November 7, 2009

Playlist 11-7-09

* Hesperion XXI (Savall): La Folia 1490-1701 (Alia Vox SACD)
* Hesperion XXI (Savall): Altre Follie 1500-1750 (Alia Vox SACD)
* Biber: The Rosary Sonatas (Manze/Egarr) (Harmonia Mundi 2CD)
* Corelli: 12 Concerti Grossi, Op.6 (English Concert/Pinnock) (Archiv Produktion 2CD)
* J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concertos (AAM/Egarr) (Harmonia Mundi 2SACD)
* J.S. Bach: Sonatas for Viola da Gamba (Pandolfo/Alessandrini) (Harmonia Mundi CD)
* Nono: La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura (Kremer) (Deutsche Grammophon CD)
* Nono (London Sinfonietta, et al.): Queen Elizabeth Hall, London 4-27-08 (FM 2CDR)
* Sun Ra & His Arkestra: Newport Jazz Festival 7-3-69 (AUD CDR)
* Sun Ra & His Arkestra: The Red Garter, New York City July, 1970 (AUD CDR)
* Keith Jarrett: The Köln Concert (ECM – W. Germany 2LP)
* Wayne Shorter Quintet: Jazzhus Montmartre, Copenhagen 7-10-90 (FM 2CDR)
* John Abercrombie/Miroslav Vitous: Sala del Congressi, Muralto 4-27-06 (FM CDR)
* Anthony Braxton Diamond Curtain Wall Trio: hr-Sendsaal, Frankfurt 10-30-09 (FM CDR)
* Tortoise: Ampere, München 8-20-09 (FM CDR)
* The Beatles: Beatles for Sale (mono) (Apple/EMI CD)
* The Beatles: Rubber Soul (mono) (Apple/EMI CD)
* Nick Drake: Fruit Tree (Island 3CD+DVD)
* Pink Floyd: The Wall (Columbia (wlp) 2LP)
* Big Star: Keep An Eye on the Sky (d.1-2) (Rhino 4CD)
* Grateful Dead: Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, Long Island 11-1-79 (SBD 3CDR)
* Emmylou Harris & Spyboy: The Bottom Line, New York City 12-6-98 (FM CDR)
* Genesis: The Empire Pool, Wembley, London 4-15-75 (Pre-FM CDR/DVDR-A)
* Cocteau Twins: Echoes in a Shallow Bay (Capitol CDEP)
* Cocteau Twins: Tiny Dynamine (Capitol CDEP)
* Cocteau Twins: Sunburst and Snowblind (Capitol CDEP)
* My Bloody Valentine: Loveless (Plain LP)
* Aphex Twin: Drukqs (Warp/Sire 2CD)
* Sonic Youth/Jim O’Rourke: Invito al Ĉielo (SYR LP)
* Guided By Voices: Daredevil Stamp Collector (Do the Collapse B-Sides) (FCS LP)
* Guided By Voices: Briefcase (Suitcase Abridged: Drinks and Deliveries) (FCS LP)
* Guided By Voices: Briefcase 2 (Suitcase 2 Abridged: The Return of Milk O’Waif) (FCS LP)
* Guided By Voices: Briefcase 3: Cuddling Bozo’s Octopus (GBV, Inc. LP)
* Flaming Lips: Embryonic (Warner Bros. DVD-A)


I have profoundly mixed feelings about Keith Jarrett’s music — and his sometimes abrasive personality doesn’t make me feel any better about it. Even so, there can be no denying his genius: when he is good, he is very, very good. But after making the move from the electric Miles Davis band to the American/European Quartets Jarrett very self-consciously re-asserted the piano as his primary instrument and vehemently disavowed his (brilliant) work with Miles while generally disparaging electric instruments (and their players) in the press. Frankly, his vehemence always struck me as myopic, mean-spirited and counterproductive. When Jarrett launched a solo-piano career in the nineteen seventies, this was universally seen an intensely provocative move. “Jazz” is, for the most part, a “group” activity, if only because of the usefulness of a rhythm section. Sure, solo “jazz” piano had always been around, epitomized by the “cocktail piano” stereotype, but what Jarrett was proffering was something totally different: long, rhapsodic, “free” improvisations played on the finest concert grand pianos on the world’s most prestigious stages, essentially placing his work on the same pedestal as the classical music recital. At the height of “jazz fusion’s” commercial appeal, this was quite a bold claim for even the most ambitious “jazz” musician! Given this context, The Köln Concert (1975) was surprisingly successful in every respect. From proto-New Age contemplation to raucous, gospel-infused elation, Jarrett conjures up a truly sublime hour of music, demonstrating breathtaking control of his musical resources, from the thoughtful, seemingly through-composed construction to the detailed, multipart voice leading featuring astonishing ten-fingered independence and virtuosic pedal effects. When side three concludes with five-plus minutes of unedited applause, it feels simultaneously vain and indubitably well-deserved. (Side four’s encores are just icing on the cake.) The albums that followed in its wake were sometimes overly self-indulgent and boring, but this performance is nearly perfect. It is no wonder this album has never been out of print and remains Jarrett’s best-selling record. My original West German vinyl pressing is super-smooth, richly detailed and delicious, as only a well-made, all-analog LP can be. But the CD would be nice to have in order to retain the music’s fluid continuity — perhaps I should pick it up. And perhaps I should pull out my copy of the 10-LP Sun Bear Concerts again; maybe it is not as self indulgent and boring as I remember! Jarrett has apparently returned to this kind of solo-piano music after a long stint with his “standards” trio (with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette) and a quirky, less-than-totally convincing stab at the classical repertoire. I’m sure his new discs are worth hearing – at least once. I've placed them on my ever-expanding want list.


