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Everything posted by ep1str0phy

  1. Herbie/Headhunters 1974

    Thanks for pointing that out--and one of the few things that the otherwise mediocre Mwandishi book really accomplished was illustrating just how fraught the inside baseball surrounding the Mwandishi band was. Obviously the music was far out, but it was also a matter of Warner Bros. having no idea what do with what Herbie had concocted. It's plain upon listening to any of the three "main" Mwandishi albums, the Eddie Henderson stuff, the soundtrack to The Spook Who Sat By the Door, and even passages of The Jewel in the Lotus that that band was a lot funkier than history would have us cop to, just as Head Hunters was a lot weirder than we often give it credit for. I often wonder about prescient music and the degree to which its epigones succeed by virtue of either (a) history "catching up" with innovation or (b) people dumbing down and simplifying an innovated "thing." Again, Headhunters is striking for just how extremely not lame it is, considering many of its distinguishing innovations have been manhandled into much, much lesser musics (i.e., crappy bar bands playing "Chameleon"). Sextant, on the other hand, could have laid the groundwork for plenty of contemporary electronica--but I have yet to hear much electronic dance music (not just crappy stuff, but consensus choices like Autechre, Squarepusher, Flying Lotus, etc.)--that approaches Sextant's level of rhythmic freedom, harmonic sophistication, and spontaneous detail. (And just so I'm not being elitist--these attributes are not necessary for superior or even "good" art--just that we're talking about descendant music that shares more than a little with what is in many ways a more complexly organized ancestor.)
  2. Herbie/Headhunters 1974

    This is the book I'm talking about (as some of you have already pointed out): You'll Know When You Get There ...and this is a lengthy (and, on reflection, sort of cantankerous) review I wrote a few weeks back: Issues w/Mwandishi Book In short, the book fills in some interesting narrative gaps in the Mwandishi band's history, but it's extremely cursory with the analysis and is largely composed of information that duplicates preexisting (and readily accessible) papers and interviews. This is not a book that either "captures the spirit" of the music or opens up new and interesting conceptual angles. The spate of Herbie discussion in the past few months has opened my mind to the continuity in Herbie's music. I'm not necessarily of the mind that this sense of continuity forgives the excess and crassness of some of the late-70's/80's music, but it does make it impossible to write Herbie off as this irredeemable sellout with a specific "jumping the shark" sort of moment. Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Kt2DVy80z8 ...a track off of the first Headhunters "solo" album, released in 1975 (I can't get a recording date, but my assumption is either late '74 or early/mid '75)--it sounds like a Mwandishi track--or, rather, something off of The Jewel In the Lotus (which was definitely recorded in 1974). The fact that this stuff was recorded so long after Head Hunters makes me think that, although the Headhunters often subverted freer/spacier aspects in the name of "the funk," freedom and spaceiness were such timely and still relevant concerns that they couldn't be disregarded entirely. Maybe the exigencies of Herbie's newfound success curbed the in-studio experimentation a bit, but stuff like this--and definitely music like "Vein Melter" and the tracks off of Flood--indicate to me that fat grooves were only part (albeit probably the biggest part) of what the whole Headhunters thing was about.
