Sunday, March 6, 2016

Listening Streams

I've got four major listening streams going on now:

Coltrane. As I've mentioned before, I've been working my way sort of chronologically through my Coltrane collection, two or three discs a week. I'm hovering around the 1963 -1964 corridor now.

Br√∂tzmann. I'm re-acquainting myself with early Br√∂tzmann, reminding myself of his sheer power but also his versatility.

Tom Rainey.  I'm becoming more and more enamored of Rainey's playing. It's really hitting me where I live. This has been a long-term thing going on for the last few years, but now I'm getting fairly obsessed. I love how he fits into all kinds of contexts: sax/drum duos, electric guitar power bands, classic jazz quintets, piano trios, guitar/sax/drum trios, even solo.  (I am not a huge fans of drum solos, not at all, but I find myself tolerating things just fine whenever a rare Rainey solo comes around.) He's not at all a slick player; he's earthy and organic. At any rate, since I've also been on a major Ingrid Laubrock kick, it's especially nice when these two streams run together. Both are major contributors to some of the best jazz being played these days.

Finally, last but not least, Sun Ra. Ra has shown up deceptively little in my weekly playlists over the last few years, but that's only because I get my daily dose of Ra on the Magic Jukebox, which is so heavily stocked with Ra that you'd think I don't have much else on it (Ra's major competitors for space on it being the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Anthony Braxton, Duke Ellington, and Billie Holiday). Saturn research has been a major concern of mine over the years, and my in-depth listening has gone through stages. It's only natural, now that I'm immersed in reading the new revised edition of Omniverse Sun Ra, that I'd get myself in deep again. This stuff is damn good for the soul. Speaking of which, the most exciting news coming down the pike this year so far is the pending release of The Intergalactic Thing, two albums' worth of 1969 rehearsals of mostly unheard Ra compositions.

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