Saturday, September 13, 2008

Jake Langley, Movin' & Groovin', Alma

Remember Wes Montgomery and Jimmy Smith on, say, Dynamic Duo? Well, this is right there. You can talk all you want about how they put a modernist touch on it, blah, blah, blah, but the fact is, it's just an old-fashioned organ, guitar, drums trio romp, and a butt-kicking one at that.

Joey DeFrancesco (and though the Jakester leads this session, this is, in fact, Joey D's working trio) plays the Hammond JS left him when he passed and I figure Jimmy must have been taking a break at Club Heaven and channeled some inspiration the way of this session. I don't think Langley was playing Wes Montgomery's old guitar, but he might as well have been. You walk away from Bobby Timmons Dis Here drenched in bluesy soul. They're flat-out symbiotic on Canadian Sunset. Great stuff.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Happy birthday to me...

For which I bought The Complete Dean Benedetti Recordings of Charlie Parker from the wonderful folks at Mosaic, which Scott Yanow on allmusic refers to as "quite unlistenable." Now, I like Scott Yanow's AMG entries and books and find them to be, generally, useful guides. But here, he's plain wrong, especially if you've delved into the accessible Charlie Parker (Yardbird Suite: The Ultimate Collection and JSP's Charlie Parker: A Studio Chronicle come to mind) and want more, more, more.

The first more, more for me was The Complete Savoy Live Performances (mostly at the Royal Roost) and more recently The Complete Savoy and Dial Studio Recordings (which is basically what you get on the JSP set, plus all the alternate takes, which, as this is Charlie Parker, inevitably are different every take and instructive, if not scintillating, which they often are).

So comes the Benedetti recordings, by a guy who was actually an accomplished musician and musicologist, not a degenerate heroin dealer, as thoroughly incorrect legend has it, who put a recorder (tape and disk, not wire, again as legend has it) to Parker live at performances in California and New York, after Bird's stint in rehab in Camarillo and his return to New York, which is to say at the height of his powers.

Dean Benedetti, more or less, turned on the recorder when CP soloed and turned it off otherwise. Would I like to hear all of every set? Sure. Does it matter that I am listening as I type this to one Charlie Parker solo (more or less) after another? No. The music is incredible. I kept waking up last night with it playing in my head after listening to it before bedding down. That's powerful. The sound is fine, even really good, if you consider where it came from. The hair on my body stands on end sometimes listening to this stuff.