ILX0RS: JAZZ IS THE TEACHER. YEAH, IT'S A JAZZ THING >> THE ILM JAZZ LISTENING CLUB! [NEW CHOICES EVERY WEDNESDAY!]

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birth of the cool would scare newcomers to jazz away? really? that's sad. and strange.

i already made fun of the cover, but, man, that ben neil track above is funny because it actually SOUNDS like the cover. i would have thought that impossible. apologies to ben, but my first reaction to his track was: i really wouldn't want anyone to hear me listening to this. so, don't really want to hear the rest.

scott seward, Friday, 23 April 2010 16:10 (thirteen years ago) link

i wish i had that ellington/coltrane album here right now. i could go for that.

scott seward, Friday, 23 April 2010 16:11 (thirteen years ago) link

That Monk album of Ellington covers is great, but I'm a sucker for ironic piano standards.

bamcquern, Friday, 23 April 2010 16:15 (thirteen years ago) link

Ben Neill: its certainly of its time with the drum'n'bass thing half way through.

De que estas hablando? (Tannenbaum Schmidt), Friday, 23 April 2010 16:17 (thirteen years ago) link

its not my thing

pfunkboy (Herman G. Neuname), Friday, 23 April 2010 16:51 (thirteen years ago) link

what does Neill's version of "After the Gold Rush" sound like?!

tylerw, Friday, 23 April 2010 16:53 (thirteen years ago) link

just to clarify - BIRTH OF THE COOL is great! lee konitz is great! gil evans is great! gerry mulligan is great! it's just that, in my experience, the title and cover image are slightly misleading - i think ppl think it will sound much more like KIND OF BLUE...or LIFT TO THE SCAFFOLD...or even CHET by chet baker... y'know, smokey moody midnight jazzy - and so they struggle to get to grips w/ a style/sound that is now 60 years old. i prob sold at least a copy a day of BIRTH OF THE COOL, back when i was working in that big jazz rec, and i'd say 50% of the time, ppl brought it straight back. their loss, sure, but it happened enough times to tell me that it's not a gd 'first jazz alb' kinda pick

oh man, we gotta have 3 choices - and i really hope scott schools us one week...

Ward Fowler, Friday, 23 April 2010 16:59 (thirteen years ago) link

big jazz rec shop

Ward Fowler, Friday, 23 April 2010 16:59 (thirteen years ago) link

That Monk album of Ellington covers is great

^ co-sign

Brad C., Friday, 23 April 2010 17:32 (thirteen years ago) link

Big jazz record shop - so jealous. Only ever have been to Mole Jazz. Decent prices (for London).

bamcquern, Friday, 23 April 2010 17:52 (thirteen years ago) link

think mole left their premises in kings x and moved into a classical rec shop in soho (the name of which escapes me for the moment), but are prob out of business now - as you say, it was a gd place to crate dig. rays jazz are still hanging on in foyles.

Ward Fowler, Friday, 23 April 2010 18:06 (thirteen years ago) link

i've got the ellington/monk disc on this great cheapo set

http://www.avidgroup.co.uk/acatalog/info_AMSC964.html

but haven't spun it yet - this thread is encouraging me to do so, so it's paying of already hurrah

Ward Fowler, Friday, 23 April 2010 18:09 (thirteen years ago) link

I think I've finally decided my picks for next week, man it was so hard trying to pick only 3!

pfunkboy (Herman G. Neuname), Friday, 23 April 2010 23:04 (thirteen years ago) link

that ben neill track upthread does not sound like jazz to me. more like some dj job of kruder & dorfmeister with a dash of fusion in it or something. it is not bad but definitely not a classic jazz album. i never got into birth of the cool neither. have to give it another try. i don't know that ellington/coltrane cooperation at all.

alex in mainhattan, Saturday, 24 April 2010 06:50 (thirteen years ago) link

[Hey cool, I just meant I'd participate in that I'd listen and post on the records, but I'm excited to curate a week as well. I thought about asking but didn't want to barge in.