  3. Unexpected Musician Sightings

    Not totally unexpected, but still pretty surprising (to me): I'm also putting a date on myself here, but I had a somewhat lengthy conversation with Andrew Hill when I was a kid in the 90's. This was after the 80's Blue Note CD reissues but before the RVG program was past its second wave or so, and I didn't own any later Andrew Hill recordings at the time--so, basically, outside of the cover photo to Point of Departure, I had no idea what he looked like. Anyway, having heard all of a handful of his records, I couldn't miss the opportunity to see Andrew play a solo set at the Jazz Bakery... so I showed up early and--trying to blend in and act "adult"--struck up a conversation with another audience member about diminishing attendance at jazz shows. Someone came up to us, interrupted our conversation, and more or less drilled me about my musical background--"what instruments do you play?" "how old are you?" etc. etc... very warm, congenial, and not at all condescending. He then made his excuses and left. We entered the hall minutes later, and the man I had been talking to took the stage. I still don't know if he knew that I had been completely clueless as to his identity, but I'm certain he gave me a sort of friendly nod right before he started to play. (And he sounded awesome.) Similar experience several years later--my sister (who is an artist) and I went to see Bobby Hutcherson at the refurbished Catalina's. Right as I was about to leave, I looked back to find that my sister had essentially charged Bobby Hutcherson with a pen and a pad (maybe hoping to score an autograph for her little brother). I was mortified until I realized that she had been sketching the band the entire time, and she was hoping to get Bobby to autograph her artwork. Bobby seemed extremely confused, but I wasn't sure why... until I had a look at the art. My sister had been drawing at an angle in low light the entire evening, so her Bobby sort of looked like the Slender Man. The whole thing was hilarious--I keep the drawing framed on my wall still. Even later, I played with Eddie Gale at a massive sort-of gala event at the Oakland Yoshis. I wound up spending a lot of the night in a social huddle with Steve Turre, John Handy, and (again) Bobby Hutcherson. The only thing I could say to Bobby was that "Out to Lunch was very important to me growing up"--and he just smiled and shook my hand. That's twice now, and the interactions are getting increasingly awkward. As per the original purpose of the thread: Wadada Leo Smith appearing on Earle Brown's Folio and Four Systems is definitely unexpected, albeit very natural. The hugest wtf I can recall is Art Taylor appearing on Frank Wright's Uhuru Na Umoja--a stone hard bopper playing extreme energy free jazz with dynamism and aplomb.
  4. Herbie/Headhunters 1974

    One of the good things I can say about the recently published Mwandishi book is that it altered my understanding of the early Head Hunters music. I find I wind up revisiting the '74 stuff every year or so, and it "sounds" different every time--that is, more daring and experimental the more comfortable I get picking out (a) the technical conceits that seem to unify "classic" Herbie with post-Head Hunters Herbie and (b) the ways in which the early Head Hunters music seems to distinguish itself from the often crappy jazz funk conventions of the period. Darcy James Argue recently posted a defense of Donald Byrd's Blue Note funk excursions, and I'd tend to agree; even taking into account the fact that this music was happening in the same political and creative atmosphere that fostered the Braxton Aristas, the pre-ECM Art Ensemble, Get Up With It, McCoy's band with Azar Lawrence, Mingus's Changes albums, Strata-East, and so on, you can't deny that the caliber of craftsmanship and vision among rare groove exponents was itself widely variable--and, in a multitude of ways, just as plugged into the crux of the times as any of the aforementioned (much less commercial) music. The Head Hunters don't really qualify as "rare groove," but they do fall within the realm of groove oriented music that actually meets the genre on its own terms and, by virtue of taking said genre seriously, redefines and apotheosizes it. It's important to keep in mind that Head Hunters was sort of a commercial surprise, and, watching that video and listening to the first few sets of music, I can kind of see why. Even though the music is consistently tonal, metered, and reliant on straight time, it's also heavily improvisational, dynamic, and prone to fits of weirdness (Herbie's electronics and his still very undiluted harmonic vocabulary, Bennie's intermittent free jazzisms, some of the instrumentation choices, for three). There is no way music like this would chart that well these days, and it's funny to think that we often talk about it as if it would--it's really just commercial in relative terms.
  5. Von Freeman RIP

    RIP to Von, whose music is great so, so many ways. It's weird--I got copies of Have No Fear and Serenade & Blues purely on the strength of the Nessa catalog's AACM offerings, and I was shocked by how accessible Von's music felt to me--accessible, yes, in the way that high quality standards music can be/often is less alienating than experimental offerings, but also by virtue of how fluid and virtuosically improvisational Von was (and, in document, remains). There's something simultaneously primitive, futuristic, and transcendent about Von's sound. As a "free jazz guy," I got it instantly--the timbral flexibility, the pitch play (more "out," really, than even most so-called free tenors), the phrase construction... I'd say that Von's back catalog stands as a monument to the validity of inside playing as a perpetually relevant form--assuming, of course, the player has the intelligence, wit, power, and invention of someone as dedicated as Mr. Freeman. Eternal thanks on my end for that...
