14-12-07

Horace Silver

Blue Note records will release in february 2008 a live recording by Horace Silver made at the Newport Jazz Festival 1958. No more details that i could obtain but you can have a look at the cover already.

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12-12-07

Mix, remix....

Nostalgia, remixed
Billie Holiday unstuck in time
By JON GARELICK
December 7, 2007 10:40:08 AM
The Boston Phoenix

ABUSE YOUR ILLUSION: Rather than bringing Billie Holiday up to date, the
remixes make her feel farther away.

On the new Billie Holiday: Remixed and Reimagined (Columbia/Legacy), the
diva’s voice flits and twitters among hissing, lumbering trip-hop beats,
overlaid modern trumpet, guitar, and organ riffs, and the swelling
synths and four-square bass-drum thump and hi-hat afterbeat of disco.
Her vocal phrases are cut up, sampled, and sequenced. She’s made to
repeat title phrases like “more than you know” over and over. Or she’ll
fade down to the repeated echo of a single word: “know . . . know . . .
know.” In these vocal snippets, she’s a reanimated corpse, a robot
responding to the manipulations of that man behind the curtain.
Sometimes her vocal is reduced to a fraction of a syllable — a note that
the producer happens to like. She’s sprinkled like fairy dust among the
beats.

It’s not that I think Billie Holiday: Remixed and Reimagined is some
kind of unforgivable desecration. In fact, I find a lot of it rather
pleasant. “Spreadin’ Rhythm Around (Lady Bug vs. Lady Day RR Remix)”
concocts a hubbub of handclaps, newly recorded acoustic piano riffs,
Lady Bug’s raps, and fractions of Tom Mace’s original clarinet and
Richard Clarke’s muted trumpet that brings present and past together in
an after-hours club of the imagination. And “Travelin’ Alone” uses
Lester Young’s loping, descending tenor-sax riff as a mantra, the piece
clacking along on beats like a train down the track — Lady Day alone, on
the train to the next gig, dreaming to herself. The Billie
Holiday–reissue business feeds our nostalgia for a time we never knew.
At its best, Remixed and Reimagined is about nostalgia — Billie’s tinny
voice emerging in the din of modern beats as if out of an old radio.

No, what was disheartening about hearing the Billie remix was that it
methodically dismantled my last cherished jazz fantasy. For me, part of
the whole aura of Billie Holiday has to do with her being in the same
room at the same time with Mace, Clarke, Lester Young, Buck Clayton, Jo
Jones, and Teddy Wilson. Yes, jazz production has changed just like
everything else — and I even like some remixes. Verve did some good ones
a few years ago, and Nina Simone — recording 30 years after Billie — fit
in well on her own Remixed and Reimagined volume last year, her rock-era
productions comporting with the producers’ retro stylings. And the
current Miles Davis remix EP Evolution of the Groove (Columbia/Legacy)
is in keeping with the Master’s late electric experiments.

But sometimes I just get sick of hearing everything turned into
“information” and “signifiers” (“OH! brushes on a snare drum! jazz!”)
and would at least like the illusion of a documented performance, of
musicians responding to one another in real time. The great,
transcendent Billie Holiday — now just another postmodern experience. Fuck.

Whatever “live” recording remains in the music business, most of it is
probably done by jazz and classical musicians. Individual instrumental
or vocal performances might be edited from one version to another, but
those bits are drawn from separate takes that were recorded with the
entire ensemble — overdubs are frowned upon. In jazz — and in classical
music, too — time is flexible. It’s always rubato. We listen to the
Busch String Quartet or the Miles Davis Quintet because of the way they
play together, the way they respond to one another in the moment. When
Clint Eastwood filmed his Charlie Parker bio, Bird, Parker’s widow,
Chan, was said to be furious that Eastwood had re-recorded the rhythm
section to give it more presence. It didn’t matter that the new rhythm
section was re-creating that music as faithfully as possible — the
music, she said, wasn’t about Bird’s solos with an interchangeable
backdrop but about the way he responded to and related with those
particular musicians.

Of course, many “live” jazz recordings are as much an illusion as pop
concert records. Most of Duke Ellington’s famous 1956 live-at-Newport
session was originally released in a form that had been re-recorded in
the studio. And Miles was editing solo sections from one performance to
another as far back as the ’50s. But in Miles’s marathon recordings for
Prestige (in which the band had to lay down six albums’ worth of
material in three days to fulfill his contract obligation and move on to
the greener pastures of Columbia Records), he tried to simulate a live
club date by leaving in studio chatter. Granted, his hoarse exchanges
with the engineer aren’t typical of clubs, but the effect was the same:
they create the sense of an experience unfolding in real time. (You can
hear some of that chatter on Evolution of the Groove.) Charles Mingus
went so far as to re-create his admonishments to an audience in order to
simulate a live show (“No applause, no cash registers ringing,
etcetera”). The result was comically transparent.

