KZSU playlist for Tuesday, Oct. 20, 6:00 to 9:00 a.m.
Full playlist is viewable here. Notes:
* Scott Fields — “Eh Joe” — Samuel (New World, 2009) … A sublime track that opens with fluttery sax, brushed drums, and bowed cello. The sound kind of scratches along, picking spots to make a mark while otherwise resigning to a calm flow. While the track later breaks into aggression, with growling sax, rock-sounding guitar, and even some concrete jazz moments, it’s still very different from “Not I,” which is jumpy, chaotic, and jagged. All three long tracks on here are based on Samuel Beckett plays, where Fields turned the words and stage directions into music. That includes a lot of bent inflections, particularly on Fields’ guitar, as if to emulate human speech. A very impressive concept. I’m not familiar with Beckett’s plays, but it would be interesting to correlate the moods of these pieces with the atmospheres of the plays.
* Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey — “The Black & Crazy Blues/A Laugh for Rory” — One Day in Brooklyn (Kinnara, 2009) … JFJO added a lap steel guitarist to this album. This is the opening track, starting with a relatively sad, cowboy-bluesy sound before jumping into the, well, jumping antics you’d expect. Lots of lap steel for a country accent.
* Joel Harrison — “High Expectation Low Return” — Urban Myths (High Note, 2009) … Harrison has polished a guitar-jazz sound that’s airy but carries lots of compositional complexity. He tries out some other territory here, including the funk of “125 and Lenox” and the jumbly, fast, free-jazz of this track. It’s not as crazy as Otomo Yoshihide’s take on “Gazzelloni” (which also got played today) but it’s pretty far out for the High Note label.
* Hildegurls — “Act IV” [excerpt] — Electric Ordo Vitutum (Innova, 2009) … A remixing of spiritual choral music from Hildegard (12th century nun) with electronics, samples, noise, and solos in English. The starting source is her musical play, Ordo Vitutum, a pre-opera opera. Each of four main acts features a different female composer, in this case Elaine Kaplinsky, embellishing the original. The results combine tradition and soothing vocals with more shrill, theatrical passages; Kaplinsky’s seems to be the most booming of the four acts. Very cool idea.
* Tri-Cornered Tent Show — “Broken Toys and Black Orchids” — V/A: Mudwagon: A BlackmetalFreejazzImprov Compilation, Vol. 1 (Edgetone, 2009) … A compilation of mostly rock-minded artists from the Bay Area’s Edgetone label, although a couple of jazz-improv tracks make it here as well (Jim Ryan’s The Spirit Moves Us, for instance).
* Dan Aran — “Gul Lihibib” — Breathing (Smalls, 2009) … A nice, open-aired sound with a middle-eastern tinge (which isn’t present on every track of this album).
* The Naked Future — “We Fly Beneath and Above the Flux” — Gigantomachia (ESP-Disk, 2009) … A descending crush into chaos. It’s a free free-jazz piece, with everyone going nuts, but anchored by some precise riffs from pianist Thollem McDonas. The album overall is pretty crazy and also features bass clarinetist Arrington de Dionyso of Old Time Relijiun fame.
Meliana Gillard‘s Day One is a pleasant and poppy jazz take with a small dash of fusion, courtesy of electric guitar and electric piano. It’s too “sweet” for my usual sound, but I figured I’d give it a go one time. It’s the kind of sound that I’d associate with a summer sunrise, very optimistic. …..
POP NOTES: I went overboard in adding pop songs to the mix this time. That’s just the mood I was in … Madlib‘s latest is a varied mix, of course, because the base sound depends on what record he’s spinning. I went for a kind of ’70s pop-with-jazz-in-it mush track (with samples over it, of course). I enjoy fitting this kind of stuff into the show, for a modern kick. ….. The Lost Fingers are a gypsy jazz band that does ’80s pop covers. Awful old songs done in a folky eastern-European vibe, a combination that can’t help but make you smile. … Americans in France are a high-energy garage rock band, great stuff.