Grateful Dead 11-1-79: best “Scarlet>Fire” EVAH!! By the way, this mind-blowing sequence is “officially” available (albeit with the channels inexplicably reversed) on Dick’s Picks Thirteen (GDCD 4033) as a “hidden” bonus track on disc two: just let the CD keep playing after “Saint of Circumstance.” It starts after a minute or so of silence. Pure bliss.


I’ve been saying this for years and yet another academic study proves my point: Illegal Downloaders Spend the Most on Music. According to this report from the UK, such people spend a whopping 75% more on music than people who do not participate in such alleged “illegal” downloading. It seems to me the music industry should embrace their best customers, rather than prosecuting them. HELLO?!?


Sam said...

You don't mention the most annoying thing about Jarrett: the fact that he can't shut up while he's playing! It's one thing to hear Bud Powell mumble, but Jarrett's caterwauling really taints the whole experience for me. I haven't heard Koln in years...maybe he restrains himself there more than he did later. For the most part, he also for whatever reason keeps quiet on most (but not all!) of the Impulse stuff with Dewey Redman, and I have to say that's a key reason why that stuff is infinitely superior to the ECM stuff he was putting out at the same time. (The other reasons are Redman, Haden and Motian!)

Love the photo, by the way---nice to see Miles hovering above it all.

Here's my playlist for last week...

Playlist 2009-11-09

*Xenakis: Architect in Sound 1985 radio disc 4 (CDR)
*Art Ensemble of Chicago: 1984-09-23 Charlottesville, VA (aud CDR)
*Art Ensemble of Chicago with Cecil Taylor: 1984-10-30 Paris (CDR)
*Anthony Braxton: 9 Compositions (Iridium) 2006, Comp. 354
*Anthony Braxton Sextet: 2006-08-12 Portugal (CDR)
*Marilyn Crispell Quartet: 1982-10-23 Koln (CDR)
*New Loft: 2009-09-25 Live at the Camel, Richmond VA (wav)
*New Loft: Little Blinking 2009-10-28 (wav)
*New Loft: 2009-11-05 Live at Bossa, Washington DC (wav)
*Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble: The Moment's Energy
*Peeping Tom: File Under: Bebop
*Sam Rivers: Crystals
*Wayne Shorter: The Soothsayer
*Leo Smith: Divine Love
*Sun Ra: Media Dreams (Art Yard)
*Sun Ra: Night of the Purple Moon (Atavistic)
*Sun Ra: Featuring Pharaoh Sanders and Black Harold (ESP)
*Cecil Taylor Quartet featuring Anthony Braxton: 2007-06-08 London (CDR)
*Animal Collective: Strawberry Jam
*Beach Boys: Unsurpassed Masters vol. 9 (1965) disc 2 (boot)
*Beatles: Rubber Soul (original stereo mix/2009 remaster)
*Elvis Costello: Armed Forces (2002 reissue, disc 1)
*Grateful Dead: 1968-10-12 Avalon, S.F. (CDR)
*Grateful Dead: 1968-10-13 Avalon, S.F. (CDR)
*Grateful Dead: 1968-10-20 UC Berkeley (CDR)
*Grateful Dead: 1969-11-02 Family Dog, S.F. (CDR)
*Mickey Hart & the Hartbeats: 1968-10-10 Matrix, S.F. (CDR)
*OOIOO: Armonico Hewa
*OOIOO: Live Empty Bottle, Chicago 2006? (CDR mp3)
*Charley Patton: Screamin' and Hollerin' the Blues (Revenant box, disc 6)
*Pere Ubu: Datapanik in the Year Zero (disc 5: Terminal Drive)
*Pere Ubu: 390 Degrees of Simulated Stereo, Ubu Live, vol. 1
*Soft Machine: Sweet Music vol. 1-3
*Bettye Swann: Bettye Swann (Astralwerks)

Reading log 2009-11-09

*Sorrentino, Gilbert. Red the Fiend (finished)
*Baker, Nicholson. Size of thoughts (in progress)
*Crumb, R. Genesis (in progress)
*Gibson, William. Neuromancer (in progress/2nd time)

Rodger Coleman said...

Well, yes, the moaning and groaning can be a bit much. As I recall, he keeps it under control for the most part on Koln. He gets carried away at times on the Impulse! records as well! But, I agree, the American Quartet bests the European Quartet to my ears.

Interesting playlist.Glad to see your digging the Xenakis. That's some intense music!What is OOIOO? I'll have to look into that!

You're a braver man than I am with all that '68 Dead!

So do you have the Charley Patton box on Revenant? What an amazing package! I don't have it myself...

Sam said...

I'm lovin' the Xenakis! An awful lot to absorb, but it's consistently beautiful and challenging.

You know OOIOO....Boredoms drummer Yoshimi's all-girl, in which she plays guitar and trumpet. Fantastic band.

The Charley Patton stuff is courtesy of the library here! It is a cool package, crammed with interesting info.