Hot Ptah

BFT 179 Link and Discussion

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I encourage everyone to continue commenting on Dan Gould's superb BFT 178. On February 1, I will post the active link for BFT 179. It will be a ten song BFT, and has a theme of sorts.

Here is the link:  http://www.thomkeith.net/index.php/blindfold-tests/

I tested it on a neighbor, and the results were just as I had expected.

 

Horrifyingscream.jpg

Edited by Hot Ptah

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Going to say a few words about the first 2 tracks.

Track #1 has an early fusion feel--early 1970s?  Electric piano, funky bass.  I thought maybe Donald Byrd, who was doing something like this around that time (though his work in this period is not well-represented in my collection).  Good soprano and tenor solos.  It could be anyone's date, and I'd be guessing wildly on the players.

Track #2 is bit odd, with a gentle guitar opening, followed by some brawny (though not frantic) tenor work--seems a bit Rollins inspired.  The piece is "Stranger in Paradise," the kind of song Sonny would do--though I'm about 100% sure it is not Sonny.

  

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Track #3 is not bad, with some fusion and latin feeling. I'm sensing a lot of electric piano on the BFT overall.  The tenor, sounding pretty intense in the second half, reminds me of George Adams--but mostly likely is not.  The number has something of a commercial feel--maybe a CTI release.  

Track #4--more electric piano and this also sounding 70s--or at least influence by the music of that time.  Pretty catchy.  But I really can't guess.

Track #5 has a fine piano opening.  Whoever is playing has a beautiful touch.  Otherwise this goes into a pure post-bop mode.  It has a Blue Note feel, or at least the feel of those trying to capture 60's Blue Note vibe.  Good stuff, but not all that distinctive.  No guesses.  

On #6 the players love Coltrane and Elvin, especially in the opening two minutes.  Billy Harper?  Pharoah Sanders? 

Track #7 has some grooving electric piano (and I'm not good at identifying those players), plus some bass clarinet and relaxed trumpet.  Nice stuff, but no idea.

Edited by Milestones

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BFT 179

1-     1 - Right up my alley.  Not knocked out by the solos, but love the sound and the groove, and would be very interested in owning this (if I don't already).

2-     2 -  Obviously a tremendously gifted tenor player (and the guitarist is no slouch), but too “laid back” for my tastes.  “Stranger in Paradise”

3-     3 - I think this has to be Gato Barbieri, probably A&M era or immediately afterwards. Really interesting use of secondary instruments.   Really like this as a guilty pleasure.  Barbieri did this sort of thing really well in the late-70’s and the 80’s, due to the inherent passion in his playing and his peerless tone.   Hope I have this on the shelves somewhere.

4-     4 - Nice enough in background, but did not hold my attention.

5-     5 -Another really fine tenor player, who has done some serious listening to Joe Henderson.  And I really like the rhythm section.   Would also like to own this, would not be surprised if I already do.

6-     6 - Another great sounding tenor player and drummer, who obviously spend a lot of time listening to Coltrane and Elvin Jones.  Puts me in mind of the John Klemmer Nexus set, which I have not heard in decades.   Is this from that?  Whatever it is, well worth hunting down.

7-      7 - Pretty exotic.  I was ready to dismiss this early on, but it grew on me, and I’m now pretty curious to know what it is.  Sort of a later-day update of some of those Ahmed Abdul-Malik albums.

8-     8 - Sounds like a cut from one of those Frank Lowe/Billy Bang albums, and I’d really like to know which one.  Trying to pick them up as I find them at decent prices.  I really like this a lot, Bang really consistently hits home for me.

9-     9 - I, of course, recognize the wonderful song, of which I have version by the Five Stairsteps, Beth Orton, and others.  This spacey, interesting version is from that “hidden” CD (“The Choice”) in the Kamasi Washington “Heaven and Hell” set (and I also own it).  I know that Washington is a very polarizing figure on this board.  Given my tastes, I, of course, love what he is doing.

