Tuesday, March 31, 2020

COVID-19 Lockdown: Day 6

Nils Wogram
Fay VictorRoot 70 On 52nd 1/4 Street got the day rolling. The 1st of the conceptual series, features original lines written over the harmonies of classics from the American Songbook. It has been fun revisiting the Root 70 catalogue at a time when the pandemic shut down their 20th Anniversary Tour. Only a few more albums to go.

Then the afternoon saw some more overdue listening, and it made for a definite change of pace from the morning as we moved into the realm of free improvisation. This time it was Wet Robots by Fay Victor’s SoundNoiseFunk. This one has been my radar for a while due to a couple of reasons. 1) The couple of times I heard Fay live I was really impressed but I’m not at all familiar with her recorded work. 2) Sam Newsome. I’ve spent quite a bit of time with his solo recordings, and increasingly want to hear him in ensemble settings. Wet Robots checks both boxes (and much more!). Fay recently posted that the follow-up album is in the can. I won’t wait so long this time.

Monday, March 30, 2020

COVID-19 Lockdown: Day 5

Nils Wogram
New Zealand JazzThe tour through the Root 70 catalogue continued today with the 2010 release, Listen to Your Woman – an all-blues outing and part 2 of the conceptual works. When I studied with Hayden in Greece during 2009 he mentioned this up coming recording and played me a little bit of the boogie piece he was writing (the albums opener, “Rusty Bagpipe Boogie”). This is the first , and only, Root 70 album to contain compositions from each of the members.

It had been a while since I had listened to Bernie McGann, and 1966 had been on my list for a while now. Bernie is so distinctive and Kim Paterson is under-recorded (or at least I’m missing out on albums I don’t know about!) and it’s the earliest recording I have heard from all involved
The fidelity isn’t the greatest – totally listenable though - and the music and historical importance more than makes up for it. Great energy throughout.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

NZ Jazz: Postcards

New Zealand Jazz
A while back I was in the process of clearing out a bunch of excess stuff. I’ve been finding homes for clothes, books and other stuff that has been lying about unused. It started off pretty well but there’s plenty still to go... and I kind of hit the wall (mostly because there's some stuff I want to sell but can't be bothered with listing it/answering questions/postage etc). Perhaps now's the time to kick things back into gear. Part of the effort includes trying not to accumulate stuff but I couldn’t help myself when I crossed paths with these gems – some promo flyers from Yellow Eye Records including a postcard promoting the release of Syzygy’s Tongue Grooves.

Friday, March 27, 2020

COVID-19 Lockdown: Day 2

Joe CallwoodNils WogramRoot 70’s Riomar kicked off the day. This is quartet’s album with a string trio and it had a darker vibe than I remembered (or maybe it was the cloudy skies and pouring rain, as the music brightened up along with the weather after lunch). If they ever return to the “Conceptual Works” series, may I suggest “Root 70 Plays Root 70”, featuring compositions from the band members’ other projects.

Then later in the day it was time for Magic Ocean Tree – an EP from The Woods. I’ve only managed to catch them live once and it was a fun evening. It’s taken me too long to pick up their two recordings. If you’re after groove-heavy, feel-good instrumental music, The Woods could be place to find it. It was a nice way to mellow out at the end of the day. Very rarely do I listen to music while at work so this is making a very pleasant change.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

COVID-19 Lockdown: Day 1

Nils WogramChris Aiello - Green Grow The Lilacs I’m not sure whether I’ll post every day while the lockdown is in place (probably not), but here we are at Day 1. In the morning, Root 70’s Wise Men Can Be Wrong kept me company at work. This is part 4 of their conceptual series – an all-standards outing. Then for the afternoon it was Chris Aiello’s Green Grow The Lilacs - another all-standards outing (and one I’ve been meaning to listen to for ages..... finally got around to it Chris!). On a day that has been anything but standard, it has been a “standards” day for me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Countdown to Lockdown

Adam Caine and Robert Dick
Root 70As of midnight tonight New Zealand moves into lockdown in efforts to combat the spread of CONVID-19. So it seems like a good time to resurrect the blog with a series of brief posts. I purchased a bunch of albums from Bandcamp that will accompany me as I work from home over the next four weeks (or longer). Most of these were well-overdue purchases, and the first of those got a spin today too - Adam Caine and Robert Dick's The Damn Think. As Root 70’s 20th Anniversary Tour was scuttled due to the virus, I’ve decided to bust out their catalogue. I’m working in reverse chronological order, so Luxury Habits got the ball rolling today. I've put in my order for the 20th Anniversary Box Set too - but I'm guessing that might take a while to get here.