Supreme Music

26-fab01My John Coltrane collection is so large I considered dividing it into 3 posts but instead I’ll list what I have & share the history of his music in my life. First the list – some are stand-alones, some are mp3 collections: w/Monk w/Monk Complete 1 2; Prestige Complete 1 2 3 4 w/Gillespie; Blue Train; w/Adderley; w/Harden; w/Davis: Kind of Blue Atlantic Complete: 1: Giant Steps/ My Favorite Things/Jazz/Bags/Ole; Atlantic Complete 2: Plays the Blues/Sound/Avant-Gard/ Odds; Impulse compete 1 Coltrane/Ballads/Hartman/Crescent/ Plays/ Ascension/ Living Space; Impulse complete 2: Stockholm/ Birdland/ Transition/ Living Space/ Sun Ship/ First Meditations; Africa Brass 1 2; Live Village vanguard 1 2 3 4: A Love Supreme Deluxe 1 2; Live at Newport; bits & pieces; Live in Japan; Blues For Coltrane. You can see why I wanted to split this into three posts.

26-fab02On the east coast I bought, at the Metropolitan (I think) – a department store that had a rack of discontinued lps that was briefly filled with a raft of Impulse deletes including a double Impulse lp of Coltrane ‘hits’.  It included a section of Supreme, After the Rain & now forgotten others. I also had a track of his on a Sonny Rollins best of. That was it for years, decades in fact. I enjoyed the Impulse cuts.

Then in late 90’s I mounted a production of The Servant & wanted some music for it. I heard Blue Train on the radio & loved the brass sound & bought it. Blue Train, on Blue Note, is one of the few lps Coltrane record with a brass section & it is a fine way to get into him, or jazz itself. This catapulted me into total fandom.

26-fab03Over the years I’ve added nearly the complete works, his own group stuff, his sideman recordings & his work with Miles Davis. I also have some excellent biographies. I really had to know more about his creative arc – from session player, his work with Davis, his own work & the dramatic spiritual change in his later career once he escaped heroin.

The Prestige work is session work, fun pairings, various quartets & not overly challenging. With Gillespie he is part of the big band sound with a few sweet solos. He’s learning & expanding. With Monk he begins really exploring. With Davis he starts to come into his own.

26-fab04He steps out into real solo with his Atlantic work  & becomes more challenging. Giant Steps is superb. I love all of his releases – too many to list. Blues, Sound are classics of any jazz era. But he seems to run out of steam & when he moves to Impulse we get lps of covers of things like Favorite Things. Though his work with Ellington is amazing & I love his Johnny Hartman lps too. Africa Brass is superb. Then he gets clean, gets his teeth fixed & bam the big shift with A Love Supreme. An lp I have to play twice in a row. The Live in Antibes Supreme is magnificent.

Crescent, Meditations, Live at the Vanguard: the list is above why repeat it. The live material is wonderful & exhaustive & often challenging in its aggressive free jazz flow. The Love Supreme Deluxe edition includes a live Love that is worth the price of the set. Live in Japan are performances shortly before his death. Blues For … is a tribute cd of covers. Coltrane is as close to God in music as one can get.

samp02

Frails

“Will the frail blocking Aisle Six please get a move on. Will the frail blocking Aisle Six please get a move on.”

Aisle six? Aisle six? I looked up from my shopping list. I was having trouble reading my handwriting, again. I really have to start printing. Was that tomato paste or tomato pasta?

“Will the frail blocking Aisle Six please get a move on.”

Aisle Six? That was one aisle over, wasn’t it? I just had to get these last few things on my list. All I needed now was the tooth paste, or was that tomato paste? What did I need? I visualized my bathroom, then the kitchen. God it was time to replace those tiles over the sink. I wonder if they have any of that adhesive glue I saw advertised on TV last night.

“Will the frail blocking Aisle Six please get a move on.”

A hand gently touched me on the shoulder.

