music clip of the day

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Category: jazz

Wednesday, January 24th

sounds of New York

Jaimie Branch’s Fly or Die (JB, trumpet, compositions; Tomeka Reid, cello; Jason Ajemian, bass; Chad Taylor, drums), live, New York (Rye Bar, Brooklyn), 2016

 

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lagniappe

musical thoughts

Improvised music is like basketball: a great player makes everybody better.

*****

random sights

other day, Oak Park, Ill.

Tuesday, January 23rd

more

No one plays ballads more tenderly—or tartly.

Von Freeman (MCOTD Hall of Fame, 1923-2012), “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” (E. Maschwitz & M. Sherwin) with Jodie Christian (piano), Rufus Reid (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums), live, Harrisburg, Penn., 1994

 

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“I Can’t Get Started” (V. Duke, I. Gershwin), live, Belgium, 1992

 

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“Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” (R. Rodgers, L. Hart) with Mike Allemena (guitar), Matt Ferguson (bass), Michael Raynor (drums), live, Chicago (Mandel Hall, University of Chicago), 2011

 

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lagniappe

random sights

other day, Oak Park, Ill.

Monday, January 22nd

voices I miss

Von Freeman (MCOTD Hall of Fame), tenor saxophonist, 1923-2012

“Oleo” (S. Rollins) with Clifford Jordan (tenor saxophone), Willie Pickens (piano), Dan Shapera (bass), Robert Shy (drums), Chicago (Chicago Jazz Festival), 1988

 

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“Take the ‘A’ Train” (B. Strayhorn) with Joanie Pallatto (vocals), Bettye Reynolds (vocals), Fred Anderson (tenor saxophone), Billy Brimfield (trumpet), John Young (piano), George Freeman (guitar), Larry Gray (bass), Michael Adams (drums), live, Chicago, 1999

 

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lagniappe

my back pages

On a cold, snowy night forty-one years ago, at a church thirty miles north of Chicago, Von Freeman and John Young played at our—Suzanne’s and my—wedding. All of what they played that night—”Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” “It Never Entered My Mind,” “More” (before); “In a Sentimental Mood” (as Suzanne walked down the aisle); “My Favorite Things,” “Song for My Father” (after)—can be heard here (0:15-). Years later, John told me: “When I marry ’em, they stay married.”

Thursday, December 28th

more

Steve Lacy Quartet (SL, soprano saxophone; Bobby Few, piano; Jean Jacques Avenel, bass; John Betsch, drums), “Revenue” (S. Lacy),  live , 1995

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lagniappe

random sights

yesterday, San Francisco (Balmy Alley, Valencia St., City Lights Bookstore)

*****

*****

Thursday, December 21st

tonight in Chicago

They’re playing at Constellation.

Trio WAZ (Edward Wilkerson Jr., tenor saxophone; Tatsu Aoki, bass; Michael Zerang, drums), live, Lakeside, Mich., 2010

 

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lagniappe

art beat: yesterday, Art Institute of Chicago

Yoshida Hiroshi (1876-1950), Kagurazaka Street After a Night Rain, 1929

 

Wednesday, December 20th

passings

Best minute of music you’ll hear all month?

Willie Pickens, April 18, 1931-December 13, 2017, pianist, educator

“Giant Steps” (J. Coltrane), live, Chicago, 2012

 

Monday, December 18th

passings

Sunny Murray, drummer, September 21, 1936-December 7, 2017

Sunny Murray Trio (SM, drums; Tony Bevan, saxophones; John Edwards, bass), live, London, 2010

 

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langiappe

musical thoughts

I wanted to get more from the beat than just the beat.

Sunny Murray

Monday, December 4th

more

Miles Davis (with John Scofield, guitar; Darryl Jones, bass, et al.), live, Montreal, 1985

 

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lagniappe

reading table

“Living here is like a joke without a punch line.”

—Bulgarian bar owner, quoted in New York Times Book Review, 12/3/17, review of Border: Journey to the Edge of Europe

Saturday, November 25th

passings

Warren “Pete” Moore, singer (The Miracles, bass), songwriter, vocal arranger, producer, November 19, 1937-November 19, 2017

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles (WPM, far left)

“Tracks of My Tears”  (S. Robinson, P. Moore, M. Tarplin), 1965

 

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“Ooo Baby Baby” (S. Robinson, P. Moore), 1965

 

*****

Jon Hendricks, singer, songwriter, September 16, 1921-November 22, 2017

Lambert, Hendricks & Ross (JH scats first), “Airegin” (S. Rollins), live, Newport, R.I., 1960

 

*****

Tommy Keene, singer, songwriter, guitarist, June 30, 1958-November 22, 2017

Live, New York, 1986

 

Thursday, November 23rd

trumpet festival
day three

Lester Bowie (1941-1999), trumpeter—and so much more*

Lester Bowie Brass & Steel Band, live, Italy (Umbria), 1996

 

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lagniappe

reading table

Together, We All Go out under the Cypress Trees in the Chou Family Burial Grounds by T’ao Ch’ien (AKA T’ao Yuan-Ming), 365-427 A.D. (translated from Chinese by David Hinton)

Today’s skies are perfect for a clear
flute and singing koto. And touched

this deeply by those laid under these
cypress trees, how could we neglect joy?

Clear songs drift away anew. Emerald wine
starts pious faces smiling. Not knowing

what tomorrow brings, it’s exquisite
exhausting whatever I feel here and now.

*****

Happy Thanksgiving!

This holiday, recovering from pneumonia, I’m more thankful than ever for family, for art, for poetry and, yes, for music.

*****

*Lester is a member of the MCOTD Hall of fame, along with saxophonists Von Freeman and Henry Threadgill; drummer Hamid Drake; gospel singer Dorothy Love Coates; composer Morton Feldman; poets John Berryman, William Bronk, and Wislawa Szymborska; and photographer Helen Levitt.

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