Larry Kart

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Everything posted by Larry Kart

  1. Caught this Baltimore-based band, Heart of the Ghost, last night at Constellation in Chicago. I knew Gilgore, in his mid 20s, from several years ago with Jamie Branch. Impressive then, he's grown by leaps and bounds, and this band is superb. Gilgore, while he's his own man, might be described as a cross between Jimmy Lyons and Ayler (he's that powerful); Stewart is a rock solid, very deep-toned bassist, and McColm is on everything. A set of three parts, about 30 minutes each, lots of variety of mood -- intensity almost beyond belief and a consistent air of joy and freshness. As John Litweiler once said, I haven't been so much fun since the pigs ate my little brother. BTW, I wouldn't, as the writer below does, call Gilgore "skronked-out." There's an underlying, even over-riding, purity to his sound even when things get fragmented and "talky." Jarrett Gilgore - alto saxophone Luke Stewart - bass Ian McColm - percussion “For the past two years, few improvisation units have been as omnipresent in the D.C. area as Heart of the Ghost. For good reason: The trio of alto saxophonist Jarrett Gilgore, bassist Luke Stewart, and percussionist Ian McColm is something of a trinity of the finest free jazz improvisers in the region. If you’ve seen Heart of the Ghost in concert, then you know—Gilgore, Stewart, and McColm’s performances feel like a kind of séance, with the trio locked into a musical conversation with one another. Though Gilgore’s skronked-out sax wailings anchor the tracks, no one part is greater than the sum of the whole. McColm’s inventive percussion techniques feel like a rhythm from another world, and Stewart—easily one of the most prolific and talented bassists in the region, if not the entire country—takes his instrument to new dimensions.” —Matt Cohen/Washington Citypaper “…But free music is about right now, wherever you are at, anyplace that the right players get together and play. If you have a chance to hear Washington, D.C. trio Heart of the Ghost, rest assured that you’ve found another portal into the creative vortex that spontaneously lifts hearts, minds and bands off the stand. Their freewheeling improvisations tap into the same defiant spirit decanted by Mingus and the Minutemen, which is to say that the freedom is in the playing, but it’s also a conscious reaction to the ways in which people are not free. You can hear protest in alto saxophonist Jarrett Gilgore’s brays and peppery interjections. You can hear mourning and defiant creation in bassist Luke Stewart’s continually shifting frameworks of woody-toned dark motion. And you can hear the moment-to-moment dance necessary to keep it moving or just keep standing in drummer Ian McColm’s shifting tonal surfaces and rhythmic cascades.” —Bill Meyer/Dusted
  2. Branford slams Miles

    I'm quite familiar with the music of both Wynton and Branford. Your characterization of Wynton's music is accurate as far as it goes -- I would say in a straightjacket rather than "straight ahead" -- but while Branford's music is freer/looser in style than Wynton's, by contrast with a whole lot of other jazz artists of recent times, Branford seems to me to be very concerned with coloring between the lines, even if he draws the lines in different places than Wynton does. His comments on Miles not following the musical "rules" as Branford understands them are an example of this, no? I'll add that Branford might be right about Miles's relation to the beat on the piece he cites in that DB interview, but in the context of Miles' relation to the music of that group and Miles' relation to the music in general -- give me a break.
  3. Branford slams Miles

    Any citation for the Marsalis/Carter/Drummond story?
  4. Branford slams Miles

    BTW IIRC I did suggest to Jack Fuller that jury-shaping might not be the right way to solve this problem -- if problem it be. But Jack, a veteran of the corridors of power in Washington, D.C. (he had been chief assistant to Attorney General Edward Levi in the Ford administration) knew or thought he knew how to move those levers and get things done. I could go on about the history and anomalies of the music Pulitzers, but enough.
  5. Branford slams Miles

    Re: the Blood on the Fields Pulitzer -- that was more or less engineered, as these two articles make fairly clear. https://niemanreports.org/articles/the-story-behind-the-first-pulitzer-for-jazz/ http://www.gregsandow.com/old/marsalis.htm Howard Reich’s piece, in particular, lets a good deal of the cat out of the bag, but it is also disingenuous in some respects. He writes that the late Jack Fuller, then publisher of the Chicago Tribune and Reich’s boss, 'came onto the [Pulitzer] board with no agenda but knew the sorry history of jazz and the Pulitzers: “It’s hard not to be embarrassed by the Duke Ellington story [Fuller said], and nothing had been done to change the course of that history. Mistakes had been made.”’ In conversations I had with Fuller around this time — we were friendly, and he was my boss too — he made it quite clear that he was determined to have the music Pulitzer awarded to a jazz artist ASAP. “We didn’t know quite how to change that,” says Fuller [per Reich]. “But, ultimately, the way to change the kind of finalists you get is to think about the juries. So we began to think about the juries.” BTW, all this came in the wake of a big dust-up over the 1992 music Pulitzer. The music jury, like all Pulitzer so-called "expert” juries, presents the board with three nominees, ranked one to three. But that year’s music jury was so convinced that a work by composer Ralph Shapey was that year’s best work that Shapey’s work was their only nominee. The board (composed of newspaper publishing executives FWIW) rose up angry at this act of would-be usurpation by the composers who made up the music jury and instead awarded the 1992 Pulitzer to a work by composer Wayne Peterson. In any case, it was Fuller, with jury-shaping in the front of his mind, who then engineered the appointments of jazz-connected composers Gunther Schuller and then David Baker to the Pulitzer music jury. But that led not to a jazz winner but to Schuller himself winning a Pulitzer in 1994 for his “Of Reminiscences and Reflections” (Schuller was of course not on that jury) and to the estimable but not jazz-oriented African-American composer George Walker winning in 1996 for his “Lilacs.” As Reich says, "Frustration was rising.” Fuller then placed Reich (a fervent admirer of Marsalis’ music and a journalist, not a musician — IIRC only one other journalist, Irving Kolodin, had ever served on a Pulitzer music jury), along with John Lewis, a recipient of commissions from Jazz at Lincoln Center. Voila! — 1997’s winner was Blood on the Fields, even though (see Greg Sandow’s piece), it probably was not eligible. IIRC, Reich wrote a piece for the Chicago Tribune (somewhat different than the one linked to above) in which he proudly explained in some detail how he in effect had carried out his mission of bringing a Pulitzer to Blood on the Fields.
  6. Branford slams Miles

    Don't know where I ran across it, but I recall reading some time ago some remarks from Ron Carter about how all the innovations in the second quintet came from Wayne and the rhythm section, while Miles was pretty much scrambling to keep up. But then do we trust Ron Carter on any matter where his ego might be involved? Go to just about any used record store and see how many CDs by the Marsalis Bros. and other "young men" of the time now rest in the bins. Lots and lots. They got bought and got dumped.
  7. Branford slams Miles

    Wynton's long thematic (or, perhaps better, "thematic") solo on "Green Chimneys" is one of the weirdest things I've ever heard -- a more or less joyless, even punishing in its "I can and will just do this" act of single-minded "willed spontaneity" that to my knowledge has no parallel in the history of recorded jazz. One can see why one might think that this solo has some bearing on some of Monk's own music -- e.g. his thematic solo on "Little Rootie Tootie" or the almost motionless "Think of One" -- but after a while all I could think of was "I give up; take my cattle, my wife and kids, take the whole damn ranch, but just STOP this." Again, I would ask -- and I assume others hear this performance differently -- where is the pleasure and/or what is the expressive goal of this obsessive exercise, for the player or for the listener?
  8. Post a pic

    You guys can start up this thread again, but NO political content allowed!
  9. "Gone" from Miles Davis and Gil Evans Porgy and Bess

