Jump to content

BFT 51 - Discussion


Nate Dorward
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 74
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Have to run but wanted to quickly toss my comments out there. Not my favorite BFT by far, but still some interesting tracks on it. Many thanks for including me Nate!

BFT 51

1. Heh. All I can think about is how many here are gonna hate this one. Not exactly my cuppa either, but it’s fun and almost reminds me of Squirrel Nut Zippers. Listening again – and compared to some of the other tracks here – this one’s really growing on me.

2. Really like the rumbling bass line on this one. Almost reminds me of an ECM date (something with Abrecrombie, DeJohnette, and George Mraz maybe) though it’s probably too funky for that.

3. Tune is familiar but can’t recall its title.

4. Mick Goodrick? Sounds like ECM. I should like this, but I don’t. Not enough going on for my tastes.

5. Odd combination of sounds. Like the rhythm more than the trumpet(s) – or maybe it’s just the combo of the two.

6. Sounds like sunrise at the zoo. ;) Seriously, I like some outside stuff, but this does nothing for me. (I should add: at least in this context. While I appreciate that these BFTs help expose us to different artists and sounds, they tend to work best, for me at least, as a sort of “greatest hits” compilation; this “deeper cut,” so to speak, doesn’t do it for me.) It gets a bit better – and more tuneful – around the 7:00 mark.

7. Much better! ;)

8. Impressive technique I suppose – Mat Maneri most likely, possibly Billy Bang (whom I often dig) – but too microtonal for my tastes. Like both artists in more straightforward veins, but this kind of playing gives me a headache.

9. Not bad, but rather aimless. I wouldn’t mind seeing this performed live, but like a lot of more outside jazz it doesn’t work as well on a recording.

10. Okay playing, but once again the lack of a memorable tune nearly ruins this for me. Actually, listening again, this one’s hit-and-miss, with some engaging soloing interspersed with, imo, rather tuneless ensemble passages.

11. Now this one I like, though I couldn’t begin to tell you why. The violin’s lovely sounding compared to track 8, and though unconventional the instrumentation works. It’s also got a lovely theme that commands one’s attention. Possibly my favorite track on the disc – and it’s much too short!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thinking about track 4. Might this be Joe Morris? Has that steel string sound...Given it's a solo record, I'd guess this.

No, not Morris..... I've liked the odd thing I've heard of his but at this point don't want to hear any more of him or his music (there's some backstory here I won't go into).

4. Mick Goodrick? Sounds like ECM. I should like this, but I don’t. Not enough going on for my tastes.

No, not Goodrick nor ECM. Probably not an artist you've heard (unless you've heard some of his sessionwork on pop recordings....) as this is taken from his only own-name disc (he's got another one out there as part of a collective, & that's it). Though you may well have run into this player, who lives in your neck of the woods.

6. Sounds like sunrise at the zoo. ;) Seriously, I like some outside stuff, but this does nothing for me. (I should add: at least in this context. While I appreciate that these BFTs help expose us to different artists and sounds, they tend to work best, for me at least, as a sort of “greatest hits” compilation; this “deeper cut,” so to speak, doesn’t do it for me.) It gets a bit better – and more tuneful – around the 7:00 mark.

Well, with the first BFT I did one of the common reactions seemed to be that people were expecting something a little more avant-garde in orientation.....! So this one pushes the envelope a little more.

8. Impressive technique I suppose – Mat Maneri most likely, possibly Billy Bang (whom I often dig) – but too microtonal for my tastes. Like both artists in more straightforward veins, but this kind of playing gives me a headache.

No, not Maneri or Bang.

11. Now this one I like, though I couldn’t begin to tell you why. The violin’s lovely sounding compared to track 8, and though unconventional the instrumentation works. It’s also got a lovely theme that commands one’s attention. Possibly my favorite track on the disc – and it’s much too short!

There's actually no theme--the piece is improvised off-the-cuff with only a loose verbal instruction and title as compositional reference-points. There are actually several companion pieces to this one on the source CD.

