Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year to Jazz Fans (and everyone else) Update!

I am working on a new show, and I plan to produce a podcast to go with it.  The next show will feature some insufficiently sung side men: Marion Brown, Andrew Cyrille, and Reggie Workman.  That's as far as I have thought it through.  

Update!  I have a playlist completed now.  In  addition to the artists mentioned above, you will hear some Grachan Moncur III and Booker Ervin.  Again: Happy New Year! 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Playlist for the Low Horns Show

The "low horns" show features a lot of slithering sound, with some exceptions thrown in to clear the pallet.  It will have to do for a while, as I will be traveling.  But I will try to do something while on the road.  Merry Christmas!
  1. Eric Dolphy and Booker Little/Aggression/Live at the Five Spot
  2. Eric Dolphy/Burning Spear/Iron Man
  3. David Murray/Amazing Grace/Spirituals
  4. Esbjörn Svensson/At Saturday/Winter in Venice
  5. John Coltrane/Chronic Blues/Coltrane
  6. Andrew Hill/Dedication/Point of Departure
  7. Gil Melle/Dominica/Primitive Modern
  8. Grachan Moncur III/Evolution/Evolution
  9. Esbjörn Svensson/Calling Home/Winter in Venice
  10.  Alexander Von Schlippenbach/Locomotive/Monk's Casino
  11. Grachan Moncur III/Love and Hate/Exploration
  12. Alexander Von Schlippenbach/Misterioso-Sixteen-Skippy/Monk's Casino
  13. Gerry Mulligan/My Funny Valentine/The Original Quartet with Chet Baker
  14. George Russell/Nardis/Ezz-Thetics
  15. Charles Mingus/Playing with Eric/Townhall Concert 1964
  16.  David Murray/Portrait of a Blackwoman/Ballad For Bass Clarinet
  17. John Coltrane/Spiritual (Live)/The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings
  18. John Coltrane/The Damned Don't Cry/Complete Africa Brass Sessions
  19. Esbjörn Svensson/Winter in Venice/Winter in Venice
  20. Andrew Hill/Illusion/Change

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New Show Up on Live365: the Low Horns

I have been having a very bad no good week with my computers.  While I try to get one of my laptops fixed, I am having terrible trouble with iTunes.  Anyway, I have posted a new playlist.  It's finals week here at NSU and I have had no time to record comments.  The music is in random order but it does have a theme: the low horns.  You'll hear a lot of base clarinets, baritone saxes, a trombone or two.  I like the low horns. 

I will try to get a list here of the music played.  Just right now Jazz Note is a mess.  I am hoping to do better.  Anyway, give the new show a listen if you can and let me know what you think.  I need encouragement!

And Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My Laptop Died

And with it went this week's show.  I won't have time tomorrow to rebuild a show complete with my insightful and informative commentary, or even my shallow and uninformative comments.  I am going to try to put three hours of music on my Live365 station.  It will be as advertised in recent posts.  I hope.  

Friday, December 3, 2010

Jazz Note 5: Dave Brubeck plus some low horns

I will probably not get the next show online by tomorrow night.  I am working on a couple of things, though.  I want to produce a podcast version of the show, probably to be hosted on Podbean.  That way you can put it on your iPod.  

Jazz Note 5 will feature a few tunes in honor of Dave Brubeck, who celebrates his 90th birthday on Monday and, with no obvious connection, a celebration of low horns in jazz.  You'll hear some Trane, some Dolphy, some more David Murray, and some Gil Melle. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jazz Note 4 Extended

I have removed the previous two shows and extended the current show by another hour.  Here is a list of the additional music.  
  1. Warm Velvet/Ivo Perelman/Sad Life
  2. Seagulls of Kristiansund/Mal Waldron Quartet/Seagulls of Kristiansund
  3. European Echoes/Ornette Coleman Trio/Live at the Golden Circle Vol. 1
  4. Memphis/Ran Blake Trio/Sonic Temples
  5. Abolish Bad Architecture/Reid Anderson/Abolish Bad Architecture
  6. Laredo/ROVA/The Works Vol. 3. 
The Perleman record (1996)  is the sort of thing you will like, if you like that sort of thing.  A saxophone trio can be pretty dry, but this one is superbly recorded and you get all the flavor of the instruments.   The Mal Waldron number is just delicious.  A stretched out romance recorded live at the Village Vanguard in 1986.  Almost as good is The Git Go, which is from the same gig.  Coleman's Live at the Golden Circle is a very strong sample of Coleman's playing.  I think he works very well in the trio format.  This odd bounce is interesting for the way Coleman's adventurous horn is easy to follow.  

Ran Blake is a fine piano player with a touch that can be both abstract and sensuous at the same time.  I highly recommend his album Short Life of Barbara Monk.  On this show I presented a piece from a two CD set: Sonic Temples.  Reid Anderson is the bass player with The Bad Plus, and has three recordings under his name.  All three are splendid.  


Finally, ROVA is an all saxophone group, with Bruce Ackley, Steve Adams, Larry Ochs, and Jon Raskin.  Their two albums The Works Vol. 2 and 3 are quite good and are available very cheaply on Amazon or eMusic.  Available very cheaply (under two bucks at Amazon) is their recording of Coltrane's Ascension.  I never warmed to Trane's version, but at that price I might give it a try. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Playlist Correction Jazz Note 4

For some reason I could not get Mikuro's Blues by David S. Ware to play right on my Live365 show.  The file looked right on the studio software, but stretched out to twice its length or more when it played.  So far the other tracks seem to be right.  That's really too bad.  Ware's piece was a smokin' bit of blues. 

