My Little Brown Book. Duke Ellington and John Coltrane
The Blessing. John Coltrane and Don Cherry
You Never Know. Jeff Beck
A Hudson Cycle (Rival Consoles RMX). Nico Muhly
Hall/Metheny: I didn't intend to listen to couples music but it seems appropriate for today. Metheny in particular seems to need a good foil to move beyond his usual aesthetic e.g. Jim Hall here as well as withOrnette Coleman on Song X. (Not available on lala; speaking of which, I wonder if lala will re-enable the ability to upload MP3s to the cloud).
Ellington/Coltrane/Cherry: I like how Ellington's piano is subdued and of course tasteful. It's hard to say if Coltrane plays less exuberantly because of this. The Blessing is an Ornette Coleman tune.
Muhly: A Hudson Cycle is a favorite of mine and I like the idea of variations via electronic instrumentation but this one reminds me of most Philip Glass or Steve Reich remixes - novel and unenlightening.
Norman Lebrecht tallies the most performed contemporary compositions. Joan Tower's Made in America is number two with 145 performances. Of course, Ford Motor Company paid to have it played in all 50 states.
Tim Smith reviews the snow-plagued Baltimore Symphony concert that includes Ansel Adams: America composed by father and son Brubecks:
In the end, it was all very pleasant, and all very ably, sensitively performed. But it didn't begin to match the startling images on the screen; Adams conveyed more meaningful color with his black and white pictures than all the instrumental flourishes employed by the Brubecks.
Massive Attack: From the new (and so far disappointing) new album.
Cage: Kyle Gann blogs about his new book on 4'33" and as I read the post, this Cage work started playing from my queue. I like how Gann calls Cage a great writer but not necessarily a consistent thinker.
Davis: Outtake from Bitches Brew.
Dreyblatt: As played by the Orchestra of Excited Strings. And they do sound excited.
Varèse: I run the risk of listening to this so much that it is starting to sound conventional.
Taylor/Coltrane: This is so inferior to any version of Bemsha Swing by Monk but an interesting oddity nonetheless. I don't think you could say Taylor swings on the piano but he clearly his own peculiar aesthetic, evident even in this recording from his earlier days.
Kuryokhin: Russian artist and composer who among other claims to fame, "proved" on Russian TV that Lenin was a mushroom. If nothing else, this music is eclectic.
Radiohead: Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors is as outré as Radiohead gets.
Guaraldi: Listening to some jazz compositions by Vince Guaraldi as played by George Winston led me back to the hit.
4 Cast: Unpredictable. Trimpin and Kronos Quartet.
Pharoah's Dance. Miles Davis
Glass: And Part 2 isn't even my favorite part.
Phair: This song is even better than I remembered. Creative, honest, vulnerable and it rocks albeit in a remedial way. I need to listen to the entire album again to remember why I was so disappointed with her work after this recording.
Trimpin: It's been a long week and I can't remember if I mentioned I saw the Trimpin movie last weekend (er, yes I did). Clip here. Anyway, I want to highlight that the Kronos Quartet play a key role in establishing a narrative in the documentary, leading to a performance of 4 Cast: Unpredictable. I don't think I've seen an audience of non-contemporary-music-obsessives enjoy unorthodox music so much as I did at the Red Vic movie theatre last weekend.
Davis: I have nothing particularly new to say about Bitches Brew but I will repeat how good improvised bass clarinet can sound and also link to this photo of Miles Davis playing tenor saxophone.