I discovered Booker Ervin in the late 80’s when I picked up a double lp of his at Cheapies. It was a compilation of tracks from other lps. I’d never heard of him or even heard him until then. He falls into the Sonny Rollins, Pharaoh Saunders school of sax. His work is more hard-bop but gradually expanded but always remained firmly in the ‘real’ jazz mode. No easy listening.
His sound, to me, isn’t particularly distinctive, but his is always inventive & rarely harsh – say as Coltrane gets at time – even his free jazz work isn’t overly aggressive. In my collection I have The Book Cooks; Space Book; Back From The Gig; Structurally Sound; n’Brass; Cracklin.’ I really like his solid, timeless sound. These could be recorded yesterday unlike a lot of jazz from the 50s/60s/70s. One of the rewards of keeping it ‘acoustic’ – there are no washes of strings, or busy electronic keyboards to date his playing.
Tucked in with this mp3 collection is Chico Hamilton’s Easy Living: this in an lp to mp3 dupe. I’ve never found this Pacific Jazz compilation in digital form. Chico was a percussionist & the music here is held down by his tasteful drums & great sidemen (Gabor Szabo on some tracks). Just for the heck of it I also included the soundtrack for Social Network! I love this soundtrack & the music doesn’t need the movie to work. I have seen the movie but don’t have any images from it to put with the music.
If you’re looking to start into to jazz, Chico Hamilton is an excellent performer to explore. If you want somewhat more serious, Booker Ervin is a fine, less-known, sax player to start with – try Structurally Sound.
Dave rolled over to his right shoulder. The left was stiff, tingling from sleeping on it for too long. The bed was warm comfortable. He liked his bed. It hadn’t taken too long to get its valleys in just the right spots for his hips.
The alarm went off.
He reached for it.
Cool grey light filtered into the room around the edges of his blinds. He stretched out under the covers and then thrust them off in a quick motion. He knew if he wrapped himself in them now he’d sleep for another half an hour. Time he didn’t have to spare.
A quick morning prayer at the side of bed and then off to obey the call of nature.
Breakfast in the little nook by the kitchen. Not quite a dining room. Listening to classical music. Keeps the day from taking over too fast. Cereal. Toast with jam. Apple orange banana. Healthy meal.
Shower, shave. Clothes laid out the night before. Anything to save his brain from making decisions in the morning.
Plain white t-shirt, black boxers, black socks, blue shirt, red tie, black pants, black suede shoes, charcoal sports coat and he was ready to face the day.
Elevator fast for a change. Yesterday it had stopped on every floor going up and down. Some kids must have been screwing around. Good thing he was never in a hurry in the morning. He’d get there in time. Familiar faces on the elevator. Same ones he saw most mornings. Same ones with no names just small friendly smiles.
‘Looks to be a nice day.’
‘Didn’t get much rain this summer though.’
Quick glance at his mail box but empty. Mail never arrived this early but he always checked, just in case something was slipped in over night. Never was.
Crisp walk to the subway. More of the familiar faces on the street. Familiar nameless faces. He could almost tell what day it was by what certain people wore. A comfortable routine that allowed the fabric of his time to remain intact.
Down the steps into the station. Flash his pass and to the platform. Crowded. Train pulled in and they crowed on. He never tried for a seat. Standing was good for the circulation, wore off a few more calories and one less worry.
HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam
April 03 – every Tuesday
June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked)