Jump to content

Blind Fold Test 123

Tom in RI

Recommended Posts

Well, Tom, there’s a lot of music in there that comes from areas of jazz which I just don’t like enough to have listened to much, so I can’t identify any more than one cut. But a lot was kind of interesting and clarified one of the reasons I don’t like it much. So thanks for that. I wrote this a few days ago, one evening and the next day, which explains why...

1 The alto player quotes (or is he playing the tune?) a Brazilian tune I know but can’t identify. I thought I wasn’t going to like this when the alto player started off all spiky, but he soon settled down into a flow. This is very pleasant, without being actually stirring. Yes, he’s back to that tune I know but don’t know at the end.

2 Sounds like a band of retro-nuevo hard bop players, plus a trumpet player who really does sound like he comes from the sixties (go on, tell me it’s Wynton!). I like the drummer quite a lot; he’s got that Charlie Persip thing that so irritates Jim Sangrey down to a T.

3 Interesting intro to what at first sounded like a good train song, but turned into a piece of jazz music. I was getting quite cheesed off with it but, when the guitarist came in, it got interesting again. But then he went off into just playing, like the tenorman.

4 A very Duke Pearson-ish intro; very straightforward and lyrical. Then a trombonist with no voice to his instrument; a bit of piano, then a very quiet bass solo. Those Duke Pearson type bits keep coming in, but to no effect. Possibly the fact that I’ve just been listening to Willis Jackson’s ‘Swivelhips’ has put me in the wrong frame of mind to listen to this, but it’s really not clear to me why people make music like this.

5 Spanish guitar intro, leading to a very Spanish feeling piece. The tenor player has learned his ‘El barrio’ lessons well. The trumpet player and pianist are both well into this, too. And the guitarist, too. I’m rather enjoying this, though it sounds like it’s music that’s been learned rather than absorbed from the community through childhood and youth. I suppose that’s what happens when a music dies, though.

6 Nice walking blues. Oh, now they’re trying to be clever. The tenor player has a bit of gumption, however. The trumpet player has a bit less and the baritone player seldom makes use of the wonderful sound the instrument can make.

7 ‘Spirit take my hand’. Oh, this sounds like something! Oh yes, the man is telling his story; preaching his words. Well, that was bloody WONDERFUL!!!!!! Thank you, Tom.

Stopping there because it’s bedtime.

8 This tune sounds like an advertising jingle! Very cheerful throughout the head with an apparently old-fashioned trumpet player in there. The solos have considerable charm, helped by the head (or a variation thereof) coming in in the background. Are there two trumpet players? I like both. I’m pretty sure these are all modern players, even the old-fashioned trumpet player.

I like this; it’s not the sort of thing I’d buy, but if you played me it (oh, you just did!), I’d listen with great enjoyment (oh, I just did!).

9 Those jagged chords to start off with, and the spiky melody, to start off with next, don’t sit well with me. In comes the pianist for a short while, quietly, as if to say, ‘no, we didn’t mean all that nasty stuff’, but they did, because here it comes again. But when the pianist solos, he’s all wholesome retro hard bop. So’s the trumpet player; equal helpings of Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard – not a trace of Melvin Lastie or Waymon Reed – shocking!

10 Oh, something John Patton-ish this way comes, amazingly, called ‘Along came John’. I suspect Jim Alfredson. I haven’t heard his tribute to John Patton album, ‘Dirty fingers’. It’s OK, but honestly, I’d sooner hear this material by Big John. I didn’t like the trumpet player or tenorman much; both seemed to be too focused on ‘doing something different’, rather than being themselves.

Of course, there was a John Patton tune in my last BFT, so I’ve got no room to talk, have I?

11 A snatch of melody I know. It sounds like a George Braith tune. Strange; I wouldn’t have thought any modern musicians would play his tunes. Wouldn’t have thought any other musicians COULD do Braith’s ideas justice; like George Freeman, Braith is a total eccentric. He should be left alone to do his things. (This’ll turn out to have nowt to do with George Braith, in the end, I bet.)

