Friday, December 30, 2011

Elvin Jones & Empirical

I have just acquired a marvelous box set: The Complete Blue Note Elvin Jones Sessions.  It contains eight CDs with the contents of maybe nine original LPs recorded between 1968 an 1973.  I've posted a couple of cuts from this collection but I have only started listening to it.  

I also purchased a recording by Empirical: Opt' n' In'.  This is a tribute to Eric Dolphy.  I have posted one cut on the recording: 'Hat & Beyond', an obvious nod to Dolphy's 'Hat & Beard', from his seminal recording Out to Lunch.  If I have time, I'll write more on these recordings. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

David Murray's Two Great Albums & All His Others

I have been pushing David Murray for a long time on this blog.  I am pushing him again, and I have posted three numbers on my Live365 site from two very fine albums.  

The Hill was recorded in 1986 and released in 88, by Black Saint.  Richard Davis plays bass and Joe Chambers plays drums and vibes.  It's very avant garde, as the cut I posted will demonstrate.  'Santa Barbara And Crenshaw Follies' begins with a meaty melody and then goes pretty wild.  I like it.  I'll wait for the reviews.  

Ming is probably the better album.  This one, recorded in 1980 by Black Saint, has a larger band and a much richer sound.  Henry Threadgill plays alto, backing up Murray on tenor and bass clarinet.  Lawrence "Butch" Morris plays cornet, George Lewis on trombone, Olu Dara on trumpet, Anthony Davis on piano, Wilber Morris, and Steve McCall on percussion.  

I am playing two songs from Ming on my station: 'Ming' and 'Dewey's Circle'.  Let me know if you like them, or if you don't.  Both of them are melody rich and avant garde vicious. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sam Rivers & Mario Schiano

I just downloaded a marvelous recording by Sam Rivers and Mario Schiano.  Rendez-Vous includes Barry Altschul on drums and vibes and the incomparable Dave Holland on bass.  It is a pretty good illustration of the awesome strengths and weaknesses of avant garde jazz.  

The first, title cut is begins with a moody series of cries that seems to promise a long, abstract sound track with all the interest provided by the film.  Then it resolves into the second number, a noisy, smoke house blues called "Brother Sam."  A little Duke Ellington is showing here.  After that, we get a version of "Lover Man" that is nothing short of genius.  I just love this cut.  I have included both 'Brother Sam' and 'Lover Man' on my Live365 station.  

The next three cuts grow increasingly abstract and airy.  I like them all, but you have to have share my taste for avant garde abstraction to appreciate them.  This is human passion cut into chunks and reassembled.  Welcome to Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory.  Keep your arms and legs away from the action. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mario Pavone

I have been listening to Deez to Blues (2006) by the Mario Pavone Sextet on this fine Halloween night.  Nothing spooky about the music.  It is just fine, inventive, and slightly edgy jazz.  Pavone plays bass, and is best known for backing up Thomas Chapin.  From the All Music Guide the band includes:
Steven Bernstein: trumpet, slide trumpet; Howard Johnson: tuba, baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Charles Burnham: violin; Peter Madsen: piano; Michael Sarin: drums.
Everyone is good and the rich weave of textures is about as good as you will find on a modern jazz album.   The contrast between the fat brass of the Bernstein's trumpet and the deep scoop of Johnson's low horns is magnificent.  If that weren't enough, Burnham's adds another spatial and temporal dimension to the sound, as if he were polishing the thick tiles of the other solos. 

I have to say, however, that Madsen is just brilliant on piano.  I haven't encountered a piano player that delighted me this much in a long time. 

This is great jazz and it will appeal to avant garde fans who like Bop and Bop fans who fans who like someone who, as the Troy Collins puts it, "bends the rules without breaking them."  I have added a couple cuts to my Live365 page: "Zines" and "Day of the Dark Bright Light".  I downloaded the album from Amazon. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Do Girls do Avant Garde?

If that question is really a question, it has been decisively answered by Matana Roberts.  Roberts is a sax player based in New York.  She is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, which sounds like a good thing to be a member of.  I have been listening to her recording The Chicago Project all day, over and over.  It is astoundingly good.  