10-  10 - No doubt this is Frank Zappa?  The style, the time/rhythm, and the guitar solo all sceam FZ.  It’s certainly good for what it is, and I likely own it, but can’t place it.

Bill, Loved this BFT, thanks so much, one of the few that speaks to where I am. You, Thom, and I need to keep sharing treasures with each other, as we seem to be coming from very similar places.   Looking forward to the reveal, and hoping that some others will get into this fine music. 

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I would guess Kamasi Washington on #9 as well, though so far I have not collected his music.

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23 hours ago, felser said:

BFT 179

My replies are in red.

1-     1 - Right up my alley.  Not knocked out by the solos, but love the sound and the groove, and would be very interested in owning this (if I don't already).

You may very well own it!

2-     2 -  Obviously a tremendously gifted tenor player (and the guitarist is no slouch), but too “laid back” for my tastes.  “Stranger in Paradise”

The tenor player is very gifted, yes.

3-     3 - I think this has to be Gato Barbieri, probably A&M era or immediately afterwards. Really interesting use of secondary instruments.   Really like this as a guilty pleasure.  Barbieri did this sort of thing really well in the late-70’s and the 80’s, due to the inherent passion in his playing and his peerless tone.   Hope I have this on the shelves somewhere.

These are very interesting comments! It is not Gato and not from the time frame you have referenced. I hear what you are saying.

4-     4 - Nice enough in background, but did not hold my attention.

 

5-     5 -Another really fine tenor player, who has done some serious listening to Joe Henderson.  And I really like the rhythm section.   Would also like to own this, would not be surprised if I already do.

The Reveal should be interesting on this one.

6-     6 - Another great sounding tenor player and drummer, who obviously spend a lot of time listening to Coltrane and Elvin Jones.  Puts me in mind of the John Klemmer Nexus set, which I have not heard in decades.   Is this from that?  Whatever it is, well worth hunting down.

It is not John Klemmer, but an intriguing comparison.

7-      7 - Pretty exotic.  I was ready to dismiss this early on, but it grew on me, and I’m now pretty curious to know what it is.  Sort of a later-day update of some of those Ahmed Abdul-Malik albums.

This track also grows on me as it progresses.

8-     8 - Sounds like a cut from one of those Frank Lowe/Billy Bang albums, and I’d really like to know which one.  Trying to pick them up as I find them at decent prices.  I really like this a lot, Bang really consistently hits home for me.

It is not a Frank Lowe/Billy Bang album, but I can see why you would say that. It is in the same ballpark.

9-     9 - I, of course, recognize the wonderful song, of which I have version by the Five Stairsteps, Beth Orton, and others.  This spacey, interesting version is from that “hidden” CD (“The Choice”) in the Kamasi Washington “Heaven and Hell” set (and I also own it).  I know that Washington is a very polarizing figure on this board.  Given my tastes, I, of course, love what he is doing.

Yes, you have identified it. I think that Kamasi Washington's "Heaven and Earth" album is a step forward from his strings and choir laden, "The Epic". When I saw Kamasi live in the fall of 2018, the music sounded more like this, only with more spirited saxophone solos showing more chops than here.

10-  10 - No doubt this is Frank Zappa?  The style, the time/rhythm, and the guitar solo all sceam FZ.  It’s certainly good for what it is, and I likely own it, but can’t place it.

It is Frank Zappa. I am hoping that his fans will know something about this track.

Bill, Loved this BFT, thanks so much, one of the few that speaks to where I am. You, Thom, and I need to keep sharing treasures with each other, as we seem to be coming from very similar places.   Looking forward to the reveal, and hoping that some others will get into this fine music. 

Thanks for those very nice comments.

 

On ‎2‎/‎2‎/‎2019 at 7:29 AM, Milestones said:

Going to say a few words about the first 2 tracks.

Track #1 has an early fusion feel--early 1970s?  Electric piano, funky bass.  I thought maybe Donald Byrd, who was doing something like this around that time (though his work in this period is not well-represented in my collection).  Good soprano and tenor solos.  It could be anyone's date, and I'd be guessing wildly on the players.

