tkeith

BFT #101 Discussion

41 posts in this topic

Nope, I love it all! :):party:

Have I mentioned how glad I am that you're participating? I hope you'll stick around for more BFT's! :)

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I keep intending to listen and comment on the BFT earlier in the month. Here it is the 20th, and I'm just getting around to it. Haven't read anything in this thread yet.

1. Well, it’s “Don’t Stop the Carnival,” or at least part of it is. It sounds like a “Well, You Needn’t” bridge. Odd instrumentation: trumpet, clarinet, tenor sax, cello, bass and drums. The big-toned tenor player reminded me of Lucky Thompson, but I can’t imagine that it’s really him in this context. Nice trumpet solo. Bass solo is good enough; not really crazy about the cello, although improvised cello is cool by its very nature. An odd and appealing little track.

2. “Lonely Woman” is one of the most haunting melodies in the jazz repertoire, but it’s a difficult piece to approach, in some ways – do you follow the approach of the original recording, play it as a ballad, try to find a new interpretation? That could be why more folks don’t play it. This is an excellent version; it uses the multi-layered rhythmic approach of Ornette’s version, but adds its own flavor. It sounds like Frank Lowe on tenor, and I would guess that it’s Billy Bang on violin. I like the fat-sounding bassist, but don’t know who it is. The drummer could be Ed Blackwell, or someone who has listened to him a good bit. I like this “Lonely Woman.”

3. Okay, this is going to drive me crazy. It sure sounds like Archie Shepp, but I don’t have this recording and have no idea what it is. This is exciting music, and I’m bummed that I don’t have the album. Looking forward to finding out more about it.

4. A murky bootleg recording, it sounds like, but Oliver Lake shines through the fog. Improbably, the tenor player sounds like Mark Turner to me. (I say “improbably” because Lake and Turner don’t seem like they would travel in the same circles.) I have no idea who anyone else is. In any case, I like it, and really like the tenor player’s sense of rhythm, whether he’s Turner or not; I love the way he sometimes implies a different, but related tempo. Good stuff, from the Thom Keith archives, I imagine.

5. This is good, but I probably won’t run out and buy this when I find out who it is. Good piano trio music that doesn’t “send” me that much.

6. The lumpy rhythm section drove me crazy. The tambourine really muddies things up. And I’m not a real fan of high soprano voices, although the singer has a good voice and good control. The solos are all right, but this one just doesn’t do it for me.

7. The drummer sounded like Paul Motian to me at first, but later sounded like someone trying to sound like Paul Motian. (Apologies to the late Mr. Motian if it is him.) I associate “Melancholy Baby” with the Tristano school, and this sounds like an attempt to update the Tristano approach, with thoughtful, non-clichéd improvising. But it mostly seems artificial and stiff to me. The alto player was actually the most interesting soloist to me, although I’m not at all convinced that he actually knows the chords to “My Melancholy Baby.” A noble attempt, which I wanted to like, but don’t, much. (I hope I haven't embarrassed myself with that admission.)

8. Wow – a good old-fashioned free-jazz blowout. I’m not going to venture any guesses, but I loved the energy, even if this was rough around the edges at times.

9. This is “Hip Dripper” by The Leaders, a supergroup that actually lives up to the name. It’s from Unforseen Blessings on Black Saint. Ensemble playing and soloing of the highest quality here. Arthur Blythe wrote the tune, so he gets the only real horn solo. Great stuff.

I'm stopping there - that’s one CD’s worth, which is enough for me.

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Okay, I've got to get that 8 Bold Souls album.

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I keep intending to listen and comment on the BFT earlier in the month. Here it is the 20th, and I'm just getting around to it. Haven't read anything in this thread yet.

1. Well, it’s “Don’t Stop the Carnival,” or at least part of it is. It sounds like a “Well, You Needn’t” bridge. Odd instrumentation: trumpet, clarinet, tenor sax, cello, bass and drums. The big-toned tenor player reminded me of Lucky Thompson, but I can’t imagine that it’s really him in this context. Nice trumpet solo. Bass solo is good enough; not really crazy about the cello, although improvised cello is cool by its very nature. An odd and appealing little track.

This one is going to surprise folks and the song title/origins is probably going to spark endless debate about which came first. However, it is not Don't Stop The Carnival. {and, of course, it is}

3. Okay, this is going to drive me crazy. It sure sounds like Archie Shepp, but I don’t have this recording and have no idea what it is. This is exciting music, and I’m bummed that I don’t have the album. Looking forward to finding out more about it.

Second Shepp guess. The good news is, this guy is still active and very valid and creative; I just wish he'd record more.

