Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bleeding Head Of Jesus Candle Says "Jazz On Sale - Buy None, Get Two Free!"

bleeding jesus (by bg_poker)

(I'm refreshing post old post as well)

I keep having this recurring argument with Dr. Pauly that this Coventry joint needs some more jazz. He thinks that's great, but insists that most of y'all wander over this way because you're fans of live music.

So I'll compromise.

How about two discs of live jazz to start out your week? Disc One features some pretty straightforward accessible stuff, while Disc Two has some tracks that are just another step or two outside the mainstream. Links below.




"My Favorite Things" - John Coltrane from Newport '63 - Coltrane (ss), McCoy Tyner (p), Jimmy Garrison (b), Roy Haynes (d)

The review from AllMusic.com says this is arguably the best live version ever captured of this iconic Coltrane classic. This whole disc is actually pretty damned good overall too, as you've got the novelty of Haynes sitting in for Elvin Jones, and a pretty solid reading of a favorite ballad of mine, "I Want To Talk About You."

"All The Things You Are" - Sonny Rollins from A Night At The Village Vanguard Vol. 2 (1957) - Sonny Rollins (ts), Elvin Jones (d), Wilbur Ware (b) (It's either these two or Donald Bailey (b) or Pete La Roca (d))

This set is a Dr. Pauly favorite, and for good reason. Rollins alone with bass and drums was a risky venture back in the late 50s, but he managed to create some pretty spectacular music without a piano involved.

**iTunes Alert** - There's a $19.99 Sonny Rollins "five disc" set on iTunes from Blue Note Records called The Complete Blue Note Recordings that collects the two discs of these trio sessions, plus the albums known as Vol. 1 & 2, and a pretty nice set from an album called Newk's Time. Vol. 2 in particular has some cuts with Thelonious Monk that are pretty fucking worthwhile, if you're so inclined.

"Poinciana" - Ahmad Jamal from Live at Oil Can Harry's (1976) - Jamal (p), Calvin Keys (g), John Heard (b), Frank Gant (d), Seldon Newton (conga)

Ahmad Jamal is one of a short list of highly influential jazz artists who always sat on the outside looking in in terms of popularity. Jamal influenced Miles Davis a great deal, mostly through his thoughtful use of space and silence in his solos. This album never made it to CD (I don't think), and, like much of Jamal's recorded work, remains out of print.

"Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" - Cannonball Adderley from Mercy, Mercy, Mercy - Live at "The Club" (1966) - C.Adderley (as), Nat Adderley (cornet), Joe Zawinul (elec. piano), Victor Gaskin (b), Roy McCurdy (d)

Little boogaloo? Don't mind if I do.

"A Night In Tunisia" - The Quintet from Jazz at Massey Hall (1953) - Charlie Parker (as), Dizzy Gillespie (tpt), Max Roach (d), Bud Powell (p), Charles Mingus (b)

A fun, if not groundbreaking, set from true icons of bebop, touring in Canada as their musical style was circling the drain. Parker sounds good here, despite playing a borrowed plastic (!) alto. I forget if he pawned his personal horn to buy heroin in this case, but let's just say that wouldn't have been the first time.

"Walkin'" - Miles Davis from The Complete Concert 1964 - Davis (tpt), George Coleman (ts), Herbie Hancock (p), Ron Carter (b), Tony Williams (d)

My favorite story about this set is that the concert was that Miles came in to the dressing room for his band just prior to taking the stage and told them they were going to give up that night's paychecks to charity, as the show was thrown by the NAACP to benefit voter registration in the deep south. None of the guys in the band were stars at the time, and between their nerves performing at New York's Philharmonic Hall and their anger at playing for free without their consent, they pushed the ever loving hell out of Miles that night. Great show, top to bottom. Probably my favorite live set from my jazz collection.



"Aggression" - Eric Dolphy from At The Five Spot Vol. 2, 1961 - Dolphy (bass clarinet), Booker Little (tpt), Mal Waldron (p), Richard Davis (b), Ed Blackwell (d)

The three discs that make up the Five Spot sets this band played are a testament to the musical chemistry between Dolphy and trumpeter Booker Little, who would pass away three months after this set. Little was just getting his personal sound into shape, and could have emerged with another classic recording or three under his belt as one of the superstars of the free jazz movement, but he was cut down by complications from uremia at age 23. Regarding Dolphy, some people can't stand the squawking chaotic bass clarinet soloing he's famous for, but I think it's brilliant and unique. To each, their own.

"Walkin'" - Miles Davis from Complete Live At The Plugged Nickel 1965 (disc 5) - as above, replacing Coleman with Wayne Shorter (ts)

I thought this might be a fun additon for comparison's sake to the 1964 version on Disc One. The Plugged Nickel sets found Miles helming his second great quintet (the first was the late 50s group with Coltrane), and it's amazing how much these young musicians have grown behind him. Herbie's playing sounds a little darker, more impressionistic. Williams' drumming is more assertive, and replacing Coleman with Shorter traded muscle for angularity. The style becomes more adventurous and elastic, pushing in and out of the rhythmic structure and unmooring the traditional blues of "Walkin'" and drifting into freer territory.

"I'll Remember April" - Charles Mingus from Mingus At Antibes (1960) Mingus (b), Eric Dolphy (ts), Booker Ervin (as), Ted Curson (tpt), Dannie Richmond (d), Bud Powell (p)

I think I'm going to have something more to say about this concert at some point soon, but I posted about this song on MetaFilter awhile ago, and that's as good a place as any to start. The last five minutes of the song are, for my money, the most exciting five minutes of music I've ever heard. Dolphy and Ervin trade fours, then twos, with Dolphy providing the fractured mirror image of Ervin, dismantling his blues licks and building them into something altogether different. Oh, and if this whole song doesn't get you off your ass, you've got no soul.

"Directions" - Miles Davis from The Cellar Door Sessions 1970 - Davis (tpt), Gary Bartz (ss), Keith Jarrett (keys), John McLaughlin (g), Michael Henderson (b), Jack DeJohnette (d), Airto Moreira (percussion)

Let me just state for the record that this is a pretty difficult era of Miles' output to approach. It's kinda space-funk-jazz that stabs at you with malicious intent, and isn't at all easy listening. That being said, if you dig this, there's a TON of material +/- five years from this recording that are going to appeal to you. Let me know. I'm guessing that out of any of these cuts, this one is going to be the one that meets the skip button more often than not.


Enjoy the music, and let me know in comments what you think.


Dr. Pauly said...

Sonny Rollins has been my "comfort food" as of late.

BG said...

3:15PM EST on Monday - the files aren't there. I'm going to re-upload, will link to them as soon as I can.

BG said...

Links are fixed - sorry y'all. Enjoy the jazz.

BTreotch said...


Tampa BranDON said...

listenen to coltrane i derailed my own train...weve all been there before