Monday, September 5, 2011

Entropy. Act fast!

It's been well over a year since I've updated this blog, but just a few months since I stopped paying to maintain my Rapidshare account. Now Rapidshare has begun the process of deleting files. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason in the deletion process, since some files disappeared long, long ago, but it seems pretty certain they eventually will all be gone. If you want any of this stuff -- and you should -- you oughta start clicking pretty quick.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lucky Thompson: Tricotism (1956)

Absolutely essential listening and criminally out of print in the US (Fresh Sounds has lately repackaged it in Spain, but it's hard to tell if they have any more legitimate rights to it that you and I do).

Thompson's rapport with Oscar Pettiford is wonderful, especially on the drummerless trio sessions. And the six quintet tunes are jewels of a type that most musicians have chosen to ignore since the rise of hard bop 50 long years ago, formulaic in their way but flawless.

Plus, despite the durability of the Pettiford's title tune, no one seems to have any idea what the hell tricotism might be.

On tracks #1-4 and 9-12
Lucky Thompson: ts
Clifton 'Skeeter' Best: g
Oscar Pettiford: b

On tracks #5-8 and 13-16
Lucky Thompson: ts
Jimmy Cleveland: tb
Hank Jones: p (#5-8)
Don Abney: p (13-16)
Osie Johnson (d)

1 Bo-Bi, My Boy
2 OP Meets LT
3 Tricotism
4 Deep Passion
5 Old Reliable
6 Translation
7 Tom-Kattin
8 A Lady's Vanity
9 Dancing Sunbeam
10 Mister Man
11 The Plain But the Simple Truth
12 Little Tenderfoot
13 Once There Was
14 N.R. #1
15 N.R. #2
16 Good Luck

All compositions by Lucky Thompson except #2 by Thompson and Oscar Pettiford, #3 by Pettiford, and #4, which, despite the title, is really "Body and Soul" (Johnny Green).

#1-4 recorded NYC, January 24, 1956
#5-8 recorded NYC, January 30, 1956
#9-12 recorded NYC, December 11, 1956
#13-16 recorded NYC, December 12, 1956

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Jerry Granelli: A Song I Thought I Heard Buddy Sing (1993)

This should sound familiar, chiefly because of the place of prominence given Bill Frisell both in the arrangements and in Lee Townsend's production. Townsend, you may recall, has produced umpteen of Frisell's own records and has done similar work for other artists who have tried to stake out territory between jazz and folk/Americana (none so well as Frisell, though).

"A Song I Thought I Heard Buddy Sing" is less self-consciously eclectic and hangs together better than other Granelli records because, despite the stellar cast of musicians and fresh arrangements of several familiar tunes, it doesn't try overly hard to be a jazz recording. Granelli is a masterful drummer, but never sounds like he's entirely comfortable too far away from a backbeat. The Buddy of the title is Buddy Bolden, and the album is inspired by the book "Coming Through Slaughter," but that's nothing you'd need to know to enjoy this. I can't hear it myself.

Jerry Granelli - drums
Kenny Garrett - alto saxophone
Julian Priester - trombone
Bill Frisell - guitar, banjo
Robben Ford - guitar
Anthony Cox - bass
J. Granelli - el. bass (#2, 5, 6, 9 and 10)
Denny Goodhew - soprano saxophone (#6)

1 Wanderlust (Johnny Hodges/Duke Ellington)
2 Smoky Row (Wayne Horvitz)
3 The Oyster Dance (Jerry Granelli)
4 Billie's Bounce (Charlie Parker)
5 Coming Through Slaughter (Jerry Granelli)
6 In That Number (Wayne Horvitz)
7 Prelude To Silence: Shell Beach/Lincoln Park (Julian Priester)
8 I Put A Spell On You (Screamin' Jay Hawkins)
9 Blues Connotation (Ornette Coleman)
10 Blues Connotation (Reprise) (Ornette Coleman)

Recorded January-February, 1992 at London Bridge Studio, Seattle, WA, US
Produced by Lee Townsend
320 kbps mp3 rip from Evidence CD 22057

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bob Nell: Why I Like Coffee (1991)

Any idiosyncratic pianist and composer from Montana who titles his sole recording under his own name "Why I Like Coffee" can probably count on not calling a lot of attention to himself. Feels more Canadian than high plains to me, with very strong playing from the core trio and fine contributions from guests Walrath and Anderson. Nell's playing and writing both run the gamut from modernist to postmodern, often within the space of a couple of bars, with arrangements to match.