Edited by Nate Dorward
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thinking about track 4. Might this be Joe Morris? Has that steel string sound...Given it's a solo record, I'd guess this.

No, not Morris..... I've liked the odd thing I've heard of his but at this point don't want to hear any more of him or his music (there's some backstory here I won't go into).

Ah yes...sorry...I should have recalled that...hmmm...I'm stumped here. It's a really lovely track - really growing on me, even as it flummoxes me more and more :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I listened to this compilation several times while driving over the past couple of weeks and today I finally squeezed in some time to sit at the computer and listen to the disc a little more attentively so that I can compose some comments. I am certain that I have not heard any of these specific tracks before, but several of the individual musicians sounded familiar. Most of the music on the disc is outside the so called straight-ahead or mainstream and often requires repeated attentive listening before a true appreciation can form.

Here is my reaction to the first eight tracks. I am going to have to find some time as soon as practical to finish off the remainder of the disc.

1. I enjoyed the bass playing and overall groove on this track, but the somewhat hokey lyrics, and recitation did not do much for me.

2. Another nice bass vamp to start before drums and guitar enter. The guitarist does not necessarily play in the Wes Montgomery-Grant Green approach to jazz guitar, but I can appreciate this restrained approach and sound that reminds me of Bern Nix more than I can the more overtly rock/distortion influenced guitar sounds. Another solid bassist. Interesting track.

3. The first three tracks share a slightly similar reliance on bass line grooves. Here is a somewhat funky arrangement of a familiar tune. The bassist here gets a chance to solo and he/she held my interest. The alto saxophonist sounds familiar, but not enough for me to confidently attempt and identification. I liked the arrangement of the tune. It kind of stuck in my head and I found myself singing it around the house to my infant son.

4. Sounds like a bass-guitar duet? It could actually be a guitar solo. As there is no obvious “tune” it requires close listening to really appreciate. This is a track that even after several listens I never really connected with.

5. I don’t know if it is intentional or I am noticing something that does not exist, but this is another track that relies on the bass line or at least because it is a somewhat off meter rhythm, it stands out to me. In any event, this is a piano-less quartet featuring trumpet-sax-bass-drums. The trumpeter is interesting. Has a familiar sound that I attribute to players like Dave Douglas or Russ Johnson and seems to be less overtly derivative of the bop/hard bop mainstays like Morgan and Hubbard that seem to be ubiquitous in the sounds of many trumpeters. The bass-drums combination is very good. Solid track.

6. Long track the highlight of which is the tenor saxophonist’s playing in the beginning. I like the sound he/she gets and the nuance in his/her playing. There is also something familiar about the sound, but again not enough to make an identification. About six and a half minutes in we actually get to the tune, which sounds like something I have heard before. The trombone seems to be a little low in the mix compared to the trumpeter and saxophonist. The arrangement of the horns is interesting – the sax and trumpet improvise simultaneously while the trombonist plays lines underneath. As it continues the trombonist shifts to the foreground and plays a decent solo. The track is long, but for the most part it was able to sustain my attention.

7. This may be my favorite track on the disc. It has a Tristano like flow in the rhythmic pulse and I really enjoyed the pianist’s quirky playing with references to Monk without being imitative. The beginning of the trumpter’s solo sounded a little like he was referencing one of the Coltrane tunes from Blue Train. The trumpeter is solid, but it is the pianist that is the star for me. This is something that I would probably purchase for my own collection.

8. Solo violin performance. Like a couple other tracks, even after listening to it several times nothing really moved me about this performance although I can recognize the musicianship and imagination of the violinist.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a follow up to my initial post:

Every time I listened to track 7 it sounded familiar. By coincidence a little while ago I was just going through one of the boxes of CDs in my basement and found the CD that I was thinking of. Track 7 is the fifth track on this CD Track 7.

Edited by relyles
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good sleuthing! So you do already have it anyway!

