Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Little Tricky Finger Action

tumblr_myzm6g6q9w1tp03k6o1_500.jpg (500×531)
Kirby, of course

...from a not-so-happy finger. Will resume posting in near future!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Playlist, Week of 2015-06-21

Somebody tell me why I haven't been checking Alexander Hawkins out for the past eight years!

Playlist 2015-06-22:

*Cage/Feldman/Hidalgo/La Rosa/Marchetti: Rumori alla Rotonda
*Anthony Braxton: 4 Compositions (Ulrichsberg) 2005/Phonomanie VIII (disc 2)
*Anthony Braxton Pine Top Aerial Music: 2011-12-01 Wesleyan (CDR)
*Ornette Coleman: The Great London Concert
*Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: Cosmologies
*John Coltrane: The Prestige Recordings (disc 16)
*Mary Halvorson Trio: 2009-12-14 The Vortex, London (CDR)
*Alexander Hawkins Ensemble: All There, Ever Out
*Ingrid Laubrock Quintet: 2011-06-18 Red Hook Jazz Festival, Brooklyn (CDR)
*Roscoe Mitchell Trio: 1976-05-23  NYC (CDR)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2015-06-01 “Lost and Found” (wav)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2015-06-08 “Next Time” (wav)
*Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble: The Eleventh Hour
*Terje Rypdal Trio: 1973-04-04 Bremen, Germany (CDR) (disc 2)
*Ches Smith and These Arches: 2011-10-22 Krefeld (CDR)
*Sun Ra: Cosmo Earth Fantasy: Sub Underground Series Vol. 1 & 2 (Art Yard) “Cosmo Earth Fantasy”
*Vector Trio: Live at Pyramid Atlantic, Nov. 29, 2014 (streaming)
*Beach Boys: Made in California (disc 3)
*Beach Boys: California Feeling (CDR boot)
*Can: The Lost Tapes (disc 3)
*Captain Beefheart: Sun Zoom Spark (disc 4)
*Bob Dylan: Shadows in the Night
*Funkadelic: First Ya Gotta Shake the Gate (disc 3)
*Jimi Hendrix: The Rainbow Bridge Concert (disc 1)
*Steve Hillage: Fish Rising
*Parliaments: Testify! The Best of the Early Years (selections)
*Pere Ubu: Dub Housing (selections)
*Daniel Ponce: Arawe (side 1)
*Residents: WB:RMX
*Sonic Youth: A Thousand Leaves
*Super Furry Animals: Radiator
*13th Floor Elevators: The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators
*13th Floor Elevators: Easter Everywhere
*Various artists: Time-Life Rock and Roll (CDR compilation) (disc 1)

Reading List, Week of 2015-06-21

Reading List 2015-06-22:

*Mandel, Emily St. John. Station Eleven (started)
*Vandermeer, Jeff. Acceptance (Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 3) (started/finished)
*Nogowski, John. Bob Dylan: A Descriptive, Critical Discography and Filmography 1961-1993 (started)
*Vandermeer, Jeff. Authority (Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 2) (finished)
*Schmidt, Michael. The Novel: A Biography (in progress)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

David Thomson on Hamlet

hamlet olivier
...Hamlet is not just a nightmare of incest or the dread of taking action, but an entire metaphor for the presentation of self. Hamlet endures and increases the more we learn about the duplicity of selfhood. It is a play about theatre and our failure to exist as more than amateurs plying ourselves. The question that hangs over it is less who wrote it than what revelations of the brain and personality are yet to come to give it greater depth. How did anyone so long ago know us so well? (David Thomson, Why Acting Matters, pp. 48-49)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Playlist, Week of 2015-06-14

Sad news this week with the death of Ornette Coleman. It's hard to overestimate just how much of an impact his music, and his musical ideas, have had on my listening and playing.  I was born too late to be shocked by his early albums, and by the time I got to them I was already steeped in Bird and be-bop, and to me his music sounded like the logical extension to that, in visceral ways that hard bop didn't. His electric harmolodic music has ended up having the most lasting impact on me as a musician, not the least because of his choice of drummers and the way they played, especially his son Denardo and Ronald Shannon Jackson. I wasn't a fan much of "Saturday Night Live," but I was lucky enough to see Prime Time blow the circuits out of broadcast TV in 1979. I saw him twice, in 1983 at the Wax Museum in DC and again in DC on the Song X tour in 1986. Both times were excellent, but the Wax Museum show ranks as one of the greatest performances I've ever seen. He was truly awe-inspiring and larger than life (and certainly larger in impact and sound than the rest of the band). Perversely, perhaps, one of my all-time favorite Ornette albums is actually Jackie McLean's Old and New Gospel. He exclusively plays trumpet on it, and his playing is sheer perfection.

