Nate Dorward

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Everything posted by Nate Dorward

  1. Ned Goold teaches!

    Well, I hope I can get out to see your next gig here, then........ I can go out to concerts again now, which is the one good thing about losing my job on the night shift ...
  2. Ned Goold teaches!

    Hi Ned! You coming to town again soon?
  3. Movie: The Soloist

    It may be terrible, but it's GOT to be better than the trailer.
  4. I believe it was Mark Barnes you talked to, the mag's current owner. Hm, I think he would be wise to post something about the magazine's delay on its website.
  5. The Ultimate Frog

    Not sure if this is the right forum for this post--if not the moderators can move it--as it's not a disinterested review but a plug for a project I was involved in somewhat. (I wrote the liners.) Anyway: the guitarist Jim McAuley's new two CD set The Ultimate Frog is now out in the world from Drip Audio. It's a set of duets recorded 2002-2007 with four different musicians: Leroy Jenkins (violin, viola), Nels Cline (guitar, dobro), Alex Cline (drums, percussion), Ken Filiano (bass). Some free improvisation, some structured improvisation, and a few nice tunes that draw on Jim's background in fingerpicked blues & folk music (& his study of the oud). Plus a "duet" between Jim & a rainstorm outside, dedicated to Rod Poole. I won't say a lot about it (you can find the press release on the Drip Audio site if you're curious--most of it is actually stuff I cut from the liners to get them to a single page) except that I think it's truly remarkable music with a lot of soul & honesty. Only the 2nd disc I've done the liners for (the other, by Charlie Kohlhase, hasn't emerged yet) & it's really a pleasure to be involved with such an exceptional record. There are several MP3s on the Drip Audio site if you want a taste.
  6. BFT 65

    Sure, I'll give it a spin.
  7. The Ultimate Frog

    Truthfully, I'm not entirely sure if Coda is still around--you heard anything? There's a thread elsewhere on the board about the prolonged silence from the mag.....
  8. Sirius Respect

    Just had a pleasant surprise in the mail--I was wondering why on earth I'd be getting a review copy from Mode Records (great label, but their focus is on the contemporary classical world not jazz), but opened it up to discover the Respect Sextet's latest disc, Sirius Respect. People who participated in my 2nd blindfold test (not the most recent one--the one before) may recall a long, seriously groovy track on there by these guys, a cover of Fred Anderson's "3 on 2". Anyway, the new one coincidentally gave me flashbacks to a not-so-charmed meeting between the Art Ensemble of Chicago & Hartmut Geerken on a dual tribute to Sun Ra and Mynona (an author previously unknown to me), which had its moments but was really trashed by Geerken (who seems to have decided to chop up the tape to his own satisfaction). As a double tribute Sirius Respect works a hell of a lot better, as you can imagine. I'm no Stockhausen expert--I have exactly two albums of his music--but the main thing I'd say, listening to this, is that it really sounds beautifully stitched together, not like they've simply alternated tracks by the two composers. This is largely because they're drawn on Stockhausen's more "open" pieces, including 3 from Tierkreis and one from Aus Den Sieben Tagen (a purely verbal score). Actually, I could have used more Stockhausen here (only 5 brief tracks), maybe some of the more formal writing, though I can understand the band's wanting to make this work as a project, & as jazz. Which it does. -- The Sun Ra covers are really spirited, imaginative reworkings, the kind of thing that sounds like an arrangement that's accreted intuitively over many performances rather than just being decided on top-down. & they pick many of my favourite tunes too, like "Velvet" and "Saturn". Plus "Angels and Demons at Play", which if I'm not mistaken they played at the Toronto gig of theirs I caught a few years back--it's one of those slow-burn Respect performances, making good use of the band's predilection for "little instruments" and incidental percussion, a 5/4 bossa that fans out softly like moonrays. "Lights on a Satellite" is all gorgeous-melancholy chords, like Gil Evans arranging for the Arkestra. Incidentally, this has got more of a fusiony aspect to it than other Respect albums I've heard (Red Wierenga plays electric keyboards on many tracks), so I'm thinking that they must be obliquely referencing Miles Davis's interest in Stockhausen in the early 1970s. The band: Eli Asher, trumpet, melodica, percussion James Hirschfeld, trombone, tambourine Josh Rutner, tenor sax, bass clarinet, melodica, radio, percussion, trombone Red Wierenga, piano, keyboards, "redspectronics" (!), percussion Malcolm Kirby, bass (Matt Clohesy on the last track) Ted Poor, drums
  9. Sirius Respect

