Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Playlist, Week of 2013-12-29

Playlist 2013-12-30:

*Vince Guaraldi Trio: A Charlie Brown Christmas
*Slobber Pup: Black Aces
*Sun Ra: Pathways to Unknown Worlds
*Coasters: 20 Greatest Hits
*Sam Cooke: Greatest Hits
*Bing Crosby: The Best of Bing Crosby: The Christmas Collection
*Eagles: Greatest Hits
*Marvin Gaye: Greatest Hits
*Roy Orbison: Greatest Hits
*Smokey Robinson & the Miracles: The Best of Smokey Robinson & the Miracles: The Christmas Collection
*Stark Reality: Acting, Thinking, Feeling (disc 2)
*Various artists: You Got to Have Soul, vol. 3: Gettin’ Deeper (CDR compilation)
*Various artists: The Best of Motown 1960s Vol. 1
*Various artists: The Complete Stax/Volt Singles 1959-1968 (disc 7)

Reading List, Week of 2013-12-29

Reading List 2013-12-30

*Morrison, Toni. Beloved (finished)
*Pynchon, Thomas. Slow Learner (reread/in progress)
*Weldon, Michael J. Psychotronic Video Guide (in progress)

Thursday, December 26, 2013


While in Nashville for the holidays, I have been lucky enough to get with my friend Rodger Coleman.  He has redone his home studio, and it’s beautiful. The sound is fantastic: very warm, very “live” without being too boomy.  Rodger even bought a new drum set with some killer Zildjian cymbals! We were able to record some good stuff!

I have been enjoying Rodger’s video contributions to the Vinyl Community, a group of folks who post youtube videos showing interesting record albums from their collections.  So I suggested to Rodger that we do a joint broadcast, with me as guest, and he graciously agreed. I brought a box o’ fun albums to show ‘n’ tell, and here is the result:


Monday, December 23, 2013

Playlist, Week of 2013-12-22

Playlist 2013-12-23:

*Bach: Bach on Guitar (Andre Segovia/John Williams)
*Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 19 & 20 (Rudolf Serkin, Columbia Symphony Orchestra, cond. George Szell)
*Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker: Favorite Excerpts (London Symphony Orchestra)
*Armstrong, Louis: The Complete Louis Armstrong Decca Sessions (1935-1946) (selections)
*Daniel Barbiero/Steve Hilmy: Take a Sound
*Miles Davis Quintet: Live in Europe 1967 (The Bootleg Series Vol. 1) (discs 1-3)
*Miles Davis Quintet: 1967-10-30 Rotterdam (CDR)
*Miles Davis Quintet: 1967-10-31 Stockholm (CDR)
*Miles Davis Quintet: 1967-11-02 Copenhagen (CDR)
*Miles Davis Quintet: 1967-11-04 Berlin (CDR)
*Vince Guaraldi Trio: A Charlie Brown Christmas
*Andrew Hill: Judgment!
*Andrew Hill: Point of Departure
*Charles Mingus: The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
*Charles Mingus: The Jazz Workshop Concerts 1964-65 (disc 2)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2013-12-02 “Not Breaking the 43-Minute Barrier” (CDR)
*Tom Rainey Trio: 2013-10-19 Brooklyn NY (CDR) (set 1)
*Sun Ra: 1985-12-14 Live at Club Lingerie, Hollywood (disc 2)
*Lily Allen: It’s Not Me, It’s You
*Beach Boys: Little Deuce Coupe/All Summer Long (two-fer)
*Beach Boys: Sunflower
*Beach Boys: Made in California (discs 1,2)
*Beatles: On Air: Live at the BBC Volume 2 (disc 1)
*Elvis Costello: This Year's Model (2002 reissue, disc 1)
*Bing Crosby: Bing Crosby Sings Christmas Songs
*Deerhoof: Offend Maggie
*Bob Dylan: Theme Time Radio Hour No. 34: Christmas & New Years (CDR)
*Donald Fagen: Morph the Cat
*King Crimson: The Great Deceiver (disc 1)
*Pere Ubu: Dub Housing
*Frank Sinatra: White Christmas
*Various artists: Christmas Legends
*Various artists: The Complete Stax/Volt Singles 1959-1968 (disc 5, 6)
*Dennis Wilson: Pacific Ocean Blue
*XTC: Coat of Many Cupboards (disc 2)

Reading List, Week of 2013-12-22

Reading List 2013-12-23:

*Morrison, Toni. Beloved (started)
*Pynchon, Thomas. Slow Learner (reread/started)
*Brainard, Joe. I Remember (finished)
*Cook, Glen. Shadows Linger (finished)
*Cook, Glen. The White Rose (started/finished)
*Weldon, Michael J. Psychotronic Video Guide (in progress)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Colin Moulding