    Don't have it myself, but what about the Bethlehem set of the complete score with Frances Faye and Mel Torme? Doesn't sound promising on the face if it, but...? Many other oddities on the set, as you can see here: More Images Frances Faye And Mel Tormé Featuring The Bethlehem Orchestra And Duke Ellington And His Orchestra ‎– George Gershwin's Porgy & Bess Label: Bethlehem Records ‎– EXLP 1 Format: Box Set 3 × Vinyl, LP, Album, Mono, Sample Record Country: US Released: 1956 Genre: Jazz, Stage & Screen Style: Musical TracklistHide Credits Part 1. A1 Introduction / Summertime 1:25 A2 Narration 1:24 A3 Summertime 3:48 A4 Narration 0:12 A5 A Woman Is A Sometime Thing 2:39 A6 Narration / Here Come De Honey Man... 1:20 A7 Narration 0:24 A8 Evenin' Ladies, Hello Boys... 0:43 A9 Narration 0:15 A10 No, No, Brother, Porgy Ain't Soft On No Woman... 1:33 A11 Narration (Scene: Crap Game And Murder) 4:31 B1 Narration 0:51 B2 Gone, Gone, Gone 2:20 B3 Overflow, Overflow 2:08 B4 Narration 0:28 B5 I Can't Puzzle This Thing Out... 1:18 B6 Narration 0:11 B7 My Man's Gone Now 3:49 B8 Narration 0:35 B9 Oh The Train Is At The Station... 2:43 C1 Narration 0:37 C2 Oh I'm Agoin' Out To The Blackfish Banks... 2:17 C3 Narration 0:34 C4 I Got Plenty O' Nuttin' 3:13 C5 Mornin', Lawyer. Looking For Somebody?... 4:23 C6 Buzzard Song 2:43 C7 Narration 0:28 C8 Bess, You Is My Woman Now 4:57 C9 Oh, I Can't Sit Down (Picnic Music) 1:55 C10 Porgy, I Hates To Go... 1:00 C11 I Got Plenty O Nuttin' (Reprise) 0:37 D1 It Ain't Necessarily So (Instrumental) 1:52 D2 Narration 0:34 D3 It Ain't Necessarily So 4:28 D4 Narration 0:53 D5 What You Want Wid Bess?... 2:12 D6 Narration 0:33 D7 Oh I'm Agoin' Out To The Blackfish Banks... (Reprise) 1:27 D8 Narration 0:30 D9 Oh, Doctor Jesus... 2:02 D10 Here Come De Honey Man... / Oh Dey's So Fresh And Fine... / I'm Talkin' About Devil Crabs.. 3:31 Part 2. E1 Narration 0:38 E2 I Loves You, Porgy 3:17 E3 Narration (Scene: Storm) 3:04 E4 Summertime (Reprise) 1:22 E5 Narration 0:11 E6 Oh, Dere's Somebody Knockin' At De Do'... 1:03 E7 Narration 1:20 E8 If God Want To Kill Me... 2:05 E9 Narration 0:06 E10 A Red-Headed Woman... 1:48 E11 Narration 0:59 E12 Oh, Doctor Jesus (Reprise) 0:38 F1 Narration 0:55 F2 Clara, Clara, Don't You Be Downhearted... 1:36 F3 Narration 0:10 F4 Summertime (Reprise) 1:12 F5 Narration 1:50 F6 Oh, Lawd, What I Goin' Do?... 1:21 F7 Narration 0:09 F8 There's A Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York 1:28 F9 George Kirby 1:18 F10 Narration 0:24 F11 How Are You Dis Mornin'?... 1:41 F12 Narration 0:39 F13 Oh, Bess, Oh, Where's My Bess 2:19 F14 Oh Lawd, I'm On My Way 1:57 Credits Conductor [Bethlehem Orchestra] – Russ Garcia* Music By – George Gershwin Narrator – Al Jazzbo Collins Orchestra – Duke Ellington And His Orchestra, The Bethlehem Orchestra Performer – The Australian Jazz Quintet, The Pat Moran Quartet Text By – Dorothy Heyward, Du Bose Heyward*, Ira Gershwin Vocals [Bess] – Frances Faye Vocals [Clara] – Betty Roché Vocals [Crown] – Johnny Hartman Vocals [Jake] – Frank Rosolino Vocals [Porgy] – Mel Tormé Vocals [Serena] – Sallie Blair Vocals [Sportin' Life] – George Kirby
  10. yesterday from Yale U. Press on my jazz book (my first or second royalty statement, I think -- it's taken this long to eat up the rather modest advance on a book published in 2004. In any case -- $57.52 for nine copies sold in 2018. I'm kind of tickled.
  11. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    Martinu, Sym. No 4 -- Ansermet
  12. What Classical Music Are You Listening To?