The album weaves all the elements of traditional jazz into its tapestry but the larger image is unexpected and very gratifying.  The music is challenging enough, without ever losing the song.  I love this album!  Here is some information for you.  
The Chicago Project is Matana's homage to her home town and features compositions and conceptual material composed by Matana and interpreted by close friends and supporters of her Chicago development in the form of bassist Josh Abrams (of Town and Country, Prefuse 73 and more), guitarist Jeff Parker (of Tortoise, Chicago  Underground Trio and more) and drummer Frank Rosaly. The album was produced and engineered respectively by pianist Vijay Iyer and Tortoise’s John McEntire, and features a very special guest saxophonist in the form of Fred Anderson, who is one of the founding members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM).
I've posted a couple of cuts on my Live365 station.  It is available on eMusic.  Get the darn thing. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The genius of Cecil Taylor

Cecil Taylor's Jazz Advance is an essential item in any jazz library.  It is, all on its own, a brilliant piece of work.  In context, it is astonishing.  Recorded in 1956, it makes Miles Davis first great quintet look retrograde by comparison, and Miles was covering ground fast.  Taylor saw far ahead of his time.  

Last night I was listening to Taylor's Conquistador!, recorded a decade later.  Like most of Taylor's recordings, it is pure Avant Garde.  The room was lit by a single lamp and I was tired.  I dropped what I was reading and just listened.  It worked.  I was captivated by every note, though I could not have predicted the next note.  I suppose that was the point.  

Taylor recorded a lot of music, and I have enjoyed only a small portion.  I haven't heard anything that measures up to Jazz Advance, but I have heard a lot that is worth living with.  I have some recommendations.  
  1. Jazz Advance (1956)
  2. Looking Ahead (1958)
  3. The World of Cecil Taylor (1960)
  4. Air (1961)
  5. Jumpin' Punkins (1961)
  6. New York City R&B (1961)
  7. Cell Walk for Celeste (1961)
That gives you the early Taylor.  Most of it is available from eMusic.  I will follow up with some more detail and some later Taylor, well, later.  

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bobby Hutcherson on Blue Note pt. 2

Bobby Hutcherson recorded three albums as leader with Herbie Hancock on piano: Components (1965), Happenings (66), and Oblique (67).  As Hutcherson's Dialogue was, I think, deeply colored by the presence of Andrew Hill, so Hancock's presence colors the 66 and 67.  This is so in spite of the fact that Hutcherson composed all but one of the numbers on Happenings (Hancock's 'Maiden Voyage') and three of the six numbers of on Oblique.  The latter also includes a single Hancock composition.  I think that this is a strength of Hutcherson's leadership rather than a weakness and is quite intentional.  Hutcherson's composition 'Subtle Neptune' certainly invokes the oceanic theme that marked Hancock's great Blue Note recordings.  Hutcherson chose to do something very clever: record albums that fit rather neatly with the latter.  
  1. Components.  Freddie Hubbard (tp); James Spaulding (as, fl); Bobby Hutcherson (vib, mar); Herbie Hancock (p, org); Ron Carter (b); Joe Chambers (d).  Four of the cuts are Hutcherson composition, and they are all lyrical, accessible, and delicious.  'Tranquility' is pensive and haunting.  'Little B's Poem' is a classic.  The rest of the compositions are by Chambers, and lean a little more toward the avant garde.  
  2. Happenings.  Bobby Hutcherson (vib, mar, d); Herbie Hancock (p); Bob Cranshaw (b); Joe Chambers (d, mar),  Great album art!  All the compositions are good.  I especially like 'Head Start' with Hutcherson's superb solos going on just inches above Hancock's piano. This is very energetic and compelling hard bop.
  3. Oblique.  Bobby Hutcherson (vib, d); Herbie Hancock (p); Albert Stinson (b); Joe Chambers (d, gong, timp).  What Hutcherson does with Hancock's 'Theme from "Blow Up"' is just marvelous, and you don't get better vibes than are on display in the title cut.  
  4. Stick Up! (66) Joe Henderson (ts); Bobby Hutcherson (vib); McCoy Tyner (p); Herbie Lewis (b); Billy Higgins (d).  This is a nice contrast with the above recordings.  It doesn't sound like a Hancock or a Henderson album, though Joe does not go unnoticed.  Hutcherson's poetry is a conspicuous feature of all these albums, but the best expression of it is in the aptly titled 'Verse'.  Again, Hutcherson composes his solo just above the exquisite Tyner on piano and Lewis on base, followed Henderson doing the same.  I can't imagine listening to this and not being happy.  
I may do another post on Hutcherson, or maybe not.   If you have the four recordings described in these last two posts, you have a fine record of mid-sixties jazz in all of its glory. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bobby Hutcherson on Blue Note pt. 1

I have had very little time for this blog over the last few months and I confess that I have not really found a satisfying way to combine it with my Live365 site.  This was a lot more fun when I was posting links directly to sample cuts, but that was more risk that I was willing to continue taking. 

