Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

Copyright Notice

Everything that appears on this blog is the copyrighted property of somebody. Often, but not always, that somebody is me. For things that are not mine, I either have obtained permission, or claim fair use. Feel free to quote me, but attribute, please. My photos and poetry are dear to my heart, and may not be used without permission. Ditto, my other intellectual property, such as charts and graphs. I'm probably willing to share. Let's talk. Violators will be damned for all eternity to the circle of hell populated by Rosanne Barr, Mrs Miller [look her up], and trombonists who are unable play in tune. You cannot possibly imagine the agony. If you have a question, email me: jazzbumpa@gmail.com. I'll answer when I feel like it. Cheers!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday Music Blogging

In the interest of full disclosure, I'll have to admit that I'm more than a little bit perplexed by my new acquaintance, J. But, a wise trombonist knows to take a good suggestion, and, after a rather rocky start, J offered one in the comments to last week's SMB.

So, this week, we feature Stan Kenton, and a look into his trombone section from a live performance in London in February, 1972. And, to introduce an arbitrary slant, I've decided to use in SMB only Kenton arrangements that I've actually performed. Here is one of the Strangest, and most difficult. At that time, I was playing third, and did not have the solo.

Chiapas is mostly in 5/4 time, but takes excursions into 7/4, and IIRC (it's been several years) 11/8 and 13/8 in the riffs following the improvised soprano sax and trumpet solos.

The trombone solo - written, not improvised - here features Dick Shearer, probably the edgiest trombonist I've ever heard.



J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J said...

At least strange acquaintance J. appreciates Stan Kenton musick--(actually written by Levy). Fender bass works for me (then Im a e-bassist)--really, in modern jazz preferable I think, unless you have a Ron Carter or Haden around.

The double time section with soprano cool--hint of 'trane. The tricky meters interesting--sort of Zappa-ish--, and....... tricky, tho' the band nails it, for most part--percussion works for me too, tho' I don't think all the trad. jazzers approved.....

.....I dig the simmer brass tech.--stan the king of dynamics (it's rugalo I think doing the charts usually---you have the chart??) ....as long as the Maynard Ferguson-factor doesn't get too out of hand.

J said...

Tho' I must say

the older noir-harmonies and chromaticism of Kenton band more to my taste than the chiapas latin-rock--like Artistry in Rhythm--. And Kenton no slouch on the ivories---a hint of Scriabin, and dark, man.

Stan did the soundtrack for 50s-60s LA mob wars...picture the starlets enjoying their nightcap on sunset, crime, booze, cars, simmering complex entropy in all directions (James Ellroy sort of picks up on it) . All that TV crime show/noir big band stuff--Stan really started it--tho Duke Ellington might have helped-- and the hacks ripped him off

Jazzbumpa said...

Stan gives Hank Levy full credit at the beginning of the vid, and also on whichever album had this track.

I'm delighted to say that when we played this , we also nailed the rhythms and meter changes. I can't speak for trad jazzers in '72. That was the early fatherhood period of my life, and the trombone was set a side for a couple of decades.

But jazz is not about tradition -it's about expansion. And Stan was always pushing at the margins.

I don't have any of the Kenton arrangements. Rugolo did a lot in the 50's - as well as both "Four Freshmen and Five Trombones" sets. Other stalwarts were Dee Barton, and Bill Russo. Next week I might put up a Willie Maiden chart.

All the upright bass players I know are up in years. It's a lot easier to find an electric bass player these days.


Jazzbumpa said...

Perhaps you will find this more to your liking. I can't find Stan doing RAINY DAY on You Tube. But the Hungarians do a more than credible job. I rate it an A-

Jazzbumpa said...

Forgot to mention - I think Rainy Day is a Dee Barton arrangement.

J said...

I'm not a traditionalist. My taste for jazz started in 80s, grew out of jazzy rock, ala Steely Dan, Zappa, a few others. Once you play Miles Davis Kind of Blue a few dozen times, the rock partay not so appealing.

I still prefer the 40s 50s sound, some be-bop. Ellington, Kenton, Gerry Mulligan (I think he played with Kenton a bit), Chet baker, then combo stuff with Bill Evans, 'Trane, Miles. etc. Some fusion works for me--some I don't really enjoy. That said, most jazz harmonies have been known since like Debussy and Ravel, if not Chopin (ah yeahh, my man Freddy "Phat" Chopin ticklin' the ivories)