Stan Kenton: 23 Degrees North, 82 Degrees West

The title denotes the coordinates for Cuba, and Russo would later say that this was one of his better pieces. George Roberts would suggest to Nelson Riddle that a variant of the percussive bass trombone line be used as a transition in the arrangement of "I've Got You Under My Skin" for Frank Sinatra. Also interesting is Russo's use of 7/4 time after Konitz's solo, and how it flawlessly switches back to 4/4 without calling attention to itself. Rosolino also solos in this track. A short trumpet solo for Candoli was cut, although Russo later restored it for his own Chicago Jazz Ensemble—then cut it again in later performances.

January 27, 2008 · 0 comments


Chris Potter: 7.5

In November 1957, Sonny Rollins became the first jazz artist to record live at the Village Vanguard. Forty-five years later, Chris Potter joins the select list of saxophone greats – which includes John Coltrane, Joe Henderson, Dexter Gordon and Joe Lovano – who have recorded at the famed New York City jazz club. Taking center stage midway through the opening track, Potter duets with drummer Bill Stewart for a performance worthy of the Vanguard's rich history. This track is not altogether consistent, but features several spectacular moments.

November 22, 2007 · 0 comments


Anthony Braxton: Composition 67 (+147 +96)

"Composition 67 (+147 +96)" comes from the majestic (yet out of print!) Willisau set. Beginning with a "sound environment spiral," the listener might be reminded of Steve Reich as the tightly wound group ostinato slowly devolves with the players shifting away from unison. What follows can almost be thought of as an aural parlor trick. The composition unwinds, layers are added – and things make more sense. By the time Braxton has switched from flute to contrabass clarinet to sopranino, with Crispell and Hemingway simultaneously maintaining the pulse while adding commentary, and with Dresser framing everything in - the complexity that has taken over makes perfect sense. Amazing stuff.

November 01, 2007 · 0 comments


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