Jazz Note 4: Thankgiving

Here's a playlist of the current show, which debuts at 9pm Central tonight, Saturday, November 27th.  Tonight's show is a mixed bag of more accessible music from mostly less accessible albums.  Something to cut the taste of turkey and give your digestion something to work with.  You'll find roaring blues and sad romance, spiritual highs and entertaining shadows.  Give it a listen and let me know what you think. 
  1. Thanksgiving Suite/John Lindberg/A Tree Frog Tonality
  2. Mikuro's Blues/David S. Ware Quartet/Live In The World
  3. Ghosts/Albert Ayler/Spiritual Unity
  4. Red Car/David Murray/I Want To Talk About You
  5. Odin/David Murray/Body and Soul
  6. Crossing the Sudan/Chico Freeman/Destiny's Dance
  7. Stratusphunk/George Russell/Stratusphunk
  8. O'Neal's Porch/William Parker/O'Neal's Porch
  9. Contemplation/Mal Waldron and Marion Brown/Songs of Love and Regret
  10. Sonny's Dream/Sonny Criss/Sonny's Dream
  11. The Wane/Steve Lacy Trio/The Holy La
  12. Both Sides/The Vandermark Five/Airports For Light
Update: Mikuro's Blues played at half speed.  I stopped the show and replaced the track.  I hope it works this time.  Of course, with avant garde jazz you can't always tell. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Show

Will be a little delayed.  It may not air until tomorrow.  I'll announce it here.  

ps.  I wanted to publish the new show on Thanksgiving so it would run during the holiday.  Didn't make it.  It is pretty much in the can, and I will put it on the air tomorrow night at nine pm Central Time.  I am pretty happy with the selection of music.  There's a lot of blues and a lot of sad romantic numbers, all with an avant garde twist.  Unless you have a rather large collection or the exact same collecting history I have, you will hear some new music. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This Week On Jazz Note Radio

A two hour holiday show with David Murray, Albert Ayler, William Parker, Archie Shepp, and I don't know who else.  I plan on running it early Wednesday, if I can get it done in time. You might find it a bit edgy, but I am selecting the most accessible tracks from some challenging music.  Trust me: it's delicious and it will cut the taste of turkey. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sam Rivers Playlist

Here's the playlist from the current show.  
  1. Cyclic Episode/Sam Rivers/Fushia Swing Song
  2. When I Fall In Love/Sam Rivers/A New Conception
  3. If I Were A Bell/Miles Davis/Miles In Tokyo
  4. Conference of the Birds/Dave Holland Quartet/Conference of the Birds
  5. Ghetto Lights/Bobby Hutcherson/Dialogue
  6. Tomorrow Afternoon/Tony Williams/Life Time
  7. Waterfall/Sam Rivers and Dave Holland/Sam Rivers and Dave Holland Vol. 1

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Jazz Note 3: Sam Rivers

I will launch the third episode of Jazz Note Radio tonight (Saturday November 20th) at 9 pm.  That's an hour earlier than usual, but me and mine are going to see Harry Potter.  You'll hear about an hour of Sam Rivers.  Why Sam Rivers?  I just like the Blue Note Box set I have been listening to.  

The three hour Monk show will continuing playing in the loop. 

Some Sam Rivers Flowing Your Way

I'm running a bit behind this week, but I have put together a hour or so of music featuring Sam Rivers.  I am going to put it into the Live365 playlist when I get it done.  You'll like it.  Trust me. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Essential Monk Recordings

Here are some suggestions for the collector wanting to get some essential Thelonious Monk recordings.  You can hear a lot of this music right now at Jazz Note Radio on Live365.  See the link top right. 
  1. Brilliant Corners (Monk's best single recording and one of the best albums in modern jazz)
  2. Misterioso & Thelonious in Action (Two albums of Monk live at the Five Spot)
  3. Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk
  4. Thelonious Monk & John Coltrane Live at Carnegie Hall
  5. Monk's Music
  6. Underground
  7. Live at the It Club
  8. Monk in Paris
  9. Alone in San Francisco
  10. It's Monk Time
That's a pretty good basic Monk collection.  You can add a lot by investing in two box sets.  One is The Complete Blue Note Recordings, which gives you most of the early Monk recordings.  I can't remember what I paid, but I seem to recall that it was a bit pricey.  Alternatively you could get Thelonious Monk: Genius of Modern Music.  There are two or three discs sold separately, and they're affordable.  

The second box is Thelonious Monk: Original Album Classics, which includes five Monk albums made for Columbia.  They come in sleeves with the original covers, so its five albums for a very reasonable price.  I paid about $18 for it, but you may not get that good a deal.  





Monk Show Playlist

Here is a playlist of the current show running on Live365.  You can see a link to the show on the right.  The playlist is in order.  I identify the players on the show.  If you want to check out the Monk tunes, go to the wonderful Jazz Discography Project.  

Japanese Folk Song/Monk/Straight No Chaser/1966
Round Midnight/Monk/Misterioso/1958
Blue Monk/Monk/Thelonious Alone in San Francisco/1959
Rhythm-A-Ning/Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk/1957
In Walked Bud/Monk/Underground/1967
Evidence/Monk/Live at the It Club/1964
Nutty/Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall/1957
Ruby My Dear/Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane/1957
Epistrophy/Charlie Rouse/Epistrophy/
Friday the 13th/Thelonious Monk with Sonny Rollins/1953
Straight No Chaser/Mulligan Meets Monk/1957
Round Midnight/Charlie Haden/The Montreal Tapes/
Brilliant Corners/Paul Motian and the EBBB
Well You Needn't/John Stetch/Exponentially Monk/
Four in One/Anthony Braxton/Six Monk's Compositions/1989
Round Midnight/Steve Lacy and Mal Waldron/Live at the Dreher Paris 1981
Pannonica/Steve Lacy/5xMonk5xLacy/
Let's Cool One/Steve Lacy with Don Cherry/Evidence/
Bemsha Swing/Cecil Taylor/Jazz Advance/1956
Trinkle-Tinkle/Alexander Von Schlippenbach/Monk's Casino/2004
Boo Boo's Birthday/Alexander Von Schlippenbach/Monk's Casino/2004

Bright Mississippi/Alexander Von Schlippenbach/Monk's Casino/2004




Saturday, November 13, 2010

JazzNote Radio 2: Thelonious Monk

Jazz Note Radio 2 will go online at 10pm Central Time tonight.  As I start this post, that's about thirty minutes from now.  The first three hour show will disappear and a three hour program of Thelonious Monk's music will replace it.  I will make the old shows available in some form, probably as a podcast.  Right now I am trying to figure out Live365 and the dos and don'ts of legal online radio.  

I will provide a playlist (in order this time) tomorrow, but for now I will say a little bit about Monk and the music on the new show.  It is one of God's jokes that Monk's middle name was "Sphere".  No one in the history of jazz was less spherical and more angular than Monk, as a composer or piano player.  Certainly no working jazz musician left a body of compositions that had more lasting influence.  

