The year's best new jazz albums, and more. At least until I hear more new albums.
This is my official ballot, as submitted to the Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll: 10 Best Releases 1. Radif Suite - Amir ElSaffar and Hafez Modirzadeh: What makes this one so special is the incredible emotional power and depth of expression. The style of the music, in the legacy of the Ornette Coleman Quartet, is … Continue reading 2010 Year’s Best Jazz
John Coltrane's legacy is eighty-four years young today, and the shame is that if he had survived his demons he could easily be going strong this very moment. I can't add much to what already is a mass of knowledge, ideas, experiences and viewpoints, except for perhaps this excellent animation of his solo on "Giant … Continue reading Happy Coltrane Day
Soundcheck had a smackdown over which classic recording from Miles Davis was more influential, Kind of Blue or Bitches Brew? There's really only one possible answer. Kind of Blue is a great, beautiful record, but it's influence has been relatively slight. Miles' introduction of modal playing didn't even shift Coltrane and Cannonball, on the same … Continue reading It Is In The Brewing Luminous
Wow, this band sucks. UPDATE: Their name sucks too.
By 1979, John McLaughlin had either made or been an integral part of some of the greatest recordings of the previous ten years; In A Silent Way, Bitches Brew, Emergency!, Live/Evil, A Tribute to Jack Johnson, My Goals Beyond, The Inner Mounting Flame, Birds of Fire, Apocalypse and his previous years amazing Electric Guitarist. Running through … Continue reading Dig This, Continued
(First in a regularly occasional series) Turner Classic Movies has “The Essentials,” the BBC has their long-running “Desert Island Discs” program, and Alex Ross’ new book is titled “Listen To This; ” lists of things they consider the very best, the most special. I have my own, and this post inaugurates what will be an … Continue reading Dig This
Sorry, Louie, but it must be asked; if it ain’t got that swing, is it still jazz? Yes, indeed it is. And it does mean a thing. Think of jazz, the complete body of history and knowledge, as a set of quanta; styles, musicians, concerts, albums and writings, then find a way to plot those … Continue reading It Ain’t Got That Swing