I really need to be a bit more relaxed with this whole blogging malarkey – I’d be posting a lot more stuff if I were. I’m currently working on a post where the focus is on a couple of transcriptions of Tommy Flanagan, both over Giant Steps. The first is from the album The Trio with Tony Williams and Ron Carter, recorded in 1983. The second was recorded one year previous with George Mraz and Al Foster, from the album Giant Steps. Whilst I’m at it I’ll probably transcribe Tommy’s original solo on the Coltrane classic (just the lines though). Listening to his solos on these records I get the feeling it’s a tune that haunted him somewhat, never quite being able to solo as comfortably as he could over be-bop changes. There’s still some quality material though, but more of that later.
I’ve been listening to some other things also. I haven’t completely indulged in The Billy Hart Quartet album yet, but I have skipped straight to Ethan Iverson’s Ohnedaruth, simply to hear how he manipulated the Giant Steps changes. It’s beautiful stuff. Thelonica, another Tommy Flanagan album recorded towards the end of 1982, has also been getting spins. I keep re-listening to his solo over Off Minor. There’s something about his style that just attracts me, the cat really swings and his lines dig-deep with a striking sonority. Recommended.
I’ve been trying to hunt down some decent late-period Bud Powell (obviously there’s worth in all his records but consistently meaty albums I find scarce). His A Portrait Of Thelonious is sheer quality. Sonically the recording is higher compared to his golden period out-put and all his solos are inspired. One thing that struck me was how thick his block-chords sound – a style of voicing that seems to have been lost. If you get a chance to hear the record listen to There Will Never Be Another You and you should get my point.
Jazz seems to be back on the agenda with black popular music. The future looks bright. A friend of mine recommended this to me, and I just can’t get enough. Thundercat’s music has obviously struck a chord with people, just look at the comments section of this review. He should probably stick to reviewing films and football.
That’s enough for now. Oh, one last thing. Charlton are now one league closer to the Prem. What Chris Powell has done at the Valley, with the number of new players he has brought in on a shoestring budget, is nothing short of exceptional. I just hope he isn’t poached. His stock as a manager will only rise and he can, and will at Charlton, achieve more than being parachuted in to mid-prem obscurity. Roll on next season.