Monday, April 25, 2011

Primary Sources and Modern Inspiration

I have been slow to warm "modern" musicians. I think I can trace this attitude back to when I was in high school and I really began to get serious about listening to jazz. My father had a record collection that included Miles, Trane, Herbie Hancock, among others. By the time I was 15, I was pretty clearly ensconced in the Trane-Wayne-Sonny-Joe universe. My first year of college, I was probably the only one there who hadn't been wearing out Brecker's "Don't Try This At Home." I say this all by way of realizing that my musical world view is seen (heard?) through a lens in which most of what I hear in my head as an example of an ideal is at least 50 years old.

I have, of course, come to love the entire spectrum of music, but jazz recorded between 1957 and 1972 will always hold a place in my heart as the TRUTH.

I love to listen to many musicians on the scene today, but for study and inspiration I always find myself going back to the primary sources. How about you?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

John Coltrane

I have been listening to the master a lot these days.

Specifically, "Meditations". It has taken a long time for me to really be able to appreciate some of Trane's music from his later period. I've come to hear that the music on this recording, while being very abstract, contains some of the most intensely beautiful melodies anywhere on record.

Consider the following from the "Love" movement:

What really touches me is the relatively simple way that Trane treats the melody (starting around 2:20). The simple, almost child-like melody with increasingly dark and shifting colors never fails to grab at my heart as does the absolute conviction that Trane plays with.

Just beautiful....