Friday, November 03, 2006

Jimmy Yancey... Miles Davis... John Coltrane in Seattle...

Back from France last night... trailing clouds of glory... maybe not... But it's a glorious, sharp, sunny morning here... A short post to celebrate return... To start: here's a track by Jimmy Yancey - 'How Long Blues.'

'Part of Yancey's distinctive style was that he played in a variety of keys but always ended every song in E flat. These endings added a strangely satisfying dissonance to every performance. ' (From here... ).

Yancey did not record till the late thirties but had been around from the beginning and was a large influence on the more famous Meade Lux Lewis and Albert Ammons. Yet his style of boogie was delicate, eschewing the pounding train-like rhythms that popularly defined the style... This track has a loping bass (which turns from four to the bar into a 'spanish tinged' syncopation that opens it up spatially, disregarding the odd fumble) and takes the old blues at a fair pace but has a wistful, crystal clarity – and his trademark jump to E flat at the end adds to the charm...

The Fifties Miles David Quintet: finely sprung tensions between the epigrammatic terseness of the leader and the bubbling, questing torrents of John Coltrane. The rhythm section a dream: Philly Joe and the young Paul Chambers providing a firm swinging undergirding and Red Garland's piano – from bouncing crisp and clear single note lines to the accurate (if sometimes overdone) block-chording. 'Surrey with the fringe on top,' then. A medium tempo nine minutes of ease and joy – Miles sounds almost happy through the tightly muted trumpet, Coltrane gruffly cheerful. This comes from another album I had as a kid and can still remember very well - pretty much every nuance etched into the budding jazz brain...

Coltrane in 1965... 'Out of this world,' from the epochal 'Live in Seattle,' burning and faring forward. Edging in on bass and piano vamp, before that cutting tone of JC establishes the mood of the journey... Pharoah Sanders pours out smearing, querulous, diagonality, Tyner is rolling, thumping, powerful. Coltrane returns on soprano, swirling, squalling against eventual sporadic counter horn that builds to buttress although the drums dominate now... Jones imperiously swatting out rhythm and counter-rhythm throughout. The end-zone almost quiescent – long tenor notes... This music demands the time it takes to unfold... twenty three minutes here so upped to Savefile where I usually put the big ones...)

In the Videodrome...

Matthew Shipp talks and plays...

Bill Evans waits for his prince...

The Art Ensemble of Chicago...

Jimmy Yancey
How Long Blues


Miles Davis Quintet
(Miles Davis: trumpet; John Coltrane: tenor saxophone; Red Garland: piano; Paul Chambers: bass; 'Philly Joe' Jones: drums).
Surrey with the fringe on top


John Coltrane
(John Coltrane: tenor, soprano saxophone; Pharoah Sanders: tenor saxophone; McCoy Tyner: piano; Donald Raphael Garrett: bass clarinet, bass; Jimmy Garrison: bass; Elvin Jones: drums).
Out of this world


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