Whether leading his band or playing alongside other big names, Monk rarely recorded anything but Monk.  Listening to him for hours at a time, the music never gets old.  Monk's work, if not Monk himself, straddles three crucial movements in modern jazz.  He was present at the creation of bebop as one of the founding fathers of that Music.  Most of his recording comes during the hard bop period, and it was in that period that he finally achieved the fame he so richly deserved.  

Monk himself never ventured into avant garde jazz and this is worth commenting on.  Monk's genius lay principally in his ability to strip down music to its constituent parts and then rebuild it.  Some critics have commented that he almost labels the parts, especially when he is playing jazz standards.  But there is nothing abstract in Monk's playing or composing.  His greatest composition, 'Round Midnight', is so concrete you can almost hear the footsteps on wet pavement.  If Monk didn't do avant garde, avant garde surely did Monk.  Many of the great musicians of that movement were members of the cult of Monk. 

About half of this week's show consists of Monk recording either as leader or alongside greats like Coltrane, Rollins, and Gerry Mulligan.  The rest consists of Monk covers by Paul Motian, Charlie Haden, John Stetch, Steve Lacy and Mal Waldron, Cecil Taylor, and Anthony Braxton.  The only Monk composition I repeat is 'Round Midnight,' and you get that one three times.  

A special treat comes at the end.  Avant garde piano master Alexander Von Schlippenbach did something no one else has done, to my knowledge.  He recorded all of Monk's compositions in a three cd set.  That required a lot of squeezing, and there are moments when it reminds one of the Reduced Shakespeare jokes that you can hear on the web.  It is a treasure, and I provide three cuts from that box set.  

If you are listening to Jazz Note Radio, you will hear a lot of Monk this week.  Starting next week I will probably add about an hour a week until I fill up my locker.  I estimate I will have about 9 hours of music to listen through eventually.  New shows will start on Saturday night.  

Thanks for listening and reading.  Drop me a line. 

Thelonious Monk & Sam Rivers.

My Thelonious Monk tribute show is almost done.  I am hoping to launch it tomorrow night (Saturday) at 10pm Central Time.  I'll post here if there is a delay.  The United States Congress told me not to post a playlist in advance, but I will post one after the show gets going.  Not quite half the show consists of Monk recordings, and the rest of other jazzmen covering Monk's compositions.  If you have read this blog in the past, you will have some idea of the mix.  I have several bop treatments of Monk, and some other avant garde treatments.  Steve Lacy is well represented.  

Meanwhile, I have been listening to a new box set: The Complete Blue Note Sam Rivers Sessions.  It is three CDs including four of River's early recordings as leader.  Rivers is best known as an avant garde sax player, but this bundle of music is very accessible and it is utterly delicious.  The box is a little hard to come by.  You might find it easier to get Fushia Swing Song, Dimensions and Extensions, A New Conception, and Contours.  You won't be disappointed by any of them.  Rivers is the real thing.  Let the River flow. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Upcoming Monk Show

My first show is running.  I like to think it's a good mix of music: some classics that are very well known, but a lot of music that the average jazz fan might not have heard yet.  Live365 has been a good experience over all, but it does have its irritations.  Most of them are due to the Digital Age Communications Act.  For example, I cannot play more than four pieces by one artist or one album in a three hour period.  I understand the album thing, but why the artist thing?  That makes it a challenge to do a show on one artist like Miles or Monk.  I am not allowed by that law to publish a playlist.  I gather that the intent is to prevent Online Radio stations from turning into sources of free music.  All of this makes it harder to turn new listeners on to the music I love. 

The other irritation is the frequent ads.  I don't mind commercials.  It kinda makes this seem like real radio.  I just get tired of the same commercials over and over.  

Anyway, I am working on a Monk program.  I recently saw the biopic Straight No Chaser.  I cried.  Really.  My next show will feature a lot of Monk playing his own music and a lot of other jazz artists covering Monk compositions.  The covers will stretch from solid bop interpretations to the avant garde branch of Monk's church.  I will feature solos, trios, and larger bands.  Don't miss it!

Friday, November 5, 2010

JazzNote Radio 1: Miles Davis and his Men


JazzNote is now playing on Live365.  Episode 1 is about three hours long and will repeat (I hope!).  This episode is devoted to the music of the two great quintets headed by Miles Davis, and to music produced by the great jazzmen who were part of those two groups.  It roughly tracks some of my early collecting. 

JazzNote can be accessed at this address:

http://www.live365.com/stations/kcblanchard

Here is a list of the music on Episode 1.  

Adderley Julian One for Daddy-O Somethin' Else
Carter Ron Lawra Third Plane
Carter Ron Softly as in a Morning Sunrise Where?
Coltrane John Bass Blues Tranein In
Coltrane John I Want To Talk About You Soultrane
Davis Miles My Funny Valentine Cookin'
Davis Miles Ahmad's Blues Workin'
Davis Miles Iris ESP
Davis Miles My Funny Valentine Live at the Plugged Nickel
Garland Red All Morning Long All Morning Long
Garland Red What Can I Say? Groovy
Hancock Herbie Oliloqui Valley Empyrean Isles
Hancock Herbie The Sorcerer Speak Like a Child
Morgan Lee Melancholee Search for the New Land
Pepper Art Imagination Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section
Shorter Wayne Down in the Depts Introducing Wayner Shorter
Shorter Wayne Infant Eyes Speak No Evil
Williams Tony Two Pieces of One: Red Life Time
Williams Tony Love Song Spring

Thursday, November 4, 2010

JazzNote Radio is Imminent!

If all goes well, the first episode of Jazz Note will go live tomorrow night at 10pm central time.  I will post information about how to access it here.  The show is hosted on Live365.

The first episode is a three hour adventure in jazz collecting based on the First and Second Miles Davis Quintets.  I will publish a list of the music I play here (though it is not a playlist!).  

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Jazz Note Returns!

In case anyone is still checking this page, here is an update.  The NSU radio station that will host my jazz show permanently is scheduled to be launched early next year.  However, I am going to begin a pilot version of the show on Live365.  It will be modest affair, and will only allow for a small number of simultaneous listeners.  But I expect that it will be fun.  

I hope to have some music up in the next few days. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

UPDATE

Thanks to loyal readers who have dropped me a note.  I wish to emphasize that the blog will be back in some form.  I want to be able to talk or write about jazz and present jazz, as I have tried to do here.  I want to do that without any legal or moral compromises. 

