Saturday, July 22, 2017

Blue Goose

Image result for duke ellington never no lament

Is there a better summation of Duke Ellington's mastery of swing and mood than 1940's sublime Blue Goose?  It starts off with grand but subtle piano. Johnny Hodges states the whimsical theme; Harry Carney restates it majestically. Cootie Williams steps in, then the full band comes in. Ben Webster solos over the groove before Lawrence Brown takes over the theme, then the full band comes in again, with almost dissonant chords and flourishes. Hodges then recapitulates the theme and takes it out, with Ellington having the last word (or syllable). All over a sumptuous bed of relaxed but insistent swing. All in a little over three minutes. Just marvelous.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Playlist, Week of 2017-07-16

In a great summer for major reissues, another one to add to the list is the new remastered and expanded edition of Purple Rain... key draw is the second disc of unreleased material, much of which I've heard, but not with this sound quality, including the amazing "Wonderful Ass,"one of my favorite Prince bootleg tracks...  second key draw is the presence of all the Purple Rain-related extended 12-inch singles, many on CD for the first time... there are some issues with this release, though, and the best overall review I've seen of it is here... It's also guitar week, it seems! In addition to revisiting some of the unreleased December 2016 sessions with Rodger Coleman, whose guitar playing always gets me excited, I'm enjoying delving a little deeper into the guitar playing of Nels Cline... his playing in the guitar/bass/drum trio context is particularly inventive, with a hefty dose of noise mixed in, especially on Instrumentals... Henry Kaiser's Everything Forever is an extended 80-minute solo guitar piece that quickly delves into "Dark Star" territory... it's a long trance piece, but the mood is beautifully sustained... Mix in some Garcia, some Fripp, and some Steve Hillage and you have a nice week of guitar.

Playlist 2017-07-17:

*Johann Christian Bach: Six Favorite Overtures (Academy of Ancient Music)
*Anthony Braxton Zim Sextet: 2017-06-03 Moers (CDR)
*Nels Cline: Coward
*Nels Cline Singers: Instrumentals
*Nels Cline Trio: Ground
*Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: 2016-12-26 Nashville (wav) (selections)
*Mary Halvorson Quintet: Saturn Sings
*Ingrid Laubrock/Tom Rainey: 2011-07-25 NYC (CDR)
*Roscoe Mitchell Creative Orchestra: Sketches from Bamboo
*Thelonious Monk: Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960 (disc 1)
*Sun Ra and His Arkestra: Super-Sonic Jazz
*Sun Ra: 1982-06-24 Mannheim, Germany (CDR) (disc 1)
*Henry Threadgill Sextet: Just the Facts and Pass the Bucket
*John Zorn: Moonchild: Songs Without Words
*Apples in Stereo: The Discovery of a World Inside the Moone
*Area: Maledetti (Maudits)
*Beach Boys: 1967: Sunshine Tomorrow (selections)
*Beatles: Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band (Super Deluxe Ed.) (discs 2, 3)
*Gong: Live in Sherwood Forest '75
*Grateful Dead: Cornell 5.8.77 (disc 3)
*Grateful Dead: 50 Shades of Black & White (1987-04-07 East Rutherford NJ)
*Hatfield and the North: The Rotters’ Club (side 2)
*Henry Kaiser: Everything Forever
*King Crimson: Islands (40th Anniversary Ed.) (disc 2)
*King Tubby: Two Big Bull in a One Pen Dubwise
*Prince and the Revolution: Purple Rain (Deluxe Expanded Edition) (discs 2, 3)
*Prince: Released (CDR compilation)
*Prince: Unreleased (CDR compilation)
*Rolling Stones: Havana Moon
*Neil Young: On the Beach

Reading List, Week of 2017-07-16

Reading List 2017-07-17:

*Thomson, David. Television: A Biography (started)
*Youngquist, Paul. A Pure Solar World: Sun Ra and the Birth of Afrofuturism (started)
*Kirkman, Robert, et al. The Walking Dead (issues 92-93) (started/finished)
*Steele, Greg. Kitties (started/finished)
*Brontë, Anne. Agnes Grey (finished)
*Jackson, Holbrook. Anatomy of Bibliomania (in progress)
*King, Frank. Walt and Skeezix, Vol. 3: 1925-1926 (reread/in progress)
*Silliman, Ron. The Alphabet (in progress)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Other, Better World