Well, we'll see. Sure hope someone fingers #7 soon, as I want to get it.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

As always, I find your comments both interesting and insightful Allan. Most of the recordings, with one exception, are fairly recent. As to your preferences, I get that. On the other hand, most all the artists here are on the high side of 30-35 and if they are not the distinctive stylists that Gatortail Jackson or George Braith are/were they are still sincerely plying a craft they love. I guess that's an issue for most musicians who reach a certain level of competency if not originality.

On to your comments,

2. The drummer, who you liked but evidently Jim Sangrey wouldn't, is the leader of this session. No Marsalis in sight here or anywhere on my BFT.

4. Well, everyone has to start somewhere. I picked this up with little idea what to expect. And since I tend to prefer reeds to brass I am a little surprised how much this has grown on me.

5. I had several Latin pieces on my last BFT. I think your observations here are pretty apropos, although I don't think one can say this music is dead. Whether someone is more authentic than someone else is kind of a tricky judgement but I hear what you are saying.

7. I congratulate your restraint in not searching for who this is. If you want I can PM you the info on who this is. I considered editing the track but decided not to.

8. Just one trumpet player.

9. I like this disc more as a whole and had trouble deciding which cut to include,

10. And we have a winner, yes, this is our gracious host's newest release.

11. As far as I know, this track has no Braith connection. Funny you mention George Freeman as i had two different tracks featuring him I almost put on here, maybe next time.

Thanks for playin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posting blind before reading the other comments. Thanks Tom, very enjoyable BFT with a wonderful flow, and I look forward to finding out the identities, especially on #'s 5 and 6.

1 – Great background music for a workday on the computer. I feel like the tenor player and pianist are names I should know well. Reminds me of the album Stan Getz did with Albert Dailey.

2 – That’s a good sound with the guitar on the ensemble passages. I like the composition, the alto player, and really like the drummer. The trumpet player, not so much. Recent vintage (which to me means anything in the last 25 years).

3 – I admire this greatly, but would not see myself ever actually deciding to put it on and listen to it, leaves me emotionally cold. Reminiscent of the stuff Mark Turner and Kurt Rosenwinkel were doing together.

4 – I also admire this one, and like it better than #3, but it still sinks into the background for me, as good as it is.

5 – Most assuredly did not fade into the background, I love this one! Timeless, could have been recorded in 1964 or 2014. Love the guitar (there is a LOT of guitar on this BFT!), but all of them are good. I’m going to guess it’s the guitar player’s album. Has the feel of some of the things Kenny Burrell was doing with larger groups in the 60’s, though this ensemble sounds larger than it actually is, I think. Also something of an early CTI feel to this. I look forward to seeking this one out if I don’t happen to already own it. The percussion stuff going on in the background is fascinating.

6 – GREAT trumpet solo. This is a wonderful cut! Is that Pepper Adams on baritone? Sounds like it could be the Jones/Lewis big band. Whatever it is, it needs to be in my collection ASAP. Ends far too soon.

7 – This whole sort of thing has always been lost on me. I don’t know, maybe someone like Hamiett Bluiett, who is just utterly hit or miss for me. This is miss by a mile, but that’s just me.

8 – Yeah, I can do this one. Gotta be the tenor player’s album, doesn’t it. I know I know him. The trumpet player is playing in a more vintage style, which indicates that the tenor player would be one of those transitional masters like Lockjaw Davis or Gene Ammons, unless they are modern-day ringers (blame it on Wynton).

9 – See comments for #4. Arranger’s record.

10 – Gotta enjoy this, you know! Good time music. Reminds me of some of those Lonnie Smith Blue Note sessions ca 1970, with the likes of Lee Morgan and George Coleman.

11 – That two tenor, bass, drums configuration is one of my favorite sounds in jazz. Elvin Jones was the master, though I don’t think this is him. But this is a treat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the comments John.

