"Jazz is sometimes seen as a history of great individual voices, instrumental soloists whose sound has the indelible singularity of a fingerprint."
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
I've read that Tony Williams didn't think, in essence, that he played beyond his obvious technical proficiency enough. I think Tony should have stuck to drums. He's as explorative as Coltrane on this (at least before 1964). Good Morning Heartache reminds me of a Sonny Rollins exploration, same kind of probing the boundaries at the same kind of length, albeit with a different voice. Miles did fine with Wayne Shorter, but he should have kept George Coleman around longer.
Friday, April 13, 2007
What Kenny G could have been if he hadn't gone bad. Mariano's Boston All Stars, OJC, which I already owned, is a great bunch of bop from the '50s. This, from the late '90s, shows he wasn't just sitting around for 48 years. He makes me think Lee Konitz in places, Kenny Garrett, with Miles in Miles' electric period no less, in others, with a healthy nod to freely improvised jazz. Ranges from an extension of post-Miles acoustic (the Shorter-Hancock-Carter-Williams era) to an extension of fusion. Vic Juris guitar, Deter Ilg bass stand out, too.