When you get up in the morning, you must have a song - Ray Charles

Monday, September 21, 2009

Gateway 2

You know sometimes dinner music does not have to be boring. This is a great record for a candlelit dinner - well at least I hope so because I intend to try it out this weekend.

It took me years to find the value in most ECM recordings.
I really like this recording despite my cringing attitude to jazz guitar.

Whatta ya think? I'm thinking curried corn and tomato soup, fresh spinach salad a light flaky white fish, some grilled asparagus and baby corn, and a small side of portabello cous-cous with oyster sauce. Candles and flowers. If that won't get me a little attention nothing will.

But back to the lp - once again taken from the vinyl copy...

John Abercrombie, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette
Gateway 2

1. Opening
2. Reminiscence
3. Sing Song
4. Nexus
5. Blue

Dave Holland - bass
John Abercrombie - electric and acoustic guitars
Jack DeJohnette - drums, piano

recorded 07/77...Oslo, Norway



Bill said...

thanks! FLAC mp3???

Hookfinger said...

All recordings are simply mp3. Nothing fancy and only intended to send you to the proper source.

tommythomaso said...

Hi, Hook, I've got a friend in Salt Lake City, J. D. Moffat, their premiere guitarist - at least 10 years ago - who feels essentially as you do, but his aversion is limited to guitarists after Barney, Herb and Jimmy Raney. Mention Abercrombie and his face fills with blood. I tried to explain to him that growth in the arts ends up being okay - just like it works in science and other endeavors. The movement from Gregorian chants to Bach, Hayden, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Stravinsky, Prokofiev and so on. I mean we love Bach; he was like the Charlie Parker of classical music. But the Bird led to Coltrane, Miles, Horace and Blakey, and to that garage band in Poland. There are misses, sure, but things get better. Kids go to school now to learn how to play jazz, how to improvise, how to create. On the other hand, in the early 50s I had four vinyls by Kessel (Moffat’s favorite); I was so sick of them, but when I heard Kenny Burrell on “All Night Long”, I was confident there was a place for the guitar in jazz. By the way, your feelings about Wynton are side by side with mine. Hard to figure really, it’s all in your ears and even tho everyone loves this guy, there’s something missing.

Abercrombie in the 80s - you know the dark ages in jazz beginning in the mid 70s and ending (hopefully forever) in the 90s - was three things that might surprise you. He played electric mandolin as well as guitar, his music was accessible for the most part, and he recorded for a great guy in Munich, Manfred Eicher, head of ECM.

I can appreciate your feelings about ECM. If I saw something recorded on ECM (Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, Mike Mantler, etc.) I never knew how it would turn out. It could be the best on the market . . . or the worst. Yet going back to something I rejected 15 years ago often turns out to be worthwhile.

Since doing a jazz show in Moab, Utah, for the last 15 years, where ECM sends me their new releases, I've had a chance to appreciate some of the more esoteric stuff, coming primarily from Europe, getting acquainted with the European sound - their approach to our music: jazz. In the late 40s and early 50s I listened to Bengt Hallberg, Lars Gullin, Stan Hasselgard from over there. Not bad, but derivative, copy-cats trying to sound like American artists.

Over the years, however, they developed, quite unconsciously I believe, their own sound. The beauty of it comes from the suffering they've endured in the 20th century, especially Eastern Europe. Stanko ends up in a small city in Poland needing a trio to meet his obligation to play in one of their jazz clubs. He finds Wasilewski, Kurkiewitz and Miskiewitz - artists no one had ever heard of - and now they are world-class performers with three trio recordings (two with ECM: "Trio" and "January") as well as three with Stanko and two with Manu Katche (all ECM). Katche left Miskiewitz home for reasons we can certainly understand. Sweden’s Bobo Stenson is a fantastic pianist, old enuf to be on Social Security, and he’s still performing, sounding better than ever. His cohort, Anders Jorman, ranks with the best of bassists. Enrico Rava, Stefano Bollani, Stefano Di Battista, Stefano Battaglia from Italy; Garbarek, Trygve Seim, Arve Henriksen, Mats Eilertsen: all I believe from Norway.

Somebody stop me; get me a doctor. Until they come for me I need to thank you for your generosity. If you want to talk send me an email to KZMU.org. I might be able to add to your blog.