    Well, I suspect if you're looking for faithful versions of Stockhausen pieces there are other places to go. I'm approaching the disc primarily as someone who's been following this band for several years (this is their 3rd formal CD release, though there are CDRs & downloads too), & also as a fan of Sun Ra's music. As I said the Stockhausen pieces are very brief--no more than about 15 minutes of running time--& the main compositional weight falls on the Ra tracks. Anyway if you DO get it then needless to say I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on it...!
  10. No idea, I'm afraid. I'll write Andrew Scott & see what he says. I did send in a top-ten for 2008, though I have not contributed reviews for a long while.
  11. Sirius Respect

    Oh, have you heard the disc?
  12. Sirius Respect

    No particular criteria, really, beyond sheer pleasure, intellectual delight or some combination of the two.
  13. Sirius Respect

    Incidentally, what's the text for the ADST piece, do you know?
  14. Sirius Respect

    This is what the pianist says about the pieces in the notes: The track listings: 1. Jet Flight (Ra) 2. Leo (Stockhausen) 3. Shadow World (Ra) 4. Dienstagslied (Stockhausen) 5. Angels and Demons at Play (Ra) 6. Lights on a Satellite (Ra) 7. Pisces (Stockhausen) 8. El Is the Sound of Joy (Ra) 9. Set Sail for the Sun (Stockhausen) 10. Velvet (Ra) 11. Capricorn (Stockhausen) / Saturn (Ra)
  15. The Ultimate Frog

    Have been resisting the urge to post links to every review this disc has received so far, but thought I'd make an exception for this piece by Jason Bivins for Dusted, probably the best review (in terms of its really seeming to GET the music perfectly, & being written very well also) that the disc has received to date.
  16. James Finn-OPENING THE GATES

    I keep getting asked about James, & wish I knew what was up. Somewhere around here I have a phone number & maybe I'll give it a try. He was full of interesting plans & projects last time we talked, some years ago.
  17. Remaining Larry Young BNs

    Only one track from Contrasts was on the Art Of.... compilation, "A Minor Affair" (Young/Gladden duo). About 1/3rd of the tracks are first-rate, 1/3rd are OK, & there are a few dogs, mostly the vocals by Althea Young. Mixed bags, but worth hearing.
  18. Wayne Shorter, "Adam's Apple"

    It's the Shorter album I've listened most to over the years. Great tune. I recall that the album gets inexplicably dismissed as a Coltrane imitation in one of the standard books on free jazz (Ekkehard Jost's or Litweiler's? I forget). Can't figure that one out, either. The one bad thing about the album is that the piano sound is even weirder than usual for a RvG production.
  19. Funny Rat

