Schlagwörter: Jazz Kommentarverlauf ein-/ausschalten | Tastaturkürzel

  • blechtram 10:48 am am March 6, 2020 Permalink | Antworten
    Tags: 8.8/10, , , , Genre Classic, Jazz, John Coltrane, Spiritual Jazz   

    John Coltrane: Ascension 

    Rating: 8.8/10
    Rated as
    : Album
    Album Status: Genre Classic
    Released: 1966
    Recorded: 1965
    Specific Genre: Free Jazz, Spiritual Jazz
    Main Genre: Jazz, Avant-Garde Jazz
    Undertones
    : Experimental Big Band
    Label: Impulse!

    1 Ascension (Edition II)
    Bonus Tracks: 2 Ascension (Edition I)

    Like a seagull thrown around by the tides

    This is Coltrane’s „free jazz“-album which might alienate people who mainly go for his 1950s hard bop and ballads. Up to this point, Coltrane already had been flirting and entangled with avant-garde here and there, but this is the wedding announcement. If you listen to free jazz at all, I’d say this is the second record you should pick up (you can figure out the first for yourself). And, to exactly no one’s surprise, it’s great. The energy is amazing, makes you feel like a seagull thrown around by the tides, waves and winds, and I regularly find myself having gone through these 40 minutes without really noticing in the best way – this record sort of suspends my sense of time.

    While free jazz shouldn’t make you „tune out“ mentally, you really don’t have a lot of listening „work“ to do here: The sheer, frenzied soul displayed by the very unususal set-up just carries you right through the piece. The performance of the (large) collective is so good it makes your brain forget that this is, at least supposedly, „cerebral“ music. It is also a very different approach compared to Ornette Coleman’s Free Jazz: While that album was more of a thoroughly collective effort, Ascension follows a pretty tight structure that has ensemble and soloists alternating every few minutes in a specific order (everyone involved gets one solo, except Garrison and Davis on the double-basses get a duet). That’s not better or worse than Coleman’s stress on collective dynamics of development, but it does give you slightly more to hold on to structurally when you’re starting out in the genre. As the record that announced Coltrane‘s complete take-off into the stratosphere, it’s pretty bold and astounding in terms of full realisation – no „transitional“ aspects here.

     
  • blechtram 11:16 am am March 3, 2020 Permalink | Antworten
    Tags: 7.7/10, , Backdoor Classic, Jazz, , Nils Petter Molvær, Nu Jazz   

    Nils Petter Molvær: Khmer 

    Rating: 7.7/10
    Rated as
    : Album
    Album Status
    : Backdoor Classic
    Released: 1997
    Specific Genre: Nu Jazz
    Main Genre: Jazz, Jazz Fusion, Electronic
    Undertones
    : EDM, Breakbeat, Trip Hop, ECM Style Jazz
    Label: ECM

    1 Khmer 2 Tløn 3 Access/Song of Sand I 4 On Stream 5 Platonic Years 6 Phum 7 Song of Sand II 8 Exit

    An explorative but very disciplined approach extending jazz into electronic music on equal terms

    To me, this sounds like Tutu gone well – replacing tired old 1980s-funk with contemporary engery of trip hop and EDM. Obviously, Molvær‘s stylistic godfather regarding his trumpet sound is Miles Davis, especially Marcus Miller’s Davis – and quite openly so: The trumpet lick of „Platonic Years“ is the exact one that opens Davis’s Doo-Bop album with „Mystery“. While such a description should make me run for shelter, this release is actually quite terrific and (partially) makes me see even the lesser aspects of Davis’s synth-jazz era as a forerunner of successful outings of electronic and nujazz such as this.

    Khmer is a primarily stylistic affair. The sound is crystal clear, dominated by Molvær‘s now piercing, now soothing trumpet, floating over mostly programmed (?) beats which range from ambient background to heavy thunder, bordering on wild outbreaks à la Massive Attack here and there. Distorted guitars and filtered cellos (?) add to an explorative but very disciplined approach extending jazz into electronic music on equal terms. Molvær adds an eastern element to the grooves (the tabla-like percussion on „On Stream“ sounds like a sample from an Indian raga) over which he supplies his druidic trumpet solos.