Colin Moulding of XTC:
Music just blew me away.  It stays with you all your life, as you know.  You’re wrapped up in it, and you don’t get out--if you’re a musician, you’re a musician for life.  You don’t drop out. (interview)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Taylor Ho Bynum on improvisation

Taylor Ho Bynum on the term “free improvisation:”
This is a deeply misleading term, for any improviser worth his or her salt is continually concerned with structure, while recognizing that structure might be a mutable concept. (from “Postscript: Butch Morris (1947-2013)” New Yorker 2013-01-30

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Playlist, Week of 2013-12-15


Playlist 2013-12-16:

*Karlheinz Stockhausen: Stockhausen Composer Day 2009-01-17 "Hymnen" (CDR)
*Xenakis: Complete String Quartets (JACK Quartet)
*Armstrong, Louis: The Complete Louis Armstrong Decca Sessions (1935-1946) (selections)
*Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet & 7-tette: Navigation (The Complete Firehouse 12 Recordings)
*Miles Davis: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings of the Miles Davis Quintet 1965 to 1968 (discs 4-6)
*Vince Guaraldi Trio: A Charlie Brown Christmas
*Charles Mingus: The Jazz Workshop Concerts 1964-65 (disc 1)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2013-12-02 “Not Breaking the 43-Minute Barrier” (CDR)
*Sun Ra: Rarities (CDR compilation)
*Sun Ra and His Intergalactic Myth Science Solar Arkestra: Horizon
*Sun Ra: Astro Black
*Sun Ra Quartet: Other Voices, Other Blues (sides 1, 3)
*Sun Ra & His Arkestra: 1990-03-31 Northeastern University, Boston (CDR)
*Allman Brothers: Eat a Peach “Mountain Jam”
*Beatles: From Then to You (boot CDR) (selections)
*Blast: A Sophisticated Face
*Fela: Excuse O
*Happy the Man: Live
*Happy the Man: “Better Late…”
*Opeth: Ghost Reveries
*Salarymen: Out to Lunch
*Various artists: Pioneers of Electronic Music
*Various artists: The World Ends: Afro Rock & Psychedelia in 1970s Nigeria
*XTC: Coat of Many Cupboards (disc 1)
*Frank Zappa: Lumpy Gravy

Reading List, Week of 2013-12-15

Reading List 2013-12-16:

*Brainard, Joe. I Remember (started)
*Cook, Glen. Shadows Linger (started)
*Cook, Glen. The Black Company (started/finished)
*Barth, John. Every Third Thought (reread/finished)
*Hyde, Lewis. Common as Air (finished)
*Weldon, Michael J. Psychotronic Video Guide (in progress)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tribute to John Barth

I was an English major in college. I studied a lot of Shakespeare and general British and American literature.  It was in college that I was introduced to, and was particularly taken with, modern experimental fiction: Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Faulkner, Nabokov, Pynchon.  After I was exposed to a selection from Lost in the Funhouse in an anthology of avant-garde fiction, John Barth became one of my favorite authors.  I delved into The Sot-Weed Factor, to me a worthy follow-up and companion to Tom Jones.  Then I went backwards to read his two earlier novels, and forward to catch up on what’d come after: Giles Goat-Boy, Lost in the Funhouse, and Chimera.  I was delighted by Barth’s wry sense of humor and inventive use of language, especially because he used those techniques effectively in the service of the story.  I loved his voice and tone, and really enjoyed how he explored concepts of self-consciousness and the complexities of narrative, but most of all I just really loved him as a storyteller.

By the time LETTERS was released (1979), I was primed for it, and I devoured it and loved it.  I was especially taken with its notion of characters from each of his earlier novels writing correspondence to each other, according to a master plan based on the calendars of the months during which it takes place and dictated by the way the letters of the title are spelled out on the calendars.  (My description doesn’t do it justice: the structure works out, I think, so that each character writes to each other character at least once.)  I loved the sheer audacity of the concept and the playful way he integrated all of the events of his earlier novels into a mind-warping meditation on meta-reality as well as a realistic adventure plot centering on the Bicentennial.

