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BLINDFOLD TEST #5 - discussion

147 posts in this topic

Thanks to John for an absolutely superb selection of tunes, and to Tom Rolin for getting them to me. I've glanced at others' comments along the way to see if I could figure anything out without actually hearing it (could, but not always), but followed no links. Now, on to the comments...

TRACK 1 - Sounds like a movie cue, mostly due to the alto flute in the 2nd section, and, I think, French horn in the opening ensembles. Alto flute was a trademark of Mancini, but I seriously doubt that this is him. Possibly an excerpt of a soundtrack by Quincy Jones from the 1960s, but again, I doubt it. Whatever, it serves as an effective opener for the disc, with a bit of combination martial/spy thing going on - we're on a recon mission, baby, coordinate your watches! Nice writing, and the stylistic impurity works both for and against it, depending on what its origianl intent was meant to be. Here, it defintiely works.

TRACK 2 - Trickiest damn 5/4 I've ever heard! 99% certain I know the specific album (but not the song title), have been sent an unlabeled burn of the Japanese issue a few months ago, and remember repeatedly listening to this cut (or something VERY similar to it) making sure of the time signature - the bassist and drummer go out of their way to be non-obvious about it. If it's the album I think it is, damn you for not selecting a cut with a tenor solo! :g

Pretty sure it's this

TRACK 3 - DEFINITELY know this one! Such a great cut that it was issued twice - once as a just a part of a very great album, and again later as the title tune of an album recorded a few years later by a totally different band (save for the leader, of course)!

FIRST ISSUE

SECOND, TITULAR ISSUE

And don't Eric Alexander sound great here! :g

TRACK 4 - Pretty sure of this one too. Early European jazz beginning to declare its independence from America, and doing a great job at it. Even though the saxists use Rollins & McLean, respectively, as their starting points, where they go with the inspiration is decidely NOT in the mode of their inspirations, and that's the way it ought to be for everybody. If this is what I think it is, the "non-American" aspect of it all is heightened yet further by it being based on a theme by the father of a current Blue Note Records recording artist. This record (again, assuming I'm correct in whom I think it is), and others by the same group of players, is as seminal in its own way as the Armstrong Hot Fives. Ignore and/or dismiss it (and the leader, in particular) at the risk of waking up one day and finding everything somehow "different" (an admonition that I myself should follow better than I have!)

My Guess

TRACK 5 - People seem to think that this is a "Europen" band, but frankly, I don't hear that. Maybe superficailly, in the drumming, but not really. Whatever, it's an absolutely gorgeous tune, and the tenorist who plays the melody does so superbly. The tenor soloist is telling his story his own way, too. Definitely nothing innovative, but definitely a truly personal expression all the way around, and that means a lot to me. Can't wait for the identity to be revealed!

TRACK 6 - Sure sounds like Lucky Thompson! Except - there's that little vibrato thing on some of the notes that harkens back to the Barney Wilen cut on Dr. J's BFT. But I don't know enough about wilen's playing to know if he ever went through a Lucky phase, and I don't know enough of Lucky's Paris work to know if he might have picked up on some of that Parisian vibrato (a big feature of their classical saxophone style, which is where/how I'd guess that Wilen picked up on it). Feel safe in saying it's not Guy Laffite! (or IS it?) The rhythmic attack is coming out of Byas, as did Lucky, but it's not Don, not with that tone, which is Lucky-thru-Hawk. Actually, the breath support gets a little funky in flashes, which makes me wonder if it's somebody in their twilight years. Never heard Benny Waters, I haven't, so I don't know if this is how he played. Under the impression that this might be too "modern" for him, but I could also be very wrong. That vibrato is the "identifier" for me, but ultimately, I'm stumped. Perfect bass/drums duo too.

Whoever it is, they're playing!

TRACK 7 - Well, if the trombone playing doesn't give it away (and it might not...), the writing darn sure should! This guy has his own style, and here it is, albeit in a smaller size group than he made his mark writing for. Pretty sure I have a burn of the Euro-only LP of this, but I see it's been reissued on CD. Have to get it! Eric again! :g He kind of runs out of gas, but does so with total composure. Is that Frankie Dunlop on drums? Or are there two drummers?Whoever it is is not backing down. Nor should they!

Is this it?

