When my grandmother was ending her phone conversation phone with my mom after our July 4th get together she thanked her for the nice time at our picnic and said “happy new year.” Here’s some links to things I’ve been reading, watching, listening-to, and drinking to share and celebrate the new year.
Via Do the Math, I recently read through a really interesting interview from 1990 with Vernell Fournier, Ahmad Jamal’s drummer and creator of the “Poinciana-beat” among many other contributions to the trio’s sound. The interview covers a bunch of great topics involving the trio and its formation and concept.
I’m also just beginning to read Bob Spitz’s biography on the Beatles, a book that’s been sitting on my shelf for years. A few years ago I got through a bit of it but found it too dry. Recently reading through the prologue I was excited by the imagery and storytelling and look forward to reading through the entire book this time.
As always I pay close attention to the blogs in my “blog-roll” especially Do the Math and Beerleaguer.
I don’t really watch much television other than tuning in to Phillies games. Nor do I get into YouTube as much as some of my fellow musicians and peers but on occasion, I do find something of interesting. Here are some things I’ve watched/listened to on YouTube of late.
Fight the Big Bull – I have one of their records but decided to see what their live shows look like since I plan on seeing them perform this weekend at the Stone in NYC. They’re an awesome band from Richmond, VA that seems to do things on their own terms and, to my knowledge, haven’t made a wrong step yet. I really like that this band operates from a “satellite” home base but is still able to play shows in NYC and elsewhere and have their records released on a recognized label in improvised music.
Kurt Rosenwinkel – As with most guitarists my age I check out a lot of Kurt Rosenwinkel stuff. Considering he is a jazz guitarist playing original music to a small listening base, he is heavily documented on YouTube. There are tons of great videos but a few recent solo performances really stand out.
Peter Bernstein w/ Michael Kanan – This stuff is really swingin’ and awesome! Beautiful duo playing from one of my favorite guitarists! There’s close-up video of what seems to be an entire set at Smalls in NYC.
Here’s what’s rotated through my listening list lately as well as a few things I’m excited to finally check out…
Bill Evans Trio – 1960 Birdland Sessions – This set, although repetitive, is really interesting. It’s neat to hear “the” Bill Evans Trio before the recording of their two landmark albums. The music is loose but not quite what it is on Waltz for Debbie and Sunday at the Village Vanguard.
Skip Wilkins – I Concentrate on You & After – Skip was one of my teachers in college and before leaving the country for a year, he graciously played a gig with my band AND gave me copies of his two newest records (as well as an unreleased session with his son, saxophonist Dan Wilkins, which is awesome!). Both discs are great, taking me back to the countless times I went to see Skip play while I was in college.
Matana Roberts – Coin Coin Chapter 1 : Gens de Couleur Libres -I own this on vinyl which I highly recommend because it comes with a CD and a poster and looks/sounds awesome! The music is powerful and emotional, something that isn’t always associated with jazz. I need to listen to this more but was really taken by the first time through.
Kurt Rosenwinkel w/ the Airmen of Note – this is from a recent NPR broadcast. My friend, saxophonist/composer/arranger Ian O’Beirne and I agree that if you combined the music from this broadcast with Kurt’s recent record, Our Secret World, with the OJM band, you’d have a much better record.
and a few things I haven’t listened to yet…
Dave King – Indelicate (just got this in the mail but am stoked to finally listen to it)
Ralph Peterson Trio feat. Geri Allen – Triangular (just bought this at Siren Records in Doylestown on the 4th of July…looking forward to checking out more 1980s Geri Allen)
Here are my most recent beer reviews for DrinkPhilly.com