Our Northern State University Radio Station committee is moving toward the institution of an internet radio station, and I will host a jazz show.  I expect we will broadcast using Live365, which covers all the royalty issues.  I am already planning shows.  My first show, as I envision it, will focus on Miles Davis' two great quintets.  I'll play music from Cookin' and Workin', and maybe ESP or the Plugged Nickel recordings.  I will also include cuts from Trane, Red Garland, Wayne Shorter, etc.  This will mirror my own jazz collecting.  

The show will have a jazz collectors theme, but towards the end I will break free of that restraint and play some contemporary jazz or whatever pleases my fancy.  I am hoping to attract people newly interested in jazz, and introduce undiscovered jazz artists and albums to advanced jazz fans.  I am also hoping to encourage working jazz artists to send me their music. 

I have in mind a number of subsequent shows.  I will do one on Monk, and one on covers of Monk compositions.  I will do one on Trane, and maybe a show on Top Ten Jazz Men, and/or Top Ten Jazz Albums.  If you have been reading this blog, you know what to expect.  

I am open to suggestions for shows.  Right now my imagination is on fire, but I expect to need kindling eventually.  If you are interested in any of this, check back now and then.  I will keep you posted. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Jazz Note Closes Down

I have some good news and some bad news.  The bad news is that this blog in its present form has run its course.  I have enjoyed doing it, and I greatly appreciate my readers.  I have turned on a lot of readers to the music I love.  I have taken some risk in offering music selections, and I am tired of having my posts shut down for that.  It  could have been worse.  I am also a little disappointed in the number of readers and the frequency of comments.  I am not scolding anyone here.  Things are what they are.  

The good news is that, the Jazz Gods willing, I will soon launch an online radio show.  Some industrious people at Northern State University, where I work, are determined to start a radio station.  KNSU or something like that.   They have asked me to produce a jazz show.  Well, I don't know..., yes.  When I grow up, I want to be Ken Laster.  

I expect that this blog site will be reborn as a companion to the online show/podcast.  So don't delete the bookmark.  With luck and fair winds, and royalties paid, you'll be hearing a lot more jazz from me in the future.  

Again: thanks to everyone who has read this blog, listened to my music, and posted a comment.  I love you all.  As the Terminator said, "I'll be back." 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Maximum Max Roach 4 Pennies

My eMusic subscription renewed yesterday.  As I noticed the renewed credits, I was thumbing through the Penguin Guide and came upon the Max Roach recordings.  I have the core collection entries, the Clifford Brown collaborations (Alone Together) and the civil rights hymn We Insist!  There is a lot of jazz history and heart in those two issues.  I have also commented on Roach's collaboration with Anthony Braxton.  

As I was contemplating all this, I noticed that a four and a half star PG recommendation was on eMusic for two credits.  That adds up, doing some math on the subscription price I pay, to about 80 cents.  There are some reasons it's so cheap.  The subtitle, Max Roach Quartet at the Jazz Workshop, makes it sound like an essay. The recording consists of two long numbers.  Probably not album of the month.  

In fact, this is brilliant jazz.  The two segments are what rock fans would call jams.  With Roach as leader, Clifford Jordan on tenor, Mal Waldron on piano, and Eddie Khan on bass, they take a simple blues line and milk it for all the passion it is worth.  It's worth a lot.  

Here is a sample.  It is about half of the first number.  Don't listen if you ain't got the dough to purchase the whole thing.  

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tal Farlow

When I purchased my first decent stereo, I was still trying to learn to play the guitar.  I didn't.  I wanted to play jazz guitar, because I admired jazz guitarist like Kenny Burrell, Jim Hall, Joe Pass, and Wes Montgomery.  Or maybe it was the other way around.  

Anyway, I read about a set of Verve albums that the label was reissuing.  This was in the mid-eighties.  I think I read about them in Guitar Player.  I managed to get a couple of them.  I was in Grad School at the time, and money was almost as precious as music.  One of the albums was a duet with Jim Hall and Bill Evans.  It was wonderful.  The other was by guitarist Tal Farlow.  I loved both records and listened to them over and over.  

This week I bagged Chromatic Palette, by Farlow with my love Tommy Flanagan on piano and Gary Mazzaroppi on bass.  It is a splendid guitar trio.  It has the same bright spirit as Flanagan's albums with Kenny Burrell.  Here is a sample. 
Tal Farlow/One for My Baby excerpt/Chromatic Palette

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sun Ra Really Was From Another Planet

I downloaded Sun Ra's Atlantis a few weeks ago.  It confused me then and perplexes me now.  Sun Ra is playing some kind of toy piano.  Whatever this is, it is jazz.  
Sun Ra/Mu/Atlantis
 But what the Hell is it? 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Early Rollins

Sounds like a country singer: Early Rollins and the Out House Orchestra!  I spent nine days in Glacier National Park where I saw exactly nine bears, all but two of them on the same day.  None of them expressed any interest in jazz.  

When I got back, a prize was waiting for me: almost all of a Sonny Rollins box set: The Complete Prestige Recordings.  I say almost all, because when you buy a box set at a suspiciously low price, sometimes you get less than what you bargained for.  I got precisely four of seven discs in that set.  The whole thing new costs over seventy bucks, and I got the first four discs for well less than half of that.  

Oh, but jazz babies, here is proof that the Gods of Bop are smiling on yours truly.  The material on the missing discs was released as Work Time, Sonny Rollins Plus 4, Tenor Madness, Sonny Rollins Plays for Bird, and Tour De Force, and Rollin's magnum opus, Saxophone Colossus.  I already had all of those recordings.  By contrast, I had almost nothing on the four discs that I did receive.  He shoots.  He scores.  Nothing but net.  

The whole box contains (I believe) all Rollin's appearances for Prestige  between 1949 and 1956.  That is most of the early Sonny Rollins, and it tells a story.  Rollins was brilliant from the get go.  Slip one of the better pieces from this era onto a later album, fuzz up the more contemporary stuff a bit to allow for advances in technology, and the early recording will fit right in.  This says something about Rollins, but something more important about the organic history of jazz.  As the music evolves, new stuff gets added to the old stuff, but the old stuff isn't discarded.  What is brilliant and timely in 1949 lives on, alongside what is unprecedented in 1962.  I am not saying that Rollins doesn't develop or explore new avenues of improvisation.  He certainly does.  I am saying that, while he learns much, he forgets nothing of value.  

