Friday, March 17th, 2006
... 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. ...
KZSU, 90.1 FM
ARTIST -- "TRACK TITLE" -- ALBUM TITLE (LABEL, YEAR)
* Jeremy Pelt -- "Scorpio" -- Identity (Maxjazz, 2005)
I've mentioned before
how this is my fave track on this
overall nighttime-moody album from Pelt, an up-and-coming
trumpeter. It now comes to my
attention, thanks to our DJ The Baud of Euphony, that the track is a
complete ripoff of Miles Davis' "In a Silent Way." I realized the overall
sound was an electric Miles clone but didn't realize how derivative
the melody was (I'm not that well versed on "In a Silent Way," my loss).
Still a nice track on a pretty good
album, but Jeremy .... we're watching more carefully now.
* Cosmologic -- "Septurnal Spell" -- III (Circumvention, 2005)
Modern jazz with lots of free ideas and twisty Ornette kinds of
compositions, fronted by Jason Robinson on sax and Michael
Dessen on trombone -- plus Scott Walton (bass), Nathan Hubbard (drums),
and guest Al Scholl tossing out slashing, spattery guitar for an
interesting sound bed on some tracks. Cool stuff; there's a lot of
interesting, adventuresome jazz down in L.A. and San Diego these
days, and kudos to Circumvention and Cryptogramophone for
documenting some of it.
Dave Douglas -- "Twelve Degrees Proof" -- Mountain Passages (Greenleaf, 2005)
* Transit -- "Cortelyou Q" -- Transit (Clean Feed, 2005)
Improv jazz, great stuff with Seth Misterka (sax), Jeff Arnal
(drums), Reuben Radding (bass), and Nate Wooley (trumpet). Misterka
does slashy punk-inspired work; he's more restrained on many tracks
here, but still, there's lots of dark energy and some fierce proto-metal
moments among the brighter jazz-minded exercises. Lots of energy and
often a sense of humor too; this CD really stands out for me.
* Claudia Ulla Binder, Christian Weber, Dieter Ulrich -- "1st Variation" -- Box: Ten Variations on an Unknown Theme (Origin, 2005)
... which is not to say that this CD, which I guess you'd say is
more conventially free/improv jazz, is at all bad. This is closer to
European chamber jazz, with piano/bass/drums keeping a jazzy mode
in a set of 10 improvisations. Good stuff, and a nice departure for
the Origin label; it's a lot more abstract than most of their releases.
* New American Wing -- "Upside-Down Turtle" -- New American Wing (self-released, 2005)
Quite slow, a relaxed Euro-cafe feel. maybe not fairly representative
of these guys' creative chamber/jazz leanings, but it's a nice tune.
*! Robert Pollard -- "Kick Me and Cancel" -- From a Compound Eye (Merge, 2006)
Ex of Guided by Voices, Pollard came into town late last month and
kicked butt. His new band, including Tommy Keene on guitar and keys,
was tight. I'd heard they were a big sluggish at the L.A. show the
previous night, but in SF they rocked hard. Go Bob!
* Wayne Peet Quartet -- "Inner Funkdom" -- Wayne Peet Quartet (pfMentum, 2005)
How do you cram something like this into a "jazz" show? You play a
prerecorded PSA before (like sorbet cleansing the palatte, erasing
the mood), and segue into something guitar-heavy after.
Starts out as a funky strut with two guitars and organ (Nels Cline
and G.E. Stinson on guitars) before blending into the psych-jam atmosphere
that permeates this album. Fun stuff.
-- 4:00 p.m. --
* Ray Charles Ives -- "Sloj" -- Clandestine Pedestrian (High Mayhem, 2005)
Surprisingly pleasant and funky -- I say it that way because High
Mayhem is a New Mexico festival that also celebrates the clattery and loud.
At least one DJ here considers this cheesy and derivative; I found it
quite worthwhile, though, with some loops and electronics added to a
background of repeating funky lines. It does have its ear-candy side,
but I think it's deep enough to be worth seeking out.