This was me too, but as I said if my choices aren't too mainstream I'm totally up for curating a week!

I see what this is (Local Garda), Saturday, 24 April 2010 08:08 (thirteen years ago) link

Wouldn't worry as to whether its too mainstream or not. Jazz has gone to all sorts of places so it will be good to hear what people are going to come up with.

think mole left their premises in kings x and moved into a classical rec shop in soho (the name of which escapes me for the moment), but are prob out of business now - as you say, it was a gd place to crate dig. rays jazz are still hanging on in foyles.

Harold Moores - and yes Mole moved out of there a long while back. Scored a second hand copy of Cecil Taylor's Jazz Composers Orchestra LP on my last visit. Really sad.

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 24 April 2010 09:39 (thirteen years ago) link

this coltrane/duke is v. pretty

tart w/ a heart (a hoy hoy), Saturday, 24 April 2010 14:03 (thirteen years ago) link

as with all of Coltrane's Impulse stuff, the recording quality is gorgeous ... perfect sound.

tylerw, Saturday, 24 April 2010 15:11 (thirteen years ago) link

Spotify really is brilliant for jazz

pfunkboy (Herman G. Neuname), Saturday, 24 April 2010 20:31 (thirteen years ago) link

that ben neill track upthread does not sound like jazz to me. more like some dj job of kruder & dorfmeister with a dash of fusion in it or something. it is not bad but definitely not a classic jazz album. i never got into birth of the cool neither. have to give it another try. i don't know that ellington/coltrane cooperation at all.

― alex in mainhattan, Saturday, 24 April 2010 06:50 (10 hours ago) Bookmark

Do Cab Calloway singing "Minnie The Moocher" and Mile Davis' On The Corner LP really both count as Jazz? On The Corner is essentially a weird funk album played by an amazing Jazz man. Minnie The Moocher was some song from a cartoon with a catchy call and response chorus.

Ben Neill will never be considered a classic jazz album, because it simply isn't (strong enough). Its more a mutation or (I don't want to use this word but I've seen it labelled as) future-jazz.

I wanted to see how it would resound with jazzxors

Wouldn't worry as to whether its too mainstream or not. Jazz has gone to all sorts of places so it will be good to hear what people are going to come up with.

― xyzzzz__, Saturday, 24 April 2010 09:39 (7 hours ago) Bookmark

Ben Neill's roots are notably Miles Davis and Jon Hassell, but he’s staked out his own terrain in the sonic landscape, mixing fractured jungle loops under his free-form improvisations. So how Jazz is it?

Perhaps we can - in later weeks - talk about what counts as "Jazz" since the mid 1980s (post jazz-funk, fusion, disco and following the emergence of hip-hop and house music as the dominant non-rock genres for the next 15 years).

And is the genre still evolving or do permutations that utilise only a fraction of more recognised Jazz signifers get side-lined as fusion or something else? What are the essential, amazing, classic Jazz recordings since 1985 for example? Again hopefully we can cover some of this in later weeks.

-----

I chose Ellington/Coltrane chosen for this week because, whilst it wouldn't again doesn't feature in most Top 50 jazz albums you must have lists, it has a great mood throughout and is an intro to 2 giants. And I love this recording of In A Sentimental Mood so very much.

Plus I like how Coltrane's solos are concise, but you can sense he wants to do more. Hopefully in coming weeks we'll get some avant/free Impulse label Coltrane - shit that's ear splitting / mind melting and complex. (Recordings that noise fans will find much favour with).

BIRTH OF THE COOL is this week's CLASSIC JAZZ recording.

De que estas hablando? (Tannenbaum Schmidt), Saturday, 24 April 2010 21:31 (thirteen years ago) link

And someone asked about needing to have 3 albums per week. Yeah go for it.

