Saturday, April 25, 2020

Hi---still sweatin' it out all on your lonesome in the sanctity of your fart-encrusted bedrooms? Still waitin' for the all clear to sound so you can go back to your usual wastrel lives? Haw, talk about a big lifestyle change (right!)...the only major difference in your lives is that now you have to wear a mask when you go to the mailbox to pick up your welfare checks! But don't worry, things will be getting back to normal shortly when people like ME will be out working in order to support all you loafers out there!
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In the meanwhile...well, I did manage to break the monotony of IMPENDING DOOM by shedding a few shekels for a few back issues of CODA. You might remember it, the Canadian jazz mag that kinda reminded me of what DOWN BEAT woulda been like had they been operating on a lower budget, didn't accept ads for Hohner instruments and were free of stodgies like Leonard Feather workin' for 'em. Plus CODA seemed to have more of an affinity for the new free avgarde stuff that DOWN BEAT seemed to cover only because they felt it was their duty, sorta like the way MELODY MAKER gave room to the pub and punk rock groups of the seventies even though Chris Welch's heart was firmly enshrined in the flittery progressive and camp pop of the day. Gotta put some Ruby Braff on to clear the air of all that Roscoe Mitchell we hadda review...you know the drill by now, eh?

In all, CODA had DOWN BEAT beat on all counts, from the less snobbish attitude as well as their eagerness to cover the free splat that was still up 'n comin' even a good fifteen year after its shocking debut. The print job resembles a good quality fanzine of the day, usually one of European stock with their professional typeset that the Amerigan fanzines usually lacked because well. them Europeons are richer. Plus you don't get that many annoying bigtime ads even if Columbia Records just HADDA HAVE the inside front cover spot.

But sheee-yucks, would much of the competition devote so much space to the likes of Steve Lacy or the New Delta Ahkri while tossing out rubber bones to the more established jazz fashion like was seen elsewhere in the music press? To the folks at CODA these hard-driving free players were the people to push, and while other forms of the jazz mystique did get their allotted time it sure was allotted in a way smaller fashion than would be expected from a mag devoted to a musical genre that really went off on some rather slickster tangents. CODA is a mag I can sure snuggle up with on these long and lonesome days, reminding me of what sorta meaning this music had for sequestered suburban slobs who were holed up in their cubicles reading the New Music Distribution Service catalogs thinking of a good way to latch onto the $5.99 for some Luther Thomas disc. Come to think of it, 45 years later we're still trying to get those very same platters that either went out of stock in a flash or got passed on because well...those depression era wages 'n all!
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Here's what I managed to scrape up for this week. Nothing shocking what with an old Mott the Hoople Cee Dee and various "donations" getting the royal BLOG TO COMM treatment. But who knows, things might just change as soon as my financial luck improves, which in my case means when some frazzled mother dumps half of her change in the parking lot at DOLLAR GENERAL and I'm there just in the nick of time to pick all them pennies (and maybe even more!) up! Thanks to Bill, Paul, and NO ONE ELSE for this week's goodie goods!


Mott the Hoople-THE HOOPLE CD (Columbia/Legacy Records)

If I was doin' one of those year-end wrap ups of familiar recorded booty this woulda ended up in it. But I'm not doin' one and besides I gotta say that I never even heard THE HOOPLE until the here and now! So yeah, it is like an all new platter to me and while I'm at it I gotta say I really am surprised by the thing given that the only legit Hoople I've had for eons on end (wouldja believe since my sixteenth birthday which also yielded a copy of THE SPIRIT and a MAD MAGAZINE SPECIAL?) was ALL THE YOUNG DUDES.

THE HOOPLE is a slicker effort true, but it still has that mid-seventies English rock urge to it that Queen flittered about with and Cockney Rebel flopped over. It kinda reminds me of the early Be Bop Deluxe albums before that group ended up overtaken by their own image. Even the overwrought string-laden moments from "Through the Looking Glass" don't remind you of the theme to THE MILLION DOLLAR MOVIE like "The Long and Winding Road" does. And you don't even have to squint your ears, at least some of the time, to believe that this indeed is pretty good rock 'n roll.

