Rooster_Ties

*** Tyrone Washington Corner ***

126 posts in this topic

Lazaro -- I hear the same JH-related thing in Malaby as you do, but most of the time it nearly drives me crazy. One perhaps revealing example is the way he and the leader play on Dave Ballou's 2001 Steeplechase album "On This Day," where all the pieces were supposedly improvised from scratch. But the results essentially consist of everyone, especially Malaby, laying down such a carpet of harmonic ambiguity (apparently in this case in the name of potentially making everything "fit") that what you mostly get is all this dial-twisting, side-slipping, "after you Alfonse, after you Gaston" soup -- actually stating what I'd call an idea is almost impossible. I've heard all the horns involved, esp. Ballou and Billy Drewes, sound much "freer" when they were playing in a less "free" context. Another player heavily influenced by JH, for good or ill, is Rich Perry, who when he was a newcomer to the Thad-Mel band was known as "Little Joe." In Perry's case, what I hear fairly often is that the melodic element of his playing, such as it is, has almost nothing to to do with note to note relationships i.e. the lines aren't lines but are essentially moves toward and away from usually quite oblique harmonic nodal points, and that those nodal points, as they line up, are the real melodic element, albeit a rather slow-moving one and one whose relationship to all the notes that have been expended in order to nudge things around harmonically seems sort of...wasteful? Now if there were some sort of, in effect, meaningful contrapuntal relationship between the notes and the harmonic "nodes" (that's how I think Herbie Nichols' music works), you might really have something. But too often what I hear from these guys sounds like fidgeting.

Larry -- I hear what you're saying, and that sort of leaping from harmonic center to harmonic center by over-blowing a "harmonic" on the saxophone gets old when there's no melodic substance to the over all arc of the solo. If this were a "sound" environment, maybe that effect would be different, but as it is within specific parameters of rhythm and time, within song form structure, this sort of playing doesn't relate to the overall design of some of the music. I would add Malaby's playing with Mark Helias' Open Loose, with Malaby, Helias, and Tom Rainey, seems to find the shifting structures -- when the horn goes out, the form of the ensemble reacts and everyone has a say, still, and the horn isn't free to run down it's own sound hole -- more suitable to meaningful communication. (Clause me). Have you heard any of that band?

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Lazaro--Yes, I listened to a bit of an Open Loose disc in a record store, and it gave me the same feeling, but I wouldn't say that I heard enough to feel certain of anything, just enough to know that I didn't want to buy it that day.

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Re: the entire "harmonic node" method of improvisation, I can tell you that it's all grounded in conventional theory, the whole chord/scale bizness. Some schools actually teach people to play that way, viewing it as a high art.

Myself, I think it's boring more often than not, not because of the harmonic "abstraction", but because of the lack of rhythmic (eighthnoteseighthnoteseighthnoteseighthnoteseighthnotes breath eighthnoteseighthnoteseighthnotes breath Rollins-esque stacatto figure(s) to prove you can "swing" eighthnoteseighthnoteseighthnoteseighthnoteseighthnoteseighthnoteseighthnotes; or as Pete Gallio so succinctly puts it, "phweedle phweedle phweedle") and tonal (tightly focused, metallic, and OH so sincere at all costs) variety it's usally delivered with. Sorry, but I want more out music than a master's thesis on harmony. Now, that's a litle harsh, no doubt, and not really fair overall, but in exaggeration, I hope I make the point. The players I know (and know of) who are heavily into this bag are more often than not totally enthralled by Trane ca. 63-65. But it goes without saying that there was more to Trane than his mathematics, which to be totally fair about, WERE a crucial element in WHAT he played. WHY and HOW he played it, well, that's another matter...

I'm surprised that more hasn't been made of the connection/influence of the Trisatano bag on Joe Henderson. From how I hear it, a lot of his "permutations" are very inspired by Konitz, although his concurrent R&B interjections and "stronger" tone might distractone from hearing that. But Joe's on record more than once as having been strongly influenced by the whole Tristano school. Yet there's the whole honker element, refined and expanded though it was.

