Recent Listening

I don’t really have the time or inclination at this point to write full on reviews, but here are some albums that I have picked up recently, that I have really been digging.

Josh Roseman New Constellations Live in Vienna

Josh Roseman’s New Constellations band is a marvelous synthesis of several bags that I love. The Jamaican vibe is present throughout. Can instrumental music be conscious music? This CD makes me say, “yes, it can.” Josh is a real creative voice, both as an instigator and trombonist.

Keefe Jackson’s Project Project Just Like This

This is Keefe’s second release under his name for Delmark. 3/4’s of the Lucky 7s are on this CD, plus many of my other wonderfully creative Chicago friends, colleagues, and acquaintances, so I am predisposed to like this CD. It is a great mix of tasty large ensemble writing, and spirited improvisations.

Luis Bonilla and Trombonilla Terminal Clarity

I haven’t been too familiar with Luis Bonilla, other than in his role as a member of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. I read a review of Terminal Clarity on AAJ, and it looked interesting. It is. Really interesting modern jazz improvisers, with a groovin’ latin rhythm section, and the freedom/resposibility of no harmonic instrument.

New Orleans scene is gaining momentum

As New Orleans continues to rebuild and regain itself, the out/creative/free jazz/whatever scene is starting to get some traction. Andy Durta (Scatterjazz) has started booking ir-regular Sunday nights at the Hi-Ho Lounge on St Claude, and the last couple have been great, including last Sunday’s Neslort performance. The Saturn Bar has also opened up to some more adventurous music, which I believe might also have something to do with Andy. Rob Cambre’s AnxSnd is as vibrant as ever. McKeown’s Books has been hosting more performances, and the Open Ears Series has been having good audiences and music. I especially dug the Jimbo Walsh Quartet last week.

It is feeling like a good time to be creative in New Orleans.

Kids are the best critics

This morning I was practicing for an orchestral bass trombone audition. Several of the excerpts are pretty loud. Whenever I would get to one of those, my 2 year old daughter would come in and say, “too loud!”

I’m not sure if that means I am achieving my goal of a real rich beautiful fortissimo, or if it means that I am being an insensitive bonehead. Let’s hope for the former.

Lucky 7s in Cadence year end list

One of the cool things about the way Cadence does their year end lists, is that they print each of their writer’s lists. This is nice, in that as you get to know the tastes of the writers, you have some idea about how to weight each one’s list for your own use.

The Lucky 7s CD, Farragut, made the top of Grego Edwards’ list for 2007. Even though the CD came out in late 2006, it was reviewed in Cadence in 2007, so it qualified for the 2007 lists. It’s nice to still be on someone’s mind so many months later. We’re in pretty good company too, other people on Grego’s list include Roscoe Mitchell, Peter Kowald, and Steve Swell.

If this piece of information inspires you to pick up a copy, that’s fine with me. 😉

Disney & record stores

This week, my family and I fled Mardi Gras and went to Disney World. It was quite ironic that at least once each day I still had to try to figure out a way to get where I wanted to go while a parade blocked my path.

I can’t remember that last time I went into a record store and bought recorded music. Probably a little over a year ago in Chicago. There are no more record stores in my city. A few small ones, but no one that carries any sizable chunk of stuff I dig. Tonight I took my stepson into the Virgin Megastore in Downtown Disney. He really just wanted to play the X Box demos, so I went off to search out the jazz section. I finally found it tucked back in the corner. It was even harder to find any new releases. There was classic Trane and Miles all over the place, but hardly anything new. I was relieved when I saw the display with the new Diana Krall and Chris Botti CDs, at least then I knew that they could get new releases. I did pick up Larry Young “Unity”, and Jackie McClean “Jackie’s Bag” for $8 each. The world/latin/electronica section was noticeably larger than the jazz/vocals/classical section. Vive la internet!