De que estas hablando? (Tannenbaum Schmidt), Saturday, 24 April 2010 21:33 (thirteen years ago) link

if you ask me, on the corner is STILL "future jazz". i don't know what that ben neill track is. a bad idea?

"Perhaps we can - in later weeks - talk about what counts as "Jazz" since the mid 1980s"

jazz does. count as jazz since the mid 80's. there's still lots of it around.

scott seward, Saturday, 24 April 2010 21:59 (thirteen years ago) link

I'd like to do a week sometime. I like this listening club idea.

WARS OF ARMAGEDDON (Karaoke Version) (Sparkle Motion), Saturday, 24 April 2010 22:07 (thirteen years ago) link

Sparkle Motion, your choices due as per:

pfunk: 30 April
a hoy hoy: 7 May
local garda: 14 May
ward fowler: 21 May
Cave17Matt: 28 May
Nom Nom Nom Chomsky (WmC): 4 June
tylerw: 11 June
Sparkle Motion: 18 June
tannenbaum: 25 June

Scott, I'd like to get schooled in what Jazz is worth listening to since mid-80s. I know there's lots of it still around 'cos I see it live and its great: Ken Vandermark, Sun Ra Arkestra, Matthew Shipp, Steve Reid, even Portico Quartet and Seb Roachford/Polar Bear/Fulbourn Teversham (the last 3 I still need to check out) but any pointers to albums would be greatly appreciated.

De que estas hablando? (Tannenbaum Schmidt), Saturday, 24 April 2010 22:40 (thirteen years ago) link

yeah, i'm kinda trad though. you'd probably be bored. i was raised trad. my dad was so excited to get the new tom harrell album that just came out. he might not have bought it the DAY it came out, but pretty close.

now playing: chico freeman - tradition in transition (elektra - 1982)

my kinda 80's album, i guess. i love chico. and he's got wallace roney, cecil mcbee, jack dejohnette, and billy hart playing with him. but, again, i was raised on this stuff. it's really only been in the last decade that i have started getting down with the experimental/out/free guys. well, jazz guys. in other genres, i have been getting down with them forever.

scott seward, Saturday, 24 April 2010 22:47 (thirteen years ago) link

Cool. I'm looking forward to it. I hate to say it, but I'm also looking forward to the end of this Ben Neill album. I'll have some actual commentary a bit later, but for now, add me to the camp that calls this Not Jazz.

WARS OF ARMAGEDDON (Karaoke Version) (Sparkle Motion), Saturday, 24 April 2010 22:48 (thirteen years ago) link

now i'm listening to this though. man does it sound good. it's a jazz "classic". 1968. one serious power trio. if anyone has never heard it, they should, um, hear it! i don't actually listen to too much chick corea, but he was all fired up when he made this.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_S8onHUlmhfg/SS2aPs4N3mI/AAAAAAAAAcU/8FbILFlg2Tw/s320/ChickCorea-NowHeSingsNowHeSobs.jpg

scott seward, Saturday, 24 April 2010 23:00 (thirteen years ago) link

haha! Sparkle, you don't have to force yourself to the end, if you don't like it!

De que estas hablando? (Tannenbaum Schmidt), Saturday, 24 April 2010 23:02 (thirteen years ago) link

Scott will check out that Chick Corea album. I love Return To Forever. Haven't heard it in ages, so looking forward to listening again in the next hour!

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61KIiT3fKgL._SS500_.jpg

De que estas hablando? (Tannenbaum Schmidt), Saturday, 24 April 2010 23:07 (thirteen years ago) link

Most CD versions of Now He Sings... have a bunch of material that documents the pre-Circle Corea/Holland/Altschul combo. All is worth at least a listen. As far as listening all the way through is concerned--I can't bear to see the assignment half completed.

WARS OF ARMAGEDDON (Karaoke Version) (Sparkle Motion), Saturday, 24 April 2010 23:28 (thirteen years ago) link

i've always wanted to live in that apartment pictured on the front of NOW HE SINGS, NOW HE SOBS! prob my fave chick corea alb after CRYSTAL SILENCE - and right now it's available for £3 in most branches of FOPP, UK jazzbos!

Ward Fowler, Sunday, 25 April 2010 01:31 (thirteen years ago) link

Coltrane/Ellington is lovely, deeply satisfying (especially after listening to Fates Warning and Cradle of Filth, ha). Will keep this in my life for sure.

Sundar, Sunday, 25 April 2010 23:13 (thirteen years ago) link

I'm keen to be educated on the classic side of things (I had never even heard Birth of the Cool before). Coltrane/Ellington has grabbed me more than Miles so far, which surprised me because I love Miles' later stuff.

seandalai, Sunday, 25 April 2010 23:55 (thirteen years ago) link

I'm a little embarrassed that I've never listened to all of Birth of the Cool before, although I've heard this version of "Boplicity" many times. Really impressive and enjoyable, of course. Love Evans' arrangements.

Sundar, Monday, 26 April 2010 14:56 (thirteen years ago) link

Not too thought out impressions typed up while listing to the Duke Ellington & John Coltrane disc slightly distractedly at work (but it's the best I have time for, sorry)...

In a Sentimental Mood
This is the style of Coltrane I think I enjoy listening to the most, masterful and fantastically restrained. The opening sections really set a kind of blue mood. Ellington feels like a bit of an afterthought, which is weird (always thought of this more of a Coltrane album though).

Take the Coltrane
I don't really enjoy the shift of mood between the first track and this. The faster tempo and higher sound kind of loses me. I don't know if it's the tune or the sequencing that turns me off.

Big Nick
Better, but kinda light?

Stevie
Fine.

My Little Brown Book
Back to that really great feeling of In A Sentimental Mood. I guess I love the sad blues tracks so much, I have a harder time getting into the other stuff.

Angelica
Fine.

The Feeling of Jazz
A nice enough way to close out the album.

Overall, listening to this album again for the first time in a long while, I was honestly surprised to find myself a bit bored by it (in my memory I rated it higher - first heard it about twenty years ago). The only tracks I really loved were In A Sentimental Mood and to a slightly lesser extent My Little Brown Book. For the most part, I don't feel like the pairing of Coltrane and Ellington yields anything especially interesting or valuable, though I do feel like it's a pretty solid album overall. Solid could be part of the problem, as it doesn't reach the heights of the best Coltrane and for the most part, Ellington just seems to be there, could be anybody - not a lot of feeling that I was noticing, really.

Jeff LeVine, Monday, 26 April 2010 18:02 (thirteen years ago) link

Re: BOTC

In general my first reaction to the angularity of bebop themes is "lol that was a LOT of marijuana." Mellowing the themes out with buttery nonet arrangements was a smart move. I feel that among the arrangers, Evans and Mulligan definitely took more advantage of the expanded palette than John Lewis -- on "Budo," Lewis kind of threw a blanket over the french horns and tuba, or told them to go to the bar for an hour or something.

One thing I noticed was that after a couple of Miles' skittering, skirling solos, he didn't have any business calling Ornette Coleman out for weirdness ten years later, unless that was all about the writing and the concept of harmolodics, not the weirdness of the soloing.

A couple of lines in my notes: "Lewis' solo on 'Boplicity' - weird, tentative."
"Gil Evans REALLY knew what to do with a tuba player. esp on 'Moon Dreams.'"

Nom Nom Nom Chomsky (WmC), Monday, 26 April 2010 18:42 (thirteen years ago) link

BOTC really is the start of Miles Davis' stardom.