  6. I just stepped out to buy some groceries and listened to Sextant in the car. It's actually pretty maddening how little critical detail there is to Gluck's analysis at times--it feels like someone is analyzing from memory, rather than listening to the music with any sort of attention to detail. For example: much is made about "Rain Dance"'s innovative synthesizer sequencing and the resultant (veritable) electronic jungle--presaging contemporary (and I mean, like, last week) electronica by decades--but Gluck fails to mention the really piquant, almost primitive jazz flourishes that pop up throughout the piece. There's a very acoustic sounding finger popping/percussion that emerges not long after the purely electronoic intro, and (due in part to the robotic inflection of the synthesizer) it's difficult to place this popping in terms of a meter/beat. Once Eddie Henderson, enters (essentially unprocessed), it's clear that the popping is simulating a traditional jazz backbeat (i.e., accents on 2 & 4)--or, rather, Henderon's almost traditionalist onset recontextualizes the popping and transforms "Rain Dance" into a dialogue between future and past. More on that: a jaunty little synth figure pops up toward the end of the piece, essentially paraphrasing the central phrase of Horace Silver's Doodlin. Compare: Doodlin' v. Doodlin' Figure in Rain Dance Considering the big to-do Gluck makes about Hancock's incorporation of funkiness into the Sextet's music (as well as the influence of Horace Silver), you'd think he'd point out the convergence of Sextant's ultra futurism with the rhythmic syntax of hard bop and other precursors. This might not be an observation everyone would make, but it's relevant enough that the connection would become apparent upon repeated listening.
  7. Review: You'll Know When You Get There I started writing a post on here and it got waaaaay long, so I thought I'd post this here. The short version is that the book is a welcome but at times perplexingly insubstantial detailing of some very worthwhile music. I don't think I've ever read a major jazz text that has had more boring or inconsequential theoretical analysis than the middle stretch of this book, non-contenders (like Ratliff's Coltrane book) notwithstanding. There's a lot of love in here, but the general impression I get is that the book would have benefited from some real critical thinking in terms of the Sextet's influences, motivations, and creative endgame.
  8. News from the Bay Area front: I'm debuting a new series in Oakland this week, effectively titled "X v Y"... it occurred to me some time ago that the area was bursting with not only challenging, well-realized original music but also a strong tradition of interpretive/cover performance (I think there's a cottage industry of Bay Area guys doing Monk's music, for example). "X v Y" was set up to allow locals to present original composition alongside the concepts and ideas of renowned masters. The "ideal" is to have one person do one artist a night (ridiculous, since it means one person is effectively arranging three sets--BUT), and I'm kicking things off with a night of Ornette Coleman music. I'll be showcasing (1) my own group Grex (who will, in turn, be interpreting some of Old and New Dreams' more iconic Don Cherryisms), (2) a song band, which examines some of Ornette's songs (i.e., the "Science Fiction" stuff, music he's guested on, etc.) and (3) a quartet that will look at some of Ornette's lesser known melodies. It's not a typical night of this sort, considering we won't really be doing any "hits"--but that music has its place, and plenty have (very effectively and powerfully) reexamined "Congeniality," "Ramblin," "Turnaround," etc. I wanted to showcase the ways in which Ornette's general concepts--even in terms of less familiar melodies--have become so pervasive and adaptable that they don't need the (sort of) crutch of canonization or ear memory to sound resonant and powerful. Anyway, details for those who might be in town: X v Y Pt. 1: Karl Evangelista Plays Ornette Coleman Wednesday, July 25, 8pm @ Swarm Gallery (560 2nd Street, Oakland, CA) www.karlevangelista.com www.grexsounds.com Featuring Jon Arkin (drums), Scott Brown (bass), Jordan Glenn (drums), Jason Hoopes (bass), Robert Lopez (drums), Caitlin Moe (vocals), Zeina Nasr (vocals), Rei Scampavia (keys), Aram Shelton (alto sax)
  9. I'm not sure what it might mean to you, but regardless of whatever approbations may have been issued on the part of the powers that be, I know for certain that your catalog holds a really certain and important place in the hearts and minds of man on the street musicians and critics. I guess history, ultimately, reconfirms the quality that was always there. The early Art Ensemble sides, People In Sorrow, and Nonaah (not exclusively, but among others) are definitive recordings for people in my peer group in the improv world--we talk about this stuff in the same breadth as Bird's Savoy recordings, the Hot Fives and Sevens, Miles on Columbia, Trane on Impulse, Ornette on Atlantic, etc. etc.--it's absolutely defining music for a certain aesthetic and ethos, and I think there's a definitely a synergy with Nessa in there. In other words, and I'm sure I'm just reiterating what others have been saying for decades, but your place in the jazz annals is more than secure.