Bob Nell: piano
Kelly Roberty: bass
Brad Edwards: drums
Jack Walrath: trumpet
Ray Anderson: trombone

1- Blues for KB (2:52)
2- Why I Like Coffee (8:37)
3- Emrem (6:14)
4- Nightspot (5:35)
5- Achromaticism (4:03)
6- Taking a Chance on Love (8:18)
7- Fashion Storage (6:27)
8- For Monk (6:47)
9- Cold Feet (4:50)

All compositions except Taking a Chance on Love By Bob Nell, published by Plechmo Music BMI
Taking a Chance on Love by Vernon Duke and John Latouche, published by EMI Music Publishing

Producer: Wayne Horvitz
Recorded at Skyline Studios, New York City, November 25 & 26, 1991

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

TanaReid (Akira Tana and Rufus Reid): Back to Front (19970

Whether the world was actually waiting for Rufus Reid and Akira Tana to join forces and conjoin names-- a la Brad and Angelina -- is subject to debate. There's not much question, however, that TanaReid is one lame-ass handle.

I snagged this as soon as I saw it at the library without reading the credits carefully. I saw Reid's name (I'd been listening to him on Andrew Hill's Shades a lot) and Mark Turner's and took it home. A little later my heart sank when I saw that four of the 10 tunes here feature singers -- Grady Tate on two numbers, Barbara King on "Lazy Afternoon" and -- god help us -- a whole vocal sextet on another. I hate that kind of thing. But you know what? It all works (except for the vocal sextet piece, but even that sounds terrific when the singing stops). And you know what else? Reid and Tana have bigger, more engaging musical personalities than I ever would have guessed. Add Mark Turner to the mix and this John Stetch guy and you've really got something. There were, as of the release of this date, four prior TanaReid records, none of which I have ever set eyes on. I bet they're all pretty interesting. Too bad about the name, though. Oh — and the cover, too.

Rufus Reid: b
Akira Tana: dr
Craig Bailey: as, fl
Mark Turner: ts, ss
John Stetch: p
Barbara King: voc (#3)
Grady Tate: voc (#5, 7)
Grey Lienhard Voices: voc (#9)
  1. Mr. Brown (Mark Turner)
  2. Dream Catcher (Akira Tana)
  3. Lazy Afternoon (Moross/Latouche)
  4. Back to Front (Akira Tana)
  5. But Not For Me (George and Ira Gershwin)
  6. Embraceable You (George and Ira Gershwin)
  7. When She Smiles Upon Your Face (Rufus Reid)
  8. Green Grove (John Stetch)
  9. Perpetual Stroll (Janet Lawson/Rufus Reid)
  10. McWorld (John Stetch)
Recorded December 22, 1997 and January 4-9, 1998 at Hillside Sound, Englewood, NJ.
320 kbps mp3 rip from Evidence CD 22206-2

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Leon Parker: Belief (1996)

Parker is frequently called a "minimalist," but that applies mostly to his instrument -- often what sounds like a standard trap kit minus a high hat (it's striking how much real estate the ubiquitous high-hat takes up, and how much the music opens up when it's absent). On this record, his second as a leader, Parker plays more percussion than drum set, and all kinds of vistas appear. But Parker sounds like himself whatever you put in his hands. In that respect, he's like the pianist Jackie Terrasson, in whose trio Parker first attracted attention: a unique talent with huge mainstream appeal potential, who, for reasons unknown, fails to draw the audience he deserves.

Leon Parker: dr, voc, perc
Steve Wilson: saxophones, fl
Steve Davis: trb
Tom Harrell: trp, flgl
Lisa Parker: fl
Ugonna Okegwo: b
Adam Cruz: p, steel pan, marimba, perc
Natalie Cushman: perc, voc

Ray Of Light (5:45)
Village Song: Africa (2:51)
Close Your Eyes (5:59)
Calling Out (4:57)
Belief (5:53)
Horizon Azul (5:34)
Wide Open (4:10)
First Child (2:46)
In A Sentimental Mood (4:40)

Recorded at Sonalysts Studio, Waterford, CT, US

Lee Konitz: Rhapsody (1993)

Seven very different sessions with seven combinations of players, ranging from duets to sextet, recorded over two months in 1993. What they have in common, of course, is Konitz, who has probably never repeated any three consecutive notes in the course of a 60+ year career.

