The Complete Mercury Masters/Sir Douglas Quintet
Je Suis Africain/Rachid Taha
Bought the Art Ensemble of Chicago's We Are On The Edge mostly because of the instrumentation, as much or more than the players, as listed below---on headphones, especially, you will hear all of this in due time/ a spherical clearing (call it chamber jazz and para-jazz, maybe most of it through-composed, though it's a vast chamber...
Roscoe Mitchell – sopranino, soprano and alto saxophones
Famoudou Don Moye – drums, congas, djembe, dundun, gongs, Congo bells, bendir, triangles, Thai bells, shakers
Moor Mother (Camae Ayewa) – voice, poetry (Disc One #3, 4, 10)
Rodolfo Cordova-Lebron – voice (Disc One #1, 6, 9)
Hugh Ragin – trumpets, flugelhorn, Thai bells
Fred Berry – trumpet, flugelhorn
Nicole Mitchell – piccolo, flute, bass flute
Christina Wheeler – voice, Array mbira, autoharp, Q-Chord, Moog Theremini, sampler, electronics
Jean Cook – violin
Edward Yoon Kwon – viola
Tomeka Reid – cello
Silvia Bolognesi – bass
Jaribu Shahid – bass, tuned brass bowls
Junius Paul – bass
Dudù Kouaté – djembe, tama/talking drum, calabashes, kanjira, whistles, chimes, bells and small percussions (Disc One only)
Enoch Williamson – bongos, congas, djembe, kenkeni, okonkolo, Congo bells, chekeré, shakers, tama/talking drum
Titos Sompa – vocals, congas, mbira, Congo bells, cuica, shakers
Stephen Rush – conductor
... a canopied chamber: you want the forests of the lost homeland, of Earth, here's just some of what that could feel like, in terms of levels and degrees of light, like that album title, incl shade, shading, shades, nuances growing and standing this way and that, with apprehension and awe and alertness require d at all times.
The first 25 minutes or so seemed way too slow the first time I listened, but then the boombox immediately started replaying Disc I--during which I had grabbed a coffee and pumped up the volume---and this time I was immediately grabbed by the forest floor momentum, which goes to big bustling "Chi-Congo 50," def recallingthe history of Chicago and the Congo, and Congo Square gets mentioned by Moor Mother, who is invaluable here.
Her exhortation of the title track takes some acerbic turns, like yeah we went forth into bold idealistic adventures, quests---and then "back to the projects," where yeah gotta organize, share what we've learned, but still here we are back in the projects (which might be grant-writing etc. art projects as well as housing projects). Immediately followed, about half-an-hour in, by "I Greet You With Open Arms," also with a somewhat disconcerting Octavia E. Butler, Toni Morrison vibe or zone: she puts the moor in mother alright, but not mad at ya, just that Mama's got some rules, (is the way I take her sound as much as words).
She might be a disciplinary influence on the slightly hushed, so-far-orderly anticipation of travelers swarming into "Oasis at Dusk"---also those who greet them---and I still haven't gotten to Disc 2, the live performance, with some of these titles and more.
Several tracks are here:
― dow, Thursday, 5 September 2019 17:14 (three months ago) link
Moor Mother is fantastic, but seriously intimidating. Have you heard her group Irreversible Entanglements? It's more Ayler-esque free jazz and her going full-on revolutionary up front.
xpost Thanks! OMG here's Irreversible Entanglements on International Anthem's bandcamp, along with Jaimie Branch and Makaya McCraven and several performers also on We Are On The Edge:
Battles, Juice B Crypts: Yes yes, excellent selection of guest vox: Shabazz Palaces, Xenia Rubinos, Jon Anderson, Sal Principato, tune-yards, swimming this brewful stew, which b chock-full of op art poptronic cuckoo clock functionality. Don't sleep on the video album:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NE9riaWiLb4
Glenn Branca, The Third Ascension: haven't heard the second (2010's The Ascension: The Sequel), and my copies of 1981's The Ascension and '83's Symphony No. 1 (Tonal Plexus) are somewhere else, but they merge my memories into crackling hairy tribal Romantic arcs, visionary unfrozen caveman orchestras (esp, 1981 quest)---an approach he never entirely abandoned, judging by the title of the last album released in his lifetime (that I know of), 2016's Symphony No. 13 (Hallucination City) For 100 Guitars. This is for and of a combo, billowing parachutes sideways, which is okay: only ghost trains in these rails, so plenty of room to goose UFOs through these tunnels--git along, little dogies, and know that this music is stupendous and almost tossed off, totally committed and all in a day's work, rock in spirit plus times you win again. Not, as I hear it, going out in a furious blaze of glory, but otherwise as close to skullmelting refreshment as black*star or however you write it.
