Monday, May 07, 2007

Oliver Nelson... John Coltrane... Peter Brotzmann... then off to London...

I am off to London today to grab some of the action at the 'Freedom of the City' festival – curated (I love that word) by Evan Parker, Eddie Prévost and Martin Davidson. Especially looking forward to seeing E.P... A strange succession of gigs recently – from playing with Damo Suzuki the other Saturday to an old-school folk night last Friday featuring Johnny Collins (with review to follow) - to today's line up of radical/improvising performers. Eclectic, mes braves... So a quick post as I have a train to catch from God's Little Acre to the big city – three tenor saxophonists...

Oliver Nelson was always a player I liked – no great technician but he had a special reedy/vibrato-y tone which was unique, a bluesy edge and some interesting ways of developing motifs. This is from 'Screamin' the Blues,' 'Drive.' Which does. Roy Haynes underneath keeping it pretty much beboppy, Duvivier – solid, I suppose. Wyands does what he is asked to do. Richard Williams is bright and vibrant, a flash solo. Nelson as above. The wild card is, of course, Dolphy – who just runs off the conventional edges of this music in joyous fashion.

Coltrane was always a superb ballad player – his more abrasive, violently questing edge subsumed into a tender, reflective approach. This is 'Too young to go steady,' from the 1962 album 'Ballads.' Slow and poignant – paying attention in a Lester Young manner, perhaps, to the lyrical theme of the song, evoking the gawky uncertainess of young love and playing it very straight... Tyner comes in for a flowing solo, Elvin Jones - on brushes throughout - crisply following his line. Coltrane returns, Jones doing some neat double-timing behind him. An odd track, compared to the usual firestorms – everyone hanging back.

Hellraiser of the tenor, Peter Brötzmann with a superb band, live from the Empty Bottle in Chicago, 1997. Wild and vibrant... For those obsessives who read the discographic details - a 'flup' is a flutophone... although it sounds like an interesting verb. I must flup off now...

Oliver Nelson
Oliver Nelson (ts) Richard Williams (t) Eric Dolphy (as) Richard Wyands (p) George Duvivier (b) Roy Haynes (d)
Drive
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John Coltrane
John Coltrane (ts) McCoy Tyner (p) Jimmy Garrison (b) Elvin Jones (d)
Too young to go steady
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Peter Brötzmann
Peter Brötzmann (ts,cl, tar) Mars Williams (ts, as, ss, cl) Ken Vandemark (ts, cl, b-cl) Mats Gustafsson (bs, flup) Joe McPhee (pc, v-tr ss) Jeb Bishop (tr) Fred Londberg-Hom (co) Kenty Kessler (b) Michael Zerang, Hamid Drake (d, perc)
Old Bottle, New Wine
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2 comments:

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