After that, I bought and read each of his books as they came out: Sabbatical, The Friday Book, and The Tidewater Tales.  Somewhere along the way to The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor, though, I lost interest.  I don’t recall exactly what I was reading at the time, but when I finally got around to checking it out I found that I was impatient with certain quirks of his style that had progressively gotten more cutesy and forced.  I love wordplay as well as the next fellow, but it seemed to be sprinkled rather too liberally throughout every sentence. And while I dug the dual narrators of Sabbatical (a la Ada), if I recall correctly he pursued the same strategy with Tidewater Tales, but to lesser effect.  He was so wrapped up in the mechanics of his storytelling that he was letting it get in the way of his stories.  At any rate, I stopped following him after that.  It wasn’t so much a giving-up as it was an extended shrug.  I was vaguely aware that he was continuing to publish but I had other fish to fry.  

At some point over the next decade I did check out Once upon a Time, and while it was enjoyable (don’t get me wrong: all of Barth’s writing is fun to read at some level), it ultimately left me cold; I wanted to love it and ended up just liking it.  So once again I stopped.

Then, maybe four years ago or thereabouts, I stumbled on a cheap used copy of Further Fridays, his second book of essays.  I dipped into it, thoroughly enjoyed it, and decided to go back and catch up on everything I’d missed:  On with the Story, Coming Soon!!!, The Book of Ten Nights and a Night, Where Three Roads Meet, and The Development.  At the same time, I went back and reread some old favorites: Sot-Weed, Funhouse, and LETTERS.  I discovered that what blew me away in my twenties was less compelling for me in my fifties.  Not that I didn’t enjoy reading them: Sot-Weed in particular was loads of fun, even though its plotting and surprise turns of events seemed overplotted and forced, whereas it was particularly those aspects of it that delighted and amazed me the first time around.  (I understand that it’s in development as a 12-hour miniseries directed by Steven Soderbergh: that’s promising, and hopefully the length and format will help them do it right and treat it with the love and respect it deserves.)

LETTERS, however, deeply disappointed me.  The conceit didn’t impress me, it bothered me.  The plot seemed forced and uninteresting. It just didn’t overwhelm me the way it did when it first came out.  Parts of it were okay, and the new character of Lady Amherst was lively and feisty in a way the alumni of his previous fiction weren’t.

By this time, the definitive English translation of the 1001 Nights (translated by Lyons and Lyons) had come out, and I finally read the whole damn thing (I had started the Mathers translation years ago, but the English translation of a French translation just wasn’t cutting it).  The Lyons version is brilliant: fluid, compelling, unexpurgated, uncondensed...and highly pertinent to my Barth project, obviously.  The Arabian Nights is a major touchstone for Barth’s work, serving as the background (and, in the case of Chimera and Somebody at the very least, the foreground) of his work.  Immediately upon getting through that, I returned to the Dunyazadiad section of Chimera and found it delightful.  Barth really went to town with the framework notion and the aspect of tales-within-tales-within tales in both Tidewater Tales and Somebody.  I haven’t reread these yet; I am really looking forward to them--I suspect they are both much better than I remember.

But back to the catch-up phase: again, as with the rereading, I had mixed feelings about the newer works.  I love how he writes about the Chesapeake Bay, and his forays into more “realistic” short story writing over the last decade are delightful.  (I like all kinds of fiction but I tend to get impatient with short stories.  I am primarily a novels guy.  But for whatever reason I love Barth’s short stories, especially in The Development.)  However, for me, Coming Soon!!! was almost unbearably unreadable.  It exhibits many of the tics and qualities I had grown weary of in his writing: cutesy self-conscious narrators, ramblings about the mechanics of storytelling to the detriment of the story, and whimsical wordplay.

Rereading The Friday Book (which includes the seminal 1967 essay “The Literature of Exhaustion” as well as its 1979 companion piece, “The Literature of Replenishment”) and Further Fridays before delving into Final Fridays (which just came out last year), I was further impressed and truly delighted by how thoughtful and provoking his essays are, especially his essays on literature.  He must have been a fantastic teacher and mentor for all those writing students he had over the years.  I can attest to his wonderful public speaking ability, as I was lucky enough to see him read selections from Sabbatical in Richmond in 1983.  (He autographed my copy of the album of his reading from Giles Goat-Boy; as you can see above, I am a lousy photographer.)  I came away from the essays in the Friday books excited about reading and with tons of ideas about what to pursue next.  His non-fiction writing turns out to be some of his best writing.

His latest novel, Every Third Thought (the title, of coursing, quoting Prospero in The Tempest), is effective, moving, and touching.  As the narrator grapples with old age, explores the concept of losing his wife and soul-mate, and dives into complex explorations of language, narrative, and the act of writing creative fiction, Barth demonstrates with skill and verve so many of the ideas he has explored in his essays and previous fiction.  It really is a deeply moving book, made all the more poignant by its ambiguous ending-- and by the essay “The End? On Writing No Further Fiction, Probably” in Final Fridays, where he basically says his muse has dried up and he can’t write fiction anymore.  Can this be true?  Will there be no more fiction from the seemingly endless font of stories and ideas from this masterful writer?  

