Friday, September 8th, 2006
... 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. ...
KZSU, 90.1 FM
This was the week that Dewey Redman passed away. For those not familiar,
Redman (dad to Joshua Redman), age 75, was a "expansive and poetic tenor
saxophonist," as the New York Times put it. Depending on your jazz
background, he's best known either for playing with Ornette Coleman circa 1970
or for being part of Keith Jarrett's greatest (IMHO) period, when Jarrett led a
quartet including Redman for a string of excellent albums on ABC/Impulse, and
the gorgeous, unique "Survivors Suite" on ECM.
Anyway, I was regretting that I wouldn't have the time to devote to a small tribute.
My show was being cut off at 4:30 due to sports, and given that I feel some
responsibility to play the artists who are in rotation, that wouldn't leave enough
time for Dewey.
Turns out sports screwed up the time-zone thing, as they often do, and I ended up
with a full show anyway. Discovering this during the course of the show, I scrambled
to grab Dewey tracks for airplay -- some of his solo albums, which we've got on
vinyl and CD, some Jarrett, and Pat Metheny's 80/81, one of his best albums, showing
off Metheny's Ornette Coleman influences. Also grabbed an Ornette album that
included Dewey -- thank goodness we had some of that on vinyl! The one thing
that didn't occur to me was Old and New Dreams, the Ornette tribute band that
included Dewey, Charlie Haden, and other Ornette players.
It all came out well, I'm glad to say, and it felt good to give Dewey a proper
sendoff. You'll find a couple of good obituaries
ARTIST -- "TRACK TITLE" -- ALBUM TITLE (LABEL, YEAR)
* Achim Kaufman, Michael Moore, Dylan Van der Schyff -- "Kopfspinnennetz" -- Kamosc (Red Toucan, 2006)
* Syntopia Quartet -- "Tempe Terra" -- Mars (Nemu, 2006)
* Mujician -- "There's No Going Back Now" [excerpt] -- There's No Going Back Now (Cuneiform, 2006)
Long-standing British improv group, here presenting a single 40-minute
piece. I played just the opening minutes but will probably make way for the
entire piece at some point, as I did with the recent Alex Von
Schlippenbach release on Slam.
* Eri Yamamoto -- "The Quiet of the Night" -- Cobalt Blue (Thirsty Ear, 2006)
Piano trio stuff that reminds me a bit of Keith Jarrett. With William
Parker on bass; she's likewise appeared on his piano trio disc, Luc's
Lantern. Very accessible stuff. This track is at once dark and pretty,
with a spare feel that blended well with the slowdown that ended the Mujician
excerpt before it. But it's not representative of this album overall, which
includes a Cole Porter tune and a nicely rambling jazz figure based on a
Japanese folk song.
* Supermodel Supermodel -- "Elle Elle" -- Supermodel Supermodel (Emanem, 2006)
A mostly local improv group, with Gail Brand (trombone; from the UK),
Tim Perkis (electronics),
Gino Robair (percussion),
John Shiurba (guitar)
and the late
Matthew Sperry (contrabass).
Every track on the CD has the name of a supermodel repeated twice.
* Growing -- "Fancy Period" [excerpt] -- Color Wheel (Megablade, 2006)
Gino Robair started the band when he got intrigued by Brand's playing with improv
group Lunge. She visited from the UK, and Gino set up a session with this
permutation of folks to see what would happen. The Wire says the
session "confirms Robair's standing as an improv giant." Go Gino!
Shimmering, lovely soundscapes -- kind of boring, frankly, but it made
for a good segue from Supermodel2 into the crankier improv of:
* John Voigt, Mike Khoury, Ben Hall -- [Untitled track 6] -- (Broken Research, 2006)
* The Choir Boys -- "Frenchwoman Luggage Cart" -- With Strings (pfMentum, 2006)
* CBD Trio -- "Don's Song" -- Suspension (Rastascan, 2006)
An improv that features plenty of
Robinson's light, deft drum rolls, a staple of his excellent free-jazz playing
style. He's an underrecognized asset to the local scene. More info on the
* The Industrial Jazz Group -- "Baby Shake That Thing" -- Industrial Jazz a Go-Go (Evander, 2006)
This track shows off composer Andrew Durkin's penchant for mixing styles, as
it goes from a cinematic intro to danceable R&B to a slow parody of "Pomp and Circumstance" to fast free-jazz trio stuff.