    After the two mesmerizing, beat-and-crunched-guitar-driven openers and a great trip hop freakout on „Access/Song of Sand I“, the record gets dreamier and borderline ambient towards the middle, approaching Eno-territory on the mellow „Platonic Years“ and „Phum“. In a suite-like dramaturgy, the hypnotic beats of „Song of Sand II“ make an reappearance and the record glides away with „Exit“, less of a song and more of a coda. But what makes this work? Is it just the deliberate craftsmanship that adds layer on layer, creating an amazing array of musical details and nuances, rewarding a close listen? The true strength of this distorted and programmed approach to jazz is the fact that Molvær evokes yearning emotions mostly through timbre, swerving from heavy EDM beats to pure blissful melancholia to soothing inner landscapes of stalagmitical ice caves with astounding consistency.

    The criticism Khmer draws is easily explained: It does feel like an approach that works for one album. This is too experimental and cerebral for „Café-del-Mar“-listeners, but too electronic and ‚easy‘ for jazz snobs. I like to see this as an advantage of Khmer. It’s thinkable to give this to totally different people such as trip hoppers, house-junkies, jazz aficionados and chill-sound-folks, with at least some of each group ending up liking it. As an icicle blazing through the European jazz scene in the late 1990s, it’s still a cold gust of wind more than twenty years later.

     
  • blechtram 11:26 am am November 1, 2019 Permalink | Antworten
    Tags: , , , ECM Style Jazz, Jazz, Keith Jarrett, Newbie Baiting   

    Keith Jarrett: The Impulse! Story 

    Rating: 3.7/10
    Rated as
    : Anthology
    Compilation Status
    : Newbie Baiting
    Released: 2006
    Recorded: 1973–1976
    Specific Genre: ECM Style Jazz
    Main Genre: Jazz
    Undertones
    : Avant-Garde Jazz, Post-Bop, Bebop, Piano Jazz
    Label: Impulse!

    1 De Drums 2 The Rich (and the Poor) 3 Blue Streak 4 Treasure Island 5 Introduction and Yaqui Indian Folk Song 6 Victoria 7 Everything that Lives Laments 8 Konya 9 Bop-Be 10 Mushi Mushi 11 Silence

    Good music, very questionable reason of existence as a compilation

    Problems first: This compilation is called „The Impulse Story“, so the title suggests a sort of narrative for Jarrett’s American Quartet recordings for that label (1973–1976) – or it should, anyway. More complete compilations and box sets of Jarrett’s Impulse output had been issued before this (occupying both in name and completeness the „Impulse Years“ tag), and the question arises to what end there has to be a single disc compilation of that period. A plot? Sure. But there is no plot here, so let’s take a look.

    Academically (and moronically) reconstructing the track choice, you‘ll be left with the knowledge that seven of the eleven tracks (make that ten actually – „Victoria“ wasn‘t issued on Jarrett‘s original Impulse albums – but it was first released on The Impulse Years: 1973–1974, so there is no point to view it as the selling point here) stem from just two of the eight albums while three albums aren’t represented at all. You‘ll also notice that the chronology hasn’t been touched (leading to the fact that the four tracks of Treasure Island come in a row). And you‘ll notice that the track choice as well as the liner notes were done by jazz expert Ashley Kahn. I was hoping to find an answer to the choices he made in his liner notes, and he only hints at it by mentioning that the last four albums for Impulse stem from roughly the same sessions Jarrett did in 1975/76. As there is no other information directly relating to the track choice, we’re left with a bunch of questions (why is it called story? Why such a stress on Treasure Island? Why a single disc compilation about a guy whose work has been documented excellently and comprehensively, and whose specialty were 20-minute-suites?), we‘re left to construct a) the scheme that this was called story to imply a personal and artistical ‚development‘ of Jarrett‘s Impulse years and b) the suspicion that the last four albums didn’t contribute so well to represent that arc (as they were part of temporarily close sessions as opposed to long evolution processes). Suspicion also arises this is a cash-in to lure in newbies. Who needs this?

    Call me picky, but I simply expect better from the normally unerring Impulse!-label.

    Economics aside, let’s take a look at the material. Like the albums it’s taken from, it is quite alright to excellent, a particular stand-out is the opener „De Drums“, with its swinging, swirling, breezy and moving pattern, akin to cape jazz, followed by some shorter tunes that all share the same airy and weightless atmosphere – an overall summer feeling permeates this. Things get a bit edgier in the last third, when the group shifted its sound away from the acoustic improvs from the beginning, and went for a less free-flowing, harder bopping approach once again (very sneaky by calling that last album Bop-Be). I prefer to listen to the first half, excellent for mornings and sunny afternoons, very laid-back music. Maybe that was the point, to lounge-ify Jarrett‘s Impulse output, possibly cross-financed by Starbucks. A thin plot: Good music, very questionable reason of existence as a compilation. As I said, I can’t imagine anyone seriously interested in this who wouldn’t want the albums in the first place.

