ep1str0phy

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Everything posted by ep1str0phy

  1. AOTW Oct 23-29 - Oliver Nelson

    Nailed it. This is what I love about web forums.
  2. What music did you buy today?

    Joe Chambers: The Almoravid Anthony Braxton: Donna Lee And, thanks to the high props on Organissimo: Von Freeman: Serenade & Blues
  3. The question is: Who is John Zorn?

    Great repertoire, really. Any album that includes a composition off "The Empty Foxhole" gets props in my book. I agree, though--sounds a bit too metallic... and it's sort of a one note samba. I think the subtler cuts (like "Mob Job") come across extraordinarily well.
  4. The question is: Who is John Zorn?

    Man, I love that disc. ← I play that disc sometimes for my rocker friends and they love it. ← One of the few albums I own that actually comes through over an airplane...
  5. Rhino OOPs on iTunes Music Store

    Wasn't "This is Our Music" reissued a couple of years back? A little soon (to be OOP), don't you think?
  6. Strata-East, the rest?

    PLEASE tell what you know and from which sources. ← It should be obvious who my sources are and I've told what I know....as things progress and I'll keep you guys posted. ← Is this the same date that's been listed on the Strata-East website for months?
  7. Walt Dickerson

    Took the words right out of my mouth. Question, though: how often does Murray play in the States?
  8. Coltrane At The Half Note

    Frankly, I think the Half Note material holds up far better than the majority of Coltrane's "extended" live dates. It's because this sense of tension is so palpable that these recordings are so rewarding for me. Marathon performances can grate on the nerves, but how much more for something like "Live in Japan" (where, despite the hardcore caterwauling, the emotional dynamic of the band is far more subdued throughout)? Frankly, it's easier for me to sit through half an hour of sustained explosiveness than it is to deal with an hour of "celestial" sounding piano arpeggios (and this from a guy who loves the latter-day Coltrane Quintet). I'd characterize the Half Note recordings as more "sensory overload" than sheer monotony (which tends, in part, to imply "bore" and emotional ineffectiveness--and if this stuff doesn't get your blood boiling, then I just don't know what to say...). As far as the sense of repetitiveness... once again, listening to "One Down, One Up" (the specific performance, not just the album), I have to disagree. The phrases (lengthwise, melodically, etc.) sound repetitive because the performance is protracted--the soloists are allowed so slowly build. Coltrane--as too many have probably iterated--had this concept of solo construction that hinged upon intensive thematic variation and deconstruction. In a live context, this fact is much more evident; there was just more time to get the ideas in. With Trane, there is a tactile sense of evolution--gradual, but hardly "punctual"; his shifts are far less evident than, say, Rahsaan's (whose approach was sort of schizophrenic). But there is growth... try listening to the first two or so minutes of the "One Down, One Up" solo... then fast forward to the last two... there is a ridiculously wide gulf. It's all interrelated (hence, the snippets of recurrent material), but twisted into wild, grotesque, beautiful shapes. There is, ultimately, minimal real repetition but heavy variation. If there's anything I've learned with extended modal performances, it's this: few people, if any, are at Coltrane's caliber when it comes to dealing with limited thematic material. In the end, this stuff requires sustained listening, which is too much to ask of a lot of people. I don't know if I can do it on a regular basis... but it's fun to try.
  9. Coltrane At The Half Note

    I wanted to reach into my stereo and strangle the announcer. Just got it tonight, listened to it while cooking dinner. After all the hype with the "One Down, One Up" solo, I started out a little disappointed... but by 20:00, I was totally enthralled. I had a gig today where I went totally apeshit on Impressions (free "gig," so I threw in some heavy lines for the passers-by)... then I get back to my apartment, throw this on the slate, and man did that guy know how to build a solo. Back to the woodshed. Edit to say--Elvin lost his drum pedal? Damn.
  10. Jazz in movies