  10. Interrupting the discussion with tangential on topic discussion... Bennie Maupin's free jazzisms on "Sly" immediately diffuse any fears the "outcat" in me may have that Headhunters was counterrevolutionary music. Which is not to say that this is "part of the revolution" per se, but I do hear it as creatively sophisticated middlebrow music. You can't treat that soprano solo as either a co-optation or misappropriation of late Coltrane--it just sort of is that, recontextualized in sort of an unlikely way. I guess I hadn't really listened to Headhunters in a while, because the whole process was like rediscovering a misremembered movie. The history books or all the "classic of jazz fusion" appellations don't totally square; with some minor adjustments, "Sly" and "Vein Melter" could fit onto the second half of a Mwandishi album. All this goes to show that artistic development isn't all about exploding into the next big concept--it's actually often about incremental development and connecting the dots between plateaus.
  11. I come from a family of generals, judges, lawyers, doctors, and presidential candidates, so picking up music as a thing to do probably does strike some of my relatives as extraordinarily precious. I don't really need to justify this lifestyle to myself, but I've given up trying to justify it to the people around me--I'm sensitive to what they think/feel, but I've found that the people who know and care about me the most have already come to terms with the fact that I'm a musician. That being said, I completely understand how anyone could/would take issue with being categorized as an "artist"; beyond the sheer psychological implications there is a sense that self-categorizing as an artist means that feeling, emotions, and sensitivity take up an extraordinary amount of one's own personal time. Yes--maybe for some, but I've met far too many working musicians to know that it's as much about craft, work, and (in most cases, sadly) money as it is about exploring the self. That doesn't mean that self-involvement and being a musician can't go hand in hand, only that there are a lot of other factors at play. Maybe Herbie is just a sensitive guy who also wants to express himself to others and also wants to turn a buck. Roscoe Mitchell is one of the ultimate examples of someone who rides the artist/worker dichotomy with a vengeance. No one flipped/flips out when AACM musicians make more commercial recordings (see Lester Bowie), in part because doing essentially everything is publicly acknowledged as part of the AACM's postmodern wheelhouse. The interesting thing is that whenever commercial idioms enter into Roscoe's equation they're a piece with the other stuff; their presence is not necessarily a huge (or crass, for that matter) personal or public gesture. I spent enough time with that dude to know that the guy is more about the dichotomy between good music and bad music--making it work--than he is about turning a buck or being a starving genius. The more time passes, the more Roscoe's path seems like the "sane" thing to do.
  12. Virgil Jones has passed

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3J6NQnLx3-Y RIP--he had a truly strong, versatile voice. He helped make a lot of great 70's dates great, IMO.
