Thursday, June 28, 2007

Schlippenbach Trio... Jimmy Giuffre... Paul Bley... Reverend C.L. Franklin - and Aretha... Fats Navarro...

Wish I had been there department, part 45...

Darcy has a very good rundown of the Vision Festival's first day here... (I came across this via Destination Out just to get all the beret tips in order...). I had planned to be in New York to attend but was unable to go – just too bogged down with things here at the hovel. Mucho changes... But I hope to catch whoever is around when I get over in October.

Meanwhile... here's three vaguely interrelated tracks...

First up: the trio led by pianist Alexander Von Schlippenbach accompanied by the redoubtable Evan Parker and Paul Lovens on saxophones and drums respectively. This is 'Analogue: Scaled,' from the album 'Elf Bagatellen.' The trio has been one of the long-standing groups in improvised music/jazz, together now for over thirty years, so they are alive to each other's twists and turns. Opening on exploratory fragments – Parker up high in bird song register until he comes down a registerial notch – scrapings and rattles from Lovens in between the occasional roll across the kit before he sets up a tapping rhythm almost like a backbeat as the piano probes and stabs. Interestingly more asymmetrical, broken-up work from Parker than in his usual long hypnotic solo lines. Using silence and space to breathe as well as finely shaded dynamics, this track builds nicely – the Parker long line coming out at last and locking in with Schlippenbach's accompanying trajectory – then disrupted by Lovens throwing a kitchen sink downstairs to herald a wild section of interplay and wahoo to take it out...

Jimmy Giuffre and trio (the personal link? – it will all be revealed by the next track) from 1957. A conventional jazz outing just before he sailed off into uncharted improvisational seas – and disappeared off the radar for far too long. Conventional in the sense of being within the harmonic, melodic and rhythmic areas of the day – but no drums, the main pulse coming from the bass and the implied subtle rhythmic shadings of Hall and Giuffre. A swift light bounce through 'The song is you.' Four bars in he plays some triplet figures that come direct from 'Train and the river' before going to the main theme. Giuffre's tenor sound is a glancing back-memory of Ben Webster without the shooshy vibrato – if that makes sense - although he springs from the fountainhead of Prez (as an original member of the Four Brothers especially)... More muscle than is immediately apparent... this swings...

The link? Giuffre of course played with Paul Bley in some ground-breaking ensembles – and Evan Parker played with Bley in a trio in recent years, bass player Barre Phillips the other constituent. Here's Bley in the mid-sixties with 'Kid Dynamite,' one of those diagonal Annette Peacock themes with an implication of Ornette's linear conceptions. A rushing beginning that backs off to feature the bass before Bley comes back in with some bluesy figures followed by the bass and sharp asymmetric drumming – Billy Elgart I think, rather than Paul Motian. Drums have a brief solo – fairly abstract stuff as throughout - little attempt at conventional time-keeping – before the piano comes back for a breathless but brief gallop at the theme... (There is a band called 'Kid Dynamite' to confuse things – but they are of later vintage – some info and free downloads here...).

Followed by some gospel...

The Reverend C.L. Franklin (1915-1984) was a well-known and controversial figure long before his daughter, the sublime Aretha, became famous in the sixties. Here's two tracks from the album he made with Aretha. Firstly, C.L. delivering his rich dark preacher-powered voice on 'I've been in the storm too long.' To find out more about a fascinating character, there's a fascinating biography of the Reverend by Nick Salvtores...

Then there was Aretha - giving her rendition of 'When the blood runs warm in my veins.' Voice like a blow-torch, with always a combination of vulnerability and distance. Probably my favourite singer...

To go out - some bop from 1946. A session under Fats Navarro and Gil Fuller's joint leadership with a collection of the great and the good - well, soon to be. Klook, Bud, Stitt et al. And the divine Fats. This is 'Everything's Cool,' parts one and two. It is...

In the Videodrome...

Sonny Stitt and some of bop's finest...

Thomas Chapin at Newport...

takes it to the Bridge... Paul who?

Horace - Senor Blues...

Schlippenbach Trio
Alexander Von Schlippenbach (p) Evan Parker (ts) Paul Lovens (d)
Analogue: Scaled


Jimmy Giuffre (ts) Jim Hall(g) Ralph Pena (b)
The song is you


Paul Bley
Paul Bley (p) Gary Peacock (b) Billy Elgart (d)
Kid Dynamite


Reverend C L Franklin
I've been in the storm so long

Aretha Franklin
When the blood runs warm in my veins


Fats Navarro/Gil Fuller
Kenny Dorham, Fats Navarro (tp) Sonny Stitt (as) Morris Lane (ts) Eddie DeVerteuil (bars) Bud Powell (p) Al Hall (b) Kenny Clarke (d) Gil Fuller (arr)
Everything's Cool


1 comment:

Spring Day said...

Wow, that Thomas Chapin trio video was great. That's the first time I got a visual impression of his playing, after knowing him from records for a long time already. And unfortunately no chance anymore to see him live... Thanks for the link!