New Picks, Ideal for Summer

Please go to the center column and scroll down to Doug’s Picks. There, you will find recommendations for two tenor saxophonists, a pianist who sings (or a singer who plays the piano), a pianist and a poet. Yes, a poet.

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  1. says

    I go along with you on the new Grant Stewart release (a Toronto boy, after all). That’s a fine record! He’ll be playing here in his hometown on Saturday, the Fourth of July. Yay!
    Too bad that Tardo Hammer won’t be along — there’s a fine, FINE piano player…

  2. rootlesscosmo says

    KCSM-FM played a cut from that Grant Stewart CD in the middle of a set so I had to wait until they back-announced the players. I was uncertain at first but finally decided that had to be Sonny Rollins, though I didn’t recognize the tune from any of his late 50′s albums. What puzzled me was the pianist who sounded as trying unsuccessfully to imitate Tommy Flanagan. (Richie Powell? Nah…) It was just the one track, but based on that I’d say he is kind of a clone–close enough to have convinced me, and there’s the whole philosophical issue about whether a really convincing counterfeit is equivalent to its model, but still, I don’t think copying late 50′s bebop is a particularly good use of musical talent, which Stewart’s clearly got.

  3. Jon Foley says

    rootlesscosmo says:
    “…I don’t think copying late 50′s bebop is a particularly good use of musical talent, which Stewart’s clearly got.”
    If late 1950s modern jazz (for many of us, the pinnacle of modern jazz) is the period in which Grant Stewart finds himself most comfortable, and he plays the tenor sax, how would you have him sound? Should he be a Coltrane clone, like 90% of current players? A squawking, shrieking free jazz player? In the 50s, Rollins got a particular sound from his horn (which I wish he still had); Stewart clearly admires that *sound*, but he’s not copying Rollins’s solos; he’s just producing the same saxophone sound.
    And I’ve got bad news for you, rootless: There are no new styles. They’re all taken. If you’re playing jazz on a tenor, inevitably you’re going to sound somewhat like someone from the past. If you don’t, it’s probably not jazz you’re playing.