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Nate Dorward

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Everything posted by Nate Dorward

  1. No, look at the dates--the Cunnilingus thread (what a dickhead the guy is for picking that username) is inspired by, not the inspiration of, Geoff's thread on that board. The copious reposting of reviews is probably just naivete--it's a bit over-the-top & a little grey-areaish, but I wasn't aware it was actually against netiquette? Who's it harming since virtually no-one here was reading posts on the other board anyway till I posted the link?
  2. Aha! They've at last updated it. I wonder if it helped that I wrote an email to Steve at Hallwalls bitching about the lack of schedule updates....
  3. Thanks for the info--as I'm in Toronto, I may head down to see the McPhee concerts, unless there's a chance they'll come up here. Where'd you get the info? Hallwalls hadn't updated their site since November last time I checked--aauugh!
  4. I can doublecheck once I get my turntable going again, but at least on my copy the final ring-modulator track at the end of the Bley album sticks in a loop right at the end, & I'm pretty sure it's intentional.
  5. A few things come to mind-- 1) the abortive solo on the first half of "Alabama", before the other take is spliced in. Been a while since I listened to it, so I forget--why exactly was the performance called off? 2) I suspect that whatever lucky dog has The Heavyweight Champion can consult the alt.takes of tracks like "Giant Steps" to see them wrestling with that tune--not that there's any shame in stumbling on that tune! 3) Coltrane was less impeccable as a soprano player. I don't have his early stabs at it for Atlantic like the date with Cherry so I'd be interested to know how secure he sounded on it--I note that Cook/Morton are pretty unimpressed: "His soprano playing is not yet either idiomatic or nimble, and on 'The Blessing' he makes even Ornette's eccentric pitching sound dead centre." 4) He was constantly reaching for the notes & phrases even further than he could get--there's an instance in the solo on Interstellar Space discussed by Lewis Porter in his book, where Trane keeps reaching for higher & higher false notes until finally there's one he misses.
  6. Incidentally, if you're very keen on Nichols it's worth tracking down the handful of sides for Savoy with Danny Barker (I have them as the A side of a disc with the Monk/Gryce session on the B side)--two inconsequential vocal tracks, but "Who's Blues" & "Swonderful" are first-rate Nichols, & you get two takes of one of them. -- I haven't heard anything else from the Nichols apocrypha, though I gather there are a few recorded glimpses of him as a sideman in dixieland bands.
  7. I have a burn a friend gave me. It's interesting--not revelatory, but certainly distinctive. Anyone have any idea why Hasaan never recorded again? Or did he? This is a good opportunity to plug Giorgio Pacorig's My Mind Is On the Table, a terrific piano trio disc released last year on Splasc(h), which has an excellent tribute, "The Legendary Hasaan".
  8. This is a tad inaccurate. Rutherford was the co-founder of the SME with John Stevens & Trevor Watts, & the SME is more or less identified with Stevens as the leader because it became a decades-long institution under his leadership, with many different shifts of personnel. This sentence strikes me as oddly as it would sound, e.g., to say that Horace Silver was the founder of the Jazz Messengers--not quite wrong, but missing a key name..... I was going to captiously point out that it's a bad mistake to point to the use of unisons on heads as in any way an innovation of Moncur's or Monk's--you'll hear that on just about any bebop side you care to name. But I see Jim Sangrey has posted a much more useful comment specific to this track (I don't know the track, as I haven't got Some Other Stuff). Thanks Jim. I've always liked Evolution a lot--there's also another closely related album you should hear if you've not already, McLean's One Step Beyond, the same band with no Morgan & with Eddie Khan on bass: I'm not so taken with it but it's still interesting. The original Blue Note reissue was badly botched (a crucial track index misplaced, into the middle of a track!), but I imagine it's on the recent Mosaic Select? -- That said, Moncur's never done much for me as a player--it's the composing & the great bands that make those discs. Like