What I said on here about the 2017 FoD:
Jaimie Branch's trumpet is bold but never too brassy (or tasteful), her bassist is upright and possesses an arco capable of suggesting dub and other tronics while not bothering with any gear or processing beyond basic mic, mixing board and whatever digits and/or tape might suffice, oh yeah and the drums! The kind of drums so many combos rely on to fix messes, keep you awake, but no need for any of that, but they're great anyway, not waiting for the heroic chores!
Oh yeah, discovered Allison Miller last summer---from Rolling Jazz 2018:
Last night, dithering around like a dizzy bizzy bee---and Sundays are always weird at best---I found my attention and pleasure principle repeatedly pulled into a performance-and-interview episode of Jazz Night In America:, feat. drummer-composer Allison Miller and her group Boom Tic Boom (think it's usually spelled "Tic" not "Tick," which I dig), incl. " Miller alongside violinist Jenny Scheinman, cornetist Kirk Knuffke, clarinetist Jeff Lederer, pianist Carmen Staaf and bassist Tony Scherr." Jazz, no question, but/and I get how she credits Prince as inspiration (reminding me, though don't think she mentioned it, that P. hired Clare Fischer to arrange and conduct). The "melodic drumming" thing demonstrated here---in a spotlight studio segment, as well as all through the BTB set---she traces to Africa, and shows how she has no prob w melody as written, then responds to vocal interpretation/
So here's all that, 56:08's worth, just posted, I think:
Also, from a couple of years ago, when her most recent album was released, here she is on WBGO, with Myra Melford and Todd Sickafoose instead of Staaf and Scherr---also got Ben Goldberg on clarinet:
2019's Glitter Wolf has no prob taking it to the studio: still a feast of friends, playfully challenging and appealing to all us rando guests, with immediate gratifications and newfound rounds in every stream.
Nérija is certainly compatible with Boom Tic Boom, though maybe more persistently passionate, romantic, even, at certain peaks---Blume in Luv?---with perfect timing vanishing into trusted impulse, or so it seems (jazz).
Take it away, bandcamp:
Nérija is Nubya Garcia (tenor saxophone), Sheila Maurice-Grey (trumpet), Cassie Kinoshi (alto saxophone), Rosie Turton (trombone), Shirley Tetteh (guitar), Lizy Exell (drums) and Rio Kai (bass). Blume is a truly breath-taking collection of compositions that perfectly encapsulates everything Nérija. Vibrant, engaging, infectious and truly current, Blume takes you on a sprawling wonderful journey, arriving at what is a majestic body of work of their personal and collective experiences and inspirations over the last half decade or so.
Arthur Russell, Iowa Dream: "She's walking to the train, I think I hear it, she's walking to the train, I think I hear it." Word--so much quiet momentum here, so much in it, so far I can only listen in maybe 15-20 minute segments: a kind of miniature box set effect, unique in my experience (whole thing is timed at 62:04 by my veteran Sony boombox)listening also on plain ol' Koss UR-40 headphones). Great Plains jingle-jangle dream bicycle (bandcamp term), also the train and Beeg Ceety countdown. Re lossy, meant to do comparative listening w stream, but haven't yet---bandcamp should be fine, though, as it usually is (for my Koss, anyway).
re jeez how much more could there be?, a friend of mine was a neighbor of his, and often saw him walking around with big studio headphones plugged into his Walkman, and my friend (Luc Sante) refrained from saying hello or even nodding, because Arthur always looked like he was in or past the middle of something, really really coming to a big decision--though this went on for years, and we now know that he would frequently end up doing yet another mix, or starting over with the recording, and/or putting the material away and going on to something else---in between walking around and around New York, listening---and driving his label crazy. So there could be a lot more.
re AR walking around and around, dressed as The Decider etc., and the artistic payoff still emerging, I'm especially struck by this bit in Jenn Pelly's PFork review:
In "You Did It Yourself," Russell seems to be experiencing yet another moment of endearing self-sabotage ("You did it yourself/It keeps you down") and also reflecting on a "thrilling" film he saw "last night": "Understood all of it very well/I didn't like the ending though/Maybe I'm crazy but it just seemed tacked on." The pieces of his sung critique stream by like a river. Russell was prone to the unresolvable, to the nonlinear, to atmosphere over concrete. The miracle of his catalog is how the seams mend together, stitch by stitch, a different way forward, as if creating no "endings" for himself.
