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I'm just saying that outside (or even inside) of the business realm, musics, no, life - of which music is an inextricable part, is so much about finding one's "place". Now, we often think of that symbolically, or geographically/territorially, but what is more immediate than the sense of "place" that comes from how one individually vibrates within the macro vibration(s) of the universe? Obviously, different peoples (and different peoples within different peoples) vibrate different than others. They have to, because if everybody and everything vibrated identically, then there would be no different peoples, or places, or things (and of course, the position that there really aren't, that our perceptions of "apartness" are in fact fallacious, is one which I will not argue against with any vehemence). So when we look for "meaning" in music, either specifically or more broadly, to do so without getting a sense, not just of "what" is being done, but also why (and yeah, that's a slippery slope to be sure, but oh well, friction is your friend a lot of times, including this one...) this is being done by this person/these peoples in this way instead of this other way, then we run the risk of finding meaning without context, and context without dimension. In other words, we find what we already know, and how we already know it. We just apply it to fit whatever new thing we are looking at.

The "one" is real. Everything is everything. But everybody holds a slightly (or greatly) different piece of the one, vibrates a little differently either in contribution to or receipt of (hell if I know which is which, maybe it's both...) the one. this "vibration" thing is not just an abstract metaphysical concept, it's a root reality of exisitence, and it's directly involved, might even be the source of, music, even the crap!

This I do believe.

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I want a couple of pounds of what you be smoking. :ph34r:

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:g

Hate to disappoint, but no smoking, no drinking, no nothing these days except blood pressure medicines, Lipitor, Naproxen, & the occasional Prevacid. Just the illusion/delusion of a lucidity I've not had in a while. It may or may not be total bullshit. Or it may well be true.

Maybe I'm soon to die, who knows? Or maybe not, who knows?

It is what it is, for as long as it will be.

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:g

Hate to disappoint, but no smoking, no drinking, no nothing these days except blood pressure medicines, Lipitor, Naproxen, & the occasional Prevacid. Just the illusion/delusion of a lucidity I've not had in a while. It may or may not be total bullshit. Or it may well be true.

Maybe I'm soon to die, who knows? Or maybe not, who knows?

It is what it is, for as long as it will be.

I visited reality a couple of times and didn't like it. <_<

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hey I've been taking lipitor for 10 years - did wonders for my HDLs but my hair is rapidly falling out -

oh well -

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JSngry, are you o.k.?

Yeah, fine. Just speculating out loud. Didn't mean to get weird or anything. Sorry if it came off like that.

Just saw the MSNBC doc about Jonestown. Now that was some weird shit...

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Just saw the MSNBC doc about Jonestown. Now that was some weird shit...

Kool-AidMan.jpg

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I have a slight feeling that the idea that African musicians didn't measure things as we do is part of the heritage of Euro-centricism that is so hard for us to ditch.

Why is that? "Euro-centric" pitch is all about standardizing the octave (yeah, there's always "fudging" going on, but...). You think the piano/etc, where the octave is divided into 12 (theoretically) equal intervals is a non-European concept? No way, dude, no way. "African temperament" is a fact of life. Let's not even get into Indian/Asian temperament...

Same thing w/rhythm - "Euro-centric" rhythm is all about equal divisions & placements of the beat (again, there's always "fudging" going on, but...). African rhythm is all about floating in and around the pulse, the "one". This is, I'm pretty sure what Allen is getting at with his "vertical" thing, but I myself think it's futile to look at multi-dimensionality through a lens of just two dimensions...

Timbre? "Euro-centric" timbre is all about a focused tone, rigidly aligned to fit within pre-determined parameters. African timbre is a helluva lot more open, the overtones are quite frequently more "on top" than in "Euro-centric" musics.

All these things point directly to fundamental differences in perception/consciousness, in the way that one's personal vibrational pattern interacts/intersects with one's environment. You can call it "measuring" if you like (it seems a little simplistic to me, but not really "wrong"...) but the bottom line is that there are differences, they are obvious, they are significant, and they are not accidental.

It's not a matter of "not knowing", it's a matter of "differing needs". And to that end, "European" "folk" musics have a helluva lot more flexibility/openness in their personal vibrational pattern interactions than do "court" (i.e. - "classical") musics, and also to that end, the closer to Africa the Euro-folk musics are, the more...."intricate" they tend to be.

So what does all this mean? Hell if I know, other than looking at music as just/purely music is something that is only good up to a point, and that the sooner one gets to, and then past, that point, the sooner one is likely to start finding what one is looking for. That, and that Johnny Hodges plays more notes than Coltrane, because Johny Hodges plays an infinite number, but Coltrane's can be counted.

Anybody doesn't think that that means something, hey, we might be hearing the same sounds, but we sure ain't hearing the same musics.

I think perhaps we didn't understand each other. When you said

"Tonal" music reflects the development of a more "measured" (in all sorts of ways...) world. One could well argue that the "liberating" effect of all things "African" (real or imagined) to the 20th Century "Western" world was to (re)open some of the vibrational spaces that had been closed off/up by the "precision" of a "tonal" vibrational culture.

I got a message that you thought of the African approach as imprecise. But I see now that that isn't what you were saying.

MG

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After reading the last digression I'm definitely going to draw a nice hot tub, settle in to soak, and wash down my buspirone and citalopram hydrobromide with some special Kool Aid.

Now what did I do with that razor...

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Not a review, but I hope it's okay for this thread. Sorry for the length. When I contacted Cory for this interview, she was staying at The Carlyle under the name, Polly Esther.

3131158.jpg

A TALK WITH CORY DAYE

Stereo Review article - (circa December, 1979

As we enter the Eighties, some of us are gripped by a need for change, a compulsion to alter in some measure the pattern of our lives. We don’t make specific resolutions, as we have been programmed to do each ordinary New Year, but history tells us that the birth of a new decade traditionally sets societal attitudes and behavior on a new course, and few of us want to be left behind.

Ever since the phonograph and electronic media made the music industry’s direction a factor—however slight—in determining how we live our lives, the sounds of the times have become a decade’s most enduring distinguishing mark. Would the Twenties really have roared if the flappers hadn’t had the Charleston to animate them? Can we imagine the Forties without big-band swing, the Fifties without the simple message and the hard drive of rock-’n’-roll, the Sixties without protest songs and the calculated earthiness of “folk” singers from the Bronx and other urban boondocks? And how will we remember the Seventies if not by the steady thump of disco?

Many people think that disco’s days would have been numbered under any circumstances, though the looming new decade surely inflicted the initial wound. But disco is not dying the natural, gradual death that may have been in its cards. Rather, it is being forcefully strangled by the painted punksters of something we are told is “New Wave”, which seems to have a decidedly old wrinkle—a disdain for quality and passion for mediocrity.

