Sunday, May 28, 2017

Hittin' on All Six, a History of the Jazz Guitar, Jazz-Culb Guitar witth Various artists

This solemn Memorial Day weekend finds me absorbing a collection of jazz guitar music.  First up is Hittin' on All Six: a History of the Jazz Guitar.  Here's how the All Music website describes it, "Hittin' on All Six follows the evolution of the six-string instrument from early jazz (Eddie Lang, Lonnie Johnson) up through the bebop era (Herb Ellis,and Barney Kessel). In between, of course, there's plenty of treats from French legend Django Reinhardtand such swing giants as Charlie Christian and Eddie Durham. A superb package for half the price of most comparable sets."  Plus, " Including extensive sessionographies, notes, and pictures -- all part of the set's handsome 52-page booklet."  It's fascinatin to follow the roots of jazz guitar through all the players on this.  A lot of them, of course, are new, or little known, to me, since I picked up interest in Jazz guitar with the likes of John McLaughlin, Pat Martino, and Larry Coryell in the 1970's.  I know I'll be re-visiting this set over, and over again.

I immediately thought it would be cool to have another set like Hittin' on All Six for the years picking up from BeBop to the present, until than I'll make do with this collection, Jazz-Club Guitar, which features guitars from 1945. Les Paul with Willie Smith (BeBop era) to 1979, Larry Coryell and Philip Catherine (Jazz Fusion).  This bearly scratches the surface.

I do have other collections of jazz guitar, one of the oldest is this Guitar Player Magazine Album, from the late 1970s.

Actually, music anthology CDs are a great way to sample new music, especially if you new to Jazz.  Anyway you start, you're in for an enjoyable journey.  Enjoy.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday Music Muse Day - Bob Snieder and Joe Locke, Steve Swallow, Emily Remler (revisited)

On this, another overcast day in Rochester, NY, the music of my Sunday Music Muse Day picks help brighten the spirits.  First up is a companion CD to one I featured last August, that being Bob Sneider & Joe Locke Film Noir Project, "Fallen Angel" (2006).  Nocturne for Ave is the second in their "Film Noir Project", again with Bob's brother, John Sneider on Trumpet. I could play both of these CD all day, and night,  and not get tire of them.  I hope they do more in the future. (My special thanks to Jack Garner, veteran film and jazz critic, who commented on my original Facebook post and told me this CD existed.  He also wrote the liner notes.  Very cool)

Next up is a 1991 solo outing by noted jazz bass player and composer, Steve Swallow titled 'Swallow".   His discography is too massive to list here. Steve Swallow is well known for his association as noted in his wikipedia page, "In 1978 Swallow became an essential and constant member of Carla Bley's band. He has been Bley's romantic partner since the 1980s. He toured extensively with John Scofield in the early 1980s".  My first exposure was to Steve Swallow was his playing with John Scofield, on LPs and live.  Both Bley and Scofield play on this CD. This CD's music easily lives up to the 4/5 star rating on the All Music site listing.

My last pick is a follow up to last week's, post about guitarist Emily Remler.  I mention I was totally thrilled with he last posthumous CD, This is Me,  and mentioned liking her early recordings, more.  As it would happen, I found a CD of it, The Emily Remler Quartet Take Two, and as the title and this quote from an All Music site reveiw states, "Emily Remler's second recording as a leader finds the 24-year-old guitarist still very much playing in the Wes Montgomery vein, although showing her own musical personality here and there."  Hearing it again, only confirmed this session was much more to my liking.