But also, becoming ace at envisioning daily deaths of the heart, as in the killer finale (Cowboy Cowgirl Somebody cover it), "In Love With You For The Last Time," though of course you gotta come back to life for another last time, in his cycles especially.
Also on here, going wayback machine:
Saturday, March 13, 2004
*SPECIAL GUEST MENTALIST - DON ALLRED*
The World Of Arthur Russell (Soul Jazz - 2004)
My two cents re THE WORLD OF ARTHUR RUSSELL (notes after first couple of spins; CALLING OUT OF CONTEXT turned out well also): So far, seems like the quote from Allen Ginsberg might be key: says Arthur told him he was trying to make "Buddhist bubblegum songs." So we get the contemplation and catchiness at the same time, or in cyclic, alternating patterns: all the shifting plains on planes of activity can gradually haze out like a street scene,veils of illusion and the steady beat under all other rhythms can add to this effect or provide a contrast to what's above, going gradually across shades of effect, along the same scale (I'm thinking here especially of the finally-heard full-or-anyway-long-length "Living in the Light": plenty light, plenty shades of blue as well as humor; some tracks seem mainly about the humor).Not quite relaxing on the axis with the Steady Change Band (width being played with). The tracks with just his voice, cello, maybe a guitar, do this in miniature, crystallized focus as refreshed air: lines, hopes, moods rise and fall like breath, in and out of the silence and nothingness (quickly). I like that these shorter pieces can be more focussed (his voice can sometimes get close to affectless in the midst of the longer, more crowded grooves), and still have the mutable vibe of the epics, and that they have the same brisk beat, without having it so spelled out for us by all those rhythm generators (much more of a prob elsewhere, like I notice on this album-length mix Freelance Hellraiser did for Mixmag, despite all his well-timed mashups, got this same beat keeps coming back, unifying, yeah, but Freelance doesn't need it all that much, he's got an implicit sense of rhythm, but, as with Arthur, he's trying to balance expectations-what's much worse than this are the auteurs who insist on building a big pedantic digital image of a complete drumset, an ugly overpriced obsolete one, like from Sears Roebuck ca.1962) As for Arthur himself:so far, beatwise, fave is "Let's Go Swimming," where the *basic* rhythm track rises up (mainly via some keyboard, but no longer twinkling patiently along like his keybs usually do; this one's subsuming most of the usual percussion-per-se clatter) and: cartwheels all around,pinballs all around, and he mentions the sky, and I'm looking up at it with cartballs pinwheels around periphery of my vision, elusive yet definitive of its contours, and there's yer Buddhist bubblegum (pale blue, but with sufficient bubble and pop).
Monday, February 14, 2005:
...Not too surprising to read that Arthur Russell took his music everywhere, walking through the city with headphones on, seeing how his latest mixes sounded in different (passing) scenes. He's audibly the man from the plains, the wide open spaces, keening and rolling his oatey notes like the Midwest-rooted Wilson brothers.("Rooted"? well everybody's from somewhere and somewhere else, 'specially in suburbia.) Don't wanta be fenced in, but walk long enough and you're sweeping through the city, through the veil of illusion and allusion, with your nice-boy cello, and your get down/ambitious/romantic, yet somehow stoical dance music, that's also being messed with as it comes into existence. Fine, but you know the movie where Woody Allen's marching with his high school band, having to sit down and play his cello, then get up and run to keep up, so he can sit down and play again? Arthur's seen that too. He keeps walking.
