunty as it is momentarily chilling, and Mela’s sotto-voce groove while Hebert dances around is priceless.

Getting to Trinkle is aptly titled: the three triangulate spacious and sprightly fragments of the famous theme, Mela and then Hebert pushing toward a flashpoint that Carlberg deviously resists.

Bemsha Cubano is an increasingly tasty, creepily tiptoeing cha-cha, Mela’s invigorating vocals notwithstanding. Carlberg ramps up the eerie Messiaenic belltones with vast expanses but also unexpected brightness in Some Things Foolish.

Paul Lichter contributes a distantly echoey spoken word pastiche of Monk quotes in Reflecting Reflections as Carlberg sagely and slowly cascades and ripples. See You Later is the most kinetically incisive number here, Mela’s rolls and frenetic hardware behind Carlberg’s insistent attack.

Nicknames is a catalogue of what writers have called Monk over the years, the trio dissecting Little Rootie Tootie with a spare pensiveness behind Lichter’s narration. The rhythm section playfully inch their way into Azure Sphere, Carlberg veering in and out of focus: the effect is just enough off-center to be utterly macabre. It’s the best song on the album – one suspects Monk would approve.

The trio close by reinventing Just a Gigolo with an utterly desolate Priya Carlberg vocal, poltergeist accents from the rhythm section and an increasingly dissociative crescendo. Is it too late to call this one of the best jazz albums of 2022?

Twangmeister Guitar Icon Eric Ambel Collects His Rare Lockdown Singles in One Place

When the 2020 lockdown was imposed on New York, guitar legend Eric Ambel decided to keep his fan base satisfied by releasing a series of rare singles at his Bandcamp page. Because no one at time knew when – or even if – live music would be decriminalized here, Ambel didn’t make an album out of them until this year. If Roscoe’s individualistic blend of virtuosity, noisy savagery and distinctively surreal humor is your thing, you can hear them all on his latest record You Asked For It!

It’s a goldmine of previously unreleased material and tracks from impossible-to-find compilations. The opening number is a gem, How ‘Bout It, a noisy, noir-tinged surf theme Ambel recorded on a 4-track with a drum machine in 1984. The title was something he would often greet his friends with at the time.

Track 2 is even noisier, a two-guitar burner of Neil Young’s Cocaine Eyes, with Chip Robinson playing rhythm, Keith Christopher on bass and Phil Cimino on drums. That one dates from 2001, from the original Williamsburg outpost of Ambel’s Cowboy Technical Services studio.

Another 2001 cover is 180 degrees from that, a slinky, soul-infused take of The Sensitive Kind, by JJ Cale, with Bob Packwood on echoey Wurly, Jeff Hill on bass and Dan Fadel on drums.

The best song on the record is all Ambel – on guitars, keys, sequencer and drum programming – doing an almost-unhinged take of a classic and rather obscure co-write with Steve Wynn, the underworld character study From a Better Place. By contrast, a Stonesy cover of Roy Hall’s Flood of Love features a full band with Christopher, Cimino, Packwood on honkytonk piano and Star City’s David Chernis on rhythm guitar.

Nick Lowe’s 12 Step Program (To Quit You Babe) makes a good segue: it’s just Ambel and Cimino banging out this wry, chugging, Exile on Main Street-inspired version. Likewise, Ambel handles all the instruments except Melanie Athena’s low-key bass on a crackling cover of Creedence’s Run Through the Jungle.

The swamp-rock rarity It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Cool, a mostly-solo original from the early 90s, wouldn’t be out of place on a late-period record by his cult-favorite 80s band, the Del-Lords. The album’s lone live concert recording, a simmering, deliciously textured take of George Harrison’s Beware of Darkness, dates from a North Carolina show sometime in the late 90s with Robinson, Cimino, and Winston Roye on bass.

Ambel flexes his acoustic chops on both guitar and banjo on a spiky recording of Ray Mason’s It’s Heartbreak That Sells. The album’s bonus track is a loping reinvention of Honky Tonk Women; there’s also a cover of All Down the Line which doesn’t have the opiated twin glimmer of the Stones original. It’s hard to imagine more smartly crafted or inspired party music than this.

Wry, Picturesque, Smartly Crafted Americana From Aaron Raitiere

He’s got a hammock hung up between a sweetgum and a piece of PVC
He’s a hot dog griller and a cold beer killer and he fights for guns and peace…
He pays cash and respects to Merle
He’s a single wide dreamer in a double wide world

If those lines grab you, you’ll appreciate Aaron Raitiere‘s debut album Single Wide Dreamer, streaming at Spotify. That’s the title track, which opens the record, the band rising from a simple fingerpicked guitar line to a chugging Americana rock groove with tremolo organ.