    1: Fort Yawuh (1973)
    2–5: Treasure Island (1974)
    6: from the Backhand (1975) sessions, but first released on The Impulse Years: 1973–1974 (1997)
    7: Mysteries (1976)
    8: Byablue (1977)
    9–11: Bop-Be (1977)

     
  • blechtram 8:27 am am October 16, 2019 Permalink | Antworten
    Tags: 4.6/10, , , Jazz, Tok Tok Tok,   

    Tok Tok Tok: 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover 

    Rating: 4.6/10
    Rated as
    : Album
    Album Status
    : for Fans
    Released: 1999
    Specific Genre: Vocal Jazz
    Main Genre: Jazz
    Undertones
    : Soul Jazz, Pop Soul, Soul
    Label: Einstein

    1 Monkey-See and Monkey-Do 2 Alone Again 3 Day Tripper 4 I’ll Never Fall in Love Again 5 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover 6 Crime of Crimes 7 The Jack 8 Straighten Up and Fly Right 9 I Wish 10 Her Majesty 11 Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child 12 Hallelujah 13 Boogie Woogie Bossa Nova

    Love is monkey-see and monkey-do

    A stylish little combo somewhere between soul and jazz, consisting (almost) exclusively of a vocalist, a double bass and a saxophone, with an occasional human beatbox serving as percussion. Tokunbo Akinro’s vocals are smooth and convincing, the resulting minimalist sound being the concept here works surprisingly well. They do covers of jazz, jazz-pop, pop and soul standards, with a heavy focus on the 1970s. Highlights are Paul Simon’s title track and Stevie Wonder’s „I Wish“, still pretty funky even in this stripped-down arrangement. This low-key, acoustic approach makes for a quite consistent quality of the different performances, their smoothified-funk-sound really only goes awry on „Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child“, where spark and soul are tossed aside. But overall, this is pleasant and heartfelt background soul jazz by a talented band. But don’t fool yourself into thinking that all moments of these 59 and a half minutes, feeling like cover-song warm ups here and there, are all equally exciting.

     
  • blechtram 9:49 am am October 10, 2019 Permalink | Antworten
    Tags: 6.6/10, , , , Jazz, Live Album, Sun Ra   

    Sun Ra: Disco 3000 

    Rating: 6.6/10
    Rated as
    : Album / Live
    Album Status
    : for Fans
    Released: 1978
    Recorded: 1978
    Specific Genre: Free Jazz
    Main Genre: Avant-Garde Jazz, Jazz
    Undertones
    : Free Improvisation, Jazz Fusion
    Label: Saturn

    1 Disco 3000 2 Third Planet 3 Friendly Galaxy 4 Dance of the Cosmo-Aliens

    A straight line through a Pollock-painting

    A live album by the Sun Ra quartet, taken from a reportedly busy time in Italy 1978 – there are more complete versions out there, but this LP (with a side-long jam and three shorter freak-outs) was the initial form of its release. It is not an essential release, but that doesn’t mean it’s not thoroughly entertaining for people drenched in carefree free jazz.

    There is a brittle trumpet dominating the first part of the jam, sound volume shifts up and down (intentionally, I think, it sounds as if Sun Ra phases his keyboards in and out as an effect) and although there are some grooves and soloing, this is not the kind of free jazz that sounds as if its creators are constantly inspired and incessantly hit by epiphanies – this is more like a bored toddler rummaging around the attic, finding a million little things to keep her entertained for a moment, only to shift attention the next second. With Sun Ra, this approach works. In true improv-manner, Sun Ra messes with the then brand-new Crumar DS-2 synthesizer which could produce programmed rhythms – he turns those beats on and off, each of them like a straight line through a Pollock-painting. They give you the illusion you can groove for a second – but then they’re gone! Begone, structure! Sun Ra wants to chant „Space Is the Place“! (some point after the five-minute mark…)

    The second side is a bit more groove-oriented, with some tribal stuff and recognisable patterns – there even is something like a song, since ‚melody prop‘ of the weird and fun jungle groove that is „Dance of the Cosmo-Aliens“ is based on „Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child“. This becomes obvious about four minutes into the track. Also, check this out if you’re looking for stuff that heavily influenced Jimi Tenor.