Sunday, March 25, 2018
Can't Stop Shakin' Pt. 2: 2017 Pazz & Jop Ballot & Comments
Albums (10 points each):
Allen Ginsberg: The Complete Songs of Innocence and Experience (Omnivore)
Baaahing at and from what no more can be seen from the darkening green, then venturing through rounds in the smokey city, letting the good and bad times constantly roll back and forth through each other, Blake and Ginsberg's magisterial and magical realness trespass is sometimes given pause and detour by evidence of a woman in there somewhere, as the wordmazes make way, even more---something to do with Ginsberg's choice of poems to include: no valentines, but some things that shake the darkness deeper, where Beatrice is unseen, also unsought, it seems. Eventually he meets Arthur Russell, who joins Bob Dylan etc. for nocturnes but hold on now when they meet, it's in a San Francisco park including a Buddhist troupe that AR is living with: here they keep rolling up and down though a thunderclap of drone.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
From my Voice piece "Siano The Times":
(Gallery kid Larry Levan later levitated Paradise Garage; Levan and Siano also worked with disco mystic Arthur Russell.)
(Read that; it's short & good:
Distressed to discover that I didn't provide comments for this!
Hi-Lo & Middlin' Lightnin': Pazz & Jop Ballot/Comments 2014
ALBUMS: 3. (various artists): Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell (Yep Roc)
But from the evergreen thread Okay, MORE Arthur Russell (But This Is Great)!
Speaking of other people performing AR, Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell has quite a harvest, via Blood Orange, Robyn, Lonnie Holley, many others (2 CDs)
Wild Combination is worth getting on DVD for the extras, and speaking of Tim Lawrence, Hold On to Your Dreams: Arthur Russell and the Downtown Music Scene, 1973-1992 should be useful and entertaining, judging by his first book, Love Saves the Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture, 1970-1979, which I'm reading now.
like "Waxing the Van" too---no metaphor there, far as I can tell: he's just waxing the van all over his face in the light of the miracle.
― dow, Saturday, 12 October 2019 19:02 (two months ago) link
You gotta be clean on your bean in order for that hat to stay on.
I've been cross-reading Tim Lawrence's
― dow, Thursday, 3 October 2019 17:33
Love Saves the Day: A History of American
Dance Music Culture, 1970-1979 and
Vince Aletti's The Disco Files 1973-78:
New York's Underground, Week by Week:
the latter is def catnip for collectors, though both have
plenty DJ playlists, DJ comments on particular tracks
and albums (the 12" is still several years away,
so they use a lot of album tracks, for full-length flow
--no having to flip the 7" for part 2, if there is
one provided---and sonic depth).
Also, Aletti provides comments and capsule reviews
of stuff he likes, going around and around NYC
as the scenes and places and star DJs take off
(and sometimes crash or disappear).
Lawrence's saga, incl. interviews with DJs
and dancers, puts it all in historical perspective,
like "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" and
Eddie Kendricks' "Girl You Need A Change of Mind"
had the kind of wild-for-the-time changes x continuity
that gave DJs and dancers some ideas as well as thrills.
"Soul Makossa" was an example of one that became a hit
because of club play, thence to radio
---but some other hits never did get radio,
did without it, screw you radio!
JH’s Disco Page, enticingly described in Mark Sinker’s
A Hidden Landscape Once A Week:
The Unruly Curiosity Of The UK Music Press
In The 1960s-80s,
In The Words Of Those Who Were There,
is well-maintained by Ilxor Mike T-Diva.
Poncho Sanchez, Trane's Delight: Cosmic as the sky and wind, earthy as the earth and handy implements, starting not with an invocation, but the sassy patio party "Soul Bourgeoisie," which was written by Hubert Laws the frequently picante flute tooter for the 1965 Crusaders album Chili Con Soul,* bringing back some of the happier memories of discovery for PS, who says he discovered Coltrane when he was 12, in '62, and rolling all around the gateways. Also a Cuban bolero, several Sanchez co-writes, incl groovy title track, and just three JC originals---"Liberia," which I didn't remember, "Blue Train," and "Giant Steps," which the leader says is a samba that's almost a rumba---I thought it was a rumba---and it all fits, bringing out the latent Latin in Trane where it wasn't already obvious enough, while never getting too far from known John iterations (never treating them as namedropping, otherwise arbitrary points of departure, like some people have done and will do). Also! Ellington's "The Feeling of Jazz," from Duke Ellington and John Coltrane.
