Sunday, December 23, 2007
Brubeck's Quartet through Brubeck & Rushing (a super outing with the blues shouting Mr. Five by Five), Jazz at the College of Pacific and Jazz at Oberlin defines "smooth" jazz in the good sense, rendered with nary a jagged edge but still adventurous, creative and full of surprises. They still take risks, they're just good enough to walk the tightrope without falling, and they can swing like mad, kind of like a smaller version of Duke Ellington's orchestra. (And outside of Johnny Hodges and Charlie Parker, I don't know an altoist with a more distinctive sound than Paul Desmond. I'd throw Benny Carter in there, too, although I think his sound got a little less distinctive over the years from all the people who appropriated it.)
Proof that "smooth" jazz doesn't have to be boring.
Will end the session with the classic Time Out, of course.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Incredibly exciting music with, amazingly, not the least bit of dated feeling to it.
Then I'm sitting here and suddenly realizing I am frigging mesmerized by The Hen.
No wonder this stuff upset people when it came out. It's radical, man.
And I love it.
His synthesis of blues, rock and reggae, even a little country, on Plantation Town is particularly impressive.
Friday, December 14, 2007
I thought his most recent thing, Zion Crossroads, was shades of Bob Marley (although none of the tunes were Marley's and almost all of the music was of his own manufacture) and yet in doing all this, his musical voice is unique, which tells me that genius money was well spent. I'm interested to see what's next.
My reservation: it's generally downbeat mood music (The Uprising, more or less, excepted). OK, it's about the aftermath of Katrina, but there must be something lively to touch on musically there. Kind of thing I'll play on a rainy day and dig as appropriate moodwise, but maybe not when the sun is shining.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
nothing bad can happen and, I add, I am sure to be content.
The kind of place I think about when I am having a root canal.
The Velvet Lounge in Chicago. Especially when saxophones are wailing,
two of them, both tenors no less (Eliel Sherman Storey and Paul Pakisa Fenner, although the former does alto and soprano as well). Drummer Su Ra Ramses' E.S.P. Project, which belongs to the Chicago AACM lineage and is well worth catching.
The Old Style is cold, too.
-- From Mr. Greg's Sidekick II
Monday, November 12, 2007
Likewise, Charlie Parker and the alto saxophone in general. Sonny Stitt, about as good a player as there ever has been, quit playing it for a long time (switched to tenor) largely to get out of Parker's shadow.
Benny Carter didn't, however, I have to think because he was such a great arranger and composer as well as a sax player that he felt secure enough as a musician to keep doing what he did. This must be the case with Lanny Morgan as well, who has pieces of Parker and Carter (listen to Broadway) in his own alto sound, which I think of, as I listen to this disk, as pristine.
He gets at least a slice of Body and Soul back from Hawk on a really nice rendition and I think his version of I'll Remember April is groovy. Nifty Latiny, bluesy, uptempo version of Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most. Yardbird would surely have dug it.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Breathless for me listening that is. Fred Anderson never loses his breath as far as I can tell.
He's a national not just a Chicago treasure in my opinion, and is still wonderful today. But he was certainly at his best when this (excellent quality) tape of a live performance in Milwaukee was made in 1980.
Hamid Drake is strong as well, not a surprise. It's hard for me to think of a more sympathetic tenor and drums pair. Maybe Mr. Rollins and Max Roach or Coltrane and Elvin Jones, the latter probably being the better comparison because of Drake's prominence here, basically as a another front-line player rather than a sideman, which was often the case with Jones.
This is a quartet date with Billy Brimfield on trumpet and bassist Larry Hayrod and when Brimfield solos, as on Black Woman and Bombay (Children of Cambodia), it reminds me of seeing Anderson last year at the Velvet Lounge in Chicago, Anderson's place, with Roy Campbell (and Henry Grimes), one of my favorite live jazz experiences. Bombay is great ensemble improvising all around.
Second volume of the Milwaukee tapes coming and I'm buying.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
On some cuts, like Unseen and Unknown, he travels along the edge of the outside a lot like Larry Young on Unity or Lawrence of Newark (my favorite) and that works much better. Just another reason I'm thinking Baby Face was a heck of a multifaceted player who didn't get recorded enough.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
On the funk-eee end of things, he reminds me of the great Jimmy Smith, but he has more of a church organ tinge than J.S., kind of like Freddie Roach, but not as overt as Roach. I appreciate the color it adds and the subtlety with which he adds it.