TRACK 8 - Lovely tune. Very Dewey-ish in tone and (almost) intonation. Can't commit to Dewey though, although I'm tempted. Just a tad too restrained rhythmically, but then again, it seems to be a pretty straight reading of the song, so maybe that's the point. If it's Dewey, I want it. If it's not, it's still nice, but it ain't Dewey!

TRACK 9 - Nice. Melody has a (perhaps) Eastern European source, but then they take it to the street underneath. Soprano solo sounds based in the same esthetic as that of the Liebman/Grossman school, if a bit looser in feel (and for the better, I think). If not for the bass and drums sound, I'd be tempted to guess one of those absolutely insane Grossman PM sides from the mid-70s. Might be something later by either him or Liebman, but I think not - they don't play in this bag too much anymore. Absolute command of the soprano, though, absolute. Don't think this is Evan Parker's bag (still getting accquainted with him). But - bass clarinet at the beginning - John Surman? Don't know if I'd want an entire album of this, but I might, if I were in the right mood. Again, whoever it is, they're playing!

TRACK 10 - YOU CALL THIS JAZZ???? :angry:

Well, good!

First cut off the first album I ever bought by this band (and the first cut by them I ever heard). It was love at first listen, and the love remains. You got to be totally tight to be this loose. And vice-versa. And you GOT to be 1000% real to be either one!

AN ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL ALBUM!!!

And, following the precedent of James Brown, Rosemary Clooney, and Marvin Gaye, an appearance of a "Top 40" vocalist on a BFT. Kudos!

TRACK 11 - This one I don't have a clue on, but I like it. Totally psycho altoist, complete w/retro-slapback reverb (and full command of the instrument as well). The obvious guess for a clueless sort like me would be Zorn, but that's not the tone of his I've heard. Fun stuff, might like to hear more.

TRACK 12 - I recognize Ray Anderson, fersure, but nobody else. This is good stuff. Ray gets a lot of flack for buffoonery, and sometimes it's deserved, but Good God can he play! When he reigns in his most exhibitionist tendencies, you get some amazing playing, and when he supresses them completely, like he did w/Braxton, you get some downright heavy music. Either way, you got a player with a 100% personal thing going on. This is good. Damn good.

TRACK 13 - The arrangement puts me in mind of Chico Hamilton, but the sopranoist's tone reminds me of Jarrett on that instrument. Also, Abdullah Ibrahim plays soprano with this kind of vocal, song-like quality. the Dolphy-esque flutie reinforces the Hamilton vibe (although it would have to be pretty recent Hamilton, and I think he always uses guitar these days), but the near hymn-like quality of the reading. w/the pedal bass, has me leaning towards Ibrahim. Bottom line - I don't know. But it's a totally lovely performance, and the "unusual" quality of doing this song like this only enhances its intrinsic beauty for me. I'm very interested in finding out who this is.

TRACK 14 - Why I'll be damned if it ain't "The Search For Direction"/"Direction Discovered" from Horace Silver’s Silver ‘N Strings Play The Music Of The Spheres! :g

No. I know who & what this is.

Buy it now and enjoy it forever

TRACK 15 - Ok, I'm reading "Lover Man" & "solo alto", and I'm thinking it's gonna be Lee Konitz. But it's not. It's Art Pepper. No mistaking that tone and that feel for the beat, both squeezed so tightly into themslves that they threaten to explode at any moment. Don't have a clue what album. He's not a player I feel especially "warm" towards, but damned if I can't help but being rivited by his playing. This is no exception.

Great stuff, John, auperbly programmed too. And great piano/guitar playing throughout. :g

Seriously, I find that unless you got somebody who REALLY knows how to comp, the absence of a chordal instrument is preferable, not so much for harmonic reasons as rhythmic ones, at least in some types of situations. When it's just you, a bass, and a drummer, things seem to automatically get looser and you can dig into the music with less hesitancy, becasue sometimes the rhytm you're feeling and the rhythm that the pianist/guitarist/whatever is feeling ain't the same, so you got to meet halfway (at best), and that's not exactly a drag, but it ain't ideal either. Besides, a well-played bass is such a beautiful SOUND that the opportunity to hear it more fully exposed is always a treat.

Looking forward to now going back, clicking on some links and engaging in further discussion/guesswork, something I really missed doing w/BFT #4.

Sincerest thanks again.

Edited by JSngry

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TRACK 10 - YOU CALL THIS JAZZ???? :angry:

he he :g

I got my cd yesterday.