  13. Hancock's actual words, since I'm not sure they've appeared verbatim in this thread. From the liners to The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings: "One thing became apparent to me last year," he explained in a 1974 interview that explained the change in perspective that led to his ultra-funky and enormously successful Headhunters album. "I'd go to friends' homes and see my albums on the shelves with lots of other people's records, and they'd play all the others except mine. My intention at the time was to play music to be listened to with undivided attention; but how many people have the time to approach music that way? Before, I was so interested in spirituality that I didn't recognize that a person puts on a record with his hands and not his spirit." So the emphasis shifted from "heavy musical trips that try to expand people's minds" to "making people feel like getting up in the morning and going to work." I think it's important to parse that Herbie never really rejected the Mwandishi music--I always got the sense, in fact, that there was a lingering affection on the part of the members, Herbie included, for the band and that era--more the principles upon which the music was created. Do you "expand people's minds" or "make people feel like getting up in the morning?" I think both notions are presumptuous to a certain extent, and it's ultimately, at least in this case, just as much a matter of the artist feeling comfortable with what he put into the music is it is a matter of what he knew people would get out of it--i.e., 'I don't really want my music sitting on someone's shelves.'
  14. But Herbie Hancock still makes records. And has a book deal. And can improvise rather than riff. Win, Herbie Hancock. I actually don't mind Rockit at all. Don't really like it, but I've got no problem with Gadget Geeks playing with their new toys, nor with making unabashedly commercial music, not if you're upfront about it and do it like you mean for it to be done. In retrospect it might be Laswell's most successful project, and I don't just mean commercially. The element of bringing together disparate styles in Laswell's other projects (when he is not merely being a 'producer' for others 'styles') often ends at the idea alone. Rock-it actually sounds like it was meant to be. Everyone was in the right place at the right time. Re-Allen Lowe's point about the middle class not being able to produce anything truly innovative, I don't think it's middle class so much as middle age, or post middle age as such. Which innovative musicians (who made it past mid-career) have been able to make music that had a real impact on the music around them, after a certain point in their lives. Beyond just making certain advances or changes within their own personal idioms. After Prime Time Ornette certainly didn't. Herbie Hancock after Rock-it? Laswell? Archie Shepp? Sonny Rollins? Armstrong? Miles Davis perhaps? If you count Last Exit and Massacre as Laswell projects (and the latter has definitely always been a collaboration, to varying degrees, with Fred Frith), then I'd say that those are more successful than any of the grab bag/synthesis projects. Material is no one project, but its best moments (a lot of Memory Serves, that Archie Shepp/Whitney Houston track) have been musically fantastic. Last Exit actually has that sort of vibe--American free jazz guitar pioneer, iconic German enfant terrible, free rock legend/early Prime Time drummer, and a dub/experimental bassist--but it was a longtime touring group and much more cohesive than any of the shorter-term things I can remember. As far as innovative guys having an impact on the music around them at a later stage in life--a lot of the AACM and Euro free improv guys, especially in their older years, have maintained these sort of musical apprenticeships that ensures that their current music has an impact (by virtue of osmosis) on current, "developing" music. Evan Parker is one example, and his work with both younger musicians (Peter Evans and our own Alexander Hawkins come to mind) and more "leftish" improv (his EAI experiments in more recent years, even though he was already sort of doing this with the Music Improvisation Company in the 70's) ensures his continued relevance. Fred Frith is a different example; the changes in his own music may not always been immediately audible, but the man is deep into looking for new things and nurtures this interest, actively, via his teaching at Mills (where I met him) and his very public work with younger generations of composers/improvisers. There's a whole generation of younger/current American improvisers, I think, that bears at least some connection to Fred's work in various fields. Then there are guys like Braxton who tend not to sit with their own idioms very long before drastically mutating them into something else. There's plenty of personal development in Braxton's music, but I know that, at least in terms of the younger musicians he's worked with and the sheer ambition of his trying to produce something completely new every number of months, his music has a continued resonance. I've actually gleaned more off of studying both the 80's quartet and Ghost Trance music than I have looking at the more broadly celebrated 60's/70's music, and Braxton's creative wanderlust makes me think he'll never turn into someone who merely "coasts." Threadgill is similar, Roscoe too (although a lot of his hardcore experimentalism tends to go relatively unnoticed/unrecorded--my judgment is based in main on my time at Mills, where Roscoe seems to write a new, boundary pushing chamber piece on a pretty regular basis). Also, I wouldn't want to disservice a guy like Ornette whose music post-Prime Time may have not had a visceral impact but whose idiom most definitely continues to evolve. The primary reason his latter day music has not had as shattering an impact is because there's nothing to hang the hysteria on--like you said, it's a matter of personal advances or changes, not the invention, wholesale, of a new style. I think that Ornette's incremental evolution in the past ten years or so has been much more interesting than people often give it credit for, and many of these ideas (the reinstitution of a regular harmonic form with measures/beats spontaneously added or removed, the end of the formal "horns play the melody" thing with the melody traded freely between horns and basses, the superimposition of completely contrasting rhythmic feels on top of one another) parallel certain developments in the supposed "cutting edge" of contemporary jazz/improvised music.