Which, if I may be allowed a misty-eyed Jazz Fart moment, only proves the long shadow cast by both sides of Lester Young.

Ready when you are, K.B !

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Jim -- I know of and can sort of hear the Konitz-Henderson connection (and not only because Lee did a duo with him on that old Milestone LP), but for me Lee never met any sequence or situation that he couldn't turn into a real melody. The contrast is especially striking on that Steeplechase album that pairs Lee and the heavly JH-influenced Rich Perry, "RichLee." It's a terrific album because Lee is in A+ form, as is the very sympatico to him rhythm section (Harold Danko, Jay Anderson, Billy Drummond), but it's fascinating to hear Lee's unstoppable, in-the-moment melodic flow (his "Moonlight in Vermont" solo is especially fantastic) alongside Perry's non-stop "phweedling." You'd think Perry would have to hear the difference and try to do something about it, and actually I think he does at times--though it sounds like it's almost painful for him to just play the head of a standard tune, or a like-minded variation on it, without putting enough "phweedly" spin on it. On the other hand, the notes say that Lee is a great admirer of Perry's playing, so what do I know? Seems to me that a lot of this comes down to, or springs from, the craft-union aspect of the professional jazz musician's world (or a fair percentage of it), especially in NYC and environs. That is, unless you can do X,Y, and Z the way we all agree (at least at this time) that X,Y, and Z should be done, then you can't belong to the club. I recall from somewhere a remark by Phil Woods that epitomized this -- that no jazz musician who couldn't properly play that notoriously tricky (harmonically) part of "Sophisticated Lady" deserved to be called a real jazz musician. Of course, one should be able to do that, but that doesn't in itself necessarily mean that P. Woods (or anyone else who gets those changes right) is then going to play something interesting, there or anywhere else.

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To be specific, that's the last two bars of the bridge of "Sophisticated Lady."

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On the other hand, the notes say that Lee is a great admirer of Perry's playing, so what do I know? Seems to me that a lot of this comes down to, or springs from,  the craft-union aspect of the professional jazz musician's world (or a fair percentage of it), especially in NYC and environs. That is, unless you can do X,Y, and Z the way we all agree (at least at this time) that X,Y, and Z should be done, then you can't belong to the club.

Now THIS is a point worthy of further exploration (even if it throws the thread off on yet ANOTHER tangent :g ), because I definitely think that the last 30 or so years has brought about a definite "standardization" of a large segment of the NYC jazz world, specifically the tenor players. Seems to be a codification of the language as well as the tone of the instrument, and it irks me to no end. It's mostly (but not exclusively) white guys who for whatever reason don't seem to be comfortable playing "free", but who don't want to go back into bebop to discover some rhythmic and harmonic nuances that could be applied to fresher settings because they think it's played out (which I agree it is, as a "style", But as an inspiration...). The progenitor of this whole school, in my estimation, is Joe Farrell, followed quickly by the tandem of Steve Grossman & Dave Liebman (all of whom to their credit display(ed) more of a genuine searching spirit than those who used them as role models), and on down the line, until the sound had pretty much gotten standardized and codified ("credit" for THAT no doubt goes to all the people who sincerely but misguidedly (imo) reduced Trane to theory and mathematics for pedagogical reasons). Frankly, I'm hard pressed to tell most of these players apart, even after listening VERY closely for some, ANY, hint of personal quirks. It's like individuality has been willingly obliterated in a cult-like manner (and to give credit where it's due, I think that that's one area for which Lovano deserves credit - no matter what one's opinion of him as an artist is, he at least broke the tonal and rhythmic stranglehold that that school had on the "New York Tenor" sound).

Now what I'd like to get some opinion on from you, Larry (or Chuck, or anybody, for that matter) is why such rigid standardization doesn't seem to have taken place in Chicago. Surely back in the day the bar was high, and cats like Von must have had their ways to test new cats out to see if they were for real or not, but there seems to have been a greater tolerance for true individuality. In fact, it seems like Chicago has always been a nurturer of great individualists, going back to Pee Wee Russell. Possibly even earlier, I don't know. Konitz was a Chicagoan, right? Chuck spoke elsewhere about Von actively encouraging the AACM crew in their earlier days. Contrast that w/the outright hostility that the "New Thing" players met in NYC, Trane being a notable exception. Sure, some were true amateurs, but in no way were all of them such.

