The Process: Jon Batiste, Chad Smith, & Bill Laswell

The Process: Jon Batiste, Chad Smith, & Bill Laswell

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

I’ve recently had the opportunity to watch pianist and multi-instrumentalist Jon Batiste perform live with his Stay Human band and it was a transformative experience, respectful of all the tropes of jazz’s history but cognizant of its rethinking of performance. Batiste is an innovator in the genre and can easily avail himself to many different musical directions. The latest intriguing direction he’s taken is alongside the drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chad Smith, and legendary bassist/producer/and record label owner Bill Laswell. Together, they are The Process and their new self-titled album on Laswell’s M.O.D. Technologies label is a breath of fresh air.

THE PROCESS, with Bill Laswell, Jon Batiste, and Chad Smith coming this fall! from Jay Bulger on Vimeo.

The album recorded over a three-day session and without any music written beforehand, these three musicians evoke a chemistry and interplay that makes for particularly gripping music. Their disparate backgrounds make for a new sort of creation musically that evince a different sort of depth from improvised music. Tossing in other collaborators like TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe on “Drop Away” or the spacey feel Toshinori Kondo adds to “Haunted” give this album just the right sort of ethereal touches to make this album truly something special, like electricity caught in a room, instead of yet another one-off improvised jam. There’s thought and consideration taken in this collaboration and it’s one of the more interesting releases this year.

Jon Batiste – piano, electric piano, hammond organ, electronic keyboards, harmonaboard, percussion
Chad Smith – drums, percussion
Bill Laswell – basses, guitar, electronics

Tunde Adebimpe – vocals
Killah Priest – vocals
Garrison Hawk – vocals
Toshinori Kondo – trumpet
Peter Apfelbaum – flute, tenor & soprano saxophone
Dominic James – guitar

The Process is out everywhere November 4th on M.O.D. Technologies.

The Thing – ‘Viking’ EP

The Thing – ‘Viking’ EP

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

You need a little more skronk in your life. The mind-boggling free jazz trio The Thing (Mats Gustafsson on saxophones, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten on bass, and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums) have just released a new EP, Viking, that provides just that. The two-song EP is mastered by Bob Weston who remixed “Viking” for this EP. These compositions are just compact enough for the vibe everything to weave together in just enough time before petering out on Weston’s “Viking” remix, while “Bruremarsj” is a surprisingly chill song for this group. Check out the EP from The Thing’s Bandcamp after the jump.

Compositions by Paal Nilssen-Love; Viking (TONO) and Bruremarsj (Trad.)
Mats Gustafsson – tenor saxophone
Ingebrigt Håker Flaten – bass
Paal Nilssen-Love – drums

Recorded 31st January- 1st February 2011 by Casey Rice in MONO at Headgap Studios, Melbourne, Australia. Mastered 14th April 2011 at Chicago Mastering Service by Bob Weston and Ingebrigt Håker Flaten. Viking remix by Bob Weston. Design by Rune Mortensen.

The Thing’s Viking EP is out now on The Thing Records and distributed through Trost Records.
Check out the trio as they tour Europe for the next couple weeks.
28 Oct – Porgy and Bess – Vienna (part of Mats Gustafsson 50 yrs extravaganza!)
30 Oct – Jazzhouse – Copenhagen, with Shellac
31 Oct – Tampere Jazz Happening
1 Nov – Alchemia – Krakow, with DKV
2 Nov – JazzFest Berlin – Berlin, with Fire Orch.
3 Nov – Klub Dragon – Poznan
5 Nov – Fasching – Stockholm
6 Nov – Victoria – Oslo
7 Nov – DOM – Moscow
8 Nov – Music Unlimited – Wels, with Ken Vandermark

Ayal Tsubery – ‘Decisions’

Ayal Tsubery – ‘Decisions’

