Wednesday, November 23, 2011
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.