ep1str0phy

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Everything posted by ep1str0phy

  1. 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?).
  2. 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...
  3. 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?
  4. 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)?
  5. 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.
  6. Strata-East, the rest?

    Ain't THAT the truth ← Jesus Jones. Now I can eat lunch happy.
  7. 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).
  8. 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.
  9. 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...
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. New George Russell Living Time Orchestra

    I think I've seen this around--thoughts, anyone?
  13. AOTW Oct 23-29 - Oliver Nelson

    Nailed it. This is what I love about web forums.
  14. 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
  15. 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.
  16. 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...
  17. 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?
  18. 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?
  19. Walt Dickerson

    Took the words right out of my mouth. Question, though: how often does Murray play in the States?
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Andrew Hill - Hommage, Nefertiti, and Blue Black

    Blanked on this one... thanks. I was gonna say--an engineer too?!