1. I Hear A Rhapsody (Baker - Gasparre - Bard - Fragos)

Lee Konitz (as), Peggy Stern (p), Helen Merrill (vcl) [7-29-93]
2. Lo-Ko-Mo and Frizz (Konitz - Lovano - Motian - Frisell)
Lee Konitz (as, ss, ts), Joe Lovano (ss, ts, a-cl), Bill Frisell (g), Paul Motian (ds) [6-20-93]
3. The Aerie (Peggy Stern)
Lee Konitz (as), Peggy Stern (p), Ben Allison (b), Jeff Williams (ds), Jay Clayton (vcl) [6-23-
4. Trio #1 (Konitz - Mulligan - Stern)
Lee Konitz (ss), Gerry Mulligan (bar), Peggy Stern (p) [7-14-93]

5. All The Things You Are (Kern - Hammerstein)

Lee Konitz (ss), Jean Francois Prins (g), Judy Niemack (vcl) [7-7-93]

6. Exposition (Konitz, Bley, Guiffre, Peacock)

Lee Konitz (as, ss), Jimmy Giuffre (cl), Paul Bley (p), Gary Peacock (b) [6-21-93]
7. Flyin' - Mumbles and Jumbles (Konitz, Terry)
Lee Konitz (ss, vcl), Clark Terry (fgl, vcl) [7-7-93]

320 kbps rip of Evidence ECD 22117-2

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Curtis Clark: Live at the Bimhuis (1988)

Clark is a former ex-pat now relocated to New England. As a pianist, he is remarkably unbeholden to anyone, and his compositions are nearly as individual. This glorious, sprawling and wonderfully accessible date features a first-call quintet of European improvisers and does everything right.

Curtis Clark (piano)
Andy Sheppard (reeds)
Jan Piet Visser (harmonica)
Ernst Reijseger (cello)
Ernst Glerum (bass)
Louis Moholo (drums)

1. Reincarnation Of Biggar Thomas
2. With A Little Help Of (sic) My Friends (Lennon/McCartney)
3. Boo-Related
4. Deep Sea Diver
5. As Time Goes By (
6. Special Delivery
7. Strings Of Ecstasy - (For Django Reinhardt)
8. Boogie Stomp
9. Cosmic Minstrels - (For Amos & Andy)

All compositions by Curtis Clark except as noted.
Recorded October, 1988, Amsterdam.
160 kbps rip of Nimbus West CD.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Steve Lacy - Roswell Rudd Quartet: Early and Late (1962,1999, 2002)

Very reminiscent of the "School Days" sessions, with identical instrumentation (Dennis Charles is the drummer on the earliest tracks) and several Monk tunes, but with much improved fidelity, not to mention four intervening decades of constant improvement and challenge by two of the most singular improvisers of the modern era. Neither Rudd nor Lacy ever stray too far from the broad humor and theatrical gestures they absorbed as Dixieland players in the 1950s, qualities that color even their most abstract or aggressive work and are especially evident here. The tunes recorded in 1999 and 2002 with Lacy's long-time rhythm section of Betsch and Avenel are more streamlined rhythmically than the 1962 session, but have the same adventurous and rollicking spirit.

All hail local libraries -- even the lowliest, most underfunded branches — whence came this.

UPDATE: I set my controls a few posts back for 160 kbps and haven't changed it back because the lower quality seems to address the ethical dilemma discussed in some detail in the comments for the Theo Bleckmann album. This one is, as has been noted, at 160 kbps, too.

Steve Lacy: ss
Roswell Rudd: trb

Jean-Jacques Avenel: b
John Betsch: dr
Dennis Charles: dr (#10-13)
Bob Cunningham: b (#10-13)

1. Rent, The
2. Bath, The
3. Hoot, The
4. Blinks
5. Light Blue
6. Bookioni

7. Bamako
8. Twelve Bars
9. Bone
10. Eronel (Take 2)
11. Tune 2
12. Think of One
13. Eronel (Take 3)

Tracks 1, 2, 3, 5 and 9 recorded at Bimhuis, Amsterdam, June 19, 1999.
Tracks 4,and 6 recorded at the Mat Bevel Institute, Tuscon, AZ, US, April 4, 1999.
Tracks 7 and 8 recorded at Iridium, NYC, August 9, 2002.
Tracks 10-13 recorded in NYC (demo session), October 9, 1962.

160 kbps rip from Cuneiform Records CD 250/251

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Peter Fulda Trio: Little Box of Sea Wonders (2003)

Fine Danish (I think) pianist, not quite like anyone else I can think of, plenty atmospheric but with some cojones, you know? Plus it's got Bill Elgart on it. What can I say?

Peter Fulda
- piano
Henning Sieverts - bass
Bill Elgart - drums

  1. Mater Suspiriorum
  2. Little Box Of Sea-Wonders
  3. Eronel
  4. Tango
  5. War Of The Seaweed
  6. For Real Moments
  7. Revenge Of The Seaweed
  8. The Reptile
  9. Coral Scents
  10. Dead Sea
  11. Israel
  12. The Unhappy Happy
Discographical info unknown. 320 kbps mp3 rip from eMusic download of Jazz'n'Arts CD JNA 2003.