I didn't make a particular effort to highlight bass players, no, though there are some very fine bassists on the disc. -- Interesting that so many BFT participants say that track #6 sounds vaguely familiar.... I suppose it could be because the track is a cover of an earlier tune, though the tune in question is not a particularly well-known one! -- Fans of the Dutch scene may be able to spot a snippet of a favourite Misha Mengelberg chestnut near the end, though....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And for the remainder of my reactions ...

9. The only track on the disc with a larger ensemble. I enjoyed the arrangement. It is somewhat whimsical. I like the way the horns are used to signal slight shifts in the music. Although I know it is not, it reminded me of some early Sun Ra that I have heard. The trombonist is very good. The tenor saxophonist has a familiar sound – like one of the new guys on the scene such as Tony Malaby. Interesting track. I could listen to more from this group.

10. This off meter rhythmic feel reminds me somewhat of Vijay Iyer, but the pianist did not entirely have the percussive approach I hear in Iyer sometimes. I usually enjoy this kind of stuff. The saxophonist made me think of Steve Lehman at times, or someone similar. The tune has a dramatic feel that is enhanced later in the track by the pianist’s playing during the saxophonist’s solo. Not entirely sure how I feel about this one, but there is enough there to keep me interested and possibly investigate further.

11.Brief track featuring violin, piano and trombone. Pleasant conclusion to the disc, but probably because of its brevity it did not make a significant impression on me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good sleuthing! So you do already have it anyway!

Yep. While listening to it that disc immediately came to mind, but I could not remember the name of the artist. It has been a couple of years since I first heard it. Decided to give the whole thing a listen again. Very nice album. Did you review it recently?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, I didn't review it at the time; actually I think that I purchased the CD because it was recommended in a thread on this board which I started, asking about recordings by Tristano's disciples (Crothers, Gorrill, et al.). I think it was Joe Milazzo or Jason Bivins who suggested this one.

Interesting that this should come up in the context of a 'school of Tristano' context (although I note you said it was perhaps slightly atypical)!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, the track is rather atypical of this album: the other tracks are originals based on favourite standards of the Tristano school--"I'll Remember April", "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To", &c.--but I picked this one because it was not a familiar chord sequence, so it's a little harder to place stylistically. Lester was actually a student of Sal Mosca's.

Interesting that Hill was mentioned a few times--I think the main connection to Hill is probably the way that Tristano & Hill both developed styles which involved cutting across barlines--the downbeat is treated almost like a notional marker rather than a strong rhythmic element.

Edited by Nate Dorward
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Nate!

... a good radio show for the past hour and change. Got me into some other moods as I've been listening to too much funk and soul and stoopid music as of late. My comments are a bit short - but I do love reading the long winded ones by those who actually know something about the music. :ph34r:

1. - The Wiggles

2. - hmmm ... I like the bass burbling under it all but no clue as guitar is not much on my radar.

3. - NICE! really like this cut. Got me groovin' big time. Some Courtney Piney thing maybe?

4. - more geetar ... here in that Eugene Chadbourne mode. This is how I usually play! And I get better after more Sangria at the end just like this guy.

5. - Trumpet's not much on my radar either, the sound is much better than say Roy Campbell and has more tooth than Dave Douglas, but ...? Kind of a redundant McLean thing going on in this composition ... but it stayed redundant.

6. - Like the sinewy eastern circular intro that reminds me of Ned Rothenberg but it gets a bit more AEC than him. Now after having come back to see this is still the same song it gets off on a better foot after the seventh inning.

7. - Dig that MengleyMonkyness and like this one just for it's simple propulsion ... and that seems what all the cuts previous have also done. Love a bomping piano that grabs you. Might this be Douglas and Misha, nah?

8. - Zorn goes Spy vs Spy II and plays the Ornette canon on violin? My dog ran out of the room and gave me the middle paw!