     
  • blechtram 3:34 pm am July 12, 2019 Permalink | Antworten
    Tags: , Hugues Panassié, Jazz, ,   

    Moments of Plunder: Panassié vs. Bebop 

    Epperson, Bruce D.: More Important Than the Music. A History of Jazz Discography. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press 2013. P. 136.

    Another interesting factoid about the development of jazz discographies and the historicity of music categories: Up until the 1950s, there was very serious opposition to include anything into the category of jazz that was, lo and behold, ‚bebop‘ or ‚cool music‘ – in other words, too ‚refined‘ and not „hot“ (by the way, what happened to that ‚hot‘ jazz category? Note to myself for a chapter on this). This opposition was, according to Epperson’sexcellent book More Important than the Music, most prominently held by French discographer and dixieland-enthusiast Hugues Panassié. To say the least, Panassié was a controversial figure. I mean, you wouldn’t expect someone who is most known for, and owes his Wikipedia-article mostly to, the fact that he did jazz discographies to have an entire chapter on that very article called Selected controversies (as of July 2019). Besides being that obnoxiously belligerent kind of journalist, Panassié was politically right-wing, far, far right. But he loved early jazz, which of course matches up to this weird kind of ‚positive racism‘, holding that ‚only blacks‘ can really create hot, swinging jazz – ‚real jazz‘, as Panassié puts it. It’s a kind of deranged and distorted concept of both love and, uhm, ‚primitiveness‘, something that Rousseau and his ‚natural state‘ might have subscribed to:

    „Ironically, Panassié was a Bourbonist and an unabashed social elitist who was attracted to jazz primarily because he believed it represented a sharp break with the increasingly homologized, commercialized culture he thought Anglo-American democratic liberalism was imposing on French society.“

    (Epperson 2013, 32f.)

    The obnoxious line of argument is that only black musicians were really ‚primitive enough‘ to create that kind of ‚rhythmic hot jazz‘ Panassié happened to like. This went both ways: Panassié didn’t like to include white musicians in his ‚hot discographies‘, because white boys can’t jump – except for Milton „Mezz“ Mezzrow, that is, who happened to be an old personal friend of Panassié and about whom Epperson writes:

    „The eccentric Mezzrow was Jewish, but he so deeply believed he shared the essence of the American black psyche that he considered himself black, identifying himself as „Negro“ on his passport and other documents.“

    (Epperson 2013, 32)

    And Panassié excluded any black musician from his discographies that dared to go beyond what Panassié deemed too schooled to fit his liking of ‚primitively‘ swinging dixieland. So some of the work by the likes of Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk didn’t make the cut of his 1950s „jazz“ discographies, because their music was either too ‚refined‘ (bop) and/or, god forbid, ‚cool‘ instead of hot. Panassié’s opinion was that these guys basically waste their (acknowledged) musical talent. Panassié’s idea that only black musicians really can play ‚jazz‘ is, if you look at the history, not exclusive to white right-wing fanatics, to put it diplomatically. Of course, nowadays the idea that bebop isn’t jazz seems absurd, but it’s sometimes informative to take a look at how and why some people try to establish categories and boundaries. Unsurprisingly, this ends up being about identity politics, but the identity Panassié had reserved for the producers of his beloved hot jazz was a pretty vile construct.

     
  • blechtram 8:46 pm am June 2, 2019 Permalink | Antworten
    Tags: , , , Jazz,   

    A list of historically important jazz discographies 

    According to:

    Epperson, Bruce D.: More Important Than the Music. A History of Jazz Discography. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press 2013.

    Where do you look up information about jazz, blues, gospel and all that ja…ngling music, I mean besides just googling yourself to death in a pool of abundant, half-reliable information? Where do you go where the information, however correct it might be, doesn’t feel sticky? In discographies? Which ones? Epperson’s book on the topic, More Important Than the Music (2013), is fascinating. Sure, from one perspective, it gives you an abundance of facts, of nerdy information about nerds and their nerdy obsessions, it painstakingly records who published which list of jazz records at what time under what circumstances. That is the purely fact-driven aspect. On the other hand, it introduces you to a world of people whipped by their desires, bound together in love and hatred for the topic and for each other, stuck in decade-long feuds about plagiarism, money, mutual criticism and appraisal, a world full of projects only making it from the letters A to K because of over-ambition, corporate enemies or new technology. A world full of hope and despair, of half-arbitrary decisions about race, genre, cut-off dates, band formats and sound formats, driven by personal interest of the respective researcher. A world of necessary, but neither academically nor financially rewarded research, with no sustainable way to make it profitable. I don’t know if Epperson realises just how hilarious his chosen quote to end the book is, where Howard Rye says:

    The single biggest factor in jazz discography is that neither Brian Rust nor Jørgen Jepsen gave a damn about the needs of those who wouldn’t buy their books!