Ladies and Gentlemen please fasten your seat belts, I plan on tearing this motha up. B)

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RE: # 6:

Tone does not lie, or at least it shouldn't. The clothes might change, but what's underneath doesn't.

I should have known.

Edited by JSngry

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Received this on Saturday. Thank you John and Tom. I haven't had the chance to listen to all of it yet but love mostly what I hear. Lot of bone here.

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I'm eager to read the other responses, so without further ado here are my comments. Overall, I really like the disc. A few tracks really knocked me out. I'm really curious to learn the details of numbers 4, 9, and 10.

1. “Blues March.” Love the tune, wish this version was longer. The Tympani adds a nice touch/flavor to it, as do the mellow (almost atmospheric) horns.

2. Nice tight ensemble. The tune sounds familiar, but I can’t place it. Is the ‘bone the leader?

3. This one starts out only so-so for me, but I get into it more as the tune progresses and the horns get a bit rougher. Love the rhythm going on behind the second sax (bari or deep tenor?) but it gets a bit repetitive after a while. Almost sounds like Elvin on the drums, but I suck at identifying musicians.

4. This almost sounds to me like “Tenderly,” but it strays way too far for it to be called that. ;) This is one of my favorite tracks on this disc. Love the looseness of it. The bassist stands out for me.

5. I know this tune, but can’t come up with it. Mingus, right? I know the original’s on one of his Columbia albums. No idea who’s playing, but something about it sounds European to me.

6. Sounds, I dunno, Art Pepper-ish or Getz-ish to me. Smooooth sound on that sax.

7. Another familiar tune – by Monk. Interesting arrangement of it, you wouldn’t confuse it with the original. It’s okay, but Monk tunes performed by anyone other than Monk almost always seem “lesser” to me.

8. Nice. Also familiar, but the title escapes me.

9. Another of my favorites here. Great bassline! Almost rock-and-roll-ish. Is that a bass clarinet? David Murray perhaps? This is the kind of thing I could imagine him doing.

10. Neat tune. Love the funky arrangement and the vocals are surprising. Don’t recognize the singer or the song, but there’s something about it that (believe it or not) reminds me of a Dylan song. The “out-ness” of the arrangement reminds me of Archie Shepp during his Attica Blues period, so perhaps this is from a similar album of his. I really dig the musical contrasts in this one – another favorite.

11. No idea. Okay, but doesn’t knock me out like some of the others.

12. Pretty much the same reaction as #11, though I think this is another Monk tune.

13. “It Never Entered My Mind.” While it’s not on the Dave Liebman Miles tribute disc that I own, it sounds both like him and like something he would do. Lovely piece.

14. Darn, I can’t come up with the names of these tunes! Another Monk, but taken very slow and easy. No idea who’s playing. I like this a lot, but it’s almost too relaxed. Just long (or short) enough.

15. Sax solo. “God Bless the Child?” I know Sonny did this, but I’m not sure if this is the version I’m thinking of. It sorta sounds like him, but almost a bit too “light.” Did Dolphy ever play this on sax rather than clarinet?

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Ulp... embarassing confession time: I didn't even realize this was a piano-less disc until after reading the other comments. :huh:

Oh, and track 15 is "Lover Man." :w;)

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Ulp... embarassing confession time: I didn't even realize this was a piano-less disc until after reading the other comments. :huh:

Thanks for giving it away for the rest of us Ray, you jackass. :angry:

;)

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Catesta: :g

-----

I don't know why this popped into my head just now, but I keep waiting for someone to throw a Kenny G cut onto a blindfold test and then sit back while we all try to figure out who it is and rationalize why we like or dislike it...

But I suppose that would never happen since no one here actually owns any Kenny G. Right? ^_^

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Enough with the chit-chat. I'm still waiting for you to "tear this motha up." I don't wanna be the only one here looking like an idiot. I need some company. :lol:

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It's funny, two posters so far have seen the soprano player (if it's a soprano) on #9 as sounding like Steve Lacy, but to me they're nothing at all alike - Lacy is warm and calm with a fat tone, not a man to play fast flurries of notes, and this guy sounds nothing like that and his fingers are in a flurry all the time!

Not sure you are referring to my post, but if so, you're not quite correct: I said "he sure has heard his Steve Lacy", meaning he uses some licks or conceptions, but he sure sounds different.