    Funnily enough, I nearly revised this thread myself to mention American Splendor, which I saw for the first time a couple of weeks ago. Harvey Pekar, in addition to being a cartoon writer, also wrote about jazz. At one point in the movie he is searching his chaotic apartment for an Ornette Coleman LP. There's some other fine music in the movie; Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Young, John Coltrane, Jay McShann and original music by a band that includes Dave Doulgas. But, yes, the Maneri piece is a wonderful way to start the movie; in the audio commentary Pekar himself sings Maneri's praises. I must track that piece down. Good movie too, with a fine performance by Paul Giamatti as Pekar. Makes me want to see the Crumb documentary again. ← Yeah, I remember sitting in the theatre trying to figure out what album it was (based on year... when was it? 80's? A Prime Time side?). I second the enthusiasm. Seems like Pekar had a say in the soundtrack (fine choice with the Maneri). Seriously though, that Crumb documentary is little taxing.
  11. 1 album - 1 artist --> AS A SIDEMAN

    Eric Dolphy on everything. Pharoah on "Where is Brooklyn?" (Don Cherry) Frank Lowe on "Brown Rice" (Cherry) Billy Higgins on "The Shape of Jazz to Come" (Ornette) Charles Tolliver on "Members, Don't Git Weary" (Max Roach) Charnett Moffett on "Ask the Ages" (Sonny Sharrock) Tyrone Washington on "The Jody Grind" (Horace Silver) Richard Davis on "Out to Lunch" (Dolphy)... on everything, really Elvin Jones on "Conflict!" (Jimmy Woods) Bern Nix on "Lowe-down and Blue" (Frank Lowe) Bobby Few on "Uhuru Na Umoja" (Frank Wright) James Spaulding on "Solid" (Grant Green) Andrew Cyrille on "New Africa" (Grachan Moncur III) Grachan Moncur III on "Destination Out" (Jackie McLean) Ray Brown on "Something Personal" (Jack Wilson) Kenny Burrell on "Soul Samba" (Ike Quebec) Not necessarily the best ones... just sideman spots that deserve some attention.
  12. What music did you buy today?

    tonym, You are having a mighty fine evening....afternoon.....morning... whatever...... Great stuff. ← Seconded (for "Solid," anyway--I'm not as familiar with the Brooks). Why it took so long to get released is beyond me.
  13. Andrew Hill - Hommage, Nefertiti, and Blue Black

    Blanked on this one... thanks. I was gonna say--an engineer too?!
  14. Andrew Hill - Hommage, Nefertiti, and Blue Black

    Lung cancer? Christ. How new is this news? My heart goes out regardless... On a lighter note, I'm really fond of the Test of Time remasters. The sound is great (I feel), and the level of musicianship is top notch. The cuts here are a lot more tempered than the later-day Blue Notes; Hill is over that part of the hump and ready to dig into some new ideas. The improvisations are characteristically dense, but the themes are far more linear and, perhaps, straightforward. What Hill has abandoned in the way of frenzy he more than compensates for in elegance and touch. Still, Hill's career isn't totally linear--I'm sort of characterizing what's on the albums (I have "Hommage" and "Nefertiti," "Blue Black" on the way). Pairing Hill with RD and Roger Blank (on "Nefertiti") certainly opens things up a bit. The propulsion of the earlier works just isn't here--is it Blank?--but the introspection and sensitivity are pungent. "Hommage" is simply a fine solo piano album and infinitely more interesting than the vast majority of solo sets I've heard--subtle, reflective. On the whole, these are meditative works--brainy (I hestitate to say) as much as emotional. All the better for it. Edit to say: Produced by David Baker? The David Baker?
  15. October Conns!

    You said it! I've been thinking the same thing lately as 'Out to lunch' and 'Judgment' have been in heavy rotation on my player...been really digging Davis Does he come through clearly on this latest Conn? Some of the remasterings of the early Conns were pretty weak, bass-wise, I thought ← He's in there. It's not exactly the "voice of doom" sound found elsewhere (like that "Nefertiti" remaster), but Davis' presence is very much felt. The more recent Conns have had a better sound balance, IMO. Regardless, RD is the kind of cat who can cut through anything--and he's loud and clear here.
  16. Clifford Brown & Eric Dolphy

    Maybe I'm behind the times, but has anyone heard this? It's pre-Chico, so I'm assuming that Dolphy's a little more conservative... but geez, what a mix! Explanations? Dusty Groove is also listing this: What a horrible name. Granted that it only costs $16.99, this can't be the whole tour. I have some of these tracks--with horrible sound quality (the music is phenomenal, though). Anyone care to chime in on this?
  17. Herbie Hancock on Ellen today...

