Friday, June 25, 2010

The intricacies of the house

The floating light switch!

John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension, To the One
Gabor Szabo, Bacchanal
Fred Anderson, Staying in the Game

Right after I moved into my first apartment, the first one without a roommate, I found a John McLaughlin album sitting atop at trash can filled with the belongings of someone who'd just moved (or had just been moved) out of theirs. His is forever "transition music" to me because of it.

Promo thing.

Gabor Szabo does my favorite version of "Love is Blue." It unfolds as a slight guitar exercise over a robotic natter of castanets, the kind of monotonous racket you might mindlessly make when alone. A rather plodding bass soon enters the scene like a bored roommate and then the drums like that other roommate that's never there, that you forget about sometimes. The intricacies of the house begin to emerge, little rivalries meet the beautiful temporary synergy of weak friendships. Maybe somebody will cook something amazing. Maybe Raiders of the Lost Ark will magically be on cable. Maybe the drummer roommate will go, "Hol' up, I got some weed!" and maybe the girls from next door will stop by. Maybe not, but in that moment the beauty of your life and how you live it makes everything possible and even easy. And then it's over.

His version of "The Look of Love" is not too shabby either.

In that apartment, I had a Gabor Szabo record that had a mindbending version of the Doors' "Light My Fire" but it wasn't Bacchanal above, nor was it Jazz Raga, a great adventurous record making the reissue rounds. It was Light My Fire by Bob Thiele and the Happy Times Orchestra featuring Gabor Szabo (thanks Internet!). Someone reissue that record! I would like to say I got it out of the same trash can as the John McLaughlin record, but that would be pushing things a bit.

R.I.P. Fred Anderson. I may have had a record by you in that apartment, like some Anthony Braxton session, but I don't remember. I had a lot of records. But anyway, thanks for staying in the game for 81 years.

Trailer for Fred Anderson's Timeless DVD

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