HutchFan

Playing Favorites: Reflections on Jazz in the 1970s

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28 minutes ago, felser said:

Either or,  Both are irreplacable:

Enlightenment (McCoy Tyner album) - Wikipedia

Sahara (McCoy Tyner album) - Wikipedia

Pretty sure I had Sahara at one time in my early jazz explorations ... I just revisited via Allmusic samples and ... yeah. Just not for me. Aural migraine. Torturous, and that was a minute at a time.

(I think I may have to recalibrate my choices for next month's BFT, to "tracks Felser won't hate." :g

 

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1 hour ago, Dan Gould said:

Pretty sure I had Sahara at one time in my early jazz explorations ... I just revisited via Allmusic samples and ... yeah. Just not for me. Aural migraine. Torturous, and that was a minute at a time.

(I think I may have to recalibrate my choices for next month's BFT, to "tracks Felser won't hate." :g

 

I have no kick against modern jazz
Unless they try to play it too darn fast
And change the beauty of the melody
Until they sound just like a symphony

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I can't remember the last time I've listened to one of those records, nor am I in any real hurry to. I've heard them all many, many times, since they were new.

However, if I was to go to the shells right now and pull one out, I think it would be Trident. That's the one that seems to be the most germane now that it's all over and done with.

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I've heard Trident, but I don't know Trident

I wonder how different my reaction to McCoy's music would've been if I was hearing it in real-time, as the records were released.  Like I've said before, hearing all of this stuff retrospectively offers certain advantages AND certain disadvantages. 

**************

Have y'all read Phil Freeman's survey of McCoy's 1970s recordings on Burning Ambulance?  It's worth a look, IMO.

https://burningambulance.com/2018/03/05/mccoy-tyner-in-the-70s-part-1/

 

Edited by HutchFan

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On 12/14/2020 at 9:20 AM, HutchFan said:

I didn't post a recap last week, so here are the entries from the last two weeks.

Weekly Recap - PLAYING FAVORITES: Reflections on Jazz in the 1970s 

Jerry Gonzalez – Ya Yo Me Curé (American Clavé/Pangea/Sunnyside, 1980)
Hank Jones – Bluesette (Black & Blue, 1979)
Joe Newman – I Love My Woman (Black & Blue, 1979)
Buck Hill – Scope (SteepleChase, 1979)
Gordon Beck – Sunbird (JMS, 1979)
Jessica Williams – Orgonomic Music (Clean Cuts/CD Baby, 1981)
Andrew Cyrille, Jeanne Lee, Jimmy Lyons – Nuba (Black Saint, 1979)

Stephane Grappelli – Young Django (MPS, 1979)
Miroslav Vitous – First Meeting (ECM, 1980)
Richie Beirach – Elm (ECM, 1979)
[Wadada] Leo Smith – Spirit Catcher (Nessa, 1979)
Joanne Brackeen – Keyed In (Tappan Zee, 1979)
McCoy Tyner - Horizon (Milestone, 1980)
Jack DeJohnette – Special Edition (ECM, 1980)

 

So much AMAZING music, all from 1979.  Style-wise, the entries are all over the place -- from Hank Jones & Joe Newman to Wadada & Cyrille/Lee/Lyons.  The glorious caravan of jazz!

"Player of the Week" goes to Jack DeJohnette.  The title of his Special Edition album is no lie!  Also, he appears on Richie Beirach's Elm and Joanne Brackeen's Keyed In, two stinkin' fantastic piano trio LPs. ... Not to mention his work with Miles, Konitz, Abercrombie, Dave HollandGeorge Benson, Gary Peacock, Arthur Blythe, Kenny Wheeler, and on and on.  If I'm playing my favorite music from the 1970s (and beyond), then there's a damn good chance I'm listening to Jack DeJohnette!

 

3 from this list are the ones I like - Buck Hill-Scope, Joe Newman - I Love My Woman, Hank Jones - Bluesette.

