The United States is in the midst of a natural gas boom — about 200,000 gas wells have been drilled in the past decade. The boom has been fueled by the use of hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — which involves pumping a mixture of water and chemicals into the ground to get access to the gas. The rush to extract natural gas has helped the economy pick up in places like Pennsylvania, but it also has raised questions that scientists can't yet answer about potential health and environmental problems. Some argue that the benefits of the natural gas boom outweigh the risks, but others say no fracking way. A group of experts took on that dispute in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate, held at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado. They faced off two against two in an Oxford-style debate on the motion: "The Natural Gas Boom Is Doing More Harm Than Good."
From his emergence in the mid-Eighties to the present, pianist Cyrus Chestnut has declared himself a committed stylist completely infatuated with his instrument and the art he’s sworn allegiance to, jazz. Chestnut has consistently shown himself an improviser of rare ingenuity and grace, yet what most distinguishes him from other gifted pianists of our era may be the sheer pleasure that radiates from all that he plays. While the characteristic cheer that Chestnut displays on "Natural Essence" can be attributed to his undiminished vigor and attentiveness, the presence of his notable cohorts also contributes to the leader’s focus. With the dynamic Lenny White on drums and the redoubtable Buster Williams on bass Cyrus & company breathe new life and vitality into that most venerable of jazz ensemble formats, the piano trio.