‘Can I help you sir?’

‘No, no. I’m doing alright young man.’

‘Perhaps if we moved your cart over a little others could get by.’

‘You saying I’m in the way? Is that what you’re saying? Spit it out.’

‘Sir please. Let’s just move along. You have your list there? Good. Perhaps I can help you with the it.’

‘I suppose you might be of some use.’ I handed him the list. ‘Does that look like tooth paste or tomato paste to you?’

He squinted at the list. ‘They’re both on the list.’

‘Are they now? Well now we are getting somewhere.’

The young man pushed my cart to the end of the aisle.

‘You wait right here sir and I’ll get these things for you.’

‘No, no. I can do this myself. Don’t want to end up with the most expensive brands you know. Money doesn’t grow on lawns anymore you know.’

‘Yes I know that sir. Follow me then and we’ll have this done in a jiffy.’

He ran to the next aisle.

‘Not so fast I’m not as quick on my feet as you are, you know. You know that don’t you? Can’t you see that? Not so swift on my feet.’

‘Right sir. Here we are. Now which brand of tooth paste would you like. We have mint gel, antiseptic fluoridated Crest with plaque guard or do you need a denture cleaner.’

‘These are my own teeth. Just give me something that works and doesn’t cost an arm and a head.’

‘Here’s the store brand. Wintermint.’

‘Good. That’ll do.’

‘God damned frails,’ he muttered under his breath.

Frails? Frails? Was he muttering about me. Well I’d soon put a stop to that. I pushed my cart over his toes.

‘Ouch!’ he hopped up and down on one foot.

‘Sorry sonny gotta get a move on.’

 



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Shape Of Jazz To Come

05-door01Ornette Coleman (not to be confused with Coleman Hawkins) is master sax player. He has recorded extensively & of his catalogue I have three stand-alone’s: The Shape Of Jazz To Come; at the ‘golden circle’ 1 & 2. This is not easy listening jazz, but is not challenging in the way, say, Mingus is.

05-door02This is full force squawky, propulsive, at times discordant music that demands listening, demands an intellectual response or one moves on. Uncompromising & never bowing to popular pressure Ornette plays for himself & if you don’t like his sound it’s not his problem. I can’t say he’s someone I like but his music is creatively stimulating when I listen to it. But these 3 cds are enough for me. Kamasi Washington owes a lot to Coleman.

I can’t say who influenced who – John Coltrane & Ornette Coleman are both sax masters who came out of the 50’s to inspire jazz & pop musicians forever. Both The Byrds and Jimi Hendrix reflect those influences. I’m a Coltrane fan, to put it mildly.05-door03

I have both versions of Coltrane’s Riverside recording with Thelonious Monk. One is the original 6 tracks release. The other is a more recent release of all the work Coltrane cut with Monk, in order of recording. Some studio, some live, including alternate takes & false starts. Like Coltrane’s work with Miles Davis it is sweet to have these geniuses working together.05-door04

 

With Monk, Coltrane was still learning, stretching & a junkie. If you know Monk there are versions of many his best known pieces Crepuscule with Nellie; Ruby, My Dear. The sound quality is spotty & it may be a collection for fans, not casual listeners. More about Coltrane soon in the next couple posts about my jazz collection.

sample

Death

Ques shut the gate. The afternoon sun warmed the ground and he longed to take off his sandals to feel the soil. But he couldn’t. One never knew where the tiny specks of glass would be. It was safe to walk barefoot in his yards his workrooms and living chambers but elsewhere there was that ever present danger.

The towering remains of the city around him was full of these little dangers. Chunks of structure could fall without warning and crush anything underneath. He had been in these structures but the odd echo of empty they held chilled him.

He would not go in alone. He would not go in unless he had to. Today he had to. Before he would enter he would stop at the Saint V’ths Seat not far from the Gate. A place for a Prayer of Protection.

