‘I better to try to work on it’

Sonny Rollins talks about working with Monk and the Bridge period:

I didn’t have the feeling within myself, that I was really able to put out what they expected from me. So, that’s what I did. I will lay off the scene and go back into the woodshed, and get these things together and that’s basically what that thing on the bridge actually was all about.

This is a very nice animation of an excellent interview with Sonny Rollins.

Tuesday Jazz – Chet Baker: The Last Great Concert

Chet Baker is one of my all-time favourites and recently I have been on a little binge-listen of the “The Last Great Concert”  recordings. The recordings with Big Band and Strings, recorded in 1988 only weeks before his death, feature him in great form.

From All About Jazz:

The concert itself was a hugely ambitious project, given Baker’s reputation for unreliability. To back Baker: a big band and a full orchestra on stage at the same time, in addition to a jazz quartet. Baker didn’t show up for rehearsals, and he didn’t arrive at the concert hall until the afternoon of the show. In spite of that, he—and by turns the orchestra and big band and quintet—sounds marvelous. Baker fits his solos into the arrangements seamlessly.

In times, in which, at least it feels like, Jazz is getting more complicated, intellectual, but in my opinion not always more beautiful, it is great to listen to listen to these recordings which are plain, great music.

I have never been able to find them on Spotify (and still am not), but I found both recording available to play on Google Play Music. You can listen to  Vol.1 My Favourite Songs here, and Vol.2 – Straight from the Heart here.

Bob Mintzer instructional videos on You Tube

This morning Jazz Video Guy shared a bunch instructional videos from Bob Mintzer, such as the above on Rhythm, on Building Jazz Improvisations from Classical Music, on Attack, Sustain Decay and usage of Motifs.

I have had the honor to have met and attended a class with Bob Mintzer and he also talked then about the idea of Motifs. This is great stuff and worth checking out. Thanks to the Jazz Video Guy for sharing.

Mingus

This is what I call timely. We were just sitting in the bus going north to perform the music of Charles Mingus when the article Doc: Charles Mingus 1968 on Jazz Wax popped up in my newsreader. The article is about Thomas Reichmann’s documentary on Charles Mingus documentary which is now on You Tube.

During this period, Thomas Reichman filmed a documentary of Mingus expounding on a range of socio-political topics of the day and captured Mingus being evicted and arrested.

I have seen that one before, and it’s worth a watch.

‘This Set is meant for Parker enthusiasts’

Marc Myers reviews ‘Bird Unheard’:

It’s probably fair to say that this set is meant for Parker enthusiasts— those who have spent years listening to the Verve master takes and have the solos by Parker and his sidemen committed to memory. The average listener would likely be left mystified by the material, since listening to Parker attempt songs over and over is akin to repeatedly asking diners to try failed dishes. […]
Students of Parker (myself included) will find much of this material fascinating. […] Even when struggling to develop what he was trying to achieve, Parker sounded tireless and in command.

I got the shipping confirmation for mine already two weeks ago, yet it is not bound to arrive before August. Wondering how it got shipped. In the meanwhile this great review on Jazz Wax will have to do.

‘One of his most important musical dialogues was Blue Train’

Marc Myers in John Coltrane’s Blue Train:

The perfection and excitement of this album is hard to match. The flawless, sculptured lines catch the ear and take you on a journey. From the opening hunting call on Blue Train, to Coltrane’s speed-bag attack on Moment’s Notice, the propulsive blues of Locomotion and lyrical bop lines of Lazy Bird, Coltrane does more than craft solos. He is telling a multi-chapter story here that is largely autobiographical. The songs reflect his heritage, enthusiasm and desire to stand out, and they forecast his goal of making his instrument and jazz more expressive and cerebral.

A short historical view on what is one of my favourite recordings.

Bird Unheard

From Unheard Bird on Downbeat Magazine:

The two-disc set, available July 1, includes 58 previously unreleased studio takes recorded between 1949 and 1952. The set was co-produced by Phil Schaap, the eminent jazz historian who serves as a curator for Jazz At Lincoln Center.

I’m looking forward to this CD set of previously unreleased music from Charlie Parker. Despite my preferences to have everything as digital as possible, I guess I will order the actual CD in this case. The liner notes should be rather interesting.