4. A murky bootleg recording, it sounds like, but Oliver Lake shines through the fog. Improbably, the tenor player sounds like Mark Turner to me. (I say “improbably” because Lake and Turner don’t seem like they would travel in the same circles.) I have no idea who anyone else is. In any case, I like it, and really like the tenor player’s sense of rhythm, whether he’s Turner or not; I love the way he sometimes implies a different, but related tempo. Good stuff, from the Thom Keith archives, I imagine.

Correct on Lake, correct on the archives, correct that it's not Turner. I'm a fan of this guy, but not of Turner. I will let him know about the comparison, though.

7. The drummer sounded like Paul Motian to me at first, but later sounded like someone trying to sound like Paul Motian. (Apologies to the late Mr. Motian if it is him.) I associate “Melancholy Baby” with the Tristano school, and this sounds like an attempt to update the Tristano approach, with thoughtful, non-clichéd improvising. But it mostly seems artificial and stiff to me. The alto player was actually the most interesting soloist to me, although I’m not at all convinced that he actually knows the chords to “My Melancholy Baby.” A noble attempt, which I wanted to like, but don’t, much. (I hope I haven't embarrassed myself with that admission.)

Motian is not a bad guess, but I prefer this guy.

9. This is “Hip Dripper” by The Leaders, a supergroup that actually lives up to the name. It’s from Unforseen Blessings on Black Saint. Ensemble playing and soloing of the highest quality here. Arthur Blythe wrote the tune, so he gets the only real horn solo. Great stuff.

Ding! Ding!

I'm stopping there - that’s one CD’s worth, which is enough for me.

Fair enough. I will say there is value in the other stuff. I didn't intend to do two discs, it just worked out that way.

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9. This is “Hip Dripper” by The Leaders, a supergroup that actually lives up to the name. It’s from Unforseen Blessings on Black Saint. Ensemble playing and soloing of the highest quality here. Arthur Blythe wrote the tune, so he gets the only real horn solo. Great stuff

"Hip Dripper"! I could not remember the name of this Blythe composition. That's it. Blythe also recorded it on his "In The Tradition" album.

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7. The drummer sounded like Paul Motian to me at first, but later sounded like someone trying to sound like Paul Motian. (Apologies to the late Mr. Motian if it is him.) I associate “Melancholy Baby” with the Tristano school, and this sounds like an attempt to update the Tristano approach, with thoughtful, non-clichéd improvising. But it mostly seems artificial and stiff to me. The alto player was actually the most interesting soloist to me, although I’m not at all convinced that he actually knows the chords to “My Melancholy Baby.” A noble attempt, which I wanted to like, but don’t, much. (I hope I haven't embarrassed myself with that admission.)

Motian is not a bad guess, but I prefer this guy.

I stand corrected. I was just working on my reveal post and realized I had the wrong personnel. There were two dates with the saxophonist and I had the quartet personnel. The drummer is, in fact, Paul Motian.

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I was going to say that I didn't dislike anything here but to be honest, I didn't really care for track 6 and 12. Not a big vocal fan, I guess. What I really did like were the first three tracks.

Track 1 is just such an upbeat, joyous tune. All the solos work for me, especially the cello and bass. Some of the bass phrasing reminded me of things I've heard from Dave Holland.

I was probably attracted to track 2 because of the tune itself. One of the best. I guess that is stating the obvious.

I've been following the comments because I wasn't going to make any IDs anyway, so I know who track 3 is. Of coarse I've heard of this group but have never heard anything by them. Like this one alot.

Not many comments as usual, sorry. Thanks for the BFT.

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I was going to say that I didn't dislike anything here but to be honest, I didn't really care for track 6 and 12. Not a big vocal fan, I guess. What I really did like were the first three tracks.

Track 1 is just such an upbeat, joyous tune. All the solos work for me, especially the cello and bass. Some of the bass phrasing reminded me of things I've heard from Dave Holland.

I was probably attracted to track 2 because of the tune itself. One of the best. I guess that is stating the obvious.

I've been following the comments because I wasn't going to make any IDs anyway, so I know who track 3 is. Of coarse I've heard of this group but have never heard anything by them. Like this one alot.

Not many comments as usual, sorry. Thanks for the BFT.

I have two login names. I wonder how I managed that.

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Yeah, if you don't take to those types of vocals, you definitely would not dig those cuts. I'm not a huge vocal fan, but what I like, I like. It has no rhyme nor reason, either. I love Lena Conquest, but also love Joe Lee Wilson. Oddly, I love Tony Bennett, but don't like Frank Sinatra. Gary Bartz vocals are some of my favorites, ever. I guess I tend toward the non-singer singers.

