May 29, 2007

Monk + Coltrane = My Brain Melting...

by Chris Randall

Okay, I heard about this new "Thelonious Monk Quartet w/ John Coltrane Live At Carnegie Hall" album a few months ago, but I've been putting off buying it. It took me a _long_ time to really get Monk, but now his angular piano playing is so good to me that I almost can't stand it. That descending run that starts out "Ruby, My Dear" just primes the pump, and it's basically all over when he plays the ascending chord progression in to the second half of the first chorus. So basically I'm just done for about 19 seconds in to that track. And John Coltrane, I mean, fuck. "My Favorite Things" is probably my single most favorite piece of music. I know it's clich?, but fuck it. That shit's good. That's how it became popular, right?

Anyways, I've been putting off buying this album because I was afraid my brain would melt when I listened to it. The CD is a couple years old, of a recently unearthed tape in the Library Of Congress. The shows which it documents are, like, Fuuuuuuuck. Have a close look at the poster above, and see what $2.00 could have got you in to in 1957.

But anyways, all I have to say is this: dear Baby Jesus, this record is fucking good.



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May.31.2007 @ 2:18 PM
I come from a brutal metal background (and dig the Dillinger Escape Plan) and I can wholeheartedly recommend the following jazz records to other metalheads:

Ornette Coleman - The Shape of Jazz To Come

Ornette Coleman - Free Jazz

Miles Davis - Bitches Brew
Mahavishnu Orchestra - The Inner Mounting Flame (this album fucking SHREDS! I'd kill for a thick rock/metal style mix of it, rather than the jazz style "let's make it easy to hear the solo" style carefully separated out mix that I have on the remaster cd)

jazz hybrids:
Naked City - Torture Garden
Painkiller - Guts of a Virgin / Buried Secrets (featuring late 80's Napalm Death's drummer)

Jazzy metal:
everything by Atheist, especially Elements


May.31.2007 @ 2:36 PM
I highly recommend Charles Mingus' "Haitian Fight Song" off "The Clown". It's a really good example of a simple theme being built up as the song evolves.

May.31.2007 @ 5:06 PM

I have to agree with CR; don't knock yourself out trying to like something that hasn't reached you already.

I didn't really get jazz until I saw it live. I was lucky enough to see Cecil Taylor when I was a teenager.

Conversely, I don't get Dillinger Escape Plan at all, and that's not from a lack of trying. I know they're good and super-talented, but they just don't stimulate any of my pleasure centers.


May.31.2007 @ 5:27 PM
Ditto CR and neilium...but it`s hard for a beginner to go wrong with Miles Davis` Kind of Blue. It is the best-selling jazz disc of all time for a good reason. Just to muddy the waters, check out the rare Paul Motian disc called Psalm, featuring the young Bill Frisell. Those two, along with the Mingus and Hancock discs mentioned above and any of Ataru`s recommendations, will keep you busy for awhile. Get back to me when you want to attempt a survey of Western art music since the year 900 - that will really melt your brain. ;-)

Jun.01.2007 @ 12:39 AM
Thanks all, I'll check those disks. And don't worry CR, Neilium & Moyashi, I won't get all bent on trying to learn to like Jazz. I like too much music to get really stuck on some things, but I am sure there's Jazz out there I like, and I just wanted to get a starting point. It's hard to get started without knowing even a general direction to go to.

And yeah, Neilium, I know what you mean - I didn't really get them initially either. But as I was working one day, I somehow left the Miss Machine on CD player for repeat for hours on end, and at some point I just suddenly got it, and it hit like a thousand pound hammer.

Heh, I'll keep that in mind Moyashi. Thanks all, I'll go looking now.


Jun.01.2007 @ 1:43 AM
penzoil washington
Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" album is famous for hooking people with no jazz background.

The Evidence label's "Space Is The Place" soundtrack recording by Sun Ra (sorry) is very electric/electronic and wild and varied (not to be confused with the same title on Impulse) The film is also totally ghetto sci-fab.

My favorite Monk recording is the early trio recording "Monks Moods". He's just so reckless, fearless, and over the top, carrying the whole thing without a horn.... staggering, and yet the solos are so easy to follow for all their wackiness, might be a good choice. And it stomps.


Jun.01.2007 @ 12:28 PM
Tangent but i can kind of tie it all together:

Anyone heard the new Chris Connelly recording THE EPISODES? Features some of the newer Chicago pseudo-jazzy types (Town and Country, Tortoise etc.). I haven't yet but am curious.

I thought with new players, Chicago and Ministry all mentioned in this thread, it was safe to ask.


Jun.01.2007 @ 2:36 PM
straechav -

Try listening to some electronica that borrows from jazz either by sample or song structure as a segue. Some artists to look into would be:

Amon Tobin
The Grassy Knoll
DJ Krush
...even to some extent, monstrum sepsis.


Jun.01.2007 @ 2:57 PM
Everyone should check out Free Fall by the Jimmy Giuffre Trio. The previous albums fusion and thesis ain't bad either and are available on the ECM re-issue titled "1961". This is some serious nerd out complex over the top drummerless jazz. Is it jazz? maybe it isn't..

No one has mentioned Sun Ship by Coltrane so I will, its amazing and super-powerful, but what Coltrane record post 1962 isn't?


Jun.09.2007 @ 2:29 AM
As I grew up in Philadelphia, I was lucky to see most of the above perform in little venues. Anybody else go to the St.Mary's Church Hall for the gigs held there?
Sun, Pharoh, Cecil and all.

Re hooking up with 'Jazz'..
Jeremy Stieg and Eddie Gomez Records, like 'Howling for Judy',
Miles' 'On The Corner'
And yeah ditto to Mclaughlin 'Innermounting Flame', 'Love Supreme',
'Bitches', 'Space is The Place'.

If you listen close to some of Jack Bruce's bass lines in the extended Cream jams there are some real lofty bits too....


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