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Everything posted by AllenLowe

  1. Stan Kenton - City of Glass

    interesting; I think Holman is over-rate but I like Russo. Graettinger, however, I love.
  2. For those who have no problem with Yoko Ono

    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. 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. Miles Davis: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 7

    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. Miles Davis: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 7

    there are some interesting moments in those Miles years, but truthfully I felt a lot of the music was lazily constructed. It's really quite easy to assemble those kind of sounds.
  6. I highly doubt Appel witnessed any such thing. He was 21 when Bird died, so this makes him likely too young to have witnessed Stravinsky watching Bird; this is rumored to have happened in 1951, when Appel would have been 17.
  7. Ronnie Hawkins, RIP

    As is frequently mentioned, he gave a riveting performance of Who Do You Love (Bo Diddley tune) in the film The Last Waltz.
  8. Mosaic's Black and White label box set

    that is indeed a good performance; I think it's on my blues set.
  9. Mosaic's Black and White label box set

    that's unfortunate; her singing in those relatively early days was much better, to my ears, than her later work, which was extremely mannered.
  10. Mosaic's Black and White label box set

    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:
  11. Sonny Rollins

    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).
  12. Sonny Rollins

    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.
  13. Carla Bley

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

    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.
  15. Ricky Ford

    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.
  16. Ricky Ford

    it was with both Mingus and Danny Richmond. I have first hand accounts.
  17. Gigs in unusual or even scary surroundings.

    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) -
  18. Ricky Ford

    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.
  19. Bob Zieff

    that Zieff thing on Fresh Sounds is a must-have. Really.
  20. Chris was one of the few absolutely honest people in the music business, which is why he died basically poor, if not impoverished. He was a great man and, for all his occasional mishugas, I miss him.
  21. Mingus & Cecil on a TV Show

    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.
  22. Mingus - The Lost Album From Ronnie Scott's

    I am very curious about this as post-'60s Mingus has never felt right to me, never had the visceral effect of the earlier bands. Plus George Adams, who is thankfully not on this, annoys the hell out of me.
  23. Studio Only Groups

    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.
  24. Allen Lowe, Jazz Hero!

    yes, it is all down hill from here....
  25. Royalties on my jazz book for 2021

    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.