Friday, April 14th, 2006
... 3:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. ...
KZSU, 90.1 FM
ARTIST -- "TRACK TITLE" -- ALBUM TITLE (LABEL, YEAR)
* Dom Minasi -- "Blood Lust" -- The Vampire's Revenge (CDM, 2006)
Ambitious two-CD set where guitarist Minasi revels in his free-jazz
side, almost like a venture into the psyche (which kind of fits the Anne
Rice theme he's got going for these instrumentals -- not sure why I
think that, but I do). Minasi's forte has been a standards-based
jazz guitar that frequently slips into free-jazz antics. Here, he
just goes for an all-out avant sound, with oddball compositions and
lengthy group solos. The band is incredible. For various tracks, he's
assembled all kinds of elite players: Herb Robertson, Borah Bergman,
Perry Robinson, Steve Swell, Mark Whitecage, Joe McPhee, Sabir Mateen, ...
and many many others I'm not listing.
* Transit -- "DerBlatt" -- Transit (Clean Feed, 2005)
The music itself is upbeat and humorous, or on tracks like this one,
intentionally over-the-top melodramatic. This particular track features
heavy chamber/symphony sounds (only a couple strings, but that's the
atmosphere they're going for).
Previously noted here. This track
is less bright than most, creating a haunting and dire atmosphere but
still full of improv energy. Really nice.
* Steve Dalchinsky and Matthew Shipp -- "Partita #3" -- Phenomena of Indifference (Hopscotch, 2005)
Dalchinsky's poetry -- he's been associated with the NYC free-jazz
scene for a long time -- with Shipp on piano. Lots of interesting small
pieces on this disk.
* John McNeil -- "Internal Hurdles" -- East Coast Cool (OmniTone, 2005)
An attempt to combine the west coast "cool" jazz style with east
coast sensibilities. It works -- you can definitely feel that NYC cool
alongside the west-coast-inspired writing. Accessible mainstream stuff
with some nicely creative composing. Burly feel in places, as the
lead voice is a baritone sax.
* Odean Pope Saxophone Choir -- "Epitome" -- Locked and Loaded (Half Note, 2006)
Pope reconvenes his nine-sax band -- plus bass, drums, piano -- for
an NYC show that includes guest soloists like Joe Lovano and Michael
Brecker. The writing is very accessible and makes great use of the
format -- this really is a "choir," with carefully placed voices
weaving some heavenly harmonies. The mainstream soloists do a nice
job digging into the material, with Brecker in particular showing off
his free-jazz chops. James Carter turns in a killer song-length solo on
"Muntu Chant," the closer -- that song is basically a vehicle for his
solo. But the two best solos are turned in by Pope himself, one on
this track, unaccompanied. He taps the free-jazz spirit world and
digs out some great work. Let's hope this CD gets his band
* Andy McWain, Albey Balgochian, Laurence Cook -- "Impervious Light" -- Vigil (Fuller Street, 2006)
You can find more of the Choir on Soul Note, and
Pope himself has recorded a few times for CIMP.
Piano trio in an open, free context. McWain tosses out splashes of
piano with richly jazzy chords and harmonies, backed by bass and drums. Kind
of a dark nighttime feel overall, maybe from McWain's preference for
low/middle registers. Tracks are improvised by the group. I really liked
McWain's piano playing on the last CD he sent us, and these are some
nice samples of what he can do (the bass and drums, by Albey Balgochian
and Laurence Cook, respectively, are good too).
* John William Gordon -- "Belly's Bounce" -- John William Gordon (self-released, 2005)
* Assif Tsahar, Cooper-Moore, Hamid Drake -- "A Falling Leaf" -- Lost Brother (Hopscotch, 2005)
Briggan Krauss -- "Dust the Desolate" [excerpt] -- Descending to End (Knitting Factory, 1999)
Krauss is a NYC jazzster, but for this album, he turned his sax
into a cave of sounds. Lots of electronic manipulation of sax sounds,
or sax played in strange, stark ways ... or just plain electronics.
Long sonic landscapes that don't always work but make for great
obscure transition phases on radio.
* Andrew Hill -- "For Emilio" -- Time Lines (Blue Note, 2006)
Been playing this CD repeatedly all spring. This track, like many
others, carries that rich sound that made Hill's name circa 1968.
You could call it nostalgic, I suppose, but Hill seems to still have some
tricks up his sleeve that keep his music fresh.
Eric Dolphy -- "I'll Remember April" -- The Berlin Concerts (Inner City; recorded c.1964)
* Joe McPhee/John Snyder -- "Shadow Sculptures" -- Pieces of Light (Atavistic, 2005; orig. released 1974)
* Michel Lambert -- "Eternal Errant" -- Le Passant (Rant, 2005)
* Erik Friedlander -- "7th Sister" -- Prowl (Cryptogramophone, 2006)
* Anthony Brown -- "Rhapsody in Blue/American Rhapsodies: Explosion" -- Rhapsodies (Water Baby, 2005)
* = 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.