Following your remarks on Hank Jones and The Great Jazz Trio, I did a bit of homework and discovered 31 albums with Hank and The Great Jazz Trio. I agree that the 2 Black & Blue sessions with Hank work better than the ones with Ron Carter and Tony Williams.

The Great Jazz Trio was in existence on recordings from 1976 - 2005. During those 29 years there were quite a few different bass players and drummers as part of the trio.

Bass - Buster Williams, Ron Carter, Eddie Gomez, Ray Brown, Mads Vinding, George Mraz, Yosuke Inosue, Richard Davis and John Patittuci, Benisuke Sakai (one track)

Drums - Tony Williams, Al Foster, Buddy Williams, Jimmy Cobb, Alan Dawson, Billy Hart, Roy Haynes, Ben Riley, Elvin Jones, Omar Hakim, Billy Kilson

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On 14.12.2020 at 5:20 PM, HutchFan said:

I didn't post a recap last week, so here are the entries from the last two weeks.

Weekly Recap - PLAYING FAVORITES: Reflections on Jazz in the 1970s 

Jerry Gonzalez – Ya Yo Me Curé (American Clavé/Pangea/Sunnyside, 1980)
Hank Jones – Bluesette (Black & Blue, 1979)
Joe Newman – I Love My Woman (Black & Blue, 1979)
Buck Hill – Scope (SteepleChase, 1979)
Joanne Brackeen – Keyed In (Tappan Zee, 1979)
Jack DeJohnette – Special Edition (ECM, 1980)

A lot of favorites indeed ....

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1 hour ago, Peter Friedman said:

Following your remarks on Hank Jones and The Great Jazz Trio, I did a bit of homework and discovered 31 albums with Hank and The Great Jazz Trio. I agree that the 2 Black & Blue sessions with Hank work better than the ones with Ron Carter and Tony Williams.

The Great Jazz Trio was in existence on recordings from 1976 - 2005. During those 29 years there were quite a few different bass players and drummers as part of the trio.

Bass - Buster Williams, Ron Carter, Eddie Gomez, Ray Brown, Mads Vinding, George Mraz, Yosuke Inosue, Richard Davis and John Patittuci, Benisuke Sakai (one track)

Drums - Tony Williams, Al Foster, Buddy Williams, Jimmy Cobb, Alan Dawson, Billy Hart, Roy Haynes, Ben Riley, Elvin Jones, Omar Hakim, Billy Kilson

Peter,

I knew that Jones had used many sidemen for his "Great Jazz Trio" recordings -- but I wasn't aware that it was that many! 

That said, I believe it was just Ron Carter and Tony Williams during the 1970s.*  That's why I only referenced them in my write-up. ;) 

******************
EDIT
* I was wrong.  After poking around on Discogs, it turns out that Buster Williams -- not RC -- played on Love for Sale (1976).  So almost all of the 70s releases featured Ron & Tony.

****************** 

 

Looking past the 1970s, I think the version of the Great Jazz Trio with Mads Vinding & Billy Hart may be my favorite.  Now this is a compatible group.  Have you heard their two releases on Limetree?  Both are terrific.

916SY5EgceL._SS400_.jpg  71fzDwJxBqL._SS400_.jpg

 

Edited by HutchFan

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On 12/14/2020 at 3:02 PM, HutchFan said:

So, yes, Horizon is my favorite McCoy record of the decade.  And, if I hadn't chosen Horizon, I probably would have gone with Sama Layuca. I realize that neither of these are particularly popular or well-known, relative to other McCoy records from the 70s.  But they're the discs that I like best and play most frequently.

Thanks for the recommendation on Horizon, there's an LP copy sitting at my local shop, I think I'll pick it up next time I'm there.

