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Sunday, 30 December 2012


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"I'm still waiting for the Acid Jazz Trip-Hop Accordion album, but maybe next year."

My good friend and classmate Zena Parkins might be able to help you out there


I've really enjoyed Kenny Garrett's Seeds From the Underground (2012).

How nice that Branford Marsalis has released an album with a photographic theme, Four Medium Formats Playin' Tunes.

I'm not a big fan of jazz, but just did an interview with Jenny Scheinman for the newspaper I work at. She was so intelligent and interesting to talk to I'll be heading for the Eugene concert (where she's playing with Frisell and Brian Blade).

One thing I especially liked: She said she was drawn to jazz in part because she's "studious" and there are so many layers to the music and its culture.

Enough, already!

Wow, Jenny Scheinman has exquisite taste in sidemen and wardrobe. I may have a new heroine. Nels Clineand Bill Frisell? You had me at Nels and that awesome dress.

Yeah, I know, the dress thing is shallow, but I think it shows a certain cunning.

Thanks for the ideas. I always want to get more into jazz but don't know where to start -- just added "Jazz 101" to my amazon shopping cart. Also, I added some of your recommended albums to my Spotify playlist. For those of you that don't know about Spotify this is the perfect opportunity to try out their service. Most of these albums are available on Spotify. It's free on your computer.

"Naw, music is more like food...a consumable necessary for survival. For all year 'round, not just for special occasions."

I'll check with She-Who-Controls-the-Checkbook and see if music counts as staple (requiring regular replenishment).

This long out of print book is a also pretty good way to get started in Jazz.


Most of the mentioned albums are probably out of print or called something else now, but you can still use it as a way to find some of the best stuff.

When I'm feeling flush I like to take a spin around Amazon looking for obscure gems and stumbled on to this.
Not a new recording or a new release so I suppose this is OT, OT, sorry.


These are from the 1940's. Some are recordings done to send out to the troops. It makes the case that all of Les Paul's later innovations were built on some stellar jazz chops.
During that session I also replaced my vinyl version of Chester and Lester and a few days later the UPS guy delivered a full days worth of fun.

Mike, I've told you before how much I cherish this blog for what I've learned about photography, but this time I have to thank you for Mischief and Mayhem. Jenny Scheinman is insanely great. Thank you so very much for turning me onto this album. My wallet is not so happy but my ears are overjoyed... ;)

If I can catch an image that is for the eye as A Ride with Polly Jean is for my ear, I'll die a much happier man.

I don't like or share your taste in cameras, but love your taste in that what makes a great jazz. "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" Ella Fitzgerald says. "Saying Happy New Year to Mike," I answer.

Just bought Visions of Jazz by Gary Giddins and The History of Jazz by Ted Gioia and am dipping in and out of them currently while re reading Robert Hughes and rediscovering Dave Hickey. Jazz 101 might just be next on the list. Getting really interested in Jazz again ...

If it's of any interest to the TOP legions I've made a Spotify playlist of these albums http://open.spotify.com/user/gingerburn/playlist/60md2DXmSgR8KL5ukcbKAh

Ryan Truesdell's Gil Evans Project, "Centennial." My own words can't describe it--so I encourage everyone to hear for themselves.

Jenny Scheinman: don't stop with this album. Play "Processional" from her Crossing the Field album. Also, "Sleeping in the Aquifer" from 12 Songs.

Both are available on MOG so there's a strong chance they will be on Spotify too.

Will said "How nice that Branford Marsalis has released an album with a photographic theme, Four Medium Formats Playin' Tunes."

Sorry, but it is actually Four Manual Focusers...


Here are my favorite Jazz CDs of 2012:

Adam Fairhall - The Imaginary Delta
Alex Machacek - Fat
Amit Freidman Sextet - Sunrise
Angelica Sanchez Quintet - Wires and Moss
Bill McHenry - La Peur du Vide
Billy Hart - All our Reasons
Blommor Inomhus - Blommor Inomhus
**Bobby Sanabria Big Band - Multiverse
Chick Corea - Further Explorations
Dave Douglas - Be Still
Gregory Porter - Be Good < Guillaume de Chassy - Silences
Guillermo Klein - Carrera
**Harris Eisenstadt - Canada Day III
Jeremy Siskind - Finger Songwriter
John Surman - Saltash Bells
Kurt Rosenwinkle - Star of Jupiter
Luciana Souza - Duets III
Martin Hoper - The Bride
Matt Ulery - By a little light
Matt Wilson - Attitude for Gratitude
Matthew Halsall - Fletcher Moss Park
Metta Quintet - Big Drum, Small World
Michael Formanek - Small Places
Michael Musillami Trio - Mettle
Myra Melford & Trio M - The Guest House
Nik Bartsch's Ronin - Live
Pat Metheny - Unity Band
Did someone say accordian? Richard Galliano - Nino Rota
Steve Lehman Trio - Dialect Flourescent
Stian Westerhus - The Matriarch and the wrong kind of flowers
* Thomas Chapin - Never Let me Go
Tim Berne - Snakeoil
Tom Harrell - #5
Vijay Iyer - Accelerando

yes, these are my 'best of'. I did my best to cull these down. 2012 was a good year in jazz. *= must hear

If you're allowing jazz albums we first heard in 2012, I'd have to say "The Triangle" (2004) -- Arild Andersen, John Marshall & Vassilis Tsabropoulos -- is without a doubt my favorite. Try "Cinderella Song" for starters (although "Straight" and "Pavane" are now the two tracks I've listened to most).

My thanks to Adam Lozo for mentioning Nik Bärtsch's "Ronin - Live." I had no idea they had a live album out. These guys do the coolest things with rhythms (try "Modul 22"). And I love how Nik Bärtsch plays the piano (often using his hand to partially mute strings, e.g., "Modul 48"). Nik also has quite a few live videos out on his Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/nikbaertsch

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