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

Young bassist Ayal Tsubery has released a strong straight-ahead jazz album with his debut, Decisions. The album of original compositions are carefully put together and swell as early compositions from young music grads do, giving his band mates — the core group being Tsubery on bass, Daniel Meron on piano & Rhodes, Eyal Hai on alto saxophone, and Dani Den or on drums — to play soulfully while staying in service to the pieces. It’s a respectable debut album with songs like “Sixth Floor” and “Parts Come Together” being particularly gripping. Jon Nellen’s tablas on “Hasin'” are a nice touch, integrating some South Asian influence into Decisions‘ sound that doesn’t exactly flow all throughout the album, but is perfectly in. Ultimately, you should check this album out from the young Berklee grad. It’s the kind of DIY album and young musician would make as a debut but with a polish that makes it worth your time. Check out Ayal Tsubery’s Decisions from his Bandcamp or check it out after the jump.

Compositions, Arrangements, and Production by Ayal Tsubery

Electric and Acoustic Bass – Ayal Tsubery
Drumset – Dani Danor
Piano/Rhodes – Daniel Meron
Alto Saxophone – Eyal Hai

Tenor Saxophone – Jonathan Greenstein
Flute – Itai Kriss
Percussion – Jon Nellen

The Line-Up for 17 October 2014

The Line-Up for 17 October 2014

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

This week felt like just another Friday after a few weeks of pretty constant activity. It felt nice to slow down and just make some radio without a major agenda for a change, and then I put together what I felt to be a pretty solid hour.

The Line-Up for 17 October 2014

Flying Lotus – Tesla
The new FlyLo album had to be one of the most anticipated of the year, and that’s just because it’s a FlyLo album. Yet for this to be his “jazz” album, or at least as much a jazz album as Flying Lotus can settle his constantly moving mind to make, that just makes this album even more important.
Mndsgn – Convert
Sean Jones – New Journey
Sean Jones’ latest album, im.pro.vise – Never Before Seen is still kinda amazing.
Father Figures – Piranha Plant
My good friend Adam Schatz is touring again with his band Landlady. They’re playing San Antonio’s 502 Bar on Wednesday night and I’m really excited about the show, but the music isn’t exactly jazz. Awesome, yes, but still outside the format, so I played some Father Figures instead.
The Bad Plus – Epistolary Echoes
I’m not only reminding you of how great the new Bad Plus album is, but I’m also hipping you to the version of 2048 Ethan Iverson made replacing the numbered tiles with Ornette Coleman album covers. You’re welcome.
Mndsgn – Sheets
Mostly Other People Do the Killing – Blue In Green
I’ve been procrastinating a lot on emailing some questions over to Moppa Elliott about MOPDtK’s Blue, their note-for-note recreation of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue. I love the concept of this album and would love to take the time to talk out the ideas and process behind making it. In a contemporary art sense, this may be one of the most inspiring works in the jazz scene in quite a while.
Dayna Stephens – Peace
Dayna Stephens’ album of ballads has both Brad Mehldau & Larry Grenadier. It’s out next month. These should all be major selling points.
Mndsgn – Frugality
Butcher Brown – Forest Green
The new Butcher Brown album, All Purpose Music, drops tomorrow on Jellowstone/Ropeadope. Get hip.
BADBADNOTGOOD – Velvet
The new BBNG track is really the best song these dudes have made yet. They just keep getting better and better.
Mark Guiliana – Hunter Thompson is Watching
I still feeling Beat Music: The Los Angeles Improvisations hard.
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey – Hey Hey NSA
The new JFJO album, Worker, is mad dope and out now.
Taylor McFerrin – Stepps
Flying Lotus – Moment of Hesitation
I just had to play some FlyLo & Herbie again. This show just demanded it.