The original purpose of the blog was to share my love of jazz collecting, so I am going to try to return to that purpose.  Who knows?  Perhaps I can draw some audience back.  

I have been rounding out my collection of vibe man Bobby Hutcherson recordings.  In the mid '60's, Hutcherson did a series of recordings for Blue Note that ought to be in anyone's jazz library.  Here is a list of these recordings with some notes.  
  1. The Kicker (63)  Joe Henderson (ts); Duke Pearson (p); Grant Green (g); Bob Cranshaw (b); Al Harewood (d).  This might as well have been marketed as a Henderson album.  Maybe then Blue Note wouldn't have kept it in the vaults for more than thirty years (1999)!  It is a rock solid hard bop date, with fine displays by Henderson and Hutcherson and Pearson.  Kicker* may be heard on my Live365 site.  
  2. Dialogue (65) Freddie Hubbard (t); Sam Rivers (ss, ts, f); Andrew Hill (p); Richard Davis (b); Joe Chambers (d).  Likewise, this might have been marketed as an Andrew Hill recording, as the pianist composed three of the cuts and it has a very topography.  This is Hutcherson's most interesting and inventive recording.  It invites obvious comparison with two very great recordings.  Hill's Andrew!!! has the same Hill-Davis-Chambers rhythm section.  Hutcherson, Hubbard, and Davis appeared on Eric Dolphy's earth shaking recording, Out To Lunch.  Hill's 'Les Noirs Marchant' could easily have fit on that album.
Don't misinterpret my remarks about marketing.  These are both Hutcherson recordings.  If his subsequent Blue Note recordings were less adventurous than Dialogue, they are nonetheless squarely on the path of the new thing.   In pt. 2, I'll cover Happenings, Stick Up, and Oblique

ps.  I have relied heavily on A Bobby Hutcherson Web Site.  What a resource!  Would that every jazz artist had this kind of attention paid to him or her. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Freedom Day

Happy Fourth of July.  I have posted Max Roach's 'Speak, Brother, Speak,' my Live365 station, in honor of these United States.  For entirely obvious reasons, there is a not a lot of explicitly patriotic music in jazz.  However, the civil rights stuff is more than genuinely patriotic in its fashion.  I think you will enjoy the long Roach piece. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Jared Gold on Posi-tone

I've been listening to more organ music tonight: Jared Gold's All Wrapped Up.  Gold leads a quartet consisting of Ralph Bowen on tenor sax, Jim Rotondi on trumpet and flugelhorn, and Quincy Davis on drums.  The instrument conspicuous by its absence is the bass.  Is it really jazz if there isn't the thump of the bass?

Well, yes.  Gold has a very vigorous strike for an organ player and he has to fill in for the bass when the horns are up front.  He does a good job of that and more.  Gold plays the organ like a catcher plays baseball: he minds his post and manages the field.  The horns are prominent, as God intended, but the organ is always supporting the action.  If you were moving a resolution for more organ in jazz, you would want to introduce this album into evidence.  

Ralph Bowen knows what a saxophone is for.  His solos are brilliant.  I was constantly surprised by his changes and by his sense of where the sweet spot in the melody lies.  Rotondi's horn reminded me of a smoky room many years ago when another horn player reminded of why God made ears.  I won't neglect the drumming, which was flawless and rich.  

But Gold's organ was the interesting thing.  His solo work ranged between soulful singing and the precision of a computer dialing a phone number.  The latter was wonderful on its own, but it highlighted the mood of the former.  

Don't miss All Wrapped Up.  Tell 'em I sent ya. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Jemeel Moondock & William Parker: New World Pygmies

I am way behind on my album reviewing.  I have a lot of good stuff from Posi-Tone to review.  I hope to do that properly soon, but my summer schedule is tighter than my fall and spring schedules.  Just right now I am listening to New World Pygmies, a 1999 duet album with Moondoc on alto sax and William Parker on double bass (Eremite Records).  What a fine piece of jazz. 

The music is brilliant, lyrical, and deeply passionate.  It's avant garde, to be sure; however, it is more accessible music than you might expect from these two luminaries.  You will want to listen to it where the background noise is minimal.  You need to be able to hear ever inch of Parker's strings.  The sound is superb, and that is essential on an album like this.  The sheer sound of the instruments is almost a third party to the recording.  