HutchFan, I'm really enjoying this series. The 70s is probably my favorite decade for jazz, in part because I just like the sounds (can't get enough Rhodes!)--but in part because I'd say I'm a record collector first, and a jazz fan second. I mostly listen to vinyl these days. In practice, that means what I listen to is largely determined by what I can find and afford--so original Blue Notes are pretty much out of the question! (Not that I'm unfamiliar with that stuff, I just bought most of it on CD). But the fact that so many of these 70s records are still so cheap means it's easy to take a chance on something I don't know and discover something new!

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Horizon is also one of my favourite McTyner albums.

What made Milestone so great for me and my generation is, that it happened now and here. So we eagerly awaited all new and upcoming albums and might discuss them, wonder who will be the first to pick them up, and then come together and spin it and talk about it. It could be McCoy Tyner, it could be Sonny Rollins.... all the Milestone Jazz stars, and a hit was the 1978 Milestone Jazzstars with Rollins-Tyner-Carter-Al Foster.

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15 hours ago, HutchFan said:

Peter,

I knew that Jones had used many sidemen for his "Great Jazz Trio" recordings -- but I wasn't aware that it was that many! 

That said, I believe it was just Ron Carter and Tony Williams during the 1970s.*  That's why I only referenced them in my write-up. ;) 

******************
EDIT
* I was wrong.  After poking around on Discogs, it turns out that Buster Williams -- not RC -- played on Love for Sale (1976).  So almost all of the 70s releases featured Ron & Tony.

****************** 

 

Looking past the 1970s, I think the version of the Great Jazz Trio with Mads Vinding & Billy Hart may be my favorite.  Now this is a compatible group.  Have you heard their two releases on Limetree?  Both are terrific.

916SY5EgceL._SS400_.jpg  71fzDwJxBqL._SS400_.jpg

 

I have a series of 5 CDs of the Great Jazz Trio - Great Jazz Standards on the Japanese Alfa label.  Your 2 on Timeless has some of the material from the original Alfa sessions. Just found images of two of them.

I had forgotten, but found on my shelf the CD by   Kenny Drew & Hank Jones Great Jazz Trio also on Alfa with the Mads Vinding and Billy Hart. All those on Alfa are very good.

iu-1.jpeg

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71hZwA9Ws7L._AC_UY218_.jpg

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2 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

Horizon is also one of my favourite McTyner albums.

What made Milestone so great for me and my generation is, that it happened now and here. So we eagerly awaited all new and upcoming albums and might discuss them, wonder who will be the first to pick them up, and then come together and spin it and talk about it. It could be McCoy Tyner, it could be Sonny Rollins.... all the Milestone Jazz stars, and a hit was the 1978 Milestone Jazzstars with Rollins-Tyner-Carter-Al Foster.

Milestone was an excellent label, no doubt about it!  :tup 

Just in the 1970s, you had McCoy, Sonny, Joe Hen, Lee Konitz, Gary Bartz, Flora Purim, Ron Carter, and many others.

 

 

2 hours ago, Peter Friedman said:

I have a series of 5 CDs of the Great Jazz Trio - Great Jazz Standards on the Japanese Alfa label.  Your 2 on Timeless has some of the material from the original Alfa sessions. Just found images of two of them.

iu-1.jpeg

iu.jpeg

I didn't realize that those Limetree releases were licensed from Alfa!  Good to know.  :tup 

 

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14 minutes ago, HutchFan said:

Milestone was an excellent label, no doubt about it!  :tup 

Just in the 1970s, you had McCoy, Sonny, Joe Hen, Lee Konitz, Gary Bartz, Flora Purim, Ron Carter, and many others.

Chronological perspective about Milestone in "the 70s" here...McCoy & Sonny, yes, all decade.. But Joe was gone by 1975. Bartz was gone from Milestone by 1971, and Prestige by 1975.  Lee's last record for  them was recorded in 1974.  in Flora was there for just 73-76. And Ron Carter started there in 1976.