9. - A bit of dirgee dutch thing maybe? I do like this one as it kind of hints at some of that Gramavision stuff of the nineties. A bit more sophisticated than a Kamikaze Ground Crew but with similar circus sensibilities. I keep waiting for Jean Sheperd to come in and tell me about a clown.

10. - hmmm ... I like this - interested to hear who it is.

11. - short sweet and the end. good closer. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Nate!

... a good radio show for the past hour and change. Got me into some other moods as I've been listening to too much funk and soul and stoopid music as of late.

Well, nothing wrong with all that stuff too....!

1. - The Wiggles

You'll have to explain that one to me! :)

4. - more geetar ... here in that Eugene Chadbourne mode. This is how I usually play! And I get better after more Sangria at the end just like this guy.

I would have thought this a zillion miles from Chadbourne, actually! First of all, it's in tune, & second, it's a classical guitar... But I'm sure the guitarist wouldn't mind the comparison! (he has a very wide/eclectic taste in music)

7. - Dig that MengleyMonkyness and like this one just for it's simple propulsion ... and that seems what all the cuts previous have also done. Love a bomping piano that grabs you. Might this be Douglas and Misha, nah?

A very good guess (offhand that's the only other contemporary trumpet+rhythm album I know...) but it ain't them. Fortunately, if you're curious you can peek at relyles' comments above, as he nailed this one...

8. - Zorn goes Spy vs Spy II and plays the Ornette canon on violin? My dog ran out of the room and gave me the middle paw!

I wish! I like Spy vs Spy, & also like Ornette's fiddle playing (a verdict that I know at least one violinist--Dan Warburton--shares with me). (The trumpeting never seemed as special, though...) You might have come across this player but maybe not. Lots of interesting fiddlers out there nowadays--another favourite's on track 11, & a track by John Ettinger also nearly made the cut.

9. - A bit of dirgee dutch thing maybe? I do like this one as it kind of hints at some of that Gramavision stuff of the nineties. A bit more sophisticated than a Kamikaze Ground Crew but with similar circus sensibilities. I keep waiting for Jean Sheperd to come in and tell me about a clown.

You know, I never heard Kamikaze Ground Crew.... one of the great bandnames..! -- Nope, not Dutch, it's all-American, probably mostly players you know but not in a big-band context.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

very interesting compilation - I played it six times (yes it was

hard) but still can't get the main theme

as always I post my impressions only as I know too little to guess (still looking for good books on jazz)

2,4,7 OK

1,3,5,8,11 not my cup of tea

6,9,10 make me feel tired very quickly (9 - Carla Bley Orchestra?)

now I am going to read the discussion from the beginning

Link to comment
Share on other sites

very interesting compilation - I played it six times (yes it was

hard) but still can't get the main theme

as always I post my impressions only as I know too little to guess (still looking for good books on jazz)

2,4,7 OK

1,3,5,8,11 not my cup of tea

6,9,10 make me feel tired very quickly (9 - Carla Bley Orchestra?)

now I am going to read the discussion from the beginning

No theme, except that it's all recent material!

There's a track on the CD from which I took #9 which is I think maybe a Carla Bley tribute, but it's not this track, no!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Apologies for the lengthy delay in responding and will post more later. Enjoyed but found it abit hard work in the car...

Will post a fuller bunch of thoughts later. Thanks!

Well its later already and since noone has posted behind me. Can't ID anyone so won't try

1. Goofy and I've no idea who this is, reminds me of something on a knitting factory compilation I used to have but have no longer (I might appreciate them now!) Downtown-ish and a bit clever clever, Fiddle reminds me of Final Fantasy if there are any fans of Owen Pallett out there

2. I like this, nice drums and like the guitar once it gets going nice mellow 'silent way' vibe with a bit more energy

3. Fun stuff, sounds like a nice gig, good latin vibe great bass playing nice tenor sound, choppy guitar

4. Not really my thing Derek Bailey kind of stuff. I saw Bailey once and was kind of mesmerised to see someone play a guitar so unlike anything else I'd ever heard. On record it doesn't grab me in the same way and neither does this unfortunately. Nice sounding guitar though (and I just about liek the bit where he goes all flamenco...) its just as I get older I like a bit of a tune!

