CJ Shearn

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Everything posted by CJ Shearn

  1. the album, not his aura as a musician :-D How do you feel about it? The reason I ask is because my friend Daniel and I were IM'ming the other night, and he's talking about "Aura" claiming it was Miles' "most far out shit since BB". Daniel is an electric Miles fan, who's really been heavily into jazz the past few years, myself, have been digging acoustic Miles for a long time as many of us have, and just really have been beginning to explore electric Miles myself (IaSW is on my priority list, the single remastered disc tho b/c I mostly enjoy those Columbia albums by him in their original sequence, as is BB- just two I never got around to yet.. shameful, I know) And while in the very small bits I've heard of prime electric Miles, this stuff is great music, but later on, the era of 80's Miles particularly on record has troubled me. Because the stuff just hasn't dated as well, and while his playing was always great the surroundings he was in, with players like Foley, Holzman, Irving, etc. didn't sound as good on record as they did live. Even the "Live in Munich" DVD, which I've since sold, was an enjoyable trip into his 80's repertoire even if some of the tunes and synth sounds were a little cheesy. (bad sampling, too cold) Anyway, Daniel sent me some "Aura" tracks, "Indigo" and "White" and after hearing them several times, they do nothing for me. "White" has some interesting dissonant writing but it's nothing I haven't heard before in the Evans type orchestration, and the writing is a little rigid. "Indigo" just sounds like "Nefertiti" era stuff without the same thrills. Do any of you consider "Aura" in the midst of Miles' career and tremendous legacy to be another milestone in his career? I may have to pick up the album and give it a whole listen, but opinions would be appreciated. Unlike Hardbop I'm not averse to hearing prime electric Miles although primarily I really dig his acoustic work as do many of us. Anyway, Daniel because he hasn't heard a lot of Miles' work from 1955-68 and because he listens to music for a different reason, is unable to critically evaluate what he likes or dislikes about a work, something that happens when I ask him what he feels about a work. In time hopefully he'll gain this ability. I used to think everything Jimmy Smith did was great, but as I got older I got more critical about his best work compared to what was total garbage.
  2. Idiotic liner notes

    thanks Jazzmoose, if there are any liners on Pat records they are usually like "I decided to use this guitar because no one has explored harmonic material in this way before" or "Lyle and I wanted something acoustic in nature" or "we are addressing a very particular area of music here hopefully successfully adding our stylistic touches" lol.
  3. Idiotic liner notes

  4. Natural Soul rvg cover.

    What they've done since the last batch of RVG's is change the original serial numbers in the logos or in the typography which is something I don't know why they've done. As I have complained before, it takes away the original retro feel of the series.
  5. Overplayed Tunes, from The Real Book

    This is usually from every time I go out to the Lost Dog to enjoy local gigs played by cats I know. they play these tunes almost every week: All Blues Stella By Starlight (the guitarist Taze always calls this) You Don't Know What Love Is (they always have fun with this though) a funked up Footprints Softly As in A Morning Sunrise Tenor Madness. These are all from the Real Book the way they do them, so even non musicians like myself are getting very familiar w/ these Real Book treatments of tunes. I agree with those that said it's not the tune that's boring, it's just the nature of the improv on it that makes it so.
  6. Rudy's supposed hearing loss

    true. It's just amazing to me how some of the RVG's have this analog warmth and some are overly bright (but still better than McMasters to my ears) you've recorded in RVG's studio? wow, you can send me a PM if you'd like the details. I've always wondered who ya are too, you can PM that as well, b/c it'd be real cool if I was talking to a name cat, especially since I wanna enter the industry as a writer/critic someday.
  7. Ron Carter

    I think what is special about Ron is his tone (after the CTI's I've heard his tone goes completely bass direct) his taste, and his elastic ability to play around with time, and play really odd sounding things that sound just right, like his signature "boinging rubber band" lick that he does. I think Ron's tone when DI'ed totally ruins something for me. I saw him on BET on Jazz playing "Loose Change", from the 70's, his tone was AWFUL, and the solo was just incredibly boring, as great as he is, this solo was filled with an inappropriate number of masturbatory trills, and other bass gymnastics that in that setting, didn't work.
  8. Miles Davis' "Aura"-where do you rate it?

    I second that Ron.
  9. The single artist you listen to most

    for the past 5 or so years and currently, definitely, without question: the most detailed listening I've ever done being a non musician. And then also Miles, Hank, Wayne, and anybody who's been a sideman on those albums. A lot of the recurring names in my collection are due to their apperances as sidemen. pretty much as I'm collecting an artist I go through phases but with the guys I really love there is usually several albums that remain in constant rotation.
  10. Miles Davis' "Aura"-where do you rate it?