Enough analysis; here is a sample.  It's from a 1953 recording made in New York City.  The band: Julius Watkins (frh) Sonny Rollins (ts) Thelonious Monk (p) Percy Heath (b) Willie Jones (d).  It appears on the album Thelonious Monk/Sonny Rollins.  It is so damn good it makes the tomatoes ripen in my garden.  Here is about half the number. 
Thelonious Monk & Sonny Rollins/Friday the Thirteenth/
 Have fun with that. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Music I love: Wayne Shorter

I didn't realize until well after midnight that yesterday was Friday the 13th.  It's a little too late to do a spooky post, but since when did that ever stop me?  I am leaving for a trip to Glacier National Park.   I expect posting will be light over the next week.  So I will leave you with this.  

Wayne Shorter is my favorite jazz man.  I think he is very under appreciated, but my love for his work might be out of proportion.  Anyway, I think that his composition 'Infant Eyes' is among the greatest pieces of music I have ever heard.  To say that it is haunting is a criminal case of understatement.  The title weaves into the music in a way that all jazz men aim at when they scribble a title onto a sheet of music.  Shorter achieved the aim as perfectly as it can be achieved.  

Shorter takes something that is very common, and turns it into a major mystery.  When you look into a baby's eyes, what is staring back at you?  Every mother and father has asked this question, more or less consciously.  Not one has ever had an answer.  What is the human soul before it joins the world as each culture defines the world?  I don't know.  Neither does Wayne.  But he asks the question, and reveals its spooky side.  This is music at its most profound level.  Anyway, listen here and be sensitive to the mystery. 
Wayne Shorter/Infant Eyes/Speak No Evil

Friday, August 13, 2010

Charlie Rouse & Monk

This evening, while driving across my beautiful home town, I listened to a wonderful jazz show on the radio.   Night Lights: Classic Jazz with host David Brent Johnson.  To my extreme left, north of town, a thunderhead was flashing like it was trying to tell me something.  Coming out of my car speakers was a good bit of Thelonious Monk from one of his Columbia albums that I recently reviewed.  The soft voice of the host broke in with some compelling commentary about Charlie Rouse, Monk's own tenor.  David Brent Johnson must be a very shrewd jazz critic, because he agrees with me.  Rouse was twenty-four karat.  

He said something that had not occurred to me: that Rouse had to take the blame for any shortcomings that critics found in Monk's recordings.  After all, it couldn't be Monk's fault!  I think these recordings are exquisite, so I have no quarrel with Rouse or Monk.  It looks like you can listen to the shows on the website, so I am looking forward to hearing the Monk show in its entirety.  I also notice that one is posted on Lee Konitz.  I am not going to miss that one.  

I recently acquired Rouses' album Epistrophy.  It's a live date, recorded only seven weeks before Rouse passed away in 1988.  The program is pure Monk.  Listening to it, it occurs to me that I never get tired of Monk's music. 

Here is a sample.  I believe it is the first Monk composition I ever heard.  That was a good thirty years ago, and it turned the ground under me.  I cut out the piano solo following Rouse's solo.  You can get the album from eMusic for a few quid. 
Charlie Rouse/Ruby, My Dear/Epistrophy
Enjoy.  If  you do, drop me a line.  It's been really quite of late. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Benny Carter & Charlie Christian

The history of jazz is a history of the emergence of new forms out of old ones.  The great thing about this is that the garden just keeps getting bigger.  The new may overshadow the old, but the old does not die.  

Proof of that is Benny Carter's great album Further Definitions.  It is recorded in 1965, after hardbop and avant garde have had their full expression and fusion is on the horizon.  Carter plays his horn with a full orchestra behind him, and the lush sound could cushion a World War Two romance.  

Here is a sample:
Benny Carter/Doozy/Further Definitions
I have been listening to Benny Carter this week, but also to Charlie Christian.  Christian is one of the elder gods of jazz guitar.  Most of his work that I know of was recorded with big bands, and he shares a lot of time with Benny Goodman's horn.  But there is plenty of his licks on The Genius of the Electric Guitar.   Christian more or less invented amplified jazz guitar.  This 4 CD box warms the heart.  Here is a sample.
Charlie Christian/Seven Come Eleven/The Genius of the Electric Guitar
Okay, all of this makes me feel like I am a ghost in a Stephen King movie. But if the soundtrack is this good...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Greg Osby @ the Vanguard

I have exactly one Greg Osby recording.  Banned in New York.  I am guessing that the title is a lie.  It's fine jazz.  Page four to be certain: long lines that aren't much concerned with any narrative.  Yet the horn keeps you entranced.  I am listening to it  now because Osby is featured on the NPR Live at the Village Vanguard series.  He turned fifty last week.  Even jazz masters aren't exempt.  You can hear the concert recorded on his birthday at the NPR site.  

Here is a very short excerpt from the above recording.  You won't wonder what he can do after you hear it.  
Greg Osby/Big Foot (excerpt)/Banned In New York
The NPR concert is something rather different, but don't miss it.  Marc Copland on piano is worth the hour. 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Only Monk

I have been listening to a lot of Monk over the last few days, for reasons that are apparent from my last post.  Every now and then I hear a piece that grabs my heart and makes it pump double time.  It happened today when I listened to 'Japanese Folk Song' on Monk's album.  The sheer power of the melody is overwhelming (if not, noticeably, Japanese). 

Here is a cut from the number, including Rouse's solo followed by Monk.  Each is brilliant, but the sax part is to die for.  I have omitted Gale's solo.  Buy it.  
Thelonious Monk/Japanese Folk Song [Kojo No Tsuki]/Straight No Chaser
Have a good weekend, Jazz babies.  

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Mountain of Monk 4 a Molehill of Money

Happy Birthday Greg Osby!  

I have been enjoying a lot of newly acquired jazz lately.  Today the UPS guy brought me a marvelous little package containing a small Columbia box: Thelonious Monk: Original Album Classics.  I paid about $18 for it.  It is not a new document, as many box sets are.  It simply repackages five original Monk albums.  Each album comes in a little cardboard sleeve with the original front and back printed on it.  As it happened, I had not one of the five, so this was quite a pickup.  The albums are:
  1. Straight, No Chaser
  2. Underground
  3. Criss-Cross
  4. Monk's Dream
  5. Solo Monk
 I have been dancing to all of them (along with my beagle, Bella, who is a big Monk fan) and each is worth a lot more than three dollars and sixty cents.  The first four albums feature Monk's sax man, Charlie Rouse.  The first two feature Larry Gales on bass and Ben Riley on drums.  The third and fourth, John Ore on bass and Frankie Dunlop on drums. 

