Saturday, May 22, 2010

John Lindberg's Bass 2

Tonight, while a line of thunder storms rolled across the prairie, I listened again to John Lindberg's A Tree Frog Tonality.  I liked the music a lot more the second time around, and the title a lot less.  The title may be some kind of joke that goes over my musically uneducated head, but if I hadn't heard samples and read the review in the Penguin Guide I never would have bought it.  Surely someone with no additional clues would expect a lot of wierd animal noises.  In fact, it is pretty accessible avant garde.  

The musical line is not at all hard to follow.  Lindberg is magnificent.  Trumpeter Leo Smith, sax man Larry Ochs, and Percussionist Andrew Cyrille likewise.  Go back and listen to the sample from the last post again.  I think I hear two distinct echoes here.  One is to the "bird" compositions of Dave Holland and Thomas Chapin.  It's safer to name jazz albums after birds.  People like to hear birds sing more than they like to hear frogs croak.  Listen to Holland's 'Conference of the Birds' and Chapin's 'Night Bird Song', and then ATFT.  I think you will agree the three make a set.  

Another echo, more likely due to my own over active imagination, is to Chico Freeman's marvelous recording, Destiny's Dance.  Listen especially to 'Crossing the Sudan.'  At any rate, A Tree Frog Tonality is a superb document.  Don't let it. 

I am now listening to a third Lindberg recording, Dodging Bullets.  This is a trio recording, with Albert Mangelsdorff on trombone and Eric Watson on piano.  I won't comment on the album as a whole yet, except to point out that it got four stars in the PG.  Here is a sample:
John Lindberg/Horn is a Lady/Dodging Bullets
What the world needs now is more trombones in trios. 

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