    I have to conserve cash before I move back into my dorm but I'll PM you when I check out the disc. Maybe even the Binghamton Public Library has it, which might be cool too, but I personally prefer buying discs :-D
  11. Dr. Lonnie Smith

    Soulive tends to get into the repitition of groove thing as well, and I don't find them very interesting as soloists. I saw them on BET on Jazz yesterday, a tune called "Lenny" where Eric Krasno (playing what looked similar to a Pat Metheny Ibanez model) had this boring solo of nothing but blues cliches behind Neal Evans' 3 or 4 long organ chords behind a synth fretless bass line. If they were interesting soloists it'd be ok, but the way they stay on a groove is not that interesting to me.
  12. Miles Davis' "Aura"-where do you rate it?

    thanks for the offer Lon, but I will just go w/ buying the remastered version sometime soon, but I appreciate the kind offer, I really like what Columbia has done in remastering Miles' catalog. Claude, in the two tracks I was sent, I hear what you mean, I am not familiar with Mikkelborg's other works but I sense a very composed kind of thing that sets up an unusual terrain for improvising. In "White", it's hard to hear where the composition begins and ends in the framework of Miles' solo.
  13. Miles Davis' "Aura"-where do you rate it?

    interesting Rooster Ties and Lon. I would agree that it is a challenging work, compared to say simpler funkier stuff like "Tutu", "Perfect Way", "Me and U" etc. I'd rather keep an open mind to it rather than a purist attitude, I think it also says something about classic and challenging being two separate entities even tho as in the case of say "Sorcerer", or "Filles" the two are now intertwined. It seems to me that if we forget about anything recorded from 1955-70 in the moment and look at his 80's catalog, it ranks as one of his best 80's discs, if it's looked at in the context of his more cherished albums, it may not rank as high, but I've been trying to find as much as I can about "Aura" in the past few days to try to understand and contextualize it better. Next time I go to Barnes and Noble I may just get a copy.
  14. August listening

    so far this month: Cannonball Adderley: Somethin' Else RVG Wayne Shorter: Speak No Evil RVG Art Blakey: Indestructible RVG Joshua Redman Quartet: Spirit of the Moment Live at the Village Vanguard Miles Davis: Friday and Saturday Nights at the Blackhawk Complete: disc 3
  15. Joshua Redman recommendations: have any?

    thanks for the recs guys. Looks like I will have to investigate "Moodswing" and "Wish" soon. As well as "Yaya3". I remember hearing a "Elastic" track off of wbjazz.com when it came out and I wasn't that impressed.
  16. Joshua Redman recommendations: have any?

    thanks Alexander. Is the DVD worth getting? BTW, "Lyric" is a nice way to end a nice album like "Spirit of the Moment", Joshua really must have been heavily fascinated by late Trane at the time.
  17. Joshua Redman recommendations: have any?

    Redman has a good solos on the recent double live Corea disc, how is his playing on the Corea Bud tribute. Gonna listen to disc 2 of "Spirit of the Moment" will post my thoughts on it later.
  18. Defend an album with the fewest 'stars' on AMG

    *** for this review "This is a collection that looks better on paper than in reality. Though Blakey is joined by Lee Morgan, Bobby Timmons, Paul Chambers, and Jymie Merritt, the addition of drummers Philly Joe Jones, Roy Haynes, and conga player Ray Barretto makes this of interest mostly to percussion fans. While the music is fine, the overlong drum features can test the most durable jazz fan's ears, even with the obviously high level of musicianship. — Ken Dryden" I think maybe Mr Dryden just doesn't dig drum solos. I find this to be a wonderfully executed disc, in terms of playing and realization of a drum session in a hard bop context. It certainly to me is better than "Orgy in Rhythm" or "Drum Suite" in that regard. Another thing about Scott Yanow I notice, after reading several reviews of different artists, that if the music is not particularly straight ahead, very electric in nature (e.g. Metheny Group, Yellowjackets, etc) or groundbreaking stylistically or in the history of jazz, it gets the phrase tacked on "is not all that essential, or "enjoyable, but not all that essential". Albums can be very good if they contain just solid music. Quite a few albums I buy may not even be classic, but just good music.
  19. Night of the Cookers

    interesting speculation about the bandage/headband in the "Indestructible" liners. I thought it was a headband, when I looked at the booklet, whatever the case that is a SMOKIN' album. B) "The Egyptian" almost sustains the type of energy on "Free For All" especially when Wayne is just hanging on to that one note towards the end of his solo. I should pick up "Free For All" even if it is not available as an RVG domestically or otherwise.
  20. Joshua Redman recommendations: have any?

