ep1str0phy

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Everything posted by ep1str0phy

  1. Thumbs up on 'For Losers'. Thumbs even higher up for "The Magic of Juju'. 'Village of the Pharoahs' is pretty good if you like Sanders' rhythmic stuff with Joe Bonner and aren't worried about there not being much sax on it. ← Haven't heard "For Losers", but I agree with you on "The Magic of Juju". "Juju" is just about the most high octane, heavy churn Shepp on record (although it's matched by some of the BYGs). The only real problem is that it's a little uneven--the sax/African percussion romp on Side I just dominates. That being said, the other cuts are excellent (for what they are)--a little truncated, but beautiful. The charts are lovely.
  2. ...are you swingin'? Head's up--Demon's Dance is now available (Japanese pressing) at dustygroove. Hopefully it'll make its way over here (again, sooner or later). 'Bout Soul is one of my favorite McLeans, not least because I'm a big Moncur fan. All things considered, the band gels extremely well. Rashied is, of course, a dominant force, but Jackie's conception very much directs the proceedings. Moncur is great, and Shaw gets pushed out of his comfort zone a bit (with fascinating results--too bad he didn't do this more often). Special commendation to Holt and Johnson, who are (in retrospect) just about the most surprising rhythm section in all of 60's Blue Note.
  3. AOTW Oct 30-Nov 5

    Remember it? I practically lived there! Major sympathy from me here - both about the stagnation that was in the air at "our" college during the time of the fusion medusa, and about the DIYH LP. I didn't have the major experience that you had (I'll leave that for that day in the summer of 1970 when I bought Bitches Brew along with Cannonball Adderley Quintet and Orchestra from a store one afternoon here in North Texas), but I knew that I wanted more... and with it's addition to the great musical triumvirate of Body Meta and Of Human Feelings, I knew one could sooth the savage with Soapsuds, Soapsuds. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman anybody? ← Soapsuds, Soapsuds is my favorite album of all time. Seriously, I don't think I could name something that I enjoy more. Anyhow, I have my share of maudlin, sentimental stories on that one, but then I'd be exploding this thread off topic (another AOTW somewhere down the line, maybe). Thank you for so much as bringing up what is surely a lost classic.
  4. The Nels Cline Singers - TBD (Cryptogramophone)

    Bradford + Hill = Is there any word on the repertoire? Oh, and I am hypnotized by your av.
  5. AOTW Oct 30-Nov 5

    Ah--but how do you feel about the later Prime Times (e.g., In All Languages, Tone Dialing--nice to see some positives on that, BTW)?
  6. What music did you buy today?

    Jemeel Moondoc & William Parker w/Hamid Drake: New World Pygmies (Vol. 2) George Cables: Cables' Vision Mingus: Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus (on a Dolphy kick)
  7. Roland Kirk on Fontana - HIP!

    The best part is that Rokirk seems visibly perturbed by all the hand/nose action.
  8. Cream

    Frankly, I'm still shocked by how many ways one can spin a pun on "cream rising". As per "Pressed Rat and Warthog"--yeah, I'm pretty sure it's specific to the reunion shows. The trio had minimal time to rehearse the bulk of the "Wheels of Fire" tunes, so few could be taken on the road. Which goes to show--at least some of this stuff is new wine.
  9. Cream

    Ummm - he must have been smoking something. What exactly is track 4 on side one of Live Cream, Volume II? Mike ← One of the other reviews mentions that Clapton spoke "tongue in cheek"--and Cream always was apt to abusrdity. And hey, I'm just glad they played it... Clapton needs to get busy with the wah-wah ballistics.
  10. AOTW Oct 30-Nov 5