This one leans more to funk and soul than Face to Face, which is more jazzy and bluesy and displays the church influence a bit more prominently, but they're both good. Jimmy Smith certainly would have appreciated Roll 'Em Pete. Bantu Penda makes me think of Benny Golson's composing for some reason.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Like the force of nature, the music is awe inspiring and unsettling at the same time. You don't dance to it or tap your foot, but it makes my hair stand on end.
I also think of it as a very accomplished and logical extension of late Coltrane, his larger band works like Ascension, for instance. If Albert Ayler had ever found enough like-minded and like-skilled players for a group as large as an octet it might have sounded this way as well.
In short Brötzmann, Evan Parker, Peter Kowald, Sven-Ake Johansson, et al created a near-perfect work of free jazz in 1968 that sounds fresh, and unrelentingly cool, to me almost 40 years later. What a wonderful reissue.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
-- From Mr. Greg's Sidekick II
local landmark. The music notes are a nice touch.
Slipping over to St. Louis tonight to catch saxman Willie Akins, one of
those local legends, like Fred Hess, Ernie Krivda or Bootsie Barnes not
too well known beyond home, but who should be.
-- From Mr. Greg's Sidekick II
Friday, October 12, 2007
thinking, geez, that's good guitar, bass and drums.
Duh, as I found out when I pit stopped at a rest area and took a look:
Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins.
Redman sounds good as well, but very Sonny Rollins like. This is a nifty
disk on its own, but interesting to contrast with his stuff today as
well. He really has grown as a player and I now hear all Joshua Redman
even when he's playing some Rollins material, as on his recent, very
good, trio CD Back East.
I still think that, like Sonny Rollins, he's most impressive live.
-- From Mr. Greg's Sidekick II
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Chris Potter 10, Song(s) for Anyone is a "with strings" session I got all the way through the first time and barely remembered hearing the strings. That's how well the compositions, all Potter's, and the group improvisation work, integrate to generate the sound he’s after. I think Against the Wind is a particularly good example of this. Likewise Closer to the Sun.
His saxophone stands out on the cuts, too, (with Coltrane-like power on the latter) and on the disk in general, which is a good thing. It occurred to me listening that he has to be one of the best of the younger veteran tenorists (also soprano on this) going today, in a league with, if different from, Branford Marsalis or Joe Lovano. (He's the equal of a Marsalis or the late Michael Brecker on his CD Gratitude as well.) I’ve got to think Sonny Rollins would dig All By All, a bluesy ballad with a western tinge that sounds like it could have come off Rollins’ Way Out West.
I noticed the strings more the second time through, but I was listening for them in checking my first impression. They’re definitely part of the mix in music that made me think of it as sweeping, soaring, towering, epic, jaunty, free, sophisticated and a logical extension of Miles Davis’ last great acoustic quintet, among other things, as it progressed. But the strings are never obtrusive. Stellar 21st Century jazz.
(I’m calling it a strings session. It’s not billed that way. But when a session includes violin, viola, cello, bass and guitar, I’d say that’s that pretty stringy. More than a horn with strings thing, however, because his tenet includes, besides drums and percussion, a clarinet, flute and bassoon. Michael Rabinowitz on the latter is just a natural jazz guy, classical instrument or not.)
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
The other night I saw James Carter play a saxophone concerto, written for him by composer Roberto Sierra, with the local symphony, which was cool (and pretty jazzy). After, somebody I was talking to about it pointed me to this clip.
Chasin' the Gypsy is the prime CD on which to hear J.C. wrestle this beast.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Also strikes me that this is jazz, like 30 years after the heyday of swing, whose beat must have compelled people to get their feet moving, as in dancing. Funk-eee. Great driving, as in an automobile, music as well. A powerful pulse (from Michael Henderson's bass) also makes it great driving music musically.
That said, there are sections more in an electric free jazz or electronica or trance vein. In other words, Miles was pushing the envelope ... again.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Kind of nifty all the places a good disk can take you. Magic, like in time machine.
(Favorite tracks: I'll Work for Your Love, Long Walk Home and secret track 12. It's all good.)
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Charles Tolliver gets in some strong Woody Shaw-like licks and tenorist Joe Farrell plays with the verve and sophistication that Joe Henderson was about this time (1968). Tolliver and Farrell are strong in ensemble as well, which struck me in particular on Black Sabbath and Dance With Death, but is true pretty much throughout.
