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Livestreams every Tuesday from 5 to 6:30pm on Mixcloud featuring DJ Kendo, plus 11 years of playlists and audio from the show "Jazz Greats" on WFCF St. Augustine!
Showing posts with label Ed Thigpen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ed Thigpen. Show all posts

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Retro Review - Gil Mellé "Primitive Modern"

Gil Mellé - "Primitive Modern" (1956)

Gil Mellé is an endlessly fascinating character not only in jazz but life in general: baritone saxophonist, artist, scientist, inventor, composer of soundtracks (The Andromeda Strain, Starship Invasions, Kolchek The Night Stalker). His focus was not jazz from the 60's onward, so his recordings are relatively few for a man who lived til 2004.

I re-visited this album for a recent show and discovered it was way above par. Arguably Mellé's best jazz release; the melodies are memorable and there is a marked enthusiasm in the band that includes frequent collaborator Joe Cinderella (another fascinating fellow) and the ever-creative drummer Ed Thigpen with Billy Phillips on bass The leader called his unique blend of classical, jazz and avant garde "Primitive Modern Jazz" - hence the title. The album is his first for the Prestige label and falls snugly between the Blue Note release "Patterns in Jazz" and "Gil's Guests".

Gil Mellé & Joe Cinderella
The set opens rather unusually with "Dominica"; a 'jazz dirge' for a recently deceased friend that is both dreamy and gripping in it's starkness, Slow modern classical sections alternate with brief swing reprieves. Mellé reveals in the liner notes that Bartok was a big influence and we get a taste of that here. The uptempo frolics of "Ironworks" dispel all gloom with triangle solos and an insanely fraught and jaw-dropping solo from Cinderella. Virtuosity wonderfully abounds from all. After an enigmatic guitar opening, "Ballet Time" reveals a catchy, almost Monk-ish tune over a carefree medium swing, with Mellé at the top of his improvising game.

Side 2 begins with an aptly titled "Adventure Swing"; forward thinking harmony paired with a complex but catchy theme. A certain ambiguity of emotion throughout makes room for thoughtfulness for both the artists and listener. Another contagious theme and happy-go-lucky feel comes with the curiously titled "Dedicatory Piece to the Geophysical Year of 1957" written on a formula of Mellé's. Another interesting element of the album is mutual improvising - while Cinderella is giving it all, Mellé is also improvising at a lower volume to great effect. Finishing the album is "Mark One" which wanders from a similar 'easy' feel to intriguing uncertainty during the bridge, with more fine interplay and smooth brushwork from Thigpen.

Mellé definitely appears to feel liberty and release moving from Blue Note to his new label, since he manages to pull of his fairly heady concepts with both aplomb and a certain amount of glee. The Prestige re-release includes Mellé's in depth liner notes, as well as an entire second album "Quadrama" - a mix of more quirky originals and two Ellington standards. Highly recommended for something different! - Kendo

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Playlist for 7-18-2017 WFCF - Chunks of Vinyl & New Releases!

Fun cover from band that's anything but robotic!

On the air playing big chunks of albums on vinyl and plenty of new releases as well! Tune in Today (Tuesday 7/18) from 3 - 7pm eastern with a break at 5 by clicking here. See you then! - Kendo

Hour One:

Ed Thigpen - "Elbow and Mouth" & "Heritage" - Out of the Storm (1966)
Fascinating music - great lineup!

3:15 Jazz Coffee Break

Ron King - "Celtic Horizon" - Triumph (2016)

Harvey Mason - "8:22 A.M" - Ratamacue (1996)

Mica Bethea Big Band - "Love is Here to Stay" - Stage 'n Sound (2016)*

Walt Weiskopf - "Close Enough for Love" - Fountain of Youth (2016)*

Grant Green - "Take These Chains From My Heart" & "I Wanna Be Loved" - Am I Blue ()

Hour Two:

Ray Mantilla - "Cedar's Blues" - High Voltage (2017)*

B.J. Jansen - "Brandon's Blues" - Common Ground (2016)*

Sarah McKenzie - "When In Rome" - Sarah McKenzie (2016)*
Nice cover & these two sound great together!

Sonny Stitt with Red Holloway - "The Way You Look Tonight" & "Forecast" - Forecast: Sonny & Red (1976)

John Patitucci Trio - "Messaien's Gumbo" - Remembrance (2008)

Farnell Newton - "Arielas" - Back to Earth (2016)*

Wynton Kelly Trio/Wes Montgomery - "West Coast Blues" - Smokin' in Seattle (1966)*

George Benson - "Bayou" & "Hammond Bossa Nova" - Benson Burner (1966)

Flying Horse Big Band - "Raincheck" - Big Man on Campus (2016)*

Hour Three:

~ Flagler Files ~

Stanley Turrentine - "I Haven't Got Anything Better To Do" & "Salt Song" - Salt Song (1971) - The Ride Home!  

Ron Carter - "Epistrophy" - Yellow & Green (1976) - CTI Moment & Virgin Vinyl Sacrifice
Sealed before today's show!

Carlos Vega - "Bird's Up" - Bird's Up (2016)*

Abelita Mateus - "Discussao-Brigas Nunca Mais" - Vivenda (2016)*

Ed Thigpen - "Struttin' With Some Barbecue" - Out of the Storm (1966)

Hour Four:

Jim Hall - "Rock Skippin' at the Blue Note" - Concierto (1975) CTI Moment

Hiroe Sekine - "Sunshine" - One World One Sun (2017)*

John McLaughlin - "New York On My Mind" & "Friendship" - Electric Guitarist (1978)

Robotman - "The Chase" - Robotman (2017)*

Dylan Taylor - "The One of the Nine" - One In Mind (2015)*

Charnett Moffett - "Music From Our Souls" - Music From Our Souls (2016)*

Dave Liebman & Joe Lovano - "Ole" - Compassion (2007)*

This was a fun one to spin unheard, today!