    Edwin Fischer -- Bach, Well-Tempered Klavier 1&2 (Pristine Audio) Probably the best transfers. Re: Pettersson: I'm steeling myself, stocking up on anti-depressants.
  13. So, What Are You Listening To NOW?

    I find this performance of Debussy's "Syrinx" on tuba (!) by L.A. based Jim Self (he was the voice of the mothership on "Close Encounters") to be both beautiful and amusing:
  14. Bill Potts Porgy/Bess Album Stereo Effects

    The Capitol Jazz CD is o.o.p. Don't see where it's available other than from Fresh Sounds as a pricey vinyl.
  15. Bill Potts Porgy/Bess Album Stereo Effects

    Capitol CD is mono for sure, no panning. Sound is still darn good on the CD but not IIRC quite at the level of the original mono LP. The original stereo LP I've never heard. Charlie Persip!!!
  16. Bill Potts Porgy/Bess Album Stereo Effects

    I once had the original gatefold LP (mono or stereo I don't recall, probably the former -- it got ruined in a basement flood; in any case, the sound was strikingly good). The Capitol Jazz CD reissue says: "The master tapes to this ... session have been lost. ... Bill Potts and Jack Towers gathered as many mint copies of this collector's item as they could find and ... transferred the best pressing of each selection to tape." That doesn't answer your question, though the Capitol Jazz reissue doesn't say "stereo," which makes me think it's mono, though some explanation of this choice, if it was a choice, would have been nice. I will listen to the CD (any tracks in particular where you hear the effect you describe?) and report, but I have no recollection of hearing that effect myself on the CD reissue or the original, though again my old copy of the original probably was mono. (Mono or stereo didn't matter to me at the time because my record player was a single speaker console.) My guess is that the effect you hear is the result of some after the fact ping-pong-stereo twiddling by idiots at UA back in the day, thinking along Enoch Light lines,
  17. BARTOK RECORDS (Label)

    I was a wee bit familiar with some of it at one time, but that was long ago. Snap up anything you see if the price is right, I'd say; otherwise the new Music Quartet was special.
  18. Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom - Glitter Wolf

    I've heard the band and seen its accompany rhetoric; what more do I need to know? And the history of art in this century and the preceding one is full of such ominous combos of mediocre art and elbow-jogging rhetoric. Yes, ignoring it is one option; trying to point to its b.s. qualities is another. Paul -- You think I agreed with what Jim said because we're both moderators?
  19. Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom - Glitter Wolf

    Jim can reject my interpretation of his remark, but I took it to mean something like "This stuff inhabits a permanent Upper West Side of the mind." If so, I found it to be accurate, blunt, and fertile.
  20. Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom - Glitter Wolf

    Not being snarky, Mark, just bewildered. What might those broader questions be?
  21. Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom - Glitter Wolf

    One good reason for the discussion is that the seemingly firm link between the band's flaccid (depending on one's taste) music and the flaccid rhetoric of the band's P.R. sheet is, as that sheet might have said, no "dichotomy." And when I see music playing host to and seemingly being affected by semi-incoherent self-congratulatory b.s., I find it ominous. Also, I didn't single out Boom-Tic-Boom for attention. IIRC, it was brought to our attention in a "Hey, listen to this hip new good stuff" manner.
  22. Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom - Glitter Wolf

    "...the dichotomy between suspect governmental policies inspiring rightful protests; embracing the varying degrees of the feminine and masculine from within or living a fulfilled yet challenging life are reflected back in musical juxtapositions of space versus density." What?? And, in particular, what "dichotomy" or dichotomies? There are none I can see between "suspect governmental policies" that inspire "rightful protests." Tthe latter would follow logically from the former, no? As for the rest of this gibberish, from the clip it looks like both the hesitant violinist and the hesitant drummer-leader are taking their cues from some sort of blurry coffee house manifesto. In the immortal words of Manny Albam, "The Blues Are Everybody's Business."
  23. Great Finds

    For sure. But I thought it was among the best at the time it came out and still do. So no problem?
  24. Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom - Glitter Wolf

    I think I know what Jim is saying, at least in part. However ironic in intent Boom-Tic-Boom's name is, this music is about as genuinely Boom-Tic-Boom as a band can be. But wait till you hear my new ensemble, Aggressively Harmless.