5. More downtowny kinda thing with maybe more style than substance. I like hearing a trumpet though and this is parpy enough to grab you by the scruff of the neck and make you pay attention

6. Takes a long while to get going but enjoy it when it does, about the 6 min mark they hit a great ensemble passage, nice bass figure and soloing in unison over the top. Worth the wait and kinda like Pharoah Sanders revisited

7. Not so keen on this and can't really work out why. Piano is the leader and makes it a bit forced?

8. Not for me and a bit squeaky and indulgent. I love violin in some contexts bu this does nothing for me

9. Like this a lot, I hear a bit of Carla Bley in it nice bone and clarinet and a sense of humour (maybe a european one?)

10. Not so keen on this, bit flat and without a tune?

11. However I love this! Nostalgia mixed in with improv and nearly a tune! Lovely and too short so usually had to play it twice.

Recognise noone on this and certainly had my ears opened a bit. As ever makes me want to dig out some of my own records and have a re-listen. Early Carla Bley, something with Mark Feldman on violin and Pharoah Sanders Karma so I can relive a bus journey round a chunk of Australia...

Thanks!

Edited by fent99
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, I'm later than hell to the party, and I got a buttload of very real reasons, but oh well about that, let's talk music, with the usual thanks and disclaimers firmly in place.

TRACK ONE - Well, ya' know, my kids used to dig that Carmen Sandiego show on PBS, and this starts out sounding like Rockapella, but....I sdon't think so.

It's nice, personal and nice. "Small", personal, and nice. Hey. It's nice to have a story to tell, even better to realise it, and even mo'better to actually tell it. Too many people don't make it to Step One.

Kinda dweeby in spots, but that's what makes it personal. To thine own self be true, right?

Do I love it? Nah, not even close. Don't even want to hear it more than a few times any time soon. But those few times, it'll be appreciated, and that, I think, is good. Perhaps even better!

TRACK TWO - Good players making good music. And I am totally unmoved. 20 years ago, maybe. Two drummers, right? And to what end?

Hey, I'm sure it's just me and where I'm at now, but this is serious in none of what are for me the right ways. Yes, there's a story being told, but it's a story that makes me...disinterested. Kinda like the reaction I had to a lot of ECM stuff back in the 70s - nice, and if it works for you, hey, dive in, but, sorry, I ain't feelin' it, nothing personal, ok, still love ya' babe.

You know what I mean?

TRACK THREE - "Green Chimneys", right? In 7. O...k....not sure why, but ok. Sounds like the latest installment of Second Line And Second Line-ish Shenannigans, and that's a game I've been a little weary of for quite a while, even when it grooves, as this one more or less does. There's a good rhytmic energy, but the whole thing ends up sounding like Jazz Guys Trying To Be Outgoing, and that's one ofthose things that if you gotta TRY, then...

And Jeesus Phukking Kryest, don't get cute with a fucking Monk tune. DEAL with it, fuck with it, just don't get cute with it.

That bugs me more than anything else.

TRACK FOUR - I like this. It feels natural, the flow and the articulations. Natural is good. Getting cute with a Monk tune by playing it with a funk beat in 7 is not natural. A funk beat in 7 is natural, Monk is natural, hell even for some pleple, cute is natural. But in no vibrational system in which I care to even contemplate living is the combination natural.

This, otoh, is natural. Lots of folks get off into this bag and force it, you hear the effects (not electronic effects, more like "techniques") more than the music. What I like about this is that I don't hear any effects, I just hear music.

TRACK FIVE - Oh lord, again with the tightly wound vampy bass and drum hookup. For how many years has this been one of the mainstays of "new" jazz? Long enough that it ain't new anymore, I'm guessing....

