Music

Various Artists: Jazz Moods: Sounds of Spring

Robert R. Calder

A happy hour of music, culled not merely from Concord's own archives but also those libraries which have appeared on Original Jazz Classics. No rubbish here! But also, no details on personnel or the albums some of these classics came from. Even Oscar Peterson doesn't get a name-check!"


Various Artists

Jazz Moods: Sounds of Spring

Label: Concord
US Release Date: 2005-03-08
UK Release Date: 2005-05-23
Amazon affiliate
Amazon
iTunes

Oscar Peterson turns up on "Royal Garden Blues", culled from the short series of duo-with-rhythm albums he made with Count Basie. I think Ray Brown is on bass and it's brilliant. Is anonymity Peterson's prize for blending in with pure Basie? Stunning too is the opening trio number with Red Garland's lyrical, harmonically-interesting piano, assisted by an unnamed bassist and drummer. Carol Sloane sings and Bill Charlap plays a nice sort of fragmented stride piano in accompaniment. Even Concord can't avoid identifying all the members of a duo!

The Clark Terryish trumpeter who works from a genius paraphrase of "I'll Remember April" is Miles Davis, but he doesn't also play the inspired piano solo or the very springlike alto saxophone. Tony Bennett has the wonderful accompaniment of Ruby Braff on cornet and George Barnes on guitar -- the latter a 1940s child prodigy who somehow got mislaid but still managed to die too middle-aged after rediscovery. It was said that by the end of his mellifluous musical relationship with Braff, each of them was ready to murder the other. Alas, though much more in keeping with their music, they're both now in Heaven. Afterwards, Braff Freddie Hubbard's "Up Jumped Spring" is light as thistledown. Who's on tenor? It sounds like Red Garland on piano in the marvelous quintet here called John Coltrane, and recorded a very long time ago with -- perhaps -- Hubbard making a second appearance in "Spring is Here".

The use of a row of tunes with one word in common to each, or a related idea, is an old speculation among players who've wanted to make a larger unity of a set of what might otherwise just be a run of different items. This idea also works. I could probably find the Karrin Allyson CD sampled here (who's the nice soprano player?), and indeed the source of the guitar duet between Larry Coryell and Emily Remler (somewhat near cult-figure paired with a lady who died far, far too young) on Clifford Brown's "Joy Spring". It might not be too hard to trace the Bill Evans date which produced an "April in Paris" which blows my mind (real and feigned changes of pace, sudden colour shifts, four-bar melodic statements extended over longer structures, and more of the history of jazz piano than in all the other Evans titles I've ever heard).

But who plays guitar in the alternating bilingual performance of a Jobim song by the late Susannah McCorkle? The delicacy of the piano, the almost whispering Latin percussion . . .

The concluding track is by a named trio that Concord could not call by the name I think they half-hid under long ago -- the Poll Winners. This seems to have been an attempt to perform "When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin' Along" by what was very briefly the earliest Oscar Peterson trio (Peterson actually isn't on this title, as well as not being named), with Barney Kessel's guitar and the bass of Ray Brown joined by Shelley Manne on drums. Listen to Manne's subtlety, but don't get too engrossed in it. The surprises which follow could be dangerous. This is, after all, Spring!

7

So far J. J. Abrams and Rian Johnson resemble children at play, remaking the films they fell in love with. As an audience, however, we desire a fuller experience.

As recently as the lackluster episodes I-III of the Star Wars saga, the embossed gold logo followed by scrolling prologue text was cause for excitement. In the approach to the release of any of the then new prequel installments, the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare, followed by the Lucas Film logo, teased one's impulsive excitement at a glimpse into the next installment's narrative. Then sat in the movie theatre on the anticipated day of release, the sight and sound of the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare signalled the end of fevered anticipation. Whatever happened to those times? For some of us, is it a product of youth in which age now denies us the ability to lose ourselves within such adolescent pleasure? There's no answer to this question -- only the realisation that this sensation is missing and it has been since the summer of 2005. Star Wars is now a movie to tick off your to-watch list, no longer a spark in the dreary reality of the everyday. The magic has disappeared… Star Wars is spiritually dead.

Keep reading... Show less
6

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less
Theatre

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less
10

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less
7

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image