What happens when you have Sonny Bonoho? A good time at a party? Now add Money B., known for his time with Digital Underground and Raw Fusion into the mix? Seal the blend up tightly in a “Zig Zag”. Check out their video.
Is it me, or have music videos become better now that MTV no longer plays music videos? This is one of the more trippier videos I’ve seen in some time, by Health. The song is “We Are Water” from their 2009 albuim Get Color (Lovepump United), and… just watch. Two words: Eric Wareheim.
Get Color is available on vinyl and CD directly from Lovepump United, or on MP3 through Amazon (click box below).
(Thank you to Bomarr Monk for the video tip.)
Herbie Hancock is celebrating his 70th birthday today, and we’re only a quarter of the way into the year. Hancock has not only a new album on the way called The Imagine Project, but will be going on tour in support of it. Tentative Grammy nomination? We’ll see.
Here’s a video teaser for the new album, and you’re also able to download a free MP3 called “The Song Goes On”.
If you want to celebrate and hear more of this man’s extensive/deep catalog, check out what’s on sale at Amazon.com.
Their promo photo on the back cover looks dookie packed, but the music is anything but. The Five Play Jazz Quintet play the kind of jazz that sounds like it would be great during a picnic at the park or wine cellar, but is also perfect for a late night groove at the nightclub.
The quintet (Alan Hall on dms, Laura Klein on p, Dave Tidball on sax and clarifono, Tony Corman on gits, and Paul Smith is the bassting) work incredibly well together and it sounds like they’re having fun, which is a plus. The rhythm section of Hall and Smith sound like these two have many drinks and stories to share. Klein’s piano work does all of the wonders of the greats in jazz, you hear her decorating the song but once it’s her moments, you might forget that you’re listening to Laura Klein and not Dave Brubeck, but there’s also a slight Thelonious Monk touch to her playing too, subtle but to my ears very present.
All of the songs are original pieces from members of the quintet, so the listener is not relying on another variation of a variation of a variation, one hears this with open ears and is smiling from ear to ear. Some of the songs fade, and I wish they didn’t, I wish they would end properly but it does give them a Duke Ellington sensibility where the false fades tells the listener “to be continued”, or at least makes them believe these songs are open ended.
When jazz sounds this good, I’m moved. When the musicians play this great, I want to move people by telling them “go pick this up”.
The music of bassist Roberto Badoglio will be for those who love the sounds of Weather Report, Return To Forever, and The Mahavishnu Orchestra. Re-Evaluation Time (Space Rack) may sound of a time long ago, but it’s very much of the now because the music you love is very much timeless. It still sounds good because it gives you a good feeling, and Badoglio knows all the right spots to hit with his playing. One of my favorite moments of “Scirocco’s Theory” is right within his solo, the bass pans back and forth in the speakers, catching me off guard but somehow fitting at that exact moment. Keyboardist Steve Hunt gets into his Jan Hammer/Joe Zawinul groove and the music as a whole keeps getting higher from that point on.
In tracks like “Inner Urge”, “Dojo”, and “The song of The Wine, The Wind and The Trees”, it feels very much like jazz but there is a unique European dinge, not sure if it’s the folk melodies or the fact that some American musicians have forgotten this style of jazz, to the point of abandoning it. Together, Badoglio, Hunt, drummers Pablo de Biasi and Marty Richards come into the mix as tourists and ambassadors, in other words, they are students and teachers, made very clear in “Perfect Landing”, which almost sounds like Earth, Wind & Fire‘s “Can’t Hide Love”, sans horn section. Badoglio’s bass work is a trip to hear, wringing the neck and fingering his way into patterns and time signatures unknown while creating something that sounds full, developed, and at times orchestral, ready made for a sound much better he himself me realize.
That full sound comes courtesy of keyboardist Hunt, who also produced and mastered the album. It sounds like there are at least eight to ten people in the studio but there’s only three. I could see this being used for surf or ocean movies/documentaries, as it has a sense of peace and harmony that is very comforting to me. There are subtle touches throughout, such as accented percussion in the back of the mix, or the combination of piano and keyboards in unison with the bass riffs, that just take this home, and hopefully many will feel the same way.
The moment I see or hear about a new Lotte Anker album, I get excited. I know, before going into it or hearing it, that it’s going to be something that expands the boundaries of what she had done on previous albums. Throw out any preconceived notions about Anker being a woman, being a European playing jazz, throw all of that away and just listen. What you get is an incredible musician who has a plan with her music, executes it, and lets things fall, collapse, or build to create… anything. The passion is in beginning, knowledge is its conclusion, but the skill is on how to get there. This is what she, along with Craig Taborn, and Gerald Cleaver do with the mindfuck of an album known as Floating Islands (ILK).
I’ll tell you what moved me first. Upon looking at the back cover, I see five songs. I’m set. I look at the lengths: “Floating” is a trusting 9:34 while “Ritual” goes in to explain its title by going in at 16:22. “Floating” begins with a calling by Anker, a way to say “welcome, I am coming in to your mental dome, welcome us, we are about to mess up your senses.” She kind of does that purr or roll with her saxophone, and it’s a slow path towards the point where all three are ready to load, lock, and shoot. Her projects are known for being free, but she unites her love of free/improvisational jazz with form and precision, nothing is done in a ridiculous manner. Then it kicks into “Ritual”, with Taborn’s piano playing being very basic and repetitive, but that takes in the listener to a place they want to take you into, and it feels as if she has entered the John Coltrane tunnel to say “I will add to the vivid pictures that are already here”. At times her notes are played as fierce as Pharoah Sanders, John Gilmore, Marshall Allen, and Lester Bowie. At 16½ minutes, the duration compliments what they’re all trying to do, and it’s getting there that makes the song a trip.
“Even Today I Am Still Arriving” sounds as if Anker, Taborn, and Cleaver, are slowly putting away their instruments in cases, ready to move on to the next town. The music on Floating Islands are not a circus, but those who aren’t familiar with the creativity and spirit of jazz, they may hear it as complete outsider music. What makes this album a joy to hear is that it’s not the outsiders fearing this, but instead they’re in denial of wanting to go in.
Top notch bebop can be done by those who know the power of it, and trumpeter Carol Morgan, along with her trio Rich Derosa (drums), and the mysteriously named Harvie S. (bass) know the power, as they show in the beautifully organized album Opening (Blue Bamboo Music). The influence in the opening track, called “Opening Line”, is Don Cherry, so as you hear them get into a unified vibe, they are comfortable in letting each other know “let’s shine”. Boy do these buggahs shine, not only with covering some gems from the past (Kenny Dorham‘s “Prince Albert”, Bud Powell‘s “Celia”, and Horace Silver‘s “Nica’s Dream”), but both Derosa and S. are allowed to bring in their own material and hopefully get these songs to be performed for this and future generations.
I enjoy the slinkiness of “Nica’s Dream”, as Morgan sets things up to simulate a dream, perhaps a mindstate of comfort, as Derosa and S. help add more color and shapes into the audio picture. It’s a well done album, and if they played locally, I’d see them live.