Why do you think this to be so? Surely there's the same competition for gigs in Chicago as in New York, so the whole "jealousy" angle can be ruled out, I'd think. And I'm struck by the irony of Chicagoan Farrell perhaps being the progenitor of the "New York" school of tenor playing. Even if his ultimate approach was somewhat a codification of Trane, at least HE came up with it. The Chicago individualism stikes again, even when being overtly influenced!

It seems like the NY "establishment" demand(s)(ed) a level of conformity masquerading/mislabeled as competency that their Chicago equivalent never did. I'm fully aware that NYC has a fully staffed contingent of free and/or eccentric players making wonderful music, but there seems to have always been a degree of seperation between them and the "straight ahead" players that I don't sense as existing in Chicago, or at least not to as neophobic a degree. By the same token, I'm sure that Chicago has its share of practicing Phweedleologists, but you don't hear much about them, at least I don't.

So, what gives? I'd very much like to hear some ideas.

Edited by JSngry

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I definitely hear what your saying, Jim. I react the same way to lots of NY tenor players of a certain age (probably in their 30's and 40's now) who, for lack of a better way of describing it, all seem to have a real 'sameness' about them - which does nearly nothing for me. It's not anything I've ever really been able to pinpoint, because on some levels - clearly they're good players. And yet, I connect with their playing almost zilch, nada, nunka, zippo.

Thanks for helping explain why (in part) that is for me.

Man, the if we could bottle all the collective insite contained on this board... Well, at least we'd have it all in a bottle!!! :g

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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Man, the if we could bottle all the collective insite contained on this board... Well, at least we'd have it all in a bottle!!! :g

i've got a specimen container that would do :g:g

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As someone on the periphery of Chicago, and Detroit, out here in Michigan, and about the same age as the guys you're talking about, maybe I can lend a perspective to your question, Jim, but certainly not a musicianly answer.

There came a time where the notion of 'the tradition' changed. And I remember it well, the day it dawned on me that something wasn't the same any more. I was working at WKAR radio in East Lansing as a board operator (student job) around 1980, and Ken Beechler, the head honcho for cultural programming at the Wharton Center, and long before that the primary, go-to cultural programmer of performing arts at MSU, who knew I loved jazz, took a long pull on his cigarette, looked me in the eye and said, "So you support the "tradition" of jazz." The way he said it, obviously after having gotten wind of something in the air, was not what Arthur Blythe, or Bluiett, or the World Saxophone Quartet, or Muhal, or the Art Ensemble meant when they said the same thing. There was the 'spirit' of tradition, sanctified in recordings, and then there was this new thing, as it turns out, the codification of tradition for polemic reasons.

I don't think the Chicago guys bought that. Von's example of the tradition was one incorporating Bird, Ammons AND Sun Ra, so it was mutable, not in the fickle sense, but just that is wasn't over yet.

And the Chicagoans were living the echoes of their own revolutions in jazz, the 1920's and the 1960's, with the great consolidations of the swing era were a central part of the city. To say noting of the blues.

So in a sense the mathematical implications of Trane's music were heard and felt in Chicago, it's just that they resulted in Anthony Braxton.

Bebop was more of a New York based "movement," while Chicago wasn't as likely to get bogged down in harmonic labyrinths that bop eventually led to (which "caused" the whole hard bop reaction, etc.). Maybe it's the same with 'Trane: there are so many implications to 'Trane's ENTIRE output, why get stuck in a perpetual search for the tonic?

It's almost as if the New York guys you're talking about are like the West Coast guys of the 1950's: that bop was something to revere and tinker with.

I'm typing this was an 8 week old that's going to explode into crying any moment, and a two and a half year old that has me up from the computer 50 times in the last sentence.

gotta go.

Edited by Lazaro Vega

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Jim writes:

Now what I'd like to get some opinion on from you, Larry (or Chuck, or anybody, for that matter) is why such rigid standardization doesn't seem to have taken place in Chicago. Surely back in the day the bar was high, and cats like Von must have had their ways to test new cats out to see if they were for real or not, but there seems to have been a greater tolerance for true individuality. In fact, it seems like Chicago has always been a nurturer of great individualists, going back to Pee Wee Russell. Possibly even earlier, I don't know. Konitz was a Chicagoan, right? Chuck spoke elsewhere about Von actively encouraging the AACM crew in their earlier days. Contrast that w/the outright hostility that the "New Thing" players met in NYC, Trane being a notable exception. Sure, some were true amateurs, but in no way were all of them such.

Why do you think this to be so? Surely there's the same competition for gigs in Chicago as in New York, so the whole "jealousy" angle can be ruled out, I'd think. And I'm struck by the irony of Chicagoan Farrell perhaps being the progenitor of the "New York" school of tenor playing. Even if his ultimate approach was somewhat a codification of Trane, at least HE came up with it. The Chicago individualism stikes again, even when being overtly influenced!

I just read this yesterday, so I thought I'd share. I am still looking forward to hearing from Larry and Chuck on this.

"The Experimental Band didn't play in public. Instead, it rehearsed continually at the Abraham Lincoln Center, one of Chicago's oldest settlement houses; jazz was truly unwelcome in Chicago's nightclubs by the mid-sixties. It was in the midst of this high creative activity and unpromising circumstances that four of the most experienced modernists--Abrams, Cohran, drummer Steve McCall, pianist Jodie Christian--initiated a do-it-yourself cooperative to produce concerts and invited everyone who had played in the Experimental Band to join them."

- THE FREEDOM PRINCIPLE, John Litweiler, p173.

That was 1965.

"Musically and socially the AACM was proving a success. The AACM school began in 1969; member musicians gave classes and tutored inner-city students, even found instruments for them to play; at times as many as fifty young musicians were enrolled."

- p183.

"...one by one the earlier Chicago generations abandoned the AACM's home city. New York, especially, was where these musicians settled, for New York audiences had been highly responsive to the new Chicago jazz ever since the Braxton trio and McCall returned to America and gave concerts, adding Abrams and bassist Richard Davis, in May 1970."

-p193.

All of this is from the chapter "Chicago, Sound in Space, and St. Louis." What I took away from this chapter was that these Chicagoans created their own form of musical expression in a microcosm. Any opportunities that arose in Chicago in the late 1960s were created by these musicians. In a sense, they were almost starting from scratch.

As I understand it, the scene in NYC had a lot more heritage and a much larger audience, including critics. There was the established school of jazz, and the "new wave" and the press that documented the differences, good or bad.

The Experimental Band, the AACM had no press in Chicago to answer to? These musicians had no elders to prove themselves to? The elders might have been supportive because they saw any action in music as progress! It wasn't until the 1970s that Von Freeman began leading his own recording dates! Same goes for Fred Anderson, and it wasn't until the late 1970s at that.

All this and none of the musicians could find anything in Chicago. For the most part, they took their developments elsewhere.

From my limited knowledge of this subject, it almost seems like this new generation of musicians not only created opportunity for themselves, but for a previous generation that was practically ignored by their own city, AND a group of musicians in the neighboring St. Louis!

I don't know, but I am fascinated. I am enjoying reading this thread unravel and hope the questions continue to surface. Answers too, if anyone's got 'em!