Still, the sincerity of the trumpeter gets to me, even if I find myself wishing that these people would do this same type thing and just RELAX about it. You can be intense and still be relaxed. In fact, relaxed intensity is the most intense kind, I think, becuase it removes the possibility of anxiety and delivers the pure real deal. You might not think of Cecil, or Ayler, or late Trane, of=r Braxton, or etc. as "relaxed", but think about it, do they ever sound like they gotta rush off and go pee as soon as the tune's over? Hell no.

But these folk kinda do.

TRACK SIX - Well, somebody have studied their Pharoah (and to good effect!). Assuming that this is a recent thing, it's kind die-hard-y, going down withthe TraneShip at all costs now matter how long it takes for the thing to eventually sink, but I gotta love that at least more than just a little, if not necessarily with all the love in the world (unless these are older cats, and they just miht be).

Thing about this type stuff is, when it was even fairly fresh, it promised, if not always revolution, an awakening. And for many of us, it delivered at least some of that. But you know....time passes, and what needs to be awakened now, although still the same as always, might be better awakened in a little bit less of a Rip Van Winkle manner.

But still, the longer this thing goes on, the better it gets. I got to think that these are some people over 40, but who knows. If this was 1976, I'd probably rush right out and buy a copy!

TRACK SEVEN - Again, too tightly wound for me. Can't get past that. Sorry.

TRACK EIGHT - Less natural than the guitar thing, at least for me. I hear the effects at least as much as the music. But no denying the virtuosity involved, so props due there.

TRACK NINE - This is nice. Not "nice", but nice, as in a good thing to have come into your life. The writing's steep, and the band executes, especially on ensemble phrasing, which in my experience is always the last thing to really come together/fall into place. Always nice (and rare) to hear music.

Kudos to all, and no small bit of love to go with them!

TRACK TEN - Seems like I might havee/have ehard this one...Vijay Iyler/Rudresh Mahanthappa, that axis?

I like it, it's sort of an extension of M-Base, sort of, and M-Base is something that continued to evolve after the hype went away. Probably moreso, in fact.

Now, see, this has that "tension" of those other cuts, but it doesn't sound tense. There's a relaxed fluidity at the root of all this, at least for me there is, and that makes all the difference in the world. I just don't want to hear people coming at me all nervous and shit. I cna handle concerned,w orried, cynical, and all that, but if you're root message is that you're letting it get to you and take your groove away and making you all nervous and shit, well hell, like the song says, I can do bad by myself.

But these cats, hey, they can c'mon in the house.

TRACK ELEVEN - I never was this old, nor do I hope to ever be. :g :g :g

Okay, not a lot of "positive comments" from me here, but I do appriciate being included, as well as the effort to put together a nicely diverse collection of material. None of it was particularly familiar to me, and I deeply appreciate that, just as I hope my honest reactions are appreciated. I hope!

Thing is, these days, with this type of music (i.e. "jazz"), I either feel it or I don't. Not a lot of in-between, especially with unfamiliar stuff. Any "brand loyalty" I feel is gonna be towards those who have already made it in, not to a "genre" or a "concept". So if hear "good jazz" but it don't hit me right, hey, sorry, no room left at the inn, try next door, they might have something open.

That's just me, no disrespect or hostility, honest. My heart is full of love, but life is short, and I probably got just 20-30 years left, so...

You know what I mean?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. Goofy and I've no idea who this is, reminds me of something on a knitting factory compilation I used to have but have no longer (I might appreciate them now!) Downtown-ish and a bit clever clever, Fiddle reminds me of Final Fantasy if there are any fans of Owen Pallett out there

I imagine that the group on the Knit compilation was probably the Jazz Passengers, in which case, yes, these are the same guys (well, some of them). See above for the exact i.d. of this track...