I was able to get New World Pygmies for a reasonable price from Amazon.  What I don't understand is why it's not available in mp3 format.  Since so much music is purchased that way now, any label not getting its music up online is dropping the ball.  Moreover, this is the kind of thing you would have had a hard time finding when CD stores and jazz sections still roamed the Earth.  Give this one a shot.  Tell 'em I sent ya.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

See How They Run

I received a very nice CD from Lucas Brown, who plays organ for The Three Blind Mice.  The Trio is led by sax man Victor North.  Wayne Smith plays drums.  The CD is entitled The Outsider.  I have been dancing to it all day.  The organ is relatively rare in jazz.  It doesn't have the strike of the piano or bass, or the dense cry of the horns.  Instead, it has a crushed velvet texture.  I like it, and Brown's playing makes me want to hear more.  

I also grew very fond of North's sax work by the end of the album.  It gives me that "come on back around" feelin', here is something you should have paid more attention to.  This is contemporary jazz worth listening to.  Check out the web page above to get the CD.  Trust me, you'll like it.  I have a couple cuts on my Jazz Note station. 

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day & Taxi

I've had About by Day & Taxi sitting way down on my eMusic wish list for maybe a year.  It went on the list for the same reason as all its neighbors: The Penguin Guide to Jazz.  I am not sure quiet why I finally got around to it.  It may have had something to do with the beguiling photo on the cover.  At any rate, it is a real find, exactly the kind of thing you are going to like, if you like that sort of thing. 

Day & Taxi is a trio led by Swiss soprano saxophonist Christoph Gallio.  On the 1998 release, Dominique Girod plays bass and Dieter Ulrich is on drums.  Saxophone trios aren't common and do not seem to command a large audience.  They tend to empty the air around them like some ancient bard and lean heavily toward the moody and abstract.  Playing soprano sax does nothing to reverse the direction.  It is no wonder that sax trios almost always play avant garde jazz. 

On the other hand, I cannot thing of another sort of jazz combo that is so perfect for weaving a muscular narrative.  Ken Vandermark's DKV trio, which I reviewed recently, is a good example.  When a fine sax trio gets going on a theme, it can generate drama faster than a drum and flute with a real, live army behind 'em.  I thought that About is the closest anyone has come to catching up with the genius of Steve Lacy.  I put the best cut on the album, 'Madagaskar', up on my Jazz Note station.  You could pass it off as a Lacy trio.  The same is true of most of the cuts.  

Day & Taxi is a marvelous trio, well worth your while.  Gallio is a very thoughtful storyteller.  Girod and Ulrich provide a lot of thunder and tremor at all the dramatic moments.  This is splendid avant garde jazz. 

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Joyful Jazz of Noah Haidu

As spring slowly and tentatively emerges from under a  long winter, your South Dakota jazz fan dearly needs something to cheer him up.  I am listening to Noah Haidu's Slipstream.  It is doing the trick. 

Haidu is a New York pianist and member of the group Native Soul.  He is a student of Kenny Baron and Barry Harris.  The personnel on Slipstream include Jeremy Pelt on trumpet, whom I have been keeping an ear to.  Jon Irabagon plays a fine alto saxophone.  Chris Haney plays bass like he means it.  John Davis and Willie Jones III alternate on drums. 

This is a very tight and well-conducted band.  The music is energetic, straight ahead jazz joy.  I especially like Haidu's style of playing behind his horns: leading by commenting with one phrase after another.  His solos are gorgeous.  Maybe the best cut on the album is 'Float', a trio piece with Haney's bass and Davis on drums.  Pelt shines on 'Take Your Time'.  Or maybe the best cut is the opening 'Soulstep'.  That I can't make up my mind is a good sign.  

All I can tell you for sure is that I liked Slipstream, and you will too.  Buy it.  Support your friendly neighborhood jazz man.  You can hear a couple of cuts on my Live365 station.  

ps.  Check out the cut by Day & Taxi on that same station.  It's a rich horn and drums trio.  Tell 'em I sent ya. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Captain Black Big Band

Photo: Howard Pitkow -

I am just beginning to listen to the Posi-Tone recordings that the label was kind enough to send me.  As I type I have 'Here's the Captain' playin' and man oh man am I ever groovin to it.  It's the second cut from Captain Black Big Band.  The band is directed by pianist Orrin Evans.  Evans solos, as does Victor North on sax.  The recording was made at the Jazz Gallery, NYC, about a year ago.  

