While probing the mysteries of the Macintosh universe and meeting with frustrations, roadblocks and delights (man, this thing is FAST), I have continued to listen. Here are impressions of two of the CDs that have kept me company during my slam-bang self-tutorial and late-night iMac school.
Bley’s settings for soloists inspire their creativity and swing. Trumpeter Lew Soloff, trombonist Gary Valente, drummer Billy Drummond and saxophonists Andy Sheppard, Wolfgang Puschnig and Julian Arguelles stand out. Steve Swallow drives the band and provides much of its texture and color. Playing electric bass, he retains the sound, soul and propulsiveness he had on the acoustic instrument he left behind decades ago, while gaining a guitar-like fluency in the upper register. He is a remarkable musician.