Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Count Basie's Kansas City Suite was one of the first big band records I bought when I was starting to listen to jazz. It was one-half of a two-record set on Roulette Records (Roulette RE-124) that also featured Easin' It. At the time (the early '70's), Roulette was making a lot of their back catalog available as part of their Echoes of an Era series. Others that I picked up along the way included a set that provided my first exposure to Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.
Putting this on the turntable for the first time in probably 30 years really brought back the rush that I felt when I was discovering jazz. I knew that Count Basie was a big name, but I didn't know where to begin when I bought the album. Even with my limited knowledge at the time, I knew when I got it home and saw the recording date was 1960 that it wasn't from the golden era of the big bands. Regardless, Kansas City Suite is classic, bluesy Basie. The Suite was composed and arranged by Benny Carter, who never actually played with the band. The ten tracks have a vaguely familiar feel now that I've listened to a lot of jazz, but the writing and playing are top-notch. This edition of the Orchestra included Snooky Young, Thad Jones, Marshall Royal, Frank Wess, Frank Foster and of course Freddie Green.
Listening to this as a teenager transported me to New York, to a mysterious world that I was just discovering and imagining. It was a nice way to spend part of an afternoon getting acquainted with it again.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Like a lot of jazz fans, I buy most of my CDs through mail order, but back in the day (the day being when we actually had things called record stores) I also bought from brick-and-mortar outfits to support their efforts. For example, the Tower store here in Dallas had a surprisingly good jazz section. There was just no substitute for browsing, finding something unexpected, and taking it home that day.
This is surely a case of beating a dead horse, but I find it incredibly sad that I can’t go out on my day off and buy a copy of one of the new ECMs (Parker, Sclavis, Vitous) anywhere in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. An area of several million people, and no one carries this stuff anymore!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
The Hits: The Very Best of Evan Parker and the Electro-Acoustic Ensemble
Steve Reynolds Collector’s Edition of Mujician’s Colours Fulfilled with inflatable Paul Dunmall doll
Sine Wave Sonata for test pattern and no-output ironing board (Erstwhile)
Diana Krall and Mats Gustafsson: Love Songs
And on the Fox Network Times (formerly the New York Times) Bestseller’s List:
How I Killed Jass Music by Jon Abbey