Saturday, May 22, 2010
John Lindberg's Bass is the Place
What is the avant garde taste? Imagine one of those moments when you are watching a movie and you are totally captivated even though nothing much is happening. A man is walking in a desert, a chef is cutting vegetables on a slick board. What has you in its grip is the music. The music tells you everything you need to know about what you are seeing. Avant garde jazz tries to do that, only without the video.
There may be something vain in that. Can you chop and saute bits of mood and passion in the absence of any narrative? That would be the question. I have been listening to John Lindberg, a double bass player only a little younger than I am. That damned Penguin Guide to Jazz. Lindberg's Bounce is a real find. Dave Douglas plays trumpet on the album, and what he does with that piece of brass is beyond my three dimensional brain. Larry Ochs plays sax, and Ed Thigpen is on drums.
The recording is crystal clear. Here is a piece that highlights Lindberg's enormous talent, as well as Douglas' ability to enter into dialogue. Listen to this when the ball game is over.
That album gets weirder as it goes on. Another Lindberg recording is pretty challenging from the outset. Here is the most accessible track:
The album title says it all. But it is late May. I am sitting on my deck drinking Scotch. A porch light is visible in the distance. That is the narrative.