Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bill Evans Trio Sunday at the Village Vanguard
John Lee Hooker Urban Blues CS

The Hamlins "Everyone Got To Be There" mp3
Talk Talk Laughing Stock
Mayyors 7"

Magas May I Meet My Accuser

Listening to this classic Bill Evans Trio album, I can't help but think that piano jazz is like the celestial and heavenly version of jazz. The jazz afterlife. Horn-based jazz on the other hand is the earthly realm, where the funk comes in, the breath, the spit, the bodily functions. One is cerebral and the other is physical. Of course Cecil Taylor and others destroy this theory, but Bill Evans sure doesn't. Scott LaFaro on bass and Paul Motian on drums - really incredible nimble light-touch rhythm section. I also have a theory about the blues: I think that Beware of the Dog by Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers (recorded in 1974) was the last great blues album. The Great Migration, the move from the country to the cities, from localization to industrialization, killed the blues (and thousands of other things, literally and figuratively, but we won't go into that like I tried to when I wrote about the movie Killer of Sheep a whole buncha posts ago). Hound Dog and John Lee Hooker may have both developed their music and made their name in a northern city (Chicago and Detroit respectively) but they were both born and somewhat raised in Mississippi - their music was urbanized but not without that heavy rural foundation. No one born in the Northern cities, on the other hand, could make great blues. They could maybe make great entertainment in a Las Vegas/oldies revue sense, but not great true/new blues. Feel free to shoot this theory down, preferably by including the name of at least one great blues album recorded after 1974. The Hamlins just sang "Don't care what you may do/don't care what you may say" on this reggae B-side from 1968, on the Studio 1 label - is this very song where Bad Brains got those lyrics? Or was it a common phrase in reggae music and/or Rastafarian culture? Or a coincidence? Damn, this Magas album and its ridiculously heavy synth basslines keeping these songs in overdrive... this is probably called 'electro' music but I'm starting to cook up a new theory, that this is 2000s rock'n'roll music, like in the tradition of Jerry Lee Lewis...

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