I can see why you would say Donald Byrd. I saw Byrd live in 1979, performing in a funk style. The Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin Big Band opened for Byrd. But this is not Donald Byrd.

Track #2 is bit odd, with a gentle guitar opening, followed by some brawny (though not frantic) tenor work--seems a bit Rollins inspired.  The piece is "Stranger in Paradise," the kind of song Sonny would do--though I'm about 100% sure it is not Sonny.

It is not Sonny Rollins, but I am sure that this tenor player knows Sonny's work.

  

 

On ‎2‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 8:05 PM, Milestones said:

Track #3 is not bad, with some fusion and latin feeling. I'm sensing a lot of electric piano on the BFT overall.  The tenor, sounding pretty intense in the second half, reminds me of George Adams--but mostly likely is not.  The number has something of a commercial feel--maybe a CTI release.  

Those are all very interesting comments. It is not George Adams, although I imagine that the tenor player would be honored by your guess. It does have that CTI feel to it, but was not released on CTI.

Track #4--more electric piano and this also sounding 70s--or at least influence by the music of that time.  Pretty catchy.  But I really can't guess.

I agree that it has that 1970s sound to it.

Track #5 has a fine piano opening.  Whoever is playing has a beautiful touch.  Otherwise this goes into a pure post-bop mode.  It has a Blue Note feel, or at least the feel of those trying to capture 60's Blue Note vibe.  Good stuff, but not all that distinctive.  No guesses.  

I agree with all of what you say. I am not sure why the artist chose to place that piano intro at the beginning of this particular track. It is almost like a piano miniature which should have been its own track. But I am glad that I was able to hear both sections.

On #6 the players love Coltrane and Elvin, especially in the opening two minutes.  Billy Harper?  Pharoah Sanders? 

They do love Coltrane and Elvin, yes. It is not Billy Harper or Pharoah Sanders.

Track #7 has some grooving electric piano (and I'm not good at identifying those players), plus some bass clarinet and relaxed trumpet.  Nice stuff, but no idea.

The Reveal should be very interesting to you for this track.

 

21 hours ago, Milestones said:

I would guess Kamasi Washington on #9 as well, though so far I have not collected his music.

It is Kamasi. John Felser has identified the album.

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Looks (sounds) like a rather tough Blindfold Test.

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22 minutes ago, Milestones said:

Looks (sounds) like a rather tough Blindfold Test.

I think that it could just as interesting to read our members' reactions and impressions of the music. It does not always have to be about identifying every track, I think.

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#2, I know it isn't going to be him, but is it Bill Frisell on guitar? The last time I saw Bill live he played Stranger in Paradise and it reminds me of his rendition. 

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5 hours ago, Hardbopjazz said:

#2, I know it isn't going to be him, but is it Bill Frisell on guitar? The last time I saw Bill live he played Stranger in Paradise and it reminds me of his rendition. 

I can hear why you would say that, but it is not Bill Frisell.

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6 hours ago, Hardbopjazz said:

#2, I know it isn't going to be him, but is it Bill Frisell on guitar? The last time I saw Bill live he played Stranger in Paradise and it reminds me of his rendition. 

1 hour ago, Hot Ptah said:

I can hear why you would say that, but it is not Bill Frisell.

I think that's Liberty Ellman, playing with J.D. Allen on his recent "Love Stone" album. I like this track, although I also understand felser's criticism about this being too laid back. It reminds me a bit of Charlie Hadens's Quartet West.

Edited by corto maltese

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2 hours ago, corto maltese said:

I think that's Liberty Ellman, playing with J.D. Allen on his recent "Love Stone" album. I like this track, although I also understand felser's criticism about this being too laid back. It reminds me a bit of Charlie Hadens's Quartet West.

Yes. I have that album. It is real real good. I knew I've heard this version of the tune.