The acceptance of mediocrity is not a sign of spreading deafness (though over-amplification has undoubtedly taken its toll in recent years); it is part of our conditioning. This is a new decade, so we must have new music, even if we have to force it into existence. If you thought disco fostered questionable talent—and it did—you ain’t, as Al Jolson once, said, heard nothin’ yet! And so, as many a disco diva wipes the glitter off her bewildered face and brushes her clothes free of the dust thrown up by the chauffered limousine that is disappearing from her life, and as she discovers that her framed hit record was just fool’s gold, a fickle industry opens another door and yells “Next!”

One undaunted soul left on the curb is Cory Daye, the lively vamp of Dr.Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, who branched out on her own last year with “Cory and Me” on the RCA-distributed New York International label.

Though a disco sound dominates that album, Miss Daye has never considered herself a “disco singer,” and so she feels that her step into the shadows is only temporary. “I was always against disco,” she says, “but they made me do it. They said, ‘Cory, put out a solo album, just do some disco, you’ll make it, you’ll go platinum.’ Then—when was it, six months later?—the word was out: disco’s dead, Casablanca’s folding. I mean, give me a break!”

Cory Daye’s first break was purely a matter of happenstance. She grew up in the same Bronx neighborhood as Stony Browder Jr., August Darnell, Mickey Sevilla, and Andy Hernandez, the cocky kids who became the Savannah Band. She looked deep into her bloody mary as we sat in the art deco bar at One Fifth Avenue, a New York hangout for late-Seventies disco/rock stars. “Stony used to tinkle on the piano while I sang,” she reminisced, her eyes getting misty. “We were just highschool kids doing whatever gigs we could find, and Stony’s father carted us around. We used to call him ‘the Doctor,’ and we were like the elixir of life, so he became ‘Dr. Buzzard,’ which was a name for the medicine men who went around in the South with little bottles and said ‘Here, drink this, it heals all wounds’.”

It was while attending James Monroe High School that the five youngsters formed a band and began working locally under such names as the In-Laws and the Strangers. Their first professional break came in 1975, when they had started calling themselves Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, and producer Tommy Mottola heard their unusual blend of Copacabana echoes and current sounds, a busy mixture containing dashes of Glenn Miller and Xavier Cugat swirling around in a mad tempest of coconut rhythms and hustle thumps. Where did it all come from? “From the Million Dollar Movie,” says Cory Daye. “Growing up in the Bronx where money was tight, you watched television, and I always leaned toward the musicals. I loved the pretty ladies, the Andrews Sisters, Abbott and Costello—I loved all of that. They say children soak it all in; it’s true. So it was easy for me to pick up on what Stony wanted when I was chosen to sing the leads.”

Cory’s chance to be heard up front came when the band made its first album. She had previously been kept in the background because “Stony wanted a crooner, someone to be the next Frank Sinatra. But the male singers couldn’t cook, so I stepped in. I knew all that old Hollywood stuff, but I also liked modern music, r ‘n’ b, and I loved James Brown—all that rhythm. I love rhythms because I don’t have a wide range. My voice is really very limited—I think maybe I could stretch to two octaves on a good day—so I have to rely on the rhythm to keep things going musically.”

When it comes to keeping things going in person, Miss Daye takes advantage of her penchant for the campier side of Hollywood and becomes an unlikely cross between Bette Midler and a Pointer sister. Wrapped in a Salvation Army print dress, her lips painted the color of a ripe tomato, a large flower in her Maria Montez hair, she stomps her feet in Joan Crawford pumps and delivers the lyrics with a Carmen Miranda rapidity. Range or no range, audiences love it. Why, then, after three albums with the Savannah Band and one of her own, is Cory Daye out in the cold? That is a question to which she is still seeking a plausible answer. She has been told that RCA dropped her because one of the company’s high-ranking executives “didn’t understand” her solo album, but she finds that hardly a logical explanation.

Relations with RCA were actually somewhat awkward from the very beginning. The Savannah Band, an undisciplined, unproved group of cocky kids brought to the company by an independent contract producer, spent a full six months in the House of Music studio (a converted New Jersey basement) making an album that few people at the label thought would have any chance in the market. “The people at RCA heard the album and thought it was something from the deep blue. It was something they couldn’t fathom, so they didn’t do any promotion on it. It was all word of mouth.”

The first real sign of appreciation came when the New York gay community—specifically, the summer crowd on that thin strip of sand known as Fire Island—embraced the album’s Cherchez la Femme. “When Fire Island closed that fall,” says Miss Daye, “they brought the word back to the island of Manhattan. It was the Bicentennial year, and we were an American group with a new sound. It was great, everyone was gung-ho, and RCA finally decided to put us on Amtrak for a trial promotion in Washington, D.C. The whole band went, and we sold fifteen thousand units in one week. So then RCA said,’Hmmmm, it shows promise,’ and they sent us on to a few other major cities—before dropping all promotion again. We thought they were just as mad as hatters.” Miss Daye concedes that neither RCA nor Mottola exactly had a group of angels on their hands: “We were brats, we were bad, and our way of showing unhappiness with the RCA people was to do things like shooting jelly beans into the lobby of the Hyatt-Regency Hotel in Atlanta. We went nuts with squirt guns and that sort of thing—a little immature, maybe, but very effective.”

Despite such antics, and even though the success of the first album was mainly in the New York area, RCA went ahead with a follow-up. After all, those seemingly hopeless recordings from the New Jersey basement had not only registered healthy sales but also garnered a Grammy nomination (the award went to the Starland Vocal Band, another RCA group). As so often happens in the music business, the second album, “Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band Meets King Penett,” released in 1978, did not live up to the expectations generated by the first.

Unpleasant memories are attached to that album. Its release coincided with the breakup of Miss Daye and Stony Browder, whose relationship dated back even before the time when she was a “respectable, no-nonsense waitress” at Hungry Hilda’s, an Eighth Avenue topless establishment. “I left, but a good part of me will always remain with the Savannah Band. At that time it was just more than I could take, and the only person I could turn to was Tommy Mottola. He took me in, made a solo deal for me with RCA, and everything was hunky-dory.”

The result of that deal was “Cory and Me,” a lonely experience for Miss Daye. The only familiar face in the studio was that of the Savannah Band’s mascot, her cocker spaniel, Mr. Limelight. “I opened my eyes and Stony was not there, Darnell was not there, and Andy was not on the floor kicking his heels up in the air. It was very strange not having them around. I felt very insecure.”