Thmei was the activist group formed by Sun Ra and Alton Abraham in the 1950s in Chicago:
Thmei needed a public address system, a means of spreading its message of building a better world through culture and art. Or maybe a medium that was the message, art that built the better world it announced. For Sun Ra, music was that art, a creative medium that could challenge reality and offer something better in the process: a new sound, a progressive sensibility, a bold promise that however ugly the world might be, a more beautiful one awaited those adventurers who could feel and respond to music's call. (Paul Youngquist, A Pure Solar World: Sun Ra and the Birth of Afrofuturism, 2016, p. 62)

Friday, July 14, 2017

Pick of the Week

Happy to see that Who Doesn't Fade? has been chosen as a Pick of the Week over at Avant Music News! What an honor--thanks, guys.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Playlist, Week of 2017-07-09

In addition to that other big re-release celebrating 1967, we now have 1967: Sunshine Tomorrow, featuring a gorgeous new true-stereo mix of the Beach  Boys' classic Wild Honey... the album sounds better than ever... while still maintaining its air of rediscovered simplicity, the new mix gives the album a beautiful sense of detailed clarity, a breath of country air, a sweeter thing or two... absolutely gorgeous... also included are tons of alternate takes, session tracks, and unreleased live and live-in-the-studio gems from the Smiley Smile and Wild Honey era... it's great to finally have "A Little Help from My Friends," as well as the full version of "I Was Made to Love Her" (with the coda at the end), on CD (both of these were previously only available on the LP "Rarities") (itself pretty rare).... The newly discovered tapes of Thelonious Monk's soundtrack sessions for Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960 are primo... Also continuing my on and off explorations of Bud Powell, whose playing continues to fascinate me... As do the Beatles... Revolver and Sgt. Pepper: gaddam....

Playlist 2017-07-10:

*Nonpareil Wind Band: A Grand Sousa Concert (selectins)
*John Philip Sousa: Sousa Band (CDR compilation)
*Nels Cline Trio: Ground
*John Coltrane Quintet: 1961-07-01 Newport Jazz Festival (CDR)
*For Living Lovers: Brandon Ross/Stomu Takeishi: Revealing Essence
*Andrew Hill: 2001-08-14 Saaldelden, Austria (CDR)
*Thelonious Monk: Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
*David Murray Octet: Dark Star: The Music of the Grateful Dead "Dark Star"
*Bud Powell: Tempus Fugue-It (disc 1)
*Ben Redwine/Daniel Barbiero/Jonathan Matis: Microeconomics
*Henry Threadgill Sextet: Just the Facts and Pass the Bucket
*David Torn & Prezens: 2007-08-24 Saalfelden (CDR)
*David Torn & Prezens: 2008-01-19 Budapest (CDR) (disc 2)
*World Saxophone Quartet: Requiem for Julius
*Amon Düül II: Live in Tokyo
*Beach Boys: 1967: Sunshine Tomorrow
*Beach Boys: Love You
*Beatles: Revolver (2009 mono remaster)
*Beatles: Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band (Super Deluxe Ed.) (discs 1, 2, 3, 4)
*De Facto: Megaton Shotblast
*Flash: Flash
*Henry Kaiser: Eternity Blue
*Henry Kaiser: Everything Forever
*King Crimson: Islands (40th Anniversary Ed.) (disc 1)
*Oneohtrix Point Never: R Plus Seven
*Dusty Springfield: Complete A and B Sides 1963-1970 (disc 1)
*Brian Wilson: Live at the Roxy Theatre (disc 2)

Reading List, Week of 2017-07-09

Reading List 2017-07-10:

*Brontë, Anne. Agnes Grey (started)
*Lemire, Jeff, and Dean Ormston.  Black Hammer: Secret Origins (started/finished)
*Turow, Scott. Testimony (started/finished)
*Corey, James S. A. Babylon's Ashes (finished)
*Shakespeare, William. Love's Labour's Lost (original-spelling ed.) (reread/finished)
*Turner, Steve. Beatles '66: The Revolutionary Year (finished)
*Jackson, Holbrook. Anatomy of Bibliomania (in progress)
*King, Frank. Walt and Skeezix, Vol. 3: 1925-1926 (reread/in progress)
*Silliman, Ron. The Alphabet (in progress)