Playlist 2015-06-15:

*Rosemary Cloony and Duke Ellington and His Orchestra: Blue Rose
*Rodger Coleman and Sam Byrd: 2015-05-14/15 Nashville (wav)
*Rodger Coleman and Sam Byrd: 2015-05-15 Centennial Park Black Box Theater, Nashville (mp3)
*John Coltrane: The Prestige Recordings (disc 15)
*Anthony Davis: Of Blues and Dreams
*Miles Davis: Miles Davis in Stockholm 1960 Complete (disc 4)
*Jack DeJohnette: Made in Chicago
*Alexander Hawkins Ensemble: All There, Ever Out
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2015-06-01 “Lost and Found” (wav)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2015-06-08 “Next Time” (wav)
*Tom Rainey Trio: 2012-12-30 Brooklyn NY (CDR)
*Leo Smith and Friends: October Meeting: 1987-10-17 Amsterdam (CDR)
*Sun Ra and His Blue Universe Arkestra: Universe in Blue (2014 remaster)
*Aki Takase, Alexander Von Schlippenbach: So Long, Eric! Homage To Eric Dolphy
*Zero Point & Scott Forrey: 2007-11-04 Mexico City, Mexico (youtube)
*Colin Blunstone: One Year
*Can: The Lost Tapes (disc 2)
*Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band: Clear Spot
*Bob Dylan: The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3(Rare & Unreleased) 1961-1991 (disc 1)
*Funkadelic: First Ya Gotta Shake the Gate (discs 1, 2)
*Genesis: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (disc 1)
*Gentle Giant: The Missing Piece
*Grateful Dead: 1972-05-26 London (sbd) (CDR) (discs 2, 3)
*Jimi Hendrix: Stages (disc 4)
*Kinks: Arthur (Deluxe Edition) (disc 1)
*Sean O'Hagan & Jean Pierre Muller: The Musical Paintings, Vol. 1
*Robert Pollard with Doug Gillard: Speak Kindly of Your Volunteer Fire Departmen
*Residents: The Warner Bros. Album

Reading List, Week of 2015-06-14

Reading List 2015-06-15:

*Vandermeer, Jeff. Authority (Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 2) (started)
*Vandermeer, Jeff. Annihilation (Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 1) (started/finished)
*Egan, Jennifer. A Visit from the Goon Squad (finished)
*Thomson, David. Why Acting Matters (finished)
*Schmidt, Michael. The Novel: A Biography (in progress)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Model Reality

 File:Edmund Blair Leighton - Sweet solitude.jpg
Edmund Blair Leighton, Sweet Solitude, 1919
Losing yourself in a book, the old phrase, is not an idle fantasy but an addictive, model reality. (Susan Sontag, "Directions: Write, Read, Rewrite. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 as Needed," 2000, NYT)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Playlist, Week of 2015-06-07

Roscoe Mitchell fans should be in hog heaven with the release of this album; hell, AACM fans in general have much to rejoice over; to me, this is the capstone of the organization's 50th anniversary. It highlights the primacy of Muhal Richard Abrams as the key innovative leader and performer of the amazing confluence of artists that has given us so much beautiful music over the years. Muhal rules on this recording! The other players are no slouches either, of course: improvisation and interaction of the highest order.

Playlist 2015-06-08:

*Anton Webern: Chamber Music for Strings (Schoenberg Quartet)
*Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: Aphelion
*Rodger Coleman and Sam Byrd: 2015-05-14/15 Nashville (wav)
*John Coltrane: The Prestige Recordings (disc 14)
*Miles Davis: Miles Davis in Stockholm 1960 Complete (discs 2, 3)
*Jack DeJohnette: Made in Chicago
*Last Exit: Last Exit
*Last Exit: Cassette Recordings ‘87
*Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House: 2011-08-06 Lisbon (CDR)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2015-03-23 “The Scent of Inevitability” (wav)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2015-04-13 “Honestly, Back and Forth” (wav)
*New Loft: 2015-05-02  “Noise Facts” RVA Noise Fest IV, Richmond VA (wav)
*Sun Ra: Purple Night “Of Invisible Them”
*Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band: Lick My Decals Off, Baby
*Captain Beefheart: The Spotlight Kid
*Buttfinger: Fucked by the Fickle Finger of Farmville (track 1)
*Deerhoof: La Isla Bonita
*Edan: Beauty and the Beat
*High Llamas: Snowbug
*Junior Kimbrough & the Soul Blues Boys: All Night Long
*Bob Marley: Uprising Live! (disc 1)
*UYA: Z (Blue)

