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Everything posted by ep1str0phy

  1. Dewey Redman "a capella" LP on Tuff City

    From my experience, most people react to Braxton's "song titles" in the same manner. The real issue (for me, anyway) is that there is most certainly an underlying meaning to his symbols/numbers/etc.--so there's no real question of "depth" or "effort" on Braxton's part. Either he's pure jive or fairly unfathomable--I, for one, enjoy his intellectual rigor. That semblance of meaning is enough to provoke a reaction from this listener. But if Braxton's symobls aren't quite as meaningful to me, do they matter at all? If I dig Braxton now, wouldn't I probably enjoy him regardless? I, too, take joy in the whole song title thing--it's an art unto itself, a remarkably simple means of invoking deep concepts. As far as true "relevance" to the music (itself), however, I'm often left wondering. A lot of late period Coltrane, for example (what we have on record), was named posthumously. Ornette has been known to rename his compositions constantly. Red Planet and Miles' Mode are (basically) the same tune--does the title matter at all? To get back to the central topic--anyone going to get the LPs?
  2. Dewey Redman "a capella" LP on Tuff City

    What about Braxton, whose compositions are characteristically well-formed but whose titles are almost uniformly incomprehensible (to the layperson)?
  3. Ordered from Dusty (bastards!) lately?

    I have that MJT album... nothing mind-blowing, but effective for what it is. Always nice to hear some quality hard bop--some interesting harmonic things going on here and there.
  4. Roscoe Mitchell recommendations

    Bump to say I just got Snurdy McGurdy. Beautiful, uplifting stuff... been kinda bummed out lately, and this one picked me right up. Props to RM, Mr. Nessa, and all involved.
  5. Roy Brooks

    Just found out about this--much respect and love.
  6. 60's hardbop trumpeters in 'progressive' contexts

    Yes, but this really begs the question -- can someone who was originally a "60's hardbop trumpeter" transition into a "genuine progressive"? If not, why not?? I may be misunderstanding your post, but it seems like you are suggesting that being truly progressive almost requires one to be insulated from the mainstream and the journeymen. Isn't the opposite true -- can anything new and innovative arise from someone that is not fully cognizant of the past? I guess what I'm trying to say is that I agree that trying to categorize musicians (or any artist, for that matter) is difficult and error prone. But back to Rooster’s original post – what is it about the records on this thread that make them so attractive to many of us? I think that many of these dates are excellent examples of “forward-thinking” musicians being either pushed or pulled (or both!), into creating some very new and exciting music. ← It's semantics. Although I don't think that the definition (previously) set forth precludes the qualities that you put forward--a guy like "Hubbard" may not be as stridently "progressive" as Ornette, but he did play on a few seminal avant sessions--I sympathize with your concerns. This dilemma illustrates the central point: we're dealing with a term ("progressive") that is woefully inadequate. It's all canon, practicality, and convention--none of which I'm particularly fond of, but all of which I (we?) have to cope with. Music's music, though. On Rooster's points... it's just fun watching people stretch. Not just "inside" cats, though--I mean, it's always fascinating to hear individuals step out of comfort zones. Confusion, unease, frustration, strain, resolve, bravery in the face of danger. In a way, it's psychodrama. Unusual situations take us back to our most primal instincts, the deep, dark, blue center of creativity--true improvisation. Yeah, I'm lapsing into superlative, but seriously--and I'm sure some of the other musicians can testify to this--in discomfiting circumstances, there's something in the back of your skull that's just primally unsettled, invigorated. It makes for some beautiful sounds.
  7. Favorite Trumpet Quartet Albums

    Good God. That's pretty heavy.
  8. Favorite Trumpet Quartet Albums

    Ah yes, the track screw up. After throwing in the cash, I was pretty confused. About Effi--pray tell?
  9. black saint/soul note

    Didn't this come up somewhere else? Anyway, I think he fits with the album--pulls things a little "in" (which may have been Hill's intention with the date). Frankly, I think Hill works best with less idiomatic players, or at least those who can play on different levels. Riley's alright here, and I'm a fan of his work with Horace Tapscott and much of the Monk material.
  10. little interest in the Oliver Nelson?

    No doubt. Especially the MPSs.
  11. 60's hardbop trumpeters in 'progressive' contexts

    Christ--exactly. Innovators, progressives, revolutionaries, the avant-garde... a mud-pit of poorly defined parameters. One might call Kenny G an innovator, but that's a whole other bag... Anyway... Shake Keane? Wasn't always so far out as on those Harriott dates, was he?
  12. Favorite Trumpet Quartet Albums

    Oy. Yet ANOTHER Hutcherson album I guess I'll have to get. I've got some catching up to do with Bobby. ← Good luck finding it. I had to pay something pretty (and that's a lot for a young cat). Worth it, though (it's basically the Medina/Spiral band w/J. Spaulding in place of Harold Land).
  13. 60's hardbop trumpeters in 'progressive' contexts