The thought is crushing.  Because in spite of my disappointments and frustration with his writing, I know that those problems are mine and not his.  I know that his style of experimentation is somewhat out of fashion.  He was more respected in the ‘60s and ‘70s (Chimera won the National Book Award in 1973).  It’s easy to see why he’s not thought of as much these days, when there’s so much twaddle out there that passes for literary criticism, like this:
Literary tricks really are for kids, and once you realize that it’s harder to do the straight story, the obfuscations and labyrinthine justifications of the game player seem like a bit too much protestation, no? (N. Thomson)
It’s a shame, really, because Barth is one of America’s greatest literary thinkers and writers.  His is a friendly voice, a voice of wisdom and humor that was deeply influential on me, in that way that only writers can be at a certain stage in life.  I have no idea what he’s up to now, but I hope his muse has not deserted him.  So here’s a tribute to you, Mr. Barth: thank you for all your work.  Thank you for a life devoted to literature.  Thank you for the nudges and shoves to other great works of literature out there to discover.  And most of all, thank you for all the stories.  

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New Ting Ting Loft 2013-12-02

Here's a stream to our latest improv, from last week:

"Not Breaking the 43-Minute Barrier," improvisation by New Ting Ting Loft, 2013-12-02 (ca. 42:00). Tommy Birchett: styrofoam, electronics. Ben Scott: guitar, electronics. Jimmy Ghaphery: flute, alto sax. Tim Harding: guitar, keyboard. Sam Byrd: drums, toys, percussion.

It's been a while since the full quintet contingent has been able to assemble to play, so we went for it and cranked for almost (but not quite!) 43 minutes.  I have really been enjoying the incorporation of the electronic sounds of Tommy and Ben into the New Loft dynamic.  Having five voices makes for lots of choices in setting, configuration, dynamics, and grooves.  Like most if not all our improv pieces, this one has a wide range of dynamics, including many vewwy, vewwy quiet passages, and is probably best served LOUD.  Don't forget, you can download uncompressed files of this and many other improvs of ours at the Internet Archive.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Playlist, Week of 2013-12-08

Tex Goldstein - Horse In The Teepee cover art

Check out Tex Goldstein.  Lovely, whacked-out alt-country-psychedelia from one-third of Dark Carpet. Go, Tracy!

Playlist 2013-12-09:

*Pauline Oliveros: “A Little Noise in the System (Moog System)” (from Anthology of Noise & electronic Music/First A-Chronology 1921-2001, disc 2)
*Armstrong, Louis: The Complete Louis Armstrong Decca Sessions (1935-1946) (selections)
*Art Ensemble of Chicago: The Alternate Express
*Anthony Braxton: Nine Compositions (DVD) 2003 (tracks 1-5)
*Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet & 7-tette: Navigation (The Complete Firehouse 12 Recordings)
*Chick Corea: The Vigil
*Miles Davis: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings of the Miles Davis Quintet 1965 to 1968 (discs 2, 3)
*Mary Halvorson-Ingrid Laubrock Duo (2013-03-21) Essen, Germany (CDR)
*Roscoe Mitchell Septet: 1976-02-08 Studio Rivbea, NY (CDR)
*New Loft: 2013-11-04 “Betty’s Escape” (wav)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2013-12-02 “Not Breaking the 43-Minute Barrier” (CDR)
*Tony Oxley: Ichnos
*Terje Rypdal Trio: 1973-04-04 Bremen, Germany (CDR) (disc 1)
*Stark Reality: Acting, Thinking, Feeling (disc 2)
*Subtle Body Transmission Orchestra: 2013-10-05 Sonic Circuits Festival, Washington DC (wav)
*Sun Ra: 1985-12-14 Live at Club Lingerie, Hollywood (disc 1)
*John Zorn: The Dreamers
*Lily Allen: Alright, Still
*Allman Brothers: At Fillmore East (side 2)
*Beach Boys: Studio Rehearsal Sessions, 1967 (boot CDR)
*Scott Brookman: Smellicopter
*De La Soul: First Serve
*Faust: Faust IV (disc 2)
*Fela: Monkey Banana
*Tex Goldstein: Horse In The Teepee (Bandcamp)
*Grateful Dead: Live/Dead (side 3)
*Jupiter Maca: A Setima Enfervescencia
*Menahan Street Band: Make the Road by Walking
*Andy Partridge: Fuzzy Warbles 6
*Various artists: Deep Soul Treasures (cassette compilation) (selections)
*Various artists: OHM+: The Early Gurus of Electronic Music, 1948-1980 (disc 3)
*Various artists: The Rough Guide to Psychedelic Brazil
*Kit Watkins: Labyrinth
*XTC: Skylarking