Raitiere is an interesting story: middle-aged corporate-adjacent tunesmith whose road warrior friends shepherded the record into existence. He’s got a great eye for detail and an aphoristic sense of humor that looks back to classic 50s and 60s Nashville.

“The old man behind the bar’s clearly gone too far, everybody’s cool with that,” he muses in the second tune, Everybody Else, “I won’t be lonely when I go to hell, you can find me with everybody else.”

For the Birds, a co-write with Miranda Lambert, is a clever litany of things worth supporting, set to what’s basically a remake of Mama Tried..with lead bass. Just a guess there was a party going on the studio when these songs were immortalized.

Cold Soup is an update on the wry cosmic country that Jimmy Buffett was writing in the early 70s. At Least We Didn’t Have Any Kids is more of a rock song: it’s less a dis than a tribute to “redneck white and blue.”

Dear Darlin’ is a useful addition to the vast repertoire of “darlin'” songs and a considerably more cynical take on the low-key side of John Prine – the jokes are too spot-on to give away.

Your Daddy Hates Me is built around a good Lou Reed joke. Raitiere goes back to John Prine detail in the otherwise carefree front-porch singalong Worst I Ever Had and then in the swaying, optimistic Can’t Rain All the Time, which has a caffeinated Robert Randolph pedal steel solo.

After all the jokes, Tell Me Something True comes as quite the surprise, testament to how the smallest details are so often the biggest tells. Raitiere goes into raucous Roger Miller rockabilly territory in You’re Crazy: “You’re a few bricks short of a house,” he explains.

He closes the album with Time Will Fly, a scrambling reflection on the passing of the seasons, spiced with nimble fingerpicking, spare piano and organ. This guy ought to stop writing ditties for corporate moppets and focus on what could be a hell of a career for himself.

Christmukah Protest Power

This blog’s approach to religious holidays is religiously Constitutional: to each his or her own. Christmas here typically means music by Jews or Muslims; Passover is more of a time for gospel. Ramadan lasts so long that it’s a fair bet that a Muslim or two makes an appearance at some point. So whatever your reason for celebrating this time of year, it’s been a long time since there’s been a list of singles on this page. Click on artist names for their webpages, click on titles for audio, video or a good laugh.

For the past couple of years, no one has chronicled the global fascist takeover more eruditely or entertainingly than novelist Margaret Anna Alice. She’s organized her amazing output by topic, from peaceful resistance to Covid concentration camps, along with her Letter to a Holocaust Denier and her classic poem Ode to a Whisteblower. Reiner Fuellmich’s hourlong Corona Committee interview with her is a must-watch if you have the time (and if you don’t, she covers everything in her notes here). And now, Chicago protest song crew Visceral Adventure have made a music video for her haunting poem Do You Remember. The sight gag at 1:55 is priceless – but don’t just fast forward, stick around for the whole thing.

Speaking of Visceral Adventure, here’s The Spike Girls doing their cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s Sounds of Silence: “The words of the prophets are written in Substack mail, and Twitter jail…”

Westboro, Massachusetts’ fearless Groen Family Productions give us a rousing, inspiring (and kinda musically cheesy) Hanukah classic.

In addition to being arguably the world’s foremost (and most accessible) expert on VAERS injury and death data, Dr. Jessica Rose is also a musician and composer. Lately she’s been writing deviously amusing, cinematic synth instrumentals with titles like Thank Him For His Email and Then Cut Him Off.

Violinist Lindsey Stirling’s version of Carol of the Bells – via paradigm-shifting researcher and physician A Midwestern Doctor – takes the theme to a lush, orchestral new level

Of all the freedom fighters on Substack, the most lyrical writer of them all is Amy Sukwan. She is also a powerful, soulful singer – and a memestress par excellence. This Ohio mermaid and her Nickelback poster is typical of what you get in her frequent meme dumps.

Check out tireless British activist Frances Leader‘s snarky and spot-on Intellectual Pyramid

On a more serious tip, Dr. Pam Popper unpacks Canada’s New Program for Depressed People. Start the video at 3:30: if you’re in Canada, people can be euthanized for depression now. And it gets worse: “Killing a baby is an option? An option, by these diabolical people…3% of all Canadian deaths last year were from euthanasia. It’s the highest number of euthanasia deaths in the world since 1945.”

And finally, a classic video from the summer of 2020, I Just Got Back From a Full Day of Being a Good Person: “Decided to trick my own mind into thinking that compliance is a virtue. It’s not. It’s cowardice.” Via the Random Archivist a.k.a. tireless plandemic chronicler Mathew Aldred.