‘Bres! Bres!’ he shouted from the stone rise in the middle of a clear area. Someone should name this place ‘the calling spot.’ For as long as he had known, one could stand here and call for anyone one knew and they would hear.

‘Ques! Ques!’ he heard the distant response bounce along the corridor of buildings behind him. He walked in that direction. It was a street he rarely travelled. It lead away from the Gate. Why would Bres be here?

A figure darted across his path. He stopped.

‘Who goes there?’ his voice returned to him. He turned a slow circle. There was nothing, nobody as far as he could see. He continued on his way. Soon he saw Bres with several others.

‘Did you see it?’

‘Yes but it was fast. very fast. I have no idea what it was.’

‘Could be death.’ One of the smaller men mumbled.

‘Death! No not a day like today. When was the last time any of you saw death?’

‘Ques will make us safe.’ Bres bragged.

‘Safe from what. Your old nurse tales about things that doesn’t exist. Death! There is no death. Why would you think of such a thing?’

‘It was in my dreams.’ The little man confessed. ‘I have dreamed it several nights in a row.’

‘Then let’s take our dreams to Saint V’ths. Come before we begin our salvage. All are safe under the protection of Saint V’ths.’

soon

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my first local feature in over a year: location date TBA

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April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm startgames

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June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –

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check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

August 31-Sept.3

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Cool Struttin’ 

31-snowbush

In the 80’s a friend had the lp of the Sonny Clark Trio w Paul Chambers & ‘Philly’ Joe Jones, which I copied onto to cassette & eventually replaced with a stand-alone cd some years ago. This is prime piano trio jazz that hasn’t aged & can stand up to the likes of The Bad Plus. Chamber & Jones both played with Coltrane. Solid, easy to listen to but not middle of the road by any means. I also have stand alone Cool Struttin’ that adds the horns of Art Farmer & Jackie McLean to the Trio for a satisfying outing. Both highly recommended as ‘real’ jazz introductions.

31-snowballons

 

Next are solo recordings by Stanley Clarke & Billy Cobham. Both had worked with Chick Corea, Miles Davis during the jazz/rock fusion era that revitalized jazz. I have Clarke’s Children of Forever as a stand alone & Journey To Love on an mp3 collection. Children is a direct nod to his work with Corea’s Return to Forever – sweet & funky with strong latino influences. Journey is less funky & more jazz. Clarke is a bass player so that really informs his arrangements. I love Journey with its timeless work. Children is a fun period piece.31-snowcarpetCobham is a dummer, percussionist & the two pieces of his I have are stand alone’s Cross Winds; with Total Eclipse tucked into another mp3 collection. Winds is a sublime, moody joy that transcends the jazz fusion label, Eclipse is more challenging but still fairy smooth listening.31-treelights

 

If you want to dip into jazz along with the Sonny Clark – Journey to Love or/and Cross Winds are great places to start. All are pure, true to their roots & bring more than easy listening smooth jazz.

 

sample

Sacrifice Song

mark the man

make the sign of forfeit

it is he

who has been granted

the gift of sacrifice

 

mark the man

bring him good and kindness

prepare his heart and soul

for the opportunity

to sacrifice

 

mark the man

heap praise and thanks

upon his ears and home

as signs of our gratitude

for his sacrifice

 

mark the man

make the time

record the incident

sing the songs of praise

dance the joy

of sacrifice

 

mark the man

so few have given

all that it takes

to push the world

back on the right path

the path of sacrifice

 

mark the man

allow him abundance of falfa

allow him field of falfa

to dream upon

to roll through and savour

to sweeten for sacrifice

 

