Late. Having problems sleeping but now that I have effectively baled out of the straight job again (for a while) it's not so urgent to get rest at conventional times. And deciding to reposition the blog - more writing, less jazz - for a while. Nothing is set. The freedom exists so use it...
I took a foray down to the Artists' Quarter - rather boring, to be honest. A pub quiz, but I felt distanced by my own pre-occupations - trying to finish a solo cd, planning the Club Sporadic May Festival, attempting to fix some kind of summer itinerary - if well enough, I want to get back to New York as Murray will be there for Jamie Shovlin's show and we had a loose plan to synchronise and maybe get to play a couple of places. The side I was loosely attached to would have won - if I had remembered the answer in time to the question - 'What was the book Greenmantle the sequel to?' 'The Thirty Nine Steps,' John Buchan - of course - but the synapses weren't firing and no one else knew it. Not surprisingly, come to think of it - who reads Buchan these days? All good fun, no doubt - but my time here is ticking away... done enough drinking and raking in my life for five people so alcohol is less and less an interest (especially with my present and no doubt future metabolism) - apart from a couple to make me sleep now and again.
This time – a long mix of various stuff including a couple of D J Whitedog's own tracks - (my worthy constituent, as Charlie Parker called Dizzie Gillespie on some long gone bop concert) – on one of his recent productions – which sounds very echoey and distorted in places (well – most of it, to be honest - I must find out if this was intentional), but I figure that adds to the overall ambiance. Jazz, rap, country, electro, rock, pop, latin – all in there somewhere – a bit of a mess – but like all Whitedog's stuff -a glorious mess. Sounds as if it was recorded in a corner of the Turbine Hall and played back from a pirate station somewhere in Wales (do they have pirate stations? A chilling thought, come to think of it... Must ask my daughter – who seems too young to be living out the sort of karma that situates you in a village somewhere near Aberystwyth) and picked up late one windy night in April.
The Ornette is from the album 'Art of the Improvisors,' and has the late great La Faro on bass and Ed Blackwell on drums. One of my favourite drummers behind the King of Harmolodics – there's a special bang and zip in his rhythms which I don't hear in Billy Higgins. One of those totally manic themes of Ornette's, a fast walk in on the bass, Ornette soloing, smearing notes together, single note stabs, always that cry in the tone (Bill Broonzy's 'rooster crow?') and a questioning edge. Keening spirals up into the high register. The man is telling you something... Blackwell with him all the way, New Orleans second line snare and surgingly smooth cymbals. Such an easy-sounding free-wheeling freedom that must have been hard won nevertheless. Cherry spurts his pocket trumpet lines, the smaller horn giving them a light airiness that the full-blooded conventional trumpet rarely has – especially in jazz with its tradition of flagwavers from Louis downwards. He always seems less anguished than Ornette... The bass and drums drop out as the two horns spar and cross and dive, call and answer. Straight back into the theme – to a dead stop. Empathy.
The Odd Nosdam is from 'Burner' which was my favourite album last year for a long time and which I wrote about (at tedious length) previously – something I love about where he takes hip-hop to and the way he instils a strange and affecting melancholy – especially on this track.
Adventurers in the American Sublime...
And - because I don't just listen to jazz... One of whitedog's long spacey soundscapes to round it all up - abstract, looping, rumbling bass notes, found noise, strange sampled voices, different to his more rhythmic stuff (a couple of which are on his mixtrack somewhere...)
AprilMix by Whitedog
Ornette Coleman: alto;Don Cherry: pocket trumpet;Scott La Faro: bass; Ed Blackwell.
The Alchemy of Scott La Faro