Do wish he'd included "Afro Blue, " although it's already on his Para Todos (So? That was in '94.)(But also on---okay okay discogs.) Always did seem like that song (cover or original) might have been a gateway for the Allman Brothers Band, considering the whirling modal solos and duos (with "climb-ups," the Dickey Betts term) , over Berry's bass, Butch Trucks' tubs, Jaimo's conga, and the percussion added in much later ABB. It says here that early Sanchez was branching out from soul and rock (which he hasn't turned his back on, or not as of 2014's Psychedelic Blues).
*Much backstory here:
Sir Douglas Quintet: The Complete Mercury Masters: Digital-only re-reissue of the CD box, so no booklet, but no collector's prices, either. Still a reeling, chugging, loose and tight, amazing body of work, wobblers and all. Almost all of it is finally on legit import CDs, (that's how long it's been since orig. releases), ones and doubles and maybe some triples, with several Acacia reissues breadcrumbing stray tracks astutely gleaned by Paul Nelson for Rough Edges (1973), the scratchy bargain bin baby which I snapped up donkey's years ago, and have never seen even as a bootleg CD---but they're allll here, together again.
Ones I've never heard before incl. 7" edits, maybe audibly a little more loosely tight than the LP versions, if it's not the power of suggestion, and the Spanish-language EP I've heard tell of: re-recordings, or maybe remixes, with somebody else singing (I read somewhere that Sahm refused to learn the lingo). I miss the yearning drive and surety of Doug, finding his way through the low-budget sonics, but the other guys put their backs in, and "Nuevo Laredo," with hammering piano x drums, is a memorable ride on a bumpy road, in the back of a pick-up road (hold on, we're goin' to town). Also this version of "It Didn't Even Bring Me Down," with a re-title that might translate as "It's the Moon's Fault." Got some learning of my own to do.
We also get Sahm or SDQ-produced tracks of Roy Head and Junior Parker, backed by Southwestern R&B ensembles--not quite combos, in my mind, considering the big, never intrusive horn sound, though it may be generated by just two or three players, in such robust clarity. Parker seems a little subtle or tentative or something at times, but "Your Bag is Bringin' Me Down" and "Movin' Out" work, and Head (whose stash also incl. "Bag") throws himself right in there from the beginning (must find that folder of hot Head tracks sent by Edd Hurt). Speaking of hot, there are a couple of Sahmesque guitar solos, on "Nuevo Laredo" and "Movin' Out."
Rachid Taha - Je Suis Africain ( late bad boy of Algerian pop) Yas indeed---"Just call me Rai Cooder." he quipped long ago, doing Western rock a reverse-Coody missionary favor while teaming w prog-to-tronica guitarist/producer Steve Hillage and New Orleans jam band Galactic on Made In Medina, one of my all-time faves (Songlines reviewer Nigel Williamson observed that this was what Page & Plant were *trying* to do w some of Taha's neighbors on Unledded---and then some, I say---for one thing, it helps that the lead singer is one of the guys from Over There). The new one is a rich shady grove-trove, just a bit bittersweet.
In 2018, I found Deetroit picker Dennis "Scorpio" Coffey’s One Night at Morey’s: 1968 to be revelatory, especially in extrapolating excellence from radio fodder I’d never cared about (most of the material was better to start with, no prob with that either). This year’s Live at Baker’s seemed a little too glossy at first (expansive electric ‘06 piano vs. acerbic smoke of 60s organ), but by second spin I got it. 2019 also brought DC’s-brimming-with-brevity Down By The River, redeeming more radio fod along the way (though not giving Neil Young’s excellent riparian noir a work-in, alas).
So---just heard a rerun of last spring's Jazz Night In America session w Jazzmeia Horn---thought she might turn out a bit contrived, but no, or not in a bad way, just over under sideways down around and yet straight ahead at all times, assimilating Cassandra Wilson's strategies, maybe---also Betty Carter's, like the way all three interact with their small groups, in Horn's case here, sometimes glancing off the musos, sometimes seeing and raising, sometimes shutting up for a while. "People Make The World Go Around" was true enough to the original, vulerable lyrics, but also she went allll around the park, without getting lost Robust, agile, not too long-winded. How's the album?
Also, speaking of last spring, did I mention this? Awesome, and unlike the Horn set, whole thing's posted:
Looking for Charles Lloyd on Bandcamp, found Manhattan Stories (2014), comprised of
Two 1965 New York Concerts, Disc 1 recorded at Judson Hall & Disc 2 recorded at Slugs' Saloon.
