Categories
geology mixes music Uncategorized

miles of granite

for the xvth granite mix i decided to feature the artist who i have most recordings of, miles davis – it’s a long mix – nearly an hour and a half. instinct led me from one track to another. here’s the mix and after it the details and then some comments on the tracks.

granite 15

Granite Mix 15
Artist Title Album
Miles Davis Mood ESP
Charles Mingus/Miles Davis Nature Boy Blue Moods
Miles Davis Nem Um Talvez The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions
Miles Davis Footprints The Bootleg Series Vol. 2 Live In Europe 1969
Miles Davis Pacific Express The Complete Miles Davis at Montreux 1973-1991
Miles Davis It Never Entered My Mind Workin’
Miles Davis Swing Spring Miles Davis & The Modern Jazz Giants
Miles Davis Johnny Bratton The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions
Miles Davis The Time Of The Barracudas Quiet Nights
Miles Davis Right Off In Concert

first of all one of my favourite tracks from one of my favourite albums. esp was the first album of what is known as the 2nd great miles davis quintet which was somehow a perfect band when this was recorded tony williams was 19 herbie hancock was 24 and wayne shorter was already doing some of the best writing that was going on in the mid sixties. ron carter was writer or co-writer of 3 tracks on the album including this one and they’re all good. after that he didn’t contribute any compositions to the following 5 albums he was involved with possibly due to the fact that he was an incredibly busy musician during the period he was with the quintet playing on over 50 recording sessions for albums with other artists.

back to 1955 for a track from a session that had problems according to miles in his autobiography

something went wrong at this session and nothing ever really clicked, so the playing didn’t have any fire. I don’t know what it was – maybe the arrangements – but something definitely went wrong…

but I’ve always enjoyed this track, written by proto-hippy eden ahbez, first recorded by nat ‘king’ cole, frank sinatra recorded a version in 1948 and it’s worth recording miles’ frequent assertion that his phrasing was heavily influenced by sinatra, although also worth bearing in mind that he gave a lot of credit also in this respect to charlie christian. as in another quote from the afore-mentioned book

charlie christian influenced my approach to the trumpet and also influenced the phrasing of frank sinatra and nat ‘king’ cole

next is one of 5 versions of this tune by hermeto pascoal that have been released, 2 from a session on may 27 1970 and 3 from a session shortly after on june 3 (although one of them ended up with a different title – selim). given that there were apparently at least 19 takes on the 1st session there could be a few other versions hanging round in the vaults. ian carr doesn’t even bother to mention the 2 that were released when he wrote his critical biography of miles and in paul tingen’s miles beyond he describes them as ‘ear-grating’. much as i like the latter book i find this opinion like a lot of tingen’s other critical opinions are not worth heeding.

the 1st of 3 live recordings in the mix is a version of a wayne shorter composition – probably his most famous. in the sleeve notes (written by josef woodard) to the set that contains the track there is the following quotation from an interview 20 years later with miles

you could tell what part of the note, what part of the sound you could play off of. wayne had some different, each run had. we used to play footprints and the way we were playing it, nobody else could play it like that except for me and wayne.

it’s july again only 16 years later. this is a john mclaughlin composition that was briefly in the setlist. there was an afternoon set and an evening set on the 14th – both long sets, over 2 hours. this track is from the evening set. a week later the band similarly played 2 sets in london at the royal festival hall – i’m pretty sure i was at the 2nd set. ian carr was also there with a backstage pass and he relates seeing miles at the end of the last set

as soon as he got down the two short flights of steps and out of the audience’s sight, two large men were waiting for him, and each grabbed an arm and supported him as he suddenly sagged and almost caved in

given that wayne shorter has already featured on 2 of the above tracks you would expect me to include at least one track featuring john coltrane but sadly this has not happened i didn’t plan it that way. this is the only track in the mix which was at the period of the 1st great quintet. but on this track chosen late at night reflectively the saxophone laid out.

this comes from another controversial recording session. some reports reckoned that there was a fight between miles and monk.

…i just told him to lay out when i was playing, because i wasn’t comfortable with the way he voiced his changes…i wanted to hear space in the music…so I just told him () to come into the music a little after i played. and that’s what he did. there wasn’t any argument…monk was a gentle person, gentle and beautiful, but he was strong as an ox. and if i had ever said something about punching monk out in front of his face – and i never did – then somebody should have just come and got me and taken me to the madhouse, because monk could have just picked my little ass up and thrown me through a wall.

i love all of these tracks that I’ve put on this mix. obviously. but this is another of the great sessions. i wish monk and miles had recorded more together. listening to this session was the 1st time i heard both of them and at the time monk knocked me out more than miles. his solos seemed to come from another mysterious dimension.

and johnny bratton is the 3rd appearance of john mclaughlin in the mix if you include his composition pacific express. recorded on february 27th 1970 this is the sort of thing that some people fail to understand. here’s a good clip that deals with this subject.