4. Not really my thing Derek Bailey kind of stuff. I saw Bailey once and was kind of mesmerised to see someone play a guitar so unlike anything else I'd ever heard. On record it doesn't grab me in the same way and neither does this unfortunately. Nice sounding guitar though (and I just about liek the bit where he goes all flamenco...) its just as I get older I like a bit of a tune!

I almost put a Bailey track on this disc, an untypical one where he plays some swing guitar in tribute to Teddy Bunn. This guitarist spent some time in Spain.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

TRACK TWO - Good players making good music. And I am totally unmoved. 20 years ago, maybe. Two drummers, right? And to what end?

Hey, I'm sure it's just me and where I'm at now, but this is serious in none of what are for me the right ways. Yes, there's a story being told, but it's a story that makes me...disinterested. Kinda like the reaction I had to a lot of ECM stuff back in the 70s - nice, and if it works for you, hey, dive in, but, sorry, I ain't feelin' it, nothing personal, ok, still love ya' babe.

It's actually just one drummer, I think it's just the way he's panned in the stereo (& his looseness!) that gives the impression of two! The drummer used to work with Cecil Taylor; the guitarist is probably an unfamiliar name because this is his only album (though he's not a spring chicken).

TRACK THREE - "Green Chimneys", right? In 7. O...k....not sure why, but ok. Sounds like the latest installment of Second Line And Second Line-ish Shenannigans, and that's a game I've been a little weary of for quite a while, even when it grooves, as this one more or less does. There's a good rhytmic energy, but the whole thing ends up sounding like Jazz Guys Trying To Be Outgoing, and that's one ofthose things that if you gotta TRY, then...

And Jeesus Phukking Kryest, don't get cute with a fucking Monk tune. DEAL with it, fuck with it, just don't get cute with it.

That bugs me more than anything else.

Heheheh.... I kinda figured this track might divide people (& put it on here for that reason), because jazz fans tend to have strong opinions about how Monk tunes should sound, & also because (as you note) games with time signatures are getting a little cheesy nowadays. I think they bring this off, but I can see why it might irritate.

TRACK FOUR - I like this. It feels natural, the flow and the articulations. Natural is good. Getting cute with a Monk tune by playing it with a funk beat in 7 is not natural. A funk beat in 7 is natural, Monk is natural, hell even for some pleple, cute is natural. But in no vibrational system in which I care to even contemplate living is the combination natural.

This, otoh, is natural. Lots of folks get off into this bag and force it, you hear the effects (not electronic effects, more like "techniques") more than the music. What I like about this is that I don't hear any effects, I just hear music.

I'm especially glad you like this. As you might guess, this is the oldest musician on the BFT, & I think the richness of experience & quirkiness of character (& serious dues-paying & concentration on getting inside his instrument) all comes out in his music. (This is in part because I actually know a fair bit about the guitarist, having corresponded with him & at one point interviewed him.)

TRACK FIVE - Oh lord, again with the tightly wound vampy bass and drum hookup. For how many years has this been one of the mainstays of "new" jazz? Long enough that it ain't new anymore, I'm guessing....

Still, the sincerity of the trumpeter gets to me, even if I find myself wishing that these people would do this same type thing and just RELAX about it. You can be intense and still be relaxed. In fact, relaxed intensity is the most intense kind, I think, becuase it removes the possibility of anxiety and delivers the pure real deal. You might not think of Cecil, or Ayler, or late Trane, of=r Braxton, or etc. as "relaxed", but think about it, do they ever sound like they gotta rush off and go pee as soon as the tune's over? Hell no.

But these folk kinda do.

I basically included this for the trumpet solo, so I'm glad you liked that! He's one of my favourite younger players, though I'm not always sure that his recordings do him justice. (I like his range of models too--scat singing is one important influence, another is Hank Williams.) -- Yeah, I know what you mean about the airless bass/drum hookups that seem to afflict a lot of small-group jazz these days: maybe call it the Vandermark Syndrome (because I first really started to get irritated with it when I had to review Airports for Light).