A remarkable and previously unrecorded quartet featuring three jazz giants: guitarist Gábor Szabó, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Pete La Roca.
'It was a specific time and place'; Lloyd told Manhattan Stories annotator Don Heckman. 'We all felt like the boundaries were being dissolved and we could do or try anything. This is a music of freedom and wonder -- we were young and on the move.' Which is just what the sample track, "Sweet Georgia Brown," sounds like (17' 49", but quite spritely). Especially digging the interplay of guitar and sax, bass and cymbals, also succinct solos, esp. PLR's and Szabo's---the latter bright and brittle, autumn leaves, but def not drifting. What other Szabo should I check? Used to see his LPs...
Last night on the radio: didn't catch the titles, but first a Hank Mobley septet, incl. Sonny Greenwich and Lee Morgan, who wrote this theme of some sharp-edged curvature--ace of spades, cut and folded from sheet metal, at least as played---from around the same time as Mobley's employment w Miles, sounds like; maybe this is what got him hired---followed by the steady jolt of a strict funk note--jackhammer meeting great resistance, but persisting---over which layers kept tilting and shifting: this was Bill Warfield and the Hell's Kitchen Funk Orchestra, an octet, so one more than Mobley's group, duh, but more of an expansion and flourish (yet no BS) than Mobley's meld. Only seeing one album by this Warfield crew, Mercy Mercy Mercy---good? Anybody here heard them live?
Mention this lyrical modernist regatta, but also maybe that Hays needs a foil or too much awes ice cream at times
A lot of nice stuff on the new Kevin Hays/Lionel Loueke album Hope: https://kevinhays-lionelloueke.bandcamp.com/album/hope . A good mix of uptempo material that might suggest West African rhythmic influences (?) like "Violeta" and "Aziza"; slower, delicate instrumental material; and vocal songs.
Speaking of bandcamp, all of xpost Taylor Ho Bynum 9-tette's The Ambiguity Manifesto is on there now:
Was going to name particular favorites, but even/especially the longest tracks, at 17:18 and 18:25, make it pretty hard to do---maybe the finale, "unreal/real (for old music," for the blend of moods, vibes.
Some of it might be too relaxed, though (not a whole track, but here and there within---few edits wouldn't hurt, seems like)(as usual)
Finally getting to Christian Scott's Ancestral Recall, discussed way upthread: instantly smitten by brittle impassioned brave climbing (because brittle might break) in this our distressed time and space and place(s), major within minor and vice-versa, orbits within orbits (nature's way and more contributed by mankind, for better and worse):idealism and experience and inquiry and reflection, but not imitation; assimilation of African diaspora incl. electric Miles and bits ingested by Radiohead and maybe Sigur Ros, and yes trap music and sounds like he might be listening to Jlin. "Reverse Flugelhorn" might be the way he (dropping the brittle) pushes against the grain, re expected mellowness of that instrument, while mining its riches, somewhat like Red Rodney (as heard live late in his life and on disc).
Main reservation: toward the end there's a repetition of effect, where he's maybe too much the heroic herald---I'd like more of that divine interaction w Elena P. on "Before," please, and why is she only on this one track (OMG Logan Richardson on "Songs She Never Heard"!), and especially waiting for him to assimilate himself or shut up a little on the ironically titled "Double Consciousness." But then the pressure he puts on Saul Williams, during title track finale, that works, like most of the album does.
Right now I'm thinkin' it's in my Top Ten, and here's that link one more time, might as well:
Tension of looking out and drawing in, maybe especially re and via this century's cyber-connections and isolation. But you could say that about so many things of course. I haven't given him Top Ten blessing quite yet.
Haven't taken in his lines yet, but I like the way the sound of Saul Williams's voice fits Scott's spirals and shadows..;
Local station carries public radio-distributed Jazz For The New Millenium, run by the author of the same-title book. All time fave ep likely to remain the first heard, feat. Stevie Wonder's frequently headspinning guest shots on jazz albums: no idea he did so many, or any.
This may be a unique tack, because all the others I've heard are adventures of a sideman-and-occasional leader (well, except Dave Holland, but even that incl. a lot of side gigs).
Recent faves incl. Cecil McBee: earliest sides played, from the early 60s, I think (the host tends to murmur), present him as arriving fully formed, though the most exciting cuts were with the Leaders, one from his most (not very) recent album as a leader, and omg w the Cookers, from their 2012 release, covering Jazz Messengers-era Shorter. Nothing retro about that track.