Despite these insecurities and some reservations regarding the direction of her first solo venture, Cory Daye is not ready to dismiss it: “I did it, and I’m always very happy with my babies. You might have ten children, some ugly, some pretty, but you still love them all the same, and that’s how I feel about my albums.” RCA launched “Cory and Me” with a boat party that reputedly cost $50,000.

“While we were making the album,” she says, “the people at RCA told me, ‘Cory, you have to clean up your act, you have to get the word out that you are not a brat any more,’ So I became an angel, a saint; I was really good, paid the RCA brass compliments—the whole bit. Then they threw that boat party for me, and the president of the company said, ‘Cory, look at all this,’ as he pointed around at the people dancing and the big neon sign with my signature. ‘Do you think you deserve it?’ ” Diplomacy not being one of her virtues, Cory Daye replied, “You’re damn right, and more.” But there was no more. “I’m sure it wasn’t his fault,” she says, referring to the label’s subsequent cut in the promotion budget for her album, “but you do have to wonder why they sign you up and record you if they aren’t going to give you the push you need.”

Cory Daye is, of course, the victim of a system rather than any individual or company, and if there are any hard feelings on the part of RCA, the current staff is not showing them. “Cory was not as difficult to work with as she herself would lead you to believe,” says one executive, “but this is a business, and when a product does not register satisfactory sales, you either look to improve it or you replace it.” And so, when the promotional materials dwindle down to a Xeroxed few, when the phone calls from the office stop and nobody from the record company team shows up at an artist’s performance, the writing on the wall might as well be flashing neon. It is a humiliating ordeal that more and more artists are experiencing as pop music once again seeks out a new direction.

“The worst part of being on the ladder of success,” says Cory Daye, “is when you have made it to about the third rung from the top and you can see just what it’s like to be successful. You can look down and say ’Unh, unh.’ Then you look up—you’re so close you can smell it—and someone up there is saying ’Unh, unh’ to you.”

What would Cory Daye do if all of her career decisions were hers alone to make and money were no problem? “I’d pull Stony back into the studio and try to beat some sense into his head,” she says, smiling as she relishes the thought. “I’d try to make not only a fusion of sounds and eras, but a fusion of sounds for ears, for people. They’re the ones buying the records, so let’s take them into consideration. I don’t think I’ve done enough ballads, for example. I haven’t done enough things that people can relate to. I would do an album totally related to human beings, to what we all experience, believe, and see.”

Would it be another echo of Million Dollar Movie?

“Yes—if you mean Cecil B. De Mille! I don’t want to be just a recording artist, I want to be an entertainer. People love to be entertained—if you go to a party and there’s no life in the crowd, you walk out. ‘Cory and Me’ was what I had to do at that time. I realized I had to prove something, not to the public, but to myself. I had to prove that I am my own person.”

She has also realized that it is hard, if not impossible, for her to sever the connection with the old gang completely. Though she was contracted independently, she is now back with the Savannah Band on an Elektra album (“Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band Goes to Washington,” 6E-218) that captures the flavor of the celebrated first album and even improves on it, though it may well be too sophisticated to catch on commercially. Recently the Bronx Bombshell has also been heard with August Darnell’s Kid Creole and the Coconuts (the Savannah Band minus Browder), a group Darnell uses to back up his stable of acts. It is an odd mélange of talents, but the overall effect is just far enough out for Cory Daye to fit in, and the rebellious atmosphere created by Darnell’s music and antics suits to a tee a woman who has been known to register in one of New York’s finer hotels under the name Polly Esther. And, though the New Wave may have swept her temporarily out of the limelight at home, Cory Daye still holds a center stage place abroad. She has twice been summoned for appearances in Holland, and at this writing she was planning a South American tour. It looks to me as if we still have the dawn of a new Daye to look forward to. ∆ —Chris Albertson

What a coincidence! I was just revisiting that first Dr. Buzzard album late last week.

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Here's another one from The Green Mountain Jazz Messenger. As I recall, the original review was slugged with a personnel list, therefore no complete mention of the group members in the body of the review.

It turns out that American Experience was far from Douglas's recording debut. I was living in Vermont at the time and the NYC Downtown scene was sort of flying under my radar.

Remind me to banish "-ish," "-esque," and "-like" from my vocabulary, okay? :rolleyes:

_____________________________________________________

Dave Douglas

Convergence

Soul Note 121316-2

When jazz historians document the music of the 1990s, the name of trumpeter Dave Douglas will surely be prominent. Since making his recording debut in 1986 on saxophonist Vincent Herring's Adderley-esque hard-bop American Experience, he has appeared as a sideman on an astonishing variety of projects – ranging from Anthony Braxton and John Zorn to Sheryl Crow and Suzanne Vega. His own discs, beginning with 1993's Parallel Worlds on Soul Note, have documented a singular talent for both composition and improvisation.

Like David Murray, Douglas fronts a number of working groups that showcase different aspects of his omni-directional aesthetic. In addition to the group heard on his debut, 1995's Five, and Convergence, which fans have come to know as "the string group," he also performs with The Tiny Bell Trio, his Ornette-ish quartet with Chris Potter, a sextet, the Sanctuary double-quartet with electronics, the Charms of the Night Sky Quartet with maverick accordionist Guy Klucevsek, and the South Indian group with Myra Melford on harmonium. Douglas has recently signed with RCA Victor, and one hopes that an association with a major label will bring his challenging and ceaselessly creative music to a wider audience without sacrificing any of the elements that have made him one of the most consistent and prolific recording artists of the decade for Soul Note, hat Art, New World, Songlines, DIW, Avant, Winter & Winter and Arabesque.

Convergence opens with a brief, rhythmically exuberant adaptation of a traditional Burmese piece that makes the case for this being a true ensemble, and not a soloist and sidemen. "Joe's Auto Glass" has an Ornette-like contour to its melody, and some inspired trumpet work. "Tzotzil Maya" is an elegiac ballad with an edge, dedicated to the people of Chiapas, Mexico. Douglas seems to be in a late-period Miles state-of-mind here, and the cello functions somewhat like a horn section, with the violin supplying coloration. "Meeting at Infinity" is a 15 minute multi-part composition that is one of the disc's brightest; it opens atonally and free before developing into a delta-blues-like groove with Feldman's violin prominent; and then an up-tempo, solidly swinging segment that showcases a brilliant trumpet solo with bass and drums; sort of Charles Ives and John Cage meet Robert Johnson. "Desseins Eternels" is a Douglas arrangement of a portion of Olivier Messiaen's 1933 La Nativite du Seigneur for organ.