  15. Levon Helm, R.I.P.

    ABSOLUTELY. The groove on that tune is so inviting and ecstatic--that band was superheroically soulful. RIP to Levon, whose playing and singing animated and emboldened everything around him.
  16. JLH reissue plans

    That would be HUGE.
  17. Cool--maybe overthinking this, but do you mean just a basic root position chord with the 5th omitted (e.g., C-E-Bb) or root/7th/3rd in that order (e.g., C-Bb-E)? I use the latter frequently, but I don't usually comp with 6th string/5th string/4th string combinations. It's not a preference thing so much as a habit--I guess I never really thought thought to do it the other way (for fear of invoking the wrath of bass players/keyboardists). I'll try that next time I'm in a small configuration.
  18. I worked through this with Barry himself. He and Milt sounded great on the companion recording. But we both agreed that the stuff was too fancy to be practical. The best and most useful thing Barry showed me was the 3-note bass string voicings for 4/4 comping. Amazing but I just didn't know to do that. I was comping on the high strings. He was a gentleman and said 'sounds good, but it's a little thin'. He had one study in that book on Rhythm changes that I was all over. It kind of changed my life. Totally tangential, but what exactly were the bass string voicings? Root-3rd-7th stuff? I'm really curious.
  19. Album Cover Locations

    Whoa--I have to find this place, if only to terrorize the residents with one too many "taking a historical/referential album cover" pictures.
  20. JLH reissue plans

    Yes--The Dark Tree. I haven't read Song of the Unsung yet either, but the caliber of writing and research on The Dark Tree is unbelievable. Considering how little documentation there is of that scene, that book approaches Lewis's AACM tome in terms of depth and how effectively it details the intersection of so many different personalities.
  21. and you, Mr. Phunkey, have so eloquently stated what i so clumsily tried to say. thank you! Speak Like a Child was beautifully arranged by Thad Jones. It is lyrical and beautiful as a composition and unfolds beautifully. That bass flute is worth the price of the ticket. I wonder why Herbie never arranged for a larger ensemble. Maybe he did. I think Herbie's self-editing over time is an important point that seems to have been missed here. It seems like he recognized that his earlier work w/Miles, etc. was almost too freewheeling and wanted to simplify. And he did, beautifully. It takes a lot of discipline to take a great, if verbose, talent and pare down. It's almost painful. But you sort of trust that the ideas will keep coming and you want to focus and be understood, so something like 'minimilization' occurs (shoot me, I'm sounding like a goddamn writer). Beckett did it with words. It's amazing to watch the trajectory from More Kicks than Pricks or Whoroscope to the novels (thick as an Irish wood)to finally Play, Eh, Joe, etc. Truly amazing. It's only when Herbie strapped on that keyboard and did Rockit that he offended me and I turned off. That was some sell-out bullshit. That and hosting 'Rock School' on PBS. Ugh. But he's got a hell of a legacy still. Are we talking more of a compositional/idiomatic simplification or an instrumental simplification? I'm not sure he's gotten less verbose or idea packed in the years after Miles (or even after Mwandishi, when he made a really self-conscious attempt to "connect" with listeners), going by his solo piano work, the duet with Wayne Shorter, or any of his live acoustic jazz after the early 70's (to say nothing of VSOP). Even stuff like Future 2 Future is drawn out in its own way. If you mean, though, that he began to compartmentalize his creative id and got more deliberate about when/where the experimentation occurred, then I can totally see what you mean; Herbie before '74 (or even before the end of the first Headhunters band) can be an adventure to listen to--you don't know which version of him will turn up. The live Mwandishi bootlegs are sort of the zenith of this, much more so than Herbie's work with the Miles band--this music is at times aggressively idea dense and often very drawn out, and it's the only time that Herbie seemed to allow, at length, his various personalities (the funky/commercial Herbie, the various experimental Herbies, the more bop derivative Herbie, the composer with an ear for complex orchestration) to coexist. Later than Mwandishi, even when Herbie's own playing surprises, the context is usually more or less predictable.