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This is a tough one because I don't really know the NYC scene from the inside out, though I know and have known some people who are or were part of it and have a sense from knowing them of how much of their selves they've invested in the longstanding notion that NYC is the ultimate place of judgment and testing as far as jazz is concerned, which means (to get a bit circular, but that's the way I think it is) that there have to be generally agreed upon "tests" or "standards" by which the judging can be done. Also, in Chicago after a certain point I don't know that there were that many jazz gigs for the sort of "topnotch professionals" who could also do demanding (in some sense) studio work etc. of various kinds, thus one possibly key element of the kind of divided (if that's the way to put it) "Hey, but I'm a pro!" musical mindset that seems to characterize the NYC scene wasn't in place and maybe couldn't be. And in the time when there were such "pros" around Chicago--well, I can't think of one of them who also had the sort of credibility in the jazz community that, say, a fair number of the Vanguard Orchestra-associated guys have had over the years. One possible example of one of the things I'm groping toward would be the late Chicago drummer Wilbur Campbell, a great player. But as a great as Wilbur was, one aspect of the "professional" mindset didn't apply to him in my experience, and it may be have been inseparable from the gist of his greatness. The pro will never fall below the "professional" level; if the music isn't happening that night for reasons beyond his control, he will do what he can and then try to wall off the problem and keep ticking. Wilbur's humane openness, however, could leave him open to ... not failure but if things we're falling apart around him through no fault of his own, he couldn't wall that off and to some extent would get infected by it -- not infected a whole lot neccesarily, but if over time you charted Wilbur's best nights against his less than topnotch ones, there'd be a gap that was greater than there would be between, I don't know, Osie Johnson's or Ed Shaugnessy's or Joey Baron's high and lows. But the thing that Wilbur and Von Freeman (l recall a famous jazz critic telling me that he couldn't listen to Von, maybe even that he doubted he was competent, because he played sharp) and a host of other guys had or have going for them is, potentially at least, that openness -- or perhaps it's just their sense that the risk must be risked and in your own way, if you think it's worth it, that there are no self-protective secret handshakes. As the poet Frank O'Hara said: "You just go on your nerve. If someone's chasing you down the street with a knife you just run, you don't turn around and shout, 'Give it up! I was a track star for Mineola Prep.'" On the other hand, if there is that downside to the NYC scene -- to me, Chris Potter is the current standard model of what Jim S. was talking about -- think of all the guys over the years (George Duvivier is one of many who comes to mind) who were part of it and were walking breathing archives of deep experience, knowledge and personal skill, and who could play things that would make your heart stop.

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Couple of points:

The AACM did have "critical coverage" at home. Remember Down Beat is based there, and at least 2 daily newspapers wrote about them. I first became aware of Muhal, etc. thanks to a Pete Welding concert review in DB. That piece prompted me to look them up as soon as I moved to Chicago.

The "elders" in Chicago such as Von and Fred didn't need records in the marketplace to be held in high esteem by the younger musicians.

One BIG reason the first tier of AACMers went to NY was to lose the mantle of being "local musicians" and all the baggage that comes with that tag. After making the move they could return home and command higher fees.

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Because the straight ahead players in Chicago heard all of Eddie Harris?

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Jim -- A couple of Joe Farrell stories (I used to like the way the played when he was still in Chicago, less so after he got to NYC, but the thing he came up with that arguably was so influential was, I believe, something that he'd pretty much learned (or extrapolated) from Chicago tenor guru Joe Daley. First story (a secondhand one but from a reliable source, a friend of the drummer who was involved): When Farrell was a student at the U. of Illinois in the late '50s, maybe '57-'58 (a flute major), the MJQ played a concert there, after which there was a session at someone's house that involved just Farrell, Percy Heath, the drummer and an audience of three young women (probably Farrell and the drummer's girlfriends, plus someone Heath had met after the concert). In any case, for reasons that I don't entirely recall (controlled substances might have been involved), it seemed a good idea to all that the music continue but with all parties (including the audience) disrobed, and that things went on that way at a very high musical level for some time, I think devolving into non-musical activity later on. In any case, the picture of a tall, wiry nude Percy Heath and the nude, chunky, sort of John Belushi-like Farrell is not an easy one to get out of my mind.

Second story: At some point in the mid-'80s, probably within a year of his death in '86, Farrell came back to town to play at the Jazz Showcase with the house rhythm section, which included Wilbur Campbell. (Wilbur had been the drummer of choice when Farrell was [or was trying to be] one of the young lions at late-'50s Chicago sessions.) It seemed to me that Farrell was in very good form -- that in particular, though this is in retrospect, some of his steely "method" was yielding to openness because he was feeling the effects of the AIDS-related stuff that would kill him, and he knew that he didn't have a lot of time left. In any case, in the middle of a tune in the first set, Farrell stopped for a few bars in the midst of really good solo and said loud enough for the crowd to hear but as much or more to himself: "Damn--I finally learned how to play with Wilbur!"

Lazaro -- I'm not sure what you mean by "because the straight ahead players in Chicago heard all of Eddie Harris?" But it's interesting that two of the guys from that scene who reportedly have had a great belated influence on a lot of players in the Osby-Steve Coleman orbit (Harris and alto man Bunky Green) were not as I recall regarded as being at the top level of the musical food chain by their Chicago colleagues/peers -- Harris mostly because he had his "method," which was cool but still a method, no matter how hip; Green partly for that reason too but mostly because he was kind of a lightweight, flightly player no matter what, one of those guys who might get into something but then would almost always take things in a direction that seemed a bit or a lot too mechanical and cute, i.e. not as serious as his own best ideas had implied things might go. Also, it was hard not to compare Green with the somewhat similar-sounding Frank Strozier, whose stay in Chicago preceded and partially overlapped Green's presence on the scene and who seemed the more substantial player -- and even Strozier wasn't at the level of Ira Sullivan on those occasions when Ira chose to play alto.

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Lazaro -- I hear the same JH-related thing in Malaby as you do, but most of the time it nearly drives me crazy. One perhaps revealing example is the way he and the leader play on Dave Ballou's 2001 Steeplechase album "On This Day," where all the pieces were supposedly improvised from scratch. But the results essentially consist of everyone, especially Malaby, laying down such a carpet of harmonic ambiguity (apparently in this case in the name of potentially making everything "fit") that what you mostly get is all this dial-twisting, side-slipping, "after you Alfonse, after you Gaston" soup -- actually stating what I'd call an idea is almost impossible. I've heard all the horns involved, esp. Ballou and Billy Drewes, sound much "freer" when they were playing in a less "free" context. Another player heavily influenced by JH, for good or ill, is Rich Perry, who when he was a newcomer to the Thad-Mel band was known as "Little Joe." In Perry's case, what I hear fairly often is that the melodic element of his playing, such as it is, has almost nothing to to do with note to note relationships i.e. the lines aren't lines but are essentially moves toward and away from usually quite oblique harmonic nodal points, and that those nodal points,  as they line up, are the real melodic  element, albeit a rather slow-moving one and one whose relationship to all the notes that have been expended in order to nudge things around harmonically seems sort of...wasteful? Now if there were some sort of, in effect, meaningful contrapuntal relationship between the notes and the harmonic "nodes" (that's how I think Herbie Nichols' music works), you might really have something. But too often what I hear from these guys sounds like fidgeting.

Would you all say the "second great Miles quintet" (Shorter, Hancock -- a Chicago cat, FWIW -- Carter, Williams) was also responsible for the installation of this kind of improvisation as a standard?

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Thanks Larry: that is what I meant, that maybe Eddie Harris was an influence on the straight ahead guys around Chicago because of the frequency of his playing there, and his inside/almost outside approach (do you think any of that method came out of Pharaoh?). So you're saying Harris trick bag, however hip, may have limited him from attaining the fullness of the freedom principle?

Hey man, Ira started playing alto again just a year or two ago. After doing a week of alto around the Chicago Jazz Festival (was that just last August, or two years ago?) he played in Saugatuck for a concert produced by Jim Cooper (Terry Martin was there). Holy Son of Charlie Parker! He was about 30 years in front of the rhythm section talent level wise, and 60 years behind them -- that bop syntax in the right hands is still thrilling, or as Jim was implying, inspiring! Ira was thee bop guy in Chicago, but how that translates into not becoming homogeneous, who knows. Now he's the man in Miami. John Bailey, trumpeter in Ray Baretto's band, is, partially, one of his "progeny."

The music reflects the times. Creativity is not at a premium right now: stardom and economic success are, and those are formulaic endeavors, or just dumb luck, whereas music as individual expression in an artistic continuum...As Monk said, "Work." As Cecil said, "Artists are workers."