You could also class this as the Jazz Messengers taken out closer to the edge of the avant-garde, although not over it.
Density, in an ideas and stuff happening sense, is the word that comes to mind whenever I am listening to Andrew Hill, especially his '60s Blue Note sessions.
Monday, September 24, 2007
This is the acoustic playing by Miles Davis most reliant on power versus subtlety, at least that I can recall sitting here now; he blows like he would later in his electric bands, where he's strongest in a trumpeting sense over the course of his career, I think.
On Teo, he lets loose in a way that says he could have been Dizzy, or Maynard Ferguson, if that had been his thing.
I think he pulls Hank Mobley along with him (for instance on Walkin') as well and Mobley's playing is another thing in this set's favor. Nice addition to the Blackhawk sessions in the coverage I have of a Davis quintet that, along with the George Coleman group, doesn't get the attention deserved because of their transitional nature between the two landmark quintets with Coltrane-Garland-Chambers-Jones and Shorter-Hancock-Carter-Williams.
Miles pretty much has to play strong to stand out on three numbers with the Gil Evans Orchestra performed in the same concert at Carnegie. Maybe that carried over into the quintet pieces. He's even loud, fast and aggressive with the mute in place.
Crosses my mind that this, in fact, is a neat snapshot of his band in transition and his own playing, too, a movement toward the sound, less pretty but even more interesting, he ultimately will have in the second great quintet.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
this on my way to do some interviews this morning. It marks Miles' old
From Austin (ACL festival) to New York (Sonny Rollins in Carnegie Hall,
not to mention Kurt Rosenwinkel-Mark Turner at the Village Vanguard and
Marcus Strickland at the Zinc Bar) to East St. Louis (work) in a week.
I need a nap.
-- From Mr. Greg's Sidekick II
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Maybe he was, although he might not (probably wouldn't) have couched it that way.
He was, in a sense, musically an example of superposition and entanglement, for instance, his music often in multiple states at once (bop and cool, cool and hard bop, hard bop and modal, modal and free, modal free electrically charged abstraction and all of the above mixed with rock, funk and proto hip hop) and the various elements of his musical development are at a base level linked over space and time.
Side note: While thinking about this I happened to read a Jazz Improv interview with saxophonist Sue Terry, who talks about composing in a quantum fashion (in "particles," that is phrases, which she doesn't necessarily arrive at or assemble in a linear fashion but rather which come together kind of organically starting, perhaps, at the end, or even in the middle in a process that, in essence, leaps back and forth in time).
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
That's by way of saying what he does here fits the title track. It's thoughtful, intricate music generally paced as neither ballad nor burner, more in the nature of a steadily flowing musical idea stream. Probably overstating a bit, there are variations in the pace, just not in typical ways. Animated Concept of Being may be slower, but it strikes me as a lament rather than being ballady. I don't hear any I've Got Rhythm changes in Release, a faster piece, either.
I think I'd like to hear him reach down into the horn more, but this is a good modern session skirting the border of, and sometimes sticking a toe over, the avant-garde. The instrumentation, sax, vibes, guitar, bass and drums gives it a rockish pulse that contributes to the not-your-father's jazz feeling. Nice Mike Pinto vibes solo on Free the Blues and on In the Wall. I like guitarist Mike Moreno as well. Kind of thing that will make me scoff at the next jazz obituary I read.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Sunday, August 19, 2007
The four CD-box covers proto-rock boogie-woogie, jump, R&B saxophonists only a few of which I know much about (Illinois Jacquet, Arnett Cobb, Willis "Gator Jackson, Buddy Tate) and while the music may not be serious art it is serious fun and guys like Wild Bill, Big Jay McNeely and Earl Bostic could flat blow. Not a boring cut in the lot. Great stuff.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Overall, it makes me think of Gerry Mulligan's Concert Jazz Band. The arranging (of songs associated with Bobby Darin) and the execution are stellar. No real curve balls, but a lot of exciting, pristine music where the plethora of nifty solos is like the icing (and, heck, ice cream) on the luscious super-cohesive cake of the ensemble playing. (I think all the more of Mulligan when guest baritonist Scott Robinson weighs in, as on The More I See You and Work song.)
They take A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square upbeat and apace, a contrast to the Sonny Rollins' version on This Is What I Do, which I revere but which always makes me feel a little sad when I hear it. Anat's sprightly clarinet work on I Can't Give You Anything But Love had me grinning on the other hand, but she can make it pull you the other way, too, and does on All The Way. Frahm on tenor and her brother Avishai on trumpet have nice solos on the latter as well.
