Down to the Bone


This is Down to the Bone at the EFG London Jazz Festival.  The trombone is the first solo and my favorite of the set. I thought he emitted a good flow of energy and I liked the vibe. The piano/synth solo was one I was very unfamiliar with, since I am so used to traditional piano solo. The sound was very different and I could tell he was using a lot of contemporary techniques. For example, the sliding drone around 4:45 especially stuck out to me.  I liked their group communication, you can see the piano/synth player signal to the bass to take over on a groove. I’m also impressed when the piano/synth went to adjust or fix something around 6:00, but still laid out the chords with his other hand while not looking.  Drum solos are not what I typically go for, but I have got to say the drummer was very into his bit and I enjoyed his groove. I am interested in seeing what Saiganesh and Brandon have to say about the guitar solo.

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New York Tendaberry

This is a clip of ‘New York Tendaberry’ performed by Billy Childs. It’s slower in comparison to what I normally post and listen to, and there’s a lot of open sound and space since it’s just solo piano.  A lot of the playing I found to be very chordal or arpeggiated.  I like how Childs can get a sort of rumbling intensity with repetition of his figures. For example around 2:20 and 4:50. Also, more specifically, the short motivic pattern around 1:45 caught my ear.  I thought the short style change around 2:40 was abrupt, yet liked it because it pulled me back into the solo. I noticed how Childs was able to explore the range of the piano more compared to pianists performing in groups, since it was only him on stage. Childs was able to capture a lot of drama in the contrast between heavy chords and arpeggiated figures against his softer melodic lines. I hope you guys enjoy the clip as I did.

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Never Absent


This group features Nir Felder, who is probably one of the best jazz guitarists as of late.  He has a very exciting sound that balances highly linear/chromatic lines with intervallic leaps (ex: 4ths) that is usually not seen in guitar playing. This is very clearly seen in 6:10 where he goes up the chromatic scale before using intervals to leap around.  There is a very interesting syncopated rhythm that is highlighted during the start of the solo section around 1:51.  You can really see how the sax player builds up his solo after starting with motivic development.  The drummer built a crazy amount of energy during the keyboard solo that is very impressive as  very few drummers can do that.

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C Jam Blues



This is a performance of C Jam Blues by Wycliffe Gordon.  I was completely unfamiliar about soprano trombones until now. Gordon seems to have mastered them. I really like the brassy edge – It’s a very unique sound, especially with the split tones/raspy tonality he plays the instrument with. Tons of energy in his solo.  Also noticed a piano lick from classical music in the pianists solo at 4:53, which I found playful. The piano and sax solos sound so light in comparison to the trombone. Gordon’s hilarious with the call and response with the audience later on the video too. The band was definitely all about entertaining the crowd and playing around, a group of seasoned performers for sure.

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Bernie’s Tune

Here is a fun version of Bernie’s Tune written by Bernie Miller, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.

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Cold Duck Time

This is a really good version of Eddie Harris’ Cold Duck Time.  It sounds like it could be in a 60/70’s era Grant Green organ trio album with its strong groove nature.  Theres a lot of wes-montgomery octave style stuff by the guitarist, followed by a lot of bluesy licks.  There’s a strong george benson influence in the single note stuff, and rounds off the guitarist’s sound well.  I like how the organ keeps repeating licks a few times in a row throughout his solo (for example, right at the start).  I think that kind of motivic repetition works well on a groove tune like this.  The drummer contributes significantly to the groove well, and I especially like his use of snare hits/cymbal accents in the melody.

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This group has some of the most talented musicians I have heard in a while.  The recording is a cover of Mike Stern’s “Chromazone” that transitions into “The Chicken” by Pee Wee Ellis.  Guthrie Govan is definitely the most diverse guitar player alive, able to find his home in a variety of styles, as is reflected in his improvisation.  He has a blues root in most of his licks, but there’s use of bebop chromaticism/motifis coupled with shred guitar licks.  I also really like his style of comping using a chorus pedal for an organ-like effect.  He also uses an envelop filter during the melody of “The Chicken”.  He also switches to a country-like improvisation during this song while the drummer switches to a 2 feel.  The sax player seems to be strongly influenced by Joshua Redman in his style.  I also liked the organ-tone in the piano solo during the second song.

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You Look Good To Me

This is You Look Good To Me by the Oscar Peterson Trio in 1977.  I really like the soft sound the group has.  The few times they get louder are really emphasized by the contrast in sound.  Holding back on dynamics emphasizes the prowess these musicians have over their instruments, and makes you tune in more and pay attention to the techniques and patterns they employ.  Both bass solos was very virtuostic – I liked Peterson’s grin at the end of the first.  This group clearly is ‘jamming’ and enjoying their sound together.   I also thought having two bass solos was pretty unique, as well as not having any drums or percussion. The instrumentalists all compliment each other throughout the piece.  I really enjoyed Peterson’s sound on the piano – the nuances of the melodic line will definitely be stuck in my head the rest of the day.

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Oleo – Pat Martino Organ Trio

This is a very sick cover of oleo, and is probably one of my all-time favorite performances of a rhythm changes.  The intro has a really cool guitar motif.  The head has a really cool bass pedal from the organ, not sure what it is or how it functions but it sounds very hip.  There’s very good phrasing from all of the solos, especially the effective use of space in the organ solo.  The use of space is especially prominent about 4 minutes in of part 1. Throughout the organ solo, energy is continually changed by the drummer.  The drum solo has lots of space too in part 2 of the video.

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Here is one of the performances of Impressions I had listened to by the NDR Big Band. I liked the repetitive piano line at the beginning. Interesting to see music theory applications like ground bass making their way into jazz. I felt the performance of the piece was really high energy, each solo had a ton of flourish and movement.  The sound of the saxophone and guitar solos paired well together. I am surprised to see two whole drum features put in the song too. I thought the drums would not be able to hold my attention and end up too atonal or percussive, but I am glad to say I was wrong.
I really enjoyed the performance overall. It is neat to see other takes on a piece after you have played it.

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