German cabaret greets the circus in the version of Kurt Weill's "Bilbao Song," written in 1929 for the musical play Happy End. The tempo is way up here, and there is a classically pure violin solo. There are conversations between the instruments that break down their "traditional" functions and cast the players in different roles; Douglas displays some of the extended techniques that are a natural part of his style, in the Don Cherry-Lester Bowie continuum. Douglas has previously shown a great affinity for Weill with his recording, on Parallel Worlds, of the "Ballad in Which MacHeath Asks Everyone to Forgive Him" from The Threepenny Opera. I'd love to hear him interpret the music of Nino Rota, who often has a similar feel, particularly the scores for Fellini.

"Border Stories" consists of four brief vignettes. "Collateral Damages" takes its title from the euphemism for unintended civilian deaths coined during the Gulf War, and has a heartfelt, emotive bass solo from Gress. "Goodbye Tony" is dedicated to Tony Williams and features blazing trumpet solo against walking bass. The disc closes with "Nothing Like You" with Douglas reminding me of a post-Ornette Bobby Hackett, if you can imagine.

All of Douglas' recordings are heartily recommended, with Convergence being the latest chapter in his evolution as one of the 1990s' most brilliantly original voices.

©1999

Bill Barton/The Green Mountain Jazz Messenger

Published in Volume Two Number Six (July-August 1999)

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Lee Konitz with Warne Marsh

Koch CD 8502

(originally released in 1956 - Atlantic 1217)

Alto saxophonist Lee Konitz and tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh first played together in Lennie Tristano's famous sextet from 1948 through 1950. Few saxophone teams in jazz history match the contrapuntal dexterity of their interweaving lines; their interaction sometimes borders on the telepathic.

Lee Konitz with Warne Marsh was originally released as Atlantic 1217 in 1956. This beautifully engineered recording features a powerful and precise rhythm team; the combination of bassist Oscar Pettiford and drummer Kenny Clarke has much more fire than many of the Tristano-influenced bass/drums combinations employed by the saxmen over the years. Clarke shares with Max Roach the honor of being a forefather of modern jazz drumming, one of the innovators of bop rhythms. He is relatively subdued in this context, but there's an underlying creative tension that is palpable; don't forget that he was the original drummer in The Modern Jazz Quartet (the understated elegance of that group has much in common with this particular Konitz/Marsh band). Pettiford was also a bop pioneer, and brings an unshakeable time sense, faultless intonation and rich harmonic imagination to bear on the proceedings.

Pianist Sal Mosca, who plays on five of the eight tracks, has a sparse, dry, measured style that owes more than a little to Tristano. Guitarist Billy Bauer, another noted Tristano-ite, plays Freddie Greene to Mosca's Count Basie, taking no solos, providing a brief intro stating the melody on "I Can't Get Started," and being almost more felt than heard as part of the rhythm section throughout.

The Durham/Battle classic "Topsy," originally done by the Count Basie band, opens the album in a relaxed, swinging mood with a fine Pettiford solo (Mosca sits this one out). "There Will Never Be Another You" is taken up-tempo. Konitz solos first, with long, thoughtful lines and a hard-edged tone; Marsh offers one of his most fascinating outings on the disc, with his delightfully original phrasing and rhythmic displacements providing plenty of surprises; then, Pettiford has a brief spot before a series of sax trades and a chiaroscuro of conversations take it out.

"I Can't Get Started" is another quintet selection less Mosca, with a rhapsodically inventive Konitz solo caressing this ballad standard. Charlie Parker's "Donna Lee" is taken way up-tempo, with Konitz and Marsh swooping fearlessly through the changes, building a fierce momentum without ever losing their sweet way with a melody; Marsh's light, pulpy tenor tone sometimes makes it hard to distinguish conclusively who plays what where. Tristano's cleverly structured "Two Not One" features Mosca's finest solo on the date: a clean, crisp, beautifully paced offering with gently insistent saxophone riffs in the background toward the end.

"Don't Squawk" is a leisurely blues penned by Pettiford, with an expressive intro by its composer and lengthy, earthy solos by both Marsh and Konitz. "Ronnie's Line" is a brief, breezy Ronnie Ball original, with Ball replacing Mosca and providing a pleasant contrast with his more extroverted, Monk-ish style. Marsh's wryly titled "Background Music" – perhaps his best-known composition – closes the session in fine style, with an infectious series of bass/drums trades a highlight.

Konitz is one of the most prolifically recorded musicians in the history of jazz, and this reissue has to rate a good strong seven on the ten scale in relation to his other available work that I've heard. Marsh was unfortunately not as widely documented as his bandmate, and his often inspired playing here makes it clear that his place in the tenor sax pantheon is secure.

©2001

Bill Barton/Jazz Improv

Published in Volume 3, Number 2

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Lee Konitz with Warne Marsh

Koch CD 8502

(originally released in 1956 - Atlantic 1217)

Alto saxophonist Lee Konitz and tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh first played together in Lennie Tristano's famous sextet from 1948 through 1950. Few saxophone teams in jazz history match the contrapuntal dexterity of their interweaving lines; their interaction sometimes borders on the telepathic.

Lee Konitz with Warne Marsh was originally released as Atlantic 1217 in 1956. This beautifully engineered recording features a powerful and precise rhythm team; the combination of bassist Oscar Pettiford and drummer Kenny Clarke has much more fire than many of the Tristano-influenced bass/drums combinations employed by the saxmen over the years. Clarke shares with Max Roach the honor of being a forefather of modern jazz drumming, one of the innovators of bop rhythms. He is relatively subdued in this context, but there's an underlying creative tension that is palpable; don't forget that he was the original drummer in The Modern Jazz Quartet (the understated elegance of that group has much in common with this particular Konitz/Marsh band). Pettiford was also a bop pioneer, and brings an unshakeable time sense, faultless intonation and rich harmonic imagination to bear on the proceedings.

Pianist Sal Mosca, who plays on five of the eight tracks, has a sparse, dry, measured style that owes more than a little to Tristano. Guitarist Billy Bauer, another noted Tristano-ite, plays Freddie Greene to Mosca's Count Basie, taking no solos, providing a brief intro stating the melody on "I Can't Get Started," and being almost more felt than heard as part of the rhythm section throughout.

The Durham/Battle classic "Topsy," originally done by the Count Basie band, opens the album in a relaxed, swinging mood with a fine Pettiford solo (Mosca sits this one out). "There Will Never Be Another You" is taken up-tempo. Konitz solos first, with long, thoughtful lines and a hard-edged tone; Marsh offers one of his most fascinating outings on the disc, with his delightfully original phrasing and rhythmic displacements providing plenty of surprises; then, Pettiford has a brief spot before a series of sax trades and a chiaroscuro of conversations take it out.