    Who's coming? Braam? Alex Hawkins?
  20. BFT #62

    OK, it's time to reveal the tracks.... I'll do this in stages, adding info & comments as I have time over the next day or so. More Canadian content here than usual, indeed a few tracks related to my home town (Halifax, Nova Scotia). * 1. Ronnie Ball, "Pennie Packer" (from All About Ronnie, Savoy). Ball, p; Ted Brown, ts; Willie Dennis, tbn; Wendell Marshall, b; Kenny Clarke, d. 21 March 1956 (no location given but presumably it's Rudy Van Gelder's studio). All of my BFTs have included something related to Tristano, it seems... I always liked Ronnie Ball, who always sounded like he was having fun at the piano--the LT influence is strong but he's less constricted-sounding than some of LT's piano students. (He's also a fun comper, too.) Jeez, I wish he'd recorded more. This is a rare example of the tragically fated Willie Dennis as a soloist: Dave Baker praised his "style of articulation or lack of it [and his] marvellous facility and ease with the horn." & Ted Brown, another rare bird on disc! & Clarke's a joy to listen to here, too.... -- The CD was one I dug out of a bin at the Halifax Sam the Record Man's many years ago. Not so long ago there were literally scores of copies of it floating about in the downtown Yonge flagship location here in Toronto; I bought a stack & gave them as gifts to virtually every jazzfan friend I had. I wish I'd bought even more before Sam's closed permanently. 2. John Stevens, "Bass Is" (from Chemistry, reissued on Big Band & Quintet, Konnex). Stevens, d; Kenny Wheeler, tpt, flgh; Ray Warleigh & Trevor Watts, as; Jeff Clyne, b. Riverside Studios [London, I believe], Nov. 1975. This LP was one of my better finds in my hometown 2ndhand recordshop, Taz. (The logo was the Looney Tunes Tasmanian Devil, of course.) The guy who ran it, Bob Switzer, was a kook who would rage about the terrible music that kids today were listening to, about the downtown business district commision (at one point he covered the outside of his shop with signs covered in a dense polemic about their corruption), and so on. He hated contemporary jazz & loved the old stuff, which meant that when I found some avant-garde jazz it was usually going cheap. Sadly, he took his life a few years ago & the shop's gone. -- Anyway, it was a surprise to find not one but two John Stevens discs there (the other was the duo with Dudu Pukwana). Unfortunately the original vinyl had a terrible printthrough problem, which was very evident during the long pauses on this track, so I was pleased to score this reissue for $1(!) on a blowout sale at Verge Distribution. Ray Warleigh is one of those session musicians whom you've definitely heard--for instance, on Nick Drake's Bryter Layter--but who has not committed a lot of music to disc under his own name. More's the shame. He has a new disc out at last, a sax/drums duo on Psi. 3. Fred Hess, "Norman's Gold" (from Single Moment, Alison). Hess, ts; John Gunther, as; Ron Miles, tpt; Dale Bruning, g; Ken Filiano, b; Matt Wilson, d. Denver, CO, 10-11 June 2008. I first ran into Hess via his quartet albums with Miles, Filiano & Wilson--they're nice, but I've been more & more enthusiastic about his work as the group has gained members. So this latest one is the largest version of the ensemble yet, & it's probably his most "mainstream" date--some standards on it, the veteran Dale Bruning on guitar, less of a pronounced Ornette feel to the music. As you might gather, Hess has a very distinctive composing style, a polyphonic weave which can get a little too worked-out for me but nonetheless it's great to hear someone with such a personal writing style. His comments on this tune in the liners are as follows: 4. Pheeroan akLaff, "Bit Her" (from Sonogram, MU Works). akLaff, d; John Stubblefield, ts; Carlos Ward, as; Sonny Sharrock, g; Kenny Davis, el b. NYC, August 1989. Another find from Taz. Not sure exactly how rare it is, but certainly one of the obscurer 1980s items in Sharrock's slim discography. I actually prefer the other tracks on this disc, especially a brief, tasty reading of Miles Davis's "Tout de Suite", but this is Sharrock's most substantial solo on the disc, so I went with this. I was wondering if anyone would spot John Stubblefield as the tenor here, another guy who recorded too little & passed a little too soon. 5. Randy Sandke, "Quiet Is the Night" (from Trumpet After Dark, Evening Star). Sandke, tpt; Bill Charlap, p; Greg Cohen, b; Dennis Mackrel, d; the Parthenia consort of viols (Rosamund Morley, Beverly Au, Lawrence Lipnik, Lisa Terry). NYC, no recording date given (released 2005). I was originally going to include something by Randy's Inside Out band, which is a mix of players who are "outside" (Marty Ehrlich, Uri Caine, Ray Anderson, &c) with more conservative stylists like Ken Peplowski and Wycliffe Gordon. But I like pretty stuff, too, & thought this track might pique the interest of the classical music fans on here like Mike Weil--it's not a regular jazz-with-strings date: these are Renaissance viols, which have a much softer sound, which Sandke feels blends more effectively with a jazz ensemble. 