Reading List, Week of 2015-06-07

Reading List 2015-06-08:

*Egan, Jennifer. A Visit from the Goon Squad (started)
*Thomson, David. Why Acting Matters (started)
*Brosh, Allie. Hyperbole and a Half (started/finished)
*Ennis, Garth, and Steve Dillon. Preacher: Book Two (started/finished)
*Ennis, Garth, and Steve Dillon. Preacher: Book One (finished)
*Schmidt, Michael. The Novel: A Biography (in progress)

Friday, June 5, 2015

How Do You Play the Stars?

Great words on playing music, from the late Charlie Haden:
Well, I believe that jazz and improvised music allows the person who’s listening to it to touch a deeper place inside their souls that’s always been there but they've never discovered it. And the musician, some of them realize what they’re doing and some of them really don’t. A lot of the younger musicians who are just learning the art form, they think about jazz as the technical part, you know, the scales and the licks and the phrases that they have to learn in order to play hip, you know. And things like that and play the latest stuff. They don’t really think about where does beauty come from? You know, where does depth come from? Where do we come from? Why do we want to play? We come from the stars. And I always try to play the stars when I play. Try to get close to them, you know. It’s like when, when you go outside on a starry night, a clear night and you look up. One night I was driving and I saw the moon bigger than I’d ever seen it before, you know. How do you play that. To get close to those kinds of things that people don’t talk about, they don’t find words to talk about, to explain them, you know. That’s, my class, at Cal Arts, like I was saying, we talk about those things. We talk about what music teaches you. Music teaches you humility. It’s just like when I was talking about the mountain, I saw how small I was. When you really touch music and you’re playing, music shows you first your insignificance and your unimportance to the rest of the universe. And only after that you can see your true importance and your true significance. And that’s what real humility is about. And I tell them that if they want to become a great musician, they should strive to become a great person first. To become a good human being with humility and appreciation and givingness in their lives. And if they strive to do that then maybe, they may be able to become a good musician. (transcript from interview for Ken Burns' Jazz, 1996-12-12)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Playlist, Week of 2015-05-31

Playlist 2015-06-01

*Anthony Braxton: Composition 96
*Harry Carney: With Strings
*Rodger Coleman and Sam Byrd: 2015-05-14/15 Nashville (wav)
*Rodger Coleman and Sam Byrd: 2015-05-15 Centennial Park Black Box Theater, Nashville (mp3)
*Marilyn Crispell/Reggie Workman/Doug James: Gaia
*Miles Davis: Bitches Brew “Bitches Brew”
*Mary Halvorson: 2009-06-28 Joe’s Pub, NYC (CDR)
*Freddie Hubbard: Breaking Point
*Nommonsemble: Life Cycle
*Tom Rainey Trio: 2013-10-19 Brooklyn NY (CDR)
*Ben Webster with Strings: Music for Loving (disc 2)
*Beach Boys: Good Vibrations: Thirty Years Of The Beach Boys (disc 1) (selections)
*Deerhoof: 2014-11-04 Brooklyn (youtube > mp3)
*Jimi Hendrix Experience: Live at Berkeley
*Jimi Hendrix: People, Hell, and Angels
*OOIOO: Gamel
*Prince: Parade (side 1)
*Various artists: Complete UK Upsetter Singles Collection Vol. 1 (disc 1)
*Brian Wilson: No Pier Pressure
*Various artists: WSAM: Mish Mash (CDR compilation)

Reading List, Week of 2015-05-31


Here ends the Tenth and Final Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen. What a ride!
Our worlds are so small. They only feel endless because our minds can gather thousands of them all at once. But if we stop moving, if we hold to one place, if we draw breath and look around...each one is the same. Barring a few details. Lost ages are neither more nor less profound than the one we live in right now. We think it's all some kind of forward momentum, endless leaving behind and reaching towards. But the truth is, wherever we find ourselves--with all its shiny gifts--we do little more than walk in circles. (Steven Erikson, The Crippled God, p. 786)
Reading List 2015-06-01:

*Ennis, Garth, and Steve Dillon. Preacher: Book One (started)
*Erikson, Steven. The Crippled God (reread/finished)
*Schmidt, Michael. The Novel: A Biography (in progress)