Larry Kart

Roscoe Mitchell's "Ride the Wind"

47 posts in this topic

Something was happenin' and I didn't know what it was until I found out there was a Jackson in my house.  Say hallelujah and give me that old time religion.  Thanks for another great Roscoe Mitchell album, Nessa.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Placing my order tomorrow - looking forward to hearing this unique recording

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool beans, Chuck!

Will order mine from Spain for once, can't wait!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ride the Wind adds to my understanding of Roscoe Mitchell's genius. Unlike a number of the commentators to this forum, I am not a musician. I came to Maestro Mitchell's music initially through nessa records 1970's recording of the Art Ensemble of Chicago - People in Sorrow and Les Stances a Sophie. Wanting to learn more, I explored Roscoe Mitchell's Old/Quartet, CongliptiousNonaah and Snurdy Gurdy & her Dancing Shoes - growing my ears and appreciation for music that is "beyond category" (other than Roscoe Mitchell music). Ride the Wind continues the thrill of learning something new. Of course, I am a music fan, not a critic, so my opinion is just that of a fan, but one who is better for having heard this wonderful music.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Chuck Nessa said:

Wanting to be fair, here is a negative notice from a "Canadian" musician.

http://exclaim.ca/music/article/roscoe_mitchell_and_the_montreal-toronto_art_orchestra-ride_the_wind

Have any reviewers listened sequentially to the improvisations on Wide Hive followed by the orchestral arrangements on Discussions and Ride the Wind, and discussed the arrangements with that in mind?  All this reviewer does is define what would be for him a successful attempt at this project and then simply dismisses it as unsuccessful.  To his credit, he does drop the names of a few significant twentieth century classical composers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, ATR said:

Have any reviewers listened sequentially to the improvisations on Wide Hive followed by the orchestral arrangements on Discussions and Ride the Wind, and discussed the arrangements with that in mind?  All this reviewer does is define what would be for him a successful attempt at this project and then simply dismisses it as unsuccessful.  To his credit, he does drop the names of a few significant twentieth century classical composers.

I tried that a few times and gave up. I also have the versions with the Iceland Symphony. It was driving me nuts, so I stopped.

I understand the recording will be covered in the June issues of Down Beat and Jazz Times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Chuck Nessa said:

I tried that a few times and gave up. I also have the versions with the Iceland Symphony. It was driving me nuts, so I stopped.

I understand the recording will be covered in the June issues of Down Beat and Jazz Times.

I did a half way job of it.  Put all four discs in the player and let it rip.  I'm not sure it's possible even programming the player to A/B the specific improvisation followed by its analogous composition that you would hear anything near what you expect.  Which is maybe what the point of doing these orchestral projects was.  I'm going to try A/B'ing and stopping short of going nuts.  I think it's best done in small doses.  Maybe reverse the order of creation and listen to the composed version first, since that's kind of a blow up diagram of the improvisation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, ATR said:

I did a half way job of it.  Put all four discs in the player and let it rip.  I'm not sure it's possible even programming the player to A/B the specific improvisation followed by its analogous composition that you would hear anything near what you expect.  Which is maybe what the point of doing these orchestral projects was.  I'm going to try A/B'ing and stopping short of going nuts.  I think it's best done in small doses.  Maybe reverse the order of creation and listen to the composed version first, since that's kind of a blow up diagram of the improvisation.

I made a file of the trio recordings in the sequence of my recording and started there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, ATR said:

Have any reviewers listened sequentially to the improvisations on Wide Hive followed by the orchestral arrangements on Discussions and Ride the Wind, and discussed the arrangements with that in mind?  All this reviewer does is define what would be for him a successful attempt at this project and then simply dismisses it as unsuccessful.  To his credit, he does drop the names of a few significant twentieth century classical composers.

I tried to do that some but decided/realized that, at least right now, I couldn't make any headway with that.