"I Can't Get Started" is another quintet selection less Mosca, with a rhapsodically inventive Konitz solo caressing this ballad standard. Charlie Parker's "Donna Lee" is taken way up-tempo, with Konitz and Marsh swooping fearlessly through the changes, building a fierce momentum without ever losing their sweet way with a melody; Marsh's light, pulpy tenor tone sometimes makes it hard to distinguish conclusively who plays what where. Tristano's cleverly structured "Two Not One" features Mosca's finest solo on the date: a clean, crisp, beautifully paced offering with gently insistent saxophone riffs in the background toward the end.

"Don't Squawk" is a leisurely blues penned by Pettiford, with an expressive intro by its composer and lengthy, earthy solos by both Marsh and Konitz. "Ronnie's Line" is a brief, breezy Ronnie Ball original, with Ball replacing Mosca and providing a pleasant contrast with his more extroverted, Monk-ish style. Marsh's wryly titled "Background Music" – perhaps his best-known composition – closes the session in fine style, with an infectious series of bass/drums trades a highlight.

Konitz is one of the most prolifically recorded musicians in the history of jazz, and this reissue has to rate a good strong seven on the ten scale in relation to his other available work that I've heard. Marsh was unfortunately not as widely documented as his bandmate, and his often inspired playing here makes it clear that his place in the tenor sax pantheon is secure.

©2001

Bill Barton/Jazz Improv

Published in Volume 3, Number 2

A fine review for a fine record! :tup

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Thanks, BillF! Have a great New Year...

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only correction - Eddie Durham wrote topsy by himself - Battle just stuck his name on it in a publishing deal -

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only correction - Eddie Durham wrote topsy by himself - Battle just stuck his name on it in a publishing deal -

Thanks, Allen, I never knew that. Bit of an Irving Mills move, eh?

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yes, straight from the horse's mouth - classic old-school move -

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Thanks, BillF! Have a great New Year...

... and you, Bill! :)

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I did this review for a magazine whose name escapes me. The circumstances surrounding this was our church's youth director (at the time) was also a contributor to this magazine, which was devoted to film scores and soundtracks. He knew I liked jazz and asked if I would listen to 3 CDs he'd received and write a brief review of each of them. The target audience was film-score fanatics, hence the explanation of some things we probably take for granted around here. The date says April 2002, but I honestly can't remember.

Submitted for your enjoyment, FWIW. It probably explains why this is the only review of mine to ever be published. :)

************

Sony/Legacy continues its reissue campaign with a series of curious releases, three soundtracks which share a common thread of jazz. What makes them such curious candidates for reissue is the fact that none of the three releases had bad sound to begin with. Additionally, with so much other great music yet to see the light of day on compact disc, one has to wonder why the time and energy was spent on these three releases which were already available, when that time and energy (not to mention the money) could have been used on other, more essential releases.

While each soundtrack has its moments, by far the least useful of the three soundtracks is the soundtrack to the film BIRD. While the concept was novel at the time of its release, the execution was badly flawed, and the sound upgrade only accentuates those flaws. The original concept was to take original sax solos by Parker, and superimpose those solos over recordings made at the time of the film (1985), to make it sound like Parker was playing with currently living musicians. The result was akin to a band playing along to a transistor radio, as many of Parker’s solos sound like they were recorded in another time zone, much less another time altogether. So with this in mind, one has to wonder who will want to shell out the extra ten bucks for this upgrade: Parker-philes will have every one of these recordings in better quality on superior recordings; those who are just discovering Parker for the first time would be much better served by going for the original recordings on Verve, of which there are volumes; and film score fans won’t be served at all, as this is nothing more than a compilation of recordings that were used during performance scenes in the movie. Ultimately, this release begs the question: would anyone truly have complained if the original recordings were superimposed over the live performances in the movie?

The next upgrade fares a little better in the improved sound category, the soundtrack to STRAIGHT, NO CHASER, the documentary about legendary jazz composer/pianist/iconoclast Thelonious Monk. What makes this soundtrack particularly interesting is that it succeeds in much the same way as a score would: it tells its story through music. Granted, these performances are also used like those in BIRD, as the movie is as much a performance piece as it is a documentary. But what separates this soundtrack from BIRD is that the soundtrack serves the same function as the film, documenting Monk’s life in his music. Again, there is no incidental music to speak of, but anyone with even a fleeting interest in the life of Monk would be well-served in seeing this movie and hearing the accompanying soundtrack.

Clearly the best of the lot is the soundtrack to ROUND MIDNIGHT. This soundtrack scores high marks on many counts: first is the improved sound, which brings out the subtleties that were missing from the first issue; second is the all-around performances on the soundtrack. Spearheaded by the delicate yet swinging piano playing of jazz great Herbie Hancock, already a master at soundtracks having scored, among others, the avant-garde masterpiece BLOW UP, each song features a who’s who of legendary jazz figures: Dexter Gordon (who not only plays on the soundtrack, but also starred in the film and was subsequently nominated for an Oscar); Ron Carter, Tony Williams, Billy Higgins, and Wayne Shorter. It is a tribute to the strength of each player that the soundtrack succeeds as not only a fine jazz album (and a nice introduction to jazz in general), but also as a fine soundtrack as well.

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...Submitted for your enjoyment, FWIW. It probably explains why this is the only review of mine to ever be published. :)...

Modesty is a wonderful thing, Big Al, but I think that you're selling yourself short. This strikes me as an excellent review. And your take on "Bird" is spot-on. Thanks for sharing.

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Since Big Al contributed his excellent Bird review nobody else has jumped into the fray, so here's another one to keep the thread alive.

_______________________________

The following review was submitted to Jazz Steps (a now-defunct publication that has since morphed into the Seattle print version of All About Jazz.) It was never published. Reading back over this piece I'm thoroughly puzzled as to why I used the New York Times style "Mr." and "Ms." It strikes me now as - ahem - rather pompous sounding. <_<

_________________________________________________________________

Willem Breuker Kollektief

Tuesday, September 17th, 2002 at Jazz Alley, Seattle

Founded in 1974, the Willem Breuker Kollektief has been bringing their joyous and virtuosic blend of jazz, European traditions and Dutch humor to a worldwide audience for well over 25 years now. The Kollektief’s engagement at Jazz Alley was their second stop on an extensive North American tour.

