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AllenLowe

The Francis Davis Appreciation Thread

89 posts in this topic

http://www.villagevoice.com/music/0520,davis3,64047,22.html

Illicit Cherry For Sale on the Dark Side of the Web, We're Not Telling Where

Don Cherry With Pharoah Sanders 1964

by Francis Davis

May 17th, 2005 3:59 PM

Don Cherry With Pharoah Sanders 1964

(no label)

The pope's car, Britney Spears's home pregnancy test, a grilled cheese sandwich bearing the image of the Virgin Mary, stolen credit cards, guns, teenage girls—you can find anything you want on the Internet, if you follow enough links. I even buy soap, toothpaste, and cat food online, now that stores always seem to be out of my preferred brands (hey, since when did we become the former Soviet Union?). Music too. Disappointed that the live Wayne Shorter due from Verve in June includes nothing from last year's tour with Herbie Hancock, Dave Holland, and Brian Blade? Looking for Coltrane and Archie Shepp together in Chicago in 1966? It's all for sale on the dark side of the Web. My latest find is an unreleased Don Cherry studio session from 1964 with Pharoah Sanders, Joe Scianni, David Izenson, and J.C. Moses—three tunes and one alternate take, presumably recorded for Savoy, only 20 minutes long and in sub-fidelity, but well worth it for Cherry's fractured trumpet rhymes, the rhythm section's bounce, the early glimpse of Sanders (then still a muscular hard bopper), and the sensation of eavesdropping on free jazz at a critical point in its evolution. I'd like to see the crooks selling this and other unauthorized material punished to the full extent of the law—now that I have mine.

It's all for sale on the dark side of the Web.

WTF? This chump is BUYING this stuff? :blink::blink::blink:

That's wrong is SO many ways...

Edited by JSngry

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uh...you've never bought a bootleg?

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Hardly ever, not since I've discovered the Internet. The shit's out there for free, to be shared. "Grey market" labels are another matter, maybe, depends on who's doing it, I suppose. If I think there's some kind of money going somewhere where it needs to go somehow at some level, I'll allow myself the rationalizaton principle. Yeah, that's the ticket! :g

Seriously, my tolereance of and personal indulgence in participating in the purchase of flat-out bootlegs such as the one mentioned above is much less than it used to be. Between good friends and impartial servers, there's not too much of a need to buy that which is not meant to be sold anyway, not anymore. I feel much better trading stolen goods than buying them. :blink:

Maybe somebody needs to hip FD to the wonderful world of cybertrading. He can save his money and his soul! :g:g:g

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Dr. Rat Posted Yesterday, 08:21 AM

 

I kinda like Giddens because he did stuff like write complimentary articles about Bobby Hackett at a time when it was completely uncool to do so. Back in the day when you spun the Gleason records with an audible smirk. You remeber the cocktail music craze, right?

To be the uncool contrarian and not even to get much attention for it. That's cool.

You put your finger right on it, Dr. Rat. (And, yeah, I remember that cocktail music craze: a bunch of smug, would-be hipsters condescending to like the mediocre music that their boomer parents hated when their parents played it. How "cool" is that? But don't get me started...

I have to admit that I have a hard time actually listening to the Gleason discs, despite Hackett's excellent contributions. Perhaps Mosaic could Bennidetticize them?)

I'll always be grateful to Giddins because he turned me on to so much great stuff, from Bobby Hackett to Cecil Taylor, Roy Eldridge to The World Saxophone Quartet.

I definitely admire his non-doctrinaire appreciation of the entire scope of jazz history, even if he inherited it from Martin Williams (who has also gotten some guff on this board).

AllenLowe Posted Yesterday, 08:00 AM

 

I find Balliet's descriptions and event reviews generally difficult to wade through - but his profiles are priceless.