Fine catalog, to be sure, but their roster (such as it was) was a lot more ..."loaded" for the first half of the decade than it was for the second half, even though good records came out all the way through in some form or fashion.

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Question: Was the Joe Henderson the only Milestone box-set they ever did?

I always wished they’d have done a similar McCoy box, but the odds of that now are slim to none.

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This was my starter for Joe Henderson long long ago, and probably the first Milestone LP I bought.

Download (3).jpg

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37 minutes ago, Rooster_Ties said:

Question: Was the Joe Henderson the only Milestone box-set they ever did?

I always wished they’d have done a similar McCoy box, but the odds of that now are slim to none.

Other than the three Bill Evans sets (The Secret Sessions (Recorded At The Village Vanguard 1966-1975), The Last Waltz & Consecration), I don't know of any.

 

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58 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Chronological perspective about Milestone in "the 70s" here...McCoy & Sonny, yes, all decade.. But Joe was gone by 1975. Bartz was gone from Milestone by 1971, and Prestige by 1975.  Lee's last record for  them was recorded in 1974.  in Flora was there for just 73-76. And Ron Carter started there in 1976.

Fine catalog, to be sure, but their roster (such as it was) was a lot more ..."loaded" for the first half of the decade than it was for the second half, even though good records came out all the way through in some form or fashion.

Yeah, I hear you.  Didn't mean to imply that all those artists were on Milestone for the entire decade.  Just that that they made excellent records for Milestone during the decade. 

 

46 minutes ago, Gheorghe said:

This was my starter for Joe Henderson long long ago, and probably the first Milestone LP I bought.

Download (3).jpg

That's such a great record.  So many outstanding tunes, and Joe's playing is amazing.    

I kept going back-and-forth between Canyon Lady and Multiple for inclusion in my survey.  Finally decided on Multiple -- but they're both 5-star records in my book, the cream of Joe's Milestone years, IMO.

 

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2 hours ago, HutchFan said:

I kept going back-and-forth between Canyon Lady and Multiple for inclusion in my survey.  Finally decided on Multiple -- but they're both 5-star records in my book, the cream of Joe's Milestone years, IMO.

Black Narcissus (released in Jan 1977 - Joe’s last Milestone album), is right the hell up there too.

But I agree, Multiple is one of Joe’s very finest specifically from the 70’s.

Though really, that entire Joe ‘Milestone’ box is one of my all-time favorite boxes ever! — out of close to 25 similarly sized Jazz boxes I own.

Joe was killin’ after he left Blue Note. Power To The People (1969) was one of the first four (4) jazz albums I ever owned (along with Mode For Joe, plus KOB and Nefertiti) — and I listened to those four albums on endless repeat dozens of times each, for about 4-6 weeks right after I got them (I had them as cassette dubs at the time). This was roughly my junior year in college, circa 1989.

Then I picked up Multiple on CD not too much after that, my senior year (around 1990) — and I also made cassette dubs of about 3-4 other of Joe’s Milestone albums, all borrowed from the college radio station. I never could keep the album titles straight, but I listened to them a ton too.

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9 minutes ago, Rooster_Ties said:

Black Narcissus (released in Jan 1977 - Joe’s last Milestone album), is right the hell up there too.

But I agree, Multiple is one of Joe’s very finest specifically from the 70’s.

Though really, that entire Joe ‘Milestone’ box is one of my all-time favorite boxes ever! — out of close to 25 similarly sized Jazz boxes I own.

Joe was killin’ after he left Blue Note. Power To The People (1969) was one of the first four (4) jazz albums I ever owned (along with Mode For Joe, plus KOB and Nefertiti) — and I listened to those four albums on endless repeat dozens of times each, for about 4-6 weeks right after I got them (I had them as cassette dubs at the time). This was roughly my junior year in college, circa 1989.

Then I picked up Multiple on CD not too much after that, my senior year (around 1990) — and I also made cassette dubs of about 3-4 other of Joe’s Milestone albums, all borrowed from the college radio station. I never could keep the album titles straight, but I listened to them a ton too.

