Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Did you hear? Depaul University Jazz Ensemble with special guest Phil Woods - Woodlands

In 2005, the Depaul U. Jazz Ensemble played a special concert at D.G.S. Their special guest for that tour was the jazz alto-sax legend, Phil Woods. He taught a workshop in the afternoon before the concert, and at night he performed a few numbers with the Depaul kids. He was old then, and I'm pretty sure he already had some bad respiratory problems because he took breaks between songs and had to sit when he played. Nevertheless, his tone was massive and he shamed the other jazz peons on stage.

The most impressive number on Woodlands is "Goodbye, Mr. Evans." When Phil's solo builds and explodes at 2:30, and then again at 3:20, I go nuts. Woods has a history of writing tribute songs (go get this record), but his ode to Bill Evans is the best. The author of Woodlands's liner notes remarked on how great the pianist's solo was in "Goodbye" being that he followed Phil and that the track is about the best jazz pianist ever. The other songs aren't bad either, and since this thing's been OOP for awhile, have at it.

Get it here!

Friday, April 10, 2009

30 Minute Weekend Playlist (4/10/09)

The last time I did one of these things was almost a year ago, so excuse me if I'm rusty. I wanted to review a couple records, but I can always get to that later. The first track is from Dan Deacon's new record Bromst. I like this guy's music and all, but certain songs rule so much more than others and this is one of them. Sometimes his jams make me feel like I'm locked inside the playgrounds for the under-5 crowd at Six Flags. "Blank Slate" is from The Virginia Ep and I believe it's the B-side to the Mistaken for Strangers single, but whatever. That Iron & Wine song is easily one of his best; it's from the Dark Was the Night LP that I've been spinning nonstop. It's one of those songs with a familiar melody and you're all like, he must have stolen that shit. If you don't know Antony & The Johnsons by now you better get outta town. He's been tearing it up for like 4 years at least. Vijay Iyer is a young pianist that plays with Rudresh Mahanthappa (remember when I blogged about him?). If you're into angular piano-jazz with f'd-up phrasing (and who isn't?), Vijay's your man. The other songs are incidentals that will help get your weekend rolling along smoothly. Will's running the marathon in Champaign tomorrow- I hope he doesn't listen to this playlist for inspiration. He should be listening to Terror.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Did you hear? Tuesday - Early Summer

Dan Andriano wasn't always singing and playing bass for Alkaline Trio. But you already know that. When Slapstick disbanded, he took Matt Stamps and Rob Kellenberger and created Tuesday. Their LP Freewheelin' is an undisputed classic. It took me forever to track this EP down in the days of Soulseek, so aren't you glad there's blogsearch people? I finally bought a physical copy on Ebay a year or so ago, but it came with no artwork. Folks with deep crates- does Early Summer have an insert?

For those who don't know, there are four raging songs including my favorite jam "That's Not Like Me." The version of "So Awake" is rawer and doesn't have that awesome instrumental prelude. It's betterness is hotly debated. There's snow on the ground, but early summer is just around the corner. Celebrate it properly.

Get it here!

PS - I checked to make sure this is really OOP. I couldn't find it for sale on AMR's site, and I suspect they're one of the few vendors that would still have copies. 2000 pressed on black, many years ago.