Kari S

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About Kari S

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  1. I think Monster and Magic Windows are the bottom of the barrel in the HH Columbia catalog. I've tried to give them multiple second chances, but just...no.
  2. As a big Fagen and Dan fan I was excited to buy and read this - I was a bit disappointed. Most of the obscure sci-fi, radio and TV host references I didn't get (granted, I'm not of his generation nor did I grow up in the U.S.), and the most entertaining part (IMHO), the Dukes Of September tour diary, is just page after page of his grumpy moaning about this and that...and not even in a particularly funny way. I think I would've preferred a straighforward Fagen autobiography instead - this kind of started like that, but then fell apart (it's basically just a collection of stories so the magazine column connection doesn't surprise me).
  3. As an "aficionado" I've acquired most or all of these as single releases over the years, I wonder how the supposed new remastering sounds like? A few comments on the Japanese-only releases: - Kimiko Kasai's Butterfly is pretty hilarious and I'm glad more people get to experience it now. Her pronounciation is "very Japanese", and her sense of rhythm is kind of goofy. The band and Herbie plays tight, regardless, although some of the source material aside from the Sunlight songs (I think the tune "Head In The Clouds") is kind of iffy. - Direct Step has a cool longer (15 mins.) version of "I Thought It Was..." and surprisingly, "Shiftless Shuffle" from the forthcoming Mr. Hands. - Dedication is by far the most interesting of them. As you know by now probably, it's basically a Herbie solo piano album with a twist. It's just Herbie playing a Suitcase Rhodes and an acoustic grand along with a rudimentary rhythmic "loop" (it's actually an analog sequencer). Way ahead of his time, even then!
  4. George Duke 1946–2013

