In recent years some great live Jazz performances, dust-ridden and forgotten, have been discovered in the back of some warehouse. The most famous of these is a live performance of John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk playing together at Carnegie Hall. Perhaps even more exciting is the new discovery of 3,000 hours of tapes from a New York City loft where Thelonious Monk and other Jazz musicians hung out and practiced. While perhaps Monk preparing for his ground breaking Town Hall Concert is the most newsworthy aspect of these tapes, the mikes also spontaneously captured other moments that give a unique glimpse into Jazz’s past, including a drug overdose by Sonny Clark (another of my favorite Jazz pianists).
Category Archives: Jazz
Most people do not think of the bass clarinet as a jazz instrument, but multi-reedist Eric Dolphy made it part of his regular repertoire (along with the alto sax and flute). Like Sonny Rollins, Dolphy was also one of the few reedists of his time to record unaccompanied solos. In the first video, Dolphy plays a bass clarinet solo of Billie Holiday’s “God Bless the Child“.
In this second video, he plays the bass clarinet as a member of Charles Mingus‘ group.
For 2009, I have come back from 10 days in beautiful and peaceful Boca Grande, Florida with a fresh supply of Jazz, including
- Dizzy Gillespie & Charlie Parker: Town Hall, New York City, June 22, 1945
- Benny Golson: Benny Golson’s New York Scene
- John Coltrane: Lush Life
- John Coltrane: Dakar
- John Coltrane: Live in Stockholm 1961 (featuring Eric Dolphy)
- Yusef Lateef: Into Something
- Yusef Lateef: Live at Pep’s
- Sam Rivers: Dimensions & Extensions
I also got a some nice pickings of African and Arabic music and some Hip-Hop from my bro.
Conversations is not the easiest Eric Dolphy LP to get your hands on. Iron Man, recorded at the same time, is much more accessible. Nevertheless, Conversations is a very interesting Dolphy recording, with great performances by a wide range of artists. For example, the song in this video, “Music Matador”, features Dolphy alongside Prince Lasha (flute), Sonny Simmons (alto), Clifford Jordan (soprano), Richard Davis (bass), and Charles Moffet (drums). There is also an interesting bass clarinet and bass duet, “Alone Together”.
I wanted to share this music with something else interesting as well, so I combined it with video footage of a Maryland garden full of Black-eyed Susans, Gold Finches, and even a Humming Bird. Enjoy the eclectic randomness of it all.
Last week I spent a few days — as I try to do each year — in Bethany Beach, Delaware with my padres. I made this video in honor of its peaceful shore and the favorite of my recent acquisitions: Soulnik. The song is “One Guy” by Doug Watkins and Yusef Lateef. Last year a produced a similar, but different Bethany video.
My very good friend and former co-worker, William, has recently left FON and migrated to Mozilla where he will serve as European community manager. As part of his new responsibilities, William has just started a Mozilla-centric blog. Two weeks ago in Paris, William and I brainstormed on what domain name to give this new William’s blog (his previous blog has long been abandoned). As we are both die-hard Jazz fans and after seeing that most of the cool Thelonious Monk related names were taken, we came up with http://somethin-else.org in honor of Cannonball Adderley’s historic recording of the same name.
My modus operandi prior to traveling to the States for the summer and Christmas is to replenish my garrison with books and music that I cannot otherwise readily find in Europe. Thus, a week or so before leaving, I always go on Amazon or Ebay and make a large purchase (to be shipped State side). The supply — supplemented throughout the year with local purchases — generally lasts me until the subsequent trip. As a matter of fact, I have only two books left on deck that should last me from now until the time I travel. That’s some pretty good timing! In any event, here is what I have ordered.
- Netherland: A Novel by Joseph O’Neill;
- De Niro’s Game: A Novel by Rawi Hage;
- Morocco since 1830: A History by C.R. Pennell;
- When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris; and
- Arabia Felix: The Danish Expedition of 1761-1767 by Thorkild Hansen.
On Sunday, I did two things that have led into a spiral towards a cross-eyed vision and a headache. First, I decided to continue my efforts to revisit and revive music in my iTunes library that I often neglect. This time I selected my entire Thelonious Monk collection and proceeded to play through it at random.
At the same time, I ventured to finally check out The Office — I went for the U.S. version because it was readily and freely available in streaming. You might call me passionate or you might call me obsessive, but I have fully consumed all four seasons of the show and have gotten through all eighteen Monk albums in my collection in the past four days. Continue reading