Friday, September 23, 2005

Blogrrow (??!?)

I'm sure there's a German word for the "act of borrowing an idea or hitching onto an idea discussed in another blog". The Germans always have just the right word (although that word tends to run through the alphabet twice before finishing) for such a situation. My German is non-existent, so blogrrow will have to do. I'll leave the pronunciation to you, what with the double "r" there. Just please, don't swallow your tongue. Trill it like the Spanish "rrr".
I'm blogrrowing from East of Ethnia's post for today. Mr. Gordy seems to be having the kind of day I'm having. Much to do but the to do is not about much. He lists 10 songs his alter ego, his PC (or is it a Mac? My apologies) has unloaded on him sporadcially.
I won't list 10, will 7 do?

Garage a Trois’ The Machine from "Bande Originale du Film de Outre Mer" Stanton Moore on drums, Skerik on sax, Charlie Hunter on 8 string guitar. If the soundtrack music is this intriguing, I can't wait to see the movie.



North Mississippi Allstars’ Deep Blue Sea from "Electric Blue Watermelon" Oops! Have to turn this one down. It is an office, isn't it. Moody and low; a different type of song from this blues based cd.





Art Tatum’s “Someone to Watch Over Me” from "20th Century Piano Genius" AS always, Tatum is gorgeous. But here, he's alone and the entire cd (actually 2 cd) collection was recorded by a home-owner where Tatum was playing in the early 1950's. How he squeezes so many notes into one song is utterly amazing. Can one be tired and relaxed listening to his rendition of George & Ira Gershwin's gem?

Kronos Quartet’s Cancao Verdes Anos from "Kronos Caravan" Just one more interesting and jolty performance from the KQ.






Marcin Wailewski’s "Roxana’s Song from "Trio" A simple collaboration with exquisite results. Have to turn it up a bit to get over the office din.







Ali Farka Toure & Toumani Diabete’s Mamadou Boutiquier from "In the Heart of the Moon" Trance. A mystical trance. With instruments sounding like footsteps. Dancing footsteps.







Louis Armstrong & Oscar Peterson’s You Go to My Head from "Louis Armstrong meets Oscar Peterson" IMHO the first minute and a half of this rendition is the most perfect collection of sound. Ever (well apart from hearing your kids' first words). Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Peterson were one in this performance. If you get a chance, listen to this song. The tell me if there's any possible fault with it. It is the perfect performance.

Comments:
It's a shame copyright owners won't let us post audio for these things!
 
10 songs of my alter ego?

Hmmm, this will require thought. I seem to be a little low on that until later tonight.

Yours are quite interesting, but no surprises. Come on...no Delbert McClinton?
 
CP, No surprises?! No Delbert?! Can I foist the blame for that on the random selectivity generator of my PC? No? Didn't think so.
 
What are you doing?!? You could have spread this out over the course of seven days!! Talk about good value for your blogging!

I'm a little surprised to see these songs identified with your alter-ego, I must say.
 
CP & WP, it's like when one of the Jets sez to Officer Krupke in "West Side Story",
"It ain't that I'm bad. I'm jus' misunderstood!"
Sorry for the confusion (on my part). The alter ego I mentioned in this entry was a (lousy) reference to Mr. Gordy's PC in his blog East of Ethnia. I had named his PC his alter ego, which it may be, but I doubt it. He certainly has more depth and breadth than the PC's bits and bytes; he simply loaded it with some of his own choices. Some, but not all. For most of us,well, I'll just say, for me, the PC's simply a convenient place to temporarily place one's memories and, perhaps, ambitions. He had listed the last 10 songs that his PC had randomly picked and played. I was just mimicking the list, using my own PC's random pick player.
No, these songs are definitely not all of my alter ego. They are 7 of about 500 songs that are currently stored on my PC. Are some of them candidates for my alter ego? Absolutely! The Louis Armstrong and Oscar Peterson song, "You Go to My Head" definitely is. There is no song more exquisite. I must have listened to this songs hundreds of time and have never grown tired of it.
The others? I like the songs, but they're definitely not "alter ego" candidates.
CP, not sure if Delbert would make it to the Top Ten, but I haven't got that list done, so he's certainly a prime candidate. I'm pretty sure Hank Williams will be there.
WP, thanks for the idea! It would be a challenge and certainly a revelatory path to list 10 songs that would be my alter ego, my soundtrack of what would be a different me, hopefully a better me. Time to work on that one.
 
