Posts filed under “Friday Night Jazz”
Amazon is running an excellent selection of $5 albums in DRM free MP3s , (if you like that sort of thing).
I prefer my music mostly in the form of cold shiny discs. However, Amazon selected over 800 albums, about 50 per genre across rock, jazz, country, new age, 2009 discs you misses, etc. at the bargain (legal) price of $5 bucks per.
These 2 dozen caught my eye:
More after the jump . . .
Over the course of seeing concerts the past 3+ decades, I have had the good fortune to attend shows that were recorded and later distributed on CD/DVD a handful of times. Up until recently, the most memorable was Aimee Mann’s Live at St. Ann’s Warehouse. But this summer, I was lucky enough to attend Paul…Read More
I will be incommunicado today, winging my way back from Berlin for acht und halben stunden (8 1/2 hours). I wrote this back in 2005, but never published it widely. Enjoy: > What sort of crap do you have lurking hidden on your iPod? That’s the question I stumbled across from my old essays &…Read More
Some of the recordings will blow you away — I suggest the Count Basie concert, but all 3 are excellent (free registration required).
Thank me after you’ve listened to some of these gems . . . more stuff after the jump
Historic Sounds of Newport, Newly Online
NYT, November 10, 2009
I’ve only come across a handful of compelling discs this year. Mo’ Horizons …And the New Bohemian Freedom is one of them. It is hard to describe this bizarrely compelling mix of acid jazz, bossa nova, soul, and electronica. Yeah, there is also some Brazilian funk in the mix as well. But the songs, while…Read More
Category: Friday Night Jazz
Lately, I have been combining two of my favorite past times into one multimedia experience: Books & Music. This began over the summer — I was done with my book, and I really wanted to read something mindless, having nothing to do with Wall Street or Washington DC. That’s when I started reading Pigs Might Fly:…Read More
Last year, we took an eclectic look at some of the lesser known works of Miles Davis.
Tonight, I want to go in the opposite direction, and simply focus on one disc: Kind of Blue.
Why? Well, it is the 50th anniversary of the recording of Kind of Blue.
If that is not reason enough, then consider the simple fact that it is Davis’ best-selling album. Indeed, it may very well be the best known jazz record of any artist, of all time.
Even though it was released almost 50 years ago, it still sells over 5,000 copies per week today.
In addition to its commercial success, it has come to be described by many Jazz critics as the greatest jazz album of all time.
Writing in AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine noted:
“Kind of Blue isn’t merely an artistic highlight for Miles Davis, it’s an album that towers above its peers, a record generally considered as the definitive jazz album, a universally acknowledged standard of excellence. Why does Kind of Blue posses such a mystique? Perhaps because this music never flaunts its genius. It lures listeners in with the slow, luxurious bassline and gentle piano chords of “So What.” From that moment on, the record never really changes pace — each tune has a similar relaxed feel, as the music flows easily. Yet Kind of Blue is more than easy listening. It’s the pinnacle of modal jazz — tonality and solos build from the overall key, not chord changes, giving the music a subtly shifting quality.”
And Charles Gans of the Associated Press takes a look behind Davis’ masterpiece:
Today, the five tunes on “Kind of Blue” — particularly “So What” and “All Blues” — have become deeply embedded in the musical landscape. But at the March 2 and April 22, 1959, recording sessions, nearly all the tunes were new to the band members, who didn’t even have a chance to rehearse them. Davis gave the musicians written sketches of the scales and melodies, offering brief verbal instructions about the feeling he wanted on a particular tune.
Davis was moving away from bebop with its complex harmonies and improvisations structured around chord changes. The trumpeter asked his musicians to play in a modal style — a concept developed by pianist-composer George Russell — in which the musicians improvised on scales, with the soloists having more freedom to explore long melodic lines.”
The one jazz record to own even if you don’t listen to jazz — the band is extraordinary: John Coltrane, Julian “Cannonball” Adderley on saxophones, Wynton Kelly and Bill Evans on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Jimmy Cobb on drums. I recently received a remastered CD of kind the album, thus retiring my scratchy hiss and pop laden vinyl version. (And another intelligent CD pricing: $6.99 at Amazon)
For those of you looking for some , check out NPR: Kind of Blue (54 minutes)
videos after the jump . . .
I have the lead quote in the this page one NYT Business section article on the Markets — which came out prior to this NFP: “Less-worse isn’t the same as better,” said Barry Ritholtz, chief executive of FusionIQ, a research firm. “We want to see ‘good.’ In order to grow profits, in order for earnings…Read More
Last week, we saw Continuing Claims decrease — proof, said the green shooters, of the imminent economic recovery. Only, not so much: Those of you (who can still afford the luxury of) a trusty Bloomberg will note the ‘exhaustion rate’ for jobless benefits – EXHTRATE – reveals that people are not leaving the pool of…Read More
I’ve mentioned Madeleine Peyroux in the past — most recently, in our Best of for 2007, where we noted “Her smoky voice and fresh soulful delivery are perfect for the mix of acoustic blues, country ballads, classic jazz and torch songs she sings.”
I happened to notice she is playing Town Hall on 06/18/09 (123 W. 43rd St. in New York) and that was enough of an excuse for a summer Friday Night Jazz.
For those of you not familiar with Peyroux or her fabulous vocals, she careens from a very Billie Holliday-like sound to Josephine Baker, Edith Piaf, even k.d. lang.
Her latest album, Bare Bones, is a mellow, enjoyable foray into the Peyroux mix of Jazz, Blues and Country. The odd song out that stands out compared tot he rest of the disc is the Steely Dan feeling song, “You Can’t Do Me.” Peyroux sings:
“You know I get so blue
And I go down like a deep sea diver,
out like a Coltrane tenor-man,
Lost like a Chinese war baby ? (gone, gone, gone!)
Blewed like a Mississippi sharecropper,
screwed like a high-school cheerleader,
Tattooed like a popeyed sailorman ? (gone, gone, gone)
I am glad to see she is having a little lyrical fun.
This album stands in stark contrast to her debut disc — 1996′s Dreamland — a stripped down showcase for her musical chops. The spare arrangements set off her voice well; most listeners were stunned to learn Peyroux was just a 22-year old Georgian living in Paris.
Her breakout album was Careless Love — a contemplative, moody, jazz foray filled with delightful moments of jazz perfection. For newbies and on a FNJ session, I would go with this disc. Its the album that can make you ask “Norah who ?
Half the Perfect World was a little softer jazz-pop. Its filled with familiar covers, a few surprises, and most of all, that wonderful voice. It is still worth a throw.
videos after the jump
Singer Peyroux Returns with ‘Careless Love’
NPR, October 3, 2004
Madeleine Peyroux’s Nearly ‘Perfect World’
NPR, January 16, 2007