    Full points... not quite as cohesive as "Body Meta" (culled from the same sessions, if I'm not mistaken), but easily among the most invigorating records in the Coleman catalogue (as far as I'm concerned). Perhaps I'm lapsing into superlative, but it's albums like this that keep me listening to music. When the groove kicks in on "Theme From a Symphony (Variation One)", you just know shit is gonna go down. There's a strange, giddy sort of "revolution" pervading Ornette's best sides, and these are no exception. The moment the alto comes staggering in, it's obvious that this is the same man who wailed over "Lonely Woman", screeched into "Snowflakes and Sunshine", and proudly, conclusively declared (his words or not...): "this is our music". To me, it's obvious why Ornette keeps returning to the "Symphony" head (known elsewhere as "The Good Life", "Tutti", "School Work", "Dancing In Your Head"...)--it really does stick. It's insidious, taunting, discomfiting, the creative Id completely unleashed and ready to take names. Superimposed over Prime Time's rollicking, sing-songy soundscape, it's all it once a musical commentary and a call to arms: "You want to funk things up? This is how I groove, mutha*******". And yet, there's something endearingly simplistic, "benign" about the whole affair. What separates Ornette from much of the movement he birthed is a sense of intellectual, emotional revolution--there's nothing militant about it. The irony is that "DIYH", in it's own way, manages to validate--perhaps elevate--the frivolty and inconsequence of a great deal of the post-"free" era. Here is Ornette--a forefather of the fire-breathing, acid-spitting "New Thing"--taking up the instruments of the counterrevolution, "checking out" and plugging in, tap dancing on the very verge of dance floor bullshit. But, as "DIYH" attests, it's not about the instruments, the era, or even fighting in the streets--what's important is the art: the highest order of human, personal expression. Ornette wasn't so much above the fray as he was a place apart. Like all the real legends, he innovated not through purpose, but through compulsion--the need to create. "DIYH" could have dated worse, and it is somewhat uneven (two takes of the same tune, a scratchy personal recording). Nonetheless, it is sonic proof that aesthetic can transcend all sorts of boundaries--you just have to do your own thing. This is his music, and--fortunately--it can be ours, too.
  11. AOTW Oct 30-Nov 5

    Thanks for picking this, JSngry. I'll definitely be back.
  12. I'm a big fan of Spedding's playing--"Harmony Row", "Songs for a Tailor", and the Battered Ornament sides are among my faves. That being said, MF (however droll) has a point... things would be different. And? They'd sound different, that's for sure... but so would the Miles Davis Quintet feat. Eric Dolphy. Missed opportunity? Moot point? I'll bite anyway. Spedding has never had McLaughlin's technical facility, although he's a fine player (and by reputation somewhat workmanlike in a more conservative jazz context). Nonetheless, he's always been phenomenally creative--pioneering rhythm/lead jazz-rock guitar, working with odd effects (drones, feedback, heavy overdrive, trebly wah-wah, wah-wah slide, etc.), and copping the odd Sharrock-esque trill long before it was popular. Spedding would have fit into the electric Miles context just fine--at least as well as the majority of guitar players who came through the MD groups. Some live dates with Jack Bruce (feat. Graham Bond, John Marshall, etc.) showcase a strong mastery of the Hendrix-breed skronk that Miles was so fond of. So, sonically, I think the mix would have worked (maybe making things a little bluesier). Then again, there would have been the personality clashes... and we probably wouldn't have those great Bruce/Ornament albums sitting around.
  13. Jack DeJohnette

    A friend of mine gave me "New Directions in Europe" some time ago. It's a fine album with some excellent improvising (this is the one that turned me on to Eddie Gomez). Still, I feel the band was capable of much more. There's quite a bit of heat for an ECM album, but the spectre of "iciness" really diminishes the band's more dynamic edges. Something tells me that an album of more compact features (ala "Nice Guys") would have served the band better (recording-wise). Still, better than most.
  14. Coltrane At The Half Note

