Saturday, April 23, 2016

Jazz April: week 3 listening

yusef later ran blake
Louis Armstrong: The Complete Hot Five & Hot Seven Recordings (Columbia)
It was hard to go wrong kicking off week 3 with a classic. Throughout the week I made my way through all four discs. Armstrong's breaks, stop time passages, phrasing, elasticity and tone worked their magic like they always do. Essential listening.

Jimmy Giuffre: Free Fall (Columbia)
Giuffre's trio with Steve Swallow and Paul Bley is a favorite of mine and I can still remember hearing my introduction to the trio via 1961 (the ECM reissue of Fusion and Thesis). This led to Free Fall and while it didn't grab me the way the earlier work did, I stuck with it. This week I put it on for the first time in about a year, and I was reminded again just how different this group was in the 60s avant-garde crowd. Be sure to check out the live recordings from this trio released on HatOLOGY.

Yusef LateefJazz Moods (Savoy)
Recorded in 1957, this was Lateef's first release as a leader (although his second album was from a slightly earlier session). The opening notes from the argol - a double-tubed reed instrument with a drone pipe and a melody pipe - grab your attention and it is maintained throughout the album with each of the five tunes hitting a different flavor - there's blues, modal, 7/4, pedal tones and the pairing of flute and Curtis Fuller's trombone is a color you don't hear too often. This was Lateef's working band at the time and its focussed sound is an important contributing factor to the album overall.

Steve Lacy/Steve Potts: Tips (Corbett vs Dempsey)
I wrote a little about my sole Record Store Day purchase here. 

Christian Weidner: The Inward Song (Pirouet)
Seeing that Christian has a new album (along with another as a sideman) due out on Pirouet, had me reaching for this quartet album from 2010. He has a superb alto tone and melodic sensibility with the bonus that he never overplays his hand - check him out! The drumming of Samuel Rohrer really popped out to me this week. There's a bunch of music on Pirouet that I want to check out including albums by Anna Webber and Joris Roelofs in addition to the two mentioned above.

Ran BlakeGhost Tones (A-side Records)
Released last year, this album features different line-ups - ranging from solo piano to sextet - tackling material by or associated with George Russell (plus a couple of songs by Blake). While, I gave it one spin last week and three more this week, I haven't been able to get into it just yet. I'm not afraid of letting an album grow on me though, and I have a feeling this one might sneak up on me.

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