TRACK SIX - Well, somebody have studied their Pharoah (and to good effect!). Assuming that this is a recent thing, it's kind die-hard-y, going down withthe TraneShip at all costs now matter how long it takes for the thing to eventually sink, but I gotta love that at least more than just a little, if not necessarily with all the love in the world (unless these are older cats, and they just miht be).

Thing about this type stuff is, when it was even fairly fresh, it promised, if not always revolution, an awakening. And for many of us, it delivered at least some of that. But you know....time passes, and what needs to be awakened now, although still the same as always, might be better awakened in a little bit less of a Rip Van Winkle manner.

But still, the longer this thing goes on, the better it gets. I got to think that these are some people over 40, but who knows. If this was 1976, I'd probably rush right out and buy a copy!

It's guys in their 20s. Does that make you think better or worse of the track? (Not a gotcha: I seriously want to know if it alters your opinion of the music.)

TRACK SEVEN - Again, too tightly wound for me. Can't get past that. Sorry.

Does it make a difference in what you hear if I mention that the pianist is a student of Sal Mosca's?

TRACK NINE - This is nice. Not "nice", but nice, as in a good thing to have come into your life. The writing's steep, and the band executes, especially on ensemble phrasing, which in my experience is always the last thing to really come together/fall into place. Always nice (and rare) to hear music.

Kudos to all, and no small bit of love to go with them!

Especially glad you like this one, as I think the arrangement is fascinating & very "deep" (in the sense that it has a real mysteriousness that co-exists with an understated wit). & I like how this takes its time & makes it worthwhile. -- I'd not heard of either the trombonist or bass clarinetist before, but the latter in particular is excellent.

TRACK TEN - Seems like I might havee/have ehard this one...Vijay Iyler/Rudresh Mahanthappa, that axis?

I like it, it's sort of an extension of M-Base, sort of, and M-Base is something that continued to evolve after the hype went away. Probably moreso, in fact.

Now, see, this has that "tension" of those other cuts, but it doesn't sound tense. There's a relaxed fluidity at the root of all this, at least for me there is, and that makes all the difference in the world. I just don't want to hear people coming at me all nervous and shit. I cna handle concerned,w orried, cynical, and all that, but if you're root message is that you're letting it get to you and take your groove away and making you all nervous and shit, well hell, like the song says, I can do bad by myself.

But these cats, hey, they can c'mon in the house.

Glad you liked this one, too--it's the debut of a young pianist, & there is indeed probably a connection to Iyer/Mahanthappa (the drummer works with them sometimes), probably Tim Berne too?

Okay, not a lot of "positive comments" from me here, but I do appriciate being included, as well as the effort to put together a nicely diverse collection of material. None of it was particularly familiar to me, and I deeply appreciate that, just as I hope my honest reactions are appreciated. I hope!

Yes: I liked your comments a lot actually, in part because you zeroed in on the tracks that seem to me probably the most important (or at least important to me). What I hope, anyway, is that none of the tracks gave you (or others) that "mehh" feel: "it's all right, but I wish it either were genuinely interesting or on the other hand were at least distinctive enough for me to hate it". -- Putting together these BFTs is always a fine line between putting in stuff that I think will "appeal" (like say the "Green Chimneys") & then things that I think are important but will definitely not please some listeners (like the solo guitar & violin tracks, or the take-your-time big-band track #9). My original draft list had everything from the extreme avant-garde end (Stephane Rives!!) to some archival material (like a recently salvaged Fraser MacPherson pair of CBC airshots with Chris Gage, a very talented Canadian pianist who committed suicide in 1963--his playing's like Hampton Hawes with a selfconsciously "out-there" harmonic sensibility attuned to Monk & Tristano.... pretty out-there for Canadian jazz in the early 1960s!), but in winnowing it down to a disc I decided to try for something that wouldn't be completely disjunctive & would give a mainstream listener a toehold while still presenting a few challenges. Decisions, decisions.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...