1. I'm sure you will know the tenorist's name, probably the piano too, although I'd say he is less well known than the reed man.

3. Yeah, I can see where this may come off as analytical or cold, something there just does it for me. I really like the tenor man and I keep an eye out for his name on dates.

5. The tenor man is not the leader, in fact there is not single leader designated on this release.

6. Not Pepper Adams, pretty good guess though. I have two copies of this so...

7. Different strokes, Allan found this to be the most agreeable cut on the disc.

8. I am looking for more by this group, if you like this you will probably like the whole date.

Thanks for participating. I'll be back down your way in August, hopefully we'll get a chance to hang.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a very intriguing Blindfold Test. I keep thinking that I should know more of the artists than I do.

1. I find this to be a pleasant, but not especially memorable, piano and sax duet. It makes me think about how contemporary jazz recordings often simply do not feature musicians with very distinctive voices, compared to jazz of the past.

2. This is a nice mainstream bop recording. It reminds me of a time when I was in a large music store in the mid-1990s. An African-American boy, about ten years old, pointed to a Wynton Marsalis album and asked his mother what it sounded like. She said, "it's like a Lee Morgan album, only not as good." That is what I get from this track. However, on repeated listenings, the saxophone soloist and the trumpet soloist are undeniably quite good.

3. This could be Kurt Rosenwinkel. It is the kind of abstract head that I am sometimes in the mood for, and sometimes think that contemporary jazz musicians use this sort of slightly unusual theme as a too easy default position. It is very skillfully played.

4. I like the trombone player, he plays with some real feeling, some guts. I have no idea who it is, but I like this one.

5. I love this song. I keep thinking I have this recording, or have heard it and should know who it is. I love the composition and arrangement. Great percussion! Who is that trumpet soloist? Who plays with a harmon mute so skillfully, but also with some lightness to his approach, some good humor? Someone like Eddie Henderson would be more ponderous. Clark Terry would play with this good humor, but it does not sound like him. Who IS that?

6. I love this one too. I have no idea who it is, but I find the composition, the arrangement, and the solos, all very appealing and memorable.

7. I want to like this more than I do. I think that the players are just not quite steeped enough in the gospel tradition--as if they are rather unsoulful musicians trying to delve into gospel.

8. I love this one. It is very appealing, very catchy, but with a lot of substance. It reminds me of something that Phillip Johnston would do, either on his own or with the Microscopic Sextet. It is not quite weird enough for him though, not quite off-kilter enough. I really like the arrangement a lot. It is imaginative and appealing.

9. This reminds me of a Slide Hampton arrangement, such as the work he did on McCoy Tyner's '13th House' or Dexter Gordon's 'Sophisticated Giant.' The trumpet solo is really good. I love the way that the big band is used here. I feel like I should know what this is.

10. This is great music. What a hot organ dominated track! Whatever it is, I want to buy it! This is music with soul and passion.

11. Oh, WHO IS THIS? I should know. I love this sort of Ornette-ish stuff. At first I wondered if it was Old and New Dreams--but they did not have two saxophonists. The drummer gets into a DeJohnette-like level of complexity. This is really excellent. It is appealing and deep and exciting, all at once. I love this one.

So thanks so much for a really interesting, often very exciting and appealing Blindfold Test! I can't wait to read the answers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi HP, and thanks for playing. Don't feel bad an about missing who is who, I'd say most of these artists are lesser knowns so I think the idea would be less to identify the players than too comment on what they are doing, which you did. On to your guesses.

3. Not Kurt Rosenwinkel although I do think there is some shared sensiblilities.

5. The trumpet player is one of the more recognized, and to some, recognizble, players on this BFT. Let me be clear, I don't think I could personally pick them out blind, I have a tough time with trumpets.

7. This looks to be a polarizing track with two negative reactions and one very ppositive reaction.

8. One thing I'll say about this disc is that I had a hard time picking one track, I like most all of what's here and I think the date hangs together pretty well. I am on the lookout for more by this band.