mark the man

make the sign of forfeit

it is he

who has been granted

the gift of sacrifice

………

Children’s Song

1 2

skip to the wall

3 4

lift our voices

make the call

5 6

it is time

when there is no time

7 8

the return has come

we will sing

9 10

after the bell

we start again

……

Ritual for Heart Joining

We are gathered here to today

to give ablutions to those who pray

join with me now

all feel the call

all who are ready to fall

as the falfa falls

to bring these hearts together

in a rare and select opportunity

the smile of time

has been spread up you two

a sun shine from within

a sun that cradles your hearts

the hearts

we gather to join today

the hearts we rejoice in

the splendid pleasure of union

the promise of the future

smiles as we smile together

as we stand together at this time

in this field

the sway play of the blossoms

the gentle rattle of the seeds

the promise they bring

will be fulfilled in

these two hearts

that are now joined

……

Prayer For Rain

rain fall upon our fields

brings sweet release to the soil

to the seeds

to the frail and tender shoots

rain fall upon our roofs

lighting play upon our fields

let the power strike the earth

to fill refill replenish

rain and lightening

thunder and clouds

we call upon you to

bless us now and always

we thank you for the

blessing you have brought

thank you Time

we have been blessed over and over

we will continue

amen

…..

Pavilion Dedication

Those who enter

the three pavilions

are those who carry

the message of the past

the message of the future

the message unheard

the message of the Heartless One

which none as yet

has received

…….

Morning Grace

Grant us

your humble servants

the grace to tend these fields

the power to communicate

to sustain and propagate the seeds

that will carry our race

into the future

grant us this

our our great maker

and we grant you

abundant gratitude

servitude

and joy

amen soon

 

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on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes

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June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2018 –

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Jurassic Classics

25jul01Sax player James Carter is an astonishing musician. I first heard him on 1991’s Tough Young Tenors. Then I read a review of his cd Jurassic Classics & had to hunt it down. He powers his way thought great takes on jazz classic ‘ Take the A train’ etc. I have that & these as stand-alone’s:  The Real Quiet Storm (sweet sex music), Conversations, in carterian fashion, Chasin’ the Gypsy, layin’ in the cut, Lady Day, Live at Baker’s, Gold Sounds, Present Tense.25jul02You could say that I am a fan. His sax sound is fluid – he willing to squawk id that’s what the piece calls for, but can also be as smooth as silk. These cover his work in various combos, duets, strings & solo. Each cd has been a different concept including some surprising covers: Pavement on Gold Sounds – a rock band I’m not familiar with but which he clearly is. I was always eager for each new release.25jul03My most recent addition was After All: up to his high standard of taste, playing but challenging & interesting too. It’s an mp3 collection along with work by Tadd Dameron(w/Coltrane); Geza Music; Chaino; Donald Byrd; Yusef Lateef; Kabuki.

25jul04As you can tell this is one of my wide reaching cds. I love variety. The Dameron is Mating Call with John Coltrane (Coltrane is God); Yusef Lateef is a fine 50’s 60’s sex player who is clearly one of Carter’s inspirations. Chaino: a lounge jazz exotica staple – bingo driven instrumentals in this Best of Jungle Echoes collection. The Byrd is Black Bird – an lp I had back on the east coast of smooth propulsive pieces in the Weather Report style. With the Giza & Kabuki I’m indulging my love of Japan with more traditional music 0 lots of off-kilter percussion. I love it.

sample

Imagination

Brin was sure he could hear the voice of G’th, his nurseda. This was not one the the tricks his imagination would play on him nor an image seed planted by one of the El’rs. Over the past few months he had learned how to separate those seeds from reality. This was reality.

He peered out the casement window of his cell. Pushed it open as much as he could and poked his head out. There was drop of about 100 feet from his window to the ground. He shook his head. The drop vanished. The drop was one of those seeds, an image the El’rs used to keep the younger Br’thrs in line.

The ground about twenty feet below. Green stubble of the recent falfa crops had begun to turn brown in the fall sun. The voice came to him clearer. He saw two figures stand on the steps that lead to the young Br’thrs dormier.

One was El’r Ft’hr D’br and the other had to be his G’th. He wanted to call out, to make the large hulking figure turn around. It was such a rare site to see someone not dressed in the cassocks of the order, to see man with a full head of wild matted black and blond hair.

He stilled his breathing, his thoughts, to see if he could pick up what they were saying.

‘He has progressed very well indeed G’th. Very well.’

‘I am most humble El’r Ft’hr that one whom I nursed has proved to such a fortunate one. I only ask now for my promised reward.’

‘Reward?’

‘Is it not so that in the twenty-second year of the offered one he who has ˝made the offering receives a reward? It is spoken of amongst the village. Is it not so?’

‘Ah yes the reward. So few actually progress as far and as well as Brin we rarely have to grant such dispensation. Come, we will see the Most Venerable El’r  B’la. He will know more of this.’

‘Wait!’ Brin cried out.

The two men turned.

‘G’th I must speak to you. Wait just a moment and I will be down.’

‘That is not possible Br’thr Brin.’ the El’r Ft’hr peered up at him.

Brin was pushed back from the window. It slammed shut almost on his fingers. He turned to the door but there was no door. The El’r Ft’hr had planted that image in his mind. He knew there was a door. He couldn’t let his panic keep him from seeing his nurseda.

soon

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September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016 (I’ve already registered)

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June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –

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check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx5KD1eDccdjdTdQ28kZRNg

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Cannonballs of Fun

Cannonball Adderley is one of those sax players who made a name in the 50’s playing with his own groups or with his brother plus had an active recording career as side man to many others at that time & through the 60’s, including Miles Davis. A solid if not adventurous player but held his own when giving the challenge.

cheese big cheese

I have Sophisticated Swing a double cd set of his quintet sessions. A sweet set of originals and some standards: A Foggy Day, What’s New? – engaging and timeless. I picked it up at HMV in February 1999, probably on sale. The set includes in the foldouts all the original cover, which hasn’t dared that much either. These could be new recordings by a new quintet & sound & look as fresh.

nook cozy nook at Loyalist

The reason I have Cannonball is because he did a session with John Coltrane in Feb 1959. In 1959 35 minutes was considered a full Lp, now it’s a ep. I have to play it twice to feel I heard enough of it. Coltrane was coming into his own & had extensive work on his own. I picked it up in 1998 when I was on my Coltrane completest mission.

glory spring is around the corner?

It’s a mix of originals & covers. All are solid but not overly challenging. A much as I love Coltrane – I’ve blogged about him a couple of times – my favourite cut on this CD (& one of my all-time favourite jazz cuts) is one Coltrane doesn’t play on. Adderley does a ravishing job on ‘Stars Fell On Alabama’ – that took my breath away the first (& every time) I heard it. Warm, evocative and soaring this is why I love jazz. Some performances are a blessing & with this one Adderley blesses us all.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Sceg-vTV_4 

soon02

April 21, Monday – featuring – Lizzie Violet’s Poetry Open Mic at The Amsterdam Bicycle Club – 7:30 – doors and open mic sign up, 8:00 – start – 54 The Esplanade, Toronto https://www.facebook.com/events/1379693865637955/

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April 27, Sunday – attending – Julie Czerndea Workshop http://chiseries.ticketleap.com/chiseriesworkshop-julie-czerneda/ 

judy Julie Czerndea

June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words

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June 23-27 – attending – Manuscript to Book – Loyalist Summer Arts – Belleville, Ont https://www.facebook.com/events/589522924455695/

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August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada http://www.fanexpocanada.com

samples

another of the Viral prompts – ‘swimming’ – cannonball is jumping off a diving board in a tight ball to splash everyone – which doesn’t happen in this –

Blue Towel Blues

I don’t swim

don’t ask me

that’s a song reference

I don’t dance

don’t ask me

I do dance though

not as much as I once did

it gets boring dancing alone

but even with the buddy system

I never got into swimming

I did try to learn

as a kid I was enrolled

at the YMCA

one of those standard issue

‘things done to make young men

into healthy sporty go-getters’

to train them for manhood

I learned

I hated the dusty smell of wood floors

the rough sweaty feel of the hemp rope

that I couldn’t climb

the cold of wet shower floors

gave me chills in summer

and I was terrified

of someone seeing

my skinny pale nakedness

I didn’t have any ideas of queerness then

though I knew

what otherness meant

because I was not a fitter in

the YMCA was a way

my folks hoped I would learn

to play well like others boys

what I did learn

was that boys who wore their towels

around their waists

coming or going to the shower

were called maid marian

we had to shower before and after

the swim lessons

we weren’t allowed to arrive

then depart with bathing suits on

or under our clothes

showers were mandatory

I can’t remember a face

or a hairy leg

only the feeling of that cold wet tile underfoot

the struggle to clasp that blue towel

around my shivering waist

being called maid marian

when trying to keep it

from being pulled off me

I wasn’t the only one teased this way

which didn’t help me learn to swim

funny though

I did end up going to Y Camp

two summers in a row

having a crush on one of the counsellors

tipping my canoe to get his attention

but never learning to swim

I don’t swim

don’t ask me

but you don’t need permission

to pull off my towel

avon not suitable for swimming

 

#Killdozer vs #ArcadeFire

spoon battery
spoon battery

Recently someone asked me what I was listening to on my iPod. I hesitated to answer because whatever it was they would jump to conclusions about me based on the music I was listening to – if I said The Beatles – I was living the past; if I said Lady Gaga – I was a real fag; if I said Coltrane – I was elitist pretentious; if I said – Chopin – I was was beyond comprehension.

pull yourself together
pull yourself together

There are some musicians or composers, who are always on my iPod. I think I have at least 10 days of listening without repeat on tap at any given time. Once a play list gets heard it gets replaced. Each play list, in general, is a mix of pop, jazz, classical.

spoon battery
spoon battery

Nearly always on one play list or the other is: The Beatles, The Stones, Van Morrison, Jacques Brel, Sinatra, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, Chopin, Beethoven, Haydn, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Mozart. Frequently: The Animals, Procol Harum, Lou Reed, McCoy Tyner, Gabor Szabo, Bach, Dvorak. There’s one play list of Latino/French,/World Music music that often includes Otto, Osibisa, Santana, Boyo Boys, Piaf, Pizzicato Five.

When I was asked what I was listening, I replied: “Guess.” Because what they thought I was listening would tell me what they thought of me. They said Arcade Fire (am I a hipster?) when the truth was Killdozer.

sad plant
sad plant

A Love Supreme – #Coltrane is God

If you follow me on Facebook you know I’m a music fan – I post there every morning what I happened to be listening to from my collection at that moment. On Mondays I have been posting here on WordPress reviews of every cd in my record collection.  I love a lot of jazz. Here are some of my favorite sax players – performers & in some cases specific cd’s.

runners.01

First & foremost there is John Coltrane: in 1996 I directed a stage production of Pinter’s The Servant. I wanted house and incidental music that captured the feel of the 60’s – something that would remind me of British TV shows like The Avengers, Danger Man – but with more jazz coolness – I had a double Lp of best of Coltrane – that lead me to the CD of Blue Train – which was perfect for my purposes –

Blue Train lead to my now having nearly the complete discography from his early days with Miles Davis (Kind of Blue & before that), to his demandingly complex free jazz work. Blue Train has to be one of my all time favorites. His catalogue is extensive. His work with Davis is excellent, with Ellington tender. His own group output moves from mellow to wildly investigative – his solos are meditations that travel through the mind –

runners.02

His other ‘great’ work is A Love Supreme – at under 35 minutes I always play it twice through – plus there is a fine live recording too. Other sax players I’m into, thanks to Coltrane, include: old guard: Sonny Rollins, Roland Kirk, Coleman Hawkins; new guard: James Carter, Joshua Redman.

SAM_0848