One of my desert island discs is 2009’s Mostly Coltrane by the Steve Kuhn trio with Joe Lovano. I got it at the end of 2010 and was instantly swept away. (Another ECM gem. I better start watching myself, or this will become an exclusively ECM-centric blog…not that there’s anything wrong with that…)
The album/band provides an compelling mix of in and out Trane-inspired material: “I Want to Talk About You,” “Crescent,” “Central Park West,” “Living Space,” and more. Pianist Steve Kuhn, who briefly performed with Coltrane in 1960, and bassist David Finck ground the ensemble in more accessible territory, while saxophonist Joe Lovano and drummer Joey Baron, whose playing I’ve since become quite taken with, aim for more exploratory realms. The album features beautiful balladry, aggressive late-Trane attitude, and everything in between – all wrapped up in ECM’s superb production quality.
The below clips come from the group’s performance at JazzBaltica 2008. Included are three tunes that, in my opinion, best represent the ensemble. Everyone gets some solo space, and the musicians cover a lot of musical and emotional ground. The first clip features the meditative “Jimmy’s Mode” and “Spiritual,” the latter of which is one of my favorite two tunes on the album. The second video is of a burning “Impressions.” (How could it not be played? Jazz festival + Coltrane tribute + saxophonist = “Impressions”) The rest of the concert is also available on YouTube if you’re so inclined.
Holiday travel and a busy start to 2011 really slowed down the New Listen posts. However, I’ve still been acquiring and absorbing all kinds of new albums the last few months. Instead of giving a blow-by-blow account of each one, I thought I’d simply list them in “autobiographical” order (to reference the great Rob Gordon in High Fidelity). They’re all quite good, and some of them – notably Anniversary!, Mostly Coltrane, and King of Limbs, among others – were instant classics in my library.
I’m often curious as to what others are listening to, which is why I wanted to offer something about the new music I’ve acquired over the last few months. Hopefully, now that I’m a bit “caught up” in that department, the New Listens will resume regular appearances. 🙂 Feel free to email me for any specific descriptions/questions.
Dave Matthews Band: Live Trax Vol. 19: Vivo Rio – 09.30.08, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil Dave Matthews Band: Live in New York City & The Big Apple
Stan Getz: Anniversary!
Herbie Hancock: Fat Albert Rotunda
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: The E Street Shuffle Air: Moon Safari Dave Liebman: As Always Dave Liebman: Negative Space
Grateful Dead: American Beauty Grateful Dead: From the Mars Hotel Grateful Dead: Truckin’ Up To Buffalo (Live 07.04.89) Trio Mediaeval: Stella Maris Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Into The Great Wide Open Steve Kuhn Trio w. Joe Lovano: Mostly Coltrane Elton John: The Big Picture Dave Liebman: Lookout Farm 1974/75 (Deluxe Edition) – box set
Dave Liebman: Quest Live 1988 + 1991 (Deluxe Edition) – box set
Jenny & Johnny: I’m Having Fun Now Jeff Coffin: Commonality Nine Inch Nails: Ghosts I-IV Nine Inch Nails: Pretty Hate Machine
Radiohead: King of Limbs
Grant Green: Grantstand Rilo Kiley: Take Offs and Landings Smashing Pumpkins: Teargarden by Kaleidyscope (gradual, as released…)