Speaking of which, last night Wycliffe Gordon demonstrated diff ways to adjust and reinforce vintage and vintage-y frameworks via application of heat, at various degrees and angles. I usually don't care about trombones, but damn (ace choice of and by clarinet players too).
― dow, Monday, 11 November 2019 20:30 (one month ago) link
I interviewed McBee a few years ago for The Wire. He's amazing, and the Cookers are as anti-nostalgic as you can get. I got to see them live once; they were killer.
From thread Jazz in the late 70s/early 80s (Jazz Goes Pop, Jazz Goes
Last year I wrote a three-part series about Sonny Rollins' 1970s albums - lots of funk, even some disco.
Oh yes! Still need to check out several of those, but my gateway back in the day was Nucleus, successfully balancing trans-genre/subgenre accessibility and integrity; Don't Stop The Carnival was fun, although Tony Williams didn't contribute as much as expected (from prodigious teen years on, he set the bar very high); There Will Be Another You, 1965 live set released in '78, was revelatory and relevant, re ongoing saga of well-established stylist implicitly responding to the hairy call of free jazz, challenging self and audience in an engrossing, strenuous, exemplary way, lyrical and hard-edged. (He also challenged its release, but unperson says it very eventually re-appeared as part of a double CD.)
Otherwise, though still controversial among his fans, I liked Ornette w Prime Time---discoid peak in studio: Of Human Feeling, although R. Meltzer denounced its sound as "digital tin": it was early digital, which could be tinny, but this CD always sounded good to me; perhaps it was remastered from the vinyl he reviewed?---also James White and the Blacks (even got a James Chance box, Irresistible Impulse, which is a bit much, but worth checking out if you find it cheap). Also the Lounge Lizards, young Marc Ribot (briefly a Lizard), and a lot of stuff on the Gramavision label https://www.discogs.com/label/12057-Gramavision
re no wave etc, incl. w discoid dancestand appeal, check a bunch of those ZE Records reissues from several years back, dunno what might still be in catalog, but at least the cut-uot bins if act quickly):
― dow, Friday, 17 January 2020 19:12 (two days ago) link
I've just started checking out the early, early Lounge Lizards material - all I'd ever heard was the live-in-Tokyo album, but the first recordings with Arto Lindsay, when they're reducing Thelonious Monk compositions to shards, are pretty fascinating.
There should be some good boots of early stuff posted here and there. Meanwhile, the best set I've heard is the following (legit) deposit, as nailed by xgau:
Live 79-81 [ROIR, 1985]
Before they were a mediocre jazz group or a hot fusion band they were a mordant postpunk concept, the avant-Raybeats. More than their antiseptic Editions EG album, this captures their raw sleaze, not to mention John Lurie's reptillian embouchure and (on three cuts) Arto Lindsay's cool-defying guitar. (Then he gives it a B+, but always go by the descriptons, if you go by any of his stuff.)
(He liked some of their later stuff too, but yeah this was the shit.)
― dow, Sunday, January 19, 2020 5:14 PM (0 seconds ago) bookmarkflaglink
Lesa Aldridge, last seen on bonus tracks of Big Star's Complete Third, singing with Mr. C. and delivering her own version of "Til The End of the Day" (also co-writing "Downs"), is now back in The Klitz baby, who are Basement angels, at least when performing on the head of a pin, with tiny sharp sounds coming though just fine in a set recorded by Edd Hurt at Hashville's The Basement: plenty of Moe Tucker appeal I'd say, with girlie voices usually---especially in effective contrast with the likes of boy-associated songs like "Hanky Panky," "I've Had It," and "Rock Hard," which is the only Chilton song I recognize here---but also getting louder and other things when appropriate, and always got flexible doo-wop-surf-rockabilly-Velvets rhythm guitar and drums, with keys and bass surfacing or felt just enough. Longest song is about 2:48-50, most about half that, never skimpy.