Herbie Nichols Moncur seems always to have had very specific images & scenarios in mind for his compositions--witness titles like "Ghost Town" or "Frankenstein", which are pretty accurate descriptions of the moods evoked. I entirely agree with Jim about the painfulness of reviewers who insist on using musical terminology to make a show of knowing-what-I'm-doing, but doing so entirely inaccurately or in an obfuscatory manner. God help us, I've probably committed a few sins over the years (the most aggravating being a review where I misidentified Rhodri Davies as playing "Celtic harp"--which actually a small handheld thing, not confusable for a second with the full-size concert harp he uses), but have found time & time again that my having spent a few years trying to make a serious go of playing jazz piano has given at least the rudiments I need to write reviews. I can't imagine writing them without that basic background, really. & yes: get rid of the darn typos. Very few journals except for the biggies like The Wire & Downbeat are at all carefully copyedited, so if you send in something full of mistakes & typos, expect most of them to make it into print. Plus the editors are usually happy to add a few more (most memorable instance: I gave the location of recording for a disc I reviewed once as "Lisbon". This was helpfully elaborated to "Lisbon, Spain" in the published version.)
  9. Probably it was cheap because Hat has since reissued that set plus the other 2 CDs' worth of material from the sessions (previously issued as Round Midnight) as a 4-CD set, Live at Dreher.
  10. You needn't really go into a lot of technical detail about the music's construction, especially if that's not your forte. (Though I think probably most really good jazz critics have at least some experience with an instrument, even if only at an amateur level.) But in any case it's far better to just comment in more open-ended & suggestive terms. To suggest that Herbie Nichols' music is of interest to those who want to hear novel uses of scales isn't going to make too many listeners run out & buy the album......
  11. "The Gift"? Surely "The Gig". & Taylor's first album wasn't a Blue Note album, it was simply reissued on that label years later. I think the reviews are OK, barring a few comma splices, typos & so forth, but don't quite understand why the albums are considered "neglected"--they've received plenty of notice over the years from serious jazz fans & Nichols in particular has been on a (posthumous) hot streak for the past decade or so. -- I don't think, though, you've really grasped what's original about Nichols' music in the last piece--e.g. I don't see what's so remarkable about the use of scales & repeated patterns (basic elements of composition, surely). The liner notes to the various issues (Rudd's & Kimbrough's) point in more fruitful directions--e.g. Nichols' very audacious harmonic thinking ("The Third World", with its pre-Trane use of movement in thirds, is a good example) & his increasing distance from AABA song format--lots of extended sections, half-bars, extra sections & intros, & eventually, in tunes like "The Gig" & "Query", entirely pushing beyond regular song-form.
  12. "You can't trust the critics anymore"? As opposed to some imaginary point in time where they were entirely correct & of one accord? -- The disc has had several pans, yes, but also a few boosts, e.g. from Ben Ratliff in the NY Times. -- Speaking for myself I'm certainly not "an out guy"--the disc I strongly preferred, Line on Love, is a pretty straightahead jazz quartet disc, as you'd expect from something released on Palmetto.
  13. Ehhhh, didn't like The Long View very much; Line on Love on the other hand is the real McCoy--an extraordinary disc. Here's the writeup I did of the pair: http://www.paristransatlantic.com/magazine...dec_text.html#3
  14. Just a note to say that you can listen to one track from the disc on the Pi website, & that two more are available on Ellman's own website. I couldn't judge the recording quality from this, of course, given that the streamed audio wasn't exactly hi-fi- to begin with. -- Truthfully, after listening to those three tracks I decided this wasn't a disc I felt I needed to acquire. I do like Jeff Parker's Like-Coping though--it's not a big-statement kind of disc, but it's got a nice, cooled-out vibe that's very effective. It's indeed pretty similar to Nix's Alarms & Excursions in many ways.
  15. Nate Dorward