    Oh, absolutely. We're dealing with matters of categorization, though--and, frankly, "genre" categorization has always been a nebulous science. I think the capacity to "aspire" is different from artistic record (or nature, for that matter). The efforts of Messrs. Hubbard, Shaw, Morgan (etc.)--whose careers, like many jazz musicians, are all over the place--are admirable for what they are, irrespective of nature. Jazz, improvised music, creativity, art would be nothing were it not for the tide of innovation and those who weather the storm. At the same time--and I think this was the issue a few posts up--it's difficult to divine sincerity from artistic product. Again, this may be a non-issue, but the interpretation of music can be severely altered by knowledge of its origins. People jive. There's a wide gulf between those who approach innovation as opportunity and those who simply "cope" with, dismiss, and capitalize on it. Few individuals are so easily categorized. Regardless, it's difficult to apotheosize those who fall anywhere near the latter camp. That much, at least, I'm certain. Again, I could care less for categories. The idea that one is "hard bop" or "free jazz" or whatever is moot, but we use these terms anyway. It's just... in a Lockian sense, I guess, easier to organize discourse in this manner. Sadly, we're usually defined by what comes across, what people see--regardless of what we aspire to do (or don't, for that matter). Only Lee Morgan, after all, can fully assess Lee Morgan. We can only relish his efforts--and be glad that we know them.
  14. black saint/soul note

    Fairly cheap? I remember getting a shit load of em' there for like $5 a pop. Man that was awesome! That's when I really stocked up on the Black Saints and Souls Notes. Some of my favorites are: Andrew Cyrille's Metamusicians' Stomp & Special People (featuring young firebrand named David S. Ware) Misha Mengelberg/Steve Lacy/George Lewis/Ernst Reyseger/Han Bennink - Dutch Masters The Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet (featuring John Zorn and Wayne Horvitz) - Voodoo Leo Smith and the New Dalta Ahkri - Go In Numbers and although they've been mentioned already, they can never be recommended enough - Muhal Richard Abrahms Hearinga Suite & Blu Blu Blu ← Metamusicians' Stomp is a favorite. My Ship, baby. Avant-garde got soul, too. Just picked up Shades, folks. Hill is as florid, torrid as ever, and--if it weren't for the relatively conservative rhythm team and somewhat "inside" structures--I'd say it's a return to his Blue Note groove (it's strange talking about this in the present tense...). After Strange Serenade, however, this one is almost (almost) quaint. The ensemble playing is fine, but I keep getting Monk flashbacks. At the very least, it's nice to hear someone playing more traditional ride cymbal rhythms behind an inside/outside Hill. If Hill really is back on Blue Note, he'd better hook up with Joe Chambers stat.
  15. 60's hardbop trumpeters in 'progressive' contexts

    That's a good question, and I have to admit I never considered it that way. I'm hearing this music isolated from that time in jazz history, and now have to wonder how much of it was fueled by real innovation and desire, vs. a reaction to the times. And wonder some more how much it matters in the end... My suspicion is that the closer one gets to 1970, the more potential there is for reactionary responses to the (more popular) music of the time, especially the rock/fusion angle. But then I see that Evolution was made in 1963, and Out to Lunch in 1964. That seems pretty "progressive" to me for that time, and least from my perspective. Fascinating discussion... ← I agree, Skid. Sometimes it's difficult to separate genuine aesthetic predilections from reactionary inclinations--especially considering the "genre-hopping" tendencies of many modern jazz musicians. One thing is for sure, however--it's nowhere near as difficult to suss out the genuine progressives, a class of innovator to which few may be catalogued. Practically no "hard bop" trumpeters fit this label--if by progressive we're dealing with the archetypal 60's "New Thing" and associated schools (Blue Note?). For the most part, then, we're dealing with dabblers and journeymen--people fundamentally out of context. Some sincerity here (Woody Shaw, I'm looking at you), some half-hearted BS... but none of the guys under discussion would qualify as singularly "progressive" in mind--and, therefore, it really is difficult to identify the poseurs. There's really no telling, and it's probably useless to make assumptions regarding "intent". It may be useful, however, to examine the aesthetics of individual group "leaders". Whether or not Freddie and Woody were genuine about the music, it's far easier to place them at the vanguard of 60's hardboppers. Simply participating in sessions by Ornette, Coltrane, Hill, Dolphy, Moncur (etc.) is enough to suggest an openness to progressive tendencies, if not an outright desire to innovate. The first couple waves of the "New Thing" were for real, untested and gestative--it's safe to assume that the groundbreaking work of Messrs. Ornette, Coltrane (etc.) was created by individuals of (generally) "un-reactionary" tendencies. But those weren't their sessions. Hubbard is unambiguously "hard bop" for the very reason that, for the rather nebulous purposes of classification, we have to assume from record--and Hubbard's personal leadership has been relatively conservative (at least in relation to, say, Lester Bowie). I say the reacitonary/progressive distinciton is rather moot--all of the guys under discussion are out of "canonical" context. Lee Morgan may have been more "avant" than history gives him credit for (considering what he's said about "Evolution", etc.), but, for the purposes of discussion, his work with Moncur, Hill (etc.) is relatively aberrant.
  16. Favorite Trumpet Quartet Albums