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I listened to this BFT while falling asleep last night. It sounded like on pretty cohesive album, all by the same band, with a few guest artists here and there. But I tyhought it was interesting that the whole thing held together as one album. Maybe that was the Ambien listening and I'll never hear that again, but the one ttime, it was cool. And I think there was some Zappa at the end, something form Waka Jawaka or that time? It sounded like another look at what was "Aybee Sea" from  Burnt Weenie. But by that time, I was almost fully asleep, so maybe there was none of that really happening.

Oh, and the tenor player on "Stranger In Paradise" bugged me by boinking that low note every time around. Pretty sure that was a choice, but a poor one. And if it wasn't a choice, go see a repairman.

Apart from that, it was a pretty cool way to her the compilation, and it was cool that the compilation presented itself that way.

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16 hours ago, corto maltese said:

I think that's Liberty Ellman, playing with J.D. Allen on his recent "Love Stone" album. I like this track, although I also understand felser's criticism about this being too laid back. It reminds me a bit of Charlie Hadens's Quartet West.

You have correctly identified the track, the album and the artists!

2 hours ago, JSngry said:

I listened to this BFT while falling asleep last night. It sounded like on pretty cohesive album, all by the same band, with a few guest artists here and there. But I tyhought it was interesting that the whole thing held together as one album. Maybe that was the Ambien listening and I'll never hear that again, but the one ttime, it was cool. And I think there was some Zappa at the end, something form Waka Jawaka or that time? It sounded like another look at what was "Aybee Sea" from  Burnt Weenie. But by that time, I was almost fully asleep, so maybe there was none of that really happening.

Oh, and the tenor player on "Stranger In Paradise" bugged me by boinking that low note every time around. Pretty sure that was a choice, but a poor one. And if it wasn't a choice, go see a repairman.

Apart from that, it was a pretty cool way to her the compilation, and it was cool that the compilation presented itself that way.

That is very interesting Jim. Some of the musicians play on more than one track with different groups and I arranged them so that all tracks with Musician A in different settings are back to back, all tracks with Musician B in different settings are back to back etc. If that resulted in the BFT sounding like a cohesive album, that is very cool to me!

The last track is Zappa and I thought that fans of the first edition of the Mothers might find it intriguing, the way it compares to the officially released albums. 

 

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Good listen, Bill!  Oddly, it just worked out that my wife came home between tracks 6 and 7 so I took a break.  It seems like the test shifts at that point.  Here's my expanded thoughts, such as they are:

Track 01 - Rhodesie.  Early on, I wasn't feeling this, but when it broke into that Woody-Shaw-Love-Dance groove, I was in .  In spite of the bass.  I am ashamed of this, but this reminds me of a Herb Alpert tune that was on pop radio when I was going up (soundtrack to the infamous Luke-and-Laura rape scene on General Hospital).  Ah, yes... that era when playing a soprano did not require one to play in tune [OUCH!].  That's a shame, because that reedman takes a giant dump on this groove.  I would be critical of the tenor player, but he takes exactly the approach I would, and I don't wish to be a hypocrite.  

Track 02 - Strange.  Like, you know, meeting someone you don't know in a really nice place.  Guitarist had that Ben Monder thing going, but is clearly a predecessor, so I shouldn't say it that way.  Love the tenor.  Has a touch of Dexter, but is a modern player.  Early on I'm leaning Chico Freeman, but may be a cut above that.  Man, I love this.  Taking a tune that, well... it is what it is... and doing something unique with it.  This is perfect.  Not Chico, but I'm in the right neighborhood.  All over this.  Must have.

Track 03 - Man!  Same vibe.  Dex-ish, modern player.  Has less of the nostalgia of the previous cut, but still very much working.  Right up until the harp... I mean... sort of works, but I would have preferred it to stay where it was going.  Synth strings later are a killer, but I still like the cut.  Why do I not know this player?

Track 04 - Oh!  I thought for sure this was going to be Fela's Zombie.  Isn't, but has the right feel.  In fact, probably a tad more musical than Fela.  What a great groove!  

