“Chicago is undefinable. Folks can do anything here.”
Sure. The guys I was referring to have a certain American free-jazz vibe going (think more Dolphy than Ayler), but there’s everything in Chicago.
One of my favorites is Josh Berman’s Old Idea.
Also Keefe Jackson’s Seeing You See
Thanks for the recommendations. I’m assuming these are musicians building off or working in the same vein as Ken Vandermark? I’ll try to check them out.
If you google them you’ll find some samples.
I got to hear Josh Berman album. It reminded me of early Ornette, but closer to something by John Gunther (kinda of an obscure musician). In other words, a little “free-ish,” but lots of structure—in terms of the arrangements (maybe through composed sections), rhythms, harmony, etc. (I was listening to it while doing other stuff, so maybe I’m off.)
I’ll try to check out Keefe Jackson later.
Btw, have you heard Mary Halvorson (guitarist)? I think she’s one of the more original and interesting jazz musicians I’ve heard recently. Ditto John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet.
“little “free-ish,” but lots of structure—in terms of the arrangements (maybe through composed sections), rhythms, harmony, etc”
I think that’s a decent description. The Jackson (he plays sax on Berman’s album, btw) album above is similar, although he also does some totally improved things—he’s recorded with some European players.
“Btw, have you heard Mary Halvorson (guitarist)? I think she’s one of the more original and interesting jazz musicians I’ve heard recently. Ditto John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet”
I don’t know anything about Hollenbeck, but thanks for the reminder on Holvorson, whom I had meant to check out at one point. Do you know Joe Morris? Is she in that vein?
I’ve only heard very little from Joe Morris, but I don’t think Halvorson is as “free.” Halvorson has an alt-rock—maybe “math rock”—approach. The use of repetition and phrases also reminds me of minimalist music (e.g., Steve Reich).
Here’s Halvorson in a Eleventh Hour (I don’t think she solos much, but I like this tune, and you might like this group):
Here’s Halvorson in her trio.
“I’ve only heard very little from Joe Morris, but I don’t think Halvorson is as “free.””
Fair enough. The first one didn’t grab me, but the trio track has some nice playing on it.
FWIW, what I like is that it doesn’t sound like fusion or free jazz (certainly not mainstream) from the phast. There’s something "now’ about her playing (and the music in general). Broadly speaking, the music has a kind of alternative rock vibe to it, and the vocabularly she’s using seems very different from other jazz guitarist (not out of Frisell, Sco, Jim Hall or Wes Montgomery, Derek Bailey, etc.).
Now what should one do, in order to explore people like Bird, Duke, Diz. They don’t seem to have specific acclaimed albums to speak of, since it would appear those three were obviously in their prime before the notiion of the album as a single entity was introduced. Are compilations the way to go? I know Duke had specific highly regarded albums he recorded towards the end of his life, but I’m referring to the prime of these three respective musicians.
“Are compilations the way to go?”
IMO, yes. Bird is one of my favorite musicians: I would start with the Master Takes of the Dial and Savoy sessions of the 40s. That’s a lot of music, but you can get it pretty cheap. If you love those and need more, I can recommend some live stuff (Chasin’ the Bird), and some of what’s on Verve—probably the Master Takes box.
For Duke, I think most would say his early 40s RCA recordings are a good bet, but I have a nice box from his early career into that time and beyond that I recommend. It focuses on the shorter works.
Diz is on some Bird recordings, but I don’t know his solo work that well. I would assume the 40s is the best for him too, but there may be someone with a more informed opinion.
Live Bird (with some Diz):
A nice Duke box:
Blossom Dearie! :D
Someone To Watch Over Me
Blue Lu Barker!
You Been Holding Out Too Long
Alright ladies! Way to keep the thread alive.
Btw, I only know Blossom Dearie from School House Rock.
And of course, this guy… :D
My Baby Just Cares For Me.
Anyone heard The Rubaiyat of Dorothy Ashby? I am about to give it a try. Pretty excited to see how it goes!
that sounds cool ^ how was it?
That Jef Gilson album is mighty impressive
I like Esperanza Spalding cut off her new album:
Here are two of the more interesting jazz vocalists now. Hope this puts a smile on your face!
The Glenn Gould Theatre here in Toronto (anyone heard of him?) showcased Tom Harrell in the second half of a concert earlier this week. I was never a particular fan of post-bop but Mr. Harrell, now a senior citizen, still plays beautiful trumpet. It was joyous to listen to him.
When Tom came on stage, his appearance was frightening. His chin was on his chest and he never looked up. He took baby steps, never smiled or looked at his group, and appeared to be in another world. At first of course, not knowing his medical history, I jokingly assumed drugs. Then it dawned on me that he must be ill.
The group gave us 110 minutes straight through, although Tom left the stage after 50 minutes and watched his quintet from the side of the performance area. He reappeared at the close of each number to wrap up with his sax player. He was in view the entire time and it almost seemed as if he was trying to cover his back against the side wall.
I was not aware that Tom Harrell has schizophrenia. Seeing him isolating from his group and the audience was a lesson in a variance of the human condition.
He never missed a note.
I envy you. I like Harrell, and his recent group sounds solid. Even though I don’t get very enthused with post-bop jazz played today, Harrell is an exception—primarily because I think he’s such a good composer. His tunes aren’t just blowing vehicles, and I’m not sure he gets the credit he deserves for his writing. He’s also a solid player, too.
I would have loved to have been there. (Who’s played in the group? Is Wayne Escoffery still playing on tenor?)
I haven’t seen this yet, but here’s a documentary on Cecil Taylor:
The catalogue is in front of me, and it lists Wayne Escoffery as Tom Harrell’s sax player. He was Great! Until Harrell stepped aside that is. The group then began a new version of post post-bop music, or perhaps it’s called post anti-bop. Anyway, not for me.
Other members of the group as listed were Jonathan Blake (drums), David Berkman (piano) & Ugonna Okegwo (drums). I dont really trust programs that are pre-printed for an entire season, but these may have been the Cats.
Don’t want you to think that I have nothing to do but hang out at Jazz clubs. Although it’s true. My partner and I used to do that scene as often as possible, but age has caught up. However our birthdays are a week apart, so we picked two shows earlier this month. On our second sojourn we took in a Dee Dee Bridgewater concert.
The program was called …To Billie with Love. A Celebration of ‘Lady Day’… How ya gonna say ‘no’ to that? Although the first couple of numbers were more like an angry Dee Dee singing in the 60’s, the rest of the program was more like the Billie who’s on my recordings. Ms. Bridgewater had her regular pianist/arranger with her. The other three guys (base, drums & reeds) all seemed capable, but I’m not sure they are ready to solo. Perhaps the bassist.
Ms. Bridgewater scats as well as I’ve ever heard, and her show was a winner.
Many of us who’s Jazz tastes pre-date the ’70s seem to hear more bad news than the other kind about our aging heros.
Clarke Terry, originally from St. Louis and a mentor of Miles Davis for a time, has had both his legs amputated due to complications from diabetes. A few years back his sight had dimmed for the same reason.
I was fortunate enough to see him play a number of times during his visits to Toronto. On the last occasion he required help in negotiating the steps to the stage.
Wikipedia is a good place to learn about the awards and accolades he has received. One thing I didn’t see mention of, though, was his sense of humour. Mr. Terry was a delightful presence on stage. I bet he’s telling jokes right now, and he’ll be making people happy ‘till he’s no longer able.