    He was not looking well, ever since his wife died a year ago (in that video posted above, for example), you could tell everything wasn't alright with his health. I was absolutely a "fan", and consider him one of the electric keyboard greats along with Hancock / Corea / Zawinul / Hammer. I have a quite a few of his solo albums from the 1970's (even the 80's) and they always have some great stuff. Just don't consider them as "jazz" and you'll do fine. The MPS discs (Feel, The Aura Will Prevail, I Love The Blues..., ), the CBS discs (Brazilian Love Affair, Reach For It, etc.) and so on. It's all good up until the mid-80's when he joined forces with Stanley Clarke (ok - apart from "Sweet Baby" which is awesomely cheesy) and then later went heavily into smooth jazz territory. He was beginning to return to his jazzfunk roots with a few of his more recent albums (like "Deja Vu"), even though most of his recent output was firmly in the smooth jazz domain. R.I.P.
  5. Isn't it a pretty widely acknowledged fact that he was fuming? And blamed Columbia, Clive Davis and their marketing or supposed "lack thereof" - the fact that his On The Corner failed to do what Headhunters did. Well, isn't this the Mwandishi / Headhunters transition story? It's on many of the albums' liner notes (cd reissues, that is), and he's told it many times: how they would either play a gig with the Mwandishi band at a club, or he would be at a house party and someone would put on a Mwandishi LP...and "kids" would leave the room in disgust and confusion. Actually, I only used the term "post bop" to distinguish that record and style from modal and hard bop, both of which it is a combination of, I didn't mean it that literally. It's often more advisable (if someone is a training jazz pianist for instance) NOT to jump straight into an "advanced" style/solo/record/tune like Speak Like A Child/"Riot"/"Sorcerer" but to gradually get there via bebop and hard bop pianism. It provides a much firmer grounding and helps tremendously with your time feel, for instance. When I said Herbie's time feel -along- with the melody line was impeccable on those solos, I meant that it's easy to transcribe the NOTES for example and sort of "play it through" (both have been transcribed into books, I think) - but you lose one crucial aspect as to why the notes sounded so damn good in the first place. There are plenty (ok, some) of examples on YouTube, where guys transcribe a solo like Herbie's "Chameleon" and completely lose the rhythmic and time feel in "translation" - they just repeat the notes.
  6. Sorry I'm a bit late to the party, and a lot (all?) has been said already. I've waned through the 15 pages of this thread, and have been having trouble deciphering whether Allen is serious or trolling. I'm not a regular enough poster on these forums to know. I just have a hard time taking a guy seriously who refuses to listen to Herbie Hancock's SLaC because the "title sounds dumb" - especially if he's a (jazz) musician (is he?). But this comment was eons ago, so we won't go there again. What rubbed me the wrong way was the "bland" comment from Larry Kart, and his original 2-star DB review. I just have to give my take on it too (the album), sorry. The first four jazz albums I ever bought were Miles' Nefertiti, Kind Of Blue and Herbie's Speak Like A Child and Headhunters. They not only influenced my jazz pianism, but ignited a passion for jazz (and both artists) in the first place. "Riot" and "Sorcerer" are not only postbop standards as compositions, but two pure master classes in piano solo motif development (as a reply to Ben Neumann's comment along the lines of "he had nothing else to do so he did that") and in my opinion essential for anyone studying jazz or jazz piano. His time feel along with those melodic lines and motifs is, as usual, impeccable. Yes, they're completely different to the Miles versions - for the better, I for one prefer these clearer and beefier arrangements - and why shouldn't they be, it's his tunes and his solo album. "Bland" is also not an adjective that I'd use to describe the dark and ominous "Goodbye To Childhood" or the sad, sometimes even menacing but still uplifting "Toys". They joyful version of Carter's "First Trip" is the definitive one, and Hancock's solos on both these latter two are a pure swinging delight. Even the title track, although quite "smooth" on the surface, surprises you with those gorgeous, sometimes dissonant chord changes. The piano solo is a classic acoustic "funky Hancock". I suppose a lot of the feeling of "blandness" might come from the fact that the drummer is Mickey Roker, who is I suppose a more old school drummer, especially during that rather fiery period in jazz. He provides a solid, steady pulse, without much in-your-face "energy" - and is coincidentally one of my favorite things on the album, especially on "The Sorcerer". - As far as the "sell out" claim goes, the ONLY period in Herbie's career I'm willing to give credence to that is the really late 70's / early 80's disco fluff. You know, the "Stars In Your Eyes" (Monster) Herbie. I'm not a fan of the Bill Laswell "Rockit" era discs at all, but it's yet again a pretty damn impressive feat that not only managed to score a MTV hit with it, but pretty much introduce the art of scratching (even if it was D.S.T. who did it, not Herbie). Even so, there are some seriously cool moments on easily overlooked albums like Sunlight and even Feets Don't Fail Me Now, in all their vocoder disco ridiculousness. Sunlight includes the gorgeous "Come Running To Me", and one of his best Rhodes solos on "No Means Yes". JSngry mentioned Lite Me Up, it has that superb Temperton-composed donaldfagenish tune "Gettin' To The Good Part". As a musician, the whole concept of crying for "sell out" baffles me. Is (jazz) music not supposed to sell? Is it only of value to people like Allen and Dave James if the album sells two copies? And like someone said, if you're going to call Herbie a sell out, you'd better do so from the get go: it was the money from "Watermelon Man" that got him his first sports car.
  7. Even though there are obviously clear parallels between his playing on the acoustic, Rhodes (and perhaps the CP80 electric grand), arguably he has a different approach when it comes to the instrument. Some of it comes from the rhythmic surroundings of the genre he played it in, the so-called jazz-funk, which is perhaps a given. But in the 70's, a lot of "old school" jazz pianists went temporarily to the Rhodes - applying the same exact style they used to play an acoustic piano - and it just didn't WORK. You need a different approach, it's that kind of an instrument. Good (acoustic) jazz pianists aren't necessarily "good Rhodes players" and vice versa. I'd be very interested in hearing what you come up with, Tom. There are books that transcribe Herbie's (acoustic) solos, some books that have sections that delve into his style of playing (like the Levine book) - but very little is written about his EP playing or the Mwandish/Headhunters years, period. Actually, I could help you out, if you want! A good "master class" on his Rhodes playing is also on the Japanese LP my avatar is from, Dedication, where he just plays solos over rudimentary synth loops (not even a drum machine).
  8. Sorry to resurrect this old thread, but I just found out about this. It was supposed to come out in Nov 2010, but it seems it's been pushed to early 2011? But...as someone who is an avid "fan" (obviously ) and as someone who has all of these and then some, I just have to wonder - is it really so, that the only unreleased tracks and alternate takes from a Herbie Hancock recording session are from the Blue Note years? Because it just can't be. How come every single alternate take and unreleased track Miles Davis did in that time period has been documented and released in these gorgeous multi-disc box sets, but all we have of Hancock are single disc reissues (mostly LP's that were never hard to find anyway, I think they even reissued Dedication and Flood?) and a 4-disc Columbia/Legacy box which was nothing but an extended "Best Of" compilation? Where are those extended jams that molded the raw "Spook Who Sat By The Door" tracks into "Actual Proof" on Thrust, the rehearsal sessions where Mike Clark taught Hancock funky licks on the Clavinet (that's coming from the man himself, as hard to believe that is...), the unreleased gems left in the vaults like Miles' "Ghetto Walk" etc., etc.? Well, at least there's a book coming out about the Mwandishi years. There was supposed to be a book about the Headhunters sessions, but I don't think it ever came to fruition.
  9. EARTH, WIND & FIRE .....favorite 5 ??

