Finally, after all the excitement and exhaustion – back to the music. So we beat on, boats against the current... whatever...
The Clusone Trio give the Herbie Nichols tune, '117th Street,' an outing. Always an element of drollery lurking when Bennink is involved – those crazy Dutch, eh? This swings in lightly over crisp old-school drumming as Moore states the theme and take the first solo – a limpid performance that builds through some more complex swirls into earthier smears. Reisjeger picks his cello through his turn before Moore returns for a brief passage then back in to the theme. Bennink throughout is in homage to earlier drummers mode. An odd mix of the old and disguised hints of the new, filtered through a wash of post-modernism, done with some affection...
Mance Lipscomb – a 'songster' whose material ranged far from the blues into many other areas – through 'folk' and beyond. The lines are never as straight as purists would have you believe - Lipscomb was indeed a river into which many streams flowed:
'Lipscomb represented one of the last remnants of the nineteenth-century songster tradition, which predated the development of the blues. Though songsters might incorporate blues into their repertoires, as did Lipscomb, they performed a wide variety of material in diverse styles, much of it common to both black and white traditions in the South, including ballads, rags, dance pieces (breakdowns, waltzes, one and two steps, slow drags, reels, ballin' the jack, the buzzard lope, hop scop, buck and wing, heel and toe polka), and popular, sacred, and secular songs. Lipscomb himself insisted that he was a songster, not a guitarist or "blues singer," since he played "all kinds of music." His eclectic repertoire has been reported to have contained 350 pieces spanning two centuries.' (Ibid).
(The 'buzzard lope' looks intriguing... may well describe my dance moves...).
This is 'Joe Turner killed a man' which builds a narrative out of a collection of familiar 'floating' verses over a thumping monotonic bass and slashes of slide (bottleneck/knifeblade?) that root it more in the blues.
Herbie Hancock from his bustout album 'Future Shock,' a track called 'Rough.' (Which matches the way I feel today – red wine too late at night!). Yeah, sure, it's a little dated but fun all the same... Ah, the outrage of the day from the jazz community... Play that funky music...
More blues – from the coupling of John Coltrane and Milt Jackson for a 1959 recording date. This is 'Blues Legacy,' a riffed-out twelve bar. Jackson up first to roll out a dazzling line, subtle yet blues-drenched as his playing always was. Coltrane takes it up, the relaxed tempo giving him plenty of ruminative space, yet unleashing those blinding flurries occasionally to spur things along. Connie Kay, somewhat surprisingly perhaps, gives out a solid if sedate backbeat throughout. Paul Chambers paces underneath like a velvet panther. Hank Jones solos, his single note strings echoing Jackson's vibes-induced linearity. Trane returns to spell out the theme. You would have thought that Kay was an odd choice for this gig, given the powerhouse drummers Coltrane was used to playing with, yet his simplified two and four here – almost r and b-ish – lets the bass take a supple role – one that Chambers was used to supplying anyway with his bandmate in the Miles Davis group. Maybe Jackson invited him – they were, of course, long-time partners in the Modern jazz Quartet.
Cecil Taylor – from his 1973 solo album recorded in Japan, this is the first track 'Choral of voice (Elision).' Not sure where I got this from – it's not one of mine, I found it buried amongst a collection of mp3s that I was searching for someone else - so homage to original up-loader. Amid the usual dense piano hurly burly, some more reflective passages. Cecil's solo work is probably the most accessible way into his unique sound world – although presenting formidable problems to the first-time listener, perhaps. But the format offers a chance to follow his logic a little more clearly...
The sun is shining here in God's Little Acre, for the moment at least, so here is some Latin fire - Tito Puente and band roaring through 'Para Los Rumberos.' A mighty sound... they cheer me up, anyway... as I do the buzzard lope round the room...
Michael Moore (as, cl, mel) Ernst Reijseger (cel, el-cel) Han Bennink (d, perc)
Mance Lipscomb (v, g)
Joe Turner killed a man
Herbie Hancock, Michael Beinhorn (keys) Bill Laswell (el-b)
John Coltrane/Milt Jackson
John Coltrane (ts) Milt Jackson (vib) Hank Jones (p) Paul Chambers (b) Connie Kay (d).
Cecil Taylor (p)
Choral of Voice (Elision)
Tito Puente (vib, mar, tim) Charlie Palmieri (p, org) Mario Rivera (fl, bs) Santos Colon (v) Jose Madera (quiro, perc) Johnny (Dandy) Rodriguez (bongos) Jimmy Frisaura (t, b-t) Yayo El Indio (v) Roy Burroughs, Tony Cofrezi (t) Michael 'Mike' Collazo (d) Dick Meza (ts) Israel 'Izzy' Feliu (b-g) Pete Fanelli (as) Don 'El Barbito' Palmer (fl, as) Jose Merino (t)
Para los rumberos