    For raw, hard swingin' emotional playin' I like the Charles Tolliver LPs "Live At Slugs" vol 1 & 2 on Strata East.. Stanley Cowell-piano, Cecil McBee-bass, & Jimmy Hopps-drums swing with great passion on these sides! Jimmy Hopps kind of reminds me of Chicago drummer Wilbur Campbell. ← FYI randissimo, those albums are on disk #1 of the Mosaic set in addition to some unreleased tracks from the same dates on disk #3. ← Thanks for the info BFrank.. I'll have to get the box set.. ← Oh, yeahhhhhhhhh. Disk #2 and part of #3 are from the "Live in Tokyo" set. Almost as smokin' as the Slugs stuff. ← Almost, but not quite. Largely due to 'Effi', which breathed fire in the version Tolliver, Cowell, Gary Bartz, and Jymie Merritt did with Max Roach on 'Members Don't Get Weary', but doesn't cut it as a ballad in Tokyo (maybe just due to my heightened expectations). ← Yeah, the Members version of 'Effi' is just blistering. The whole band is just on, but Tolliver rocks it hard. No climaxes here--just plateaus... and they keep getting higher and higher and higher. Also... love for Jimmy Hopps? What a consistent player. His work with Rahsaan always gets me going. Edited to say that the Hutcherson version of 'Effi' (on 'Patterns', right?) is something else altogether. Chambers keeps the power level high, but, overall, the band keeps things remarkably subtle. Perhaps the "prettiest" version of the tune, and a happy medium.
  17. Roscoe Mitchell recommendations

    I, too, enjoy 'Flow', but it's a terribly daunting listen and hardly indicative of the whole of Roscoe's bag. It's a fine document of his technique and a great opportunity to hear a stellar band, but it focuses on a rather narrow range of ideas. 'Flow' is like 'Prepare Thyself to Deal with a Miracle' (the Rahsaan album) in many ways--not just the nonstop sax improv... on the whole, it's just as much focused on a specific improvisational process as it is compositions and group interaction. Honestly, I don't think there's that much variety, although what's there is great for what it is. I would have hoped for a more "synoptic" document of the Mitchell/Christian/Favors/McCall group--immensely talented, any way you cut it.
  18. Favorite Trumpet Quartet Albums

    Don't forget "Grand Max" (which isn't on here, unless I'm mistaken).
  19. New Roscoe Mitchell

    It's an awful shame that no one has commented on this one (which must speak volumes for distribution/press, etc.). This has to be one of the finest "contemporary" free jazz dates I've heard in some time. Mitchell and Aoki make a wonderful team--redolent of some "classic" reed/bass pairings (and Mitchell knows how to pick bass partners), but emotionally and rhythmically unique. Aoki's Eastern grooves provide the centripetal pull for some vigorous, far-flung "solo" work--honestly, some of the best I've heard from Mitchell (heard mainly on alto here--conjuring after-images of face paint and ethnodrama). But this is first and foremost a dialogue, a push/pull between two divergent but interrelated conceptions. There is engima, pathos, intricacy, mysticism--the vestiges of the AACM, an ethos that Mitchell has cultivated with intelligence and heart. Aoki plays with a similar air of mystery--infused, however, with an identifiably "Asian" sense of power. This is deep groove, ethnic communion, and freedom of the finest sort.
  20. Musicians With Smallest Recording

    Excellent call. The Detroit cats really had something to say.
  21. Musicians With Smallest Recording

    Seconded. I'll add James Spaulding. He's been around the sideman circles, but--considering his talent--he should definitely have more cuts as leader. Also--Don Ayler (who's practically inivisble apart from his brother's shadow), Jacques Thollot, Luther Thomas... and special recognition for the cats on the LA scene (not just Tapscott--Michael Sessions, Steve Smith, Dwight Trible, Nate Morgan, Phil Ranelin, etc.--just bad)
  22. Sexiest album covers

    Laughing my ass off...
  23. Tunes by (relatively) well-known artists...

    I'm just the best reader, you know? Art Pepper did "Tears Inside" before Ornette was a jazz god (although he was already quite visible).
  24. black saint/soul note

    Oh man--"RB" is one of my all time favorite compositions. Should've become an "avant" standard (though it made the rounds a bit). Steve McCall owns our asses. Haven't heard the Jarman/Moye/Pullen, but I'm very interested. Maybe I'll order it (one of these days).
  25. black saint/soul note

    I can speak for the Lowe: somewhat less explosive than his more "famous" sessions (e.g., "Black Beings"), but enjoyable in its own way. Again, don't expect a wail fest; this one is more in line with his later work on CIMP. The band--which is all star--doesn't stray far from freebopish melody/groove excursions. In fact, a number of the cuts are relatively "inside"--but hardly boring. Lowe, Cherry, Moncur (etc.) had a taste for the subtler side of the New Thing, and this album shows it. I'd say middle-of-the-road, but that statement doesn't seem to do the album justice. "Low key", perhaps?