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.