    (Rye in Epperson 2013, 212).

    Talk about an exclamation point to end a book about, well, lists. This is not how a tragedy ends (or a comedy, or a romance) – this is how you end a farce, a book with farcical subject matter, intentionally or not. As I said somewhere else: A discography is but a list made by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. (Including myself, of course, although the only ‚discographies‘ I create consist of second-hand information and aim at cutting the corners of availability).

    Below is a list of the jazz discographies that Epperson discusses more than just in passing and around which he constructs entire chapters or paragraphs. Epperson’s book is an eloquent, informative and fluid (and at times hilarious) read from a historical/narrative perspective, but it doesn’t have registers telling you which discographies or names are discussed on what pages, and which chapters and paragraphs deal with which time spans exactly etc. (actually, in the text, the chapter titles do indicate time spans, but they don’t do this where it would be most useful: in the „contents“ overview). So I assembled a list according to Epperson’s chronology with some of the crucial quotes for each discography. The list only treats general jazz (and blues) discographies, meaning there are no specialized discographies: no label discographies, no single-artist bio-discographies, no solographies (yes, those exist), no national discographies and so forth.

    Since discographies tend to have shifting titles, different editors/authors, changing time spans and volatile edition histories, I somewhat lump the titles and publication years for the discographies together. The gist of each work’s identity will be researchable with this, if you want to dig into it. Or just read the book.

    Chapter 2.2:

    Schleman, Hilton: Rhythm on Record (1936)

    The lack of session-level information has led many discographers to relegate Rhythm on Record to protodiscography, leaving the honors of „first discography“ to Delaunay’s Hot Discography, which appeared three months later.However, within the limited goals he set for himself, Schleman was largely successful, an discographers were still using his book some sixty-five years later.

    (Epperson 2013, 29)

    Chapter 2.3:

    Delaunay, Charles: Hot Discography (1936)

    „Charles Delaunay is the undoubted father of discography as we know it today,“ adds Sheatsley. „It was he who first saw and utilized the importance of master numbers.“

    (Epperson 2013, 38)

    Chapter 3.1:

    Blackstone, Orin: Index to Jazz (1945–1950)

    Therefore he stuck to an alphabetical-by-artist structure from start to finish, unlike Delaunay’s affinities of style arrangement.

    (Epperson 2013, 51)

    Chapter 3.2:

    Delaunay, Charles: New Hot Discography (1948)

    Recognizably a Delaunay product, it retained the affinities of style approach for musicians recorded before 1930 but abandoned it for later artists, who were grouped in straight alphabetical order in a long section of their own.

    (Epperson 2013, 56)

    One other prescient feature of New Hot Discography bears mentioning in some detail. Each issue (usually, but not always, a 78 rpm, two-sided single) was assigned a „discode“, a Delaunay-assigned serial number comprising a number, letter, and number.

    (Epperson 2013, 59)

    Chapter 3.4:

    Carey, David, Albert McCarthy (and Ralph Venable): The Directory of Recorded Jazz and Swing Music [The Jazz Directory] (1949–1955)

    McCarthy, Albert and Dave Carey: The Directory of Recorded Jazz and Swing Music Inlcuding Gospel and Blues Records [The Jazz Directory]. (1955–1957)

    The discographic format wasn’t radically different from that of the contemporaneous Blackstone or Delaunay works, but it was crisper and clearer, mostly because, once and for all, it subordinated matrix numbers to recording sessions arranged in a chronological format.

    (Epperson 2013, 69)

    Chapter 3.5:

    Delaunay, Charles and Kurt Mohr: Hot discographie encyclopédique (1951–1952)

    The format of Hot discographie encyclopédique (HDE) was a complete break with any of Delaunay’s previous works and bore a strong resemblance to Carey and McCarthy’s series, so it instantly became known as the „French Jazz Directory„. Delaunay admitted that the times had changed and „such a work as this must be objective, not selective.“

    (Epperson 2013, 76)

    Chapter 4.1:

    Rust, Brian: Jazz Records, A–Z (1961)

    Although this session-based layout was not radically different from that in The Jazz Directory, the refinements he did develop ended up making Jazz Records, A–Z so superior to anything that came before that it was eventually called the Rust format.

