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Everything posted by AllenLowe

  1. Well, the proof is in the music, which is quite varied in it's tone and feeling. I know Martin Williams would disagree with a lot of what Larrty wrote, but I do recall him remarking on a similar problem with some of Evans's music, which he described as one of communication with the audience. I would put it in different terms, but I think I know what he was referring to. It's not surprising that the kind of personality disorder(s) that Evans had would effect his music. I have known many musicians with correlaries (spelling?) between personality and style -
  2. The Evans piece does get you thinking, and I disagree with some of it, though not enough to do Larry any physical harm. It's so well written and argued, however, that it immediately sent me back to some old recordings and assumptions. It's a great corrective to so much received wisdom, as well. We could use a new and comprehensive assessment of Evans' music. I've always thought there was a bit of the narcissist about his music. I knew his wife Nan in the early 1980s and got to meet him a few times, and thought (per our meetings and from what I heard from Nan) that he was two different people - 1)a slightly whiny, addicted personality who thought nobody loved or appreciated him and was used to everyone accomodating his neuroses, and 2) a really nice and articulate guy, thoughtful and smart and interesting. So this may at least partially account for some of the shifting tone of his work -
  3. Teddy Charles

    I agree with the various assessments of Charles' playing as being good but not great - I tend to admire him more as a bandleader, and do like his work with Hall Overton, another figure deserving of wider recognition (as Downbeat likes to say) - sad to say I have 2 copies of that trio record about Duke, and they both sound like crud, indicating that this was a pressing problem, so unless their master tapes are somewhere we're out of luck. I honestly am just starting to work on the book again after ignoring it for about 2 years (I just got tired of rejection) - I do mention Tatro, as I recall, and also have a bit about others like Andre Hodeir. One of the most interesting things I found out while researching came from Teo Macero, who told me about concerts held in the 1950s that were collaborations between Macero and others and Varese - also, I'm convinced that Gil Melle is an important and under-rated figure, as one of the first to use synths (in the early 1960s as I recall), and one of the few of that generation to really understand, in the 1960s, the concept of free improvisation. I had some good conversations with Gil, who just died recently. I have to look through the ms again to get more specific, but, as I've said, I think the 1950s may be the most important era in terms of jazz facing the futre and coming to grips with its own modernist possibilities -
  4. Teddy Charles

    Thanks for the words of encouragement - I think I'm just a small press kind of guy - as I used to say, I've been rejected by some of the most prestigious publishers in the world - I find that my writing occupies a middle world - not academic enough for the academics (whom I've grown to really really really dislike), not pop enough for the trade presses - I had one U Press turn down my rock and roll history as not passing political muster. U of Illinois turned down the same book with a viciously negative review by Burton Peretti (I had some inside info). To have a music book rejected by Peretti is like having Hitler reject you for a humanitarian award -
  5. Teddy Charles

    I actually do mention a lot of the west coasters, as well as Brubeck's Octet, all the things Mike mentioned, etc. I got a bid sidetracked on the book, as it was rejected by Oxford and was quite a bad experience for me (one of the negative reviewers mentioned that he is in the book; I don't know who this was but I considered this a gross conflict of interest and got into a big battle with the than-editor about it) - at any rate I put it down for a few years, but am planning on getting back into it, as I think this is one of the most interesting periods in jazz (if not THE most interesting) - Mike's research on the Lennox School was particularly helpful, as well as the one bootleg recording that comes from that event - and I do believe I have a publisher - it might be a good thing, at some point, for me to put together a discography, as well (in my spare time, as they say) -
  6. Teddy Charles

