So much music, so little time — it’s absurd to whittle down this year’s “best” recordings to 10, an act that merely bows to convention. Why not 15? 25? 50? — if there are that many albums that reward repeated listening with enjoyment and revelation.
Archives for November 2008
The jazziest scene at the second night of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Monk Festival was in the fifth floor atrium, during intermission of simultaneous concerts by pianist Danilo Perez’s trio (reprising his cd Panamonk, in the Allen Room) and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra performing members’ arrangements of Monk’s music in big band settings led by Wynton Marsalis, with featured pianist Marcus Roberts (in more formal Rose Hall).Â
Mostly Other People Do The Killing is a super-serious-with-a-sense-of-humor Philadelphia-based Â quartet paying homage to Ornette Coleman with its hot new album This Is Our Moosic.The cd’s cover photo cops and mocks the oh-so-cool look of Coleman’s earth-shaking quartetÂ on its classicÂ 1960 releaseÂ This Is Our MusicÂ
It’s odd that of all the nuances of expression jazz can convey, the thrill of victory and celebration of success is hard to find among the music’s classics. Barack Obama’s heartening win of the presidency prompts me to search out joyous music, but I can’t think of a movement akin to the bells ringing in Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” in the repertoire of Miles, Ornette, Cecil or Coltrane, Mingus, Monk, Bird and Diz, or Ellington, Basie and Goodman. The crowning last chorus of Armstrong’s “Tight LIke This” comes to mind, though the satisfaction bespoke in the trumpeter’s final ringing notes seems to reflect gratification that’s more personal than socio-political. Where’s jazz’s happy party music?