Robert Glasper Experiment – “I Stand Alone” feat. Common & Patrick Stump (Video)

Robert Glasper Experiment – “I Stand Alone” feat. Common & Patrick Stump (Video)

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

Around this time last year, pianist Robert Glasper and his experiment of Casey Benjamin on saxophone & vocoder, Derrick Hodge on bass, and Mark Colenburg on percussion released Black Radio 2, the follow-up album to the previous year’s Black Radio, this time more pointed in an R&B direction and still evoking the flames Glasper’s fans have come to expect from him in his various musical directions. Now a year later, Glasper just released the video for Black Radio 2‘s first single, “I Stand Alone”, featuring verses from Common and a catchy hooking featuring Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump. It’s a very well crafted video, with a cool, fuzzy, colorful style to it and filled with special guests like Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Ma Dukes, Dave Chappelle, and many others. Check out the video after the jump.


Directed by: Brian Deka Paupaw & Robert Glasper

The Robert Glasper Experiment’s Black Radio 2 is available now on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.

Owen Howard – ‘Drum Lore Vol. 2 – More Lore’

Owen Howard – ‘Drum Lore Vol. 2 – More Lore’

Ben Gray
Staff Writer
bengray417@gmail.com

Much of the attention-grabbing jazz music that is coming out in 2014 is of the boundary-pushing variety, with electronic textures and maybe some rock influence for good measure. There’s nothing at all wrong with that – I’m certainly all for a Rhodes piano and solid boom-bap drums. But don’t think for a moment that “traditional” jazz with an acoustic setup is dead and has nothing left to say. Look no further than drummer Owen Howard’s Drum Lore Vol. 2.

Howard is the drummer, bandleader, and main composer on this album, rounding out the set with tunes from Victor Lewis (“Hey, It’s Me You’re Talkin’ To”), Joe Chambers (“Ungano”), Paul Motian (“Mumbo Jumbo”), Philly Joe Jones (“Got to Take Another Chance”), and Tony Williams (“Pee Wee”). The album is called Drum Lore for a reason – Howard put together this project and the first volume that preceded this one as a way to showcase drummer-composed tunes (where the first Drum Lore volume skewed heavily toward other drummers’ tunes, roughly half of the tunes here are Howard originals). His impressive quintet here includes John O’Gallagher on sax, Adam Kolker on sax and bass clarinet, Frank Carlberg on piano, and Johannes Weidenmueller on bass. Certainly there are plenty of drummer-led groups out there, but although the concept on this record is the drummer as composer and bandleader, it’s the music that makes this such a rewarding listen, regardless of who wrote the tunes.

Howard’s sensibility as a drummer/composer has him blending rhythm with melody seamlessly– check the drum/sax duet in the middle of the opening tune “Plus/Minus”, where the drums form a rhythmic bed and also provide counterpoint to the sax phrases. Much about this album might put the listener in the mindset of the Young Lions era, and not just for the use of the Tony Williams’ “Sister Cheryl” drum groove on Williams’ “Pee Wee”– the group has a strong conviction in well-played, well-recorded acoustic straight-ahead jazz in the face of fusion-influenced jazz/rock hybrids. Having said that, the quintet here isn’t afraid to take things pretty far out to some weirder places– see “Haiku,” with its unorthodox, open structure and free middle section. Bassist Johannes Weidenmueller makes quite an impression on that tune with an ear-grabbing, solo. The whole band works together seamlessly for “Haiku” to make that tune work, and that sums up what makes this album so strong– egoless group improvisation. Howard’s original tune “Like Buttah” is a great example of this group at work. After a drum introduction, the sax lines intertwine with no one taking a real melodic lead, sounding like something in the vein of Ornette Coleman and swinging hard while moving around in some pretty weird spaces. After the knotty head, there are great solos from the individual band members, all in the service of the overall song, as is the case on the rest of this record.

Just so there is no confusion, you want this album. This is an absolutely first-rate, top-flight group, with Howard, O’Gallagher, Kolker, Carlberg, and Weidenmueller coming together to make an incredibly memorable album. Drum Lore, Vol. 2 deserves a spot on your shelf among the other great drummer/composers.

Drum Love Vol. 2 will be released November 7 on Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records.