In live performance – even more so than on recordings – the parallels between Mr. Breuker’s artistic vision for the Kollektief and that of the late Edward Kennedy Ellington for his orchestra become apparent. Mr. Ellington always composed and arranged with the unique sounds and styles of each orchestra member in mind, never writing a generic “trumpet part” but a “Cootie Williams trumpet part,” never writing a stock “alto saxophone part” but a “Johnny Hodges alto part” and so on. Mr. Breuker also creates his music with the individual band members in mind, and it would be difficult to envision the Kollektief’s repertoire being played successfully by anyone else. Let’s put it this way: it’s unlikely that you’ll hear the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, other repertory groups or a college jazz band performing “Tango Superior” or “To Remain.”

Throughout his long career, Mr. Ellington kept his orchestra together – whether the economic climate was balmy or frigid – because he considered it his instrument, and could not picture the concept of being without that instrument to immediately bring life to a new composition. His musicians stayed with the orchestra for enormously expansive periods of time, some of them for up to six decades. The Kollektief also has a history of very stable personnel, with a large percentage of the members in place for over ten years, and some since the group’s inception.

At Jazz Alley, direct parallels in terms of style as well were most obvious in the third piece (no announcements of composition titles were provided.) The evocative use of plunger mutes by the two trumpeters and two trombonists conjured up echoes of Jungle Band-era Ellingtonia, convening the ghosts of Bubber Miley and Joe “Tricky Sam” Nanton. There was something of a post-Piazzolla New Tango sensibility as well. When trombonist Bernard Hunnekink switched to tuba, the orchestration was wonderful, and Mr. Breuker’s mastery of the tone colors at his disposal created the illusion of a group much larger than the ten-member Kollektief. There was also a powerful and precise open trumpet solo from Boy Raaymakers here demonstrating – once again – that he is a generally unacknowledged brass master in the world of improvised music.

The Kollektief’s personnel for the 2002 North American tour included Henk de Jonge, piano; Bernard Hunnekink, trombone & tuba; Rob Verdurmen, drums; Boy Raaymakers, trumpet, ukulele; Andy Altenfelder, trumpet; Andy Bruce, trombone; Arjen Gorter, double bass; Hermine Deurloo, alto sax & harmonica; and Maarten van Norden, tenor sax. Mr. Breuker played strictly soprano saxophone in Seattle, again proving himself to be among the most advanced players of this demanding horn on the contemporary creative improvised and composed music scene. Admittedly, his alto and tenor saxophone work was missed – and his marvelous bass clarinet – but the logistics of lugging those bulkier instruments on such an extended and fast-paced tour may account for the specialization.

Raymond Scott, foxtrots, circus bands, Cab Calloway, waltzes, barrel organs, Rachmaninoff, boogie-woogie, marching bands, Prokofiev, tangos, klezmer groups, Duke Ellington, habaneras, Dixieland bands, Kurt Weill, polkas, rockabilly, Grieg, rumbas, cabaret singers, Ennio Morricone, national anthems, campy pre-WWII pop songs, Chopin, grand opera then soap opera, Italian “Banda,” Gershwin, schottisches, boozy Las Vegas lounge singers, Rossini, Busby Berkeley production numbers, spaghetti western soundtracks, Henry Mancini, the bunny hop, German oompah bands, Bartok, vaudeville, theatre orchestras, Ravel, tangos, burlesque, Nino Rota, swing, Tin Pan Alley, Haydn, hard bop, hornpipes… The mental images and aural snapshots come fast and furious when listening to the Kollektief ‘s sometimes raucous but always impeccably crafted music. It's cinematic in the extreme, full of jarring jump cuts, dizzying pans and swift cross fades. Mr. Breuker’s celebrated sense of humor is omnipresent, encompassing wacky slapstick and pungent satire with plenty of irony and sardonic wit too. On occasion – like other musicians who employ humor in very calculated ways – he can be a tad sophomoric, but usually the bar is set higher, providing yuks at a grad student level. The ideals of democratic socialism are the foundation of the collective’s structure; imagine Karl Marx as a previously undiscovered sibling of Chico, Groucho, Gummo, Harpo and Zeppo: garrulous gallimaufry in the service of artistic freedom.

Willem Breuker was born in Amsterdam during the bitter cold winter of 1944-1945, when hunger was a fact of life in war-torn Europe, and the liner notes to Hunger! (the first CD in the trilogy that continued with Thirst! and recently concluded with Misery!) include this sentence: “Somehow the baby Willem managed to thrive and was weaned on the socialist ideals of post-war Holland.”

The wacky jocularity surfaced early at Jazz Alley, when Mr. Breuker’s volcanic soprano solo on the second tune was spiced with an assortment of extra-musical schtick from the other musicians, including scratching the top of his head as he played, taking a few vaudevillian twists and turns about the stage, and engaging in some goggle-eyed pantomime. The Kollektief operates on a multitude of levels at any given moment, and a split-second of inattention as an observer may cause one to miss a particularly whimsical vignette.

Other highlights of the set included a waggish synchronized dance step routine from the trumpeters, sort of like a cross between Broadway and The Four Tops, which segued to a brilliant solo by alto saxophonist Hermine Deurloo, her robust tone and adventurous ideas spurred on by an intense scree of varying rhythmic backdrops. Tenor saxophonist Maarten van Norden took up the gauntlet in a supercharged steeplechase of a solo that recalled the brawny antics of the JATP tenor battles or Illinois Jacquet on the original “Flyin’ Home.” This segment seemed to hinge on a melodic contrafact of “Bye Bye Blues.” Then came a deftly directed audience participation segment, with a call-and-response pattern based on the treble and bass parts of the arrangement. Young trombonist Andy Bruce – the newest member of the group – took a plunger-muted solo that combined deep emotion, faultless technique and slapstick in a most engaging fashion: Shakespeare and Buster Keaton. He was followed by drummer Rob Verdurmen, who came on like a latter-day Gene Krupa in a thunderous volley that certainly rocked and roiled, although it paled a bit in comparison to Bruce’s range of feelings. The ensemble scoring out of the drum solo was again delightful, with the combinations of col arco bass and tuba – and trumpet with soprano – providing burnished sonorities before all the horns came back in.

The tongue-in-cheek interpretation of “Yes, We Have No Bananas” – Mr. Breuker’s arrangement of the 1923 pop song by Frank Silver and Irving Cohen that closed his Vuurpijl 1997 “suite” on the Hunger! CD – featured the leader’s campy vocals, some clowning about with plastic fruit, and a Boy Raaymakers ukulele solo that far surpassed the one on the CD, climaxing in what can only be described as “hard-rock uke,” bringing to mind what Pete Townshend might sound like if he played ukulele instead of electric guitar. Lorre Lynn Trytten wasn’t with the Kollektief on this tour, so, regrettably, there was no singing saw solo.

