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Posts posted by AllenLowe

  1. 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.

  2. 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 -

  3. 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 -

  4. 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 -

  5. 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 -

  6. 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 -

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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) -

  10. 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) -

  11. 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 -