Other Hoople disques in the collection are just rarin' to be reviewed so don't be alarmed when one unsuspectingly bites you on the neck.
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JACKSON BECK AS PHILO VANCE---COACHMAN MURDER CASE & MIDGET MURDER CASE CD-r burn

It's hard to enjoy these old radio programs when you're "multitasking" as the chi-chi crowds like to say, but when you just settle back and close your eyes...you fall asleep! Well, not in this case, for these Philo Vance mysteries are good enough to keep your attention span goin' longer than you average flea's. The first case has a murder victim floating face down in a swimming pool with a fishing knife in his heart and a fish hook and reel connected to his suit. Sounds like an episode of THE AMERICAN SPORTSMAN starring Phil Harris that got out of hand. The other one has the leader of a vaudeville troupe ending up shot with a "midget gun" and you know that it's too obvious that the midget was the one to do it. But who did...the strongman,  the magician, or the acrobat? Yes,  you too can match whatever wits you have with Vance and try to solve the murder, though sometimes I think that if you did just that a lotta innocent people would be going to the chair.
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John Eaton-MICROTONAL FANTASY CD-r burn (originally on Decca Records)

Sheesh, I didn't even know that Decca had a special colored classical label like Columbia did! And I didn't even know who this John Eaton guy was until I did a li'l googlin' here and there! Anyway what it is is a pretty interesting combination of piano, electronics and voice with Eaton playing his co-invention the SynKet, which gives off some of the weirdest oscillations since the Silver Apples while sharp Webern-like piano chords and Cowell-esque tone clusters fill the clogged pores of your mind. The soprano voice of Michiko Hirayama should appeal to fans of Cathy Berberian what with her similar stretch of the vocal cords, but I doubt it. Joan LaBarbera maybe. If your dad got mad at you when you played Stockhausen records (like mine did), boy will he really throw a fit over this!
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Joe Henderson-PAGE ONE CD-r burn (originally on Blue Note Records)

Cool 'nuff true, but frankly after the day I had I could sure use a blast of John Gilmore or Joseph Jarman doing one of his circular breathing English Horn marathons while Don Moye crashes about on whatever drum set and African percussion he had at his ready. The bop still works its wonders what with Henderson's driving lines over competent bossa beats. Hmmm, maybe my nerves have been soothed enough by this '63 sesh. Still gonna search out some AACM to really shake me outta my frazzled nerves tho...
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Various Artists=DIE FRANKFURT SZENE CD-r burn (originally on Bear Family Records, Germany)

Here are some Cherman rarities zat vould put a smile on even Der Fuhrer's corpse had he had vun left to smile vith! I guess Frankfurt, like Hamburg, also had a swinging beat scene in the sixties and judging by these recordings it must've been a pretty hotcha one at that. Good re-dos of familiar hits along with new trackage by talent we haven't heard of before and probably never will hear about again unless we're stranded in an elevator with Mike Stax. One group that really caught me by der knockwurst...Adam und Eve Mit Hush, if only because Eve sounds strangely enough like Annisette from Savage Rose and that is really something that clears out the earwax in my oh-so-precious canals!
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PARASITE OF THE WESTERN WORLD CD-r burn (originally on Criminal Records)

The best thing about the Parasites is that they, like Bomis Prendin, managed to get their eletronica rock collage sound out and about before a whole lotta snoots began doin' the same thing thus reducing the entire concept of higher education experimentalism to pure moosh. The rock 'n roll drives on in that best socially correct rockist way (heavy on the primal thud, light on the pop pap goo) and the experimental tracks don't even sound like the standard musique concrete swipes that usually pop up on these! If I were a member of this act and someone would come up to me, I surely would not cringe in shame!
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Peppino De Luca e I Marc 4-ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK L'UOMO DAGLI OCCHI DI GHIACCIO CD-r burn (originally on Pegaso SRL Records, Italy)

Other'n a few exceptions like RIOT ON SUNSET STRIP, soundtrack albums don't usually do much for me because the sound is separated from the action one sees on the screen and well, something does get lost in the translation. This 'un is no exception. Lounge-y jazz intermingles with typical thriller sequence pounce which for the most part reminds me of the background music one would have heard on some locally-made television commercial circa 1975 advertising either the Saturday Night wrestling card or a new menswear shop opening at the plaza. If anything, after listening to this I was inspired to buy a new pair of slacks.
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Bob Azzam and his Orchestra-NEW SOUNDS CD-r burn (originally on Columbia Records, Sweden)