The Kollektief’s juxtaposition of the purposefully ridiculous with the urbanely serious was particularly effective on the next piece. The piano, drums and horns played three different tempos, dovetailing together in a complex web of propulsive rhythm. Tenor saxophonist van Norden used this as a launching pad for a smokin’, cookin’, steamin’ solo that brought hard bop into the new millennium with a wallop. Ms. Deurloo provided vivid contrast with a saudade-flavored harmonica solo that was both sweetly melancholy and sunnily piquant. Trombonist Bruce took another authoritative solo – open this time – before bassist Gorter made the most of his only featured spot in the set, a nimble pizzicato jaunt.

A standing ovation from the Jazz Alley audience elicited a con brio encore, replete with burlesca hijinks, including a real breath-holder when both trombonists balanced their instruments vertically on the palms of their outstretched hands, mugging all the while. After the set was over, Mr. Breuker chatted amiably with fans and signed autographs in front of the stage, while some of the Kollektief members did the same at the table stage right that had been stocked with CDs and (!) cheese. It’s not every day you’ll spy a musical group selling small wheels of Dutch cheese along with their recordings at a gig.

The Willem Breuker Kollektief is a truly unique group, blending irreverent whimsy, orchestral precision that – in the words of an unnamed critic quoted in their press release – “would be the envy of most philharmonics” and bravura improvised solos mining virtually every era and style of jazz. Let’s hope another North American tour is in the works, and that Seattle Kollektief fans will soon get another helping of exuberant music and cheese-for-the-road.

©2002

Bill Barton

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Hadley Caliman

Tula's Restaurant & Jazz Club

Seattle, WA

Friday, March 21, 2008

Hadley Caliman - tenor saxophone

Thomas Marriott - trumpet & flügelhorn

Joe Locke - vibraphone

Phil Sparks - bass

Matt Jorgensen - drums

Some performances transcend the whole concept of music as art or entertainment and reach an entirely different level. Love, trust, respect, communication and joy in the act of creation can touch the heart in ways that can't be described in words. In over 30 years of attending concerts, there aren't too many that have moved this listener that deeply. Friday night's CD release party for Hadley Caliman's Gratitude at Tula's in Seattle is one of them. One doesn't go to a concert, theatrical production or dance performance for something mundane. One should leave transformed, renewed, healed, seeing the world through new eyes, hearing harmony and consonance everywhere, feeling like a newborn baby who's experienced beauty for the first time. Every once in awhile this ideal is met.

At age 76, Caliman is a Pacific Northwest treasure, a master of his craft who exudes humility and humanity. Now retired from teaching at Cornish College of the Arts, he has by no means retired from sharing his muse. An inspiration to several generations of players, he ranks among the living giants of the tenor saxophone in the world of jazz. There aren't too many other cats out there with a track record comparable to his. He's in the rarefied company of Chicago legends Von Freeman and Fred Anderson in this regard.

One of the reasons that this was a do-not-miss event hinged on the appearance of vibraphonist Joe Locke, who has a sizeable following in the Seattle area. He's no stranger to the Pacific Northwest, having performed at the Ballard Jazz Festival with Geoffrey Keezer and in Port Townsend. His visits are rare enough that this was an occasion. Locke is a true virtuoso on his chosen instrument. Sometimes a prolix improviser, he can spin off dizzying flights packed with so many audacious ideas that a comparison to Art Tatum or Cecil Taylor might be in order. Everything has a clarity and pinpoint articulation that can boggle the mind. Dazzling technique doesn't amount to a hill of coffee beans in the bigger picture though. It's what he does with it. There is deep spirituality, rhythmic intensity and true story telling in his playing. He's fun to watch as well as to hear. It's obvious that he is in that famous "zone" whenever he's onstage. An animated, physical, constantly moving presence, his facial expressions continually mirroring the process of spontaneous creation, mouthing along with labyrinthine passages, once in awhile scatting along sotto voce, he doesn't just play the music, he inhabits it. The man's a perpetual motion machine. Those 12-hour days playing on the streets of New York City with George Braith definitely paid off when it comes to stamina and focus.

All of the musicians who played at Tula's are on Gratitude, with the exception of Seattle's ubiquitous Matt Jorgensen on drums, replacing Joe La Barbera. Jorgensen is an aggressive, polyrhythmic drummer, and his entrainment with Locke was a joy to behold. They were Locked in, if you'll pardon the expression. Thomas Marriott produced the session for Origin and his brother David provided the superb arrangements. Particularly during the second and third sets this evening, the former's trumpet and flügelhorn playing was packed with joie de vivre and a sense of adventure. There was no holding back. Marriott can be a very subtle player, on occasion appearing to backpedal and eschew grandstanding. This is one of his strengths. Better that than the effusive bravura of someone like James Carter, who tends to play everything he knows in the first ten minutes and then tries to figure out the next step. This evening's music found Marriott more willing to teeter on the edge of the abyss than he had been at other live performances I've heard. He never fell over. Bassist Phil Sparks is a long-time Caliman associate, and their simpatico communication is obvious. His time is rock-solid, an essential ingredient in a music that takes as many rhythmic twists and turns as the arrangements on Gratitude do. He also has a full, deep, rich sound and beautiful intonation; no slipping and sliding to reach the "right" note here.

Attempts at a play-by-play would be pointless. It was the experience in total that made such a strong impression on me. I have to single out Caliman's infectious composition "Joe Joe Dancer Bossa Nova" though, which included some of the most memorable solo work from all hands and his radiant interpretation of "Lush Life" in quartet format. Caliman obviously knows the lyrics to this heartbreakingly beautiful Billy Strayhorn classic, and his tenor saxophone exuded saudade in an emotional solo that juggled the world-weary sentiments of the song with a life-affirming optimism.

Looking back on the experience, I'm reminded of something that the late pianist Andrew Hill once said: "I'm trying to make music a sensual expression, not an academic experiment."