Nature Boy is the only thing that tops six minutes (barely) and it's impressive how much they're able to work into mostly four- and five-minute pieces. Skill in buckets. A New Orleans-style treatment of Some Of These Days and a bluesy Black Coffee with Frahm's tenor and Vic Juris on electric guitar anchoring it are two other things I liked a lot. And I'd have to say nobody's made jazz this good of Mack The Knife ( again, with a distinct air of Congo Square) since Mr. Rollins and Moritat on Saxophone Colossus.
Friday, August 17, 2007
I'm saying Sidney Bechet and Benny Goodman, maybe even irascible Artie Shaw, would have been standing in the back of the room thinking, well hell, she is kicking my butt.
Stuff like Hofim (Beaches) and The Purple Piece (Cohen's composition) threaten to make the clarinet more than a novelty in jazz again. In between, she trots out her classical and Latin interests (sometimes with strategic strings) and as interest goes there's nothing here that isn't interesting. The with-strings recasting of Coltrane's Lonnie's Lament makes me appreciate Coltrane even more, not to mention Anat and the band playing it. Scintillating.
Must mention pianist Jason Lindner and bassist Omer Avital, who are perfect accompanists.
Could have happened. Dizzy Gillespie was a noted joker after all, although Max Roach strikes me as having been a tad too serious for it. Still, he seems to be having a lot of fun on Max + Dizzy Paris 1989, a duet set with two guys who obviously had no problem playing together.
Salt Peanuts always gets my attention in particular when I listen to this because Dizzy takes it almost as an avant-garde piece and Max, not a youngster even in 1989, is amazing in the number of things he can accomplish on his kit at the same time, which I guess gets to the center of why everybody is writing about him today as a guy who made the drums a frontline instrument. One interlude where he's creating thunderous complexity on the drums and maintaining the pulse with the hi-hat, too, is especially nifty. On The Underground, they're basically symbiotic, creating a two-man improvisation that more or less unfolds simultaneously. They either read minds or knew each other, and their business, very well.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Six of the nine songs are her compositions and she's marvelous at that, too, with some post bop (Homeland, with Middle Eastern/traditional Jewish touches worked in, something of a motif in her stuff here) that reminds me of Wayne Shorter's more advanced material and Latin-inflected pieces that use the Latin influence as precision coloring rather than overtly. Pour Toi is a ballad impressive in both its melancholy and complexity. Gotta think Gerry Mulligan would have dug her sprightly tenor rendition of his As Catch Can.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
He has it most readily adopted by republican France and then, for example, by the Scandinavian countries (Nazi occupied in World War II) and Eastern block nations like Poland. After the war, he posits that the way people in Germany and Japan latched onto the music was symbolic of the post-war change in their societies. Meanwhile, Britain, stratified socially, was slower to appreciate it (and still lags in the extent and quality of its jazz offerings in my experience).
Personally, I think factors such as European traditions in avant-garde music, and art, have a lot to do with it as well. But I want to see if I can find more writing along the lines of Carr's thesis.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
2) Albert takes repeated listening to "get," appreciate. As visceral as this music is, it's also highly intellectual. Your mind has to be engaged to reap the full benefit.
3) Anybody who thnks Albert just couldn't play is A) not listening, B) didactic, or C) stupid. He does things with his horn that wouldn't seem to be possible. And every once in awhile he lets loose with a snatch Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster or any other "inside" player would have been proud to issue.
4) I'm regularly amazed with the size of the sound these guys put out. You would think he had the Marine Corps band working with him on F# Tune (a favorite), not a quintet.
I was worried about the sound quality when I bought this. It's mostly amateur or broadcast tapes of live sets. But the quality is actually pretty good for the most part. The Coltrane funeral cut isn't good, but it's acceptable given the historic nature.
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Friday, August 03, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
I don't remember why I didn't like this much when I bought it. There's a diversity of music, avant-garde jazz and classical, Italian folk, Spanish-like quitar, fusion; it's even operatic in places, all from a quartet, albeit one that plays a heck of a lot of instruments. Some interludes remind me of (much bigger) Pink Martini. Sclavis is consistently memorable on his clarinets.