Fearless and Entertaining Words From a Leader of the New School of Music Writing

It was no surprise to watch how the groupthink that captured the corporate media and most of social media in 2020 extended to the world of music writing as well. So it was a great pleasure to read today’s piece by self-described “apostate music journalist” Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, one of the most thoughtful and entertaining voices in this demimonde. In a world which has largely been co-opted by Gates Foundation and CIA money, his Substack is a welcome oasis of sanity and intelligence. His latest piece (which sends a very generous shout out to this blog) involves an immersively beautiful album by Renaissance choir Anonymous 4...and how he’s decided to go public as a freedom fighter.

“My daughter was born two weeks before Christmas, and I’m being 100% sincere when I tell her that she’s the greatest Christmas gift I’ve ever gotten. I felt very connected with Christmas as a kid myself, but having my own child enter the world at this time of year has forever punctuated this point on the calendar as a herald of light, of new life and the wonder of all that’s to come. I still feel that way even though I’m well into that stretch of parenting where you get past the glow of baby-hood and you start to navigate what feel like treacherous waters. As she shows the first stirrings of a genuine despair within her spirit — an inner turmoil I didn’t expect would take root until her teen years — it’s much like the winter solstice in reverse, as I prepare for the individual darkness within her to emerge and grow and spill over into the outer world (as it does with all people).

Nevertheless, I feel a boost these days, like a cool breeze of good tidings blowing my way… a tide that can uplift the vessel of my life, my family, my home, and my community. The feeling, oddly enough, is quite strong even though it has a newborn kind of quality to it.

Since covid upended life for much of the human population in the spring of 2020 — an experience, I should mention, that was overwhelmingly positive for me on balance — it’s nevertheless become clear that humanity is now faced with confronting a malevolence that exists on a scale I never would’ve been able to imagine. I mean, I was able to imagine it, I just couldn’t comprehend it — certainly not as something I would have to find a way to contend with.

We have, I’m convinced, arrived at an inflection point in history where science fiction is no longer fiction. The dystopian horrors we’ve envisioned for decades via movies and books have manifested in earnest, having crossed the line from fantasy into reality. That worst that we imagined is here, no longer something we can keep projecting into some fuzzy “not-too-distant” point down the road.”

Click here to read the rest.

Radio City Spies on You With Facial Recognition Technology…and Can Kick You Out If They Don’t Like You

If you’re thinking of going to Radio City anytime soon, be aware that they’re using facial recognition technology there. And that if they don’t like you, they can kick you out. Even if you have a ticket.

Investigative journalist and songwriter Tessa Lena reports how attorney Kelly Conlon brought her daughter there on a school trip, only to be accosted by security guards who denied her entry. Conlon was separated from her child because she works for a New Jersey law firm who are currently involved with litigation against a restaurant affiliated with Madison Square Garden, who also run Radio City. Click here for the rest of this ugly story.

Presumably, this means that ticketholders at other venues in the MSG empire, which includes the Beacon Theatre, will be subjected to FaRT surveillance.

Tessa, who is a powerful singer and has a devastatingly ironic Slavic sense of humor, has also reposted a couple of her favorite protest song videos: the Angry Albertan Ensemble doing their satire The 12 Doses of Christmas, and the Lena Belle classic It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Fascism.

In Memoriam: Stanley Drucker

Stanley Drucker, credited by the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest career of any classical clarinetist, died at his daughter’s home outside San Diego on December 19. He was 93.

Born in Brooklyn in 1929, Drucker was playing chamber music professionally by the time he was in his teens. After symphony orchestra positions in Indianapolis and Buffalo, Drucker joined the New York Philharmonic in 1948, at 19. He was appointed Principal Clarinetist in 1960 by Leonard Bernstein and held that position through 2009.

After his retirement from the orchestra, Drucker continued playing. At a 2014 performance of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony, which he played from memory, his legendary technique and crystalline tone were undiminished, even after more than ten thousand concerts.

Throughout his career, Drucker championed contemporary composers; his best-known release on album is a 1980 recording of John Corigliano’s clarinet concerto with the Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta. A fan of the Benny Goodman swing he grew up listening to, Drucker was also an accomplished jazz player.

Drucker is survived by several grandchildren as well as his clarinetist wife Naomi, his daughter Rosanne, and his son Lee Rocker, the bassist and co-founder of second-wave rockabilly legends the Stray Cats.

The Philharmonic has released a slideshow which includes highlights from throughout Drucker’s legendary career.