I don't listen to a lot of big band jazz, having an incurable fondness for the small combo.  This is the kind of album that makes me think I am really missing out.  The kind of big band that I do like has the virtues of a classical concerto, or baseball for that matter: one virtuoso stands on home plate and faces the opposing team.  You get the best of individual action and team play at the same time.  

Captain Black has everything in the playbook.  The band is superbly tight, vibrant, and confident.  I especially like the way that the compositions are laid out and succinctly stated.  One moment the whole band is producing a torrent of gorgeous sound and then the band lays down a bit, with a single, bold notes marking the way.  For the solos, little combos form and break up behind a slithering bass clarinet (Todd Marcus) or a trumpet (Walter White). 

This is a very fine recording.  It will have you dancing in the kitchen, if you can listen to in the kitchen.  Pony up for Captain Black Big Band.  Tell 'em I sent ya. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Posi-Tone Records

I received a very welcome invitation from Posi-Tone records to review some of their catalog.  I accepted the invitation, and expect to post the reviews here.  They have a new Mike DiRubbo recording, Chronos.  I can't wait to hear it.  I have a DiRubbo cut on my Live365 station right now: 'New Year's Dream' from the New York Accent Album. 

Meanwhile I have added a new Mike DiRubbo to my L365 station, as well as a toe-curlingly good cut from a Roswell Rudd album: Live In New York, with Grachan Moncur III: Motelitis.  Keep listening. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Oliver Lake & Other New Music on Jazz Note

I've been grovin' to sax man (alto and soprano) Oliver Lake' magnificent Dat Love.  The album features Lyndon Achee on steel drums, which sounds weird.  On an Aurthur Blythe album that would make for a kind of Tiki Hut atmosphere.  On this album the drum simply replaces the piano.  The music is exquisite.  Reggie Washington plays electric bass and Damon Duewhite is on drums.  I've uploaded Stolen Moments, the Oliver Nelson composition that starts off the famous Blues and the Abstract Truth, and D2, a Lake composition. 

I also added 
  • Dave Liebman Trio/Gallop's Gallop/Monk's Mood
  • Dave Liebman Trio/Nutty/Monk's Mood
  • Serge Chaloff/I've Got The World on a String/Blue Serge
  • Mal Waldron Trio/Spaces/Our Colline's A Treasure
  • Charlie Mingus/Black Bats and Poles/Changes Two
  • Lars Guillin/Danny's Dream/Danny's Dream

Friday, March 25, 2011

New Music on Live365

Here is some more jazz uploaded to my Live365 station.  If you are listening to that station and happen to check this blog out, drop me a comment. 
  1. Henri Texier/In The Years of the Dragon/Respect
  2. Jim Snidero/Infant Eyes/Blue Afternoon
  3. Mike DiRubbo Quartet/New Year's Dream/New York Accent: Live at the Kitano
  4. Ornette Coleman/Street Woman/The Complete Science Fiction Sessions
  5. Anthony Braxton/Dewey Square/Charlie Parker Project
  6. Reid Anderson/Every Day is Beautiful/Abolish Bad Architecture
  7. Thelonious Monk/Round Midnight/Live at the It Club
  8. Wayne Shorter/Deluge/Juju

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Recent Live365 Program

My Live365 program has about ten hours of jazz on it now.  I haven't had the time/energy to post a complete play list here, but I will try to list new stuff as I add it.  Here is what went up this week:

  1. William Parker/Sunday Morning March/Scrapbook
  2. Thelonious Monk/Misterioso/Misterioso
  3. Steve Lacy and Eric Watson/Goodbye Pork Pie Hat/Spirit of Mingus
  4. Rob Garcia Quartet/Perennial/Perennial
  5. Joe Henderson/Y Todavia La Quiero/Relaxin' at Camarillo
  6. David Murray/India/Octet Plays Trane
  7. Chico Freeman/Infant Eyes/The Unspoken Word
That's a pretty good slice of music.  Most of it is relatively unknown.  The William Parker album is a "violin trio" with Parker on bass, Hamid Drake on drums, and Billy Bang on violin.  It gives the album a classical touch but the arrangements are a range of African American roots music.   The Steve Lacy/Eric Watson album is what you get when you get a Steve Lacy duet.  