    The Blue Note fact checkers strike again!
  18. Lee Morgan: The Last Session

    That made me feel vaguely ill.
  19. The Atlantic Warehouse Fire

    No. ← So they're just sitting on them? And I assume that we lost the Ornette/Steve Lacy double-quartet sides in the Atlantic fire?
  20. October Conns!

    Will respectfully disagree on the first two points. Out of all of Hill's first wave of BNs, I find both the melodies and forms (especially the forms) of these pieces to be the most clearly deliniated. Which is not to say that they're "better", just that they "stick" as complete, fully formed entities almost immediately, with little or no need for repeaed listenings to figure out what, in general, is going on technically. I'd even go so far as to say that for the "lay fan", that this is the most "accesible" of Hill's early BN dates. As for Gilmore, hey - both of his recordings w/Andrew are "desert island" recordings for me. He really brings a special flavor to the music, and his interpretations, in both melody and solos, are as perfect and as organic as any horn player that Hill's ever recorded with, imo. His natural style of fragmented motivic variation is such a perfect conceptual match for Hill's similarly fragmented-yet-together compositional style. I think he really gets inside the music in a way that few, if any, other horn players have. No disagreement on that third point, though. None whatsoever! ← You know, I was sort of hasty about the melodies--Hill has this sort of insidiousness about his heads that grabs hard and just doesn't let go. Still--and this may be my ears--"Andrew!!!" sounds a lot more angular than usual... substantially more esoteric than "Black Fire" and at least as impressionistic as "Judgment". The intervals just kill; over the course of Hill's early Blue Note tenure, his heads just got harder and harder to whistle. Listening with the right tools yields ample rewards--and this stuff can stick in your skull--but there's a pretty wide gap between "Land of Nod" and "Le Serpent Qui Danse". That's sort of what I meant by less memorable--just more difficult to grasp. I'm kind of on the same level with the harmonies; there's this sort of "floating" quality to "Andrew!!!" that obscures the form (even if the progressions themselves are quite striking). On the matter of Gilmore--I've really been disappointed by a lot of his non-Sun Ra output. I'm glad that there's so much love for him out here--and I do enjoy his spots on "Andrew!!!"--but he comes across as... well, if not extraneous, then merely "supplementary". "Turkish Women..." turned me off for the same reasons. I guess you can't expect--nor should you expect--a guy to go apeshit on every session he's on, but Gilmore always sounds underutilized to me. Even on "Andrew!!!", where he's clearly integrated into the whole, the rhythm team is just so tight that Gilmore's kind of there to float on top (like Henderson on Black Fire, but that was sort of a gestative session--even Hill and Davis were just getting together). Love his playing to death, though. You know, Hill's always been the insider pick for me... I was introduced to the 60's BN's by an old jazzbo--you know, the kind of cat who had simultaneous chats with Oliver Nelson and the NYAQ--and was knocked out at the first bar. Hill is like a rite of passage--when you dig him, you're in in the clique. Nice to see the enthusiasm, all.
  21. October Conns!

    They also kept Lee Morgan's Infinity (with JMac) unreleased at the time, so it came as something of a shock in the early 80's (when both were finally released) to that they had done so much great recording together in the mid-60's. Consequences is more traditional than what Blue Note was releasing by McLean in that era (One Step Beyond, Destination, Out, Action, It's Time, Right Now, New and Old Gospel, Bout Soul), but is certainly far superior to the last two titles. As good as it is, I like 'Jacknife' even better. "On the Nile" is a great Charles Tolliver tune. Don't miss the Mosaic Select of him when it comes out - great great stuff. ← "Jacknife" is indeed fine (my favorite BN McLean after "Destination Out" and "One Step Beyond"), but I wouldn't give "Gospel" and "Bout Soul" such short shrift. Jackie really stretches on those two--there's little on record quite like it. And I like Ornette on trumpet.
  22. October Conns!