As I finish this post, it's now raining as the sun goes down.  But this music brightens my spirit. I hop you find some good music to do the same, always. Enjoy.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day Sunday Music Muse Day - Emily Remler, Leni Stern, Dave Brubeck Quartet, Snarky Puppy

Happy Mother's Day to everyone.  Just by chance today's Sunday Music Muse Day features two females musicians, who to my knowledge are not mothers.  First is the late Emily Remler This is Me, a posthumous release by this female jazz guitarist, who was gaining acceptance and prominence when she died at the age of 32, in 1990, unfortunately from a drug overdose.  This final recording was released two months after her death.  As stated on the Allmusic site, "On her final session, This Is Me the guitarist incorporates pop and rock elements on her own terms -- maintaining her musical integrity and avoiding radio-oriented smooth jazz drivel altogether". By my ears I have to disagree with the last statement.  This sound like smooth jazz to me, plain and simple.  I remember having a earlier album Concord recordings which were more hard bop outings, much more to my taste.  So it goes.

Leni Stern Like One is another CD that I think I like her earlier music I have of hers.  Leni's music on this CD is jazz fusion at its middle of the spectrum, rather hit or miss.  Good playing but nothing that really grabs you.

My next selection should clear the music palate, The Dave Brubeck Quartet Time Further Out - Miro Reflections.  As review Scott Yanow on All Music states. "Unlike most sequels, Time Further Out is a worthy successor to Time Out.  Among the numbers introduced on this impressive set are "It's a Raggy Waltz" and "Unsquare Dance" (the latter an ancestor of Don Ellis' "Pussy Wiggle Stomp"). The selections, which range in time signatures from 5/4 to 9/8, are handled with apparent ease..."  This release CD has two extra cut, including a live version of the It's A Raggy Waltz.  It a great follow up to the classic Time Out.

My selection is Snarky Puppy Culha Vulcha, the latest from this hard to define group, as it states on their website, "After a decade of relentless touring and recording in all but complete obscurity, the Texas-bred/New York-based quasi-collective suddenly found itself held up by the press and public as one of the major figures in the jazz world. But as the category names for all three of the band’s Grammy® awards would indicate (Best R&B Performance in 2014, Best Contemporary Instrumental Album in 2016 and 2017), Snarky Puppy isn’t exactly a jazz band. It’s not a fusion band, and it’s definitely not a jam band. It’s probably best to take Nate Chinen of the New York Times’ advice, as stated in an online discussion about the group, to “take them for what they are, rather than judge them for what they’re not.”  These young guys caught my ear about a year ago with their Sylva release, and I agree their music stands it own merits. 

Again, Happy Mother's Day.  Try to think of music you mother enjoyed, and maybe shared with you. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sunday Music Muse Day John Abercrombie, Wes Montgomery, John Scofield, and Don Byron

This week's Sunday Music Muse day selections are actually left over from the Record Store Day event two weeks ago.  I was able to find several CDs of favorite guitarists as leaders, and as a sideman.  First up, John Abercrombie Quartet Up and Coming, his latest release on ECM.  Abercrombie is of my all time favorite musician.  Any time I see his name on a project, as leader or sideman, I'd be willing to pick it up without hearing note, I trust his music integrity that much. This CD is no exception.  Good stuff.

Next, Wes Montgomery Echoes of Indiana Avenue, another excellent collection of rare early recordings from Resonance Records. Besides the tasty tunes, the info booklet of the Resonance releases always give you an added insight the music.  In this case, a remember from Pat Martino, a guitar legend himself, who relied a moment in 1963, when he finds himself breakfasting with four other guitar giants, Wes Montgomery, Les Paul, Grant Green, and George Benson.  That is an amazing image.

My third selection is another guitar favorite, John Scofield Quartet What We Do, and what they do is Post-Bop to the max, with the aid of saxophonist, Joe Levano.  I love the way Scofield attacks the guitar with swinging edge that comes close to thinking he losing control, but he always keeps it together.

My last selection is another one chosen because Bill Frisell is the guitar player on the CD, Don Byron Tuskegee Experiment.  Overall, I'm still deciding if I'm liking the Don Byron work, although this CD gets a 4/5 star rating on the AllMusic site.  Clarinet is still not of my favorite instruments to listen to. Be I'll keep a open mind, and ears, and give it more listens.

Spring is here, but the it's cold and rainy in my neck of the woods.  But the gloomy days make perfect time settle in with these CDs.  Hope you do the same.