    (Epperson 2013, 85)

    Where did you go for availability, not history? […] Even Malcolm Shaw, who edited the latest (2002) edition of Rust’s Jazz Records, A–Z, admits that „JR [Jazz Records] as it stands is probably due for a total reconsideration of the concept“.

    (Epperson 2013, 4)

    Chapter 4.2:

    Jepsen, Jørgen Grunnet: Jazz Records, 1942–196X (1963–1970)

    Survival demanded a relatively straightforward editorial policy. „This is not a complete listing of all jazz records,“ cautioned Jepsen. „This is only an attempt to list all the records known to the editor and his collaborators.“

    (Epperson 2013, 89)

    Chapter 4.3:

    Godrich, John and Robert Dixon: Blues and Gospel Records, 1902–1942 (1964, 1969)

    Dixon, Robert and John Godrich: Blues and Gospel Records, 1902–1943 (1982)

    – and Howard Rye: Blues and Gospel Records, 1890–1943 (1997)

    The decision to include all existing material without differentiating whether it was commercial or archival (and whether or not it was relevant to record collectors) proved to be the single most important metric by which Blues and Gospel Records came to be evaluated over the years.

    (Epperson 2013, 94)

    Chapter 4.5:

    Leadbitter, Mike and Neil Slaven: Blues Records, 1943–1966: An Encyclopedic Discography to More Than Two Decades of Recorded Blues (1968)

    –: Blues Records, 1943–1970: A Selective Discography. Vol. 1, A–K. (1987)

    –: Blues Records, 1943–1970: A Selective Discography. Vol. 2, L–Z. (1994).

    The few who did review the 1987 revision generally considered it a significant improvement over its 1968 predecessor. Everyone agreed that its new subtitle A Selective Discography, was a far more realistic description that the first edition’s unfortunate Encyclopedic Discography label.

    (Epperson 2013, 101)

    Chapter 5.1:

    Bruyninckx, Walter: 50 Years of Recorded Jazz. 1917–1967. (ca. 1968–1971)

    –: 60 Years of Recorded Jazz. 1917–1977 (ca. 1977–1980)

    –: 70/75 Years of Recorded Jazz. (late 1980s to early 1990s)

    – and Domi Truffandier: 85 Years of Recorded Jazz. (CD-ROM 2003)

    „Despite his continued plagiarism,“ recalled librarian Matthew Snyder, „by the late 1980’s [sic] the general opinion on Bruyninckx appeared to be that the improved quality of his work, combined with his extensive coverage, had produced the best available jazz discography.“

    (Epperson 2013, 113)

    Chapter 5.2:

    Raben, Erik: Jazz Records, 1942–80: A Discography. (1989–2007, A–G. Unfinished)

    Everyone agreed that its musicians index, included at the end of each volume and not as an appendix at the end of the series, was much needed and badly overdue […].

    (Epperson 2013, 117)

    Chapter 5.3:

    Lord, Tom: The Jazz Discography. (1992–2002)

    „It is possible that Lord’s project has already taken over the market for Raben’s volumes, and that Raben’s project will die. This possibility, in combination with the frustrations of using Bruyninckx’s paperbacks and his inept marketing of 70 Years, may mean that that, in jazz discography’s own little version of a hostile corporate takeover, Lord’s project has already emerged the victor.“ [Kernfeld/Rye]

    (Epperson 2013, 125)

    Lord was a businessman, a marketer who was peddling a product – the others were either professional academics or amateur scholars undertaking research. […] „Lord is more of a collator than a researcher,“ observed Edward Berger […].

    (Epperson 2013, 126)

    (note that this Tom Lord has no relation to the Tom Lord who made 1976’s Clarence Williams-discography)

    The notable Websites and Online Articlesthat Epperson lists in his bibliography are:

    http://www.jazzdiscography.com

    http://allmusic.com/

    http://jazzstudiesonline.org

    http://www.jazzarcheology.com

    http://www.jazz.com

    http://www.redsaunders.com

    http://victor.library.ucsb.edu

     
  • blechtram 9:34 am am May 18, 2019 Permalink | Antworten
    Tags: 8.7/10, , Andreas Schaerer, , Jazz,   

    Hildegard lernt fliegen: …vom fernen Kern der Sache 

    Rating: 8.7/10
    Rated as
    : Album
    Album Status
    : Genre Contender
    Released: 2009
    Specific Genre: Avant-Garde Jazz
    Main Genre: Jazz
    Undertones: Chamber Jazz
    Label: Unit Records

