Keith Jarrett

By Keith Jarrett I have box sets:  The Impulse years: 73-74: 5 cds, 75-76: 4 cds.  On 4 mp3 cds: Facing You, In The Light, Luminessence (Jan Garbarek), Arbour Zena, Ruta & Daitya (Jackie deJohnette), Bremen, Lausanna, Eyes Of The Heart, the Koln Concert, Staircase Hourglass Sundial Sand, My Song, Standards NY Sessions; as stand-alone: Yesterdays.

So I am a bit of a fan. I can’t recall which of his was the first recording I had it was either the solo studio work Facing You or the Live Bremen concert. Both excellent places to start if you are unfamiliar with Jarrett. This is jazz that moves into modern classical with such ease you can’t tell you’ve made the move. I had some of the Impulse years as lps & picked up the two box sets 2nd hand to replace them. They are all group work with bonus cuts added to reach release, Fine modern jazz that rarely crosses into aggressive disharmony. Not easy listening though.

The bulk of these are ECM with various sidemen. All are pretty much amazing as he explores orchestral work, various instruments: he plays, besides piano, organ, flute, sax. One of my favourites is ‘Ruta & Daitya’ with the great Jackie deJohnette. It is perhaps the most playful of all this work – fun & lighthearted. ‘Arbour Zena’ is meditative & soaring. There are no disappoint or bad Keith Jarrett recordings.

His later work are explorations of jazz standards & are great listening but lack, to me, the freshness of his earlier work. He’s also recorded classical word by the likes of Bach, Soshakovich which I have heard but not added to my collection. 

Rounding out some of mp3 cds is work by: Jan Garbarek: Dis, Jan Garbarek/Egberto Gismonti: Sol Do Melo Dio: Garbarek is another ECM star with his ethereal sax. Dis is his work with a word harp. John Scofield: Hand Jive;: Scofield is a jazz guitarist & this set is kind of funky. Really funky is Special EFX: Party; A Jazziz sampler cd from Nov 1994

Another fine pianist is Andrew Hill: Hommage. Master jazz piano McCoy Tyner with bassist Stanley Clarke is excellent. Stanley Clarke”s Journey To Love is prime late 80’s jazz that I love – buy it. Another amazing bass palyer Christian McBride: Finger Painting. Roy Haynes with Booker Ervin: Cracklin’ – fine set of almost tradition jazz that swings. Finally Groove Collective: We The People, It’s All In Your Mind, People People Music Music – funky soulful less pop that Booker T not as jazzy as The Jazz Messengers – the sort of jazz that shows up for chase scenes in movies but better 🙂

Don’t Quote Me

Jen looked a the people hovering around the scene. She wanted to call it a crime scene but that wasn’t clear. Manonotti could have had a heart attack. Whatever the cause these are the people who would have been called to the location. Police, medics, TTC security. All making the morning transit even slower. Worst of all, no washroom. They had even taped off the women’s room. 

She supposed that was some sort of precautionary effort. It was hard enough for the transit system to maintain some sort of positive public image as it was. 

Jen knew the All News would want the story but she had to know what the story was. First she had to confirm who it was that was found. Her sister had been wrong before.

She approached one of the less busy, female officials. She had found women were often more cooperative with women. She quickly glanced at the officers name tag.

“Officer Fenton, I’m Jen Oliver with the All News News.” She showed her press card.

“Can’t tell you much.” 

‘Maybe you can confirm what I already know?”

“Maybe.” She laughed.

“A body was found?”

‘“Oh yeah, that’s for sure.”

‘It was councillor Peter Manonotti?”

‘That hasn’t been officially confirmed.”

“But that’s what you’ve heard.”

“Yes. But don’t quote me on that.”

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H I Jazz

 

I picked up jazz pianist Andrew Hill’s One For One decades ago at Cheapies. It’s a compilation double album of previously unissued studio tracks recorded in 1965, 1969 and 1970. Adventurous post-bop jazz in various group settings & all excellent. It’s my own lp to cd transfer. In an mp3 collection I have his Hommage (1975) solo piano works that is good solid jazz. This is not supper club music 🙂

Next is a stand alone cd of Dave Holland Big Band: What Goes Around. I love ‘modern’ big band. This propulsive, meditative, inventive & highly enjoyable. Holland is a double-bass players & appears in dozens of ensembles on ECM. A great started for anyone testing the jazz waters.

impulsive! is a 2cd stand-alone set of remixes of impulse original recordings by the likes of Mingus & Pharoah Sanders. Remixes were a thing for a time. Classical music given drum & bass, or breakbeat in the mix. Impulse, a major jazz label, let remixers into their back catalogue with good results. Though adding a hip-hop track to update a piece isn’t always the way to go. Some turn out great such as the re-working of Sanders: Astral Travelling. CD1 are the remixes, CD2 are the unadulterated originals. Good stuff.