Monk's corpus is well served by some brilliant saxophone players.  John Coltrane obviously stands out, but I have sung the praises of Johnny Griffin more than once.  His work on the Five Spot albums (Thelonious in Action and Misterioso) and on the Jazz Messengers/Monk album, is brilliant.  

Charlie Rouse, who was Monk's handpicked sideman on many recordings, might be Monk's most perfect partner.  His playing is exquisite on its own.  He doesn't play with Monk so much as channel Monk's genius through his horn.  Rouse is one of the unsung heroes of modern jazz.  

Here is a sample: Rouses' solo on 'Monk's Dream'.  My excerpt includes the beginning and the solo.  For Monk's brilliant reply, pony up and get the box.  
Thelonious Monk Quartet/Monk's Dream/Monk's Dream (excerpt)
ps.  While I was writing this post, I was listening to the recording.  It just got to 'Bye-ya'.  Wow, what a piece of composing.  So, well inspired, I give you this cut of another version of the song.  Steve Lacy plays soprano and Mal Waldron piano.  I am too lazy right now to look up the rest of the band.  You get a taste here of the Lacy and Waldron's solos.  
Steve Lacy/Bye-Ya/Steve Lacy Plays Thelonious Monk (excerpt)
Don't miss this stuff.  It's what you want to hear.

Ps.  On his way to deliver my Monk, the UPS guy was stung by two hornets.  Don't let his sacrifice go in vain. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Music I love

Here's a bit from my recent treasure hunt.  I love this song.  I first heard it by Leon Redbone. Here is about half the song.
Ella Fitzgerald/Ain't Misbehavin/Ella and Basie sample
 Not enough?  Well, here is a bit from Herbie Hanock's tribute to Gershwin.  
Herbie Hancock/The Man I love/Gershwin's World sample

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Top Ten Jazz Men 1950-1965

Silly as such lists are, and vane, I can't resist them.  Making them is fun and structures my collecting and listening.  For this one I was thinking of jazz artists who cut such a big figure that one cannot think of jazz in that period without them. One cannot imagine the history of jazz without them.  To some extent, I am guided here by popular awareness.  Are there some who everybody knows, if they know anything about jazz at all?  Are there some who everyone who listens to jazz at all knows?  

With that in mind, the first two places were easy.  
1.  Miles Davis
2.  John Coltrane
Everyone who has ears knows about those two.  Moreover, both had a tremendous influence on the direction of music.  Some would place Trane first (the nickname, like the force of the simple first name "Miles", indicates my point).  I would not.  
I think that number three is almost as easy.
 3.  Thelonious Monk
 Monk straddles two great periods in jazz: the bebop era and the hard bop era.  He is very much a force in the target period, and his most essential recordings are made in that period.  What would jazz be without Brilliant Corners?  But Monk is chiefly important for the astounding influence that his compositions had.  How much of the hardbop corpus would disappear if, Doctor Who style, one could remove him from the picture?  That is even more true of Avant Garde jazz.  Take Monk out, and where would Cecil Taylor, let alone Steve Lacy be?  Monk is an easy third. 
4.  Ornette Coleman
 I have come around to loving a lot of Coleman's music.  It took awhile.  There is no denying his impact on modern jazz.  I remember an interview with rock guitar great Johnny Winter, when the very white guitarists said that he was interested in Ornette Coleman.  I doubt very much whether Winter really listened to Coleman.  The fact that he knew his name nails Coleman for fourth place.  He was the new thing
5.  Charlie Mingus. 
If you don't know Mingus, you don't know modern jazz.  Maybe 'Goodbye Pork Pie Hat' is enough to get fifth place.  I'll just stick with this: if you don't have Ah Um, and Live at Antibes, you have a big hole in your jazz collection.  

Okay, 1-5 wasn't all that hard.  6-10 is another thing.  Here goes:
6.  Eric Dolphy.
Dolphy's tenure was astonishingly short, but as I have written more than once, he planted his flag on some many jazz continents that it is like he owns the globe.  Who can imagine what Trane's work, or Mingus' work, or Andrew Hill would have been without him.  Easy six.  Easy seven:
7.  Art Blakey. 
Maybe Blakey should have been ranked higher.  His Jazz Messengers band turned into a fundamental institution in modern jazz.  So many great artists cut their teeth with his beat behind them, that you'd need a staff to keep track of them.  The body of work he produced is priceless.  If seventh place is right, it is only because he kept his own personality in check and allowed his proteges to emerge on their own.  God bless Blakey.  
8.  Sonny Rollins. 
 Rollins at the Village Vanguard.  Saxophone Colossus.  Rollins has had staying power.  Like the Rolling Stones, that counts for something.  I just can't imagine a collection, however modest, without him.  

9.  Bill Evans.
Evans is Sui Generis.  Maybe he deeply influence jazz piano players, but mostly what you get from the critics is that this or that guy (say, Brad Mehldau) is like Evans because his style is introspective, and he's white.  Evans was uniquely resistant to the flow of jazz around him.  But his body of work is monumental and irreplaceable. Without the first cascade of notes in 'Gloria's Steps', or the delicious scrabbling of LaFaro's bass, where would we be? 
10.  Joe Henderson. 
Ten was hard.  Henderson is a long way down in terms of influence and documentation from Miles and Trane.  But when I glance at the line of Henderson recordings on my CD rack, I always smile.  Henderson's work is priceless.  If I had 1-9 (box sets where available) to take to a desert Island (guaranteed iPod supply and power), I'd add Joe.  I wouldn't be board.  Make that, I wouldn't be bored.  Ever.  

Well, that's what I got.  Joust if you dare. 

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cannonball

Today I enjoyed a jazz collector's experience.  A colleague of mine is giving up a bundle of jazz cds, and I got to pick through it.  I got a lot of fine recordings that were on my list, including Miles Davis Live at the Plaza.  I also got the Max Roach/Clifford Brown collection Alone Together, and some basic J.J. Johnson trombone brilliance.  There was some fine Art Farmer stuff there, some Kenny Garrett, Michael Brecker, Zoot Sims, and Oliver Nelson's More Blues and the Abstract Truth.  I also got the Complete Atomic Basie.  There's more, but I won't bore you further.  