    no, it's not just you, i think his avant-garde period 40years later sounds like a bunch of noise, Coltrane Live At Birdland hooked me on jazz at the tender age of 15, i was even digging SOME of the avant-garde stuff, but like i said 40 years later it sounds like a bunch of noise and does a disservice to his GREAT hard bop period ← With all due respect (Mr. JM), I must disagree with your final sentence. Granted, late Coltrane isn't for everyone--and there are certainly a number of individuals (musicians, critics, etc.) who sympathize with you. However, to say that his "avant-garde" material does a "disservice" to his hard bop period is a little much. Coltrane's later work certainly eschews some of the less alienating conventions of early 60's, but--outside of sheer subjectivity--there is little foundation to outright dismiss it--much less as a "disservice". At the time of his death, Coltrane was moving toward unprecedented levels of instrumental virtuosity, straining known limits of stamina and harmonic complexity. Regardless, of taste, few well-schooled musicians would find technical fault in Trane's last recordings. To be fair, the final Trane Quintet did not have nearly enough polish or stage time to approach the rapport of the "Classic Quartet". By the end of his life, Coltrane was probably on his way toward creating a new language, a process that was (sadly) cut short. Gestative or not, this later material is invaluable in developing a comprehensive concept of Coltrane as an improviser and bandleader. Once again, this material isn't for everyone--and I'm not about to hassle anyone into a more "pro-avant" mindest. But please--everyone--remain mindful of the fine line between opinion and sweeping statement. Vague debasement does a disservice to Trane. Edit to say I posted before reading mrjazzman's last post (kudos, BTW)... leaving this here for posterity (and further debate?).
  15. AOTW Oct 23-29 - Oliver Nelson

    It's because it shows up after "Stolen Moments". "SM" to "Hoe-Down" is one of the most jarring segues in the history of recorded jazz. It's a schizophrenic mood shift--magnified by the fact that the "Hoe-Down" intro sounds like soft-parody. I think it plays into the overall "concept" of the album--a sort of emotional travelogue, encompassing the whole "sphere" of "blues"--but that doesn't make it any less out there. It took me a long time to come to terms with it. Then again, I didn't get "Kind of Blue" until a plane flight to Germany, so...
  16. AOTW Oct 23-29 - Oliver Nelson

    Back in the 80's and 90's, "Stolen Moments" used to get SO much play (recordings by a variety of artists, including a few vocal versions) on KJAZ and KCSM that I got really sick of it. Maybe my impression is simply skewed in the opposite direction, but it seemed to me that this tune was overdone for many years. Personally, I can't stand Mark Murphy, and his version was played to death. Too bad, because I really do think it's a fine composition. In my own collection, I have these versions: Chet Baker- Live / The Meridien/ Tarbes, France- Private Rec. Kenny Burrell- Moon And Sand- Concord Kenny Burrell- Concierto De Aranjuez- Meldac (Japan) Booker Ervin- Structurally Sound- Blue Note (Pacific Jazz) Curtis Fuller- Jazz Conference Abroad- Trip Eddie Higgins- Haunted Heart- Sunnyside Milt Jackson- At The Kosei Nenkin (Vol. 1)- Pablo J. J. Johnson- J.J.! (The Dynamic Sound Of J.J. With Big Band)- RCA Lorne Lofsky- It Could Happen To You- Pablo Today Carmen McRae / Betty Carter- Duets: Live at the Great American Music Hall- Verve Oliver Nelson- The Blues And The Abstract Truth- Impulse Jimmy Raney / Doug Raney- Stolen Moments- Steeplechase Jack Wilson- Ramblin'- Fresh Sound (Vault) ← Ahmad Jamal does a gorgeous version on "The Awakening". Edit: I just said gorgeous, didn't I?
  17. What would YOU ask Henry Grimes?

    YES! Seriously, though... I wouldn't know what to ask if I met him myself (things just come up in casual conversation). I remember sitting around with Gerald Wilson waiting for class to start (I was taking his Jazz Dev. course at UCLA)... every so often, I'd think of something to say. Fascinating insights--nice to learn a bit of first-hand info about Eric Dolphy, as I was just really getting into him at the time--but hardly a Q&A. Musicians have a way of saying interesting things without speaking, you know? That being said--are there any specific ensembles that HG wishes were recorded? Any lost ESP sessions floating around limbo (one can dream)?
  18. AOTW Oct 23-29 - Oliver Nelson

