Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hardbop Muscle from Jim Snidero & Eric Alexander

I am having fun playing with audacity. I am having more fun listening to Jim Snidero's magnificent recording, Close Up. This is straightforward hard bop with all the impurities cooked out of the ore. Eric Alexander joins Snidero on a couple of cuts, a fact that promises a lot and delivers more. But the rhythm section is just as brilliant. David Hazeltine plays piano, Paul Gill bass, and Billy Drummond, guess what, is on drums. If these guys had played like this back in, say, 57, they would have their own stars on the broadway sidewalk.

The best cut on the album, I am thinking right now, is a Snidero composition 'Nippon Blue.' Stanly Crouch has said that all good jazz is blues based (I think Wynton Marsalis agrees). Look up jazz based blues in an online dictionary, and you ought to find an audio link to this number. There's power here, and these guys know what to do with it.

Here is the intro to get you started:
Jim Snidero/Nippon Blue/Close Up/intro
Okay now, here's the thing: that intro is followed by two solos. Seasoned jazz fan that I pretend to be, I ought to be able to tell Snidero's alto from Alexander's tenor. But I can't. I'm a fraud I'm afraid. I did see a note that says they are both playing on this number. Maybe you can tell me. anway, here is the first solo:
Jim Snidero/Nippon Blue/Close Up/solo 1
Here is the second solo:
Jim Snidero/Nippon Blue/Close Up/solo 2
All I can tell for sure is that they are both toe-curling good. Jim Snidero ought to be a lot more famous than he is. Look this one up. It's available at eMusic, and I am sure, elsewhere.


  1. I'm quite sure that solo #1 is on tenor while solo #2 would be the alto saxophone.

    As for the RIAA, I say f__k 'em. Nothing more than a shake down scheme. The artists see little of that money anyway. It nearly all goes to the lawyers and execs of the RIAA and the record companies. Damn them all to hell. The latest shenanigans around here involve club and restaurant owners being told they must pay a $1500 fee because house bands are playing covers of hit songs without paying royalties to the 'composers'. Because of this, several establishments have stopped offering live music rather than pay money to these henchman. The result is that musicians and patrons are the losers in this scam.

    I've been doing this for nearly 4 years, and haven't been hassled yet. I don't think the RIAA is really concerned about this genre, and may actually even realize that jazz blogs and podcast may help record sales.

    Also, everything I have read lately indicates that the RIAA has changed there strategy from going after individuals for sharing files, to threatening ISP's and web hosting firms to shut off sites and nodes used for PtoP sharing.

    Finally, most new jazz artists that publish CD's on small and independent labels, and even many re-issues of classic jazz artists are being released on these indie labels, are not RIAA members and are outside their jurisdiction.

    So Ken, keep doin' what your doin' my friend. Your few hits a day amounts to hundreds or even thousands per month. Your providing a much needed service and content to the World Wide Web that is appreciated by many now, and more in the future.

    Ken Laster

  2. Well, that's pretty reassuring. I figure the odds against coming to anyone's attention are pretty long, but these are bigger guys that I am. Anyway, I will probably keep going as I have been, with maybe more bits of song here and there to ponder.

    Thanks again, my friend.