6. Buck Hill, "RH Blues" (from Relax, Severn). Hill, ts; John Ozment, org; Paul Pieper, g; Jerry Jones, d. Severn, MD, no date (released 2006). Hill is a Washington D.C. player who has preferred to remain "local" (spent 40 years working for the postal service). He's on a few Shirley Horn discs, and has a few dates of his own. This is his working band. 7. Derek Bailey, "Bunn Fight" (from Drop Me Off at 96th, Scatter). Bailey, g. London, UK, 12 May 1986; released 1994. I saw Derek play once, & it was solo, a set at the Cambridge Conference of Contemporary Poetry in the early 1990s, when one of the main organizers was a close friend of Derek's, the poet/bookseller Peter Riley. It was virtually the first time I'd heard Bailey (though I'd managed to find Village Life, a rather atypical trio with two African drummers, a few days earlier in a shop, & had listened to it with some bemusement). For my money, this is Derek's best solo acoustic record--I mean, I haven't heard them all, but have most of the main ones, & this one has a lot of things going for it--it's well-recorded, it includes some unusual dips into jazz & standards (yes, he DID do that before Zorn got him to do Ballads), &, most fascinatingly, it's actually more or less "in time"--you can tap a foot to it if you're so inclined (& persistent) for long stretches. One of Derek's heroes on the guitar was Teddy Bunn, the remarkable guitarist from the Spirits of Rhythm, & the track title pays homage to him, as does the blizzard of chording in the middle of the track. 8. Fraser MacPherson, "Crazy Rhythm" (Caesar/Kahn/Meyer) (from Our Blues, Just A Memory/Justin Time). MacPherson, ts; Chris Gage, p; Carse Sneddon, valve tbn; Stan Johnson, b; Jimmy Wightman, d. Broadcast on the CBC on Jan. 31, 1963; first commercially issued in 2007. A little rarity from the Canadian jazz scene. I saw MacPherson play once, in the last 1980s or early 1990s--I remember it as being rather different from the Getzian style on this date. Sneddon is the only player still alive, I believe; he was actually a trumpeter (& a pretty good one, judging by his features on the instrument on this disc) but Fraser liked having him play valve trombone with him. The most intriguing thing here is the presence of Chris Gage, who is remembered with fondness & awe by many musicians from the Vancouver scene; sadly, the pianist committed suicide in December 1964, age 37. He never recorded a commercial album, though some broadcasts still exist; there is a thread here with links to some videos. -- His work here suggests a player strongly impressed by Tristano, but I also hear Hawes, Oscar Peterson & Monk in there. (Tristano seems to have had his admirers up north; you may recall that Tristano's quintet was invited to Toronto in 1951 by the same organizers who put on the Massey Hall concert, & in fact they'd actually wanted LT not Bud Powell on the latter date.) Maybe Gage's playing is not all together yet on this track, but it would have been interesting to see where he went. 9. NEW (Steve Noble, John Edwards, Alex Ward), "The Persuaders"] (from Deadeye Tricksters, Bo'Weavil). Ward, g; Edwards, b; Noble, d. London, UK "3-1-08" (? Mar 1 or Jan 3rd? what's UK style?). My colleague Dan Warburton picked this as his jazz/improv disc of the year for The Wire. Ward was "discovered" as a remarkably self-assured clarinettist by Derek Bailey when he was only in his teens--the earliest tracks on his duo album with Steve Noble, Ya Boo Reel & Rumble, were recorded when he was 16! He's continued to record as a clarinettist -- I recommend his work with Simon H. Fell in particular, especially the 2nd disc of Four Compositions on Red Toucan where he has one of the most impressive clarinet solos I've heard. -- He has also frequently recorded on guitar--I think I first heard him on acoustic guitar on the lovely duet album he did with John Bisset, Pocket. A very underrated player. Noble is one of my favourite players on the UK scene, ever since I heard his big alarming THWACKs on the opening track of Tony Bevan's Bigshots. 10. Maurice Horsthuis's Jargon, "BoxRing" (from Elastic, Data Records). Vera van der Bie, Jeffrey Bruinsma, Peter Brunt, Jasper le Clercq, vn; Benjamin von Gutzeit, Maurice Horsthuis, vla; Saartje van camp, Nina Hitz, Annie Tangberg, clo; Brice Soniano, b; Wiek Hijmans, g. Amsterdam, August (but doesn't list the year!! -- I think 2006 or 2007). Yep, it's the Dutch guys. Mostly put this for Hijmans, a guitarist I greatly admire--I was tempted to include his solo medley version of "Round Midnight" & a Sweelinck piece off his Classic Electric but I went with this one instead as I like the way its steadypaced minimalism turns into a slinky/deranged blues waltz. 