There's an excellent and detailed track-by-track run down here: http://www.jazz.com/dozens/the-dozens-the-birth-of-the-cool

De que estas hablando? (Tannenbaum Schmidt), Monday, 26 April 2010 18:48 (thirteen years ago) link

Re: Duke/Coltrane

Coltrane seems to have taken this session more seriously than Duke, but that's not unexpected. Duke brought his songbook and good vibes, but not (imho) a lot of energy or thought. Exception - 'In a Sentimental Mood,' very nice work from Ellington on that. Coltrane and the drummers really brought their A game, in terms of imagination in their playing. Still, a day of jamming among two geniuses and a roomful of great, great players is nothing to underrate.

At a recent gathering of Ellington band alumni organized by Jazz at Lincoln Center, bassist John Lamb recalled the sessions for Duke Ellington & John Coltrane: "There was no music on that whole date. Nobody had a chart. We came in and we were standing there, waiting to see what would happen. 'Trane would go and sit on the piano bench with Duke. They didn't talk, but Duke would be singing ... and 'Trane would go ... Then, after they did that for a few minutes, they got up. 'Trane would go to his microphone, Duke would start playing, and the rhythm section, we had to do for ourselves, you know. That's it. He didn't even tell you the key. He could communicate without words, and 'Trane could hear it." On Take the Coltrane, the two play in a quartet of Coltrane's bandmates of the day, bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones {Ellington men Lamb and drummer Sam Woodyard also played on the album}. ~ Jazziz
(Aaron Bell, not Lamb, is credited on the Wiki page for this album, so I don't know if that undermines that story at all.)

Nom Nom Nom Chomsky (WmC), Monday, 26 April 2010 18:54 (thirteen years ago) link

"Gil Evans REALLY knew what to do with a tuba player. esp on 'Moon Dreams.'"

gil loved the tuba! (its why howard johnson was such a big part of gil's band for so many years)

scott seward, Monday, 26 April 2010 18:59 (thirteen years ago) link

Regarding the Ben Neill, I can't really think of this as jazz. It seems too through-composed. Neill uses a jazz musician's instrument, and sometimes what he does seems to involve an element of improv, but that seems beside the point. It's nice enough, but I'll probably drop it off my hard drive when the next batch of albums is picked.

Nom Nom Nom Chomsky (WmC), Monday, 26 April 2010 19:01 (thirteen years ago) link

i've been digging some of Gil Evans' non-Birth of the Cool early stuff, mainly arranging for Claude Thornhill. There's a version of "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" that's pretty breathtaking.

tylerw, Monday, 26 April 2010 20:55 (thirteen years ago) link

There's no way to hear Ben Neill in Canada, is there? It's not even on iTunes! Shame, since the one track on Youtube makes me think that I would enjoy the album.

Sundar, Monday, 26 April 2010 22:38 (thirteen years ago) link

please book me for a week.

forksclovetofu, Tuesday, 27 April 2010 21:44 (thirteen years ago) link

Sundar, pm me and I can assist.

pfunk, would you be ready with your picks if we make this Jazz thread a Wednesday update? (makes sense, with your Funk now on Tuesday, and the others looking like: Brazilian on Thursday, HipHop on Friday, Prog on Saturday, R'N'B on Monday)

If so, you're on in 15 mins!

De que estas hablando? (Tannenbaum Schmidt), Tuesday, 27 April 2010 22:45 (thirteen years ago) link

forks, you're due as per:

pfunk: 30 April
a hoy hoy: 7 May
local garda: 14 May
ward fowler: 21 May
Cave17Matt: 28 May
Nom Nom Nom Chomsky (WmC): 4 June
tylerw: 11 June
Sparkle Motion: 18 June
forksclovetofu: 25 June
tannenbaum: 2 July

De que estas hablando? (Tannenbaum Schmidt), Tuesday, 27 April 2010 22:46 (thirteen years ago) link

yeah sure, no probs. Got an SST poll to do but I can fit this in, just need to find album pics, spotify links etc but I'll get it done within an hour. Ask a mod to change your first post stating its WEDNESDAY then. I think having a club on each day is pretty good.

pfunkboy (Herman G. Neuname), Tuesday, 27 April 2010 22:50 (thirteen years ago) link

in my calendar!

forksclovetofu, Tuesday, 27 April 2010 22:54 (thirteen years ago) link

xpost: cool. + hope someone gets together a Classical and/or Reggae Sunday -> would be perfect to round things out.

De que estas hablando? (Tannenbaum Schmidt), Tuesday, 27 April 2010 22:55 (thirteen years ago) link

oh shit, need to change the dates on the schedule: ITS A WEDNESDAY now folks:

NEW DATES:

forks, you're due as per:

pfunk: 28 April
a hoy hoy: 5 May
local garda: 12 May
ward fowler: 19 May
Cave17Matt: 26 May
Nom Nom Nom Chomsky (WmC): 2 June
tylerw: 9 June
Sparkle Motion: 16 June
forksclovetofu: 23 June
tannenbaum: 30 June

De que estas hablando? (Tannenbaum Schmidt), Tuesday, 27 April 2010 22:58 (thirteen years ago) link

Week 2
Album
#1 Pharoah Sanders - Karma (1969)
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_tFTMaqlQ5VI/SbkFsPfcMtI/AAAAAAAACAU/tBbm75qmAiY/s320/01.jpg
Spotify Link

AMG Review
Pharoah Sanders' third album as a leader is the one that defines him as a musician to the present day. After the death of Coltrane, while there were many seeking to make a spiritual music that encompassed his ideas and yearnings while moving forward, no one came up with the goods until Sanders on this 1969 date. There are only two tracks on Karma, the 32-plus minute "The Creator Has a Master Plan" and the five-and-a-half-minute "Colours." The band is one of Sanders' finest, and features vocalist Leon Thomas, drummer Billy Hart, Julius Watkins, James Spaulding, a pre-funk Lonnie Liston Smith, Richard Davis, Reggie Workman on bass, and Nathaniel Bettis on percussion. "Creator" begins with a quote from "A Love Supreme," with a nod to Coltrane's continuing influence on Sanders. But something else emerges here as well: Sanders' own deep commitment to lyricism and his now inherent knowledge of Eastern breathing and modal techniques. His ability to use the ostinato became not a way of holding a tune in place while people soloed, but a manner of pushing it irrepressibly forward. Keeping his range limited (for the first eight minutes anyway), Sanders explores all the colors around the key figures, gradually building the dynamics as the band comps the two-chord theme behind with varying degrees of timbral invention. When Thomas enters at nine minutes, the track begins to open. His yodel frees up the theme and the rhythm section to invent around him. At 18 minutes it explodes, rushing into a silence that is profound as it is noisy in its approach. Sanders is playing microphonics and blowing to the heavens and Thomas is screaming. They are leaving the material world entirely. When they arrive at the next plane, free of modal and interval constraints, a new kind of lyricism emerges, one not dependent on time but rhythm, and Thomas and Sanders are but two improvisers in a sound universe of world rhythm and dimension. There is nothing to describe the exhilaration that is felt when this tune ends, except that "Colours," with Ron Carter joining Workman on the bass, was the only track that could follow it. You cannot believe it until you hear it.

#2 Bobby Hutcherson - Components (1965)
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41cuekNXy%2BL._SS400_.jpg
Spotify Link

AMG Review

Perhaps the single album that best sums up Bobby Hutcherson's early musical personality, Components is appropriately split into two very distinct halves. The first features four Hutcherson originals in a melodic but still advanced hard bop style, while the latter half has four free-leaning avant-garde pieces by drummer Joe Chambers. Hutcherson allots himself more solo space than on Dialogue, but that's no knock on the excellent supporting cast, which includes Herbie Hancock on piano, James Spaulding on alto sax and flute, Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, and Ron Carter on bass. It's just more Hutcherson's date, and he helps unite the disparate halves with a cool-toned control that's apparent regardless of whether the material is way outside or more conventionally swinging. In the latter case, Hutcherson's originals are fairly diverse, encompassing rhythmically complex hard bop (the title track), pensive balladry ("Tranquillity," which features a lovely solo by Hancock), down-and-dirty swing ("West 22nd Street Theme"), and the gaily innocent "Little B's Poem," which went on to become one of Hutcherson's signature tunes and contains some lyrical flute work from Spaulding. The Chambers pieces tend to be deliberate explorations that emphasize texture and group interaction in the manner of Dialogue, except that there's even more freedom in terms of both structure and tonal center. (The exception is the brief but beautiful closing number, "Pastoral," an accurate title if ever there was one.) Components illustrated that Hutcherson was not only the most adventurous vibes player on the scene, but that he was also capable of playing more straightforward music with intelligence and feeling.

#3 Lonnie Liston Smith & the Cosmic Echoes - Expansions (1974)
http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm181/karl_ktarn/5-20.jpg
Spotify Link

AMG Review
When Lonnie Liston Smith left the Miles Davis band in 1974 for a solo career, he was, like so many of his fellow alumni, embarking on a musical odyssey. For a committed fusioneer, he had no idea at the time that he was about to enter an abyss that it would take him the better part of two decades to return from. Looking back upon his catalog from the period, this is the only record that stands out — not only from his own work, but also from every sense of the word: It is fully a jazz album, and a completely funky soul-jazz disc as well. Of the seven compositions here, six are by Smith, and the lone cover is of the Horace Silver classic, "Peace." The lineup includes bassist Cecil McBee, soprano saxophonist David Hubbard, tenor saxophonist Donald Smith (who doubles on flute), drummer Art Gore, and percussionists Lawrence k*ll*an, Michael Carvin, and Leopoldo. Smith plays both piano and electric keyboards and keeps his compositions on the jazzy side — breezy, open, and full of groove playing that occasionally falls over to the funk side of the fence. It's obvious, on this album at least, that Smith was not completely comfortable with Miles' reliance on hard rock in his own mix. Summery and loose in feel, airy and free with its in-the-cut beats and stellar piano fills, Expansions prefigures a number of the "smooth jazz" greats here, without the studio slickness and turgid lack of imagination. The disc opens with the title track, with one of two vocals on the LP by Donald Smith (the other is the Silver tune). It's typical "peace and love and we've got to work together" stuff from the mid-'70s, but it's rendered soulfully and deeply without artifice. "Desert Nights" takes a loose Detroit jazz piano groove and layers flute and percussion over the top, making it irresistibly sensual and silky. It's fleshed out to the bursting point with Smith's piano; he plays a lush solo for the bridge and fills it to the brim with luxuriant tones from the middle register. "Summer Days" and "Voodoo Woman" are where the electric keyboards make their first appearance, but only as instruments capable of carrying the groove to the melody quickly, unobtrusively, and with a slinky grace that is infectious. The mixed bag/light-handed approach suits Smith so well here that it's a wonder he tried to hammer home the funk and disco on later releases so relentlessly. The music on Expansions is timeless soul-jazz, perfect in every era. Of all the fusion records of this type released in the mid-'70s, Expansions provided smoother jazzers and electronica's sampling wizards with more material that Smith could ever have anticipated.

3 different decades, 3 different styles of jazz. Was so hard trying to choose just 3 but I couldn't leave out Karma. So poor Archie Shepp missed the cut, you all prob know the Mingus I would've picked and at the last moment Hank Mobley was dropped. Hopefully the 3 I havent went for you will like.
I need another shot at this tannenbaum, put me down for next shot after yours!

Hope you all enjoy these 3 albums. Nothing to difficult or "free" about them but definitely not too easy to listen to either.

pfunkboy (Herman G. Neuname), Tuesday, 27 April 2010 23:25 (thirteen years ago) link


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