Rooster, you and I must be about the same age.  I started college in '86, graduated in '90. 

And you had one helluva start with jazz: KoB, Nefertiti, Mode for Joe, and Power to the People.  Yeah!!!  That's some POTENT stuff right out of the GATE!!!

 

BTW: Totally agree with you re: the JoeHen Milestone box.  You can dip into it anywhere.  It's ALL good!!!

 

Edited by HutchFan

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Black Narcissus mostly recorded in 1974, in Paris. Produced by Joe Himself, not sure what that was all about, maybe he wanted to do things his way?

Last "real" Joe Milestone record imo would have been Black Miracle. It gets better with time, but only up to a point...

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5 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Black Narcissus mostly recorded in 1974, in Paris. Produced by Joe Himself, not sure what that was all about, maybe he wanted to do things his way?

Last "real" Joe Milestone record imo would have been Black Miracle. It gets better with time, but only up to a point...

What about Mirror Mirror (MPS), Jim?  Or State or the Tenor (BN)?

You're not a fan of those?

 

NEVERMIND. :P

You're saying the last Milestone JoeHen.

I can't ever keep the Milestone album chronology straight.  The titles are too similar.

 

 

Edited by HutchFan

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11 minutes ago, HutchFan said:

Rooster, you and I must be about the same age.  I started college in '86, graduated in '90.

You were one year ahead of me — I started in the fall of ‘87, and graduated in the spring of ‘91.

Yeah, I got smitten with Miles’ 2nd Great Quintet at the same time as the 1st. And I was seeking out Joe’s Milestone output just as fast as his Blue Note stuff, right from the very start.

So for me, Joe’s Milestone years *wasn’t* something I discovered later, but it was all co-equally absorbed along with his BN output, right from the git-go.

I’m sure I had close to 75% of Joe’s entire Milestone years (dubs I made on cassette) before I’d even heard more than a smattering of 15 Blue Note albums tops (by any Blue Note artists, not just Joe). You see, there weren’t ANY Blue Notes up in the college radio station’s music library, but they did have most of Joe’s Milestone LP’s. :bwallace:

So Joe’s entire Milestone output (well, most of it) was VERY formative in my early, EARLIEST jazz listening.

Hell, I might(?) have even heard all those Joe Milestone albums before I ever heard Bitches Brew, come to think of it (though Jack Johnson was another Miles 70’s date I did hear/get pretty darn early — a good year or two before I ever heard Bitches Brew).

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20 hours ago, funkytonk said:

Thanks for the recommendation on Horizon, there's an LP copy sitting at my local shop, I think I'll pick it up next time I'm there.

HutchFan, I'm really enjoying this series. The 70s is probably my favorite decade for jazz, in part because I just like the sounds (can't get enough Rhodes!)--but in part because I'd say I'm a record collector first, and a jazz fan second. I mostly listen to vinyl these days. In practice, that means what I listen to is largely determined by what I can find and afford--so original Blue Notes are pretty much out of the question! (Not that I'm unfamiliar with that stuff, I just bought most of it on CD). But the fact that so many of these 70s records are still so cheap means it's easy to take a chance on something I don't know and discover something new!

I'm glad you're enjoying it, funkytonk.  The project has been fun, and the icing on the cake is the discussion it's prompted here on the forum.

And I completely agree with you about the cost of 1970s jazz records being part of the equation.  The funny thing is that the more I bought those inexpensive LPs, the more I asked myself, "Why don't more people talk about this record?" or "Why isn't this artist considered 'important'?"  Because there was a gigantic disconnect between the perceived value -- as expressed in the received wisdom or critical narrative or whatever you want to call it; in addition to actual amount it cost to buy the record, the literal value in dollars -- and how exciting and wonderful (much of) the music sounded to me.  That weird disconnect is at the root of my blog, it's what motivated me make it.     

