Thursday, May 24, 2007

John Carisi... Jimmy Giuffre... Booker Ervin... David S. Ware... Joe Morris...

Sometime back I posted a Cecil Taylor track from the album released under Gil Evan's name ('Into the Hot'), but featuring on the original LP a side each by Taylor and John Carisi. To redress the balance, here is 'Ankgor Wat.' A sound world away from Taylor, Carisi had been around – a self-taught trumpeter he is mainly known for his writing and arranging skills – and most notably for the tune 'Israel,' recorded by the Miles Davis Birth of the Cool band in 1949. There is little of his work available – this track shows a hint of his lineage to Claude Thornhill, who stands behind both the Davis recordings via Gil Evans in the velvety sonorities of french horn and tuba... all these interesting trajectories... No doubt an attempt at invoking the mystery and grandeur of the site in Cambodia via an extended composition... some bluesy lines by Costa and Galbraith across some near-gospelly cadences that hints at hard bop's forays into 'soul jazz.'

Jimmy Giuffre, another Texas jazz maverick... originally finding success as composer/arranger with the Woody Herman band, then with his own small groups – before his plunge into the early avant-garde secured for him many years of unjust neglect. This is 'Chirpin' Time,' from his album 'Tangents in Jazz.'

'Giuffre's career has always been a matter of plotting a trajectory, but then the same could be said of Coltrane. The degree of exclusivity between the two men is pronounced, and according to a glib interpretation, it could be said that one moved towards Africa, musically speaking, whilst the other moved towards Europe. In both cases, their efforts expanded the jazz vocabulary, and Giuffre's music as it was caught here amounts to the formative work of a singular intelligence.' (From here...).

'[G]lib'- yes – but interesting, in a (very) broad brush sense. Perhaps it might be instructive to also consider the influence of folk forms on his music and map this onto the cultural bi-polar chart – the blues (Africa) and folk/country (Europe)... This track demonstrates that straight away – the woody clarinet playing a line at once bucolic and bluesy followed by the contrapuntal blend of the trumpet. The drums are held back – brushes used, employed more melodically than rhythmically, the bass plays an integral role in the composition- proceeding melodically rather than via the standard walk. Call and response... Acres of space... blues and the abstract truth, anyone? How one reacts to this music may depend for some on how much one feels that the 'jazz' component has been retained... For my part, alongside the European drift, at the back of it always I seem to hear Lester Young – and the blues... Giuffre was to move into more abstract areas but the seeds of his later strategies can all be found here...

Another Texas horn – the mighty Booker Ervin. 'Deed ah do,' as basic a blues as you can get – a repeated riff spread across its first eight bars before a small elaboration to round it off in the final four. Ervin takes the first solo at full throttle – the backing an almost four-square stomp that reminds of the Art Blakey classic 'Blues March.' Richard Williams next, a sparkling solo moving between the usual fleet bop lines to invoke earlier trumpet styles in places with figures drawn from yesteryear. George Tucker's bass comes up for a sparse but effective couple of choruses. Parlan was always a bluesman, moving into a block chordal section before the riff returns...

More mighty tenor – David S Ware and his group playing 'Quadrahex.' Starting down low, slow, ominous and brooding. Susy Ibarra brought a different range of textures to the drum chair during her tenure with the quartet - her cymbals introduce the next section after a brief pause. Then Ware goes for a high squall... a track from one of the best groups in contemporary jazz... Parker as always granite-like in underpinning and Shipp suprememely resonant - battering dark chords and probing lines.

Another member of the same loose grouping of contemporary free jazzers– the guitarist Joe Morris (who has switched predominantly to acoustic bass atterly. A solo acoustic outing on steel string guitar, here's Joe playing 'Light,' from the album 'Singularity.' An austere sound - but Morris doesn't go in for much sonic frippery on electric either, leaving his lines very clean in the tradition of jazz guitar, however busy they get. Chasing, scurrying, dense and thoughtful here... there is an appealing purity to Morris's work...

I found this article about the recent memorial to Alice Coltrane performed by her son Ravi – stumbled on it here...

In the videodrome..

Jimmy Guiffre and trio playing 'Train and the River.'

Ravi Coltrane with Elvin Jones...

More Elvin...

Cannonball Adderley playing an uppish 'Straight no Chaser' from 1974 with brother Nat...

a long clip of Cannonball's sextet from 1963...

Herbie Hancock and co – 'So What'

Gil Evans/John Carisi
John Carisi, Johnny Glasel, Doc Severinsen (tp) Urbie Green (tb) Jim Buffington (frh) Harvey Phillips (tu) Phil Woods (as) Gene Quill (as, ts) Eddie Costa (vib, p) Barry Galbraith (g) Milt Hinton (b) Osie Johnson (d) Gil Evans (arr, cond)
Angkor Wat


Jimmy Giuffre
Jimmy Giuffre (cl) Jack Sheldon (t) Ralph Pena (b) Artie Anton (d)
Chirpin' Time


Booker Ervin
Booker Ervin (ts) Richard Williams (t) Horace Parlan (p) George Tucker (b) Danny Richmond (d)
Deed ah do


David S Ware
David S Ware (ts) Matthew Shipp (p) William Parker (b) Susie Ibarra (d)


Joe Morris (g)


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