Friday, December 15, 2006

It's an invitation across the nation

Oh, what the hell. Here's my two cents in the Bad Plus survey extraordinaire:

1. Movie score. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Jon Brion).
2. TV theme. Animaniacs.
3. Melody. "Oceano" (Djavan); "No Surprises" (Radiohead); "Better Git Hit In Yo' Soul" (Mingus)
4. Harmonic language. "El Espejo" (Guillermo Klein - go bitonality); "My Funny Valentine" (arr. Brookmeyer - go chromaticism!)
5. Rhythmic feel. "Who's Gonna Help Brother Get Further?" (Lee Dorsey - Allen Toussaint and co.)
6. Hip-hop track. "Paragraph President" (Blackalicious); "Elektro4 for President" (Elektro4 & Bombay Sapphire feat. illyB)
7. Classical piece. The Miraculous Mandarin Suite (Bartók).
8. Smash hit. "Layla" acoustic version (Eric Clapton - a lot of people dislike this version, but I think Chuck Leavell is killing, and the laidback, rolling blues groove is great).
9. Jazz album. Speak Like a Child (Herbie - a front line of doubles, fantastic harmonies and textures in great compositions. One of the discs I never leave home without.)
10. Non-American folkloric group. Soweto Gospel Choir, Mystère des voix bulgares.
11. Book on music. A Cure for Gravity (Joe Jackson).

A) Name an surprising album (or albums) you loved when you were developing as a musician: something that really informs your sound but that we would never guess in a million years: The most formative record may be the least apparent one - 52nd Street (Billy Joel). Also, A Go Go (John Scofield with Medeski Martin & Wood).
B) Name a practitioner (or a few) who play your instrument that you think is underrated: Uri Caine; Fred Hersch.
C) Name a rock or pop album that you wish had been a smash commercial hit (but wasn’t, not really): Spirit Trail (Bruce Hornsby).
D) Name a favorite drummer, and an album to hear why you love that drummer: Tony on Herbie's Maiden Voyage. Honourable mention: Joey Baron on Dave Douglas' Soul on Soul - the disco 4-over-3 break on "Waltz Boogie" cracks me up every time.

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