Larry Kart

Roscoe Mitchell's "Ride the Wind"

47 posts in this topic

About two-thirds of the way through now -- just mind-boggling, unlike anything I've heard before, even from Roscoe. How the music was produced is complicated, and Stuart Boomer explains this at length in his excellent notes, so I won't try to squeeze down what he said into a few sentences, other than to say that it involves previously recorded improvisations by Roscoe, Craig Taborn, and drummer Kikanju Baku that were then transcribed and orchestrated (mostly by Roscoe) for a large ensemble of winds, brass, and percussion. The music itself is complex too but also perfectly clear -- as I said a while ago to Chuck, it's like a giant puzzle solving itself. And my subjective emotional impression is that it's joyful.

If there are prizes to be won that are worth winning, "Ride the Wind" should win them.

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The method you describe of transcribing the trio improvisations was used for the previously released "Discussions" on Wide Hive. An excellent release from 2017 where the orchestra is drawn from the Mills College faculty.

I'll be interested to hear from anyone who knows if any of the Nessa release is duplication. 

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I'm looking forward to hearing this. I've been playing quite a bit of Roscoe's music either as part of the AEC or his own output.

His productivity seems incredible, even more so given the diversity of the music on offer. I was thinking that he's having a wonderful purple patch but the reality is that I've never heard anything by him that wasn't riveting.  I'm hoping that one day I'll see him live. 

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6 hours ago, mjazzg said:

The method you describe of transcribing the trio improvisations was used for the previously released "Discussions" on Wide Hive. An excellent release from 2017 where the orchestra is drawn from the Mills College faculty.

I'll be interested to hear from anyone who knows if any of the Nessa release is duplication. 

No duplication.

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Played "Discussions" again today. It is very good indeed,

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It can be a complicated process trying to follow the "Conversations" to the "Discussions" and "Ride the Wind". I had the advantage of the first incarnation of this work by attending the first versions with the Iceland Symphony in April 2016, and all is not clear to me. But I feel the music is amazing.

FWIW, "Ride the Wind" was recorded a month before "Discussions".  Our recording was delayed primarily by the slow process of mixing/editing via email and Dropbox between the studio in Toronto, me in Whitehall and Roscoe touring the world.

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On 1/31/2018 at 0:08 PM, mjazzg said:

Played "Discussions" again today. It is very good indeed,

Love, and am stunned by, "Ride the Wind." I'll certainly listen again to “Discussions," but the first time though I didn't care for it much.

In particular, I thought the two group improv pieces were full of improv cliches, percussionist William Winat sounded rather square to me, and none of the transcribed and  then orchestrated pieces seemed to hang together that well or be that well-played by the ensemble by comparison to “Ride the Wind.” If I read the notes to “Discussions” correctly, Roscoe didn’t orchestrate any of these pieces on the album; based on “Ride the Wind” his role as orchestrator seems to be crucial.

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Listening again to "Discussions" and feel more favorable about it now. Highlights are the two improv duos with Roscoe and flutist Wilfredo Terrazas, "Cascade" and "Home Screen," and one of the orchestrated-from-improvisations pieces, "Frenzy House." Two of the other orchestrated-from-improvisations pieces, ""I'll See You Out There" and "Cracked Roses," still seem rather clunky to me. I'll get to the third such piece "Who Dat" again in a while.

My assumption, based on how overwhelmed I am by the "Ride the Wind" album, where almost all the pieces are orchestrated by Roscoe, is that his participation at that point in the transcription/orchestration process probably was/is crucial, because "I'll See You Out There" and "Cracked Roses" were orchestrated by other people -- the former by Christopher Stover, the latter by Daniel Steffey. What I would like to know, in an attempt to nail down the details and whys and wherefores, is whether Roscoe orchestrated "Frenzy House."  Maybe my reading comprehension has gone out the window,  I can't figure it out from the liner notes for "Discussions" who orchestrated that piece.

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2 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

Maybe my reading comprehension has gone out the window, 

You have your windows open in February? In Chicago?

 

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

You have your windows open in February? In Chicago?

 

Larry's comprehension ain't bothered by glass.

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Still waiting for a guaranteed interruption-free window to dive in, I guess mine is, at least to that extent.

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Is there any UK or European distribution on the horizon?

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Orkhestra in France and Jazz Messengers in Spain will have it soon.

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Thanks, I'll keep an eye out for it form Jazz Messengers. I don't know of Orkhestra.

Shame there's no decent UK distribution (especially given the likely post-Brexit situation) for this music anymore. Too small a market I can only assume.

Maybe I need a sideline...

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I was offered a deal last year from a UK firm - I send them about 500 cds, I pay the freight, I get paid $5 each, 90 days after they sell them. I would grant them exclusivity, Welcome to the music biz!

Edited by Chuck Nessa

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Labour of love (or madness)...wish there was an easier and more equitable way for you

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On 16/02/2018 at 11:02 PM, Chuck Nessa said:

I was offered a deal last year from a UK firm - I send them about 500 cds, I pay the freight, I get paid $5 each, 90 days after they sell them. I would grant them exclusivity, Welcome to the music biz!

Not good, if that's typical of the business I can see why so many artists/labels sell direct. Postal rates, poor exchange rate, import taxes and high handling charges meant that last time i ordered direct from the US it wound up costing me around £28 per CD. That's around 33 US dollars !! Looks like Jazzmessengers etc will be by route of choice for now.

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Thanks, Chuck, for another incredible release of Roscoe Mitchell's unique music. This one is a stunner. Mitchell reminds me of Boulez. Not that their musics sound alike but in that they seem to just go further, deeper — outside and inside — creating entirely new sound worlds. Mitchell is soulfully exploring quantum physics while most everyone else is sitting around waiting for an apple to drop.

For those who may be intimidated by Mitchell's output, either its complexity or sheer size, do yourself a favor and take the plunge somewhere. I might recommend starting with some of Nessa's other releases (especially Old/Quartet Sessions — no one should die without having heard this half-hour "Oh Susanna" — and Before There Was Sound), then Sound on Delmark, next dip into the Art Ensemble catalog (Full Force perhaps, though People in Sorrow may be the most overlooked masterpiece I know of), Nonaah (also on Nessa), something from the Black Saint recordings (I like 3 x 4 Eye, ignore the cover "art"), Four Compositions (from 1987, which is a great segue into the current orchestrated work), Song for My Sister (with both Iyer and Taborn!), last year's Bells for the South Side, and now Ride the Wind.

It's wonderful to witness a master like Mitchell finding full flower as he approaches 80. And thanks to Chuck for another labor of love. You deserve better praise than this for all you've done for this music over the last 50+ years!

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Jazz Messengers now has this in stock. Orkhestra should have it shortly.

Edited by Chuck Nessa

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11 hours ago, Chuck Nessa said:

Jazz Messengers now has this in stock. Orkhestra should have it shortly.

Mines on the way, can't wait.

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I gotta check this out, really liked "Bells On The South Side" last year

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John Litweiler reviews "Ride the Wind" (along with "Accelerated Projection" by Roscoe and Matt Shipp) in the latest Point of Departure.

http://www.pointofdeparture.org

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The CD arrived a few days ago but I decided to wait until my CD player returned from the workshop. I’m glad I did.

Now that I’m fully reinstated I’ve played ‘Ride the wind’ and I’m staggered by the quality of the music and the sound on the disc. I know Chuck likes things to sound good but this has to be the best sounding CD I’ve possibly ever heard. It’s that good. Ok enough fan-boy adulation but it’s highly recommended.

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Thanks. Dig deep, the music is better than the sound.

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