Monday, March 23, 2009
footholds vs. smoothness
John McLaughlin & Chick Corea - Five Peace Band Live (listen) This album is possibly more of an arch, hippy-ass, light jazz wank-of-a-record than the cover might imply, but like with everything John McLaughlin, something of rare genius always radiates out no matter how buried it might be in superfluousness.
Carla Bley - The Lost Chords Find Paolo Fresu (listen) Somewhere about the 14-minute mark of "Hymn to Andromeda" of the above I had to bail out and land into the soft lap of this lovely if unobtrusive record recommended to me on the lala.com sidebar. Too soft to stay for long though.
Charles Evans & the Language Of - It Needs It (listen) This is more like it - erratic, scrappy, convulsive,the exposure of the elements that make it. I can't find a foothold into music when it is too smooth. It might expose my contemporary jazz ignorance to say I have no idea who Charles Evans is, but I like his way with a baritone sax. A number of the songs on this album are massive deconstructions of brass band music, leaving strains of funk intact while offering a woollier narrative, which hits me just right.
Vijay Iyer -Tragicomic (listen) Same here, but different. I love the way Iyer increases the pressure on straight jazz - the introduction of more particles in a given space results in wilder activity among the elements, a more volatile reaction, and in the end, a result of admirable density.