* Zu and Mats Gustafsson -- "How to Raise an Ox" -- How to Raise an Ox (Atavistic, 2005)
* Edmund Welles: The Bass Clarinet Quartet -- "Cause and Effect" -- Agrippa's 3 Books (Zeroth Law, 2005)
? Christy Doran, Mark Helias, Bobby Previte, Gary Thomas -- "The Same but Different" -- Corporate Art (Winter & Winter, 2004; orig. released 1991)
My sad attempt at a St. Patrick's Day link. Doran happens to be
Irish. (That's it. There's nothing deeper to it.) This is a cool CD with
Doran's sharp, angular, funky guitar all over the place.
Carla Kihlstedt -- "Peel" -- 2 Foot Yard (Tzadik, 2003)
Has even less to do with St. Patrick's; this one just happens to have
a gorgeously green cover. Great CD, just not Irish by any stretch. But it's
been on my mind since, like, yesterday, so there.
* Andrew Hill -- "For Emilio" -- Time Lines (Blue Note, 2006)
Eric Dolphy Quintet -- "Green Dolphin Stsreet" -- Outward Bound (Fantasy, 1961?)
Part of an ill-fated ticket giveaway; I figured I'd announce
I was playing a St. Patrick's-oriented song -- sort of -- and whoever
guessed it would get the tickets. Even played a vocal version,
but no one got it. It's just not that recognizable a tune for the casual
jazz fan. Ah well, it made for a nice music set: Dolphy's
slightly-outside version, Ella singing alongside Joe Pass in a
deliciously sparse reading, and then Dom Minasi going all wacko on
the guitar in an unrecognizable version.
Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass -- "Green Dolphin Street" -- Easy Living (Pablo, 1986)
Dom Minasi Trio -- "On Green Dolphin Street" -- Goin' out Again (CDM, 2002)
-- 5:00 p.m. --
* The Vandermark 5 -- "On Green Dolphin Street" -- The Color of Memory (Atavistic, 2005)
* Michel Lambert -- "Labyrinth of Remorse" -- Le Passant (Rant, 2005)
Contrary to the imagery of the title, this is a fast and
rollicking one, from Lambert's suite for small symphony and jazz
players. I'm really impressed with this CD. More about it another time.
* Odyssey: The Band with James Blood Ulmer -- "Love Nest" -- Back in Time (Pi Recordings, 2005)
* Assif Tsahar -- "Solitude" -- Solitude (Hopscotch, 2005)
From Tsahar's album of one sax + 4 string players, an appropriately
solitary sounding cover of the Duke Ellington tune. There's some madcap
free improv on this disk too, but this gentler piece makes for a
nice ending to the CD.
* Drums and Tuba -- "Magnum Opie" -- Battles Ole (Righteous Babe, 2005)
For those who don't know, this isn't a duo of drum and tuba. It's
an instrumental rock group (I think they're a trio -?). This track
does have that "opus" feel. It's 10 minutes long and gets into a
rocking, funky space but in a prog-jam kind of way. Really cool.
By this point in the show I was feeling tired and out of ideas, and the
discovery of this one re-energized me. Thanks, guys!
* Ettrick -- [untitled track 2] -- Demo EP (self-released, 2005)
Goodhart Allen Powell Trio -- "Waiting for Our Careers to Take Off" -- I Can Climb a Tree, I Can Tie an Knot, I Can Have a Conversation (Road Cone, 2001)
Nice local trio improvs with Josh Allen's "big sound" sax, derived
of bebop but scribbling all over the place here. Matthew Goodhart on
piano, Garth Powell on drums. Really nice set from them; I played this
because Goodhart, Powell and saxophonisht Gianni Gebbia will be
performing at Sonoma State next week, under the trio name Zen Widow.
Dang, wish I could make it there -- sounds like a cool show.
* = Item in KZSU rotation
! = Pop anomaly
? = Item not in KZSU library
-- Go back to Memory Select playlists.
-- Bay Area free/improv music calendar: http://www.bayimproviser.com.