Yeesh! What a torture it is listening to this phonybaloney mid-Eastern take on Brazil '66 goop that's all popped up in a late-sixties commercial fashion. This gives me the feelin' that I'm stranded in someone's idea of a hip Cairo airport lounge right around the time of the Six Day War. Standard euroslickness oozes outta every note to the point where I kinda thought that I shoulda snuck in an insulin shot. I guess they like it real e-z goin' over there. Funny thing, the original called "The Story of My Life" woulda sounded way better if Lou and the VU did their own version which cracks me up since they did do a song with a very similar title 'n all.
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Various Artists-FUGITIVE WILLIE MENTOR STRANGE CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

A man like Bill outdoes himself alla the time, but when he outdoes the usual outdoing boy does he work a pile of WONDERS! The Willie Tyler and Lester opener sets the pace for this crazy spin which includes, besides one of those seventies rock sermons by some preacher spinnin' records backwards, a clip from Radio Iran (actually quite a nice musical experience, and we better get used to it!), some home-produced self-released neo-punk effort from an act called Fugitive Poetry, the Mentors doing some more real-deal punk, and this guy singing an entire album's worth of Olde Tymey songs accompanied by whistling and a banjo! He's kinda boring but you'll like it when he gets durty! Hope you stayed awake through all that to get to the Radio Asia clip!
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I don't think all of you reg'lar BLOG TO COMM readers have all of the issues, available or not, of BLACK TO COMM safely stashed in your abode, and if this is so I hope you are ashamed enough to rectify this situation and pick up as many of these CRUCIAL magazines as you can before I really have to shame you into doing that! Boy, was I right about you nimnuls or what!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

lol in your farty old room you could listen to captain bee fart lol coda my favorite magazine lol never heard of it lol jazz is for losers lol

Anonymous said...

(((Ruby Braff))) did nothing wrong. He was the "Barry Goldwater of jazz."

Christopher Stigliano said...

Shows how much you know! Braff was a Democrat who was part of a jazz coalition that was aligned with Walter Mondale's wife during the 1980 election campaign! How a lot of the more free players in that organization viewed Braff is not known, but I get the feeling they gritted their teeth long enough in order to support the cause.

MoeLarryAndJesus said...

At the risk of sounding like Alvin Bishop, let me just say I love Mott, Hoople or not.

Anonymous said...

Don't get your panties in a twist, Stiggy! Of course (((Braff))) was a Dem. I was just quoting, off the top of my head, something written by your boy (yes, I wrote "boy"), LeRoi Jones, aka, Amiri Baraka.

Sheesh.

"LeRoi, yo' mama callin; yoo! She gawn gibbs yoo such a whuppin'! Upside yo' haid! Dat right!"

Christopher Stigliano said...

I might have to give you a temporary ban from BTC for that one. I mean, taking LeRoi Jones' opines as gospel truth! Sheesh!

Anonymous said...

Free jazz is difficult and controversial because it avoids a lot of the hallmarks of common practice jazz. The thing is, for many people, tonality and melody and traditional harmony can only express so much, and free jazz is one of several ways musicians explore other avenues of making music, and thinking about the world. I wonder if people who think of it as "noise" are capable of realizing that other people find it inspiring, beautiful, and engaging in a way that no other music is. I have always thought that if the totality of your emotional or aesthetic experience can be expressed by tonal music, you might be missing a lot of things in life. Peace out.

Anonymous said...

lol is captain bee fart free jazz? lol does a bee fart loud enough for anyone to hear? lol

Clayton S. said...

How does one mail records to you nowadays? Thanks

Christopher Stigliano said...

Clayton----send anything you wish for review (or not) to 701 North Hermitage Road., Suite 23, Hermitage PA 16148 and maybe it WILL arrive!

Anonymous said...

Hello, Moe! I appreciate the tip o' the hat! As for Mott the Hoople, not an all-time favorite here, but something favored. If I were "Dean" Christgau, I'd give them a B+, as it were. I would give an A+ to Captain Beefheart, or as some seem to prefer, Captain Bee Fart. So be it. To each their own! Cheers! Alvin Bishop