Sick Gazelle, Odum: SG is Sonic Odlth's Steve Shelley, Velcoce's Eric Block, and Bruce Lamont of Corrections House and Yakuza, one of my fave para-jazz-metal bands. This starts with the distant insistent call from across the Loop--truly that now, no longer a burban cul-de-sac dead end---as I look out a bedroom window at the pavement, houses and trees, dawn and sound modulating the houseparty buzz. Sax remains distant, feedback-sustain meld tastefully non-blah, discreet music in the headphones even w volume up: the sort of thing that usually puts me right to sleep, but drone factor here is is lyrical, in spare, non-cloying way. Eventually a few more conventionally rockin' beats, non-verbal vocal sounds, but they don't disturb the groove, maybe dilute it a bit.
How did you wind up getting Lowell George, Bill Payne and Richie Hayward of Little Feat to play on Paris 1919 ?
I loved that album Dixie Chicken. That tone on [George's] guitar was very sweet. It was the grooves that he had. And after playing me an early cut of that record, Ted Templeman at Warner Bros. said to me: "Why don't you use Little Feat as a backup band for Paris ?" He organized it.
Somewhere else JC mentioned that Wilton Felder, who played bass w the Feats on this occasion (in a studio line-up billed as Penguin), read or at least had the Bible on his music stand during the sessions.
(Interesting take on post-VU Sterling too.)
I felt like such a nerd or geek for finally clawing at the Reprise/Rhino UK reissue of Paris 1919, with all those alt versions---well the prev. unreleased "Burnt-Out Affair" may have tipped the scales---tried to cancel the order, but sure glad I failed. "Affair" is a somewhat countryoid gothic waltz, closer to Vintage Violence musically, as Matthew Spektor's occasionally too-hip booklet notes point out, though he's also right that the lyrics (and vocal) fit right into this album proper; he even hears it as a kind secret key track, at least the way it shifted, maybe sharpened the focus of the whole project.
Dunno if he's right about that one song, but for me, all of these basic combo and solo versions bring the songs closer, with JC's voice first among equals: "Child's Christmas" with insistent acoustic strumming and I never knew he could play organ like this; here's a family of two (well more counting the voice and the people, places, things he's singing about). Drone Mix of "Hanky Panky No How" has folk-based viola, maybe with a little violin added to the chorus. "Endless Plain of Fortune" the combo coming off well in very non-Little Feat x Jazz Crusaders mode, "Andalucia" a finger-picking picnic, with just the right slide and bass notes, more closet-folkie Velvets than ever. "Macbeth" still rawks hawtly, with and without vocals (inst. is one of the hidden tracks). Sinister grooving strings on one alt mix of title track prove to be children of his piano on another, also lovely voice & keys alone on "Half Past France" and "Antarctica Starts Here."
The orchestrations sometimes seem like they're going to overload my decidedly sub-audiophile headphones and boombox---they don't, but it's good to have the other versions too.
There's an ILM thread about 2010 Top Tens, and maybe I'll do one. Will no doubt incl. Gay Disco and quite possibly others from early line-ups of Guerilla Toss, then an art pop no wave dance party (with a Magic Band influence, as I heard it, with incisive yet Beefhearty sax, even) later kinda tiresome prog-pop or something, but it's all on bandcamp, ditto the works of Jlin, spinning out of and around from the Gary, Indiana footwork scene: she makes me think of metallic and crystalline beaded curtains, sometimes rippling in ways that can't be done w/o digits (also good w vocal and perc). Would also have my fave Death Grips release, Government Plates, in ugliest luminous caveman spin class out the ass.
PS: an example of why I don't follow rock so much these days:
(rock by association; they prob liked Zappa in halcyon days)
Negativland, TrueFalse: truth in advertising, as the title is neon for a well-known semantic "loop," as they call it, like if I tell you that "this statement is false," is it true that it's false, is its falsity its truth, and is everything true and false--well time for factchecking farmers, but they don't get that far, which would disturb the thunk groove, but they do give us time to think that far, and beyond. Typical of too many arch, sophomoric, nickelbag hipster gambits on here, but there are some keepers:
A perfect stand-alone, raining and reigning fire and brimstone upon those will not perhaps don't know how to forward burning posts, getting genuinely scary when she (lead vox often a she on here) throws down gauntlet before online opponents who may actually invade her bedroom.
A male voice who celebrates the bee in his hand with godlike gusto is classic Firesign-Subgenius-Negativland!
And almost the whole thing has fluid, sometimes blissfully percolating accompaniment---wake up and smell the coffee---but the words are paramount, mostly for worse.
and the one after that: