Saturday, December 16, 2006
The Bad Plus has been circulating this questionaire for a while...
GIVE US AN EXAMPLE OR TWO OF AN ESPECIALLY GOOD OR INTERESTING:
1. Movie score. Naked Lunch. Some of Mothersbaugh's originals from 'Rushmore' specifically 'Hardest Geometry Problem In The World'
2. TV theme. The Rockford Files, Dick Van Dyke, the "counting" songs with the funky pinball animations from Sesame Street
3. Melody. "Circle in the Round' by Miles Davis...long, looping and beautiful
'Reitschule' by Do Make Say Think
'Beautiful Child' by Rufus Wainwright
Anything by Japancakes
4. Harmonic language. A few brilliant moments during Keith Jarrett and Charlie Haden duet on the last four minutes of 'Melting the Ice' Some very sensitive and tender interactions. (From the live material on the The Impulse Years 1973-74 box set.) 'The Rich and the Poor' from the same box set.
5. Rhythmic feel. 'Mr. Freedom X' by Miles Davis...bizarre and snarling, churning mix of abstract funk and droning Indian percussion...one of the absolutely weirdest pieces of music I've ever heard; 'Sneaky' by Groove Collective; 'In Walked Bud' on Misterioso by Monk
6. Hip-hop track. 'Borough Check' by Digable Planets
7. Classical piece. No Answer
8. Smash hit(s). The Police: 'Synchonicity II' I can't get enough of that little turnaround at the end of each lyric with the bass playing in harmony with the guitar. Such a simple little figure but so perfect. 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic' Never get tired of it.
9. Jazz album. 'Full House: Live at the Tsubo' by Wes Montgomery. Live set with Wes and Johnny Griffin backed by Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb. Absolutely fantastic album. It doesn't break new ground but, goddamn, does it sound good.
'In A Silent Way' by Miles Davis. This was probably the first Miles album I "got" and I never get tired of it's pared-down elliptical structures and overall luminosity.
10. Non-American folkloric group. Nustrat Fateh Ali Khan and company; not sure if Fela Kuti fits into this category but I'll submit him for approval.
11. Book on music. No answer
A) Name an surprising album (or albums) you loved when you were developing as a musician: something that really informs your sound but that we would never guess in a million years: I can only answer this question as a music-loving visual artist but I'd have to go with Queen's soundtrack for Flash Gordon. Overly dramatic, campy, tacky, awash in saturated colors just like the movie. I love it. Perfect marriage of aural and visual.
B) Name a practitioner (or a few) who play [an] instrument that you think is underrated: Cannonball Adderley. Intense, imaginative and joyful--a fantastically acrobatic player. I NEVER hear him mentioned in "serious" discussions of jazz though I think the impact of the Zawinul-era band is considerable, if largely unacknowledged. Hugely unfair. Have you heard '74 Miles Away' people? Same goes for Wes Montgomery. It's a shame that most of the attention goes to the "pioneers" and not those who chose to further explore the limits of established forms.
C) Name a rock or pop album that you wish had been a smash commercial hit (but wasn’t, not really): Bleu 'Redhead' Just a great pop/rock album. Same with Jellyfish's "Spilt Milk"
D) Name a favorite drummer, and an album to hear why you love that drummer: Again, Miles-related...Tony Williams and, specifically, his playing on 'Miles in the Sky'. He provides the entire architecture for that album. Andy Sturmer from Jellyfish.