listening to…January 4- 5, 2013

Jim Hall - It's Nice To Be With YouJim Hall – It’s Nice To Be With You (MPS)

This is nice discovery from 1969, guitarist Jim Hall and his trio with originals and a few standards. There’s a surprising harmonization of Up, Up and Away (in my beautiful balloon) and great guitar overdubs on the entire disc like those classic Jimmy Raney albums. Seems to be out of print, like his other early solo albums

John Sampen – the Contemporary Saxophone (Neuma)

An old favorite I haven’t heard in years, the disk opens with a duet for saxophone and piano with pianist Marilyn Shrude.

Probably the original reason for buying this disk was Images by Milton Babbitt for saxophone and tape. A synthesizer shadows the sax with timeless tones, not sounding too dated for 1979. Contemporary composers working in this area – acoustic instrument with computer and or synth don’t seem to be making much of an improvement on this music. Babbitt’s compositional logic always seemed very musical to me.

The same is true for Divertimento by Nobel winner Charles Wuorinen for saxophone and piano and Morotn Subotnick’s In Two Worlds for alto and interactive computer. It all works so well, leaving me wonder why this album is an out of print classic, I’m glad I picked it up years ago.

Keith Jarrett – Somewhere Before (Atlantic)

An Jarrett trio from 1968, giving an early peak into his MO. Did he ever admit to a Gary Burton influence? Those folksy country gospel tunes could have come from there. Stunning, sensitive playing from bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Paul Motian, I like this trio even more than his later “American” quartet with Dewey Redman.

There some magical out playing on Moving Soon, now that he has lots of money, maybe he could follow *that* muse and sell a lotta albums.

Not gonna happen, but I do think this album is really happening.

Keith Jarrett – Staircase (ECM)

Very nice solo piano album from 1976, I knew there had to be Jarrett albums out there that I totally love, I just had to find them.

Keith Jarrett – Arbour Zena (ECM)

Beautiful writing for strings and the most of the composing is sucessful. Saxophonist Jan Garbarek is hit and miss here.

Thelonious Monk Plays Duke Ellington
Thelonious Monk – 5 by 5
Thelonious Monk Orchestra at Town Hall

Town Hall must be my favorite Monk album with those tasty Hall Overton horn arrangements.

Alvin Curran – Songs and Views of the Magnetic Garden (Catalyst)

I had this on a tape of a New Sounds program that I made in the early 1980s, I didn’t know what it was for years. By the time I first heard the Magnetic Garden, it had been out for ten years (1973).

Tape loops create repetition, the soft, gentle repetition of environmental recordings, percussion and analog synths are meditative.

from Wiki:

Track listing

1. From a Room on the Piazza – Wind, high-tension wires, swallows, percussion, “molimo” (Mbuti trumpet)
2. Crystal Aires – Voice, ring modulator, glass chimes, water glugger, bees
3. Walked the Way Home – jaw harp, synthesizer, flugelhorn, dogs
4. Gli Scariolanti – Italian folksong sung by Margherita Berietti
5. On My Satin Harp – VCS3 synthesizer, kalimba, sounds of the sea
6. At Harmony Ranch – Whirling plastic tubes [or hoses], peepers (frogs), “Guido” the dog

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1 comment
  1. Diana said:

    Love Jim Hall. Discovered by finding him with my music-God, Bill Evans. Great post. Must investigate. 🙂

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