MMMostly Jazzy

Working though the M’s in my jazz collection with a part of stand-alones by Medeski, Martin & Wood: keyboards, drums, bass. It’s A Jungle (1993) (Coltrane, Monk), Shack-man (1996). Fun organ based smooth jazz – the organs sound is breathy as opposed to Jimmy Smith’s. The group aims for a funky jazz vibe & are fun but two cds was enough for me.

Next is Pat Metheny. I have as either stand-alone or mp3: Water Colors (ECM 1977), American Garage (ECM 1979) Rejoicing (w Charlie Haden) (ECM 1984), One Quiet Night (2003), The Way Up (2005). He has played as sideman with endless others. His guitar playing is often subtle, somewhat in the Wes Montgomery style but not as relaxed. These are all excellent & any lp he plays on is worth having. One Quiet Night is a relaxing, romantic acoustic set. 

Rounding out the mp3 collection is Egberto Gismonti, (Brazil) – Magico 1979 (w Charlie Haden). Another amazing guitar player – inventive, smooth & worth tracking down. Some George Benson:  The Other Side of Abbey Road (1970), White Rabbit (1972). I suspect Abbey Road is one of the most covered Beatles lp – I have at least two other complete track-by-track set of jazz covers of it. Benson is a guitar player with a great pop singing voice. White Rabbit is a set of pop covers, or rather interpretations, fun but not as interesting as Gabor Szabo. 

Art Pepper: New York Album (1979) Pepper plays a vibrant sax  & this is an excellent set, s bit romantic but solid jazz – none of the pop cover stuff. Charlie Hunter Trio: Bing Bing Bing! (1995) funky jazz with a great guitar sound – here the trio is more like a sextet with horns added to the sound. Finally some Mahavishnu Orchestra: Inner Worlds (1975); Noonward Race (1972 Live at Mar y Sol Festival) – this live track is a race that left me breathless & glad that I had hunted down this live set.

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Emergency Birds

On a couple of mp3 cd collections, as well as some stand-alones I have a fair bit of John McLaughlin.

Before John McLaughlin arrived on the US jazz scene he had released Extrapolations (1969) & was featured with Tony Williams’ Lifetime on the riotous Emergency (1969) two aggressive but straight ahead recordings that attracted the attention of Miles Davis who featured him on the monumental Bitches Brew (1970), Live Evil (1971) & several other Davis lps.

Davis inspired McLaughlin to create the Mahvishnu Orchestra that defined jazz-rock with an amazing series of lps: Inner Mounting Flame (1971), Birds of Fire (1973), The Lost Trident Sessions (1973 -1999), Between Nothingness & Eternity (1973 live), Apocalypse (1974) London Symphony, Visions of the Emerald Beyond (1975), Inner Worlds (1976). In midst of which he recorded Love Devotion Surrender (1973) with Carlos Santana.

I love all of these jazz-rock lps. Most of which have been re-released with bonus tracks. As his Mahavishnu moniker indicates there is a more of eastern mystical influence but it doesn’t turn into proto-new age mush. My favourite is Birds of Fire. All are excellent. The Tony Williams is an energy rush that is also another highly influential lp & Williams drumming is epic.

He unplugged with Shakti (1976), A Handful of Beauty (1976), Natural Elements (1977) – turning his focus on an East Indian world music fusion. He remained unplugged with Passion Grace Fire (1983) in acoustic trio. Que Alegrias (1992) saw him return to his trio roots. After The Rain (1995) is fine tribute to John Coltrane.

Rounding of the cds is some by jazz violinist Jean Luc-Ponty: More Than Meets The Ear (1968)/ Aurora (1976)/Imaginary Voyage (1976), Jean was featured with Chick Corea’s Return To Forever & also worked with Frank Zappa! More Than is traditional while the later two are immersed in jazz-fusion. Sweet but perhaps a little too mystical.

Finally some Larry Coryell: Spaces (1970) that features him with McLaughlin, Spaces Revisited (1997); Monk ‘Trane Miles & Me (1999). Coryell us another of the jazz-fusion explorers & produced lots of great stuff before moving on, or perhaps that’s back, to a more conservative sound. Spaces is great, the Monk set offers good, solid explorations of jazz greats.



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Gary Burton

I’ve had Gary Burton in my jazz collection for decades but didn’t discover he was gay until recently – he’d officially come out in 1994! Not that his music itself says ‘I’m queer’ – the way pop can but to have a major jazz icon out is pretty amazing.

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the empty frame

In my collection I have Country Roads/ Turn of the Century/ Crystal Silence/ Reunion/ Matchbook and probably more as he played as sideman with other icons: Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Ralph Towner (& many, many others.) Jarrett & Corea being two of my favourites – both of whom I also had the hots for.

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after taste of the Danforth

In the late 60’s he was promoted as rock star – the lps have tripy lettering, he appears in leather fringe jackets – the group does covers of Bob Dylan etc. This is when he caught my ear. A fusion pioneer but much closer to traditional jazz than, say, the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

He’s recorded some stunning work with Chick Corea and also Ralph Towner – chamber jazz of great calmness, sweetness and spiritual longing that I’d recommend to anyone. Crystal Silence with Corea is an amazing lp, as is Matchbook with Towner.

transitselfie

transit reflections

Jazz isn’t noted for being overly phobic but the rep of most major players is very hetero. Burton has written about his closeted years, the fears of what being out might do to his career.  So he waited until he was firmly intrenched before being public. Another story of how the closet effected creativity. Another musical figure who might have provided me a role model when I had none.

Not that his reputation needs a boost, but I’d love to hear him work some of modern out pop groups like The Irrepessibles or even an icon like Elton John.

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Unrelated Kitchen Scenes

‘Dad that has been there since we moved in five years ago.’

Jim looked down at his father. His father was down on one knee rubbing a small black streak in the tile of the kitchen floor.

‘Then it’s time to start cleaning up around here.’ His Dad’s face gleamed red with the exertion of bending over. ‘Never could …’

‘It’s no use.’ Jim resisted the urge to haul his Dad to his feet. ‘We’ve tired everything. Next step is to replace the tile.’

Steadying himself on the counter top Jim’s Dad pushed himself up right. ‘You got some varisol?’

‘Tried that Dad. Please. just go in the living room and …’

‘What about that Dim Sum stuff on TV. Cleans anything.’

‘Have you cleaned behind your ears?’ Jim knew the only way to get around this was a joke.

‘What …’ his Dad half reached behind his ear and stopped. A grin broke out. ‘Sorry. I guess I want everything to go well. You know how your mother is about stuff being just right.’

‘Dad I know how you are about it and that is more that enough.’

‘Nice job. So far.’

‘We’ve been doing what we can.’

‘Too bad about …’

‘It takes time. You should know that by now Dad. Besides there’s no rush to make this a perfect house.’

*

‘It’s big.’

‘I suppose it is.’

‘After that space-saver kitchen I’ve been using for the past seven years this is like moving into an stadium’ Pam took a few steps from the fridge to the sink. ‘There’s actual distance between things. Before I could turn around from the fridge and be right at the sink. Now movement. Now steps.’

‘Yes. think of the weight you’ll lose with all that moving around.’

‘Bitch.’

*

Tim pushed the chair over to the counter. He climbed up & could reach the cabinet over the sink.

‘Just what are you up to young man?’

‘Nothing,’ he turned to face his mother and as he did he slipped off the chair to land with hard bump on the floor.

‘How many times do I have to tell you to keep out of trouble.’

‘I wasn’t getting into trouble I was just getting a glass of water.’ He stood up rubbing his bum.

*

6 cups Royal Cremeshire w/ matching saucers. Hand painted in the Sandy Rose pattern number 145. Small crack on one saucer otherwise in good to excellent condition.

9 soup bowls Royal Cremeshire. Hand painted in the Sandy Rose pattern number 145. Chipping around rim of one with signs of use in all. in fair to good condition.

11 dinner plates Royal Cremeshire. Hand painted in the Sandy Rose pattern number 145. Two with major cracks, one repaired badly, one broken in half. Remaining in excellent condition

5 Egg Coddlers Royal Darby. Hand painted in the Broken Wing pattern number 158. Sterling silver screw tops. All need washing, caked with egg & stained with milk and pepper. As is poor condition.

14 Elephant base salad bowls Royal Darby. Hand painted in the Cranky Bride pattern number 973. Found stacked under sink. Some water damage in top bowl. Large oversized nearly 15 Inches across. Red stains on rim of bottom bowl.

3 sugar bowls Royal Dalton w/ matching tongs. Hand painted in the Bitter Lemon pattern number 432. Covered in ants, some with jam instead of sugar and one with no bottom. Bitter Lemon is the rarest of the patters having been produced only in 1856.

*

‘Burger. Fries.’ Slurred the drive-through speaker.

‘Repeat please.’ Britt leaned closer to hear more clearly.

‘Burger. Fries.’

‘Burger. Fries.’ she called back for confirmation.

‘No! Burger. Fries. Jesus …’

Britt turned to call the order to the kitchen behind her. The thick steam of onion washed over her and she felt queasy. It’s just a job she reminded herself.

‘Britt can you give Ranji a hand with the Big’Uns. He’s getting behind.’ the supervisor snapped at her.

‘Yes sir.’ She hated going into the muggy stainless steel kitchen. After fifty years of marriage and four kids she felt she’d had enough of cooking yet here she was still slogging still.

Last year’s queer music blogs:

June 2 Billy Strayhorn http://wp.me/p1RtxU-L0

June 9 ‘Hangin’ On The Telephone’ http://wp.me/p1RtxU-Ll

June 16 Tea Room Tramps http://wp.me/p1RtxU-Mg

June 23 Ned Rorem http://wp.me/p1RtxU-Mx

 

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