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Yeah, if you don't take to those types of vocals, you definitely would not dig those cuts. I'm not a huge vocal fan, but what I like, I like. It has no rhyme nor reason, either. I love Lena Conquest, but also love Joe Lee Wilson. Oddly, I love Tony Bennett, but don't like Frank Sinatra. Gary Bartz vocals are some of my favorites, ever. I guess I tend toward the non-singer singers.

Well, I do agree with you on Tony Bennett v Frank Sinatra.

I shouldn't have lead with what I didn't like because I'm really much more interested to find out about track 1.

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Nope, I love it all! :):party:

Have I mentioned how glad I am that you're participating? I hope you'll stick around for more BFT's! :)

+1

Thanks guys, will do!! :)

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OK here I go - and I'll start by apologizing for chiming in so late...we went on our end of summer family vacation right as the Discussion was hitting its stride, and just got back a few days ago.

I haven't (obviously you'll see as you read) looked at anyone's responses - I got my butt kicked in terms of positively identifying any of these tracks or artists, but never has having said butt kicked been so much fun.

Track 1 – A calypso – which normally, to be frank, I don’t much care for (most I find rather tedious and annoying rather than joyful - go figure), but this is sort of cool. Cello (I think), tenor sax, trumpet (the sort of plain, almost fragile tone reminds me of Blue Mitchell – but I doubt it’s Blue), bass (possibly the cello player doubling?)...even some clarinet in the opening and closing ensembles. Tenor player has a big sound, a la Johnny Griffin or even Mr. Rollins (but again doubt either of them). No real idea who it is, but I dig it OK, though not as much as many of the other tracks (read on).

Track 2 – Ornette’s “Lonely Woman,” but by whom? String instruments again – maybe a BFT 101 theme emerging – cello and violin (or maybe viola) I think, plus tenor. The drummer is very cool – I heard echoes of Ed Blackwell (the mallets) in the drummer – don’t know who he/she actually is - maybe Blackwell is a possibility given the Ornette connection - but regardless I thought they pretty much stole the show. Busy without being fussy, perfectly sympathetic. While I like the opening and closing melody statements by the strings and tenor lot, for me pretty much all of the solos go on too long – the tenor and violin (or viola) start really strong and then sort of fizzle out into repetitive and not very compelling ideas – and for me the cello solo never really gets going. I think a great example of how sometimes modern improvised music could benefit from better self-editing/more concision – sometimes less is a lot more. Overall though I liked the energy and feel of the piece and I'd be interested to hear the whole recording this came from.

Track 3 – Wow, a tuba, and more strings – definitely has to be a theme here - unusual instruments to hear in modern jazz (or strings in jazz). (NOTE: then as I went further down the track list that theme possibility vaporized…never mind!). I found on this one the sum was greater than the parts – I couldn’t really put it all together, all kinds of (quite) interesting bits all over but it didn’t come together for me as a complete entity. I suspect that could change with multiple listens though, probably the logic would emerge over time. Definitely intriguing, not run of the mill, and worth returning to in that regard.

Track 4 – Recording quality may have let this one down a bit – pretty melody, gently swung, but hard to hear a lot of the instruments well (piano especially sounded like it was in a different room). Tenor has some interesting ideas but a rather braying kind of sound, not to my taste. Overall this just didn’t leave much of an impression on any level.

Track 5 - Absolutely beautiful piano trio piece - melodic and lilting but without being mushy, had an edge to it. Excellent bass and drum solos as well. Pianist has a very urbane approach, a refined touch. I have no idea who it is but this is an immediate buy once I find out. Also will be keen to find out who wrote this lovely little ditty. I’ve been humming it for days.

Track 6 - Also LOVED this one - at first when the vocals entered I was a little jarred (and bummed) - and I still find the vocals pretty much completely superfluous here - but the piece is very appealing (it sounds vaguely familiar but I don't know if I've actually ever heard it) - the melody sings already, no lyrics needed. Loved every one of the solos - tenor huge toned, interesting ideas, trumpet big and open and warm and creative. Is this Nancie Banks and her orchestra? It’s on the same high level as her stuff. Regardless, this was fantastic. Another immediate buy.

Track 7 - This was fascinating. It's an old standard but I can't for the life of me place which one (NOTE: ah, yes, after reading the Discussion to this point now I see, "My Melancholy Baby," of course). The tenor player especially early in the solo sounds like someone with a healthy respect for and understanding of Lee Konitz - was wondering in fact if it was Lee on tenor for a while, but then I definitely didn’t think so as it evolved - too muscular a sound and then later in the solo the ideas didn't sound nearly as much like Lee. Really no idea who the trumpeter was (nice medium toned sound), or the alto (a little reedy/thin for my taste but nice). I’d buy this one for sure, three tracks in a row that REALLY hit for me.

