Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Playlist, Week of 2014-09-28

Playlist 2014-09-29:

*Morton Feldman: For Philip Guston (S.E.M. Ensemble) (disc 1)
*Charles Ives: Ives Plays Ives
*AMM: 2000-10-14 Boston (CDR)
*Ornette Coleman Quintet: Complete Live at the Hillcrest Club
*Miles Davis: Bitches Brew “Bitches Brew”
*Mary Halvorson Quintet and Septet: 2011-10-14 NYC (CDR)
*Jelly Roll Morton: The Complete Library of Congress Recordings by Alan Lomax (discs 4, 5)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2014-09-08 "You May Now Proceed To Take the Post Test for the Self Instruction Unit" (wav)
*Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble: Memory/Vision
*Schlippenbach Quartet: Das Hohe Lied
*Sun Ra: The Shadows Took Shape “Outer Space > Untitled improvisation”
*Sun Ra: Live at Slug’s Saloon (disc 1)
*Sun Ra Arkestra: 1979-07-01 Firenze, Italy (CDR)
*Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O.: Wild Gals a Go-Go
*Hatfield and the North: The Rotters’ Club (selections)
*Lake Street Drive: Bad Self Portraits
*OOIOO: Gamel
*Various artists: It’s Saturday Night! Starday-Dixie Rockabilly 1955-1961 (disc 1)
*Various artists: Radio India: The Eternal Dream Of Sound (disc 1)
*Various artists: The Roots Of Chicha: Psychedelic Cumbias From Peru

Reading List, Week of 2014-09-28

I usually avoid reading more than one novel at once. I've got 200 pages left in Dickens, but I drop everything for new Ellroy.

Reading List 2014-09-29:

*Barth, John. “Click" in Atlantic Monthly (Dec. 1997) (started)
*Ellroy, James. Perfidia (started)
*Spacks, Patricia Meyer. On Rereading (started)
*Barth, John. “The Art of Fiction No. 86” (interviewed by George Plimpton), in Paris Review (1985) (started/finished)
*Calvino, Italo. “The Odysseys within The Odyssey” in Why Read the Classics? (started/finished)
*Dickens, Charles. Dombey and Son (in progress)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Perfect Jazz Recordings


I haven't been making enough lists lately. Oh, I've got working lists all over the place--lists of songs to add to playlists, lists of songs to delete from the Magic Jukebox, lists of albums and artists to investigate, my lengthy, constantly growing list of books to read, the lists I keep of what I read, what I listen to, what I watch--but I still feel the need to compile and post more targeted lists, like the list of favorite John Gilmore solos that I am forever refining in my mind.

All of this is spurred on in part by Richard Brody's list of 66 perfect jazz recordings in the New Yorker--itself inspired by Sasha's list of perfect recordings (which I haven't looked at; it seems to be on Twitter or on Spotify--so sue me). I actually got to Brody's list via a post from the blog Include Me Out, 33 Perfect Jazz Tracks (which might be closer to my own personal tastes). At any rate, I eat this stuff up. I love going through other lists and the mental dialogue that ensues between myself and the listmaker (how could you leave this out? what on earth were you thinking? good god, I can't believe you included that; yes, why doesn't everybody see that this belongs on everybody's list, etc.), and I love starting to think about what my own list would look like (even if I rarely follow through with an actual list).

Should I then even try to compile my own list of x amount of perfect jazz recordings? Damn, I'm tempted. But my sense is that it would take too long, and time is something I don't have much of these days.

Years ago, there was a similar discussion somewhere about great jazz albums of the '70s, and I put together my own list and posted it on New Loft's old Myspace page. I went back to the Myspace graveyard to see if it was still there; they've revamped the site, and while some of our old content is still there, it looks like they blasted the blog portion. So I need to do some archaeology and find out if I've got that list floating around anywhere (hopefully with some link back to the original list that prompted it--it may be been some jazz board discussion).

Anyway, the point is that I recall that list taking a fair amount of time to compile--it involved going through all my collection as well as other lists to try to make sure I didn't miss anything. I can't just throw a list like this together off the top of my head. I get obsessed with getting it right and covering all the bases. I can't depend on just my memory anymore; I need visual and aural refreshing.

But I may cogitate over this and throw up a list at some point in the future. If I do, I won't stick to Include Me Out's self-imposed limitation of one piece per artist (sorry: five songs by Sun Ra or Mingus are worth more than one by Art Blakey). Some kind of limitation will have to be in effect, though, or else the list will just be too unwieldy. Just not that one. So watch this space. If you make one of your own, be sure and let me know!

Update: my list is here.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Playlist, Week of 2014-09-21

Simply brilliant.