Track 05 - Has a mid-70s Don Pullen feel (not him -- nowhere near that aggressive).  Maybe even a Pharoah feel to the melody.  Could be Joe Bonner.  In fact, doubling down on Joe Bonner.  Head borrows a bit from Wayne Shorter's Yes Or No.  Again, has that Chico vibe.  This guy has a bit more of Pharoah in him in than Chico.  Sort of like Chico towards George Adams, but with more shedding chops.  Could actually be Chico -- got that... that thing.  Could actually be Dannie Richmond on drums -- has that frenetic thing he taps into.  Hints of John Hicks on piano, but not him.  Maybe Michael Cochrane?

Track 06 - Beastly, post-Coltrane tenor.  Not Wendell Harrison, but in that neighborhood.  Damn it, Bill!  You're going to cost me money!  That is one manly sounding tenor!  Almost an Ed Blackwell sound to the toms, but the rhythm is wrong.  Digging the tenor, but the drummer I am not sold on.  Maybe Franklin Kiermeyer?  Wants to be Elvin, but too much Buddy Rich in there.  He seems to be holding the tenor back, to my ear.  I'd still buy this in a heartbeat -- tenor is a beast!

Track 07 - Another Rhodesie cut.  This one seems like early math-Jazz to me.  Seems to lack the groove of the other cuts.  Gets a little cute with the middle-eastern themes for me.

Track 08 - This one is missing... for the same reason as the last cut, only more so.  A lot of the music in my area is in this vein, and I'm just not hearing it.  Very much out of that Bill Bruford/Brian Blade school.

Track 09 - I like the version.  On something like this, I'm less bothered by the hybrid feel.  I'm gonna guess Kamasi, because I *almost* like it.

Track 10 - Has a Zappa feel to me.  Yeah, I'm pretty confident -- that's Frank being very controlled on the guitar. 

Thanks for the ear candy!

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On ‎2‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 4:47 PM, tkeith said:

Good listen, Bill!  Oddly, it just worked out that my wife came home between tracks 6 and 7 so I took a break.  It seems like the test shifts at that point.  Here's my expanded thoughts, such as they are:

Track 01 - Rhodesie.  Early on, I wasn't feeling this, but when it broke into that Woody-Shaw-Love-Dance groove, I was in .  In spite of the bass.  I am ashamed of this, but this reminds me of a Herb Alpert tune that was on pop radio when I was going up (soundtrack to the infamous Luke-and-Laura rape scene on General Hospital).  Ah, yes... that era when playing a soprano did not require one to play in tune [OUCH!].  That's a shame, because that reedman takes a giant dump on this groove.  I would be critical of the tenor player, but he takes exactly the approach I would, and I don't wish to be a hypocrite.  

I think that you will be surprised at who this is. The Herb Alpert comparison is really intriguing.

On ‎2‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 4:47 PM, tkeith said:

Track 02 - Strange.  Like, you know, meeting someone you don't know in a really nice place.  Guitarist had that Ben Monder thing going, but is clearly a predecessor, so I shouldn't say it that way.  Love the tenor.  Has a touch of Dexter, but is a modern player.  Early on I'm leaning Chico Freeman, but may be a cut above that.  Man, I love this.  Taking a tune that, well... it is what it is... and doing something unique with it.  This is perfect.  Not Chico, but I'm in the right neighborhood.  All over this.  Must have.

This has been identified by corto maltese. The Chico Freeman comparison is interesting, because I see this album as his "Spirit Sensitive". Like Chico Freeman, he recorded a mellower album of ballads and standards.

Track 03 - Man!  Same vibe.  Dex-ish, modern player.  Has less of the nostalgia of the previous cut, but still very much working.  Right up until the harp... I mean... sort of works, but I would have preferred it to stay where it was going.  Synth strings later are a killer, but I still like the cut.  Why do I not know this player?

That is an interesting reaction. I have the opposite reaction, that the strings (which are real by the way, or at least a group of string players are listed in the CD liner notes) and then the tenor entering is my favorite part of the track. The Reveal will be illuminating as to the player, if they are not identified before then.