Reading List, Week of 2013-12-08

Reading List 2013-12-09:

*Barth, John. Every Third Thought (reread/started)
*Moore, Steven. The Novel: An Alternative History, 1600-1800 (finished)
*Hyde, Lewis. Common as Air (in progress)
*Weldon, Michael J. Psychotronic Video Guide (in progress)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Deep Jazz

File:Miles Davis Sorcerer.jpg

A friend of my daughter's asked if I could compile a list of "deep jazz" records...I interpreted that broadly and just compiled a partial list of some of my favorite jazz recordings, part recommendations, part personal faves, all great. For most of the major artists, it's practically impossible for me to choose "favorites," so take this as a sonic snapshot for 2013.  I give you....

Sam Byrd's list of DEEP JAZZ
(mostly albums, with some deep tracks as well) 2013

--not listed in any particular order
--far from "complete"--think of these listings as starting points
--no unofficial live recordings (otherwise I really would be here all day)


One of the most frequently-asked Ra-related questions on jazz boards and listservs seems to be "where do I start?"  A tough one. It's really, really hard to recommend even just a few of Sun Ra's records, because his career spans so many eras and styles. Without knowing what kind of stuff people are familiar with, or even like, or how much jazz they're already familiar with, or how experimental they can get, or how much tolerance they have for "noise," it's tricky to know which entrance to take. Well, this ain't that perfect list.  It's just a list of possibilities and favorites, listed roughly chronologically:

big band/hard bop era: (Chicago, late '50s/early '60s):
Jazz in Silhouette
Nubians of Plutonia
Angels and Demons at Play
We Travel the Spaceways
Interstellar Low Ways

starting to get more out, but pre-synth (NYC, early '60s):
Art Forms of Dimensions Tomorrow
Other Planes of There

diving in deep, still pre-synth (NYC, early- to mid-'60s):
Cosmic Tones for Mental Therapy
When Angels Speak of Love
Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra Vol. 2
The Magic City
Strange Strings

live, big band/exotica/out, still pre-synth (1966-68):
Nothing Is (with one of greatest Gilmore solos of all time, on "Dancing Shadows")
Pictures of Infinity

1/2 BBQ organ jazz, 1/2 moog freakout (1969/70):
My Brother the Wind Vol. II

2 moogs, beautiful melodies (1969/70):
My Brother the Wind
The Night of the Purple Moon 

live extravaganza, everything AND the kitchen sink:
Nuits de la Fondation Maeght Vol. I and II (1970)
Black Myth/Out in Space (1971)
Horizon (1971)
Nidhamu (1971)

studio perfection, out/abstract/compelling:
Astro Black (1972)
Space is the Place (Blue Thumb) (1972)
Pathways to Unknown Worlds (1973)
Friendly Love (1973?)

studio perfection, out/abstract/compelling + BBQ organ jazz (1972):
The Great Lost Sun Ra Albums (Cymbals/Crystal Spears)
smaller ensembles, heavy Gilmore:
Universe in Blue (1971)
Some Blues But Not the Kind That's Blue (1977)

live, moog heaven (1973):
Concert for the Comet Kohoutek

ultimate live (big band, synth, Gilmore):
Live at Montreux (1976)

quartet, lot of piano/Gilmore (1978):
New Steps
Other Voices, Other Blues
Disco 3000
Media Dream

slicker funk/space jazz (Philadelphia, late '70s):
On Jupiter
Strange Celestial Road

solo piano:
Monorails and Satellites (1966)
Monorails and Satellites Vol. 2 (1966)
Piano Recital, Teatro La Fenice, Venezia (1977)

Any one of these albums could be great starting places. Of course, once you get started, if you're intrigued, you should listen to all of them!!! And after these, there's so, so much more.

