Friday, January 05, 2007
Duke Ellington...Charles Mingus... Ornette Coleman... Stan Getz/Chet Baker... Bukka White... Marian Mc Partland... DJ Screw...
Duke Ellington recorded the 'Latin American Suite' in 1968. Here's 'The Sleeping Lady and the Giant who watches over.' Mainly an ensemble piece, based on a couple of riffs that get tossed around and across the orchestra... from such simple material Ellinton creates a late gem.
Charles Mingus from 1963 with a largish band playing 'Hora Decubitus.' A booting, fiery track that encapsulates much of the pleasures of this man's music – rooted in the tradition (Dukal as well as general) but bursting at the seams with ideas that ing point forward... visceral and smart...
Ornette Coleman – firstly, from the late fifties – 'Congeniality.' Which is one of Ornette's stop-start tunes that seem to shadow a dancing move in and out of bop. The pianoless quartet had of course been famously identified with Gerry Mulligan... here one feels that there is so much more freedom...
And even more... 'The Empty Foxhole' was the notorious album Ornette recorded with his son Denardo – who was ten at the time. Critical response was – to say the least – unfavourable, if not downright hostile. Ornette plays violin for the first time on record... this is 'Sound Gravitation'... Haden underpins with mighty arco – and I don't think that Denardo sounds too bad...
Piano-less groups... were the pianos on the West Coast that bad? Gerry Mulligan was the famous pre-cursor, of course, (before Ornette took up the ball and ran...) but his one-time musical partner Chet Baker is not a musician I have ever really listened to a great deal. My loss, some close aural encounters over the past week confirm he had much more to offer – even late on - than the junkie noir romance of the fatal arc that his life described. (Although – remember my encounter in Nantes – 'Chet Lives' is still going the rounds in certain circles). Here he is joined by Stan Getz (who apparently had little respect for him, especially later on in their several encounters: Stan apparently when he was using could hold his drugs better and still play brilliantly – well, according to Stan ... ). This is essentially the Mulligan quartet with Stan depping for the baritonist, in 1953 when Chet was still burning youthfully bright. In certain later tourneys, Stan ran all over him, apparently. Here – he more than holds his own... Getz solos first – fluent, bouncing across the solid rhythm of Carson Smith and Larry Bunker and the bar/chorus line divisions. Baker next – sprightly but with that special emotional vulnerability he brought to his take on 'cool' – out of Miles. Getz again then collective imrov to take it out...
The freedoms of the country blues... 'Aberdeen Mississippi' by Bukka (Booker) White, vocals and National Steel guitar. String-snapping, bottleneck-sliding funky brilliance and that mournful, so sad voice... 'Play it good now'...
Something by Marian McPartland – a gorgeous and elegant reading of 'I've got a crush on you.' Marian has run her show on NPR for many years – and is still going strong. Timeless piano jazz.
I didn't get into the James Brown obituary scenario as I was away over Christmas... here's an oblique tribute... Miles Davis playing 'Funky Tonk' from those wild 'Live/Evil' sessions. Smouldering stuff...
And out... with another diagonal move... a DJ Screw track: 'Southside rolling on choppaz.' It's all related somewhere/somehow – slurred syncopated vocals bouncing off the beat... break out the Dr J Collis Brown... time seems to stretch... back to Bukka White and beyond maybe...
In the Videodrome...
Bukka/Booker White in the 1970s...
... and again... I love YouTube!
... Count Basie in Europe 1959...
... Charles Gayle blowing...
Cat Anderson, Willie Cook, Mercer Ellington (tp) Lawrence Brown, Chuck Connors, Buster Cooper (tb) Jimmy Hamilton (cl, ts) Johnny Hodges (as) Russell Procope (as, cl) Paul Gonsalves (ts) Harold Ashby (ts, cl) Harry Carney (bars, cl, bcl) Duke Ellington (p) Jeff Castleman (b) Rufus Jones (d) )
The Sleeping Lady and the Giant who watches over
Eddie Preston, Richard Williams (tp) Britt Woodman (tb) Don Butterfield (tu) Dick Hafer (fl, cl, ts) Jerome Richardson (fl, ss, bars) Eric Dolphy (as, fl) Booker Ervin (ts) Jaki Byard (p) Charles Mingus (b) Walter Perkins (d)
(Ornette Coleman (as); Don Cherry ( c ); Charlie Haden (b); Billy Higgins (d) ).
(Ornette Coleman (v); Charlie Haden (b); Denardo Coleman (d) ).
Stan Getz/Chet Baker
(Stan Getz (ts); Chet Baker (t); Carson Smith (b); Larry Bunker (d) ).
The way you look tonight
(Bukka White (g) ).
(Marian McPartland (p) ).
I've got a crush on you
(Miles Davis (t); Gary Bartz (ts); John McLoughlin (eg); Keith Jarrett (ep); Michael Henderson (b); Airto Moreira (perc); Jack De Johnette (d)).
Southside roll choppaz