29 March 2011

"So God bless Freddie Hubbard"

Stop what you're doing and listen to Christian McBride's story about his first gig with Freddie Hubbard on the Moth.

26 March 2011

Exercises in Complainbrag

Phil Freemen interviewed the jazz-famous pianist ELEW this week, and I read it (overcoming an admittedly first instinct to ignore the interview). If you do not like his brand of jazz, the interview will likely not change your mind about it. Regardless, it is an interesting read, mainly for the People don't understand me, probably because I'm too awesome for them vibe ELEW gives off. He's clearly spent a lot of time thinking about the music, and what it all means, but he has a habit of complainbragging. 

Here are some actual quotes from ELEW, devoid of any context:
I, having won the Thelonious Monk Competition only to be ignored by the aforementioned jazz labels like a non-connected jerkoff outside of a chic nightclub trying to get a bouncer to bend the admission rules, was pissed off and growing increasingly disenchanted with touring the world with the likes of Wynton Marsalis and Elvin Jones, ruminating in a musical cone of ’60s-era activism pathology.

I was ridiculed by the New York Times for stating that the screams of Chester Bennington reminded me of late-period John Coltrane‘s wails on the saxophone.

My work is quite conceptually identical to the work of Erroll Garner, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington and Art Tatum.

Also I have more reason to be pissed off, which fuels my determination and creativity in the face of abject hopelessness and socio-economic roadblocks.

People like me make people like [Wynton Marsalis] hostile. As his type should be about people like me.

But branding eclipses righteousness or being correct.
RTHTH. I don't listen to ELEW, his music does not connect with me. Also, I find his incessant need to present himself as something pure in an ocean of artifice grating (and his self-proclaimed lack of artifice is a form of artifice itself). But as far as I can tell, he seems to be sincere about his music, so I can't get real worked up the way some in the anti-ELEW crowd do.

20 March 2011


  1. Bill Frisell: Winter Always Turns to Spring
  2. Emily Remler: Mocha Spice
  3. The Wee Trio: Avril 14th
  4. Tobias Gebb and Unit 7: Softly as in a Morning Contemplation
  5. Eric Dolphy: Bee Vamp (1, 2)
  6. Joao Donato: Tim Dom Dom
  7. Mulatu Astatke/The Heliocentrics: Chinese New Year
  8. Vince Guaraldi: Baseball Theme
  9. Duke Ellington: Lotus Blossom
  10. Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers: United
Spring by dave6834

14 March 2011

List: Favorite Tracks From the Miles Davis Quintet, 1965-1968

All tracks available from the Columbia box set, which is a necessity for all jazz fans (especially considering it can be had for $33 at the Amazon mp3 store).
  • E.S.P., from E.S.P. Has any other band made a better opening statement? Perhaps, but I doubt it. At the end of the tune, Miles needs to drain his spit valve. To this day, whenever I hear the end of this track, my suppressed trumpet-player mind tells me to drain my spit valve, though I haven't picked up my horn in years.
More after the jump...

13 March 2011

Joe Morello

Joe Morello, Dave Brubeck's longtime drummer, died this week. Patrick Jarenwattananon eulogized Morello at A Blog Supreme yesterday. Brubeck wrote of Take Five, Morello's greatest contribution to the jazz canon, in the liner notes of the Time Out reissue:
Paul Desmond once said of "Take Five," "It was never supposed to be a hit. It was supposed to be a Joe Morello drum solo.

Some people may be able to analyze in a scientific way what will "catch on" with the public, but I never could. I think it must be a serendipitous combination of a "catchy" melody, an insistent rhythm, and the general musical climate of the times. Creating a "hit" out of the odd-meter experiments of Time Out was the farthest from any of our minds in 1959 when Paul Desmond, Joe Morello, Eugene Wright and I went into the studio to record.

10 March 2011

Reason 4,163 Why the Yankees Are Evil

They allowed Kenny G to take batting practice at their Spring Training facilities. See the video here.

On second thought, watching Mr. Gorelick's feeble attempts at swinging a bit did induce some laughter, so I'll forgive team Steinbrenner for this one...

via Hardball Talk