Track List:
Plus/Minus
Hey, It’s Me You’re Talkin’ To
Ungano
Haiku
Like Buttah
Mumbo Jumbo
Got to Take Another Chance
Labyrinth
Pee Wee
Haiku – Solo Piano

Owen Howard’s Drum Lore, Vol. 2 is out now on Bjur Records and is available on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.

David Bowie – “Sue (Or A Season in Crime)” feat. The Maria Schneider Orchestra (Stream)

David Bowie – “Sue (Or A Season in Crime)” feat. The Maria Schneider Orchestra (Stream)

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

It has long been established that David Bowie can do pretty much whatever he wants. Throughout his storied career, he’s moved in numerous artistic directions and worked with various collaborators. For his latest move, a three-disc reverse chronological Best of- collection of his work called Nothing Has Changed, Bowie has enlisted the Maria Schneider Orchestra (with drummer Mark Guiliana!) and his frequent collaborator Tony Visconti for the new song “Sue (Or A Season in Crime)”. The song could be called as Rolling Stone called it “epic”, and though it is, that’s also just the Grammy award-winning composer and arranger Schneider doing her thing. Check out the sweeping tune after the jump.

David Bowie: Vocals

Maria Schneider Orchestra:

Maria Schneider: Arranger, Conductor
Donny McCaslin: Tenor Soloist
Ryan Keberle: Trombone Soloist

Jesse Han: Flute, Alto Flute, Bass Flute
David Pietro: Alto Flute, Clarinet, Soprano Sax
Rich Perry: Tenor Sax
Donny McCaslin: Soprano Sax, Tenor Sax
Scott Robinson: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Contrabass Clarinet

Tony Kadleck: Trumpet, Fluegelhorn
Greg Gisbert: Trumpet, Fluegelhorn
Augie Haas: Trumpet, Fluegelhorn
Mike Rodriguez: Trumpet, Fluegelhorn

Keith O’Quinn: Trombone
Ryan Keberle: Trombone
Marshall Gilkes: Trombone
George Flynn: Bass Trombone, Contrabass Trombone

Ben Monder: Guitar
Frank Kimbrough: Piano
Jay Anderson: Bass
Mark Guiliana: Drums

“Sue (Or A Season in Crime)” will be out as a 10″ single on November 28th (Black Friday) and will appear on Bowie’s new greatest hits collection, Nothing Has Changed (which will include work from last year’s return to form , The Next Day), out November 17th on Parlaphone, the 18th on Columbia/Legacy. You can pre-order the vinyl on Amazon.

The Line-Up for 10 October 2014

The Line-Up for 10 October 2014

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

Once again, The Line-Up works as a bookend to our KRTU membership drive. This year was particularly exciting, with the drive surpassing our fundraising goal for the fall. The KRTU listeners out there believe in what we do– broadcasting quality jazz music of all kinds over the air. If you believe in that too, and The Line-Up is part of that, pledge your support at http://join.KRTU.org/ and become a member today. In the meantime, here’s a big reason why you should become a member– a new episode of The Line-Up.

