Monday, January 18, 2021

Swagman album release at RSC

I couldn’t pass up getting along to Swagman’s album release gig at Raumati Social Club on Friday night. Beautiful evening and the place was packed (and the crowd was a bit noisier than usual), but as usual, it was a fun evening – great to see and hear the guys again. I’m looking forward to sending some time with the album.

New Zealand Jazz






Friday, January 01, 2021

Jazz | Pint | Warne Marsh

North End Brewery Salt and Wood
I thought of this set of recordings last night when I was playing on the street (accompanied by the sounds of fireworks and New Years revelers). Back in the day I used the money gained from playing on the street to feed my CD habit. One such purchase was the Mosaic Records set of Atlantic recordings by Tristano, Konitz, and Marsh. It took some saving up as I never made much money (mostly I was just practicing) and I remember the exchange rate really wasn't in my favour either! In fact, it way have been the first thing I purchased online.

When I got the set, it was the solo Tristano and Warne's albums that excited me the most. And that's probably still the case, although now I appreciate the contribution of the rhythm sections far more. I think that back then I was so taken by Warne - especially his tone - that the others just faded into the background. Tonight, I spent a bit of time just digging the lines laid down by Paul Chambers and I was still able to marvel at Marsh. There are other albums I was really into back then, that when I hear them these days just don't resonate with me nearly as much. Whereas Warne's self-titled Atlantic album has got better with time. It's funny, as what were favourite tracks over 20 years ago are still my favourites today (well they are tonight anyway!) - "Yardbird Suite" and "Excerpt". "My Melancholy Baby" is great too as is "Just Squeeze Me" and makes me wonder why I'm playing favourites tonight. It always pains me to look in the liner notes and see listings for other tracks from these two sessions... "unissued, master no longer exists". We can only imagine. The upside is that we do have six tracks, and if you haven't heard them, please set aside 35 minutes and give it a spin (or you could just put it on loop like I did tonight).

While I may not listen to this music as much as I once did (for a long time it was a daily occurrence), this music still travels with me. A great way to kick of what was otherwise a quiet start to 2021.