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Posts posted by AllenLowe

  1. 59 minutes ago, Teasing the Korean said:

    I am the opposite.  For me, I prefer Graettinger, Rugolo, and Richards.  Holman and Russo charts tend to be plodding and tedious IMO.

    The CD version of City of Glass is poorly sequenced.  

    interesting; I think Holman is over-rate but I like Russo. Graettinger, however, I love.

  2. aside from Yoko, who I have mixed feelings about (if I have to hear her again, screaming along with Lennon on some old clips, I may need to react in some non-rational way), the vast majority of musicians I have known came from average backgrounds of no particular privilege. As for Fluxus, I need to do more homework, but my general sense of modernist movements like it is that they made their point, which was potentially radically altering, and then should have moved on into using those ideas in expanding ways. Instead they, like much free jazz that I hear today, got caught up in repetition and cliche.

    My biggest complaint about Yoyo is that she convinced Lennon he was a genius, in the most self conscious way, and from then on it was all down hill for his work. It's like with Dylan and Lou Reed: convince someone that they are a genius and they conclude that anything they produce is a work of genius. The result is largely mediocre work and worse. Lennon became an artiste, and it was a disaster.

  3. 21 hours ago, ghost of miles said:

    I can’t vouch for Appel’s veracity or lack thereof, but I’ve read several accounts of NYC-area teens attending performances at Birdland in the 1950s.  However, my understanding (again, based on what I’ve read—Dan Morgenstern, were he here on the board, could surely clarify) is that teens were required to sit in the so-called “bleachers,” an area next to the stage. Appel’s account has him seated at a table, and a good one, too, next to a table ostensibly reserved for a celebrity guest—so that does sound unlikely. But I don’t think the story can be disqualified solely on Appel’s age at the time of the alleged encounter. Might be a good question to put to Mike Fitzgerald’s jazz research listserv… thinking that there would surely be other accounts of Stravinsky dropping by Birdland one night to hear Parker play, if such a thing did occur. 

    It's not just a matter of him being 17 years old, but, as you implied, the lack of access that would lead to his sitting next to Stravinsky. It's just a silly story, implausible, just too "good" to be real; reminds me of Al Rose's fabricated conversations, in which the subjects say exactly what we want to hear them say. As to Appel's veracity, see Larry Kart's comments, above. I mean, if you want strange historical juxtapositions, I'll tell you about my meeting with Jean Genet at Slug's circa 1969/1970. I was only 15 or 16, but we never had any philosophical exchange (though he did say to me "son, you will have a great future; and by the way, Sartre says hello." Actually, all he did was nod).

  4. 47 minutes ago, JSngry said:

    "those kind of sounds"....what does that mean exactly?

    Those later Miles bands were expertly constructed, actually. Arcs, textural developments, rhythmic finesse and colors, you name it, they knew exactly what they were doing and although Miles probably didn't give them the specifics, you can bet - and the players will speak to it to this day - he was guiding the whole thing.


    well, I don't want to get into a protracted back and forth, but to my ears it's mostly electronic textures and sonic layering; I hear the whole as being less than the sum of its parts. But I find that electronics create their own atmosphere, and I've put together some musical collages with wave forms, and it was shockingly easy to sound deep and complex.

  5. 1 hour ago, gvopedz said:

    I was hoping the Mosaic box set would have the Lena Horne songs.  It was on Black & White that she recorded the spirituals “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” and “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child”.  Lena Horne recorded very few spirituals.



    But then a Mosaic box set of only Lena Horne would be even better.


    that is indeed a good performance; I think it's on my blues set.

  6. it sounds good on the samples, though I probably won't buy it. Wondering if it includes the Lena Horne session? Also, gotta tell Mosaic; in their blurb listing all the important pianists on the set they fail to include the great Arnold Ross. Also, the Jack McVea sample has a terrific trumpet solo by somebody name Joe Kelly, which they don't even mention in their online notes. Who was that guy?