    I have a book in mansucript on jazz of the 1950s in which I talk a fair amount about Charles, as well as Hall Overton - I'm hoping to get this out in about a year or so - I think Charles in one of a large group of 1950s avant gardists who rarely get enough credit - partly for some Crow Jim reasons, but also because the course they charted was not much followed by the 1960s avant garde - it was a little bit more "academic" and not as blues-based, but still full of great possibilities, many of which were realized. It is very interesting to look at this group - Charles, Overton, Teo Macero, Gil Melle, John La Porta, Gil Evans, Bob Brookmeyer, John Carisis, Paul Bley, Mingus, George Russell - as well as some of the Kenton arrangers like Graettinger and even Johnny Richards - because many worked together and many did great things. Though not all were white, this is clearly seen by liberal critics as a white-led movement, and I honestly believe this has caused it to be largely under rated. They were experimenting with shifting tonal centers, non-chordal playing, etc - another problem is that there was often a discrepancy between the language of the composer and the language of the improvisers - few players had the tools to imrpvovise in any but the language of bebop, and so one hears adventurous writing followed by fairly conventional playing - some ventured outside of this, like Bley, but most remained fairly straight-ahead in their playing.
  7. I will speak for Larry here - just kidding really - but I know what he means about "prepped" rather than "experienced", and it helps me to understand some of the dumb things Gopnik says - to me Larry is indicating that Gopnik doen't really know the subject through any real experience with it - probably has read a lot of books and other critics - sort of like an academic - as for his personal flaws, Larry was referring to a book written about the New yorker -
  8. Just read the New Yorker article - intelligent until the end where he makes some silly statements - 1) Contrary to what he writes, Django's late work on electric is brilliant and fascinating for its absorption of the new bop elements - Django was Django until the end - 2) Hendrix had nothing to do with Gypsies or Django, regardless of band name - I love Hendrix, but the comparison is a bit embarassing to this critic's rep - Hendrix was very much within the rock and roll tradition, and his experimentation was related most to the rising tide of psychedelia -
  9. Ellison was a major influence, indeed, on Crouch and Murray but I would hate to see him suffer guilt by this kind of association. One prime difference is, musically conservative as Ellison was, the essays he wrote about the music he loved (not to mention his poliitical/social essays) were often brilliant and insighful, and true insight is in short supply with Crouch and Murray. I will also admit that I quite liked Ellison's attack on Baraka's Blues People; that book is so rife with outright errors as well as historical distortions that I'm amazed (or maybe I shouldn't be) that it's become such a pet of the academics.
  10. Yes, have the Morgenstern book; along with Larry's Book, which I've read, we have an embarassment of critical riches. Great stuff; I particularly like the piece on Prez at Birdland, but there's a lot to choose from. People have been at Dan for years to do this, and it's great to have it. My only complaint, and I've emailed Dan about this, is that it doesn't have the liners he did for the Decca reisssue of Armstrong's "Collector's Items" - these were the notes that almost single-handedly forced a revision of the common (ie Schuller) view of Armstrong's post-1935 work, and they influenced a lot of people. Get this book as well as Larry's, which is one of the best collections I've read in a long time -
  11. I have no problem with bringing more people to jazz but I don't think it's anyone's job to do that. Critics' jobs are to evaluate the things they listen to, and to attempt to bring a reasonable perspective to that evaluation. I no longer think hip hop et al will bring much to jazz except as an external element - with some exceptions jazz people are too far away from hip and hop and vice versa; and as a form of text I don't think hip hop has lived up to its promise -
  12. All seriousness aside, as Steve Allen used to say, there's no comparison between Ellison and Crouch or Murray, as Larry so eloquently indicated (hey, can we use words like that on this forum?) Ellison was very conservative musically, had problems with bebop and Bird, but was a great writer and critic, neither of which can be said for either Crouch or Murray. I have read things by Crouch that were quite smart and insightful, but he's become more and more blinded by ideology. Murray also has moments of insight but is incurably middlebrow, and has substituted a blues-ideology for any deep understanding of the music -
  13. "I don't think anyone's very grateful to the admissions director of the art school that turned down Hitler's application... " Well, few people know this, but the Fuehrer could paint an entire apartment, 2 coats, in one afternoon - can Stanley Crouch do that?
  14. I'm in general agrrement about some of the other contributors, and have to admit I read only Max Harrison's reviews in the 2 volumes - but that is significant, as Harrison is one of the most astute jazz critics in existence, one of only maybe 8 or 10 on the planet whom I would recommend reading -

    to digress slightly - does anyone know how the sound on the Collector's Choice CD differs fron the LPs (which are rather poorly mastered)?
  16. George Handy

    I'll have to disagree with Larry here, as I find Schildkraut's playing on Handyland excellent - it's odd and somtimes disconnected, but that was, strangely enough, Davey's m.o. His method of rythmic displacement was quite radical for its time. And let's not forget that it was on one of those cuts (maybe Case Ace?) that Davey was mistaken by Mingus for Bird in a blindfold test -
  17. Favourite Bill Evans

    Interesting piece of musicianal myopia: I'm reading Dan Morgenstern's new book, and it has an old interview with Evans, in which he puts down the duo/solo he did with Paul Bley on Jazz in the Space age, as indicative that free playing is too easy - well, that happens to be one of his best solos, IMHO -
  18. The best of all these is still the Max Harrison et al , 2 volume Essential Jazz Records, IMHO. I would stay away from anything that has Scott Yanow reviewing for it, hope I don't offend anyone, but he is the shallowest critic I've seen, knows enough to be damagingly inaccurate but not enough to teach you anything. Penguin isn't bad, but I have to admit I only bought the earlier editions because I was in them (though I'm not in the present) - check out the Max Harrison stuff if you can find it.
  19. John Carisi

    I got to know Carisi a little bit in the last ten years of his life - I was mystified why he wasn't doing more composing/arranging; he was making his living playing in society bands and seemed pretty settled. I think it's a great loss to jazz that he was given so few commissions, though I do recall him telling me he did something for Max Roach's daughter's (or was it Max's?) group. He was, maybe not surprisingly, very hostile to the post-1960s avant garde and did not really feel that comfortable in the contemporary scene. Israel was an important early composition, showing the possiblities of modality when few others were exploring this. People on the scene (like Gil Evans, Miles, Bill Evans, Gunther Schuller, etc) recognized his importance, but few others did.
  20. Idrees Sulieman & Ira Sullivan

    Must mention that Larry kart's new book has an excellent piece on Ira Sullivan -
  21. tune confusion

    Just wondering - to digress - does anyone know where Duke Jordan is these days? I'm guessing Denmark, but it's just a guess - (and speaking of copyrights, I interviewed Jordan many years ago and he told me he'd been cheated out of the publishing for Jordu) -
  22. Tony Fruscella

    thanks, Chuck, for the plug - I thought she was mildly famous (is that like being a little pregnant?)
  23. Tony Fruscella

    I love Fruscella's playing - interestingly enough, when I asked a few musicians about Fruscella in the late 1970s, when I was living in NYC, two of them said almost the identical thing, that Fruscella had his style together before Miles did. There's also another intersting anecdote (from Triglia) of Fruscella jamming one afternoon at Sonny Rollins apartment. A lot of musicians knew how important Fruscella was. He was also, incidentally, married for a time to a famous singer (Morgana King? I'm uncertain) -
  24. Tony Fruscella

    The French recording of Fru and Bird is actually Fruscella with Dave Schildkraut - I am certain of this, and it has been confirmed by Bill Triglia, who was present - I can also recognize Dave's playing from that CD -
  25. I've been lurking for a while - finally had to say something - how about - food "a la Kart"