I am still rather possessed by the DKV Trio albums I posted about earlier.  This is certainly the most captivating free jazz I have ever heard. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

More Vandermark

My current passion is the DKV Trio: Hamid Drake on drums; Kent Kessler on bass; and Ken Vandermark on reeds.  DKV Trio discs are not easy to come by.  The eMusic folks have never heard of em, and there is nothing on Amazon.  I was able to order a couple directly from the label: Okka Disc.  They arrived by mail in less than four days. 

Trigonometry is a two disc set documenting a live performance in Rochester, New York and Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Although the discs are broken up by titled "index points", the liner notes inform us that each performance is really one long stream of music.  It works pretty much the same.  I wouldn't rank this quite as high as the Live at Chicago and Wels disc I reviewed recently, but it is superb anyway.  A lot of the music is abstract, as one would expect, but this morning when I listened to the first twenty minute cut I found myself slapping my knees and groovin down to the bedrock.  This is free jazz with a feelin. 

DKV Trio/Fred Anderson adds a tenor sax to make one mean quartet.  It is, frankly, more accessible than some of the stuff on the Trig disc.  It is very solid free jazz. 

I added a couple cuts from Trigonometry and one from the Fred Anderson disc to my Live365 page.  I also added a cut from the Vandermark 5 album, Elements of Style

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Jemeel Moondoc is Outta This World

One of the most satisfying things about jazz collecting is that I keep finding really brilliant jazz artists of whom I have never heard. Friday afternoon I chanced upon the entry for Jemeel Moondoc in the Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings. That was an afternoon well spent.

Moondoc was born in 1951 in Chicago, which makes him relatively young in the circle of jazz geniuses.  He is an avant garde sax player who developed as a protege of Cecil Taylor.  Moondoc has also recorded frequently with master bass player and composer William Parker.  My love for Parker's Midas touch has deepened steadily over the last two years or so.  Everything Parker comes near turns to jazz gold.

Moondoc's album Nostalgia in Times Square is one glittering example.   In addition to Moondoc on alto and Parker on bass, Bern Nix plays guitar, Rahn Burton piano and Dennis Charles is on drums.  Don't get me wrong: this is Moondoc's work.  There are four cuts on the album including the title piece (a cover of a Mingus tune) and three Moondoc compositions.  I think that the original pieces are all better than the Mingus cover.  Best of all, you can get the MP3 download from Amazon for a cool $3.56.  You'd be very, very lucky to pick it up at a yard sale for that. 

The album is very accessible jazz with an avant garde bite to it.  I have added "Flora" to my Live365 play list.  That is the best of the four cuts, but all of them are good.  "In Walked Monk" is a nice piece of homage, but I think that the last cut, "Dance of the Clowns" is both better and more Monkish.  This is superb jazz.  Take my word for it and download the album.  I'll be picking up some more Moondoc after payday.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

DKV Trio Live at Wels & Chicago

Holy smoking reeds, Batman!  I didn't get around to listening to the second half of the two disc set: DKV Trio Live at Wels & Chicago until tonight.  As mentioned in the previous post, DKV is Hamid Drake on percussion, Kent Kessler on bass, and Ken Vandermark on reeds.  I read somewhere that Vandermark is the greatest living jazz horn player.  After listening to "Blues for Tomorrow", I can no longer dismiss that as hyperbole.  The power of Vandermark's bluesy solo is simply breathtaking.  He got a hold on my heart and squeezing it for nearly twenty minutes.  Pretty much the same goes for the other two tracks on the second disc. 

I uploaded the cut to my Live365 station.  I think you can order the disc from Okkadisk.  It seems to me a crime that no DKV recordings are available from eMusic or Amazon.  I do not understand why.  You'll have to wait for it to come around on my station, and there is almost nine hours of music on it now.  Take my word for it and order the recording from Okkadisk.  They are only asking 15 bucks.  Meanwhile, here is a clip from YouTube

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Apologies for being AWOL

I haven't posted for weeks, and I feel bad about that.  I have been adding music to my live365 site.  I am filling it up gradually.  I wish I had time to post play lists, but right now I don't. 

