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About Milestones

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    Groove Merchant

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  1. I am not sure how we are defining "soul jazz," but of course just about all definitions are slippery. I am currently delving into a book titled Cookin': Hard Bop and Soul Jazz, 1954-54 by Kenny Mathieson. He does not dwell too much on definitions, but certainly he sees strong links between the two styles. He starts with chapters on Blakey and Silver, then moves on to Jimmy Smith, who seems to embody the idea of soul jazz. I guess I look at soul jazz as mostly organ combos of various sorts and usually a stomping r&b approach on the sax . Of over 30 artists covered in the book, I'd say only about 4-5 worked in this vein to a considerable degree--for instance, Kenny Burrelll and Grant Green (but I would say their most admired records were not deeply in the soul jazz vein). Gene Ammons does not receive a chapter, though he gets quite a few mentions. In whatever way we define both terms (hard bop and soul jazz), Mathieson exclusively covers African-Americans musicians.
  2. Yogi Berra explains jazz.

    I love it...a classic!
  3. For completists only....

    I've done pretty well on McCoy Tyner--most of the Impulse, all the Blue Note, the vast majority of the Milestone, all the Telarc, the last three on his own label. But I'm talking about as a leader. Countess sideman dates, and trying to get all the Coltrane he appears on (including numerous live albums) would be quite a challenge.
  4. For completists only....

    That has to be a difficult chore for any artist with a large discography. I have tons of Miles Davis, but there's a fair amount from the 1970s and 1980s I won't bother with, then there's the "Bootleg Series" and just plenty else. And does one have to include all of his appearances with Bird? Ellington....I can't even imagine.
  5. BFT Tracking - Originals vs Standards

    But this also begs the question of how they become standards. On my playlists I had "Warm Canto" by Mal Waldron and "After the Rain" by Duke Pearson (Coltrane's tune of the same title is a standard), and I have to wonder why the are not standards.
  6. BFT Tracking - Originals vs Standards

    Yeah, there's the idea of the "jazz standard" (Monk instead of Gershwin, Silver instead of Porter)--and that is certainly a real thing. And there are jazz compositions that should be jazz standards. I guess any well-composed tune that is melodic and plain memorable is, or could be, a standard.
  7. BFT Tracking - Originals vs Standards

    I like standards very much, but they have hardly played a role in the two Blindfold Tests I have done. The first had none at all, unless one counts Bob Dylan's "Cold Irons Bound," and the second had just one standard: "Little Girl Blue." The originals often do something quite different, and I like to show the compositional abilities of those who are notable as composers but don't have the fame of Monk, Duke, Mingus, Silver, etc.
  8. Anyone with opinions on this? TCM pretty much amounts to my favorite channel, but the website changed without warning and now it's awful--or at least I think so. It is much harder to get to the daily schedule, the layout is not as good at it used to be, and I still can't find info that used to pop right up--reviews by both professional critics and by ordinary viewers. I used to check this website all the time; now I dread it.
  9. BFT 199 - Link & Discussion

    9. Decent tenor ballad…no guesses. 10. Randy Weston with Billy Harper. I think it’s “Blues to Senegal” From Roots of the Blues, the last great Weston record that I know of. You can’t go wrong with Weston and Harper. 11. Some cool piano work, and what a fine pulsing bass. This one has me quite intrigued. The pianist is certainly Tyner-influenced. Maybe Eddie Gomez on bass. 12. Some funky stuff…no guesses here. Not quite my thing, but these sound like talented players. 13. Seems too much like smooth jazz…sorry. 14. Man, I know this piece, though I don’t think I know this version. A very intriguing mix. Has a bit of a Blue Note sound, then you have strings (modest number, I think) used quite well. Now a bass solo taking center stage. Good piano solo. Subtle drum solo. It’s a Blakey number, I’m thinking. The strings sure give it a different quality. Really nice piece! 15. And now for something completely different. Thinking Art Ensemble of Chicago. Is it just trumpet-bass-drums? Doesn’t quite sound like Lester Bowie. Opens and closes pretty wacky, but rather straight in the middle. 16. “Take Five,” the jazz tune everyone knows. Not Brubeck. It sounds like Paul Desmond with Jim Hall. Overall, a great BFT. I really like your choices, and I’m hoping someone figures out #14. #13 is Miles? Really? My least favorite track on the BFT, and it's Miles? To be fair, Miles did have some forgettable moments.
  10. BFT 199 - Link & Discussion

    Providing my responses without looking at what others have set down. 1. Some standard. “Getting Sentimental over You”? Nice mainstream stuff, but can’t make a guess. 2. “Born to be Blue.” Singer does sound familiar, but just don’t know. 3. Ralph Towner and Gary Burton. I believe it’s “The Donkey Jamboree” from Slide Show. This may be one of my favorite duo records or all time—really fine throughout, and this is a fun track! Maybe there’s an overdub here, but Towner could probably produce two sounds at once. 4. A Bird tune. “Is that Billie’s Bounce?” Some serious hillbilly twang. And now fiddles take over! Pretty enjoyable, whoever it is. Are they country musicians playing jazz? 5. “All the Things You Are.” I’m sure that’s Gary Burton and Hank Garland. I’ve heard a couple of tracks from the record before, which some claim to be a real classic. I think I need to hear the whole thing, and I might agree. 6. This sounds like Juan Tizol and a tune similar to “Caravan.” It could be the Ellington Orchestra, or perhaps an offshoot. Then again, that sounds like Webster, or perhaps Gonsalves. Sounds like Hodges too. 7. This is certainly organ and guitar driven soul jazz. And now we get a thick baritone. It’s good stuff, though I’m guessing it’s relatively modern stuff…guys emulating Grant Green, Big John Patton, early Benson, etc. Maybe Joey DeFrancesco. And I know this tune…I know it…know it. “Coming Home Baby”? 8. Nice little relaxed piece, even pop-oriented. Kind of sounds like Ron Carter on bass. Given the prominence, it’s likely his date. I’ve heard plenty of Carter leader dates, but not this one…so it may not be him.
  11. BFT 198 Reveal

    Some pretty cool stuff, especially the solo Kuhn and the Nat Adderley session.
  12. Wayne Shorter for president.

    Yes, please vote in Wayne Shorter.
  13. Conrad Herwig - The Latin Side of Horace Silver

    I like the idea of Horace's music played by a 4-man front line and congas. Some of Herwig's Latin stuff reaches 5-star quality. But his more mainstream records--such as New York Breed--are also worth hearing.
  14. Miles Post-Sabbatical Columbias

    We Want Miles is the one I keep coming back to. Star People (studio) is not bad, especially the lengthy title track.
  15. WTF?

    I love it, but I wish there were actually a few teenagers like the ones depicted.