    1 Lanjusto 2 The Arrival of Lee Pershn Sirgal 3 A Tale from the Forest 4 Vom fernen Kern der Sache 5 Knock Code 3 6 Seldom Was Covered with Snow and Old Oak 7 The Angry Man 8 Sad Lily

    There is too much water in the sea

    While the debut Hildegard lernt fliegen (2007) of Andreas Schaerer’s brainchild already impressed with originality and freshness through jester-like flirtation with the ridiculous in a chamberesque avant-jazz context, its follow-up is the six piece avant-combo’s fully realised form. The composition are as unpredictable yet easy to follow, there’s a larger amplitude of moods – compare the histrionic showtune extravaganza of „The Arrival Of Lee Pershn Sirgal“ with the almost Ellingtonian melancholy of the double-bass-reliant piece „Sad Lily“ – and, yet again, outrageous vocalist Schaerer is in full flight: his voice cajoles, careens, scats, doubles as a trombone and does all the silly tricks you would expect from a vocal acrobat. The difference is, though, that it doesn’t come off as a pure joke, his voice is implemented as an additional instrument.

    The compositions, though having an earnest bend towards Mingus and avant-prog, owe a larger part to Zappa’s big band experiments (don’t pay too close attention to the lyrics though, they are pretty clearly just syllables meant to match up a former scat in dadaist/Eno-manner). While Schaerer is the brain and heart of the project, one should listen very, very carefully to the band – whipped into shape with the precision of a workaholic, they still all find little niches, cracks and alcoves to make the whole affair conversational instead of stubborn, open-ended instead of constructed (when a featured typewriter provides the beat, you hardly notice for how naturally it fits in). Probably the band’s masterpiece, as Hildegard goes flying like a weird, boney, flapping and yapping wayward mechanism through some Dali-painting’s sky. Be sure to pick this one up if you’re interested in the theatrical side of contemporary avant-jazz, where Zappa’s shadow stops looming and things turn bright again.

     
  • blechtram 11:18 am am May 9, 2019 Permalink | Antworten
    Tags: 6.1/10, , , Cape Jazz, Dollar Brand, Jazz, , Piano Jazz   

    Dollar Brand: This Is Dollar Brand 

    Rating: 6.1/10
    Rated as:
    Album / Archival
    Album Status:
    for Fans
    Released: 1973
    Recorded: 1965
    Specific Genre: Cape Jazz, Piano Jazz
    Main Genre: Jazz
    Undertones: Third Stream
    Label: Black Lion

    1 Little Niles 2 Resolution 3 Which Way? 4 On the Banks of Allen Waters 5 Knight’s Night 6 Pye R Squared [Medley 7–9:] 7 Mood Indigo 8 Don’t Get Around Much Anymore 9 Take the „A“ Train

    A good but in no way essential addition to Brand’s early work

    Originally recorded in 1965 (but not released until 1973), this is early Brand. It doesn’t sound unfamiliar, but Brand displays neither his sprawling african piano swirl, nor does he go into his Ellington-musings too often (though he does, of course: the last three tracks here are an Ellington-medley).

    No, in this London solo-session (Pye Studios), he explores pieces which are slow and abstract, with some of his signature clusters and fast little dissonant attacks thrown in, but he never sets into the relentless groove familiar from his works from the later 1960s. His tone is harsh and direct here, the abstract pieces sound pleasingly pensive and alienated, and the Ellington-pieces sound, well, also pleasingly pensive. Abstract Brand plays some abstract Ellington, both survive. The songs are not very constructed but do follow Brand’s idiosyncratic logic of structure which is always borderline improv.

    Of most interest is the display of an additional side of Brand in 1965 – his published works, like the trio-session Duke Ellington Presents the Dollar Brand Trio, retained more of a swing feel, while the live set Anatomy of a South African Village was already introducing his mobile, sprawling „cape jazz“. This, on the other hand, is Brand displaying his stark, slightly avant-garde leanings. Without the soft touch, though. If there ever was a great pianist who didn’t care about the „soft touch“, that is Dollar Brand.