    cool, I'll have to check those out. What's interesting to me about Josh so far on "Spirit of The Moment" is his pacing of tension and release, which sounds authentic, not something that releases too quick. In addition his tone which seems to synthesize everything from swing to free styles. I haven't heard much of him either, but James Carter seems to come from a similar style point. The other thing I dig about the Redman disc is that it was recorded in analog, you can tell especially in the drums IMO, and the dynamics, as well as a natural woody bass tone, doesn't sound twangy and direct to board.
  21. Aug 5th RVGs

    Tony, Jack's organ sound during those days featured a bit of overdriven Leslie with the first 4 drawbars pulled out, are you sure that's not what you are hearing? I haven't heard this record at all, tried to pick it up yesterday, when I was out with friends visiting from NY, but B&N didn't have it. I picked up "Indestructable" and will listen to it in detail later on, I heard "The Egyptian" though, great stuff.
  22. "Studio Jams" on BET Jazz

    I have 2 free months of digital cable, so I've watched Studio Jams. Yesterday Stanley Jordan was on, with Tom Coffin from Bela's group, Vic Wooten and Future Man,with some guy who worked with Grover. I used to enjoy SJ's good records, but I got rid of them. As a whole I'm not that impressed with BET On Jazz, namely their Jazz in the Sun, and other programs have not a lot of jazz content, mostly smooth and R&B.
  23. While I just received the "Jazz Messengers" on Columbia CD the other day, out of the many Blakey discs I have this record is underrated, almost enjoy it better than some Blue Note dates from around that time. IMO, this disc has a fire and consistent groove level that is unlike any other Blakey I've heard, all it takes is everyone's single chorus on "Ecaroh" to realize how exciting and hip that Byrd/Mobley front line was in Art's band, wish they had recorded more. I even think that if a neophyte wanted to investigate the Messengers, this would be the place to start, concise tunes, great writing, playing and tight arrangements. I noticed during myt Jazz class that "A Night at Birdland" as much as we all dig it, when my professor discussed and played "Tunisia" off of it it seemed a lot of folks were overwhelmed by it, despite us talking about and listening bebop for a while. Maybe b/c those cats just barrel through with everything they got and then some. the Jazz Messengers on Columbia offers a bit of everything. Anyway I thought of some other Blakey's that are quite overlooked IMO. At the Jazz Corner of the World: Lee and Hank........ always a potent team, the hot setting off with the cool. Wish there was more with Lee and Hank, Timmons/Merritt. Mobley's solos are consistently great on this. Mike, isn't there a rejected studio session by this edition in the can? I'll type more later....... took a NyQuil liquigel, think I'm getting a cold. must sleep now
  24. how is Blakey's "Drum Suite"?

    I think this is an interesting disc. I personally prefer the Jazz Messenger cuts, b/c I don't think the drum session is as well arranged or executed as "Orgy in Rhythm". Still, a nice historical curiosity to have.
  25. underrated Jazz Messengers discs

    Three Blind Mice, and The Big Beat (even in it's current older CD incarnation) I definitely should get, there are a few holes that I need to fill. Other Blakey's I find worthwhile Paris Jam Session: what a date........... Bud Powell with the Jazz Messengers, I never hear much about this date at all, Bud sounds in fine form, haven't heard as much of his playing as I'd like to, but at the time it was recorded, weren't his skills eroding from his terrible incident with a cop outside a club years earlier with Monk? and the addition of Wilen is nice. The jams are substantive and consistently hot. The Freedom Rider: Lee and Wayne, great solos all over this one, and "Tell It Like It Is" is one of Wayne's hippest lines I ever heard, did he ever record or play this one again? The second half of Drum Suite has some nice tunes, I will definitely pick up "Hard Bop" sometime. The McLean/Hardman version was as fine a band as any, perhaps a bit more workmanlike, but very solid. Hardman's smooth, rich, tone and Jackie's famous acidic, sharp alto make for an intriguing blend of tonal colors. Is "Nica's Tempo" a variation of "Nica's Dream"? sounds it to me. Midnight Session, (still have the old Savoy CD) is a similarly solid record with some nice playing. Keystone 3: despite having our favorite target, in Wynton, I believe this is one of the finer late records that is in the Blakey cannon. Very spirited playing, and I love Bobby Watson's "Fuller Love" (or, "In Case You Missed It"), the horn voicings on the head are just nasty, as is that bridge. reminds me of a soul tune. Branford and Bill Pierce hint at some out playing in their solos that's pretty cool. This record was the 2nd one I heard with Pierce and he's become a player I enjoy very much, I wanna check out that record he made with Javon Jackson. Pierce's contributions are nice on Tony Williams' "Tokyo Live", his soprano sound is very much his own, I think, almost clarinet ish.. Bill "Two Saxophone" Pierce Wynton's "Waterfalls" cracks me up tho, with it's obvious ode to "Footprints". Live At Kimball's is a good date as well from this period.