If someone asked me for an example of modern third stream jazz, this would be a good one.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
I say standards, but a lot of these probably weren't at the time, like Heath's On the Trail and Kenny Dorham's Blue Bossa, so another advantage to this is hearing them fresh, before they've been worked over by all kinds of players for a few decades. Mosaic did wonders with the sound, again. What the band does with the popper The Shadow of Your Smile is classic jazz. Farmer's solo in particular is just pristine and Dailey's comes near matching it.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
The guys who really struck me, however, are George Wettling on drums, who anchors everything perfectly, pianist Jimmy McPartland, excellent comping, and trumpeter Billy Butterfield, with some great solos. Generally joyous music and pristine sound from Mosaic's remastering. Their rendering of Chicago is an improvisational feast even a free jazz lover can appreciate.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Pristine musicianship all around often with a Latin tinge in balanced not overpowering measure. Cohen plays tenor, alto and soprano saxes and clarinet, is accomplished on all of them, but really stands out on the latter, which could use a torch bearer these days having been largely relegated to second string (or third, or the bench) in jazz from its swing heyday. She could be as Pee Wee Russell was in late career to clarinet and bop, only young enough to drive the instrument for a long time.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
One is Body and Soul on the first disk, in which they barely refer to the original and yet, on close listening, are obviously working from it as a base. An incredible piece of in situ improvising.
The other is Afro Blue on the second disk. I love Coltrane playing this on every CD I own where he does (four now), but he's secondary here (in part because the tape runs out on his closing run). He hands off to Sanders for the first extended solo and Pharoah treats things about as gently as a horde of Visigoths sacking Rome, which his sax eventually ends up sounding like, leading into a pained, moaning vocal that's hard to separate from the sound of the horn. Just what he intended, I suspect. A long interlude of Garrett and Jimmy Garrison weaving a wonderful bass duet follows.
Too bad about the tape problem. Coltrane sounds like he might have been inspired by what came before, but we don't get to hear all of that inspiration come out.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Wallace's sax accommodates the advances of Rollins, Coltrane, Shorter, et al, (not to mention Hawk, Ben Webster and Ike Quebec) but in a voice of his own. Some memorable trumpet soloing from Terell Stafford and nice ensemble playing overall. The program progresses like a wonderful narrative story, with the tendency to captivate, right down to a great ending in Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Harry, despondent over his inability to defeat the prince of darkness, what's-his-nameless, goes on a tequila bender and chokes to death on his own vomit.
Wow, I didn't see that coming. Nifty though.
Friday, July 13, 2007
What's important about this? 1) Shows the underlying beauty of the music to start. 2) Recasts, but travels along the same path as, the freely improvised elements of the piece, graphically illustrating that none of it was just randomly issued sound.
A great tool for understanding a great piece of music, and some excellent musicianship displayed in the process to boot. Don't forget the original.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Makes some sense to me. I do know I've always found Coltrane's music, at least from Cresecent on, almost painfully spiritual. A Love Supreme is like a sacred work, to me and a lot of other people, and I think Ascension, which Nisenson doesn't feel worked very well, preferring Meditations as the height of later Coltrane, can be almost scary in the boundaries it probes depending on your state of mind when listening.
Other thing I learned: Coltrane (and band) did LSD with some regularity in making his later music, according to Nisensen, who appears to have valid sources. Interesting, but not surprising, I think, given LSD's place in the '60s, a searching decade spiritually and in a lot of other ways. Beyond just getting high, acid was considered a tool for consciousness expanding after all.
Good read, nice bare-bones personal biography, excellent music biography.
Monday, July 09, 2007
Nisenson points out as well that Coltrane later repeats the chant on his tenor in a human voice-like fashion, which I'd noticed before, of course, but never really thought about. In New Orleans, and before, jazz and proto-jazz musicians worked to capture vocal qualities on their instruments (Morton, Bechet and Armstrong, among others). However, I think it is, in a more abstracted form, an integral quality of free, avant-garde jazz, a step on the way to the pure sound experiments that eventually resulted. Meaning A Love Supreme really does point the way to what Coltrane would be doing next, kind of like Miles and In a Silent Way.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
I have to think the jack-booted thugs at the NSA make it point to keep an eye on you if you buy this. Radical, subversive and as energetic as a triple espresso. Note to self: don't ever listen to it just before bedtime.
