Monday, August 10, 2009


Welcome back
I need to post more often, I have not really had any particular things to blog about. The cobra ensemble is going great, had a successful run of a Scratch Music piece (Cardew) that involves a long 20 minute transition from percussion non pitched sounds, to long tone clouds of pitch with no rhythms, if possible. The Cardew Treatise piece is going well, my score is now up to 160 pages of 193, so that's almost complete, and my recording is up to page 62, and that will take a few more months at best. For now though, I thought I would make a list of the vinyl that is sitting by the record player now that I have accumulated recently, and have listened to have of, maybe make a little commentary on them.

Wilco- A Ghost is Born
Listening to this as we speak. It sounds much more clear and present than on CD! There is better stereo imaging, and depth of timbre in the overdubs. It's a beautiful 180 gram double LP, and for being one of my favorite rock albums, it's a wonderful new perspective on the band.

Marion Brown Duets (With Wadada Leo Smith and Elliot Schwartz)
I have heard some of this alto player via Coltrane's Ascension, and some other 70s avant records since, but this is a good find on the Arista Jazz label. When I ebay records this is one of the main labels I look up to see if I can find any cheap deals. So far I've heard one side of the one of the records, and the duo with trumpeter Leo Smith is great, a lot of space, kind of John Cage space, with both musicians adding percussion to their own respective instruments. I wish I knew what percussion they're playing, because there are some great unknown sounds to me there. Three more sides to go on this one!

Charles Ives "Concord" Sonata played by Aloys Kontarsky
A bit scratched but a good version of Ives' famous piano sonata. When Stephen Drury came to UNC last spring he performed it, and I knew it would be a great performance when I saw him bring a 2 by 4 on stage with him. A great piece, I used to have the score on a pdf, but with or without it, it'll take you on a transcendental journey. I was fortunate enough to win a lot of a dozen Charles Ives records several months ago, and this is one of them.

Huey Lewis and the News - Fore!
A very silly album, I bought it because of the movie American Psycho. I have listened to it all the way through a few times, but keep coming back to "Hip to be Square." Such a dance record! Also, on the album cover 5 out of 6 members are all sporting can't beat that!

Bill Laswell - Baselines
I picked this up because a local drummer Mark Raynes told me to check out more Bill Laswell. He's a great producer player that is involved with dub music, world music, avant/experimental, funk, you name it, this guy is all over the proverbial musical map. This is definitely a dated sounding record, but that does mean it's a bad thing. Other notables on here are Philip Wilson, drummer on Julius Hemphill's Dogon A.D., Fred Frith of Naked City fame, AACM trombonist George Lewis, and Primetime drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson, along with several more. Good find!

Tears for Fears - Songs from the Big Chair
All I can think of when I hear this is Donnie Darko, as some of the songs are on the movie. Wonderfully dark, pre-emo rock record, everyone should own it! The Bad Plus has a great cover of "Everybody wants to rule the world" on their record Prog, check it out!

Miles Davis - Miles Smiles
I haven't heard this one in a long while, but a great refresher on the wonders of Tony Williams and Ron Carter. Ron just stays on that ostinato on Footprints and doesn't lay off. I don't know how many times I've played that tune and screwed with the bass line chorus after chorus, and here he is just holding it down, not getting off of it. Freedom Jazz Dance is a refreshing, I have been wanting to know what the bass line is on that for a while, and enjoy hearing how free Ron is with this tune...good to know for future gig reference!

Paul Motian Trio - Le Voyage
An early solo record with J.F. Jenny Clark on bass and Charles Brackeen on saxophones. A lot of these compositions made their way onto later Paul Motian trio records with Lovano and Frisell. This is a wonderfully emotive raw record, and with Paul Motian just coming off of the Keith Jarrett American Quartet with Dewey Redman and Charlie Haden, it sounds very fresh!

Charles Mingus - Me Myself an Eye
A later Mingus Atlantic record without him playing on it, but he supervised the session. George Mraz and Eddie Gomez are on bass duties, along with a star studded cast of players, including the Brecker Brothers. The "Three worlds or drums" is a great drum concerti featuring Steve Gadd, Dannie Richmond and Joe Chambers. This was a good find, and I'm low on Mingus vinyl so hopefully more Mingus reviews in the near future!

Albert Ayler - Holy Ghost
AMAZING THREE LP CLEAR VINYL WITH POSTER AND POSTCARD! This came out of the Holy Ghost CD set that was released a few years ago, and highlights that collection. There are great live versions of Ghosts, Ayler playing with Cecil Taylor and with Pharoah Sanders, all in all a very diverse collection of Ayler's later career, with all live recordings. I am still hoping to see the "My Name is Albert Ayler" documentary that features footage of him playing in Europe, eventually it'll be put out on dvd, I just have to be patient.

Old and New Dreams - Self Titled
This is the Ornette Coleman quartet minus Ornette. They recorded a few records on ECM, with the line up of Ed Blackwell, Charlie Haden, Don Cherry and Dewey Redman. I say it's the Ornette group, because all members were sidemen of his, and play some of his compositions, mixed in with their own tunes. This album features Lonely Woman, originals by all members, including an expressive arco piece by Haden titled "Song for the Whales." If you find recordings of this group, pick it up, you won't be disappointed!

Ornette Coleman - Friends and Neighbors Live at Prince Street
This recording features the above musicians from the Old and New Dreams group, minus Don Cherry, and add the voices of Ornette's friends and neighbors. The liner notes show photographs at the session, which was done at Ornette's loft, showing Gil Evans, Archie Shepp, and many others I don't recognize. This is a later period for Ornette, and he's playing violin and trumpet on here alongside his alto saxophone. It shows a great community effort and happiness, and like most of his albums, leaves you with a positive earthy feeling afterwards!

For right now this concludes my vinyl round up. I'll post some more vinyl lists as more records come in. A Ghost is Born is at the end painful synthesizer piece, meaning the album is almost over, so until next time, keep checking out music, canned or live!