Mostly what I got was a big boomin' lot of Cannonball Adderley.  It's hard not to admire Julian Adderley.  He was taught music in high schools in Florida before moving to New York.  What happened there, I will trust Wikipedia to tell.
Adderley visited the Cafe Bohemia (Oscar Pettiford's group was playing that night) where he brought his saxophone into the club with him, primarily because he feared that it would be stolen. He was asked to sit in as the saxophone player was late, and in true Cannonball style, he soared through the changes, and became a sensation in the following weeks.
Good story.  Maybe better is the story of how he got his nickname.  Miles Davis called him Cannibal because of his appetite.  He was a big guy.   Some reporter misheard, and wrote down "Cannonball".  That was better. 

Maybe the prize today was the live Lighthouse Recording.  Adderley is backed by his brother Nat on coronet.  Victor Feldman steps in on piano.  Sam Jones plays bass, and Louis Hayes drums.  Wrap this one up and send it by subspace radio to the Klingons.  Tell 'em this is hard bop.  It'll bring 'em around. Here is about half of the first cut.  You're gonna want the rest when it suddenly stops. 
Cannonball Adderley Quintet/Sack O' Woe/Cannonball Adderley Quintet Live at the Lighthouse Excerpt
I've got a lot of Adderley to listen to this weekend. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Andrew Hill and the Penguin Guide Lists

I chanced upon a some jazz lists this afternoon, and that put me back in that classical mood.  First there is the Jazz Calendar Page.  Did you know that today is Charlie Christian's 94th birthday?  Happy Birthday, Charlie, in that great jazz club in the sky.  

Better yet, here is a site that presents all the four star rankings from the Penguin Guide to Jazz (may it be praised).  I have relied heavily upon the Penguin Guide in my collecting, and I think it is the only standard for collectors.  This stalwart soul lists all the albums that have received a four star ranking in any of the nine editions of the Guide.  He also notes those that got a crown (author's favorite) and those that get a "core collection" rating.  I have almost all of the core entries from my well worn Eighth Edition.  If you are collecting, get the most recent Guide.  The reviews are very helpful.  Either way, download the lists from this site linked above.  It is very helpful.

For example: I noticed a recording by Andrew Hill from the Ninth Edition that I didn't know about.  I am waiting for the 10th!  So I downloaded it from Amazon for a cool seven smackers.  Hill is one of those artists I first approached because of the PG.  His Point of Departure is one of the greatest jazz recordings, IMHO.  Nearly as good is Andrew!  Both make the PG core.  

Dance with Death (a 2004 reissue of a 1968 recording) isn't in that circle of heaven, but it is quite good.  The song titles, like the album title, remind one of Wayne Shorter's great spooky albums.  Unlike Shorter's works, the music isn't really very spooky in feel. That's okay.  If you like Hill, you will like this one. Here is the lineup, from the AllAboutJazz review:
Personnel: Charles Tolliver (trumpet), Joe Farrell (tenor sax, soprano sax), Andrew Hill (piano), Victor Sproles (bass), Billy Higgins (drums)
And here is a sample, excerpted from the first cut.  
Andrew Hill/Yellow Violet/Dance with Death
 Even the flower thing reminds me of Shorter.  Tolliver's trumpet is exquisite.  Put this one on your Christmas List.  

Meanwhile I am contemplating a list of the Top Ten Jazz Men (1950-1965).  I am thinking about artists who are stand out in fame and impact on the music.  Okay, Miles and Trane are going numbers one and two.  If you have any ideas, let me know. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Wynton Marsalis channels Louis Armstrong channeling Thelonious Monk

Can Ouija Boards be networked?  Wynton Marsalis thinks so.  I have been listening to the fourth volume of his Standard Time Series: Marsalis Plays MonkThe Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (may it be praised!) informs me that Marsalis intended to "recast Monk's music in the form of the ensemble jazz of Louis Armstrong's jazz orchestra of 1927 and 1928."  Okay.  What

I'm not sure what all that means, but this album is one more tent revival meeting for the cult of Monk.  As a true believer, I can only say amen.  Has any jazz composer been so frequently covered or so deeply worshiped as Thelonious Monk?  Monk's compositions haunt modern jazz.  You might enjoy a good evening by listening to this album along with Anthony Braxton's Monk album and Monk's own Brilliant Corners.  Hey, I think I'll do that.  Marsalis Plays Monk is a brilliant work, and brilliantly recorded.  You can hear the buzz of the bass.

Here is an excerpt from one of the numbers.  It is features the piano player Eric Reed.  This guy straightens out Monk, in accord with the general theme, but that only highlights the genius of the composition.  I love this piece of music. 
Wynton Marsalis/Brilliant Corners/Marsalis Plays Monk/excerpt
Also don't miss the last piece on the album: 'Green Chimneys'.  I didn't recognize that Monk number.  I won't forget it. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Avant Garde 101: Anthony Braxton Deconstructs Charlie Parker

I have heard there is a recipe for deconstructed Caesar salad: you assemble the ingredients and eat each one separately without combining them.  Avant Garde jazz is a lot like that Caesar salad.  I acquired Anthony Braxton's Charlie Parker Project largely because I am so in love with Braxton's Monk album.  I was hoping for more of the same, on the principle that avant garde do wonderful things when they sacrifice some of their cherished freedom and navigate the parameters of good hard bop composition.  I didn't get what I was hoping for.  

What I did get is very interesting.  You might get an idea if you imagine Charlie Parker's music interpreted by an visitor from the Crab Nebula.  Being open to all, including alien invaders, I am entertained.  Nonetheless, I am trying to keep the spider thingies away from my beagle.  

Here is a perfect chance to see what avant garde is.  Braxton's live recording is devoted to mysterious morphings of Parker compositions.  You really have to forget about the salad and be prepared to listen to discourses on the veins in the lettuce.  As an illustration, consider this Parker number from the Dial recordings.
Charlie Parker/Scrapple from the Apple/The Complete Dial Recordings
That's a nice bebop classic, with crackly sound.  Dexter Gordon does a great version of it.  The melody is clear all the way through.  Now listen to Braxton's version. 
Anthony Braxton/Scrapple from the Apple/Charlie Parker Project
That's Charlie Parker after he has been eaten by some H.P. Lovecraft worm.  You have to like the guttural slither of sound from the horns and Joe Fonda's bass if you are going to make it through.  If you do, you can hear the melody begin to emerge from the slither. 

