The problem with me posting two albums is I’m not sure which of them the replies are referring too - that will teach me!
If Vanished Gardens then yes it’s utterly wonderful, revealing more with each listen. You can see the potential in their previous album together (without Lucinda Williams) that’s on Tidal - can’t remember the name, it’s blue! But this one just takes it up a whole level, everything seeming to come together - perfect storm in reverse.
Try Soul’s Core Revival as well though - maybe giving the original a run through first. One of those albums that just fits like a beautifully tailored coat. And I think you can hear the 25 years of experience that has gone into the new versions - completely true to the original spirit yet still feel fresh.
Yes the Glen Hansard is good. I didn’t know him so have also delved into the back catalogue.
I also use it for reviewing quite a bit - get the system wrong and it can sound a bit heavy, get it right and it sounds lovely
Vanished Gardens . FYI, I replied to that post (which you can see if you click on the replied to link).
I agree, too bright and … “ouch”
I love the Darko Audio YouTube channel is that you?
Some great recommendations on here thanks!
As always it so difficult for me to pick just one. So I will pick three
No that’s John (Darko). He’s in Berlin, I’m in Devon UK.
His cameraman is a chap called Olaf who lives 20 mins from him. He also gets Jana Dagdaden (ex of Stereophile) to edit some of the work. I think the videos work really well too - not just saying that because it’s him. The YouTube traffic has grown a lot this year - in one year it’s grown to what the website took 7 years to do. I think that says a lot. Now where’s that blooming camcorder gone?!!
Mods - let me know if this is turning into an advertorial please!
Got an awful clicking noise from the right hand channel on the first track. Is this copy scratched?
I’ll break the rules and list two albums that are other people’s best-of-2018 but not mine.
Two sources I respect, Giovanni Russonello in The NY Times and Fred Kaplan in Slate (and Stereophile) have published their best jazz of 2018, and I agree with most of it. But each has an album of a musician that ambitiously covers all of Thelonious Monk’s compositions. Monk famously is one of the two most covered composers despite writing only 70 tunes, with Duke Ellington who wrote 2,000.
I appreciate novel settings and arrangements for familiar music.
Frank Kimbrough plays piano accompanied by bass, drums and sax, and thus goes up against Monk himself. It’s not bad, but I prefer Monk himself. Some like Monk’s playing, others like him as a composer but hate his playing.
Miles Okazaki plays solo guitar. I have previously expressed my disdain for jazz guitar. The electric guitar is for bending the notes, playing with distortion, shredding. Guitar is Hendrix. Without that wildness, the pure-tone plink plink plink of jazz guitar is profoundly boring.
The compositions are great, and I applaud the ambition of complete coverage, and the musicians are competent and inspired and respectful. But not for me.
New(ish) Music! What are you discovering?
The perfect music to relax to on a cold winter’s night sipping a brandy - Courvoisier of course!
No clicking on my Cd rip
What do you think of this then? (Tidal link)
Genuine question. Obviously one of the more lauded jazz pieces, but played by a classical guitarist on an acoustic guitar. Having subsequently mined Barrueco’s catalogue I’m of the view he’s the best classical guitarist bar none. Comparisons with Hendrix et al are obviously apples with pears, so not appropriate.
I can think of many others of course, but I will stick to what makes me wander to crazy places instead !
Thanks. Just tried it again and it “sounds" fine. Strange?
(That link didn’t work for me and I found no album like that, but I found part IIc on a compilation album.)
Interesting. I like it better than the Okazaki album. Maybe because he turned it into classical music, Jarrett’s solos are more like classical (albeit improvised). Okazaki tried to play jazz, Monk is resolutely jazz, not classical at all. Maybe it’s the instruments, nylon vs. steel.
(I didn’t know Barrueco, had him participating on a Piazzola tribute album, but I liked him and picked up several albums for exploration.)
The jazz/blues/classical distinction, purity vs. bending/shredding: I just came across an interview with Nils Lofgren (guitarist with Springsteen) where he said he first played accordion, his father was Swedish and his mother Sicilian, but eventually decided that in classical music your expression is limited to the notes written on the paper, so he picked up blues guitar.
Jarrett himself is different because even though the sounds are often classical, it’s improvised. Transcribing an improvised piece is a little bit weird.
EDIT A story about improvisation. My son plays jazz, and when he was at U Chicago the jazz band was asked to play for a ballet company that was doing a Duke Ellington piece. At one point in the work, it shows an improvisation, a cadenza, but Ellington had written one in. After the first rehearsal, my son thought it was lame and let loose on the trumpet — within the mood and rhythm strictures, but improvised. The ballet dancers freaked.
EDIT 2 There was a famous cadenza kerfuffle where Hélène Grimaud parted ways with her longtime partner Claudio Abbado after a disagreement over a Mozart cadenza:
Two points if I may:
Nils Lofgren is, of course, much more than Bruce’s guitarist. His Grin and solo recordings are well worth listening to. I first saw him solo on The Old Grey Whistle Test and have been a fan ever since.
I was unaware that cadenzas were improvised until a flautist acquaintance of mine visited my college room a couple of days in a row to drink tea and listen to the end of a Mozart flute concerto I had on tape. He listened with great concentration, made a few notes and tried to find out what recording it was (I wasn’t much help). He was at the Conservatory and I occasionally wonder if my little cadenza ever helped him in performance.