Just heard that Jim Hall has passed. Absolutely wonderful musician, and a totally unhip delightful man.
Here’s The Way You Look Tonight from probably his best record.
Don Thompson (bass) and Terry Clarke (drums) 1975
Nels Cline - Thurston County from Coward
"Is that Blue Note cover really moving?"
This is a completely wild and brilliantly done visualization of Moussa Kaba inserted into various classic Blue Note covers. It was directed by Tuscan director Stefano Tinti (aka Bante) to promote a series of gigs in pub in Siena in 2009.
When she crosses her legs
two pale moons of flesh appear
above the green stockings.
When she rises from the chair
they dissolve into dark water.
I follow her through the door,
Up the valley of white stone,
the moonlight upon it,
the fish in the silver stream.
Now she ties my eyes with thread
to the tips of her very round breasts.
She surrounds herself with the beasts of lovers.
Black mares graze with unicorns
in the moonlight, among white stones.
I close with her
in the bed of the stream
which enters my head at the ears.
I am water.
I have lived here before
with small stones in my hair
Dammit Paul. This always happens. When I can’t write. I miss talking to you. Then I read one of your poems. Then I know I can’t write.
Someone on Amazon called you an ‘intellectually tough-minded Romantic postmodern poet’. Not bad.
I remember you as a friend and an inspiration and also a flukey tennis player with a terrible taste in socks.
Insomniacs Film Club # 21
Our Children (2012) Director Joachim Lafosse
This is a very good film with an incredible lead performance by Émilie Dequenne. There’s a scene with her driving and singing along to French pop song and then slowly coming apart at the seams that is almost unbearable. Don’t miss this.
played three of the ‘not very good’ Prince records this week - Graffiti Bridge, Come and The Vault… Old Friends 4 Sale - and they all sounded fantastic!?
Hmmm - I’m in a very strange mood tonight. Went to meet some friends this evening, felt like I was in a trance and made my excuses early. Now I’m trying to get some writing done and nothing’s happening.
Truth is I can’t get this song out of my head.
Insomniacs Film Club # 20 Kasaba (1997)
Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan.
I’m working my way back from the stunning Once Upon A Time In Anatolia from 2011. Here is an early one from the Turkish filmmaker.
This scene like the whole film is a little miracle.
[Needless to say the Artificial Eye DVD has subtitles…]
Insomniacs Film Club # 19 A Simple Life (2011)
Directed by Ann Hui. With Andy Lau and Deannie Ip
Great film from Hong Kong. Beautifully paced and full of compassion.
Gillian Welch - Time (The Revelator) 2001
This song popped up on shuffle just now. I forgot how beautiful it is and it took me by surprise, prompting the woman on the train sitting next to me asked if I was OK?
Vijay Iyer Trio - Star Of The Story
Vijay Iyer covering a fuckin’ gorgeous Heatwave song - yes please!!
[Stephan Crump - Bass Marcus Gilmore - Drums]
Grachan Moncur III - Evolution from Evolution (Blue Note)
Grachan Moncur III (trombone); Jackie McLean (alto saxophone); Lee Morgan (trumpet); Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone); Bob Cranshaw (bass); Tony Williams (drums). Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on November 21, 1963.
Amazing to think that this was recorded almost 50 years ago - the day before JFK was killed in fact. Incredible music from the unsung Grachan Moncur in great company with the astringent Jackie McLean and the teenage Tony Williams.
Some of the hard bop output on Blue Note has always left me cold but those records by Cecil, Ornette, Andrew Hill, Sam Rivers, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Lee Morgan, Bobby Hutcherson, Larry Young, Joe Henderson, Tony Williams et al are starting to feel like gold dust. Like this one.
A further tribute to Ronald Shannon Jackson from the aptly named “Strange Meeting" by the group Power Tools with guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Melvin Gibbs. I saw this group live and they were an odd combination that occasionally exploded into light. This is one of those moments from their only record on Antilles. Howard Beach Memoirs is a powerful piece referring to the notorious racist murder in Queens in 1986.
Shannon Jackson’s drumming is extraordinary here and when asked in Modern Drummer magazine about his playing on this song, he answered:
“The figure you refer to in the opening of ‘Howard Beach Memoirs’ is created by playing African flams. Melvin Gibbs, the composer of this composition, is a towering, graceful man who grew up near the area of the nasty racial conflict [the piece was named after], which left one man dead and several young men having to live the rest of their lives with a needless killing on their consciences.
“African flams are the conscious projection of rhythmic fluids converted to a solid state—yin-yang, right side to left, left to right. The left hand playing the left mounted tom…the right hand playing the right mounted tom…divided flams accentuated with compound 8th notes on the bass drum…the hi-hat playing modulating 2 and 4. Idea, emotion, and projections moving like a suspended cloud.
“To breathe life into a rhythmic idea is the challenge. Anger is, at the surface level, very easy to trigger during these ‘nothing for sure’ days. Violence, in the air, is African flams on the drums. The Howard Beach conflict is the emotional material. Melvin Gibbs is the observer, historian, and reporter of this event. Bill Frisell is the angelic interpreter who weaves a harmonic collage that says ‘Shame, shame, shame’ from the left and ‘All sins are forgiven’ from the right. The overall mental auditory picture is a statement of life.”
[Thanks to Hank Shteamer’s excellent Dark Forces Swing Blind Punches for the quote and check out the beautiful tribute to Shannon Jackson at the same location]