Saturday, January 10, 2009

Some More David Murray & The Future of Modern Jazz

I was pretty excited by Ken Laster's post below, on the Nu Jazz label. Since I began posting on jazz at my political blog, South Dakota Politics, I have felt a little guilty. I concentrated my attentions on the great bop and post-bop heroes, and largely neglected contemporary jazz musicians. The reasons are easy to list. Older music has been vetted by time. We know who the great horn players of the 1950's were. But mostly, the older stuff was cheaper. You could get Kind of Blue for under ten bucks, or for free from a record club, but new jazz recordings would cost you fifteen bucks or more.

And then comes eMusic. These guys should really be paying me a stipend. I have download tons of classic jazz from them for maybe three or four dollars a disc. Most of what I have purchased from eMusic has been decades old, but not all of it. I have a lot of Eric Alexander, for example, that is very new. And that's the point.

Jazz has always been a refined taste. But it can build and keep an audience if the price is right. I suspect that online only record labels may be the solution to affordable contemporary jazz. Today I have been listening to Tineke Postma's first album, which I downloaded from eMusic. It's mellow and much to be treasured. At 3$ a CD I'll buy 5 CDs. At 15$ a CD, I won't buy one.

Anyway, I have been digging into the work of David Murray lately. The Duet album with Mal Waldron, Silence, is astounding. Fortunately, eMusic has a bunch of his recordings. Tonight I have been listening to Morning Song. John Hicks plays piano, Reggie Workman and Ray Drummond on bass, and Ed Blackwell on drums. I have been messmerized by Murray's more avant garde recordings, Ming and The Hill. This is much more Page Three jazz: sticking to basic melody. Oh, and by the way, Murray has a big thing for 'Body and Soul.'

Anyway, here is the title piece. It's delicious.
'Morning Song'/David Murray/Morning Song
If you like it, join eMusic and get the rest of the booty.

1 comment:

  1. Dr. B,

    Another contemporary cat to look into is trumpeter Derrick Gardner. Derrick has two albums out as a leader. "Slim Goodie", and "A Ride to the Other Side." The group consists of three horns: trumpet, trombone, and saxophone, plus rhythm section. Both albums are worth a listen.

    Derrick is a fine trumpeter and a hell of a nice guy. He was the guest artist at the NSU Jazz Festival several years ago, when a certain anonymous poster was in the band.