11. I like the caps, this is how I feel for pretty much all the BFT's I hear,

If there aren't any other respondents I will likely reveal next week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi HP, and thanks for playing. Don't feel bad an about missing who is who, I'd say most of these artists are lesser knowns so I think the idea would be less to identify the players than too comment on what they are doing, which you did. On to your guesses.

3. Not Kurt Rosenwinkel although I do think there is some shared sensiblilities.

5. The trumpet player is one of the more recognized, and to some, recognizble, players on this BFT. Let me be clear, I don't think I could personally pick them out blind, I have a tough time with trumpets.

7. This looks to be a polarizing track with two negative reactions and one very ppositive reaction.

8. One thing I'll say about this disc is that I had a hard time picking one track, I like most all of what's here and I think the date hangs together pretty well. I am on the lookout for more by this band.

11. I like the caps, this is how I feel for pretty much all the BFT's I hear,

If there aren't any other respondents I will likely reveal next week.

Tom, Please check your Private Messages--I sent you one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 – Love the piano. Merely like the tenor. Some Getzian phraseology there, but it isn't Getz. Is it Chris Potter, Bob Berg, Mintzer? Nothing but praise for the pianist, who catches everything that's thrown on this field.

2 – There's a Mingus-y quality to the head. Another tenor who has paid a lot of attention to the Four Brothers. Trumpet's tone leaves some to be desired, but the heart is in the right place. The accompanied drum solo is fine. I want to hear more from these players.

3 – I like the way the composer of this one thinks. The tenor isn't afraid to swing it. The guitar is OK but doesn't work as well. The bass line is poppin', though.

4 – It's an all-brass ensemble, nicely thought out. The bass solo is very effective. No guess, but much admiration.

5 – Maybe a late-career Dizzy record, or a Sandoval project? Lots of Dizzy in that graceful trumpet solo. OK, but a little overproduced. We all get that it's "Spanish" without the castanets.

6 – Edmund Gregory, as revealed before.

7 – Presumably this, which I hadn't heard of before I just Googled it:


Really well done, and not a note too many, and a wonderful response from the rhythm section.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Spontooneous,

1. None of the people on tenor that you guessed but someone with at least as high a proflie as Mintzer and Berg, maybe just a bit behind Potter.

2. Since we are pretty late in the process here I'll drop this hint, the drummer is the leader.

5. Oh, getting warm here.

7. Yes, that's it.

Looking forward tpo your impressions of the rest of the disc.

Edited by Tom in RI
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Plum forgot about this for most of the month. Some very pleasing ear candy in this one. Also a few that drove me nuts, but that’s more about me than any logical sonic reaction.

Track 01 - I like this a lot. The piano has a nice, rolling, percussive feel. Tenor sounds somewhat familiar, but I’m guessing I’m more familiar with his/her influences as this sounds like a younger player, to me. Very musical, tasteful, and interesting.

