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June 07, 2005


Bemoaning one's own triteness is now trite. Proceed bemoanlessly.

Sometimes it's ok to say a thing without first recapitulating the historical aesthetic dialectic of a category of observation and then admitting failure.

I think the people who love you need to tell you this more often.

But the first sentence was by far the most fun to write.

The free improvisation ensemble that I played with in Pittsburgh--which literally changed its name with every performance (sometimes there was more than one name per performance)--once went out under the name "whitebait to C one year viola sax." This name arose because, while searching for material on Kaoru Abe and Masayuki Takayanagi, I ran across this interview with High Rise, and when Google translated it from the French, one of the things it did was attempt to put "able to do on an alto sax" into English, not realizing it was in English already.

My very expensive copy of Takayanagi's Lonely Woman disappeared when I tried to ship it from Salt Lake City to Milwaukee. If someone wants to burn it for me, that would make me happy. (Similar things are true for Henry Threadgill's Pi albums, and some others I could name.)

I don't like Ron Anderson's work much.

I'm down with PAK. I have one (1) Threadgill album, but I don't think it's on Pi.

Which is it? You should have more.

I'm not sure. Allmusic is down so I can't check for familiar-sounding titles. There. And I don't know to whom else to turn!

Is it:
Where's Your Cup
Everybody's Mouth's a Book
Up Popped the Two Lips
Too Much Sugar for a Dime
Makin' a Move
Carry the Day
Spirit of Nuff... Nuff
Live at Koncepts
When Was That
Just the Facts and Pass the Bucket
Subject to Change
Song Out of my Trees

(I omit the Arista albums because they've been out of print too long for a young'un like you to own 'em, most likely)

As long as you did it because you wanted to.

It's "Where's Your Cup?".

Ah. That's the best, I think. The performance of the music at the Three Rivers Art Festival, before the album came out (years before, I think, due to Columbianic fuckwittage), was one of the best concerts I've ever seen. The fireworks that went off over Three Rivers Stadium just after the band reentrance on "And This" (if I'm not mistaken) were especially suitable.

The Amazon "listen to this" samples of the album seem to capture only the harmonium/accordion introductions, which I think unrepresentative.

Everybody's Mouth's a Book is another album by the samish band (different drummer, vibes in for the accordion) which is very nice, but not as intense. Most of Threadgill's other groups have much weirder instrumentation--Two Lips is for him, tuba, cello, oud, acoustic guitar, and drums. Were you to buy another Threadgill album, it might be the one I'd recommend--it has the zany galumphing march thing going on. The next five albums on my list are (mostly) with his band Very Very Circus, which is a sort of much more arranged takeoff on Ornette Coleman's Prime Time, with two tubas instead of two electric basses, two electric guitars, french horn (or trombone), drums, and on some of the albums extra instruments (mostly strings, like oud and pipa); Too Much Sugar is the most demented, and Spirit of Nuff... Nuff maybe the most like Where's Your Cup? The next three are by the Sextett, which is more straight-ahead jazz--sax, trombone, trumpet, cello, bass, two drums (I think that's why two 't's). Very Mingusy in a way, though also Threadgillian in its arrangements; my favorite is Subject to Change but everyone else thinks I'm nuts and prefers Just the Facts, and they're probably right (and it has the best title).

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