    John Gilmore

    Getting back to his appearances with Sun Ra--one Gilmore item that should not be overlooked, despite some obvious demerits, is the recent UMS/Atavistic issue Music from Tomorrow's World. It's recordings of Ra's band from 1960-61; the sound quality on the last 40 minutes is diabolical, even by the lo-fi standards of the Ra catalogue, & Gilmore isn't featured much on that session, but the first session is an acceptably recorded live date of about 30 minutes' duration with some utterly amazing Gilmore soloing--"How High the Moon" in particular is quite brilliant, performed at a frighteningly fast tempo, & there's also many other great solos ("It Ain't Necessarily So" is sublime too). Anyway, it's worth getting the disc simply for the first date.
  16. Nate Dorward

    Joe McPhee

    No, McPhee isn't actually all that prolific, certainly not like Stitt or Konitz--but in the last half-decade or so he's had the enthusiastic sponsorship of Bob Rusch of Cadence/CIMP, which has meant that he's become much better documented. Most of his Hat Art/Hut/Ology (god help us, I wish Werner would settle on a name permanently) is unfortunately out of print, including Oleo/A Future Retrospective, Linear B & Topology, all of them major albums. Tenor is extraordinary stuff. Last year there were two very notable releases by McPhee--Journey on CIMP is the latest by his group Trio-X, & it's extremely good (split between alto & tenor work, with one soprano track); Chicago Tenor Duets on Okkadisk is a remarkable encounter with Evan Parker. It's dour stuff, as you might expect, but it's great to hear Parker butt heads with another saxophonist of McPhee's stature (& Joe shows that he can toss back at Parker whatever Evan throws him, with a bit extra).
  17. I've only heard three: Reid Anderson's The Vastness of Space (good), Ethan Iverson's The Minor Passions (good), & one by Phil Stockli whose title I can't remember but which is eminently avoidable. I should pick up the Nat Su disc. He's a really, really nice alto player from Cameroon with a light Konitzian sound. He's worth checking out on Fredi Luescher's Dear C: The Music of Carla Bley on Altrisuoni, one of my favourite releases of 2003.
  18. Some less exotic stuff-- Some early-music nuts I knew had an album which was a series of variations on, I think, "La Folia" (if not, it was "L'Homme Arme")--pastiches of every conceivable classical-music style, pop versions, rock version, country versions, jazz versions.....anyway, the set of variations is extended right to the centre of the disc, right under the label, so eventually the arm bumps the label & you get stuck. There's of course various instances of locked grooves--probably the best known jazz album with one is Escalator Over the Hill.
  19. That's an interesting letter, but it does leave still unexplained the difference between Leo & the Leo Lab imprint. Don Friedman is indeed a remarkable pianist. I wish he'd knock it off with the boring album titles--My Romance, Days of Wine and Roses, Waltz for Debby, I Concentrate on You.......it leads you to expect precious sub-Bill Evans romanticism, but actually Friedman's far more bracing than that (Days of Wine and Roses, for instance, includes several "free" pieces). I haven't heard the new one, Waltz for Debby (the brainiacs at 441 Records seemed to think that when I asked them to send me a review copy, I really meant to say I wanted All Love: Grady Tate Sings). But virtually everything I've heard of Friedman's has been excellent.
  20. Nate Dorward

    Ran Blake

    Sonic Temples is good but somehow I think of it as almost as much the Schullers' album as Blake's. -- Duo en Noir is nice, yes. Two other ones that are very fine are The Short Life of Barbara Monk, a rare instance of Blake in a jazz quartet format rather than a drummerless duo. The creepy, violent version of "I've Got You Under My Skin" is superb. That Certain Feeling, a Gershwin album with Steve Lacy & Ricky Ford. Out of print, but I bet Hat Art will get around to reissuing it one of these days.
  21. I think I agree with the sentiments that "self-indulgent" is too often a way to take something ambitious or risky down a peg. Joyce's Ulysses & Finnegans Wake & Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow & Mason & Dixon are nothing if not self-indulgent (in that one gets a sense that vast tracts are produced by the authors merely because they can or because they're enjoying themselves too much to stop...). I have an ambivalent relation to such books, but I'd be sorry to see them written off. Swinburne, Derek Walcott, Richard Crashaw, James Merrill, certain poems of Yeats, vast quantities of Hugh MacDiarmid..... -- The same goes for the self-indulgences of certain musicians--Keith Jarrett, James Carter, McCoy Tyner, DD Jackson, Han Bennink spring to mind for one reason or another. I find all of them exasperating to varying degrees & on varying occasions, but it's not the worst thing for music to be excessive rather than stiflingly tasteful. Ultimately the question is whether it's music that actually has real substance to it, or is just being put out by the musician or label out of cynicism or indifference to quality or complete deludedness. (David S Ware's Threads is, arguably, an instance of the third option....)
  22. Karayorgis is indeed interesting. I haven't yet quite warmed up to Blood Ballad, a trio disc--it's rather monochromatic & finicky, was my impression--but the more recent quintet disc Disambiguation is great stuff. Unlike the rather dogged use of dissonance on Blood Ballad, the latter is much lighter & fleeter, more Tristano than Andrew Hill.
  23. Well, maybe, but the one I've heard was ghastly: I had the misfortune to receive three discs by Gaudynski in the past year....
  24. Well, I like the Penguin Guide, & it's fairly reliable, but Cook & Morton also unaccountably give high rankings to Metheny/Bailey's Sign of 4, DD Jackson's Sigame & assorted other albums I found unlistenable, so.....
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