Interesting point, Allen. I've been a long-time admirer of Balliet, and find that he's an excellent writer, sentence-to-sentence (I can never forget his description of Pee Wee Russell's posture when playing as being "stooped like a parenthesis"). But I find that my response is the reverse of yours. The profiles, and I agree that they are often priceless, sometimes bog down in the long, long quotations from his subjects. On the other hand, his descriptions (a la the "parenthesis" of Russell's posture) I find to be excellent. I recently acquired his big doorstop Collected Works: A Journal of Jazz 1954-200. As I was perusing my collection of single volumes to see if the new doorstop superceded them, I noticed that the new volume edits out some of the more caustic remarks he makes in his first book The Sound of Surprise. So, of course, I had to keep that one.

(As far as I know, Balliet's the guy who coined that much referenced description of jazz as "the sound of surprise." Not bad for a dentist.)

jazztrain Posted Yesterday, 08:47 AM

 

QUOTE (Kalo @ May 17 2005, 10:32 PM)

By the way, how IS "Balliet" pronounced? With a hard "T" or in the French manner?

Hard T.

Balli (like rally, sally, or tally) - et (like in "bet").

Accent on first syllable of name.

Thanks, JT.

That's the way I've always assumed it was pronounced, thus that's how I employed it in my silly rhyming post above. But after I posted, I wondered, how does HE pronounce it. After all, it IS a French name.

And BruceH, I'm sure you're right: it most likely IS a little of both (that Giddins has lost steam AND that I've become more opinionated).

Edited by Kalo

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Oops!

I just realised that...

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...most of y'all would have split my long post above...

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...into AT LEAST three posts, if not more...

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...so I'm just trying to even up the score...

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...and don't NOBODY accuse me of padding my post-count...

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...plus, I just like the idea of prolonging this FRANCIS DAVIS APPRECIATION THREAD.

Because, LORD KNOWS, I do appreciate Davis...

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... (cool, it just tipped over to five pages...)

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burmashavelarge.gif

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Balliett, two "t"s. Sorry to be anal, but it's starting to get to me.

Yeah, the famous diss of Monk's Town Hall Concert (with particular opprobrium for Charlie Rouse) is not in the collected Balliett. Pepper Adams blamed that review for killing the band's chance to tour.

Balliett has too much "fine writing" but it is usually fine writing.

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Balliettt's a bright guy (thought I'd add a "t") but always ends up saying something stupid - he thinks Max Roach never did swing, calls Miles a "first rate second rate trumpeter," etc etc. And his descriptions - well, they look great in print, but if you actually compare them to the music involved they are often really inaccurate and exaggerated, as though he got caught up in his own self-love of language.

As for bootlegs...I like to have 'em in hand, to own 'em and caress 'em. I love bootlegs, to hell with the record companies and musicians who rant against 'em. They are produced (usually) for love not money (particularly in the jazz world) and, if it weren't for 'em, my (and many other people's) jazz education would have been sharply delayed (especially during the economically fallow 1960s and 1970s) -

Edited by AllenLowe

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I remember reading that Balliett review of the Town Hall concert. Could not understand why this fine writer did not like it. I spent a number of hours listening to the album when it came out. The cover shot - by Jack Manning - made me feel like being inside Town Hall and attending the concert! Still get joy out of listening to it.

Superb legit release.

But I love the bootlegs too and all the unknown music that comes with them!

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My favorite "bootleg" series was the "France's Concerts" label (Mingus in Chateauvallon, for example).

Also, the Jazzbuhne Berlin series was another good one (George Adams-Don Pullen live).

I've never had too much luck with the quality of isolated bootleg issues.

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Don't get me wrong - I love the bootlegs too, and share the sentiment that they quite often provide invaluable insight and documentation not available elsewhere. It's just that today, the need to buy them has become significantly lesser than it used to be, thanks to Internet trading.

As for Balliett, I enjoy him for linguistic purposes above all else, not unlike Don Menza's tenor technique.

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Don't get me wrong - I love the bootlegs too, and share the sentiment that they quite often provide invaluable insight and documentation not available elsewhere. It's just that today, the need to buy them has become significantly lesser than it used to be, thanks to Internet trading.

