Thursday, May 07, 2020

COVID-19 Level 3: Day 10

Billie HolidayAnd I’m onto disc 3. Cloudy, cool day here and the music did pretty well to warm me up. Old favourites a-plenty... “Sun Showers”, “I’ll Get By”, “Mean to Me”, “I’ll Never Be The Same”, “Foolin’ Myself”, “Without Your Love”, “Sailboat In The Moonlight”, “Me, Myself and I”.... studies in feel, balance, weight, colour. I love the mystery.

People always mention the pairing Billie Holiday and Lester Young – and it really is one of my favourites. But I don’t hear as much about the Teddy Wilson and Billie Holiday match up. Teddy’s touch is all over these sides – as a leader and sideman - and the magic would sound a lot different without him.

I’m definitely getting my fill of rhythm guitar with these discs. There’s a lot of Allan Reuss, Dick McDonough has some nice moments, and of course there’s Freddie Green. I’ve never had the chance, but I’d like to work with someone on acoustic archtop some time - I think it would be really interesting in a contemporary setting.

Roy Eldridge Dizzy GillespieThen it was onto the after Dizzy session with Roy and Diz #2 – a recording I hadn’t heard for probably 15 years, maybe more.. It’s very much in the jam-session mold with the out-and-out pyrotechnics of “Limehouse Blues”, but I prefer when they tone things down a bit on “Sometimes I’m Happy” (with Diz double timing while Roy just chills out) and “Blue Moon” (but once they pulls the mutes out they crank it up again). The ballad medley isn’t something you encounter all too often these days but back then it was pretty common on those Norman Granz dates. He needed to place it after the high wire acts for some release though! The budget reissue is definitely not the highest quality sound-wise (regardless of what the cover says!). Might be the way it was recorded but it’s pretty muddy and the rhythm section is well down in the mix. I'll survive.

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