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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Playlist for the Unpopular Music webcast for September 26, 2015

On today's program, we mark the 89th birthday of the iconic and transformative musician John Coltrane (September 23, 1926 - July 17. 1967). Now, as someone who wishes his program to be different from typical radio presentations, and who has more than once voiced his dislike of birthday tributes in jazz programming in particular, "why am I doing this" is a valid question. Why do one for a ubiquitous and legendary figure (albeit, deservedly so), when the the next day is the birthday of John Carter, someone you repeatedly say is a criminally overlooked and undervalued musician?' Well, the short version is, I sort of spontaneously blurted out last week that I would.

Actually that's the long version too.

I did try to avoid the obvious. I went with one track from his time with Thelonious Monk, one from his last recording session, one from the so-called "classic quartet" era (one of the greatest groups in jazz history) but not really doing their "classic quartet thing" here since Roy Haynes is sitting in for Elvin Jones, and one from the 1950's Miles Davis group (also, one of the greatest groups in jazz history, with or without the addition of Cannonball Adderley, and with whichever pianist or drummer was in the band at the time).

It's amazing to consider how much Coltrane accomplished and evolved throughout a career that was really only around fifteen years long. Sad when you think about how he died just a couple of months short of his 41st birthday. Coltrane was born only four years before Ornette Coleman and Sonny Rollins, both of whom lived to at least 85 while remaining active and creative. Imagine a healthy Coltrane living at least through the end of the 20th Century. Electric Coltrane? An 1980's Marsalis era neo-classical phase? Further explorations of African sounds, new and traditional? Sitting in with the Grateful Dead? The possibilities are endless, yet remain only such. But, I guess the briefness of this intensity is part of what makes it so special.

September 23rd is also the birthday of an strangely large number of musicians, we covered that topic more fully last year, but we do have a track from Ray Charles from one of his more jazzier dates (sorry, Bruce fans).

Last week, I also mentioned a Coltrane poem by my Boston Free Radio colleague Alan Patterson, and you can find it here.

I've also been playing a lot of long pieces lately, and there are back-to-back fifteen minute tracks today. I swear it's not out of laziness, but I have gotten around to thinking up a better excuse.

artist song album comments label / date
Esa-Pekka Salonen / Philharmonia Orchestra Car Horn Prelude Le Grand Macabre special guest 1st part of theme
music by György Ligeti
Sony Classical
Naked City Inside Straight Naked City 2nd part of theme Nonesuch
Joe Lovano Wind Ensemble Worlds Worlds Joe Lovano (ts) Bill Frisell (g) Tim Hagans (trp) Gary Valente (tbn) Judi Silvano (voc) Henry Texier (b) Paul Motian (d)
recorded live at the Amiens International Jazz Festival in France
Label Bleu
Ran Blake You are my sunshine Ghost Tones Ran Blake (p) Dave "Knife" Fabris (pdl stl g) Rachel Massey (vln)
song by Charles Mitchell and Jimmie Davis
Andrew Hill Ball Square Dusk Andrew Hill (p) Marty Ehrlich (as) Greg Tardy (ts) Ron Horton (trp) Scott Colley (b) Billy Drummond (d) Arabesque
Spaceheads Trip To The Moon Trip To The Moon EP music behind DJ Electric Brass
Thelonious Monk Quartet w/ John Coltrane Nutty At Carnegie Hall Thelonious Monk (p) John Coltrane (ts) Ahmed Abdul-Malik (b) Shadow Wilson (d) Blue Note
John Coltrane Offering Expression John Coltrane (ts) Alice Coltrane (p) Jimmy Garrison (b) Rashid Ali (d)
Coltrane's last studio date
John Coltrane I want to talk about you Selflessness John Coltrane (ts) McCoy Tyner (p) Jimmy Garrison (b) Roy Haynes (d)
song by Billy Eckstine
Live at the 1963 Newport Jazz Festival
Miles Davis Oleo
Relaxin' with the Miles Davis Quintet
Miles Davis (trp) John Coltrane (ts); William "Red" Garland (p); Paul Chambers (b); Philly Joe Jones (d)
tune by Sonny Rollins
Wayne Horvitz This New Generation This New Generation music behind DJ Nonesuch
Jay Rozen Stay Fresh Baggies 4 Naked Singularity - Killer Tuba Songs, Vol. 2
Jay Rozen (tba) Dan Plonsey (as, composer) Tom Yoder (tbn)

Composers Concordance
Birdsongs of the Mesozoic Sound Valentine Dawn of the Cycads music behind DJ Cunieform
Tanya Tagaq Howl Animism Tanya Tagaq (voc) Michael Red (vln, elec) Jean Martin (prc) Six Shooter Records
Roomful of Teeth Render Render music by Brad Wells New Amsterdam
The New York Art Quartet Rosmosis The New York Art Quartet Roswell Rudd (tbn, composer) John Tchicai (ts) Lewis Worrell (b) Milford Graves (d, prc) ESP
Marty Ehrlich Large Ensemble M Variations (Melody for Madeleine) A Trumpet in the Morning Andy Laster (as) Robert DeBellis (as, ss, clt) Jason Robinson (ts) Adam Kolker ts, b clt) Lisa Parrott (bs, b clt) E.J. Allen, Ron Horton, James Zollar, Miki Hirose (trp) John Clark (hrn) Ray Anderson, Michael Dessen, Curtis Fowlkes (tbn) Uri Caine (p) Warren Smith (vbs, prc) Jerome Harris (g) Drew Gress (b) Matt Wilson (d) New World Records
Esa-Pekka Salonen / Philharmonia Orchestra Second Car Horn Prelude Le Grand Macabre music by György Ligeti Sony Classical
Ray Charles & Milt Jackson Cosmic Ray Soul Brothers / Soul Meeting Ray Charles (p) Billy Mitchell (ts) Milt Jackson (vbs) Skeeter Best (g) Oscar Pettiford (b) Connie Kay (d) Atlantic
Shelly Manne Out on a Limb Daktari music behind DJ Atlantic
Señor Coconut y Su Conjunto Showroom Dummies El Baile Alemán
Jorge González (voc) Lisa Carbon (voc) Atom Heart (keys) Argenis Brito (voc) Ricardito Tambo (shaker, MIDI)
music by Ralf Hütter, arr. Uwe Schmidt
Emperor Norton

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