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there was a session at someone's house that involved just Farrell, Percy Heath, the drummer and an audience of three young women (probably Farrell and the drummer's girlfriends, plus someone Heath had met after the concert). In any case, for reasons that I don't entirely recall (controlled substances might have been involved), it seemed a good idea to all that the music continue but with all parties (including the audience) disrobed, and that things went on that way at a very high musical level for some time, I think devolving into non-musical activity later on. In any case, the picture of a tall, wiry nude Percy Heath and the nude, chunky, sort of John Belushi-like Farrell is not an easy one to get out of my mind.

Wow - having just seen Percy Heath and his brothers play a club date a couple of nights ago, I had to laugh at this story! At 80, Percy is pretty damn spry. Who knows what he gets up to, even today? :lol:

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Lazaro -- As for the latter part of "Maybe Eddie Harris was an influence on the straight ahead guys around Chicago because of the frequency of his playing there, and his inside/almost outside approach (do you think any of that method came out of Pharaoh?). I'm pretty sure that Eddie H. was Eddie H. for a good stretch of time, maybe eight or more years, before he or or anyone else outside of Little Rock had heard of Pharoah -- besides I don't hear much resemblance anyway, certainly not to Pharoah with Coltrane. Also, I'm not sure who you're referring to by "the straight ahead guys around Chicago" that Harris might have influenced. I don't believe that Harris had much influence on local players of his generation or even the one that came after (as I recall, they were into the guys that everyone else around the country was at the time, with the AACM players being the exception in that regard when they came along). If I'm right about Steve Coleman (b. 1956) being the first somehat notable Chicago-based guy to have picked up on Harris (though it may be that for Coleman it was more Bunky Green, though it kind of comes down to the same thing), that would be a gap of 22 years (Harris b. 1934), i.e. three jazz generations at the least. As for '"So you're saying Harris trick bag, however hip, may have limited him from attaining the fullness of the freedom principle?," I don't think of the "freedom principle" quite that concretely -- it's just that Harris seemed to me to be one of those players who liked to build his own special world (musically and commercially) and more or less seal it off as much as possible. The semi-forgetten might have been master from the Chicago scene of that time IMO was tenorman Nicky Hill (d. circa '65 I think, of the usual causes). Out of Mobley, Wardell, Stitt, and maybe Harold Land in spirit, if not in terms of actual influence, he had a way moving ahead on primarily melodic principles taht allowed him to respond to Ornette in a way that almost no one of a similar background and generation in any city did.

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"Nicky's Tune." Thanks Larry. I should have checked my dates re Pharaoh and Harris. There was something I heard in Harris' playing last night which reminded me of some of the almost chordal patterning that Pharaoh does in some of his work: not the harsh, overblown, throaty stuff, but his trilling.

As for the straight ahead guys who Harris may have influenced, ??? Maybe we could go back to Jim and ask who are the players he hears who aren't playing homogenously. The individuals -- Vandermark, Mwata Bowden, Fred, ???.

I'm just fishing. Wondering how to answer the question, wondering if it were someone in Chicago, or just a general reaction to the over all fabric of the music.

Maybe the answer is in "the way." That is jazz as a way of life, not a noun but a verb. Not a style, but a way of life that comes out in music. Maybe the Chicagoan never left that path, whereas some of the New York dudes, for whatever reason, did.

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I've just been spinning Ira Sullivan's "Bird Lives" double CD with Nicky Hill, there is something unsettling about the date. Can't put my finger on it but it sounds unusual ans sort of out of place. I sounds like updated Bebop unlike much else I have heard. Nicky can certainly play !!!