    This could be him:

  7. 20 hours ago, Rabshakeh said:

    This thing sounds like it's present in the pre-RCAs too, though. It's what we all love about Rollins.

    The RCAs don't seem as playful to my ears, although there's obviously humour in many tunes. But they do have something that the earlier records don't have, which is the supposedly "Coltraneish" aspect that isn't actually very Coltraneish. I don't really know what it is though.

    Do you think Rollins experienced a deepening of understanding of aspects of music at this point that wasn't there before? 

    It really is not a Coltrane-ish thing to my ears, but I would suggest that Coltrane's way of stacking chords forced Sonny to take the bebop method to it's most logical conclusion, which is that every chord suggests a lot of other chords; what he did, to my ears, was connect these chords in dense and brilliantly varied (rhythmically complex) clusters. It's like this circle of harmony. Maybe it can be generally explained, but pulling it off is a whole other thing; it's like one continuous, Joycean sentence that circles itself and then extends to another level of consciousness, before seeming to level off, at which point (since the chord has changed) it recycles itself in new harmonic/scalular directions (some of which veer off harmonically, but which almost always resolve consonantly). As for Sonny understanding new aspects of music, well....I think this period is a very logical extension of his best 1950s work; it is as though he has just filled in the spaces (to get a sense of where he was in the '50s check out the recording he made with MJQ in the late 1950s; the one with Doxy, You Are Too Beautiful, I'll Follow My Secret Heart, Limehouse Blues. This is where he is starting, to my ears, to really fully extend the bop gesture).

  8. 1) I am glad that Jim cited The Bridge as sub-par Sonny; I find the album strangely dull.

    2) I was lucky enough to come across the RCA LP of Sonny playing standards when I was maybe 15 or 16 and it was revelatory. This really was the greatest era of Sonny's playing, no if, ands, or buts. I was able to pick up a few more RCA Lps of this era as the years passed. As Mark said, his chord-change playing was unbelievable, an incredibly dense exploration of tonality and harmony (as a tenor player I have tried in vain to emulate this, though it seems to have to do with a king of circular line, parallel scales and figures that move across the harmonic landscape). Happily I now own the Complete Sonny Rollins RCA on CD (or something similarly titled).

    3) Jamil Nasser expressed the belief to me that Sonny was completely thrown for a loop when Coltrane became the dominant tenor. In Jamil's opinion this was why he cultivated a somewhat self-conscious eccentricity, playing on the bridge, getting the Mohawk.

    4) Sonny, for all his gentle persona, is fiercely competitive. As much as he loved Hawk, according to what Paul Bley told me he was always trying to throw Hawkins off, to play so abstractly that the older man would not know where they were in the tune. Hawk asked Bley, on more than one occasion but particularly on the recording, to signal him in for his choruses.

  9. I have tried; with some interesting exceptions it just all sounds too calculated. It verges on the adventurous, but then loses its nerve.

  10. I recently pissed off Darcy James Argue because I mentioned that I do not like Carla Bley's band writing. It strikes me as strangely conventional, the harmonic voicings, the execution; fake daring. As opposed to, say, Duke, George Russel and Gil Evans and Julius Hemphill, whose big group work always seems to be on the edge of a certain kind of musical disintegration. Her work has its moments of disjointed glee, but they are usually fully under control, with very little true harmonic tension or emotional release. It's like a giant tease resolved by consonance and convention. Is there not anyone else who feels this way? Her whole thing is too controlled, lacking in non-textbook essence. There is, to quote a great lady, no there there. There are sections I like, but they come across as second-rate Brechtian/Weil gestures with settled triads and land-locked chords.

  11. On 5/6/2022 at 2:42 AM, Gheorghe said:

    Would like to read something about it. Since I was audience only. Usually the shows started with "For Harry Carney" and it was a fantastic contrast between the quiet parts and a growing tension, each soloist playing duets with Danny, and Mingus´ solo was up into the highest register of the bass, really very impressive....

    there's nothing really to read except that I was told by some fellow band member that he was continually showing up late, missing planes, playing the prima donna. His sudden "fame" went to his head.