On ‎2‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 4:47 PM, tkeith said:

Track 04 - Oh!  I thought for sure this was going to be Fela's Zombie.  Isn't, but has the right feel.  In fact, probably a tad more musical than Fela.  What a great groove!  

I agree. I really like the groove!

Track 05 - Has a mid-70s Don Pullen feel (not him -- nowhere near that aggressive).  Maybe even a Pharoah feel to the melody.  Could be Joe Bonner.  In fact, doubling down on Joe Bonner.  Head borrows a bit from Wayne Shorter's Yes Or No.  Again, has that Chico vibe.  This guy has a bit more of Pharoah in him in than Chico.  Sort of like Chico towards George Adams, but with more shedding chops.  Could actually be Chico -- got that... that thing.  Could actually be Dannie Richmond on drums -- has that frenetic thing he taps into.  Hints of John Hicks on piano, but not him.  Maybe Michael Cochrane?

Great guesses, and I hear what you are saying, but none of your guesses are correct.

Track 06 - Beastly, post-Coltrane tenor.  Not Wendell Harrison, but in that neighborhood.  Damn it, Bill!  You're going to cost me money!  That is one manly sounding tenor!  Almost an Ed Blackwell sound to the toms, but the rhythm is wrong.  Digging the tenor, but the drummer I am not sold on.  Maybe Franklin Kiermeyer?  Wants to be Elvin, but too much Buddy Rich in there.  He seems to be holding the tenor back, to my ear.  I'd still buy this in a heartbeat -- tenor is a beast!

This BFT will cost you money, I believe. I really like the tenor too. That is an interesting comment about the drummer.

Track 07 - Another Rhodesie cut.  This one seems like early math-Jazz to me.  Seems to lack the groove of the other cuts.  Gets a little cute with the middle-eastern themes for me.

I think that you will find the Reveal very interesting on this one.

Track 08 - This one is missing... for the same reason as the last cut, only more so.  A lot of the music in my area is in this vein, and I'm just not hearing it.  Very much out of that Bill Bruford/Brian Blade school.

Very interesting comments on this one, especially considering the press that this artist has received. Not that the state of some jazz writing these days is very elevated.

Track 09 - I like the version.  On something like this, I'm less bothered by the hybrid feel.  I'm gonna guess Kamasi, because I *almost* like it.

It is Kamasi, and John Felser identified it. When I saw Kamasi live last fall, the music often sounded like this, but Kamasi's tenor playing was more intense and with more of a display of chops than here.

Track 10 - Has a Zappa feel to me.  Yeah, I'm pretty confident -- that's Frank being very controlled on the guitar. 

It is Zappa. Fans of the early Mothers may know the composition and find it interesting to hear such a different approach to it. That was my intent in including this track, in any event.

Thanks for the ear candy!

I am glad that you did not think of it as rotten garbage for the ear! I will take ear candy!

 

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I have only two of these tracks. Number 2 and 9. These were identified already.  Nice set of music. I enjoyed this BFT. Waiting for the reveal at the end of the month.

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7 hours ago, Hot Ptah said:

Very interesting comments on this one, especially considering the press that this artist has received. Not that the state of some jazz writing these days is very elevated

Are you alluding to Tyshawn Sorey?

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15 hours ago, JSngry said:

Are you alluding to Tyshawn Sorey?


No, I am not.

 

15 hours ago, Hardbopjazz said:

I have only two of these tracks. Number 2 and 9. These were identified already.  Nice set of music. I enjoyed this BFT. Waiting for the reveal at the end of the month.

I am glad that you enjoyed it!

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I've been listening, but have waited until the last minute to post. I haven't read any of the above. I enjoyed this BFT, although I found a few of the tracks "interesting" rather than great - for my tastes, anyway. And looking over my comments, I feel like I don't have very much intelligent to say. But here it is:

1. I haven't been participating in BFTs much recently, but I'm glad that the “every Hot Ptah BFT will have a Sun Ra track” rule is still in effect. This is “That's How I Feel” from Languidity. It's mostly only “interesting” to me until John Gilmore's tenor solo – he brings the heat that I was feeling a need for.

