Wednesday, April 02, 2008

One view traded for another. The squalor of White Plains traded for the squalor of Long Island City. Ah, but it's my squalor. My neighborhood squalor. Ten minutes from apartment to job. Home for lunch.

I haven't been in the studio all week. Just don't have the energy or concentration. Which is fine, I guess. I feel wiped out from the six months of White Plains. I am incommunicado and uncreative.

Been listening to Wayne Shorter's Odyssey of Iska lately, the 9 minute track Joy in particular. Coltrane performed a song of the same title...I'm trying to discover if Shorter's version is a cover. But the melody is so fragmented on the Odyssey album that I can't tell. The best part about Joy is the bass line--which is a very funky stutter--but it only appears at random intervals. Anticipating the return of the bass line is one of my favorite aspects of the song. Shorter plays tenor through most of tune but switches to soprano for the last two minutes and his playing gets very fragmented--he'll play part of a phrase and leave it hanging incomplete, or he'll restate part of the melody but, again, just let it go unfinished. There is something very playful in his playing during that part of the song; I think it presages (or parallels--not sure on the exact chronology) this playinf on the first two Weather Report albums which share the same kind of foggy, gentle(ish) atmosphere.

Overall, a very misty album, like sunlight through fog along a coastline...liquid meeting solid meeting vapor, larger forms hinted at, softened and disguised, made unfamiliar by the shrouding atmosphere. Very good album, definitely one that takes some concentration because the structures are so loose. It's not free, exactly, but casual (?) somehow. Hard to pin it down. Good stuff.

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