And there is exciting jazz that’s even more blatantly synthetic. The
recent Floratone (Nonesuch) is as heavily produced a jazz album as
you’re likely to get, Bill Frisell and drummer/percussionist Matt
Chamberlain trading files with producers Lee Townsend and Tucker
Martine, who subjected the long jams to “extreme editing” before Frisell
overdubbed with new string and horn parts. A few years ago, Kurt
Rosenwinkel, with Heartcore (Verve), and Brad Mehldau, with Largo
(Warner Bros.), also went in for heavily produced records. I’m happy
that these albums were made. But I’d hate for them to supplant old-style
“live” recording.

Part of my resentment about the way recordings are made is that I feel
bullied — by changing the way the music is made, someone is trying to
change the way I listen. Which has made me even more reactionary in my
tastes. I always found a romance in those old ’30s recordings of Billie,
Basie, and Ellington, with their limited fidelity. But I think that’s
tied in to how we experience music in our imagination — these old
recordings take us to another time and place. It’s one of the reasons I
don’t get much enjoyment from DVDs of musical performances. After the
first glimpse of a man who’s been dead for decades, and whom I never saw
in life — Coltrane, Monk — I want to go back to the audio recordings.
Unless I’m seeing a great filmed narrative documentary, a video
performance forces my attention on the screen when I’d rather let my
imagination roam with the music in the air. So, too, I’m drawn these
days to old classical recordings — the Busch Quartet with Rudolf Serkin
(transferred from 78s made in the 30s), Walter Gieseking playing a
broadcast performance of a Brahms intermezzo in 1933, Wilhelm
Furtwängler conducting the Vienna Philharmonic in a live performance of
Brahms’s Second Symphony from January 1945.

One of the things I like best about the Furtwängler Brahms is not just
the performance — by turns elegiac and electric — but the audience’s
coughing, which is quite pronounced during quiet passages. It’s evidence
of the mortal human presence beyond the immortality of the music itself,
connecting our time to theirs (Vienna, the final months of World War II).

You can hear that presence, too, on a new five-CD set, Billie Holiday:
Rare Live Recordings: 1934–1959 (ESP-Disk) — the chatter and screams of
live audiences in small clubs and big concert halls, when Billie was a
hit maker. (Listen to those screams as she sings the opening phrase of
“Fine and Mellow.”) On Remixed and Reimagined, Billie all but vanishes
on the last few, house-heavy tracks. On a noisy “All of Me,” the beats
and the synths fade for a few moments, applause and Billie’s voice fade
in for nearly a verse, then Lester Young, before the beats rush in
again. As the music fades under Eddie Heywood’s endlessly repeated
sampled piano riff, there’s finally nothing but the crackle of surface
noise — a signifier of something that actually happened once, somewhere.

18:15 Gepost door Lexman in Muziek | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

05-12-07

Playback

Playback, no not that Playback but the digital music magazine. You don't know about it? Here it is with a Keith Jarrett interview to start with. Enjoy!!

11:30 Gepost door Lexman in Muziek | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: playback, keith jarrett |  Facebook |

03-12-07

Sonny Rollins

We went to Paris to see and listen at Sonny Rolins, saturday december 1st. I was wondering how old Mr. Rollins has become, last time when i saw him (2004/2005) he was walking still straight. Saturday he didn't give the impression at all that he was still having good legs.

But as soon as he had the tenor sax at his mouth oh boy! He always took the last solo except for the last piece of the set where he started and blew one of his unique solo's where he's known for.

Since apparently no recording by radio or television was made we have to be happy with we can get. Here's an interview from BBC radio 4 which took place around november 25.  

Enjoy!

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29-11-07

Cecil Payne - Zodiac

cecil payne zodiac 

 

 

 

 

I listened yesterday to Cecil Paynes Zodiac, a NY recording from 1968. It's Out Of Print on LP as well on CD. It's quite pity since the musicians are very fine as there's Kenny Dorham and Wynton kelly...

martin luther king jr.
girl, you got a home
slide hampton
follow me
flying fish

cecil payne (bs)
wynton kelly (p)
wilbur ware (b)
albert 'tootie' heath (d)
kenny dorham (tp)

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28-11-07

Cecil Payne R.I.P.

The news that Cecil Payne passed away is going around, you can read more about Mr. Payne here and here. Mr. Payne was one of those figures who was always around. I hoped to see and hear him one day although i knew that chances were very small.

R.I.P. Cecil Payne!

 

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23-11-07

The Bad Plus (2)

They played a concert in Washington in 2006 which is still avaliable on the NPR site in MP3 format. It's about 50 min long and of good audio quality! have a listen here.

13:15 Gepost door Lexman in Muziek | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: the bad plus |  Facebook |