Friday, September 4, 2009

great astronomers of jazz

Thelonious Monk and Max Roach - European Tour (listen) It is a common embarrassment among music dorks to burden the jazz greats with outsize platitudes, an embarrassment in which I will participate now. Mr. Monk and Mr. Roach are like great astronomers of jazz; not only do I get to marvel at their skill and knowledge and how the approach a song like pointing out constellations. Listening to either of them play, I feel like I understand how It All works just a little better.

It was revealed by Amazon commenter Peter Feng of Wilmington, DE that this album does not contain feature the two actually playing together as one might have assumed from the cover. Which is why its good to have science writers keeping you from being too dazzled by all that astronomy and pictures of nebulae and moor you to the facts. Mr. Feng, I find your comment very useful.

Cornelius - Gum (listen) The glitch 'n' roll techno whatsit of Cornelius is a splash of cold water after being lulled by Max Roach. I'd already forgotten it was queued up and now I am bewildered Quantum Leap-style as to how I got here. This is like the actual number-crunching that goes into the condensed statements the astronomers make so that we can feel we understand the Universe.

and this, "Music," is just lovely

The Clientele - Bonfires on the Heath (out Oct. 6, same day as about all my favorite records this year will be) No astonomy here, no number crunching, just the slow rotation of the earth, angle by angle, demarcated by the shimmery throb of vibrato and archtop guitars. The songs "Harvest Time and "I Wonder Who We are" await you, two hookah-bearing caterpillars perched atop mushrooms that poked trough the concrete and AstroTurf over at Pitchfork.

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