    - "In The Stone" (one of the best intros in popular music, ever - and probably my favorite EWF track of them all.) - "Can't Hide Love" (I dig those chord progressions. Kenny Dope did a nice nu-jazz remix of it on some compilation...it was actually pretty inevitable, it suits itself for that purpose very well.) - "Runnin" (Killer jazz funk, and again, sweet chord harmonies here as well.) - "Fall In Love With Me" from Powerlight - I love the bridge in "Jupiter", but if I'm only allowed to pick five, I'll throw in a curve ball: "Evolution Orange" from Raise!. "September" is definitely another favorite as well, despite how overplayed it may be. Just beautiful. ... (As a side note, the name of my jazz sextet is an homage to that EWF tune, despite having nothing to do with their music. Link below. )
  10. Miles' Bitches Brew

    Who knew Columbia actually did "single edits"? What, were they hoping "Spanish Key" would be a hit? I mean, sure there's a nice groove and a sort of "hook"... But it's not like it's "Chameleon", where they just faded out the "complicated part" (meaning the best part, the B-section). Regarding the DVD...I was super excited to finally have it as an official release. I'd seen snippets of it before, I think there's some on YouTube as well. Man...DeJohnette was playing a lot, it's almost overwhelming.
  11. They've increased the ads (I guess they noticed that one ad in 30 minutes wasn't actually that much of a pain in the a to make you switch), plus they seem to be annoyingly LOUD..."Hi, this is Jonathan from Spotify".... All I can say is, I rarely listen to my iTunes anymore, mainly because my library is on an external USB drive and it's just that much more of a extra hassle of starting it instead of Spotify. The selection varies a lot though...and I wish they'd ged rid of those annoying cover version compilations (in place of the originals) that they seem to have an abundance of, especially when it comes to 70's soul classics.
  12. Buckshot Lafonque

    They're SOLID! In my opinion the best effort trying to combine jazz with hip hop influences.
  13. Waymon Tisdale Bassist dies

    Am I being overly pedantic for being annoyed that he's referred to as a "jazz musician" pretty much everywhere (like here http://www.nba.com/2009/news/05/21/tisdale.silva/index.html), "playing jazz, a music he came to master". That said, still quite a shock.
  14. Iron Maiden Covers

    Perhaps the worst cover, but my favorite Classic ... Bruce "Vibrato" Dickinson is definitely an acquired taste though. From 80's metal singers, I much prefer Dio who sings much clearer (cleaner?).
  15. Q - Tip - The Renaissance

    I've always been a fan of Q-Tip, even since his days with A Tribe Called Quest.