* Gnappy -- "You Got Me There" -- Unloaded (Bean Pie, 2006)
* Heernt -- "Brown Bird, Olive Sloth, Green Dragon" -- Locked in a Basement (Sunnyside, 2006)
*! Petracovich -- "Bird's in Flight" -- Live on KZSU, 13 July 2006 (Outer A, 2006)
"Outer A" is KZSU's own label, sort of; it's the recordings of live
performances at our studio. Petracovich is a two-woman duo doing alt-folk
singer-songwriter stuff; this track included only one of them, Jessica Peters,
on vocals and piano.
Kneebody -- "Coat Rack" -- Kneebody (Greenleaf, 2005)
# Dewey Redman -- "Venus and Mars" -- African Venus (Evidence, 1994)
Kicking off the Dewey Redman tribute...
#Dewey Redman -- "Unknown Tongue" -- Musics (Galaxy, 1978)
On glorious vinyl, featuring Dewey playing an African reed whose name
escapes me. Demonstrating some of the breadth of his recorded material; less
conventional tracks like this one would make their way onto the Jarrett albums
# Pat Metheny -- "80/81" -- 80/81 (ECM, 1980)
As Metheny was becoming famous for his new age/fusion style, he was also
trying to show off some of his free-jazz interests, particularly Ornette Coleman's
music. That would culminate in the classic Song X album with Ornette, but
before that, Metheny did 80/81, which featured a couple of Ornette
compositions and some clearly Ornette-influenced tracks like this one. Dewey
Redman and Michael Brecker shared sax duties on the album, duetting on a couple
of pieces. This is the album's only track that features Dewey by himself.
# Dewey Redman -- "Portrait in Black and White" -- In London (Palmetto, 1997)
The album title, by the way, has nothing to do with the release year. It's from
the same source as the Yes album 90125.
A quiet, slow song that I picked because it includes Dewey reciting some
poetry. This track closed out the first Dewey set and made for a really nice
# Ornette Coleman -- "Toy Dance" -- New York Is Now! (Blue Note, 1970?; recorded 1968)
On vinyl. Coleman and Redman each take a solo, and it's pretty easy to
tell which is which. Must have been awesome to see them together.
*# Joshua Redman Elastic Band -- "Lonely Woman" -- Momentum (Nonesuch, 2006)
Yes, by total coincidence, Dewey's son's record was in rotation this week. So, I
had to trot this one out -- it's a great track (as noted in the link) and brings
things full circle, or more like fully-tangled-figure-8-shape, by having Joshua
cover an Ornette tune. Jazz is like that; you get these nexuses (nexi?) of
interrelated parts, like in the Martin Scorcese film After Hours.
# Keith Jarrett -- "Pyramids Moving" -- Bop-Be (ABC/Impulse, 1978)
This Jarrett quartet (with Charlie Haden, bass, and Paul Motian, drums)
did some crisp modern-bop work on a series of terrific albums around this time.
But each album also includes a weird experimental track like this one, which has
some odd nasal reed instruments and strange percussion. Like avant-world jazz.
It's the kind of stuff that's a great fit with my usual show, actually, so I
had to toss in one of those tracks.
# Keith Jarrett -- "(If the) Misfits (Wear It)" -- Fort Yawuh (ABC/Impulse, 1973)
Same quartet, in the more conventional bop-derived style that dominated
their albums. Great stuff, and IMHO more substantial, more nourishing, than
Jarrett's solo piano work.
! Charming Hostess -- "Long Black Veil" -- Punch (ReR Megacorp, 2004)
Appropos nothing, I closed out the show with this heartbreaking traditional
folk song done up by the exciting local group Charming Hostess. This CD
was recorded circa 1999, when Charming Hostess was a six-piece that included
members of what's now Sleepytime Gorilla
Museum; leader Jewlia Eisenberg has since rekindled C.H., concentrating
on the trio of vocals that was always its core -- see
* = Item in KZSU rotation
! = Pop anomaly
? = Item not in KZSU library
# = Dewey Redman tribute
-- Go back to Memory Select playlists.
-- Bay Area free/improv music calendar: http://www.bayimproviser.com.