from an album reviled by the man himself but which nevertheless has some great moments. this tune was also recorded on the gil evans album the individualism of gil evans and miles got a co-credit for the arrangement. in the end that is a better track but he doesn’t actually play on it and despite the history taken in isolation this is a great track and there’s something actually quite unique about it. if they’d had time and money to complete the album properly this would be a masterpiece and maybe it is anyway.

finally another album written off by various critics or in my words vastly under-rated. when i first heard it back in the early seventies i immediately thought it was brilliant. to me it was great that the instruments were all levelled out in the mix and i assumed that this was deliberately done and i still do. producer teo macero wasn’t an idiot and they wouldn’t have put the record out if they hadn’t got decent quality recordings. it needs to be listened to loud ideally through headphones. with open ears and an open mind. carlos garnett on saxophone and cedric lawson on keyboards for example maybe didn’t go on to have brilliant careers but i don’t think they let the side down at this gig.

Categories
fire geology mixes music quotations

Kool G Ran It For Teen

there isn’t really a theme to my 14th granite mix, but one thing i tried to do was to keep the tracks short. here’s the mix and after that a table with track listing and then some comments and links and stuff below that.

granite 14

Granite Mix 14
Artist Title Album
John Cale King Harry The Academy In Peril
Nino Rota Notturno O Mattutino La Dolce Vita – Soundtrack
Ralph Vaughan-Williams The Bell Ringers Epithamalion
Joseph Spence Lay Down My Sword & Shield Gospel At Newport
Larry Young Alive Lawrence Of Newark
Armando Trovajoli El Negro Zumbón hit song from film Anna
Captain Beefheart I Love You Big Dummy Lick My Decals Off Baby
Ahmad Jamal I’ll Take Romance/My Funny Valentine Ahmad Jamal At The Blackhawk
Howe Gelb Belly Of Fire Down Home 2002
King Curtis Cuban Twilight Have Tenor Sax Will Blow
Kool G Rap 4,5,6 4,5,6
Federico Mompou Impresiones Intimas No. 9 Gitano Impresiones, Scenes, Charmes, Fêtes Lointaines

the academy In peril is not a particularly well-known work in the john cale canon and is almost as famous for its record sleeve as it is for its music. unfortunately i don’t own a copy of the original album but have a later re-release which doesn’t have the half-gatefold with the cut-outs that the original had but I have seen that original cover in fact the 1st time i heard the album it was at a friend’s house near uxbridge or thereabouts maybe ruislip and he had the sleeve i remember it well. the other thing that is well known about the cover is that it would have been worth a lot more if it had been in black and white which is something that the song a dream from the lou reed/john cale album songs for drella teaches us.

a vast expanse of the roman countryside, to one side are the ruins of the san felice aqueduct, towering arches that come striding across the land. two thousand years ago those arches brought water to the city, but now there are many gaps where whole sections of the aqueduct have fallen in. directly in front is a soccer field, the goal posts dwarfed by the height of the aqueduct. in the distance the sound of motors is heard. a speck in the sky grows rapidly larger. it is a helicopter, and beneath it is a hanging figure. a second helicopter follows close behind. as the ‘copters pass over the field the figure suspended below can be clearly seen. a large statue of christ the labourer swings from a cable. the shadow of the ‘copter and this incongruous figure flashes across the walls of the aqueduct. the helicopters pass on.

federico fellini – screenplay for la dolce vita

why does ralph vaughan williams haunt me the way he does? Is it something to do with the ark tempers of medieval lines? who can tell in this age of imaginativeness?

as soon as i heard joseph spence’s take on utterance i was bewitched as if i had crossed several salt seas of despondency and come at last to fresh water.

at a certain time freedom mixed with sonority to produce several subversely subservient dramaturgy/diatribe/dialogue/dichotomy diptychs

el negro zumbón is complicated. usually attributed to silvano mangana she only mimed to the song in the film anna. it was written by italian composer armando trovajoli and the female singer is flo sandon’s

i’m grateful to samuel andreyev for his fascinating work on captain beefheart and the magic band – definitely one of the joys of youtube which despite my earlier diatribes i am overall in admiration for for its democratic all-inclusiveness. i certainly look forward to more from samuel.

maybe i’ve already written about the time i went to see ahmad jamal the only time i saw him but i’m proud to be able to say even that and if i haven’t written about it then no doubt i will repeat/not repeat it again in the future when my marbles start to lose their shine.

i’ve been to 3 howe gelb gigs but the 1st was something special. during the interval i was standing outside with my friend neil armstrong not the astronaut but maybe even greater in many ways. there was no-one else around and suddenly howe stepped out of the main entrance. he was about 40 metres away from us he looked around with a bewildered expression and then went back into the building. strange.

here’s a fantastic clip of king curtis

as a weather report fan in the mid-70s if i was to choose a favourite track mysterious traveller would be one of the top tracks in my opinion from that era and when i first heard 4,5,6 from kool g rap i recognised the sample straight away. it’s not one of the highlights of my hip-hop collection but is just in the end another of the great tracks that came out in the mid-90s an era that i have covered in the past.

finally what do i find so great about these gentle piano pieces that the catalan composer dreamed scored and deployed. apparently some say that there are superior representations of these pieces by more accomplished pianists than mompou was himself. to my mind who is going to interpret someone’s work better than that person themselves? i don’t know i just don’t get it.