Playlist 2014-09-22:

*Chopin: Sonata No. 3 in B Minor & Four Ballades (Cecile Ousset)
*Haydn: String Quartets op. 64 no. 1-3 (Caspar da Salo Quartett)
*My Fair Lady (Original Broadway Cast)
*Bix Beiderbecke: Bix Restored Volume 2: 1927-1928 (disc 1)
*Kip Hanrahan: Vertical’s Currency (selections)
*Roscoe Mitchell: Not Yet
*Matthew Shipp: I’ve Been to Many Places
*Altan: Blackwater
*B-52’s: Cosmic Thing
*Beach Boys: Today/Summer Days and Summer Nights (two-fer)
*Beatles: Hard Day's Night (2009 mono remaster)
*Beatles: Beatles for Sale (2009 mono remaster)
*Daft Punk: Discover
*High Llamas: Beet, Maize & Corn
*Jefferson Pilot: Hello Mississippi
*Sean O'Hagan & Jean Pierre Muller: The Musical Paintings, Vol. 1
*OOIOO: Gamel (selections)
*Various artists: Rum Punch
*Mary Wells: Something New: Motown Lost & Found (disc 1)
*XTC: English Settlement

Reading List, Week of 2014-09-21

Reading List 2014-09-22:

*Calvino, Italo. “Why Read the Classics?” in Why Read the Classics? (started/finished)
*Sharpe, Will. “Authorship and Attribution,” in William Shakespeare and Others. Collaborative Plays. (started/finished)
*Mikics, David. Slow Reading in a Hurried Age (finished)
*Dickens, Charles. Dombey and Son (in progress)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Shakespeare's Writing

A wonderful description of Shakespeare's writing:
His achievement as a dramatist is inseparable from his achievement as a poet. In his verse words simply do more than in the verse of other playwrights. The language, with its kaleidoscopic show of imagery and allusion, is continually extending the range of experience gathered into the play, which becomes much more than a series of dramatized events. The poetry helps to transmit Shakespeare's sense of life and to create the imaginative world through which that sense of life is communicated. Rhythmically, the verse mimics the movements of the speaker's mind and heart. Visual and auditory elements enhance each other, as Shakespeare, writing for the bare Renaissance stage, conducts, by means of speech, a kind of 'movie-making for the mind's eye.' (MacDonald P. Jackson, Defining Shakespeare, 2003, p. 150, quoted in Will Sharpe, "Authorship and Attribution," in William Shakespeare and Others, Collaborative Plays, 2013, p. 643)

Playlist, Week of 2014-09-14

Playlist 2014-09-15:

*Niklas Schmidt/John Chen: Strauss/Rachmaninoff Cello Sonatas
*Various artists: From Czech Electronic Music Studios
*AMM: Sounding Music
*AMM: Uncovered Correspondence
*Lester Bowie Sho ‘Nuff Orchestra: 1979-02-17 NYC (CDR)
*Anthony Braxton/Falling River Music Quartet: 2012-10-11 Ulrichsberg, Austria (CDR)
*Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: 2013-12-23 Nashville (“Cosmologies” outtakes) (wav)
*Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: 2013-12-27 Nashville (“Cosmologies” outtakes) (wav)
*John Coltrane: Blue Train
*Coleman Hawkins: The Bebop Years (disc 3) (selections)
*Billie Holiday: Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday on Columbia 1933–1944 (disc 6)
*Jelly Roll Morton: The Complete Library of Congress Recordings by Alan Lomax (disc 3)
*Nucleus: Snakehips Etcetera
*Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble: Drawn Inward
*S.O.S.: Looking for the Next One (disc 2)
*Sun Ra Arkestra: 1979-06-17 Baltimore (CDR)
*Lester Young: Classic Columbia, Okeh, and Vocalion Lester Young with Count Basie (1936-1940) (disc 1)
*Circulatory System: Mosaics Within Mosaics
*Clash: London Calling
*Mike Elder/Harry Forrest/Greg Jordan/Sam Byrd: 2014-08-29 (wav)
*Lassie: Lassie
*Van Dyke Parks: Song Cycle
*Seastones: 1974-06-30 Springfield MA (CDR)
*Seastones: 1974-09-21 Paris (CDR)
*Shaolin Afronauts: Flight of the Ancients
*Tower of Power: Hipper than Hip (disc 1)
*Various artists: Aquarius Rock: The Hip Reggae World of Herman Chin-Loy

Reading List, Week of 2014-09-14

Not much new, but lots of fun, getting me to fill in some gaps (Lester Young, Bud Powell). At least it goes past 1959 :)

Reading List 2014-09-15:

*Dickens, Charles. Dombey and Son (started)
*Bate, Jonathan. “General Introduction,” in William Shakespeare and Others. Collaborative Plays. (started/finished)
*Gioia, Ted. History of Jazz (2nd ed.) (finished)
*King, Stephen. Insomnia (reread/finished)
*Mikics, David. Slow Reading in a Hurried Age (in progress)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Playlist, Week of 2014-09-07

Playlist 2014-09-08:

*360 Degree Music Experience: In: Sanity (sides 3 & 4)
*AMM: 2008-09-06 Rome (CDR)
*Bix Beiderbecke: Bix Restored Volume 1: 1924-1927 (disc 3)
*Anthony Braxton 12tet + 1: 2010-01-29 Vancouver (CDR)
*Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza: Niente
*Roscoe Mitchell Septet: 1976-02-08 Studio Rivbea, NY (CDR)
*Roscoe Mitchell/Fred Frith/George Lewis/BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra: 2014-02-22 Glasgow (CDR)
*Jelly Roll Morton: The Complete Library of Congress Recordings by Alan Lomax (discs 1, 2)
*Jelly Roll Morton: Last Sessions: The Complete General Recordings
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2014-08-25 “The Most Effective Effort” (wav)
*Nucleus: Under the Sun
*Tony Oxley/Derek Bailey Quartet: 1993-09 Crawley, England (CDR)
*Tom Rainey Trio: 2012-12-30 Brooklyn NY (set 1) (CDR)
*Sun Ra and His Astro Infinity Arkestra: Atlantis
*Sun Ra Arkestra: 1979-06-04 Moers (CDR)
*Cecil Taylor and Max Roach: 2000-06-04 NYC (CDR)
*Various artists: Kansas City: Hot Jazz 1926 to 1930
*Mike Elder/Harry Forrest/Greg Jordan/Sam Byrd: 2014-08-29 (wav)
*Lassie: Lassie
*Music Tapes: Mary’s Voice
*Sharon Tandy: You Gotta Believe It’s...

Reading List, Week of 2014-09-07

Reading List 2014-09-08:

*Trent, Chris. Another Shade of Blue: Sun Ra on Record (reread/finished)
*Gioia, Ted. History of Jazz (2nd ed.) (in progress)
*King, Stephen. Insomnia (reread/in progress)
*Mikics, David. Slow Reading in a Hurried Age (in progress)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Creativity of Reading

"A Woman Reading," Claude Monet, 1872
[In an article about video games, playwright Lucie] Prebble wrote that gaming "is creative, in comparison to the passivity of watching a film or reading a book. You are making choices and, often, are even designing the world yourself."
    It's too early to tell whether video games will become an art form to rival novels or theater or movies. But Prebble is clearly wrong to say that playing a video game is creative, whereas reading a book is merely passive. If you read intelligently--that is, if you learn how to read in the best way--you are making choices every moment. You are thinking about what matters in the sentence in front of you, about how the book hangs together, about how the author has done his or her work. Noticing as many aspects as you can of an author's art makes you the partner of the author, not the passive receiver of text. You work with the words of the book as you figure out what strikes a chord with you and why. There's a technique to your choices about how to respond to a book, just as there's technique required in any activity that you need to learn, from ballroom dancing to playing music to drawing. (David Mikics, Slow Reading in a Hurried Age, 2013, p. 26)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Playlist, Week of 2014-08-31

Hell, yeah, I'm still plugging this album!  See here for Rodger's latest commentary.

Playlist 2014-09-01:

*360 Degree Music Experience: In: Sanity (side 3)
*Muhal Richard Abrams/George Lewis/Roscoe Mitchell: 2009-08-29 S. Anna Arresi, Italy (CDR)
*Muhal Richard Abrams Experimental Band: 2012-08-25 Saalfelden, Austria (CDR)
*AMM: AMMMusic 1966
*AMM: 2001-04-15 Chicago (CDR)
*AMM with John Butcher: Trinity
*Ian Carr: Belladonna
*Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: Cosmologies (LP)
*Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza: The Feed-Back
*Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza: Eroina
*Freddie Hubbard: The Artistry of Freddie Hubbard (selections)
*Charles Mingus: The Jazz Workshop Concerts 1964-65 (disc 4)
*Roscoe Mitchell Quartet: 2009-06-28 Tivoli (CDR)
*Roscoe Mitchell's Cards For Orchestra Project: 2009-08-30 Sant'Anna Arresi, Italy (CDR)
*Roscoe Mitchell: 2011-02-17 Roulette, NYC (CDR)
*Jelly Roll Morton: Volume Two (JSP)
*Reggie Workman Quartet: 1988-11-13 Willow Jazz Club, Somerville, MA (cassette)
*Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O.: Electric Heavyland
*Jeff Beck: Truth
*George Duke: Feel
*High Llamas: Snowbug
*Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin II (2014 remaster) (disc 2)
*Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin III (2014 remaster) (disc 2)
*Lorde: Pure Heroine
*OOIOO: Gamel
*Wig Drop: Wig Drop

Reading List, Week of 2014-08-31

Reading List 2014-09-01:

*King, Stephen. Insomnia (reread/started)
*Trent, Chris. Another Shade of Blue: Sun Ra on Record (reread/started)
*Shannon, Samantha. The Bone Season (finished)
*Sun Ra Research. Issue 34 (July 2001) (finished)
*Gioia, Ted. History of Jazz (2nd ed.) (in progress)
*Mikics, David. Slow Reading in a Hurried Age (in progress)