    Having spun the Hill and Cherry quite a few times already, I have a notion or two... "Where is Brooklyn?"--fine compositions all around, terrific playing, and wonderful group interplay. The power level here is tremendous. They let Pharoah out of the box for this one. This is one of those rare well-recorded early PS records that doesn't vamp off into oblivion (not that there's anything wrong with that). Grimes comes off extremely well, boasting remarkable technique and endurance (keeping up with high-velocity double-stops). Cherry is energized by his sidemen, often lapsing into scratchy, brassy passages redolent of the Ayler days. Blackwell holds the whole group together, retaining a sense of transparency that grounds the ensemble in groove (reminding everyone just where they are). The only real problem with this session is that it's nowhere near as dynamic as either "Symphony for Improvisers" or "Complete Communion." Pharoah is completely indicative of the strengths and failings of this recording. His personal verve and sense of elation are so strong that they threaten to overwhelm the proceedings--it's like the old rock maxim (two volumes--loud and louder). The whole group follows suit. This isn't necessarily a bad thing--there's too little of this ensemble to go around--but "Brooklyn" is clearly missing some of the mayhem and schizophrenia of the other BNs. A beautiful session, but not so idiosyncratic as it could have been--caveat emptor. "Andrew!!!"--prime early Hill. In its own way, "Andrew!!!" is on par with "Point of Departure," "Judgment," "Black Fire" and the ilk. Despite the matching rhythm sections, this is nothing like "Dialogue". If it weren't for Joe Chambers--much less combustible, a little more "brainy" than Elvin Jones--I'd say that this was "Judgment" Pt. 2. Hill's melodies are less memorable than on previous sessions, but the group dynamic is simply stunning. The boys just take it somewhere else on this one. There's urgency, danger in the grooves. The rhythm section is just so tight that... well, it's heavy--not just "wow that's deep heavy"... Led Zeppelin heavy. The individual contributions are fine. Richard Davis doesn't get enough credit; he's always been one of the most versatile, reliable bassists in the community, capable of playing even the most complex material with uncanny spirit. He locks right into Hill--a dizzying, whirlwind counterpoint. Hutcherson is as spirited as ever, and Chambers--well, he's as underrated as they come. I'd say that no other drummer was as well attuned to the BN progressive sound--which was, in the end, as much about space as anything else (there's not too much bombast, but there's a lot of fun). John Gilmore doesn't have a lot to do here; he gets in a number of good spots, but he's hardly the main attraction. Cherish this sound--there's only so much of it out there.
  23. Happy Birthday Bill Dixon

    Cheers! Wouldn't be here without him.
  24. October Conns!

    Yeah, but there are some strange anomalies. "Action," "Am I Blue", "Reach Out"... maybe these are the ones that RVG got to first, but I'd think that "Fuchsia Swing Song" would have more commercial appeal (especially with three Miles sidemen onboard). Some of these RVG choices are remarkably esoteric, especially granted the glut of quality titles--highly touted by, let's face it, the very demographic that would be investing in these CDs--released under the Connoisseur label. Elementary economics: we're being charged by the value with which we imbue the Connoisseur titles--otherwise, the C Series would be an unsound venture. There's high demand among a small contingency of jazzbos, so the market works us. Reasonable enough. What I don't understand is why anyone would think that "Reach Out" would be a more commerically viable album--thus reaping the benefits of a fold-out liner package, new liner notes, heavy distribution, relatively heavy promotion, and name recognition. Who's buying this stuff? And I know remastering jobs cost beaucoup bucks, but surely someone will lose profit over poorly chosen titles (whether or not RVG put his stamp on them). I'd like to think that this is all a part of BN's grand scheme to reissue their entire back catalogue, but as long as we're being selective, do we really need the fluff titles? (I like "Action," by the way.)
  25. October Conns!

    Just purchased "Andrew!!!" and "Where is Brooklyn?" for $13.00 each (steep, but significantly lower than they used to go for). I'm probably one of three people who buys these in shop (I'm in Berkeley, CA right now... both major shops down Telegraph put out only two/three copies at a time. I seldom see any movement, but that's the college crowd.). "Andrew!!!" is a new spin, and it's phenomenal. Sound is good, ensemble is nice ("Judgment" is a favorite of mine). Early Hutch is always a plus (isn't there a late 60's/early 70's Mosaic on the way?).