Sunrise in Different Dimensions by Sun Ra Arkestra.
Tune in to Disco Roto on Radio Valencia tonight at 8pm. Mrs. Flannestad will be featuring Sun Ra and the Arkestra in anticipation of the Arkestra’s upcoming concerts this week at SF Jazz. (Or listen to the podcast later at: Disco Roto Travels the Spaceways.)
One of my favorite Arkestra albums, mostly because even though it is on the late side in his career, Mr. Ra sticks primarily to the piano. Great to hear him tickling the ivories, rather than squelching the buttons on an organ or farfisa.
School Days by Steve Lacy, Roswell Rudd, Henry Grimes, and Denis Charles.
Thelonious Monk legendarily once berated someone accompanying him who was not working up to Monk’s standards by saying, “Play that thing or throw it away!” No one here could be accused of not playing. Grimes is especially numinous, with nimble runs up and down the length of his bass’ neck. Outstanding.
This posthumously released recording of Coltrane’s “classic quartet”, (Coltrane, Jimmy Garrison, Elvin Jones, and McCoy Tyner,) is viewed as a transitional album, between Coltrane’s modal and devotional work of the early 60s and the more ecstatic devotional work of the mid to late 60s. (Also, Impulse redid the track listings for the CD reissue, replacing “Dear God” with “Welcome” and “Vigil” from the same sessions, but originally released on the Kulu Sé Mama album.) The soloing on Transition isn’t really so far from that on “The John Coltrane Quartet Plays”, it’s more that the extended songs, “Transition” and “Suite”, discard most of the traditional Jazz trappings of “head-solo-head” for a more organic approach. An extension of “A Love Supreme”, really.
Mrs Flannestaed disapproves of this particular exercise in nostalgia, but I enjoy it.
My understanding of the Wrangler project is that one of the members (Benge) has a junkyard (or museum) of pre-digital electronic instruments and effects units. Stephen Mallinder (1/3 of the band Cabaret Voltaire) was visiting, and they got the idea to form a band using these instruments as sound sources.
If, like me, you have some nostalgic fondness for Microphonies era Cabaret Voltaire, you may enjoy this. Otherwise, it will probably not do much for you.
Bells For The South Side (Disc 2) by Roscoe Mitchell.
When we lived in Madison, WI, Roscoe Mitchell was a professor in the music department at the University of Wisconsin. He would frequently bring the groups he was involved in through town, and I was lucky to see many permutations of his sound.
We were also lucky to be close enough to Chicago that it was close enough to drive down and see many more concerts related to the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). The concerts documented on this recording were recorded as part of an exhibit, called The Freedom Principle, at the Museum of Contemporary Art celebrating the contributions of artists associated with the AACM to world culture.
Roscoe Mitchell, and the AACM, have been a huge part of my musical mind space for many years, and this release is a sort of summary of his work, from what has passed, to what is to come.
Bells For The South Side (Disc 1) by Roscoe Mitchell.
At some point, during the first track on this album, “Spatial Aspects of Sound”, I found myself asking, “What differentiates a discrete series of sound events from music?” Which reminded me of a workshop I attended with Ben Goldberg, where we talked about using silence, as well as sound, with intent, in your playing.