    This is a good but in no way essential addition to Brand’s early work, as everything that is „signature Brand“ is only faintly audible here, as if he was deliberately holding back. Brand wasn’t a refined player at that time, so the slow but brittle sound might not be everyone’s cup of tea. I’m not surprised this didn’t get released until when he was already internationally famous, because it has this demo-feel all over it, as if Brand was just trying out some new motives on some afternoon in the studio. Yet it lets you see Brand’s less approachable, voice-searching leanings at the time, which makes for a great complementary addition.

    Edition trivia: The several mid-1960s sessions Brand played (mostly in Europe) have a messy publication history. The tracks from this 1965-session have surfaced 1973 on several LPs and CDs eversince, usually called This Is Dollar Brand or Reflections. They are the same and the track listing is usually congruent, but the LPs and CDs called Reflections usually feature four additional tracks. Several online sources claim that these sessions were issued under either title in 1965, but that is not true. While this track list here contains the session’s bulk of interest, the entire session is available on Reflections (Black Lion BLCD760127).

     
  • blechtram 11:46 am am May 4, 2019 Permalink | Antworten
    Tags: 9.5/10, , Jazz, , Jazz-Rock, Miles Davis, ,   

    Miles Davis: Jack Johnson 

    Rating: 9.5/10
    Rated as
    : Album
    Album Status
    : Classic
    Released: 1971
    Specific Genre: Jazz Fusion, Jazz-Rock
    Main Genres: Jazz, Rock
    Undertones: Avant-Garde Jazz, Blues Rock
    Label: Columbia

    1 Right Off 2 Yesternow

    The outrageous one

    Miles Davis’ fusion albums of the late 1960s and early 1970s form something like the cast boy group of progressive jazz: the chilled-out mysterious one (In a Silent Way), the brainy weird one (Bitches Brew), the wild one (Live-Evil), the aggressively sexy one (On the Corner), and now: the one that everybody wants to hang out with – the outrageous one, the fun guy! In a less moronic way to talk about it, it really seems like Davis had a sort of vision for this period and what to do with the fusion style: though similiar, each of these albums represents one perfect stylistic distillation of what fusion could do.

    Jack Johnson, then, is obviously and audibly spliced together from several different jam sessions (this is most notable when a short part of In a Silent Way shows up on side B) – but let’s talk about what it sounds like if you have no edition history to consult.

    On the side-long first track (which is what this album is all about) a small raunchy combo kicks it right off with a simple blues rock rhythm, a distorted electric guitar attack, a bass finding its bluesy groove and staying with it – did I mix up records in the sleeve again? No, after John McLaughlin’s hilariously primitive riffs cease for some moments, Davis’ piercing trumpet takes over about two minutes in and it’s simply a ride of a totally loose groovy funky unstoppable jazz rock jam from here on, as the trumpet and the guitar exchange improvised solos and duels without giving it a thought. The soloing in the following ten minutes is just brain-melting, Davis screeches, rocks, and lumbers his way through the blues rock like you’ve never heard him. This part ends about twelve minutes in with some short ambient fusion intermezzo but thankfully immediately returns to the same relentless groove, with Steve Grossman’s saxophone and a new trumpet sound, the band continues to groove even swampier and Herbie Hancock is thrown into the mix. Judging from his performance he must have thought something like: „Okay guys, if you’re not taking this seriously, I’m not“ and plays a totally disastrous solo on some heavily distorted, disastrously sounding organ and the result somehow is instant history. With this completed line-up, they tip the rhythm into even dirtier territories, McLaughlin wraps it all up with a razor-toothed shredding guitar fest à la Hendrix and well that’s that.

    Side B is more akin to the calmer, more textured and nuanced fusion sound of Silent Way and Brew, and it’s also a very good track, with calm keyboard layers for Davis to float away on, the typical start-stop bass patterns and heavy editing. It’s a generally more pensive, deliberate affair that gets screechier and decidedly cross-grained in the second ten minutes when keyboard, electric guitar and trumpet are constantly fighting for attention. Good stuff.

    Either way, with all the splicing done here, the reduced fusion line-up and the improvised feel to it, this is not a „perfectly executed“ album – but who cares, among Davis’ fusion and jazz-rock albums, this stands as an absolutely unique, unrepeatable jam session that might well become your favourite „rock“ record for a while. Indispensable.

     
c
Neuen Beitrag erstellen
j
nächster Beitrag/nächster Kommentar
k
vorheriger Beitrag/vorheriger Kommentar
r
Antworten
e
Bearbeiten
o
zeige/verstecke Kommentare
t
Zum Anfang gehen
l
zum Login
h
Zeige/Verberge Hilfe
Shift + ESC
Abbrechen