Jazziz was a monthly magazine that included a sampler CD. It was difficult to subscribe to though – I had to pay a month at a time, in advance & sometimes the issue didn’t arrive 😦 Under J is the January 1995 sampler – that did lead to me purchasing cds by Jai Uttal & Bobby Previte. It was too frustrating getting issues so I gave up. It is still publishing on line.

The Viewing

Later that afternoon after taking too many pictures of the decayed bandstand in the park I figured it was time to head home. Once again the dilemma was which streets paved with banal memories did I want to take.

One end of the park tapered off into the downtown area, where I’d already been and another corner faced a row of the larger, wealthier homes of the town. Most of which were now lawyers and accountants offices. 

One of them was still a funeral home. The one my mother had mentioned this morning where there was to be a viewing for Mr Razov. I decided to go in. This would be something that held no memory. I’d never been in this place till now. A new experience in the old home town.

The front foyer was dark in brushed browns and gold. a young lady stepped from a corner.

“Welcome to Cherished Funeral Home. Who are you looking for?” She asked in a concerned, hushed voice.

“Mr. Razov.”

“Ah, yes. This way. He’s resting in the small chapel at the back. follow me. There hasn’t been many in but that’s often the case. Here we are.”

The coffin was at the far side of the room a spray of flowers at either end of it. It was opened but I wasn’t prepared to look at him.

On a shelf along the wall where photos of Mr. Razor. Several of him, labelled as being in Novonikolayevsk. One with his family – a wife with two small children. A newspaper clipping of him in the Toronto airport where he defected. A couple with the chess club – him standing over two pairs of us we studied the pieces on the chess boards in front of us. Even without seeing his face I recognized Howard Delaney from the back of his head. How long had it been since I seen Howard. 

“Good afternoon.” A deep voice from behind me asked. “You knew my father?”


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He Hawes

 

I was introduced to the music of Hampton Hawes way back in the late 60’s – it was either the Green Leaves of Summer or The Trio Volume 1. I was working at the Vogue & Paramount Theatres in Sydney at the time. One of the cleaning staff at the Vogue was a total jazz fan & began to lend me lps to expand my jazz knowledge. Hawes plays restless piano – that is neither bop, swing or merely easy listening.

I loved those two lps & in fact these are the only two things I recall him lending me – though there were other musicians. Hawes playing & sidemen are precise, adventurous & fun. I made lp to cassette copies these lps. My friend had scotch taped the Downbeat reviews of both on the covers & Hawes was tightly regarded. He was also a major contrast to the jazz-rock that was about to wash over the scene.

In my collection I have as mp3 The All-Night Sessions Vols 1/2/3. The Trio, This Is, Everybody, High in the Sky; as lp to cd transfer:, Green Leaves; The Trio, Two Sides of, Spanish Steps, with Mingus, The Seance, Live in Tokyo. As stand alone: Bird Song, The Sermon. I guess this makes me a fan 😉

 

The recordings are trios, with sax, with sextet. He moves gradually from acoustic piano to electric keyboards – never electronica though. I don’t mind that electric piano tone but do prefer the acoustic. The material ranges from originals, jazz classics & covers of show tunes, pop standards. He is well worth adding to any jazz collection. iTunes has some nice inexpensive collections.

The Fridge

Fumbling in the dark to turn on the lamp Harv knocked it over. Shit. He didn’t know what woke him. Some sound outside. A combination of tire squeal and cat in pain that had cut through his dream about winning some big prize on a television cooking show. 

Some bald woman was jumping beside him clinging to his left arm screaming he had done it. he had done it. The studio audience wasn’t as happy as her. In fact he sensed they had hoped he would lose. They were disappointed he had won an array of house-hold kitchen appliances. A chrome fridge so much like the one his folks had when he grew up. how long had it been since he’d seen one of those? The door opened with the same click too. He thought this sort of catch handle was now illegal so that kids couldn’t get trapped inside them when they were abandoned. 