2. Well, it's “Stranger in Paradise,” by that great pop songwriter Alexander Borodin. I like this interpretation – it sounded like a Paul Motian group at first, but as it went on, I thought less so. I don't like this song, but I like this version.

3. I liked this the first time I played it, and less with every repeat. I like the atmospheric beginning, but the way the piece built seemed kind of artificial to me, and the solos had heat without light. The piano solo in particular seemed to have a lot of movement, but no melodic direction. I'll probably be horrified by my comments when I find out who it is.

4. I don't really know what you'd call this style (it sounds influenced by Afrobeat), but this is a really hot track. Two chords, a great groove, and a nice trumpet solo. Good stuff.

5. Excellent straight-ahead jazz – I like the tenor sound and the interaction with the pianist. Don't know who anyone is.

6. This is gorgeous. The tenor saxophonist is well-grounded in Coltrane, but has his own voice. Nice interplay - the drummer sometimes responds and sometimes leads. I like this a lot.

7. Alternating 4/4 and 15/8. After awhile it's the 4/4 measures that start sounding odd. Nice colors, excellent solos, unusual instrumentation. No idea who it is, but I very much enjoyed it.

8. Interesting approach – lots of interacting threads. In a way it's like one of Bunk Johnson's American Music records – it's about a shifting web of music rather than solos. I like music that pursues an out-of-the-ordinary aesthetic. Is this a Tony Malaby offering?

9. 45 seconds in, I was all prepared to hate this. In the end, I don't love it, but I certainly don't hate it. There are some interesting aspects – the two drummers, the excellent pianist, the good tenor player, the way it builds. About halfway through I figured that it must be Kamasi Washington – checked, and yeah. There are things I don't like about this, but I'll skip the negative and just say that I'm glad Mr. Washington is out there doing this, even if I'll probably never be a huge fan.

10. Wow – this is odd. Again, I was not really getting any emotional message from the music until a couple of minutes in, then I started enjoying it. It sounds kind of Zappa-esque, but I'm not familiar enough with his work to really know.

Thanks for the BFT, and for keeping it going.

Edited by jeffcrom

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44 minutes ago, jeffcrom said:

I've been listening, but have waited until the last minute to post. I haven't read any of the above. I enjoyed this BFT, although I found a few of the tracks "interesting" rather than great - for my tastes, anyway. And looking over my comments, I feel like I don't have very much intelligent to say. But here it is:

1. I haven't been participating in BFTs much recently, but I'm glad that the “every Hot Ptah BFT will have a Sun Ra track” rule is still in effect. This is “That's How I Feel” from Languidity. It's mostly only “interesting” to me until John Gilmore's tenor solo – he brings the heat that I was feeling a need for.

Yes! You have identified it! "Lanquidity" is one of the more "inside" Sun Ra albums. I have always enjoyed the groove on this track. I like how Sun Ra's playing stays in character with the song. Sometimes on his more melodic pieces, he liked to throw in some dissonant, choppy piano playing, which was a little bit jarring. But not here.

44 minutes ago, jeffcrom said:

2. Well, it's “Stranger in Paradise,” by that great pop songwriter Alexander Borodin. I like this interpretation – it sounded like a Paul Motian group at first, but as it went on, I thought less so. I don't like this song, but I like this version.

It is "Stranger in Paradise." I like this album by J,.D. Allen, which is his standards/ballads album, from 2018.

I feel a uniquely personal link between the first two tracks. When I saw Sun Ra and his Arkestra at the 1978 Ann Arbor Jazz Festival, I was blown away (along with the other 3,000 people in the audience) by the very intense playing of the Arkestra on both swing era classics and more avant garde material,  the wild and excellent dancing by women dancers onstage, and the sheerly bizarre spectacle of the visuals and the theatrics. It was one of the strangest and best Sun Ra performances I ever attended. About an hour into this amazing performance, the Arkestra members were blowing in an all-out avant garde collective scorcher, and Sun Ra suddenly sang one line, which bore no relation to the wild music and dancing all around him: "Take my hand, I'm a stranger in paradise." One of my friends later commented that in a night full of strange moments, that might have been the most strange.

3. I liked this the first time I played it, and less with every repeat. I like the atmospheric beginning, but the way the piece built seemed kind of artificial to me, and the solos had heat without light. The piano solo in particular seemed to have a lot of movement, but no melodic direction. I'll probably be horrified by my comments when I find out who it is.

I hear what you are saying. I find the piano solo to be the weakest part of the track. I like the introduction to the saxophone solo, and then how the saxophone solo starts. I do not think you will be horrified.

4. I don't really know what you'd call this style (it sounds influenced by Afrobeat), but this is a really hot track. Two chords, a great groove, and a nice trumpet solo. Good stuff.

I agree!

5. Excellent straight-ahead jazz – I like the tenor sound and the interaction with the pianist. Don't know who anyone is.

I agree again. I think that the Reveal will be interesting to all.

6. This is gorgeous. The tenor saxophonist is well-grounded in Coltrane, but has his own voice. Nice interplay - the drummer sometimes responds and sometimes leads. I like this a lot.

I am glad that you liked it. I was hoping to get your opinion on these players, without the benefit of knowing who they are. Hey, I guess that is what a Blindfold Test is all about. But more so than an identification of some of these tracks and musicians, I hoped that the musicians in the audience would provide their evaluations of what they were hearing. So thank you for listening and providing your comments.

7. Alternating 4/4 and 15/8. After awhile it's the 4/4 measures that start sounding odd. Nice colors, excellent solos, unusual instrumentation. No idea who it is, but I very much enjoyed it.

I enjoyed it too. Again, the Reveal should be interesting for you and others.

8. Interesting approach – lots of interacting threads. In a way it's like one of Bunk Johnson's American Music records – it's about a shifting web of music rather than solos. I like music that pursues an out-of-the-ordinary aesthetic. Is this a Tony Malaby offering?

It is not a Tony Malaby offering, no. I like how you have characterized this.

9. 45 seconds in, I was all prepared to hate this. In the end, I don't love it, but I certainly don't hate it. There are some interesting aspects – the two drummers, the excellent pianist, the good tenor player, the way it builds. About halfway through I figured that it must be Kamasi Washington – checked, and yeah. There are things I don't like about this, but I'll skip the negative and just say that I'm glad Mr. Washington is out there doing this, even if I'll probably never be a huge fan.

When I saw Kamasi live in the fall of 2018, I was surprised at how his music did not sound like his breakthrough album ":The Epic" with its choirs and strings. It sounded more like this, although live, the soloing by all was more intense and exhibited much more in the way of chops, compared to what we have here on "Ooh Child.". At times live, his band sounded like Miles Davis' "Agharta," only with intense trombone, electric keyboard and tenor saxophone solos, instead of Pete Cosey and Miles soloing. In concert, Kamasi's band included a woman vocalist with a very appealing voice, who sang on three or four songs. It was a much better concert than I expected.

I have enjoyed playing Kamasi's 2018 album, :"Heaven and Earth," in my car all fall and winter. I keep coming back to "Ooh Child." So instead of including a more conventional jazz track, I decided to just go with my listening favorite during my commuting time.

10. Wow – this is odd. Again, I was not really getting any emotional message from the music until a couple of minutes in, then I started enjoying it. It sounds kind of Zappa-esque, but I'm not familiar enough with his work to really know.

It is an early live Zappa performance from 1968, with the original Mothers band. About eighteen months later, this composition was released in a more robust arrangement on one of Zappa's better albums, an album with many compelling instrumentals (at least to me). I thought that if there were any early Zappa fans in the house, that they would find this rather skeletal early version of this familiar song to be of interest.  Too bad that Ken Dryden did not participate. He would appreciate this.

Thanks for the BFT, and for keeping it going.  You are welcome. Thom Keith and  I are trying to run with the torch that you passed to us, after your years of excellent stewardship of the Blindfold Test.

 

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