Asian Fields Variations by Louis Sclavis, Dominique Pifarély, and Vincent Courtois.
Theme and variation in folk and classical-ish modes by a clarinet, cello, and violin trio. Louis Sclavis is one of my favorite living jazz and improv woodwind players. His tone and thought process on clarinet and bass clarinet are impeccable. And bass clarinet & cello are the peanut butter and chocolate of instrumental combinations. Wonderful.
I feel like the ghosts of Bill Evans and Vince Guaraldi, (and maybe even a little Dave Brubeck,) are hovering over this release from Mr Taborn. Everything seems so pleasant and relaxed, as if a benign, warm, Southern California sun is beaming down kindly.
Please turn your hymnals to number 132 and join with the Saxophones in, “All Glory be to God on High”.
First Line: All Glory be to God on High
Name: ALLEIN GOTT IN DER HÖH.
Meter: 8 7, 8 7, 8 8 7.
Tempo: Joyfully, with breadth
Music: Nikolaus Decius, 1541
Text: Ascribed to Nikolaus Decius, 1541
Tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1829-78 a.
The DKV trio, (Hamid Drake, Kent Kessler, Ken Vandermark) vs. The Thing, (Ingebrig Håker Flaten, Mats Gustafsson, Paal Nilssen-Love). It’s hard to pick what part of this album I like the best. The intricate, and often funky, polyrhythms generated between Drake and Nilssen-Love? The awesome low end and Arco work of Håker Flaten and Kessler? The virile, competitive, skronk-fest between Vandermark and Gustafsson? I hate to use a hackneyed phrase like, “It’s All Good,” but, it is ALL great. If this album doesn’t wake you up, you’re probably dead. (Also, it’s awesome that the Google dictionary has added “skronk-fest” to its auto-complete.)
The Nearer The Bone, The Sweeter The Meat by Brötzmann/Miller/Moholo.
There is no shortage of great album titles among the Brötzmann records for FMP. Brain of a Dog in Section, Nipples, Machine Gun, Half a Dog Can’t Piss, etc. The Nearer The Bone, The Sweeter The Meat is particularly great, and a particularly great album. Recorded in 1979, a meeting between Brötzmann and two expat South African players, Louis Moholo and Harry Miller, proved especially fruitful. The sensitivity of Moholo and Miller allows Brötzmann to occasionally take his foot off the gas and play melodically, building drama and tension.
This is another VERY well known and familiar hymn and I quite enjoyed playing it. However, it is slightly annoying that it has 4 sharps for concert, which means it has 6 sharps when transposed for bflat instruments, which is A LOT of sharps. As I’ve mentioned before, it messes b sharp and e sharp sort of mess with my head, since they are C and F, respectively.
This is the first of the hymns in celebration of “Trinity Sunday”.
Since this is the last hymn for Pentecost, I thought it might be a good idea to explain it a bit.
Pentecost Sunday (June 4) marks the day most Christians believe the Holy Spirit descended on the followers of Jesus after his death, resurrection and ascension. The story comes from the New Testament Book of Acts: “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Jesus’ followers were amazed — they could speak languages they never knew before and they could understand others they had never heard. The Apostle Peter stood up and preached his first sermon — so many Christians think of this holiday as the “birthday” of the church.
I’ve always thought Pentecost was a little “psychedelic”, what with the speaking in tongues and flames over people’s heads.
So, I had an idea to try to make this arrangement a little psychedelic. I don’t think I quite got to psychedelic, it’s a bit more ritualistic or new wave-ish. Sort of a more relaxed version of something Killing Joke would do. Anyway.
I wrote a drum part in the arranging program I use, MuseScore, exported it to a midi file, then imported the midi track into Garageband. Then I did the same with an electric bass part. The nifty thing about midi instruments is a) you don’t have to buy them b) you don’t have to play them c) you don’t have to respect the physical limitations of the instrument or the player. So, yeah, that bass guitar part is about an octave below what a “normal” electric bass guitar can play.
The text for this hymn was written by Samuel Longfellow, who was a Unitarian pastor and hymn writer, and they are quite nice and not particularly specifically religious.
Holy Spirit, truth divine,
Dawn upon this soul of mine;
Word of God, and inward light,
Wake my spirit, clear my sight.
Holy Spirit, love divine,
Glow within this heart of mine;
Kindle every high desire,
Perish self in thy pure fire.
Holy Spirit, power divine,
Fill and nerve this will of mine;
By thee may I strongly live,
Bravely bear, and nobly strive.
Holy Spirit, peace divine,
Still this restless heart of mine;
Speak to calm this tossing sea,
Stayed in thy tranquility.
Holy Spirit, right divine,
King within my conscious reign;
Be my law, and I shall be,
Firmly bound, for ever free. Amen.
He is considered part of the second-generation of transcendentalists; after becoming a Unitarian pastor, he adapted the transcendental philosophy he had encountered in divinity school into his hymns and sermons.
Brazilian samba run through a psychedelic dub blender. Very cool. Ends up reminding me a bit of My Bloody Valentine. Sad I missed their show at The Chapel last week. Another release courtesy of the exotic music explorations of the wonderful Michele K-Tel.
Toronto based Aurochs are a keyboard, bass, drums, and “electronics” quartet. The songs on this album are arranged as a continuous track. Minimal, atmospheric Jazz which occasionally breaks into a groove. I like how they take the time to develop moods and themes.
A mix of original tunes, a standard, a handful of Mengelberg pieces, and some improvisations, Adelante has a familiar feel, even on it’s most “out” sections. Toldham and Badenhorst are both very tuneful players. Overall, a pleasing album, if occasionally a bit bland.