Monday, October 09, 2006

troubled by Branford & things to come

As many of you probably saw, the New York Times' Ben Ratliff published what I've heard may very well be the last of his "Listening With..." series. This time around the focus was less on listening to records and more about spreading the pedantic generalizations the outspoken saxophonist Branford Marsalis rattled off to Ratliff at an intimate interview at the saxophonist's North Caroline home.
From the caption: Branford Marsalis has enjoyed great productivity as an alto saxophonist and bandleader since moving to Durham, N.C., five years ago. “I just want to play,” he said. “I don’t want to be in magazines.”

Marsalis said some very harsh things and only chose to listen to recordings pre-1955 and no real bebop or post-bop at that, let alone the Coltrane he is clearly trying to approximate on his latest album, Braggtown. Unfortunately, I tended to agree with most of the "damaging" comments Marsalis uttered.

Soon to come, a multi-show review of this week's shows put on by local Philly avant-garde concert presenter Ars Nova Workshop. Last night was Brotzmann-Bennink playing duo. Tonight George Lewis & Matana Roberts play Houston Hall, which I believe is the Student Union at UPenn. The week continues with a performance by a band being billed as The Philadelphia Four: Dave Burrell, Reggie Workman, Rashied Ali, and Muhammad Ali (yes, the drummer with the same Arabic name as Cassius Clay is apparently still alive).

Look forward to some great shots courtesy of Cadence/Jazz Improv Magazine freelancer Ken Weiss, along with my reviews.

Now listening to Donald Harrison - The Survivor (Nagel Heyer 2068). Buy this album at iTunes by clicking the iTunes link below. Donald Harrison featuring Mulgrew Miller & Christian Scott - The Survivor

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