Posts tagged: blues

Library Music Finds

By , December 31, 2015 5:05 pm

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I’m going through another heavy library-listening phase, checking out CDs by the armful!  Here are some things I’ve been checking  out:

Grant Green, Idle Moments – The more I listen to Grant Green, the more I like his playing, specifically the thematic way in which he improvises.  Although it is sometimes repetitive, I think that repetition is really intentional and makes his solos more melodic, and his language is strong.  This record also has Bobby Hutcherson and Joe Henderson on it too, so there is an interesting meeting of approaches.

Billy Childs, Map to the Treasure:  Reimagining Laura Nyro – I had never listened to Nyro’s music before, so I don’t know how different Childs made these songs with the arrangements, but the arrangements are really moving and well done.  This album has has Becca Stevens on a few tracks, which led me to her album Perfect Animal, another cool record with unique sounds and really great vocal work from her.

Miles Davis Quintet, Live in Europe 1969 – I have to be ready for some pretty intense free/noise improvisation to listen to this era of Miles, but, as I like to say sometimes, the music and the band is undeniable.  Chick Corea, Jack Dejohnette, Miles, Wayne Shorter, and Dave Holland; this is the band before the Bitches Brew bands but after In a Silent Way, so you can kind of hear a transition happening.  It also came with a concert DVD, so it was fun to get a chance to actually watch these guys play.

Roland Kirk, We Free Kings – I think Kirk is pretty underrated, or at least pigeon-holed for playing multiple woodwinds at once, which is really cool and sounds great, but he also was really inventive and unique on singular horns too, working in and building on the bebop language, and I think he was very creative in terms of fusing bebop, blues, and free jazz together.

Rudresh Mahanthappa, Bird Calls – Also very intense music, but for me this record was inspiring in how unique Mahanthappa’s approach is to alto saxophone; you can hear the influences and the individuality together, and it’s clear he’s worked on his approach in a clear way.

Sergio Mendes, Herp Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 – This was a pleasant surprise for me; I had just recently watched the documentary The Wrecking Crew, which talks a little bit about Alpert’s work in the ’60’s and 70’s, and when I saw this album I had to check it out, not just for Alpert’s name but also because I had Medes’ name as well but never listened.  Super strong mood and vibe throughout, with funky beats and cool tunes!

Anyway, that’s just a taste, I’m still going through a lot of things that I just found by sifting through the jazz sections of the cds at Seattle Public Libraries, and I can’t recommend it enough.  Even if jazz isn’t your thing, there are albums to be found in the other sections as well.

-Art

 

 

 

 

Chicag-blog 2011

By , September 15, 2011 12:38 pm

 

Highlights from my recent trip to visit my sister in Chicago:

Wiener Circle

Man these people are mean!  If you make it through your order and get a chance to stay and watch the massive hating and trash-talking they give their customers, though, it’s hilarious.  Late night it’s a madhouse.

 

 

Chicago-style hot dogs

I’m okay with the whole no ketchup thing, and I’m definitely on board with the tomatoes and onions thing.  The celery salt and dill relish thing took me by surprise at first, but I was digging it by the end.

Lake Michigan

It’s huge!  In Seattle we’re used to seeing the peninsula and other land masses when we look out across the Sound, but when you look across Lake Michigan it’s like being on the coast; it stretches all the way to the horizon.  The city is right on the water too, so you have a very cool juxtaposition of sandy beach next to the city.

Elly’s

Apparently this is like the Denny’s of Chicago to locals, but my sister likes it, and I do too.  Hawaiian omelette for the win.

Chicago Jazz Festival

FREE!  Plus, beer was sold inside Millenium Park where it was held and you could walk around no problem.  Gerald Clayton’s trio was super tight and I was hoping to catch some of Maurice Brown but ran out of time.

BYOB restaurants

A genius idea that I would LOVE to see in Seattle more often.

Wrigleyville/Wrigley Field

The street of bars and pubs runs right into the Field at the end of it, and there’s cubs gear EVERYWHERE.  Everyone has something related to the hometeam on, even moreso than at a Sounders game.  I liked that.  And the field:  obviously, it’s a classic ballpark, but it also is a great place to watch a game.  All the bigger concession stands are below the seats, so once you get upstairs, the seats extend almost all the way to the edge of the park.  It kind of made it feel more open.

Chicago-style pizza

Yes, Chicago-style is thicker, and they do layer toppings, but no one told me about the crust!  Buttery and flaky deliciousness in a deep dish pan.

Kingston Mine

Blues club in Lincoln Park.  No cover w/student ID = equals really fun party with college kids going crazy dancing to blues music.  And, of course, the music kicked ass.  These guys seemed to me to be the real deal.  Unfortunately the jam session portion had ended by the time I got there.

 

 

CHICAGO IN GENERAL 

I had a great trip to Chicago.  Some of that may have been because it was my first visit, but I definitely plan on going back and exploring more.  SO MANY PARKS, and big ones too.  The whole city feels very open, and the people are friendly while still being straightforward and honest.

Until next time!

– Art

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