The Line-Up for 10 October 2014

Gregory Porter – Free
Porter’s Liquid Spirit is one of the albums we have as gifts for our members. It’s a damn good choice.
Mndsgn – Sheets
Jason Moran & Meshell Ndegeocello – Ain’t Misbehavin’
I’ve been loving this album for months now and it keeps reminding me how great the Fats Waller Dance Party is live. All Rise… is an experience and I’ll probably have it in the running for my year-end list (the time draws nigh).
Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood – Louis the Shoplifter
Have you copped Juice yet?
Phronesis – Wings 2 the Mind
I have yet to take Life to Everything out of rotation. This is honestly my favorite Phronesis album. I figure if this is this show where we’re inviting people in and presenting our best, I chose what is probably one of my favorite songs of the year.
Ufsp – Sunny Delight
Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trio – Too High
Gibbs, Ron Carter, and Kenny Barron got together again for a second album. It’s cool to see a guy whose show on KRTU I loved back when I was in high school is now up in New York releasing his second album with Ron Carter and Kenny Barron and I’m talking about it as a gift for membership on my radio show on KRTU (that maybe some other kid in high school is listening to).
Stanley Clarke Band – Brazilian Love Affair
There’s a new Stanley Clarke Band album and it’s so much everything. Really, it feels like a revue of Clarke’s career and range. It’s outstanding.
Nujabes – Tsurugi No Mai
Ayal Tsubery – Sixth Floor
In the litany of emails bassist Ayal Tsubery sent me, I downloaded his album on the second one and was mulling over when I’d write something or at least play him on the show, his album Decisions is quite good. Then Tsubery sent a third email. Either I was dragging or I’d have to adhere to my new “after the third email, take the hint and fall back awhile” note that I’ve been making various places. Well, Ayal Tsubery does not fit in the latter category, so here’s some play. You should cop Decisions. I may say more later.
Harvey Mason – Before the Dawn
I wanted to remember how dope Chameleon is, especially this version of “Before the Dawn”. I also wanted to remind you of that, too.
Nujabes – Aruarian Dance
Flying Lotus – Moment of Hesitation feat. Herbie Hancock
I’ve been waiting for You’re Dead! like you have no idea.

Hallucinations/Budo: A Critical Analysis of Covers

Hallucinations/Budo: A Critical Analysis of Covers

Ben Gray
Staff Writer
bengray417@gmail.com

“Hallucinations”, or “Budo”, is a Bud Powell composition…er, a Miles Davis composition. As “Hallucinations”, the tune first appeared on Powell’s The Genius of Bud Powell as a solo piano vehicle, while it first appeared as “Budo” on Miles’ Birth of the Cool, with a nonet. Either way, it’s a fun and catchy piece of bop that has been re-visited quite a few times since it first appeared in the early 1950s.

On The Genius of Bud Powell, “Hallucinations” is a short and sweet piece of solo piano. Powell launches straight into the tune’s head and plays through its complexities, moving into an improvisation at about 0:40 or 0:45. It is amazing how Powell’s improvisation is based so closely on the tune’s melody while coming up with completely original variations throughout – something Powell had in common with Monk’s piano style and not many others. After moving through his improvisation, he returns to the tune’s theme at about 2:05 and plays it through to the end. The full head isn’t repeated at the finish, but really just enough to remind you of the head. The “Hallucinations” melody provides Powell with fertile ground for improvisation, and would do the same for the many musicians who took on the tune.

Miles Davis’ Birth of the Cool was in part a project of arranger Gil Evans’ that was led by a young Miles. On Birth of the Cool, Miles’ trumpet is joined by a varying cast, but for “Budo” the band includes Gerry Mulligan and Lee Konitz on saxes, Kai Winding on trombone, Bill Barber on tuba, Sandy Siegelstein on French horn, Joe Shulman on bass, Al Haig on piano, and Max Roach on drums. “Budo” is credited as being written by Miles and Bud Powell, with an arrangement by John Lewis, and basically consists of “Hallucinations” with a short introduction. The band adds a punchy brass introduction to the tune before moving into the “Hallucinations” head. At about 0:40, the band has played through the head and Davis takes a trumpet solo over the drums, walking bass, and piano comping. He’s followed by Mulligan on sax at about 1:15, who takes a very brief solo that is followed by Konitz at about 1:30, then Winding at about 1:45. After the brief trombone solo, the band moves back into the composed portion of the song. They play through the “Hallucinations” theme, then return to the punchy brass part that introduced the tune, leaving some open drum breaks for Max Roach. After a brief 2:30 or so, it’s all done. There’s a lot packed into this 2:30 tune, with solo spots for trumpet, sax, trombone, and the drums, dense horn arrangements by John Lewis in the tune’s head, and some additions to the “Hallucinations” theme that were presumably added by Davis. I’ll also mention here that Davis would re-visit “Budo” a few years later with a different group that included Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley on sax, Red Garland on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Jimmy Cobb on drums. That version was released on The Complete Columbia Recordings of Miles Davis with John Coltrane and featured more extended solos than on the Birth of the Cool version.