For excellent in-depth reviews of several of the albums listed there, and much more, see the "Sun Ra Sundays" section of Rodger's blog, at http://nuvoid.blogspot.com/search/label/Sun%20Ra%20Sunday

It's almost easier to list what not to include; these are some of my favorites (subject to change):

Birth of the Cool
Relaxin' with the Miles Davis Quintet
Steamin' with the Miles Davis Quintet
Workin' with the Miles Davis Quintet
Cookin' with the Miles Davis Quintet
Miles Ahead
In Person: Friday and Saturday Nights at the Blackhawk, Complete
Complete Live at the Plugged Nickel 1965
Complete Columbia Studio Recordings of the Miles Davis Quintet 1965 to 1968
Miles Davis: Live in Europe 1967 (The Bootleg Series Vol. 1)
Filles de Kilimanjaro
Bitches Brew
Miles Davis Quintet: Live in Europe 1969 (The Bootleg series, Vol. 2)
Live at the Fillmore East, March 7, 1970: It's About that Time
Get Up with It

plus a few "deep cuts" that no self-respecting jazz fan should be unfamiliar with:

Smooch (also see Mingus, Vassarlean/Pipe Dream/Weird Nightmare)
It Never Entered My Mind
Four (live, from "Four & More")
Prince of Darkness
Agitation (Europe 1967)
Filles de Kilimanjaro
Pharaoh's Dance
What I Say
He Loved Him Madly
Calypso Frelimo
Prelude, Pt. 1 (from "Agharta")


Miles Davis & John Coltrane: Live in Stockholm 1960
Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall
Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings
A Love Supreme
First Meditations
Live at the Half Note: One Down, One Up
Live in Seattle
Live in Japan
Stellar Regions

Coltrane: other deep tracks (in rough chronological order):

Giant Steps
Central Park West
Dear Lord
Sun Ship

Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday on Columbia 1933–1944


Tijuana Moods
East Coasting
Mingus Dynasty
Mingus Ah Um
Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus
Let My Children Hear Music
Changes one/Two
Cumbia Jazz Fusion

Mingus: other deep tracks (in rough chronological order):
Pink Topsy
Miss Bliss
Extrasensory Perception
Purple Heart
Eulogy for Rudy Williams
Jump Monk
Pithecanthropus Erectus
Reincarnation of a Lovebird
Passions of a Woman Loved
Vassarlean (aka Smooch, Weird Nightmare, Pipe Dream) prefer 1960 candid version
E's Flat, Ah's Flat Too
My Search
Please Don't Come Back from the Moon
*anything from the 1964 European tour with Eric Dolphy, but especially:
Meditations (...on Integration, ...on a Pair of Wire Cutters, etc.)

CECIL TAYLOR (this list is probably too short)

Nefertiti the Beautiful One Has Come
Into the Hot (released under Gil Evans' name; tracks also on Mixed)
Unit Structures
The Great Concert of Cecil Taylor (w/Sam Rivers)
Cecil Taylor Unit
3 Phasis
Winged Serpent (Sliding Quadrants)
In Berlin '88 (box)

ANTHONY BRAXTON (this list is definitely too short)

3 Compositions of New Jazz
New York Fall 1974
Creative Orchestra Music 1976
For Trio (Comp. 76)
Seven Compositions 1978
Willisau (Quartet) 1991 [or anything by the Crispell/Hemingway/Dresser quartet, really]
9 Compositions (Iridium) 2006

Point of Departure (with Eric Dolphy)
Andrew! (with John Gilmore)
Involution (with Sam Rivers)

Out to Lunch
anything from Mingus '64 European tour

deep tracks:
Out There
Jitterbug Waltz
Music Matador

Circle 1: Live in Germany Concert
Circle 2: Gathering
Paris Concert

*prefer the JSP 5-CD set 1926-1930 Victor recordings, mastered by John R.T. Davies

A Study in Frustration: The Fletcher Henderson Story

Hot Fives and Sevens (JSP) *prefer this 4-CD John R.T. Davies remastering

deep tracks:
Star Dust (both versions)
Rockin' Chair
I've Got the World on a String


Must-have box sets:
Centennial Edition: Complete RCA Victor Recordings: 1927-1973
The Complete 1932-1940 Brunswick, Columbia, and Master Recordings of Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra
Duke Ellington: 1936-40 Small Group Sessions

At the very least, for early (1920s-1932) stuff, explore:
The Okeh Ellington
Early Ellington: The Original Decca Recordings: The Complete Brunswick and Vocalion Recordings of Duke Ellington, 1926-1931
Early Ellington (1927-1934)
Jubilee Stomp (1920s RCA Victor)

Ellington: For '30s, besides the Mosaic set, check out:
Swing 1930 to 1938 (Robert Parker's Jazz Classics in Stereo)
Back Room Romp ('30s small band stuff)

Individual CDs:
Never No Lament: The Blanton-Webster Band
The Duke at Fargo 1940: Special 60th Anniversary Edition
Great Ellington Units (Blanton/Webster small band stuff, 1940-42)
Such Sweet Thunder
The Great Paris Concert
Far East Suite
And His Mother Called Him Bill