That happened to a cousin of his. Mark. Mark didn‘t come home from school one day and they searched for a week or so. Whose idea had it been to open that abandoned fridge door? Maybe some dog smelled the reek of the decaying body. Boy he was glad he didn’t have to be the one to open that door. That would have been awful though he never really liked Mark.

Mark so good at everything like sports and tests. Things that his Dad always reminded him of – oh I hear Mark got at an A on that science project you didn’t finish or Mark was voted best delivery boy by the paper. look there’s his picture on the inside page. Too bad you never got a paper route. Stuff like that.

It didn’t take long for everyone to forget about Mark and for a time after that when he opened the fridge to get an apple he’d be afraid Mark would be in there ready to fall out on him so he ate less and less. He lost his flabby fat and started to do a bit better in school too, only never as good as Mark and now here he was winning a fridge just like that one. 

Harv pushed himself to the the edge of the bed and forced himself to the window. He didn’t need light to look out. Light would only attract attention to the blind being pushed aside. The street was empty. Maybe he hadn’t heard anything. He went to the light switch & turned it on. The lamp was right where it always was. He hadn’t knocked anything over. He turned off the light. Crawled back into the bed. Said one last fuck you Mark. I didn’t dare you to get into that fridge. It was your idea.  

He fell asleep. 

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March
March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.
 capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

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at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

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Gismonti Glaspar

A pair of opposites sit side-by-side on my jazz shelf – first is Egberto Gismonti – I have a cassette of  Works; stand alone cds: In Montreal; Infancia. Plus he appears on many many EMC records as a sideman. He is a sublime, imaginative Latin jazz acoustic guitarist – similar to Ralph Towner but with a more emotional style.

Works is a sampling of his other ECM recordings; on Live in Montreal he plays with bassist Charlie Haden. Tasty but never dull duets that push each player to greater creativity. Infancia is a group recording with synthesizers & cello in the mix. Experimental without being jarring, meditative without being boring. Superb music.
Beside him is Robert Glaspar: with his Trio: Canvas; with others is Double Booked; and his Miles Davis repurposed (as MP3) is Everything’s Beautiful. This is cutting edge jazz piano. Propulsive, sometimes dissonant & always inventive. The cds are mostly originals with some fun covers: i.e. Herbie Hancock’s Butterfly.

 

Everything’s Beautiful is a mix of re-mixing, sampling, a dash of hip-hop, rap in his reimagining of Miles Davis; Davis was so experimental & still remains modern, that it at first seemed pointless to update him, as it were. I enjoy what Glaspar does but I find him too deconstructive as opposed to revelatory. Davis may have inspired some of these pieces but the samples & inspiration become lost in the mix. Check it out on youtube before you splurge 🙂

Arts und Krafts

Kind readers one thing that I neglected to mention in my wee report yesterday was the Arts und Krafts display at St. Sufferer’s Cathedral’s Fun Fair. Like many of you I have seen my share of knitted booties for rifle stocks and candle holders made out of moose dung but there were some very fine pieces from the near by College of Arts and Reconstructionist Designers of Palmixalitato County.

I am well aware of the rivalry that has been going on between the students in that county and our own but remember we did trounce them the last three years in the Provincial Open Court Peach Pit Curling Play Off. So we can afford to allow them to excel at something and excel they did at the Fun Fair.

There were many charming crystallized bones pieces from the Anatomy of Design classes there. I was particularly taken by the crystallized moose bone reproductions of the Departments of the Cross that one Leslie Ann Marie Betty McDellon had created.

I can’t imagine what sort of skill it takes to do such fine work but I can certainty respect the work that it took.

Also many were charmed by the spiderwood furniture Gregh O’Treple has wrought there. A sturdy eight legged rocking chair with a fine webbed seat and back was very comfortable to sit in for long periods of time. He hopes to follow in the family footsteps and may be opening his own furniture and restraints shoppe right here in Crab Apple Corners. He will surely be missed in Palmixalitato County. But their misery is always our gain.

Another feature of the Fun Fair that cannot be neglected was the food pavilion. Over 20,000 were seated at one time for a fine feeding of Trish Creamly’s delicious sprung bark toffee pie. Trish you have out done yourself this year. Just save that recipe for my wedding reception. I know if you keep your hands on the crust you’ll keep them off my man – just kidding folks.

The children at the Fun Fair were also treated to a production by the local Armature Theatre Guild. They performed tragic scenes from various plays. The beheading of John the Baptist brought the crowd to their feet and kudos must go to Hank Grebly who did a fine job in the title role of that piece.

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returning every Tuesday 2019


June  – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

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