Friday, February 20, 2009

Page Three Odds & Ends

Roswell Rudd's ruddy trombone is a big part of the Avant Garde scene, or so I gather. I only recently discovered him, while crawling along the discography of Steve Lacy. I picked up Regeneration, a very interesting album with a very interesting cast. With Lacy's soprano sax on board, you would be expecting Page Four jazz. What you get is pretty straight Page Three bop. It's avant garde only in the squeaky, circus clown orchestra cum Thelonious monk sound of the instruments. I listened to it this afternoon while making out a test for my Constitutional Law students. It's very good jazz. There's a nice interview with Rudd at All About Jazz.

Here is a cut:
Roswell Rudd/2300 Skiddoo/Regeneration
In addition to Rudd and Lacy, the album features Misha Mengelberg on piano (really good piano), Kent Carter on bass, and Han Bennink on drums. Strong Dutch accent. The music is Monk and Herbie Nichols. Nichols, I gather, was a contemporary of Monk's.

As I said, this music is p3 jazz, more akin to actual Monk hardbop than to the free jazz for which these guys are known. For a lark, compare it to this piece by Miles Davis. This is one of Mile's albums that never got the recognition it deserves. Coltrane and Hank Mobley play tenor sax on the disc, with Wynton Kelley on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and both Jimmy Cobb and Philly Joe Jones on drums.
Miles Davis/Teo/Someday My Prince Will Come
Enjoy, and if you do, leave a comment and go on and buy the music. Regeneration is available on eMusic. The Miles disc is easy to come by.

What strikes me is the similar way the two bands explore the music, while doing so with very different sounds and moods.

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