    Listened to it again... I'm afraid that I'll just end up pressing some well-worn buttons (JSngry and co. having demolished all foundations for quaint insight). No matter how many times I listen to it, "Stolen Moments" will always sound like the prototypical "jazz" tune. Nelson, if not as innovative as some of our other marble statues (your Dukes, Birds, Ornettes), nonetheless maintains as strong a connection to the jazz continuum as any of his peers. Nelson is both a traditionalist as well as a futurist--composing, playing in the now. "Blues and the Abstract Truth" is just another shade of "universal" blue--a dip into the collective well so wonderfully mined by other ostensible "historians" (Rahsaan, Mingus, Jaki, etc.). Just like a Mingus tune, "Stolen Moments" hits you from the first listen--it's something so familiar, so obvious that you must have heard it before. And yet, none of it sounds cliched or caricatured. See, Nelson got it right--the "magic" of the continuum stems from "emotional" (rather than "musical") commonality. This understanding has always shocked me--and it continues to, listen after listen. "Stolen Moments"--all of "Blues...", really--has precisely those elements that most of the young lions, even streamlined "jazz" composers like Mancini, never figured out. Emotional effectiveness is a paramount arbiter of taste--regardless of how it comes across. "Blues..." exploits this perfectly. Heart-stopping simplicity is juxtaposed with dizzying rococo. The "hard blues" is infused--tainted?--with passages of mind-boggling complexity. What starts off comedic, borderline ridiculous (as with "Hoe Down"), slowly transforms into serious, dead serious, emotional sincerity (dig that Dolphy solo!). I mean, look at the players on this date (Barrow notwithstanding--although his contributions are important). It's the full spectrum: Eric Dolphy to Bill Evans. Stark, unchaste, utterly indominable explosiveness on the one hand, rarefied, noirish, almost nerdy cool on the other... but it's all apart of a larger, more important scheme. The lesser tendencies, the "attributes", are superficial--but there's a common strand in the communion of music-making that implies, maybe affirms, that Dolphy and Evans are one and the same. What prevents this affair from becoming some horrid postmodern mishmash is its cognizance of "feeling", rather than "feel". Nelson got it. The writing chops, the intelligence, it's all there... but (to codify a generally simplistic rant) "it don't mean a thing..." (finish it for me, folks). And yes... Nelson is a bitch of a saxophonist.
  19. Strata-East, the rest?

    Ain't THAT the truth ← Jesus Jones. Now I can eat lunch happy.
  20. The coolest jazz name.

    Anyone say Grachan Moncur? ...and John Coltrane will always be a classic. Sounds like the name of a folk hero (he is, anyhow).
  21. Epistrophy

    It's funny. I didn't know any of the definitions until a while ago. Then it became a sort of occupational hazard: Lady: What's that word? Me: Epistrophy. Lady: What? Me: It's a Thelonio... don't worry about it. Lady: How do you spell it? Me: It's right there. Man: So what's your favorite Monk tune? Me: I like Bye-ya. Pannonica. Locomotive. Epistrophy. Man: What? Me: Ugh. 'Round Midnight. I'm going to the music shop. ...and that's why I love it here.
  22. Epistrophy

    The medical procedure of which someone may have been thinking was probably an episiotomy, which basically is an incision sometimes made during childbirth to make things "easier". ← I'm doing this from memory, but yet another definition is: "to go back or turn around"... something equating to a return to a prior form. The liner notes to the latter-day Charlie Rouse album "Epistrophy" (of all things) have a bunch of definitions interspersed. I left my copy in LA (I'm in the Bay Area right now), so I can't list anything concrete. Granted my handle (and a couple of e-mail addresses), I have to explain the term practically everywhere I go...
  23. Ebay craziness

    For those who care: I just saw the complete Young Mosaic contents (CD's, sans-box) for $52 or so dollars ($26.00 for 3 CD's) over at the Amoeba in Berkeley. I have most of it, so I'll hold off.
  24. Charles Tolliver Big Band

    There goes the monthly budget. Man, I live for Tolliver-led ensembles... makes me feel especially bad about all those Black Lion sets languishing in OOP land.
  25. New George Russell Living Time Orchestra

    I think I've seen this around--thoughts, anyone?