Always playing catch-up, I'll sandwich together my last several ideas for posts that never came to fruition. Let's go!
I'm overdue in mentioning this, but the great Freddie Hubbard (pictured) passed away on December 29. Hubbard's is an incredible body of work. The chances are, if you have anything resembling a jazz collection, you've got some Freddie in there even if you don't know it. Check the sleeves -- he was all over Blue Note in the '60s. There's nothing I could say here that my friend Mark-O isn't already saying better -- like right now, on Now's the Time on CKCU 93.1 FM.
Putting 2008 to Bed
In the interest of not dragging things out too long (too late?), and maybe beginning to concentrate on 2009, here's the last bit of '08-related chatter you'll hear from me. My favourite reissues (interpret that however you will) of the year that was were:
- The Black Saint and Soul Note catalogs, which landed with a tympanic crash onto eMusic a few months back
- Anthony Braxton, The Complete Arista Recordings of Anthony Braxton (Mosaic) - Everything seems to be coming up Braxton in my world these days (I'll be doing a pair of shows on another recent Braxton set as winter shifts to spring) and this represents a motherlode of Braxtonia rescued from obscurity by the intrepid folks at Mosaic
- VA, Nigeria Special: Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds and Nigerian Blues, 1970-76 - For my money (er, monthly download allowance?), the best of the several compilations of Nigerian music to surface recently
The Big Lie (a.k.a. Fuck Wynton)
The guys over at the always excellent Destination: Out have been doing their level best recently to shed light on the oft-misunderstood 1980s in a series of posts, but the most provocative note struck concerns the work and legacy of Wynton Marsalis (who must be mentioned if you hope to come to grips with that decade). The deeply, deeply conservative trumpeter is an incredible talent, no question, but there's little sense in denying that he's used his prominence to advance some ugly non-truths about The Music. We've debated this on Now's the Time before, and as I recall we had trouble reaching a true balance in our presentation of the argument, which boils down to Inclusiveness and Innovation (aka The Facts) vs. Wynton's Hagiography (oops, there I go again). Not one of the five of us could get behind his selective blindness. Anyway, head to D:O to read more.
Ginger Baker: All Kinds of Crazy
The prospect of crossing the Sahara to sit in on a few percussion-heavy jam sessions in Nigeria is crazy enough, but to do so in a pair of leather platform boots is plain batshit nutty. Then to seemingly get as baked as humanly possible before recording the echo pedal-aided voice-over for the documentary film which chronicles the journey is way, way beyond what most any of us mere mortals would ever in our lives consider doing. Ever. Still: entertaining.
I'll be repping the IMC and hosting Now's the Time next Thursday, bringing a grab bag of things I've been listening to of late. Download info to follow.