Bob Jacobson - jazzreview.com - Your Jazz Music Connection - jazzreview.com - Your Jazz Music Connection http://www.jazzreview.com Tue, 23 May 2017 10:08:23 -0500 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Fifties Jazz Talk: An Oral Retrospective by Gordon Jack http://www.jazzreview.com/book-reviews/fifties-jazz-talk-an-oral-retrospective-by-gordon-jack.html http://www.jazzreview.com/book-reviews/fifties-jazz-talk-an-oral-retrospective-by-gordon-jack.html Gordon Jack doesn"t claim to have written a comprehensive oral history of "50sjazz. His selections are skewed toward musicians who emerged mostly i...
Gordon Jack doesn"t claim to have written a comprehensive oral history of "50sjazz. His selections are skewed toward musicians who emerged mostly in California. Nevertheless the near-absence of African-American artists in this otherwise excellent book is truly puzzling (of thirty artists interviewed drummers Dave Bailey and Chico Hamilton are the only African-Americans). Their contributions manage to suffuse the book however since many of those interviewed cite influences and their favorite musicians.

Jack calls the 1950's "jazz's last golden age." Whether that's true or not he has assembled a rich fascinating picture of the period through interviews which range from the big names (e.g. Gerry Mulligan Mose Allison Lee Konitz) to others you may not know (Gene Allen Corky Hale). They"re often alumni of bands led by Woody Herman Stan Kenton with much focus on the latter's Concert Jazz Band and the dynamics of playing in his piano-less quartet. Many testify about Chet Baker with everyone dispelling the myth that he couldn"t read music. Regarding his alleged ignorance of chords Mulligan's quote says it best: "Chet knew everything about chords except their names."

As you might expect many refer to the contradictions between jazz as art and the business end of music. A few left music entirely. Some veered into careers in Las Vegas movies television pop music (bassist Chuck Berghofer on Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made for Walkin"). In recent years quite a few have returned to jazz.

Interviewed in the 1990's these "50's vets have often become philosophical about the hard knocks of their early careers such as being cheated out of their pay. Great humor appears throughout whether in descriptions of characters like altoist Gene Quill or in quotes from well-known wits like Al Cohn or Zoot Sims.'Author Gordon Jack calls the "50s "jazz's last golden age". Whether that's true or not Jack has assembled a rich fascinating picture of the period through thirty interviews from big names (e.g. Gerry Mulligan Mose Allison) to some you may not know.'

]]>
morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Bob Jacobson) Book Reviews Sun, 18 Jan 2004 18:00:00 -0600
Mayhem by Jeff Palmer Garramone Battle http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/progressive-cd-reviews/mayhem-by-jeff-palmer-garramone-battle.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/progressive-cd-reviews/mayhem-by-jeff-palmer-garramone-battle.html Jeff Palmer and Dave Garramone have previously recorded with some of the greats - John Abercrombie, Victor Lewis, Adam Nussbaum - and Palmer has played with John Scofiel…

Jeff Palmer and Dave Garramone have previously recorded with some of the greats - John Abercrombie, Victor Lewis, Adam Nussbaum - and Palmer has played with John Scofield, Grant Green and George Benson.

Apparently Mayhem is a new direction for him. All the compositions are his. Its style is very '90s - 2000s, while my taste hovers more around the '40s - '60's (think Gene Ammons, Cannonball, Horace Silver). But that said, I liked this high-spirited, energetic, inventive music. Categorizing Mayhem is difficult. Funk is pervasive but there are elements of free jazz and soul jazz. While the content is far from mainstream, the form often follows the traditional intro-melody-solos-melody format. The adept combination of styles is one of this album's greatest strengths. Devin Garramone often starts off with sax leads that sound like exercises, but hip, burning exercises. Jeff Palmer's organ is usually supportive but understated until his solos erupt. Justin Battle lays down the funk throughout, with a brief solo on "Ropadope". I dare anyone to keep their body still during this music. With chops galore, he makes the long, flowing lines he pushes out there sound effortless. He sounds like a man on a mission. The trio sounds very organic, a unit that works great together. Occasionally some unexpected sound emerges - crowd noise, vocalization, sound effects, distortion. So, any downsides to Mayhem? The sax especially is full throttle (loud) all the way. After a while there's also a certain sameness to the different tracks. But overall, Mayhem is well worth a listen.

]]>
morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Bob Jacobson) Progressive - CD Reviews Sat, 18 Apr 2009 19:00:00 -0500