Well, that is by God avant garde.  I have been enjoying it all evening.  Let me know what you think. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A little more Red

I have mentioned pianist Red Garland on several occasions.  One reason he is kinda special is that I really began my serious (=systematic) jazz collecting with Miles Davis' first quintet.  I have been traveling of late, hence the gap in posts.  This afternoon I stepped out of my car into an honest Dakota rain and walked into a used CD shop in Sioux Falls.  All I found in their four foot square jazz section was Red Garland's Groovy

It's not a great piece of jazz, but if you like bop piano trios, you'll like this.  Paul Chambers plays bass, and Art Taylor beats the skins.  Here is a sample, with Chambers using the bow.  Garland clearly had that feelin'. 
Red Garland Trio/What Can I Say (After I'm Sorry)?/Groovy
You gotta love that title.  Garland carries his own jazz club with him.  Listen a bit and it closes around you, with a sexy and somewhat tragic young lady pouring you a beer.  Try it. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jimmy Heath & Lee Konitz

No, not together.  Except in so far as I acquired two CD's last week.  Jimmy Heath is a tenor sax player.  His first album as leader was The Thumper, and it is thumpin' good bop.  If you are in the mood for straight ahead jazz boogie, this would be it.  Nat Adderley c, Curtis Fuller trb, Wynton Kelly p, Paul Chambers b, and Albert Heath d, play behind Jimmy.  Here is a sample:
Jimmy Heath/Two Tees/The Thumper
As for Konitz, I finally found Another Shade of Blue,  with Brad Mehldau and Charlie Haden.  It is a mostly live recording, and a companion to one of my favorite Konitz records Alone Together.  If you haven't got the latter, by all means pony up.  It is a superb horn, piano, bass trio recording.  You don't want to live without their interpretation of Round Midnight. The live album doesn't quite match up, but if you have the one you will want the other.  Konitz's sound is unique.  It's dry, to be sure, but that just pulls the passion out of the listener.  Here is a sample:
Lee Konitz/Everything Happens to Me/Another Shade of Blue
 Well, there's some straight ahead jazz for you. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Don Cherry Was There

You might think of Don Cherry as a lesser Eric Dolphy.  Cherry's work, so far as I know it, hardly measured up to Dolphy's indispensable contributions to jazz, and he has no recordings as leader that stand anywhere near Far Cry or Out To Lunch.   On the other hand, Cherry's own recordings are very impressive and unjustly overlooked, and like Dolphy he managed to appear as sideman on a considerable number of seminal documents.  

Cherry's most famous work was as sideman on Ornette Coleman's recordings on Atlantic.  This was a body of music that, according to those who treasure it, changed jazz forever.  You can get it all in a box set: Beauty Is A Rare Thing.  I haven't made up my mind yet about the value of this set of records, but there is no denying that The Shape of Jazz to Come is a monumental achievement.  Likewise with Archie Shepp's The New York Contemporary Five.  That is not to forget The Avant Garde, on which Cherry shares billing with John Coltrane, which is kinda like Jimmy Olsen sharing billing with Superman.  Cherry is also featured prominently on one of my personal favorites: Steve Lacy's Evidence.  Don Cherry was by Zeus there when it was happening.  

All of this work is pretty challenging avant garde jazz, and to be a figure of secondary importance in a music that necessarily appeals to an audience that is only a subset of the jazz audience is not a recipe for immortal fame.  That can lead to a great injustice, and the neglect of Cherry's first album as sole leader is a crime.  

Complete Communion (1965) is superb.  The quartet was made up of Cherry, Leandro "Gato" Barbieri on saxophone, Henry Grimes on bass, and Ed Blackwell on drums.  The synergy between the four is perfect, but the real brilliance of the album comes from the dialogue between Cherry and the Argentine Barbieri.  I don't know the latter's work.  I gather that he rediscovered his Latin heritage and specialized in it in later recordings.  He began, however, as a devotee of Charlie Parker.  His life reads like a Mario Vargas Llosa novel.  On this recording, his playing is nothing short of genius.  In fact, if I may reuse the analogy, it reminds me in places of Eric Dolphy's early accompaniments. 

Like its successor, Symphony for Improvisers, this album consists of two "symphonies," each about twenty minutes in length.  I don't want to give away half an album, so here is an excerpt from the first side of the first album.  It will give you a pretty good idea of the Cherry/Barbieri dialogue that I am talking about.  
Don Cherry/Complete Communion (excerpt)/Complete Communion
If you like this, Cherry's recordings for Blue Note are available individually, or you might be able to find the box set The Complete Blue Note Recordings of Don Cherry.  The latter includes Where is Brooklyn?  Listen to all three.  You still won't know where Brooklyn is, but you will know that Cherry is where it's at. 

Monday, July 5, 2010

Voodoo Drums & Ghostly Horns

Not exactly a Fourth of July theme, but then I am writing at 40 minutes into the new day.  After a wonderful day of cooking ribs and cleaning house, followed by eating ribs and drinking beer with friends, I am in the mood for something less wholesome and a lot less fattening.  

Here it surely is.  I've been listening to Birth and Rebirth, a duet album by drummer Max Roach and horn player and "philosopher" Anthony Braxton.  Wow, does Braxton have spooky eyes.  It is an odd meeting between the mainstream and the jet stream.  It is pretty dry, overall, but good in the way that a dry martini is good.  You can hear and appreciate everything these two jazz genies conjure up.  Here is a sample:
Max Roach and Anthony Braxton/Spirit Possession/Birth and Rebirth
If that is not enough to cut the fat in your bloodstream, try this one from one of my beloved Mal Waldron/Steve Lacy duets.  It's sad romance, but pairs the emotion down to something not much more complicated than a beating heart and a sigh.  
Steve Lacy and Mal Waldron/A Flower is a Lovesome Thing/Sempre Amore
Sempre Amore is one of those albums that nobody but me seems to listen to.  Well, suddenly I am in the mood for something a little richer, with the same mood.  So here is a cut from my latest Sonny Criss acquisition.  Would you ever have expected a brilliant jazz interpretation of this song?  Criss, whose flag I have long been flying, managed to wield all his hard bop magic without ever losing the original sad mood of the Beatles' hit.  God, but I love Sonny Criss. 
Sonny Criss/Eleanor Rigby/Rockin' in Rhythm
Well, that's all for tonight.  Pick up these recordings.  That's an order.