Worth checking out

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Clunky -- I think I know what you mean about the music on "Bird Lives" having an unsettling effect. I'd say it was supposed to. Not only were highly individualistic masters or near-masters involved (Ira, Hill, Jodie Christian, Donald Garrett, Wilbur Campbell, Dorel Anderson), but this music was being made (March, 1962) in a post-"Coltrane at the Vanguard," post-advent of Ornette world i.e. all the musicians involved, boppish though they all may have been in their points of origin, to some extent had taken account of these happenings and were being affected by them--and affected perhaps in more personal, quirky ways on Chicago's scene they would have been if this had been NYC. Things feel looser, freer, and also at times more wild, even frantic (Ira is so full of ideas that it sounds like his mind is on roller skates), and there's a lot more toying with the given language than there would have been from the same players a couple years before this--although bassist Donald Garrett always was a player who would push things in an earthy "out" direction. Now that you mention it, I think that the unsettling affect here (and some of the moves these players made) is a definite forecast of the effect of the Miles-Shorter-Hancock-Carter-Williams Quintet, which was about two years down the road.

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I just re-acquired "Natural Essence" and I must say...my tastes have evolved because I now find this session to be of high quality. I'm not at the point of branding it as a "classic," but it's still pretty great.

Recommended. Now, my third time owning it. :wacko:

Edited by undergroundagent

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You'll regard it as the classic it really is before too long!

^_^

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Thanks for reviving this interesting thread. I'd forgotten.

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A good-sounding prelude to a bad train wreck or a bad sounding prelude to a good train wreck?  :g

Only Michael, and/or maybe Herbie, Jack, and Herbie Lewis know for sure.

T Y R O N E   W A S H I N G T O N

© 1968 Blue Note [unissued]

MUSICIANS

---------

Tyrone Washington: Tenor Saxophone

Herbie Hancock: Piano

Herbie Lewis: Bass

Jack DeJohnette: Drums

TITLES

------

1. Untitled (medium tempo)

2. Untitled (3/4)

3. Rene

4. T

5. Untitled (9/4)

Recorded August 16, 1968, Englewood Cliffs

Here's more info about the 'trainwreck' than probably any one here has ever seen (or heard). (Weiss also talked about an unreleased Wayne Shorter BN sessiontoo.) The quote comes from this thread on AAJ, but I thought I'd preserve it here too, since threads can occasionally be deleted, posts edited, etc...

Discussing the unreleased Blue Note stuff is a bit tricky. I've been lucky enough to hear a lot of stuff but I don't exactly know what the etiquette is about sharing it with others. I'll mention a few but I don't want to create a shit storm but it seems that not many are reading this thread so I'll take a chance.

OK, the Tyrone Washington trainwreck date is not so bad. It is kind of out there though there are tunes, some interesting ones in fact. Herbie Hancock plays great on it and is very experimental at times. Tyrone sounds most like Sam Rivers to me on this date and the date has elements of a Sam Rivers date or perhaps a little Andrew Hill with Chick Corea (with Bennie Maupin)"Is" thrown in. The real problem to me is it seems that Herbie Lewis and Jack DeJohnette never really hook up, especially on the medium tempo tunes. One tune is almost completetly free with a section of what can only be described as vocal "sounds" in a sort of deep you're a mean one Mr. Grinch voice. Stangely there is no vocal interlude on the second take, I guess that was a bit much for Alfred. There is some worthy stuff here but it couldn't be released on it's own. I guess you could put a few bonus tracks on Natural Essence but it's unlikely that that would ever be slated for release either. Oh well. What ever happened to Tyrone Washington? I've never heard anything. I did hear a story about him when he was with Horace Silver though. He took it kind of out (playing-wise I mean) on the gig with Horace once and Horace told him to play the blues. Tyrone responded that he thought he was. That was it for him in that band.

The unreleased Wayne also has it's moments. It's mostly improvised with a lot of percussion sections (mostly xylophone, Xennakis anyone?). McCoy definitely goes places I don't think he's gone before and as I said there are nice moments. Again I don't think there is enough for it to be released on it's own (if that is even an option) but my idea would be to include it a Mosaic Select with Super Nova, Moto Grosso Feio and Odyssey of Iska. But my ideas don't carry much weight. I've heard bits and pieces of Andrew Hill stuff (I think most of what I heard was what turned out to be the bonus tracks on Grass Roots) and it being Andrew Hill, I liked all I heard.

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