Track 8 – I like the composition a lot. I think this could be Horace Tapscott with one of his collectives – or someone duly influenced - but I’m just not sure. Scorching hot playing by all concerned, including the pianist – again Tapscott keeps coming to mind. The bass solo near the end was just wonderful – not only the playing, but the way it comes as something of a surprise, and helped cool things down before the recapitulation of the theme. I would buy this as well. Four great ones in a row now, I’m happy as a pig in…

Track 9 – I feel like I should know this tune – probably an old chestnut but I can’t place it. I liked this fine, though it felt almost casually tossed off and a little strident in places – don’t really feel like I need to hear it again.

Track 10 – I VERY much liked this piece, it sticks in the head and has that “so simple it’s profound” thing that a lot of Monk’s compositions have (though without the angularity). The tenor has a wonderful tone and really swings hard, sustaining interest over the course of a quite long solo. The piano is great too, hot and lyrical simultaneously…I’ll throw out a (desperate) guess and say it might be James Williams, but really don’t have any idea who it is. Well anyway this is yet another one for my shopping list, once I get a clue as to who it is (none at the present – I’m gonna learn a LOT on this reveal).

Track 11 – This BFT is looking like a complete strikeout for me in terms of knowing any of the tracks or artists with certainty…but, clueless as I continued to be, I really enjoyed this, nice gritty bop. Tenor player reminded me of Von Freeman, the odd tone and quirky phrasing and strange combination of old and new ways he embodies, but I say what without any certainty at all. If it did happen to be Freeman on tenor maybe a Chicago guy on piano who goes back just as far, say John Young?

Track 12 - A nice, unexpected way to end BFT 101. And again, no idea who it was, though it sounds like early Earth, Wind and Fire fused with a smoking jazz soprano solo and (if my ears don’t deceive me) some South African rhythmic undertones. I am striking out so badly with identifying performances and artists that I couldn’t even find this one out by Googling the lyrics, for goodness sake. I’m not sure if this piece would wear well for me over time but I'm digging it for now - it was a great cherry on a very rich, rewarding sundae. (NOTE: after finishing my comments and then reading others' comments in the Discussion, including the ID for this one, I am mightily surprised - I have only one Griffin recording, THE EIGHTH WONDER AND MORE on the Konnex label, and it sounds NOTHING like this...and wow, Clifford Jordan on soprano - no wonder I dug the solo so much!).

Going to read others' comments here now (UPDATE: just did, and at least I now see others are also struggling with identifying most of the tracks). Very much looking forward to the reveal on this one, time to be SERIOUSLY schooled.

Thanks for a killer BFT, Thom, this one will expand my horizons.

Edited by DrJ

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Re: Track 7 - which I dug from the first and find I am enjoying ever more - based on the instrumentation and the tip off earlier in the Discussion that the drummer is Paul Motian, I think it must be from this 2009 radio broadcast: http://m.npr.org/story/105122558

because I can't seem to find the track on any CD or LP on Google. Wonderful stuff - this definitely deserves a commercial release - and a great new discovery for me as I know nothing about the leader or the other two front line guys.

Edited by DrJ

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So now I'm trying to figure out track 1...it's driving me crazy. Thom mentions it was recorded at least a year before the earliest recording by Newk. I believe the earliest recording of "Don't Stop the Carnival" by Newk was in 1962 (for RCA - done around the time of the sessions for THE BRIDGE but for some reason only released initially on the European version of the LP - and later included in the Complete Rollins on RCA boxed set). So then I surmise this BFT track would have to have been recorded somewhere around 1960-61.

But, I can't for the life of me figure out who it might be, after doing a ton of Google searching. I am though starting to wonder about whether this could be done by Carribean musicians - perhaps someone like Harold McNair, the Jamaican saxophonist who apparently recorded a calypso-jazz hybrid album (BAHAMA BASH) around 1960 (and whose later playing has often been said to be influenced by Rollins'). But, that's a total guess as I've never heard his calypso-jazz album.

Another possibility could be Joe Harriott although what little I've heard by him was more edgy/avant garde than this track.

Thom am I circling in on the right time period at least? Or perhaps were you in your post referring to Rollins' more well-known "initial" recording of this track in the 1970s?

Edited by DrJ

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Your time period is correct, but you haven't named the musician, yet. I don't want to speculate on whether you're circling the right group, because that's rather subjective. A hint would be that focusing on the Caribbean might not be the most accurate approach.

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