 

Edited by HutchFan

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Real time is funny. You can still know that something has value but care less about actively engaging with it because...familiarity shouldn't breed contempt, but in can reasonably create curiosity when new things come along that aren't as literally familiar. Especially in the days before internet, and especially when budgets were real. I took a sacred vow to fidelity with my wife, not with my record player.

Can't say that there have been any "bad" rec0ords on your list of the decade. But the further you go into the decade, the fewer items there are that i was going to go out of my way to check out (Horizon being a very good example - McCoy was putting out a couple of albums a year, and at some point, ok, I GET it, there's other stuff starting to happen/already happening, older people starting to come around to a new level, newer people showing a lot if promise - and often enough actually delivering), even though as time has passed and the more they are in the rear view mirror, sure there is much to love that I might not have given first-run status in their real times. But there's even more that, fine as it is, I just don't care about now, maybe even less than I would have then. Life is short, music is infinite, do the math on THAT one, right?

Very strong case in point about real-time experience - Ornette's Harmolodic music. Fucked my head of in real time, a really strong influence in every way. You weren't there, you came to it later and didn't like it, ok, that's how it should be. Plenty of people who were there didn't like it, a few actually called it "commercial fusion" LOL. But as to why you not getting why so much of this stuff is not recognized by received wisdom or critical narrative, that's why - because not everything worthy gets attention. Life is not fair like that. But it is life, so maybe it's fair enough until it's not, and even then, hey. Whatever money there is in any of this is in sustaining a narrative. It's not necessary a bad narrative, but it is certainly an incomplete one.

So keep buying the cheap records, I'd have been lost without them. Hell, still would be.

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Jim, I  think you're hitting the nail on the head when you say that TIMING is the thing.  Being there and hearing it in chronological order is VERY different than encountering it after-the-fact in a jumbled up sequence. Compare the way Rooster and I heard the music (after-the-fact, non-sequentially) to the way you and felser did (in-real-time). Very, very, very different!

Also, as for the part about recognizing the limitations of hours in a day... Yeah, I'm old enough to understand that all too well. Time is most definitely NOT infinite. We're all making choices. And it only makes sense to focus on the things that scratch our particular itch.

 

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11 hours ago, HutchFan said:

Jim, I  think you're hitting the nail on the head when you say that TIMING is the thing.  Being there and hearing it in chronological order is VERY different than encountering it after-the-fact in a jumbled up sequence. Compare the way Rooster and I heard the music (after-the-fact, non-sequentially) to the way you and felser did (in-real-time). Very, very, very different!

Keep in mind that the way you and Rooster are talking about is exactly what I was - and will always be - dealing with for pretty much any and all jazz made before 1971-72. Which is, of course, a cosmic buttload-full of the music. And what I have found is that, oh wow, the "critical consensus" and/or "received wisdom" is almost never "wrong". What it is, though, is incomplete, a damn near 360 of incomplete. And that incompleteness (caused by any number of unavoidable and/or willfully accepted limitations and agendas) is just a fact of life in its being. But individual acceptance - and all that comes from that - of it is all about individual responsibility.

It's not just in jazz either, btw...modern creative music is someplace/something else now, the old paradigms have evolved/dissolved/re-volved, so listening to 20th Century (and earlier) music is useful, but increasingly more as prologue, a way to figure out what is/has-isn't/hasn't going to be used going forward. And forward is really the only place life goes. We can only be in the moment, but we need to be in that moment fully anticipating that as soon as we're in it, it's over. In this, we have no choice. We really don't have a choice. Now never lasts, Then is not going to move anywhere, Next is where we all go, no matter what we're looking at while we do it.

What this is ultimately all about is language - how is the language of sound evolving, why, to what ends, through what modes for what purpose. Language, communication. Nothing is worse than people talking behind your back, or, especially, people talking right in front of you and you not even being aware of it. HATE it when that happens!

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