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TRACK 3 - DEFINITELY know this one! Such a great cut that it was issued twice - once as a just a part of a very great album, and again later as the title tune of an album recorded a few years later by a totally different band (save for the leader, of course)!

FIRST ISSUE

SECOND, TITULAR ISSUE

And don't Eric Alexander sound great here! :g

Jim, your first link to track # 3 leads to your guess for track # 2 - you probably didn't notice.

I concur with you on # 3 - didn't realize it was the identical take. But who was the cat that Alexander used to go after ? :g

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TRACK 4 - Pretty sure of this one too. Early European jazz beginning to declare its independence from America, and doing a great job at it. Even though the saxists use Rollins & McLean, respectively, as their starting points, where they go with the inspiration is decidely NOT in the mode of their inspirations, and that's the way it ought to be for everybody. If this is what I think it is, the "non-American" aspect of it all is heightened yet further by it being based on a theme by the father of a current Blue Note Records recording artist. This record (again, assuming I'm correct in whom I think it is), and others by the same group of players, is as seminal in its own way as the Armstrong Hot Fives. Ignore and/or dismiss it (and the leader, in particular) at the risk of waking up one day and finding everything somehow "different" (an admonition that I myself should follow better than I have!)

My Guess

Funny, that was the first album that came to my mind! But I listened to it only once at a friend's place, and that was many, many years ago. I realized what they wanted to do and why, but there was something with most European bands I missed, and that was the deep black groove. Now I can understand why they gave up on trying to get it ( ;) ), but I liked it better. Maybe that's because I am of a later geneartion that didn't have to fight with their American idols, or not in the same way.

If you're correct, it is not the leader but the two saxists who have changed considerably since then. The alto player died long ago and was one of the very best in Europe - I saw him live shortly before his death and he was outplaying everybody else in the band and would have given Jackie McLean a very hard time! The tenor guy has changed his sound radically since then to a pretty raspy tonal palette that does not attract me, as if he purged every trace of Prez' beauty from his horn. This all, assuming your guess is correct.

A great compliment to a German band by an American player, BTW!

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TRACK 7 - Well, if the trombone playing doesn't give it away (and it might not...), the writing darn sure should! This guy has his own style, and here it is, albeit in a smaller size group than he made his mark writing for. Pretty sure I have a burn of the Euro-only LP of this, but I see it's been reissued on CD. Have to get it! Eric again! :g He kind of runs out of gas, but does so with total composure. Is that Frankie Dunlop on drums? Or are there two drummers?Whoever it is is not backing down. Nor should they!

Is this it?

The AMG link doesn't list a drummer, but a look into Bruyninckx revealed it is not Dunlop on that album - somewhat too busy for him, anyway, but that drummer sure is great, but completely unknown to me! - if it's that album.

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TRACK 3 - DEFINITELY know this one! Such a great cut that it was issued twice  - once as a just a part of a very great album, and again later as the title tune of an album recorded a few years later by a totally different band (save for the leader, of course)!

FIRST ISSUE

SECOND, TITULAR ISSUE

And don't Eric Alexander sound great here!  :g

Jim, your first link to track # 3 leads to your guess for track # 2 - you probably didn't notice.

I concur with you on # 3 - didn't realize it was the identical take. But who was the cat that Alexander used to go after ? :g

YIKES!!!

I pasted w/o copying! Bad scene, man, bad scene...

I've corrected teh error by inseting THE CORRECT LINK.

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Hm ... do you want me to edit my post with quote from your post accordingly? It doesn't update automatically. We could both delete our posts and do as if nothing had happened at all .... :g:w

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TRACK 9 - Nice. Melody has a (perhaps) Eastern European source, but then they take it to the street underneath. Soprano solo sounds based in the same esthetic as that of the Liebman/Grossman school, if a bit looser in feel (and for the better, I think). If not for the bass and drums sound, I'd be tempted to guess one of those absolutely insane Grossman PM sides from the mid-70s.

Sorry Jim, I have all of these, and it's none of them!

But yes, insane they are - nice Idea for my BT and hoping everybody has forgotten til then!

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No thanks. I want others to learn from my mistakes.

If we prevent even one mistake from being made, it will be a life well lived! ;)

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If we prevent even one mistake from being made, it will be a life well lived! ;)

:tup

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If track seven isn't found on the same box set as an earlier track, than maybe it's This . Anybody got it to compare?

