File in the folder marked "petty grousing": Remember, "Well, excu-u-use me" from Saturday Night Live—and all the other banal catch-phrases that came off the show and became part of everyday chatter? A bevy of new ones seems to have crept into the language recently from who knows where—allowing anyone to be instantly funny without even having to worry about being clever or original. I, for one, am tired of hearing the following..
- I mean, seriously?
- Not so much.
- I don't think so.
- You think?
[Pictured above: Eraser, 1967, by Vija Celmins, acrylic on balsa wood]
Stan Getz in London. Jim Eigo of Jazz Promo Services, sent this one along of Getz blowing on Dum! Dum!, with Eddy Louiss (org), Rene Thomas (g) and Bernard Lubat (d) at Ronnie Scott's in March 1971. Wow!
Dinah Washington radio. "Symphony" Sid Gribetz will feature the recordings of vocalist Dinah Washington for five hours on Sunday (September 22) from 2 to 7 p.m. (EDT) on WKCR-NY. You can tune in on your computer from anywhere in the world by going here.
John Coltrane radio. WKCR will present its annual John Coltrane birthday broadcast on Monday (September 23), playing 'Trane's music around the clock for 24 hours starting at midnight (EDT) on Sunday. You can tune in on your computer from anywhere in the world by going here.
Ronnell Bright in Japan. Last week I posted about an album that Ronnell Bright recorded live in Japan in 1990. JazzWax reader and colleague Makoto Gotoh sent along a note and the original artwork (above and below)...
"While Ronnell was staying in Tokyo, we heard Sarah Vaughan had passed away on April 3,1990. So the promoter Takao Ishizuka asked if he would record a tribute album to the great singer at the Good Day Club. On this album, Ronnell's original song entitled Chaser for Sarah is the same tune as R & R Groove, from The Ronnell Bright Trio (1958)."
Boston jazz. Last week I provided you with a link to a Boston jazz database. This week, I'm providing you with author Richard Vacca's On Troy Street blog. Go here.
CD discoveries of the week. Adam Rudolph's Go: Organic Orchestra remains one of the most exciting and eclectic large ensembles on the scene today. His new album Sonic Mandala (Meta) is stunning—hypnotic without being far
out, dense without being oppressive. There are 34 musicians on the album playing a wide range of instruments. Adam's revolutionary scores allow all types of musicians to play together. How so? There are 10 different grids of notes represented by letters—all arranged in specific musical intervals. Adam delivers hand signals to indicate which grid is to be played, and when he points to individual musicians or orchestra sections, they solo. This music is alive. Sample Part One and Part Seven.
On And, They Call Us Cowboys (GRR8), singer Kellye Gray has a closing-time sound that makes you want to put your boots up and pitch back your stetson. What I love about her voice is that even on silky songs, she's still Texas through and through. This is a country-jazz album, if there is such a genre, meaning there are mostly deep ballads here but they all have a Southern heartache feel. Whether Gray is singing Kris Kristofferson's Help Me Make It Through the Night, Mac Davis' In the Ghetto, Shake Russell's Deep in the West or Roy Orbison's Only the Lonely, her phrasing is sophisticated and her timbre personal. If you love singers and dig an independent streak, you have to give this one a shot. I couldn't take the CD off once I put it on.
If Carla Bley's name is familiar but you don't own any of her albums—perhaps because in the past her recordings have been too difficult to grasp—Trios (ECM) is a perfect entry to the pianist's work. The trio here is Bley, Andy Sheppard on tenor and soprano saxophones and Steve Swallow on bass, and all five compositions are by Bley. A free-jazz artist dating back to the early 1960s, Bley on the album develops each work with a gentle touch, allowing those skittish about free jazz to access and appreciate her art. It's tough to sample any one of these separate from the others, since I hear the album as a concept, but dig Bley's The Girl Who Cried Champagne. Walking a cheetah on the French Riviera.
Oddball album cover of the week.
This may take the cake for most banal mood music album. I guess when the owner slipped this one on and put the cover down on the coffee table, the evening's possibilities were pretty much shot. I also suspect that the album's first song—The Eleventh Hour—was simply wishful thinking. By the way, does an album qualify as a solo piano effort if there's "rhythm accompaniment?"