Deep tracks (really, way too many to mention here):
Reminiscing in Tempo
The Clothed Woman
Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue (Newport '58)

The Complete Savoy & Dial Master Takes
Dizzy Gillespie/Charlie Parker: Town Hall, New York City, June 22, 1945
Complete Live Performances on Savoy
Jazz at Massey Hall

The Art Ensemble: 1967/68
Live at Mandel Hall
Fanfare for the Warriors
Full Force
The Alternate Express

Deep tracks:
The Ninth Room
A Brain for the Seine
Dreaming of the Masters
Walking in the Moonlight
We Bop

Snurdy McGurdy and Her Dancin' Shoes
3 x 4 Eye
Nine to Get Ready
Composition/Improvisation Nos. 1, 2 & 3

Subject to Change
You Know the Number
Easily Slip into Another World

Lifea Blinec

Classic Coleman Hawkins Sessions 1922-1947 (includes lots of Fletcher!)

Deep tracks:
Body and Soul

Of course, anything with Miles, plus...

Anything on Blue Note, but especially:
Night Dreamer
Speak No Evil


The Complete Science Fiction Sessions
Dancing in Your Head
Body Meta
Of Human Feelings


DAVE HOLLAND Conference of the Birds
BENNIE MAUPIN Jewel in the Lotus
GEORGE LEWIS Shadowgraph 5 (Sextet)
JACKIE McLEAN Old and New Gospel (with Ornette on trumpet)
DON PULLEN w/SAM RIVERS Capricorn Rising
PETER BROTZMANN The Complete Machine Gun Sessions
ALBERT AYLER Live in Greenwich Village
SONNY ROLLINS A Night at the Village Vanguard
TOM RAINEY TRIO Camino Cielo Echo
TAYLOR HO BYNUM SEXTET & 7-TETTE: Navigation (The Complete Firehouse 12 Recordings)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Playlist, Week of 2013-12-01

Navigation (The Complete Firehouse 12 Recordings) cover art

Playlist 2013-12-02:

*Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet & 7-tette: Navigation (The Complete Firehouse 12 Recordings)
*Miles Davis: 1966-05-21 Portland, OR (CDR)
*Miles Davis: 1966-07-04 Newport Jazz Festival (CDR)
*Miles Davis: 1967-04-07 Berkeley, CA (CDR)
*Miles Davis: 1967-07-02 Newport Jazz Festival (CDR)
*Tony Oxley: February Papers
*Tom Rainey Trio: 2012-12-30 Brooklyn NY (CDR)
*Tom Rainey Trio: 2013-10-19 Brooklyn NY (CDR)
*Sam Rivers with Paul Bley & Scorpio: 1977-12 Studio Rivbea, NYC (CDR)
*Lily Allen: Alright, Still
*Deerhoof: Deerhoof Vs. Evil
*Nine Inch Nails: Hesitation Marks (selections)
*Various artists: The Complete Stax/Volt Singles 1959-1968 (disc 4)
*Various artists: Teenage Heaven: The Fifties Girl Group Phenomenon
*Various artists: The World Ends: Afro Rock & Psychedelia in 1970s Nigeria (disc 1)

Reading List, Week of 2013-12-01

Reading List 2013-12-02:

*Hyde, Lewis. Common as Air (in progress)
*Moore, Steven. The Novel: An Alternative History, 1600-1800 (in progress)
*Weldon, Michael J. Psychotronic Video Guide (in progress)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

There was some ripping Miles Davis after On the Corner, in particular Get Up With It, Aghartha, Dark Magus and Pangaea, a roughly 3 year period from 72-75 where Davis and company recorded 4 double albums. Sort of at the same time, the Art Ensemble of Chicago returned from their sojourn to Paris to the US, Ornette Coleman began flirting with Prime Time, Cecil Taylor began performing and recording again after a stretch of obscurity, Anthony Braxton was writing some of his most innovative compositions, etc. The most fertile periods in jazz have always been those when the critics have insisted the music *wasn’t jazz*. Even John Hammond said this of Duke after the Carnegie Hall concert in 1941. “Duke’s not playing jazz anymore!” This is exactly what’s *irreverent* about Marsalis, by the way, this refusal to see the continually living breathing art form, to will it to stand still. Disrespectful and fatal. Worse than misguided. (Peter Breslin, comment to Rick Moody's Swinging Modern Sounds: A Post Somewhat about Jazz, 2008)
Did he mean *irrelevant*? Works that way too.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Favorite Drum Records

My list of favorite drum records (as of 2013)
--no particular order

Ringo is my favorite drummer of all time. He knows just what to add to make each song work, and he is full of clever ideas, is tasteful without being showy, and rocks hard. These are some of my favorite Ringo moments with the Beatles:

I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You) (BBC)
It Won't Be Long
Tell Me Why
Any Time at All
You Can't Do That
Slow Down
What You're Doing
Ticket to Ride
The Word
She Said She Said
Tomorrow Never Knows
Strawberry Fields Forever
I Am the Walrus
Only a Northern Song
Glass Onion
Happiness Is a Warm Gun
Cry Baby Cry
Sexy Sadie
Come Together
She Came in through the Bathroom Window
Old Brown Shoe

John Coltrane: Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings
John Coltrane: First Impressions

Cecil Taylor: The Eighth

Hatfield and the North: Hatfield and the North
Hatfield and the North: The Rotters' Club

XTC: English Settlement
Yes: Close to the Edge
King Crimson:  Larks' Tongues in Aspic
King Crimson: Starless and Bible Black
King Crimson: Red

King Crimson: Lizard

Mahavishnu Orchestra: Inner Mounting Flame

Cecil Taylor: One Too Many Salty Swift and Not Goodbye
Ornette Coleman: Body Meta
Last Exit: Last Exit
Ronald Shannon Jackson & the Decoding Society: Mandance

Soft Machine: Volume Two
Soft Machine: Third
Soft Machine: Fourth
Matching Mole: Little Red Record
Matching Mole: Smoke Signals

Henry Cow: Leg End
Henry Cow: Unrest
Henry Cow: Western Culture

Genesis: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

James Brown: Star Time

James Brown: Live at the Apollo Vol. 2

James Brown: Sex Machine [Live] (especially "Bewildered")

OOIOO: Taiga

Boredoms: Vision Creation Newsun

Santana: Santana III
Santana: Caravanserai

Tower of Power: Tower of Power
Tower of Power: Back to Oakland

some great tracks:
Jumpin' Jack Flash
Paint It Black
My Obsession
All Sold Out
2000 Light Years from Home
Rocks Off
Rip This Joint

Tom Rainey Trio: Camino Cielo Echo

Jimi Hendrix Experience: Are You Experienced?
Jimi Hendrix Experience: Axis Bold as Love
Jimi Hendrix Experience: Electric Ladyland

James Blood Ulmer: Tales of Captain Black

STEVIE WONDER  I have a soft spot for musicians for whom drums aren't their main instrument: folks like Paul McCartney, Todd Rundgren, Jan Hammer, Prince. The best of these is Stevie, whose world-class drumming helped solidify the stature of his '70s masterworks.
Stevie Wonder: Music of My Mind
Stevie Wonder: Talking Book
Stevie Wonder: Innervisions
Stevie Wonder: Fulfillingness' First Finale
Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life

Booker T. & the MG's: Time Is Tight (box set)
Various artists: The Complete Stax/Volt Singles: 1959-1968
Al Green: Let's Stay Together
Al Green: I'm Still in Love with You
Al Green: Call Me

Nazz: Nazz Nazz

Dave Holland: Conference of the Birds
Anthony Braxton: Five Pieces 1975
Anthony Braxton: The Montreux/Berlin Concerts

Cecil Taylor: Nefertiti the Beautiful One Has Come
Albert Ayler: Spiritual Unity

Peter Brotzmann: Nipples

The Baptized Traveller
Cecil taylor: Leaf Palm hand

John Coltrane: Live in Japan
John Coltrane: Interstellar Space
John Coltrane: Stellar Regions

Eric Dolphy: Out to Lunch
Miles Davis: Sorcerer
Miles Davis: Miles in the Sky
Miles Davis: Live in Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 1

Tom Bruno/Sabir Mateen: Getting Away with Murder

Charles Mingus: Mingus Dynasty
Charles Mingus: Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus: anything from 1964 European tour

Grateful Dead:  any version of "Dark Star," "Playing in the Band," or "The Other One" from 1972 or 1973

Minutemen: Double Nickels on the Dime

Mars Volta: Frances the Mute


Thurman Barker
Gregg Bendian
Ed Blackwell
John Bonham
Joe Chambers
Andrew Cyrille
Dino Danelli
Jack DeJohnette
Whit Dickey
Marc Edwards
Al Foster
Michael Giles
Milford Graves
Sonny Greer
Roy Haynes
Gerry Hemingway
Billy Higgins
Zach Hill
Clifford Jarvis
Philly Joe Jones
Paul Lovens
Paul Lytton
Steve McCall
Louis Moholo
Paul Motian
Don Moye
Max Roach
Greg Saunier
Gunter Sommer
John Stevens