Categories
geology mixes music

Granite Dozen

I have finally managed to get all my digital music on one device, pretty much all anyway. That still leaves out a vast amount which is on vinyl although some of that has been digitised and is on the device though quality not brilliant. Anyway this task makes it easier for me to create a to some extent random mix and behold another exercise in granite-working.

I’ll ski on to the tracks.

Canção do Amor Demais is a beautiful album where lyricist Vinicius de Moraes and musician Antônio Carlos Jobim got Elizeth Cardoso to sing for them. A ground-breaking album from 1958 with fantastic arrangements by Jobim and I love Elizeth’s voice.

The Jon Hassell track is really just a short thing but if you want to hear more of his music here’s a link to about an hour’s music from a 7 year old gig.

Der Ruf der Rohrflöte is a very atmospheric piece. When I shove it into Google translate I find it means ’The reputation of the reed pipe’. I’ve got the DVD of Nosferatu but haven’t watched it for a while – I must soon and I will try and spot where this track occurs, it’s track 10 on the soundtrack but that may not mean anything.

On my first Granite mix which was back in December, 2011, Wayne Shorter was included with a track from this same album. It’s not my only album of his but it’s just coincidence. I’ve thought for a long time that he’s undervalued as to how great a composer he’s always been. A friend told me the other day she’d been to see him with the Lincoln Center Orchestra at the Barbican and it’s good to see that maybe he’s starting to get recognition – since he’s 82 now it’s about time.

The Sinatra song is from a film called Higher and Higher which came out in 1944. I couldn’t find a clip of him singing this song in the film but here’s a 5 minute snip and there’s another song so you get the feeling.

Granite Mix 1 also had a track from Gang Starr there’s nothing really strange about this I know but I’m still worried. Shame what happened to Guru, but Premier is still representing as you can see in this clip of his set 3 years ago.

Lani McIntyre is perhaps not as well known as some of the other artists nor probably ever will be but I certainly was happy to find this clip of him with his orchestra and a bunch of sweet dancing girls.

Robert Wyatt first started to develop the political impact of his songs and music around 1980 but the album that first drew that together, Nothing Can Stop Us in 1982 only had one song written by himself, Born Again Cretin which was his first stab at writing a political song (at least first made public). Three years later he brought out Old Rottenhat and he’d managed to crack it with some really strong material that dealt with politics in an outstanding way. The song included in this mix is just as relevant today.

Finally to accompany the last track I’ve found a lovely clip of Sooliman Ernest.

here’s the mix

Granite Mix 12
Artist Title Album
Elizeth Cardoso Luciana Canção do Amor Demais
Jon Hassell Camminavo Nella Strada Sulla Strada
Popol Vuh Der Ruf der Rohrflöte Nosferatu
Wayne Shorter Armageddon Night Dreamer
Frank Sinatra A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening Frank Sinatra In Hollywood Volume 1
Gang Starr Form Of Intellect Step In The Arena
Lani McIntyre Chimes Hawaiian Moonlight
Robert Wyatt United States Of Amnesia Old Rottenhat
S.E. Rogie Baby Lef Marah Palm Wine Guitar Music: The 60’s Sound
Categories
mixes music

granite mix 1

A few years ago I put some mixes up on the web and each one took quite a lot of preparation. For a start the music was on vinyl and I had to digitise it. Then I researched each artist and wrote a little bit about them. And also scanned cover art and then loaded it all up and used html (nothing too complicated). Now I’ve worked out this easier way which even takes away the need for me to make any choices…or hardly any. I have this Brennan box that a friend gave me and I’ve loaded up a lot of music onto it. Like most things you can randomise it and it does a neat little segue between tracks. I know everyone does this sort of thing all the time anyway. Which means that I’m not exactly sure of the value of putting this up. In the end it’s like a radio show and I suppose those are still popular enough. I wanted to use some sort of name to associate with this process and hit on granite – not sure why exactly although if pressed I’m sure I could think of some reasons

Here’s the mix

Granite Mix 1
Artist Title Album
John Surman Druid’s Circle A Biography of the Rev Absalom Dawe
Jeru the Damaja Me or the Paper Wrath of the Math
Carla Bley End of Animals Escalator over the Hill
Wayne Shorter Night Dreamer Night Dreamer
Willie Walker Dupree Blues Ragtime Blues Guitar
Cannonball Adderley & Bill Evans Who Cares You Know What I Mean
The Cramps Love Me Off The Bone
Gang Starr Work Moment of Truth
Sheppard A Solis Ortus Cardine n/a (radio broadcast)
Kronos Quartet & Asha Boshle Piya Tu Ab To Aaja You’ve Stolen My Heart