Just some semi-relevant remarks. Your randomized alter ego and I just might get along nicely, as long as we agreed to disagree on the electric blues.

Is that the same Stanton Moore who used to lead Ghetto Mysticism, the jazz band that played at The Western Front in Cambridge, MA? Awful name for a band, dank and dismal club, horrid neighborhood (which I had the sense to move out of while still alive) -- but rather good music. Must look into this CD.

The piece by Trio sounds (from the Amazon sample) rather lovely in that echo-y jazz neo-impressionist manner of Manfred Eicher's recordings. (I'm not a detractor of same, by the way.)

The Tatum CD is a wonder -- home-taped at a cocktail party, of all things. Sort of like hiring Rachmaninoff to tinkle the ivories at a beer bash, but what a recording. Another wondrous Tatum recording is the collaboration with the redoubtable Ben Webster, which answers the timeless question: What sort of saxophonist could possibly match wits with Tatum, and come out even? And how would he do it?

If you think "You Go To My Head" a (near-) perfect song (and there's no good reason you shouldn't), listen sometime to Sinatra's ideal reading -- I think it's on Nice 'n Easy (1960.) It's one of those interpretations so sublime you simply sit back after it's over and say, Okay, I can die now, it doesn't get any better. (Oddly, most of the entire album is like that.) I haven't heard Louis's version, but you've whetted my appetite.
 
Mr. B. Mouse, Thanks for the extended commentary. Disagreement on the electric blues is certainly an option. You'd mentioned your aversion to the elctric blues before; what incident or incidents in the deep dark past occurred to cast such an eliminating shadow on this entire musical collection?
Re. Stanton Moore, I don't believe it was the same drummer. Mr. Moore is New Orleans born and bred and has been seemingly permanently ensconced there. The Garage a Trois cd is interesting, but cd I play the most often is All Kooked Out (Available at http://www.fastatmosphere.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=SM_CD_KOOK&Category_Code=CHUNTER-CD ).

Re. Sax and Tatum. Webster didn't come to mind for me; I was thinking more of Sonny Rollins. I don't believe the two recorded, however.

The Frank Sinatra you'd mentioned is on the Piqued List. I'd love to hear your opinion on the Louis @ Oscar rendition.
 
There's no great Freudian trauma with the blues. One of the first albums I ever bought was a B.B.King album. Then a few years later everybody in the white suburban universe was playing blues records, learning blues chords on guitar, and imitating Eric Clapton. I just burned out on them. I don't at all mind jazz variations on the blues, which use the formal predictability to surprise you. Nor am I beyond being wowed by the latest boy wonder who plays 800 NPM (notes per minute.) But, as BB noted famously, the thrill is gone. (Though Louis Armstrong's "West End Blues" still thrills.)

Sax and Tatum: Webster wouldn't come to mind, which is what makes the recording so miraculous. Webster doesn't try to compete but complements perfectly. It's in a series called "Art Tatum: The Group Masterpieces," on Concord Records, I think. Now, Rollins and Tatum, there's an idea. The two greatest improvisers on the planet (arguably), going at it. He's the only person on any instrument who could think at Tatum's speed. But it might well have ended up as one big traffic collision: neither generally liked to play with sidemen who were there to compete. I doubt they ever recorded together. Never saw Tatum live, as he had the audacity to die years before I became interested. But I was privileged to see Rollins any number of times -- he was always amazing, though his bands could be fairly tedious. The only guy who could play unaccompanied sax for half an hour and have you riveted every second.

The 30-second sample on Amazon of the Armstrong/Peterson pairing on "Head" sounds miraculous. I'll have to add it to my wish list. Is this all instrumental or does Louis sing, too? Oddly enough, the set list for this album includes at least two other songs on the Sinatra LP -- as well as a number of other songs Sinatra covered immaculately during the 50s. Sinatra said that Louis was one of the greatest singers of the century -- and learned a lot from his trumpet phrasing, too. They paired up only once that I know of -- in the 50s movie "High Society," which also has Bing Crosby struttin some stuff.

You can check out a 30-second excerpt of "You Go To My Head" here, though I'm not sure it captures the dynamics of the performance, which evolve in a way that demands hearing the entire track. Still, you can get a sense of his approach to phrasing.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00005UMTC/qid=1127749313/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl15/104-4608576-9176749?v=glance&s=music&n=507846


b.
 
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