Track 02 - Very straight-ahead feel. Tenor has an older sound, but the ideas are straight Joe Henderson (though, more rehearsed). I’m unsure how much I like this. Trumpet solo is nice, but non-descript. Oy… electric bass, in a very bad way. That’s a shot to the rocks. I’m just not feeling this one (not just the bass, either).
Track 03 - Something is just off, here. It’s almost like the tenor is not comfortable at this pace. I’ve heard this happen with Bill McHenry — almost like he’s *so* comfortable playing at the fast tempos that he struggles with the in-the-pocket feel. Either that or it’s like the rhythm section was recorded separately. No idea, except that it’s a modern group. It’s just leaving me a bit cold.
Track 04 - Opening reminds me a bit of Charles Tolliver’s Brass Co. The 7/4 feel works well on this tune, and it’s a very thoughtful trombone solo. Clean, very nice, but ‘thoughtful’. The arrangement supports the soloist nicely and, with the help of the drums, works to a nice build. Acoustic bass — NICE! :) The bassist has listened a good deal to David Holland, but I don’t think it’s him. This track is a definite keeper!
Track 05 - Part Gil Evans, Part Chuck Mangione. I like it on both counts. Another guy out of the Joe Henderson school, but this one speaks to me a lot more. Sounds like the trumpet player’s date. The feel of this tune is beautiful. Something about the combination of the Spanish influence of the guitar with the melancholy harmony. It’s just beautiful. Another keeper!
Track 06 - Ah! I know this! I’ve got this by Shihab. Yes, it’s Track 1 from this. Underrated giant!
Track 07 - Another great track! Track 4 from this. I was listening to this in the car one day, at 4:05, I got so into it that I let out an “AAaaaaugh!” followed by Alex’ response at 4:09. Awesome listening moment.
Track 08 - I’m enjoying this in spite of the tenor player being a checklist of things that make me insane (from affected vibrato to strangled altissimo and everything in between). Not sure which of the NEC guys this is, but this track works in spite of him. The trumpet nails it.
Track 09 - Initially, this feels like it could go the same over-learned route of the tenor, but I like this a lot. Very similar to Track 05 to my ear. A little over-arranged, but the feel is nice and they execute it nicely. Perhaps this is David Holland’s band? It’s new-ish, clean and controlled, but it works.
Track 10 - Has a bit of a Cecil Brooks, III feel to it. But every time somebody includes a booty-shaker, it ends up being Organissimo, so that’s my guess. Something about this, the time is just a shade off.
Track 11 - The tune sounds familiar, is it an Ornette tune? I don’t like the bass, at all. Sounds like Avishai Cohen (sound-wise). Tenor sounds like a spawn of Garzone to me. I can’t explain why these guys do this to me — there is an obvious Coltrane descendancy, and I love Coltrane. I think it’s the utter lack of originality that gets me. The technique is awesome, but I don’t hear the music. I’m not even hearing the alto. What’s bizarre is that if this were Blythe/Freeman or Bartz/Whomever, I’d probably be all over this. This just doesn’t grab me, except to rub me.
Despite my reaction to Track 11, I found myself enjoying a great deal of this BFT! Thanks for the ear challenge!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Thom, thanks for playing. As usual your comments are interesting and insightful. You are right about 5, 6 and 10. Regarding 3, I knew when I included this that it might not be well recieved and I can't articulate why I like it so much, but I do. Spent a few minutes trying to see if the tenor man on 8 was an NEC grad, he has a music degree but not from there. Glad you enjoyed 9, another track I felt would leave some people cold.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is very interesting to me that my reaction to Track 7 is so different from what is stated here by other members whose opinions I respect. I just do not hear the real soul, real gospel feeling in Track 7, but apparently others find it totally convincing.

I find it fascinating that when we do not know who is playing, we candidly state our true reactions, which do not adhere to an orthodox view of an artist. I guess that is one of the goals of a Blindfold Test generally.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Past time to finish what I started here...

8 – More instruments just keep comin' in. Love that arrangement. Nothing particularly special happens in the solos, but the shaping hand of the arranger leaves a big impression.

9 – This is one of those newish Maria Schneider-y things. Hard to count – is that 7/8? Well written, played "correctly," but the band is too busy counting to really let go and play. I kinda like, but wish I liked it better. Maybe I'm just not in the mood.

10 – But yeah, I'm in the mood for this. Pretty good tenor and organ, but the highlight is the very unbuttoned trumpet solo, each chorus better than the one before.

11 – Come to think of it, I'm in the mood for this too. Should I know this head? Is it Ornette's writing or merely Ornettish? The Ornette vein continues in the beautiful tenor solo. Is that perhaps the real Dewey Redman? If not, it's somebody who learned the right things from him. The alto is more lick-oriented, but the solo works anyway.

Despite my slowness in responding, I've really enjoyed the music here, pretty much all of it. Thank you, Tom!

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.

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.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...