©2008

Bill Barton/Seattle Jazz Scene blog

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hey bill. great idea for a thread and some fine writing up in here.

i think it was you that mentioned the issue of "1st person" within a review - the writer referring himself/herself in the piece, or also refering to "you." i've been doing my best to not do that, but i'm still on the fence as to whether or not it should be a hard and fast contract never to be breached. i must confess that in my own town's "alternative" weekly newspaper, many reviews (film and music) have a nauseating amount of self-reference, and for this reason alone i try to err on the side of caution. i guess it depends on who you're writing for and what you're trying to put across, eh?

i've only been writing for a few years but i see that stuff being put up in the thread is not necessarily all older 'archives.' hopefully this one will be enjoyable to read for some and maybe interesting musically. i'm more than interested in anyone's thoughts on it:

Pillars and Tongues

Protection

Contraphonic - 2008

(for allaboutjazz.com - November 20, 2008)

After listening through Pillars And Tongues' Protection, the listener may be left with the feeling of having attended a new style, post-religion Mass with liturgical forms composed by Tom Waits, John Fahey and Arvo Part. Old rituals are transformed and making art replaces the act of prayer. In fact, Protection was performed at South Union Arts (Gethsemane Baptist)—an old church in Chicago converted into an art space. It's a beautiful recording and an original approach to collective improvisation.

Evan Hydzik, Elizabeth Remis and Mark Trecka are the core of Pillars And Tongues, and have been developing an intuitive musical relationship for a decade; their main instruments are double bass, violin, and drums—and all of them sing. Protection also features many other auxiliary instruments: percussion, flute, mellophone, melodica, harmonica, and bass clarinet. This unusual and quirky array of instruments may seem arbitrary at first glance; or worse, merely calculated as an oddity. But the album's rare hypnotic charms make it obvious that much care was taken in their choosing.

After the short opening drone of "Hall Of Bliss," which acts as a kind of overture and initial introduction of characters, the remaining three sprawling, loosely structured explorations begin. Each runs just over 14 minutes. They're distinct but share some overarching characteristics: each contains written and free sections; parts are allowed sufficient time to generate certain atmospheres; minimalism (not in the formal sense); shared tonic areas; ostinatos; and a seemingly deconstructionist attitude toward language.

"Dead Sings" plays like newly discovered Alan Lomax folk and blues field recordings of ghosts. It starts with Hydzik's earthy, straightforward pentatonic bass ostinato with the occasional slap. His upright tone is warm and big and his time is solid. Clanging, chain gang-like percussion enters with a lowdown and loose Bob Dylan or Captain Beefheart-esque folk/blues harmonica. Then come the poetic and impenetrably cryptic lyrics. The vocal is pitched but in between being spoken and sung. This mirrors the lyric's meanings not being pinned down. These elements combine forming a modern beatnik post-blues wail.

The second section of "Dead Sings" is a short collective improvisation over the ostinato. It's the loudest, most rock-like portion of the recording and functions as a set-up for the quiet and protracted eight minute long rubato fadeout that follows. If this fade were written out and given to other musicians to sight read, they'd likely look at it and murmur, "Where is the music?" It drifts into a floating, minimalist haze: static, pulsing organ chords, occasional soft bass clarinet long tones, artificial harmonics from the strings and unorthodox bowing. Remis is particularly creative here, delicately striking her bow to the violin like hammers on a dulcimer. The music acts as a sailboat heading toward an unreachable horizon disappearing into the sun.

The investment of time is essential in creating the atmosphere/effect produced by this music. Pillars And Tongues are acutely aware of how time affects perception. While the music is mainly improvised around a few pre-established signposts, the lengths spent between seem generally agreed upon. Listening to a single note for four beats at medium tempo has a very different effect on the listener than hearing that same note for ten minutes. It's similar to the effect of staring at your face in the mirror for an extended period. Your face may begin to shift and morph. Or repeating a single ordinary word aloud over and over continuously for five minutes can eventually make the word sound foreign or strange. It's transformative.

"Protection (I)" opens with three short duets: strings, winds, then voices. The string duet is slow, stately and written. Its repeated ascending line, resignation, and use of a Picardy third of sorts are reminiscent of the main themes in Thomas Newman's Shawshank Redemption film score. This gives way to an improvised duet between the bass clarinet and flute. Then a vocal duet begins the heart of the piece. The two voices chant monastic incantations of a major third for three minutes. A third voice enters bringing the perfect fifth—completing the triad for another two minutes. This chanting is underscored by improvised cymbals, bells and chimes. Another collective improvisation follows the chant and then the opening section briefly closes the piece.

"Protection (I)" recalls Arvo Part's concept of tintinnabulation: "I have the certain feeling that everything outside this one thing has no meaning. The complex only confuses me...and I must search for unity. What is...this one thing? Traces of this perfect thing appear in many guises...Tintinnabulation is like this. I build with the most primitive materials—with the triad, with one specific tonality. The three notes of a triad are like bells. And that is why I call it tintinnabulation."

"Protection (II)" closes the album with another protracted fadeout beginning with the words, "There is no word that means both to be and to be free. O come ye. O come ye." Pillars And Tongues may be as much about ideas as they are about music—though this is very beautiful music. The closing free sounds of the shakers, bells or assorted percussion, fluttering violin and flute lines, and the static/shimmering organ chords, create the sensation of an infinite suspension—an eternal unexplained hovering. Those who enter and let go may become like children in gym class huddled beneath the illuminated waves of a floating parachute gazing upward in collective wonderment.

Tracks: Hall Of Bliss; Dead Sings; Protection (I); Protection (II).

Personnel: Evan Hydzik: double bass, vocals, rattle; Elizabeth Remis: violin, vocals; Mark Trecka: vocals, harmonica, bells, percussion, organ, melodica; Al Burian: percussion; Rick Berger: percussion; Keelin Mayer: flute; Al Schatz: mellophone, percussion; Douglas Tesnow: bass clarinet, melodica; Liam Warfield: percussion.

Edited by thedwork

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While each soundtrack has its moments, by far the least useful of the three soundtracks is the soundtrack to the film BIRD. While the concept was novel at the time of its release, the execution was badly flawed, and the sound upgrade only accentuates those flaws. The original concept was to take original sax solos by Parker, and superimpose those solos over recordings made at the time of the film (1985), to make it sound like Parker was playing with currently living musicians. The result was akin to a band playing along to a transistor radio, as many of Parker’s solos sound like they were recorded in another time zone, much less another time altogether. So with this in mind, one has to wonder who will want to shell out the extra ten bucks for this upgrade: Parker-philes will have every one of these recordings in better quality on superior recordings; those who are just discovering Parker for the first time would be much better served by going for the original recordings on Verve, of which there are volumes; and film score fans won’t be served at all, as this is nothing more than a compilation of recordings that were used during performance scenes in the movie. Ultimately, this release begs the question: would anyone truly have complained if the.....

I agree, even though it gave work to a lot of deserving players on the recording. It's pretty out to listen to and ultimately a conceit that should've been left in the pitch room. Also, though Eastwood is a great guy and jazz fan for sure, and I am a fan and admirer, I never quite bought that movie generally----a whole other topic, I'm sure. But your point is well taken. And well-expressed.

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