I haven't entirely neglected my collecting.  Today I acquired a rare disc: DKV Trio-Live In Wels & Chicago.   It wasn't easy to come by.  The V is reed player Ken Vandermark.  Vandermark is one of the most inventive and expansive jazz artists I know of.  His group The Vandermark Five has produced a number of astonishing recordings.  I recommend Airports For Light, Burn the Incline, and Elements of Style

The D is Hamid Drake on drums and the K is Kent Kessler on bass.  This is a delicious and very edgy jazz trio.  The recording and the playing is brilliant.  The music is very soulful.  I put a couple of cuts on my 365 site. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Some New Music on Live365

I've been swamped lately.  One of these days I'm going to get things right.  Or so says Mose Allison.  I have added an hour of music to my Live365 channel.  I started with a Mose Allison gem.  The rest are from albums that I purchased when I first began buying jazz records.  Here is a playlist:

  1. Mose Allison/Days Like This/The Word from Mose Allison
  2. Bill Evans Trio/Pensativa/Crosscurrents
  3. Warne Marsh/Blues in G Flat/The Unissued Copenhagen Studio Session
  4. Kenny Burrell and John Coltrane/Freight Trane/Kenny Burrell and John Coltrane
  5. Kenny Burrell/ Midnight Blue/Midnight Blue
  6. Zoot Sims/Jitterbug Waltz/Warm Tenor
  7. Zoot Sims/You Go To My Head/Warm Tenor
  8. Wes Montgomery/Come Rain or Shine/The Complete Riverside Recordings
  9. Bill Evans/The Days of Wine and Roses/Affinity
  10. Bill Evans/Blue and Green/Affinity
The Allison piece speaks for itself.  Crosscurrents, with Warne Marsh  Lee Konitz backing the Bill Evans Trio (Eddi Gomez on bass and Eliot Zigmund on drums), was one of the albums that hooked me into jazz.  I follow it with Warne Marsh from an unissued recording that got issued.  

I bought a bunch of albums with Kenny Burrell on them after I saw Burrell in concert in Southern California.  Burrell and Trane is a great example.  But I think that Midnight Blue is one of those albums that ought to be at the top of the list.  The recording is superb, and the playing is transcendental.  From
Bass - Major Holley  Congas - Ray Barretto  Drums - Bill English Tenor Saxophone - Stanley Turrentine

Zoot Sims' Warm Tenor was one of my first purchases, back in Jonesboro Arkansas when I was still mowing my parent's lawn.  That is about as revealing an album title as ever I saw.  From the All Music Guide: This quartet set with pianist Jimmy Rowles, bassist George Mraz and drummer Mousie Alexander.  

I had a double album by Wes Montgomery.  I don't know for sure if this piece was on it, but it is a good sample of what I fell in love with.  If Zoot's horn was warm, Wes had about as warm a line as any guitar jazz man. Now that I think about it, I am sure that this was on the original album because I recorded it and played on the stereo at the liquor store where I worked.  My boss complained. 

I added a couple of pieces from Affinity, with Bill Evans and Toots Thielemans on harmonica.  Same trio as above, with Larry Schneider on horns.  This is just exquisite jazz. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Insufficiently Sung Sidemen/Commentary

Intrepid reader had done a masterful job of interpreting my current playlist.  I am tempted to leave it at that.  But I will resist the temptation.  

I began with a duo by Mal Waldron and Marion Brown, because I wanted to feature Brown.  Brown is one of those big souls who leaves a small mark.  But don't miss it!  I followed that with a piece from John Coltrane's album Afro Blue Impressions.  This is part of a body of work recorded by Trane in Europe in 1963.  I think you can get a box with all of it.  The piece is Naima, one of the most beautiful ballads in modern jazz.  Bass - Jimmy Garrison, Drums - Elvin Jones , Piano - McCoy Tyner.  

I offered that only to set up the next piece by Archie Shepp from Four For Trane.  Listening to Trane's version, you can really appreciate the invention in Shepp's groundbreaking album.  Bass - Reggie Workman ,Drums - Charles Moffett ,Saxophone [Alto] - John Tchicai ,Saxophone [Tenor] - Archie Shepp, Trombone - Roswell Rudd , Trumpet - Alan Shorter.  I am simply amazed by this work. 

That got me to Marion Brown's album, Three For Shepp.  The connection is obvious, and it offers an example of how I listen to music: like a bloodhound following a trail.   Bass - Sirone, Drums - Bobby Capp ,Piano - Stanley Cowell, Trombone - Grachan Moncur III.  

The rest of the playlist is devoted to Andrew Cyrille, Grachan Moncur III, a lot of Reggie Workman, and Booker Ervin.  I hope to offer some more information, but for now this will have to do.  Love to all.