listening to…June 10 – July 14, 2013

soprano saxophoneSome things I’ve been listening to this Summer, not a complete list:

John Scofield – Quiet (Verve)

New to me, although this was recorded in 1996. Guitarist Scofield was a member of the Miles Davis group in the 1980s, here he plays only nylon string guitar. Arrangements are reminiscent of Gil Evans, featuring flute, french horns, woodwinds. Musicians include Wayne Shorter, Randy Brecker, Steve Swallow, John Clark, Howard Johnson, Bill Stewart. I’m really quite thrilled I finally heard this.

Chris Potter – the Sirens (ECM)

Chris Potter is very prolific, many albums as a leader and a sideman (Dave Holland, Paul Motian, Pat Metheny and others) under his belt. Now he’s finally got an album on ECM and I had to check it out…Craig Taborn on piano, who I’ve been finding on a lot of albums lately too. Favorite tracks are the ones where Potter plays soprano saxophone and bass clarinet instead of tenor.

Eberhard Weber – Résumé (ECM)

A few years ago, German bassist Eberhard Weber had a stroke and I was beginning to think I would never hear anything new from him. He’s taken solos recorded at earlier concerts, then orchestrated with synths and samples. Jan Garbarek, saxophone and Michael DiPasqua, percussion, join him on a few tracks. His best work in years and I heard there’s more like this in the can.

Andrew Hill – Change (Blue Note)

This one was on my want list for a while, I wasn’t really looking for it when I found a sealed copy in a mall for eight bucks. Turbulent at times, rewarding music from 1966 with Sam Rivers. This is now my favorite Andrew Hill album, but there’s much I haven’t heard.

Steve Lacy and John Heward – Recessional for Oliver Johnson (Mode avant)

Late period Steve Lacy, a duet with percussionist John Heward recorded a year before his death. I need to hear more music by this outstanding soprano saxophone player.

Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock – 1+1 (Verve)

Still listening to this chamber Jazz classic. I’ve written about it before.

John Abercrombie – Speak of the Devil (ECM)

A great organ trio with Dan Wall and Adam Nussbaum. People don’t think of John Abercrombie when it comes to organ trios, probably because he doesn’t sound like a more traditional large box, fat string sort of guitarist like Grant Green or Kenny Burrell. But he’s recorded quite a bit with ’em: Jan Hammer, Dan Wall, Jeff Palmer, Gary Versace, Lonnie Smith, Johnny Hammond Smith, Charles Earland and others.

John Abercrombie – Animato (ECM)

A favorite trio album with keyboardist Vince Mendoza (Joni Mitchell, Michael Brecker, Björk) and ECM’s Jon Christensen on percussion. Mendoza has a distinctive sound, seems like I’d notice him anywhere I heard him. Lot’s of synths, this may have been the first time I heard John use a whammy bar since the ’70s.

Gary Burton with Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Roy Haynes, and Dave Holland – Like Minds (Concord)

Kind of a crowded date with three musicians that can play chords, but through crafty mixing and arranging, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny and Gary Burton manage to stay out of each others way. Seems like Gary has recorded extensively with Pat and Chick, but Pat and Chick never recorded with each other. Good stuff, but I’d like to hear this band with out the vibes.

Eberhard Weber – Yellow Fields (ECM)
Paul Motian – Lost in a Dream (ECM)
Thelonious Monk – The Unique Thelonious Monk (Riverside)
Thelonious Monk – Monk (Prestige)

New to me, all great first listens:

Kurt Rosenwinkel – Deep Song (Verve)
Gil Evans – Great Jazz Standards (World Pacific)
Gil Evans – New Bottle, Old Wine (World Pacific)
The Complete Recordings of the Paul Desmond Quartet With Jim Hall (Mosaic)
The Complete Blue Note Recordings of Herbie Nichols (Mosaic)
The Complete Blue Note Hank Mobley Fifties Sessions (Mosaic)

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