  12. 11 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

    I don´t know how he acted then. With Mingus I don´t think he had time or possiblility to act like a primadonna. He was very articulate then, and they did all those great tunes live (Cumbia, Three or Four Shades of the Blues, Noddin Ya Head Blues, For Harry Carney ) , which sounded much better than the overproduced Atlantic Studio recordings. Jack Walrath and Ricky Ford, and on piano first in 1976 Danny Mixon (Viena and Switzerland "Willisau") and Bob Neloms 1977 (Italy). Ricky and Jack had the role of that call-response on "Cumbia" while on the studio it was also oboe and bassoon and trombone. So Ricky and Jack had to carry all the load but did a great job on that. And on that rap passage (Mama´s lil baby don´t like no shortnin´ bread....) all those honks on tenor. He was really strong, and I think he was very very young then, in his early twenties. 

    The first time I heard him in 1976 first I was a bit disappointed that it was no more George Adams, that´s how it started....

    But as for Mingus sideman it´s interesting I have albums of Adams-Pullen, but don´t have individual albums of Walrath, Ricky, Neloms or so. 

    it was with both Mingus and Danny Richmond. I have first hand accounts.

  13. in college I was playing bass in a country/rock band, and we had a gig at a biker bar. Sure enough a fight broke out one night; fortunately it went toward and out the door instead of toward the band stand. Fortunately, no one had guns in those days (maybe 1973) -

  14. On 12/2/2020 at 1:50 PM, Д.Д. said:

    Older thread: 


    in those days he kind of did himself in, missing planes and acting the Star. Looks like he's grown up, which is nice to see.

  15. On 4/23/2022 at 11:38 PM, Larry Kart said:

    Disagree on Ellison here. On more than a few occasions he would make the claim that the avant-garde (or call it what you will) was donning the trappings of European modernism in an attempt to win intellectual respect, but that rhetoric of his was always something of a crock and lazy too. Cecil is inside that piano because that's where the sounds he wanted to make were. IIRC Ellison even mistrusted Charlie Parker's music.

    both Ellison and Albert Murray hated bebop (there is a fascinating book of their letters to each other in which they are less guarded than in public statements); Murray in particular also thought the '50s Basie band was an abomination.

  16. 1 hour ago, Mark Stryker said:

    I think the Little/Dolphy 5 Spot band is an example of a one-off gig of a week or two that got recorded but the band never played together again on record or live. Sonny's "A Night at the Village Vanguard" is another example -- the trio with Wilbur Ware and Elvin Jones only existed for the Sunday night that got recorded.

    I think the Booker Ervin Quartet you mention may well fit my original premise; that's particularly interesting in that it the group made multiple LPs. 

    Another example is the Grant Green, Larry Young, Elvin Jones trio, which -- despite the thread I started earlier and references to Cuscuna and Coryell that came up -- may not have played any live gigs. (I traded messages with Michael about this is and, without getting into the weeds here, he can't completely confirm that the trio played live. 

    As it happens, I recently traded emails with the writer Mike West, who is doing research on Andrew Hill and was asking me about a gig Hill played in Ann Arbor in early 1967 that included Sam Rivers and a bassist and drummer he was still trying to confirm. 


    The only thing I would add about the Rollins trio is that although the group composition changed, what was significant was Sonny's use of the piano-less trio, which he did maintain for quite a while (until the God-forsaken Fantasy years). As a matter of fact, the last pianist he hired just before this was Dick Katz, who was still bugged by it 30 years later; Dick loved playing with Sonny, and it was a great gig but, as he noted with some annoyance to me many years later "he was done with pianists."  At least for a while.

  17. it is one of the best collections ever of jazz writing.

    University Presses are notorious for not paying a lot. Though it's not the way everyone wants to do it, the smartest thing I ever did was to publish Turn Me Loose White Man myself. After the WSJ article I made a lot of money on the project (including the CDs). Paid my property tax for at least two years.