Jim,

I thought your take on Davis' buying the bootleg was more "chump & fool" than "rotten scumbag." Correct?

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Exactly, David, and thanks for noticing! :g

Well, not exactly - "fool", no. I mean, if I came across it for sale and didn't know any better, I'd buy it too. But "chump", well, yeah.

Truthfully, if not for an increased awareness of things Internet-ish spurred on by constant contact w/people more younger and savvier than myself (many of them right here on O-Board '05), I'd not have a clue as to what's really going on, what's out there, and how to go about getting it. I',m getting "older" (49.5 and gaining), and this whole computer/Internet is not something I came/come by naturally, if you know what I mean. This bit-torrent thing, still haven't delved into that, and don't know if I really want to, but I know people who are and who have, and if you're a nice guy and/or a good citizen, they're willing to share/trade/etc. And none of it, the actual accquisition or the exchanging of trades, costs anything more than postage. I don't know how much FD payed for his Sanders Savoy boot, but whatever it was, it was too much!

Isolation and aging very often go hand-in-hand, but it doesn't have to be that way.

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And none of it, the actual accquisition or the exchanging of trades, costs anything more than postage.

I dunno...judging by some of the creative envelope re-uses I've seen, they must be pretty pricey as well! :lol:

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http://www.villagevoice.com/music/0520,davis3,64047,22.html

Illicit Cherry For Sale on the Dark Side of the Web, We're Not Telling Where

Don Cherry With Pharoah Sanders 1964

by Francis Davis

May 17th, 2005 3:59 PM

Don Cherry With Pharoah Sanders 1964

(no label) 

The pope's car, Britney Spears's home pregnancy test, a grilled cheese sandwich bearing the image of the Virgin Mary, stolen credit cards, guns, teenage girls—you can find anything you want on the Internet, if you follow enough links. I even buy soap, toothpaste, and cat food online, now that stores always seem to be out of my preferred brands (hey, since when did we become the former Soviet Union?). Music too. Disappointed that the live Wayne Shorter due from Verve in June includes nothing from last year's tour with Herbie Hancock, Dave Holland, and Brian Blade? Looking for Coltrane and Archie Shepp together in Chicago in 1966? It's all for sale on the dark side of the Web. My latest find is an unreleased Don Cherry studio session from 1964 with Pharoah Sanders, Joe Scianni, David Izenson, and J.C. Moses—three tunes and one alternate take, presumably recorded for Savoy, only 20 minutes long and in sub-fidelity, but well worth it for Cherry's fractured trumpet rhymes, the rhythm section's bounce, the early glimpse of Sanders (then still a muscular hard bopper), and the sensation of eavesdropping on free jazz at a critical point in its evolution. I'd like to see the crooks selling this and other unauthorized material punished to the full extent of the law—now that I have mine.

It's all for sale on the dark side of the Web.

WTF? This chump is BUYING this stuff? :blink::blink::blink:

That's wrong is SO many ways...

OK, I saw this on ebay a few months ago for $10 and mentioned it here. A guy like Davis is probably a bit isolated from most fans (why else would he seem so generally clueless to the scene in general) and musicians so I guess he didn't know about this and since he's so well paid (according to clem at least) and didn't know he had options, it probably seemed like very little to pay for an important slice of jazz history. That he wrote about it in the Voice and in an article solely devoted to it seems a bit idiotic though on many levels.

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you guys really have to be kidding about all this - Francis is a chump? For finding a great recording and than mentioning it in front of thousands of readers? This kind of attack is completely gratuitous - Clementine must be ghost writing for you guys -

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Purchasing a bootleg recording, a tacit approval of such practices (which is OK in the privacy of your own home at best) and telling others about it in print so they will seek it out is not to cool to me. No matter how you put it, artists suffer from these practices and a jazz journalist has no right to encourage this stuff in print.

Edited by kdd

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thanks, Clementine, for those EXTREMELY INTELLIGENT quotes - they'll probably get more people to read Francis's work -

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