The only other Au Privave I found on AMG that came from an album with no pianist was This which wouldn't seem to be enough musicians.

Edited by randyhersom

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Damn, a lot of catching up to do! Finally broke into my CD tonight (thanks a million, Tom in Rhode Island!) and I'm digging it. I'll post my thoughts here in the next day or two. Nice work, John.

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If track seven isn't found on the same box set as an earlier track, than maybe it's This . Anybody got it to compare?.

I do, and that's not it.

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Just a quick checking in - I'll admit I briefly skimmed the thread, though didn't click on any links, and tried my best to avoid any specific names or guesses. I just received my disc today (yesterday? Tuesday, anyway), and will try to get back with some guesses and thoughts within a day or two.

I can say for sure that I know number 10, and have a feeling I know number 14, though.

This is a strong disc, though, Couw... good work!

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I find that unless you got somebody who REALLY knows how to comp, the absence of a chordal instrument is preferable, not so much for harmonic reasons as rhythmic ones, at least in some types of situations.

Jim, I know you're talking from a player's perspective here, but from a listener's perspective you could turn it the other way: when the music played is supposed to swing, if there's no comping chordal instrument, the musicians REALLY have to be able to do it rhythmically without that support! I've heard many a band go the no-chordal-instrument route, apparently for harmonic reasons, that end up either not swinging at all or swinging kind of mechanically because there's no one feeding in beat reinforcements or the kinds of pushes, tweaks and responses that can inspire a soloist or drummer to dance more creatively.

Then again, WTFDIK?

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I received my CD last Friday (thanks, John), but I haven´t got time to listen to it until this week. The first and overall impression is that this is a great disc, with a serious criterium in the selection of the pieces and a clear horn-oriented (especially saxes and trombone) flavour (trumpet is a bit marginalized, as well ;) ). In fact, guess there´s no piano or guitar here (I have listened to it once and in one go. Now I´m in my second spinning, track by track).

1.- My first guess for the drummer was Art Blakey, because of the tune, a simple hardbop line (I´ve heard this tune but can´t remember the title). But the lack of solos and the use of flute tell me it´s not Blakey. Well, at least it´s not Blakey-as-a-leader date.

2.- Fabulous track, John! Good trombone solo. Is a trombone-leaded session? I do like the drummer.

3.- Nice groove, with conga. Now this is a good tenor solo. Doesn´t it sound like early-to-mid Coltrane when this tenor gets a bit rougher and savage? No idea who could be! Is the second horn soloing a baritone sax? It could be a tenor playing in a low tone! Again back to the main theme, with the two horns playing unisone. One of my favourites in this BFT#5.

4.- Good trombone slow, peaceful introduction. The sax is not my kind of sax…. In the first solo it looks like it´s going to take off but never takes off. I´d prefer a bit more nerve on it. Not among my favorite tracks of the disc, though the bassist does a good job.

5.- More relaxed stuff. Two saxes ensemble. Can´t guess anything but I like it.

6.- I love that old style tenor sax and should know a word or two about him…. Lucky Thompson?

7.- Parker´s “Au privave” and then Monk´s “Straight no chaser”. Good trombone solo.

8.- This ballad sounds familiar… I don´t like the sound of the bassist neither his playing, kinda stuck???

9.- Another bass whose sound I don´t like! And that rock-ish rhythm from the drums… Bass + Drums= Stoner rock!!! Is this a soprano sax?

10.- Funny I DO KNOW this track! I´m not very familiar with this group, and I only have a couple of CDs from them but I recognized it! Track 1 of this CD http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&u...l=A5f17gjir86ib

Fontella Bass on vocals

11.- Let´s do the tango! ;) This one may get on one´s nerves… if you´re not prepared enough!

12.- Nice one, but no clue!

13.- ECM??? Not my cup of tea!

14.- Monk´s “Ask me now”. Looks like a mainstream clarinetist playing Monk. Pee Wee? Peanuts Hucko? Beautiful. At the top of my best five tracks list from this BFT. I will buy it for sure!

15.- Lover man, oh where can you be? Can´t imagine this song without Billie Holiday´s voice, but this is a great alto sax solo version! Very bluesy, BTW!

So, I only have a sure guess… and the rest of my comments are pretty poor…. as I expected ;) but it´s been fun again. Thanks for compiling this for us, John!

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