The Dave Brubeck Quartet
Jazz hero of the rock and roll generation
The Dave Brubeck Quartet: Jazz Goes to College (Columbia '89)
The Dave Brubeck Quartet: Time Out (Columbia/Legacy '97)
Inspired by a State Department-backed Eurasian tour and released in 1959, Brubeck's all-time bestseller is supposedly where he and drummer Joe Morello explore exotic Oriental time signatures, although near as most of us can tell it's got a lot of waltzes whether they're in 3/4 or 6/4. The big exceptions are the two classics: Brubeck's "Blue Rondo A La Turk," in 9/8 even though it's a (bluesy) rondo, a sonatalike form invented by the exotic French, and Desmond's "Take Five," in 5/4, steadied by a stubborn Brubeck vamp and covered wherever folks were cool: Stan Getz, Chet Atkins, Grover Washington, Rodrigo y Gabriela. While some say Morello doesn't swing enough, he's an inventive colorist, and as waltzes go, most of the remaining originals combine composition and propulsion with crowd-pleasing panache. B PLUS
1. Fiona Apple: The Idler Wheel . . .
2. Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid, Maad City
3. Frank Ocean: Channel Orange
4. Dirty Projectors: Swing Lo Magellan
5. Getachew Mekuria & the Ex & Friends: Y'Anbessaw Tezeta
6. Swans: The Seer
7. Listen, Whitey! The Sounds of Black Power 1967-74
8. The Mountain Goats: Transcendental Youth
9. Azealia Banks: 1991
10. Killer Mike: RAP Music
Mental illness is widespread. Except for *Tilt* -- remember that exception. It's like Gollum made a fine art-punkish record.
Well, here's one -- I can recall very few discussions (if any) that were truly fruitful compare-and-contrast between "Apollonian" and "Dionysian" artists. More interesting to me are the performers who can turn on one tap or the other (with varying degrees of success) as the situation requires. Duke Ellington. The Rolling Stones. Andy Warhol. Buck Owens. Steve Martin. John Zorn. Berry Gordy Jr. & Smokey Robinson. Prince. Jay-Z & Kanye West. Like that.
Yeah, I listened to "Take Five", too. Now, for my own edification and to encourage discussion hereabouts:
If Paul Desmond is "Apollonian", I'm wondering which other saxophonists fit that description? Wayne Shorter? Stan Getz? Johnny Hodges, maybe?
Accordingly, I assume the term "Dionysian" would apply to Bird, Rollins, Cannonball and early 'Trane. If that's the case, Ornette and Dolphy belong in yet another category altogether. Obviously, pigeonholing these greats may be futile as most of them learned from each other and dabbled in swing, cool, bop and free styles at various points along their career paths. I'm just trying to get a general sense of where you all think they belong in relation to one another. Where, for the sake of argument, do you put Lester Young
Re:Desmond: I like him ok even if he's not particularly high on my favorite's list. I wouldn't necessarily go as far as Fraptron's assertion earlier this year that he was "a puss", but Blair was kind enough to admit Desmond opened up in live performances. Xgau echoed this opinion in his current review and I would concur with their judgment. Definitely "lyrical".
And if Brubeck's specific solos are described as "blocky" and "bump"-ed, I'm guessing these would be more Monk-like. Anyone else similar? And who, then, were the "arpeggiaters"? Art Tatum? Bud Powell? Oscar Peterson?
Appreciate any thoughts.
Back when our host was making playlists for Rhapsody, he posted this Xmas one, reprinted below:
"AN XGAU XMAS
I like Christmas music, actually. It's sorting the good stuff from the dreck that's hard. Herewith one attempt, with the warning that the Burroughs is as long as a score gone wrong. If anybody knows a good multi-artist collection of straight carols, I'm taking nominations.
Kate & Anna McGarrigle Seven Joys of Mary
Sufjan Stevens Holy, Holy, Holy (2006 version)
Luther Vandross Silent Night
Louis Armstrong White Christmas
Julie Lee Christmas Spirit
Clarence Carter Back Door Santa
Klezmatics Honeyky Hanuka
Waitresses Christmas Wrapping
Robert Earl Keen Merry Christmas from the Family
Sufjan Stevens Come On! Let's Boogey With the Elf Dance!
Run-DMC Christmas in Hollis
Rufus Wainwright Spotlight on Christmas (on The McGarrigle Christmas Hour)
Elmo 'n Patsy Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
William S. Burroughs The Junky's Christmas
Aretha Franklin Winter Wonderland
Klezmatics Hanuka Dance
Nat King Cole Christmas Song"
Charles Brown, "Santa Clause Boogie" (Upside)
Prince and the Revolution, "Another Lonely Christmas" (WB)
The Reducers, "Nothing for Christmas" & "Auld Lang Syne" (Rave On)
Spinal Tap, "Christmas with the Devil" (Enigma)
Chris Stamey Group with dBs and Syd Straw, "Christmas Time" (Coyote)
Sweet Tee, "Let the Jingle Bells Rock" /Run-D.M.C., "Christmas in Hollis" (Profile)
Judy Torres, "Christmas Time Won't Be the Same This Year" (Profile)
Michael T. - Just reviewing recent posts when I noticed a reply in the Tatum/Vauche-Kissinger/Nixon tete-a-tete in which you speculated whether he might be me in disguise. Sorry, I don't have the sustained energy or enthusiasm to do what Milo calls the "sock puppet" thing. I do, however, find most of the motley Vauche clan amusing in their droll and esoteric way. Could do without the snide remarks, though.
Kudos to our host's Brubeck tribute and to those of you who have responded in kind. Think I'll listen to Jazz Goes to College.
HONKY TONK: PORTRAITS OF COUNTRY MUSIC by Henry Horenstein.
GOOGLE: paris review honky-tonk hero
On third thought were they on the stage together during
the finale of the Sept. 11 Concert for NYC? Maybe.
Ah-the "annual" Christmas lists. That's not a bad thing though
Different posters-different songs.
PS 12-12-12 concert-
Actually this will be your only chance to see Paul McCartney, The Who
and The Rolling Stones-first time on stage together ever (correct me if I'm wrong)
singing "Let It Be" for 45 minutes. Mercy. Let's hope not.
about the blogger
Starting in 1967, Robert Christgau has covered popular music for The Village Voice, Esquire, Blender, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He teaches in New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, maintains a comprehensive website at robertchristgau.com, and has published five books based on his journalism. He has written for MSN Music since 2006.
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