11. Carl Saunders, "Compilation" (Herbie Phillips) (from Be Bop Big Band, Sea Breeze). Saunders, Frank Szabo, Bobby Shew, Ron Stout, Bob Summers, Scott Englebright, tpt; Charlie Loper, Andy Martin, Bob McChesney, Sam Cernuto, Pete Brockman, tbn; Lanny Morgan, Brian Scanlon, as; Jerry Pinter, Doug Webb, ts; Bob Efford, bari s; Christian Jacob, p; Kevin Axt, b; Santo Savino, d. California, 16-17 Dec 1999. Not my usual terrain, but I like listening to these veteran players doing what they do so beautifully: the feeling of this track is uberprofessional but the joy comes through just as clearly. Saunders spent time with Kenton, Bob Holman, Bob Florence & Gerald Wilson--plenty of flash but no meaningless notes in that solo. Morgan got a lengthy 2-part interview feature in Coda magazine a year or two ago, one of the best things from Daryl Angier's editorial tenure at the mag. You may recall that ages ago there was a surprisingly modern small-group hard bop track by Maynard Ferguson on a blindfold test, with Morgan on tenor--I would never have guessed it was the same guy. -- I haven't got the CD handy to check who the soloists are--I think it was Pinter on tenor, I forget the trombonist. I'll post once I dig it up. 12. Jean Martin/Evan Shaw, "Which way to Domino's?" (from Piano Music, Barnyard Records). Martin, d; Shaw, as. Toronto, no date (released 2007). Oddball disc from two of the more interesting local players (with overdubs, obviously--it's nice to hear free jazz players using the studio creatively). Here's what I wrote of it in a review for Paris Transatlantic (no mention specifically of this track)-- BONUS DISC 1. Larry Young, "Tender Feelings" (Tyrone Washington) (from (Contrasts, Blue Note, via the Mosaic boxed set). Haven't got the disc or booklet handy at the moment to give you the details, but I'm sure they're not needed really--I figured this would be i.d.'d quickly, but simply put it on the bonus disc because Young's later Blue Note records have had spotty availability outside the set. This album plus Of Heaven and Earth are very mixed bags but their best moments are quite special--this is one of the strongest tracks, by the tenor saxophonist Tyrone Washington. -- I spent a time in the 1990s trying to play piano seriously, & the main inspirations were my enthusiasm for Young (sparked off by the Art Of compilation--all of his discs were o/p at that point, which is why I got the Mosaic) & for Art Pepper. Still have most of the solos on Unity memorized. I never really liked Young's take on funk and soul when he was in his more commercial bag--there's a kind of a chugging rhythmic feel to it--but he sounds great here with a kind of twisted, doubled-up hard-bop/rock feel, & I wish he'd had more of a chance to pursue this line. Great tune too. 2. Alive and Well, "There Is No Greater Love" (Symes/Jones) (from In Concert, Unity). Don Palmer, as; Skip Beckwith, b; Jerry Granelli, d. Halifax, NS, Canada, Dec. 13 or 14 1991. Halifax is my hometown, & I was present for one of these concerts (not sure if I was present for this particular track), which would have been one of the earliest "serious" jazz concerts I attended. I did a feature article for Coda on Don Palmer a few years back, which you can find online. Donnie is a local boy, who ended up going to NYC & becoming a student of Lee Konitz's then spent a while in Latin groups in the 1960s--he's on some Tito Puente albums. Eventually he relocated to Nova Scotia & his reputation has mostly remained local, though he was a beloved teacher with several students who've gone on to major careers in the Canadian jazz scene, like Joel Miller & Mike Murley. Recording opportunities have been scarce--there's a further CD by this trio, & a handful of other things, but not really a lot to show for a fine, distinctive player who really should have recorded more in his prime. A few years ago a fall on the street knocked out his front teeth, & he's been painfully working back from that injury--I haven't caught him playing live lately, but he seemed to be making substantial progress last time I heard him perform. This is a far from perfect track--it's very evidently an anything-goes, unprepared live gig, & as I said in the discussion thread I just can't get with Skip's intonation. But it's nice just to hear Donnie blow that thing. 3. Bruise, "Long Face" (from We Packed Are Bags, Foghorn). Tony Bevan, ts, bass s, Orphy Robinson, steel drum, marimbula, perc; Ashley Wales, elec; John Edwards, b; Mark Sanders, d. London, UK, either 28 Sep or 20 Oct 2005. The bandname is a near-acronym of the last names of the bandmembers (BREWS)--they have 3 discs out, all of them very good (the 2nd disc has Derek Bailey on it, not too long before his death), but I think this track is far & away their most impressive achievement to date. I've heard a bit of the Spring Heel Jack series of electronica/improv collaborations, & also Steve Reid's Spirit Walk (which featured Bevan).... none of those really impressed me (the Reid is, as I've said elsewhere on this forum, actually pretty terrible), but this group really seems to have found some common ground & created their own idiom (Wales's work is far more integrated into the music than on their debut, where his loops & guitar stood out a lot). Here's what I said for Exclaim at the time, when I picked it for the 2007 year-end feature:
  21. Funny Rat

