Gave it a listen last night. Summed up my thoughts about it-
It’s a very ambitious album that has some good ideas and concepts but sometimes falls a little short on execution. The inclusion of a string section and choir adds depth and a fairly unique texture to the music but often comes at the expense of spontaneity limits the music in certain ways. This is always a challenge on albums that utilize large ensembles and definitely presents a challenge for the composer/arranger and here the music sometimes suffers from the structure and predictability of the string/choir lines behind the solos. My other major complaint with the album is with Washington’s improvisation. He often seems to rely on a few tricks with his playing. His fast runs seldom deviate from the pentatonic and pentatonic blues scales, and he seems to resort to this rather than playing melodically and developing his melodic ideas. His phrasing also tends toward the unimaginative and predictable. There were several times on the album I heard him using the same exact lick- ti do (8va) re-do, and sometimes it seemed like he relied on layering in the background textures to build to the apex of his solo. Don’t get me wrong, he had some good moments in his solos, but that should really be the star of the show here and I found them to be inconsistent overall. Generally my favorite soloists were the piano player and the trombone player, both of whom seemed to want to push the band, though it seemed that the rest of the rhythm section was often reluctant to leave their written grooves and really let the soloists lead. The other soloists also weren’t always given enough time to develop their ideas whereas Washington often seemed to have more time than he did ideas. The tracks that featured vocals were also a weak point in my opinion. There were a lot of good things happening in this album but I don’t think there was enough to warrant its length.
>>55614765 >>55614798 it's a bit refreshing to see well thought out critique of an album beyond butt hurt jazz purists who don't know how to enjoy an album for what it is rather then comparing to some of the best.
>>55615747 Rudresh Mahanthappa- Birdcalls (9.5) Chris Potter- Imaginary Cities (8.8) Steve Coleman- Synovial Joints (8.3) Tim Warfield- Spherical (8.2) Alex Sipiagin- Balance 38-58 (8.0) Vijay Iyer- Break Stuff (8.0) Kenny Wheeler- Songs for Quintet (8.0) Chris Lightcap’s Bigmouth- Epicenter (7.8) Matthew Shipp- To Duke (7.8) Jakob Bro- Gefion (7.6) Jack DeJohnette- Made in Chicago (7.5) Dave Liebman- Ceremony (7.5) Kamasi Washington- The Epic (7.4) Dayna Stephens- Reminiscent (7.4) EJ Strickland- The Undying Spirit (7.2) Julian Lage- World’s Fair (7.1) Duane Eubanks- Things of that Particular Nature (7.0) Burak Bedikyan- Leap of Faith (7.0) Tootie Heath- Philadelphia Beat (7.0) Eddie Henderson- Collective Portrait (6.8) Lage Lund- Idlewild (6.7) Steve Turre- Spiritman (6.7) Ben Wolfe- The Whisperer (6.6) Spike Wilner Trio- Live at Smalls (6.2) Freddie Redd- Music for You (6.0) Russell Malone- Love Looks Good on You Eberhard Weber- Encore SF Jazz Collective- The Music of Joe Henderson Jeremy Pelt- Tales, Musings, and Other Reveries Andy LaVerne- I Wan to Hold Your Hand Gregory Tardy- With Songs of Joy Jack Walrath- Unsafe at Any Speed Cyrus Chestnut- A Million Colors in Your Mind Wayne Escoffery- Live at Smalls Harold Mabern- Afro Blue Vincent Herring- Night and Day Doug Webb- Triple Play David Binney and Adam Rogers- R&B Rodriguez Brothers- Impromptu Zach Brock- Serendipity Luis Perdomo- Twenty Two David Chesky- Primal Scream Pat Martino- Nexus Steve Davis- Say When Jeff Williams- The Listener Makaya McCraven- In The Moment by anychance Patrick Cornelius- Infinite Blue Tim Berne's Snakeoil - You've Been Watching Me John O'Ghallager- Anton Webern Project Zhena Strigalev's Smiling Organism- Robin Goodie Alex Conde- Descarga for Monk Mark Wingfield- Proof of Light Avishai Cohen Atomic- Lucidity Kirk Knuffke- Arms and Hands
The ones without ratings are ones that I haven't heard yet or haven't decided what to rate them.
My favorites are "From Left to Right", "Moonbeams" and The Village Vanguard recordings from '61. I was asking for recommendations.
I was just trying to grind your gears, I remember asking you about a year ago whether you had heard Jon Hassel and what you thought about him. His collaboration with Brian Eno and his most recent, "Last Night the Moon Came Dropping His Clothes in the Street" are my favourites. He was a big inspiration to Eno and essentially fathered ambient jazz. He is also one of the most important figures in ethno-jazz.
For Eivind I recommend "Sonic Codex" and "Dream Logic"
>>55615866 This list is great. I think I would rank Jakob Bro and Chris Lightcap's Bigmouth higher though. You're probably right that Rudresh's is the best of the year. Chris Potter is boring to me. Vijay Iyer is probably second best.
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