That review -- yeesh. Though I can't judge precision here other than on a subjective basis, "intense precision and deft phrasing" is just what I heard on "Ride the Wind" -- this, if nothing else, by contrast with the IMO somewhat looser/less effective Wide Hive recording of similar material by Mitchell and an ensemble drawn from Mills College. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today I listened to the small orchestra versions followed by the original trio improvisations in this order:  They Rode for Them Parts 1&2, I'll See You Out There, Splatter, Cracked Roses, Ride the Wind, RUB, Frenzy House, Shards and Lemons, Who Dat.  I read the liner notes to get more of an idea of the orchestration process.  These aren't what I would call transcriptions or arrangements, although the process included transcription and orchestration.  The principle contact points are the titles of the pieces.  As you know, the pieces are even radically different in length from the improvised to 'composed' version.  I did hear some echoes of the improvisations in the larger ensemble versions, but as I said I found them more different than alike.  What comes across most strongly is the sense that whatever Roscoe Mitchell is doing is worth hearing and that there is a community of musicians who have the ability and desire to translate his music into other settings and situations.  The orchestral arrangements for both Discussions and Ride the Wind were created by the same working group, although each album has its own distinct sound and identity.  Some of this is due to the fact that these are performed by two different musical groups with different instrumentation and also that the recorded sound on the Wide Hive release Discussions seems more warm and reverberant.  That's not necessarily better.  Prospective listeners need to know that neither disc contains exclusively orchestrations of the compositions from Conversations I and II, and that there are further orchestrations that remain to be recorded.  What was most rewarding to me personally was taking the opportunity to listen more carefully to all four of these recordings.

On 1/28/2018 at 3:02 AM, 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. 

There are no duplications, and as I said there are still more orchestrations waiting to be recorded from what I read.  In addition, both discs have additional tracks that are not derived from the Conversations I & II albums.

Edited by ATR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hearing the various versions this is built upon is walking the process. At some point you get to the top of the stairs and time flattens out over the upper floor. Fortunately you'll have the feeling of being lifted higher, somewhere above music's roof. "Ride the Wind."

Edited by Lazaro Vega

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Lazaro Vega said:

Hearing the various versions this is built upon is walking the process. At some point you get to the top of the stairs and time flattens out over the upper floor. Fortunately you'll have the feeling of being lifted higher, somewhere above music's roof. "Ride the Wind."

The possible elaborations are indeed infinite and without end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a less poetic note, check out Sun Ra's "Heliocentric" and then "Splatter." The low brass/drums sudden forte followed by little instrument sounds, that's a texture you'll find in few other places. "Splatter" develops into something different, crescendos into a sort of Braxton-type composition, but the openings are similar. 

 

 

 

Edited by Lazaro Vega

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/13/2018 at 5:23 PM, JSngry said:

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

giving up waiting for that to happen, put it in the car this AM and not taking it out for a while. About 3/4 of the way through the first listen.

Marvelous music, and let's talk about the orchestration, which is sublime. Everything is weighted in such a way that enhances the rhythmic impetus of the lines (even the unisons!). This adds to the clarity of the overall motion(s) within the music and is a delight to hear. There's always the element of time (as in time/space, not metronome) in Roscoe's music and the orchestration plays to that. Never a dull or expected moment, everything happens fresh and in real time.

I get the comparisons to "20th Century Classical" and/or whatnot, but it's ground that is only somewhat shared. This music sequences itself with a logic quite different from so much of that music, and the orchestra comes to it with an awareness that was not really possible until (about) now. The meta-effect is one of swing, not ching-chinga-ching-chinga, but rather an inevitable forward momentum that gets there with breath, style,grace, and all that good stuff. I can imagine, say, Lukas Foss or somebody thinking that this is what they're doing, but no, it's not. Kindred spirits, perhaps, but with no uncertain distance before any commonality.

I know there are listeners who don't "get" this type of music from a melodic/harmonic standpoint, and all I can say about this is...whenever one note follows another, that's movement. When enough notes follow themselves, there is shape. And where there is movement and shape, there is melody. And harmony, once we get past the triadic imperative (which is essentially now voluntary, not inevitable), connections create their own harmony. And rhythm is both melodic and harmonic if heard/played that way. On this record, it certainly is!

It's a fun record!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for having a go at it. Appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, JSngry said:

The meta-effect is one of swing, not ching-chinga-ching-chinga, but rather an inevitable forward momentum that gets there with breath, style,grace, and all that good stuff.

That was exactly my impression of Mitchell's rhythmic style when watching a YouTube video of his trio that someone linked here - I will order a copy as soon as funds allow. I'm sure it will be great listening.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.