Sunday, June 16, 2013

listening june


It has been refreshing to listen to a number of alternate takes from the Billie Holiday Columbia box set. This led me to give back to back listens of Lester Young's solo on the two takes of "Back In Your Own Backyard." Lester's solo on "Easy Does It" with the Basie Orchestra had a few spins too.

Steve Lacy is still getting plenty of airtime. The Holy La (Free Lance) - a solid trio outing from the late 90's with Jean-Jacques Avenel (bass & kalimba) John Betsch (d) There's plenty of variety throughout the album (old and new tunes plus one from Monk). The addition of Irene Aebi's vocals the group expands to a quartet for two of the nine tracks. On 'Cliches', Avenel puts down the bass to play kalimba (thumb piano). Lacy had very solid rhythm sections over the years - Buell Neidlinger/Dennis Charles, Kent Carter/Oliver Johnson or Avenel/Betsch - they may not have got the acclaim of other bass & drum pairings but they were vital in bringing Lacy's music to life.

It had been some time since I listened to Weal & Woe (Emanem). I skipped the first half of the disc (it's part of the "Avignon and After" reissue that I've listened to a bit lately) and jumped straight to the four pieces that make up "The Woe" by Lacy (ss) Steve Potts (as) Irene Aebi (cello/voice) Kent Carter (b) Oliver Johnson (d) from 1973.  I believe the last time I heard it was when my friend John lent me the album - six or seven years ago. I had forgotten about the recordings of gun fire and explosions. Full on.

I've been looking back to my jazz soprano roots and that means Sidney Bechet has shared some of my time this week. While I can't say I'm into the vibrato, his tone is so bold and distinctive. I don't have that much of his work, just one disc on which he plays soprano as well as clarinet. I would like to get some more where his focus is purely on the soprano. Any suggestions?

A few different recordings of Bela Bartok's String Quartet #1 have been on throughout the week. A nice way to break up the jazz.

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