    Hey! that's great to see! Yes, I know Bo'Weavil's output well--in fact, I put a track from the Ward/Edwards/Noble disc on my latest BFT ("The Persuaders"). Judging from what I've heard so far the label seems to have an interesting free-but-groovy aesthetic that I like a lot. -- Not a lot of avantish organ trios come to mind, though (even if it's tune-based) Michiel Braam's Wurli Trio might be one (& then there's Wayne Peet...).
  22. BFT #62

    Did folks want separate threads for this & the bonus disc, or keep discussion to one? The bonus disc, are you'll see, is only 3 tracks, but one is very long. * OK, I've uploaded the BFT to RapidShare: I figured I'd start this thread even if people are still downloading and digesting the music. There's no particular reason to jump in at once--sit back & think about the music first..... I don't have a lot of introductory comments. There's no common theme; as you'll hear, it's all over the map stylistically, from the avantgarde to a straight-down-the-line organ+sax date. Unlike previous threads I have included some older tracks, rather than simply showcasing new releases. Mostly fairly obscure stuff, but (unlike my previous BFTs, which deliberately excluded virtually all "name" players!) there are some tracks with familiar players which I included because these particular recordings are fairly scarce & I thought people would like a taste.
  23. BFT #62

    Hey Ubu, thanks for the comments! I guess that the answers thread will reveal the rest..... Yep, that's the date. But not Bert, it's Willie Dennis! You know, I really ought to ask Hess about his thoughts on Marsh &c, as he usually namechecks ratehr different players.... Actually, it's kind of interesting: in an interview I read with him (in Cadence I think) he seems to feel an ambivalent attraction to tough modern mainstream tenors like Michael Brecker & Bob Berg. Some Harold Bloomish analysis probably required here....... Well, considering the number of people who hated the guitar solo here, I'd be interested to know what people's feelings were in general about Sonny Sharrock. Yeah, I was actually surprised many people found this track tough going--I'd have thought it fairly approachable by DB's standards, & the intrusion of swing guitar chording is at once witty & ferocious. This is just two players--sax & drums--but there's some overdubbing going on. It's recorded in the drummer's home studio living space in Toronto.
  24. Funny Rat

    Just talked with Jim McAuley on the phone last night (first time we'd been in touch since the new year)--was pleased to hear that there's an Acoustic Guitar Trio disc coming out from Long Song Records. I've heard a CDR of it--it's a live date called Vignes, a very strong performance. Reports on the Gerry Hemingway discs are very good but I haven't heard them myself yet. The earlier Butcher/Hemingway disc on Red Toucan was a big disappointment because it was recorded too early in their partnership, during a rather strange period in Hemingway's career (circa Songs), but I gather the new one is several cuts above.
  25. BFT #62

    Yeah, Orphy Robinson's great--I should really track down those Blue Notes. I caught him on a TV broadcast a few years back & was very impressed. (It was a British jazz series--I remember that Carla Bley with Andy Sheppard & Don Cherry were the other performances I saw.) Lately he's been working with some frequency with the more avantgarde end of the British scene--as part of the London Improvisers Orchestra, with Simon H Fell, & in Bruise. -- One thing to note about Bruise is that it's very much a "band"--i.e. it's these particular players, not just a one-off or fortuitous combination of musicians. When they can't all play together they don't sub in other members or play with a partial group. (It's not like most free improvising ensembles, which often place a value on instability in personnel, actually.) So that's one reason they've developed a very distinctive sound--you can hear the progression over the 3 releases so far.