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Pairing his horn, whatever horn, and Cassandra Wilson's bluesy, boozy voice is genius.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
From "It's About That Time: Miles Davis On and Off Record," by Richard Cook, who gets around having written yet-another Miles' biography by viewing Davis' life through the prism of Cook's picks for his seminal albums. I'm early into it at this point and not certain how well that works.
I think great jazz groups can have a fingerprint-like sound as well, whether driven by their leaders or the players in the ensemble, for instance Miles Davis' two great quintets, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Coltrane's classic quartet, any group Mingus led and the orchestras of Ellington and Basie.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Friday, April 13, 2007
Friday, March 16, 2007
Then there's this excellent CD from 1990. First, a young Joey D. benefits greatly from side dudes like Illinois Jacquet, Jerome Richardson, Milton Hinton and John Scofield. Second, this might be as good as he's ever played on a recording. So let's not get carried away, my friend.
The big surprise on this: smooth saxman Kirk Whalum, who wails. I don't know, maybe it was being on a session with a sax legend like Jacquet.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Saturday, March 10, 2007
What a great format to hear Monk in, not as sparse a soundscape as his solo recordings, although I like them as well, but with his piano as the only "lead" instrument you get an unobstructed view, so to speak, of his playing. I kept waiting for Charlie Rouse to come in at first, a feeling which passed about halfway through Nutty, the first cut. Excellent versions of Blue Monk and Trinkle Tinkle.
I still think of Monk and his quartets with Rouse as the heights, but I am really glad I read about this Spanish import and bought it. Doesn't lack for commodious sidemen either, Art Blakey, Max Roach and Percy Heath among them.
I'm in no hurry to set a date, but I think I'd like someone to spin up Monk playing Just a Gigolo at the end of my funeral.
Friday, March 09, 2007
Joe McPhee should be on the front line in any discussion of freely improvised jazz from the late '60s on. He's like Ron Carter in his ubiquity on great sessions. Great saxophonist, too, in the manner of Pharoah Sanders, albeit with a sound all McPhee. But I get giddy when he pulls out his pocket trumpet, which I hear him using as a nifty tool for adding different colors to his pieces, like Message from Demark here.
A second CD in the package (and two cuts on the first CD) adds a professional quality concert recording by the core group plus two other horns. The music also is excellent and has an Art Ensemble of Chicago feel. This was a great purchase.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Booker Little has some memorable trumpet solos and the rhythm section is Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb, who all sound like they enjoyed playing with this guy. I wanna get some more Frank Strozier.
I liked Stephen Scott playing with Sonny Rollins and he does a nice job for Foster as well. Tasty Christian McBride arco interlude on When April Comes.
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Waiting on the edge to see if Monk is gong to hit that next note sometimes affects me in the same way, even though I know he is. He's scary, man.
But I've always liked horror movies and Stephen King novels, too.
Great Butch Warren bass solo on Light Blue.
Friday, March 02, 2007
Oh, and this one has Wayne Shorter, Pepper Adams, Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner (god-like on It Might As Well Be Spring) and Ron Carter in the band. 'Nuff said.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
I don't know of anybody who gets more out of a penny whistle. I realize not everyone likes this stuff. To me, it is the sound of joy and ingenious.
A line I want to remember from Nat Hentoff, remembering the late jazz critic and historian in a column in today's Wall Street Journal.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Also reminds me of his Pulitzer-winning opus on slavery, segregation and racism "Blood on the Fields," and the songs with lyrics generally have a political or social message; the disproportionate number of black men in prison, the homeless, the unfulfilling nature of consumerism (in the form of a frenetic Sanon scat on "Doin' (Y)Our Thing"). I think he's going to get some flak for "These Are Those Soulful Days," which takes a poke at the gangster end of hip-hop. But the message is worth considering and the music the message is wrapped around is wonderful. It's followed by "Where Y'all At?," on which Marsalis bends rap, second line style, to his own purposes.
Not every song is overtly message driven. "Find Me" is a pretty, bluesy ballad. "Supercapitalism" had me thinking of children's songs, Freddie Hubbard's '70s stuff and Gershwin. Go figure?
Some nice sax playing by Walter Blanding (tenor and soprano, where I can hear some Coltrane in his playing) as well, both solo and in the ensemble.
Maybe a tad too much singing for my tastes, but very interesting all the way through. Music writer at work loaned me a review copy of this. (Comes out in March.) I will buy it.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
But I think the actual "rhythm" section has a whole lot to do with it, especially drummer Joe Morello, whose soling is as front line as Desmond's on the alto.