  22. JLH reissue plans

    Thanks! The crazy thing that got me about the Dark Tree was just how dismissive some of the other UGMAA people were with regard to The Giant Is Awakened--someone in the book calls it something like a "'B' day for those guys"--when it's really the iconic example of that music on record. One imagines (1) that that music must have been ridiculous in a live setting, stretching out for Coltrane lengths of time and (2) that the subtle "corporate" influence on The Giant Is Awakened may have tainted the recording for the movement somewhat. That Nimbus stuff is colorful and very unique--nothing else sounds quite like it--but it's just so much rougher and less to-the-point that the Flying Dutchman side. The Giant Is Awakened is kind of like a New York album in that way--just short, sweet, and tough. And thanks, JLH--I'll buy all three, too!
  23. These threads are such a crazy education. Interestingly (for me, at least), this was one of the first youtube hits for Barry Galbraith: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6I00wCRYTs That hybridzed chord/bassline accompaniment was actually one of the first "jazz things" I learned, since my first teacher took some lessons from Joe Pass (who more or less mastered this sort of contrapuntal guitar playing). The words about accompaniment being a lost art are really pointed, because these skills are more important now than ever. I had a friend chide me for playing chord melody in a free jazz context (not changes--it was a strictly improvised harmony sort of thing), which I'll take in stride--it's not "in the idiom"--but I do wonder why that sort of skill set was never really applied to a lot of styles in the wake of Coltrane. Maybe it's something about the post-McLaughlin/post-Hendrix area and the elevation of "heroic" linear soloing, but it sometimes feels like jazz guitar after 1970 really makes a big deal of avoiding the possibilities of all six strings.
  24. One example--Hall could be a crazy florid comper in tandem with/alternating with piano. Though he's essentially more of a standards/straightahead player than his third stream pedigree suggests, Hall had the sort of rhythmic and harmonic mind that could have pushed into post-Miles territory pretty effectively. I guess that's what Attila Zoller is for, to an extent, but sometimes I find myself looking for that degree of harmonic interactivity on Grant's Blue Note sides--at least something that could counterbalance Larry Young or Herbie in the way that Hall does Evans.
  25. OK, you got me--shit called where shit is laid. I put some Grant on while reading through this thread and came across this: ...and it's pretty solid, interactive organ trio comping. I was remembering, probably a little too tiredly, the frequent occurrence of stuff like this: -which is one of my favorite performances of all time. He does comp on a lot of blues, some slow burners, and the occasional uptempo piece, but I am a little perplexed by the fact that he tends to sit out comping duties on a lot of the more complex standards tunes on his own albums. Yes, you don't need two comping instruments on every single track (especially on stuff like Street of Dreams where you have three of them at the band's disposal), but Grant's comping--propulsive as it is--is nowhere near as coloristically or rhythmically sophisticated as, say, Jim Hall (or Wes, for that matter, who made a similar "commercial" turn later in life).