Not long after the original recordings of “Hallucinations” and “Budo”, Oscar Peterson took on “Budo” for his At the Concertgebouw record, released in 1957 with Peterson at the piano along with Herb Ellis on guitar and Ray Brown on bass. (For what it is worth, despite the album’s title, this was apparently recorded in Chicago.) Although this is billed as “Budo”, the trio jumps right into the “Hallucinations” melody without the introduction that was added to “Budo” on Birth of the Cool, sounding more like Bud Powell’s arrangement than Miles’. With Peterson’s piano taking the lead, they play through the head and then launch into a guitar solo starting at about 0:30. Ellis gets into a really fine groove at about 1:00 and then hits on some bent, bluesy notes at about 1:15 or so. He continues his virtuosic solo until about 2:00, then comes to an abrupt end. It seems to take Peterson by surprise, as his piano solo begins a bar or two later after leaving some space for Brown’s walking bassline (it’s entirely possible that he just wanted to leave some space for the walking bass, of course). Peterson takes a similarly virtuosic solo following on Ellis’ guitar, backed mostly by subtle guitar chords, except for some oddly enthusiastic chords around 3:00 or so. At about 3:50, Peterson returns to the “Hallucinations” melody. They play through the head and then add a brief tag at the end of this, around 4:15. Although this is labeled as “Budo”, it seems that the trio here actually sticks closer to Powell’s version of the tune. A rose by any other name, I suppose. The recording quality isn’t always perfect on this, but it’s a rewarding listen because of the great solos from both Ellis and Peterson, backed by a fine bassline throughout.

Budo (Hallucinations) by Oscar Peterson Trio on Grooveshark

Decades after Birth of the Cool, Joe Lovano revisited “Budo” in a duet with Hank Jones on piano, released on their 2007 Kids: Live at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola album. Jones’ piano introduces the tune in the same way that the brass came in on Birth of the Cool, and then Lovano’s sax joins for the head that “Budo” shares with “Hallucinations.” It’s a cool duet arrangement with the piano and sax stating the theme in unison at some points, while sometimes Jones plays chords and basslines underneath the sax. Starting at about 0:45, Lovano’s sax takes the lead over Jones’ piano backing. He sticks close to the tune’s melody while improvising on and around it. A surprisingly wild sax line at about 1:25 or 1:30 after a fairly gentle ride until that point, and then Lovano digs in a bit more after that. Lovano hands the reins to Jones at about 2:00 for an unaccompanied piano solo. Jones similarly keeps the “Hallucinations”/”Budo” melody in mind, though he probably moves away from it a bit more than Lovano’s sax improvisation. At about 3:05, Lovano’s sax returns as the pair of them make their way back to the head. At about 3:45, they return to the portion that was added for “Budo”, but not present in “Hallucinations”, and then bring the tune to a close. Great playing from both Jones and Lovano on this version of the tune, with fine improvisation from both of them. The end of Lovano’s sax solo was probably the highlight, but good stuff all around.

Budo by Joe Lovano and Hank Jones on Grooveshark

Bobby McFerrin’s self-titled solo album from 1982 featured his version of “Hallucinations”, with McFerrin’s multi-tracked vocal lines covering both the bass and the melody, building an effective duet with himself that contrasts nicely with the Lovano/Jones version above. After singing through the head, he takes a vocal solo over a walking vocal bassline. There’s nothing not to like about this, and just thinking about how he could have possibly made this multi-tracked come together so well is mind-boggling, particularly when he comes back to the head out of the vocal solo just after 1:30. Not a definitive version of the tune, but of course you want to listen to this one. McFerrin also did this tune as a duet with Chick Corea in a live show in 2012, well worth checking out and taking the tune in a different direction.

Hallucinations from Bobby McFerrin on Myspace.

In 1987, George Shearing released Breakin’ Out, with Shearing at the piano along with Ray Brown on bass (who also played “Budo” with Oscar Peterson three decades earlier, above) and Marvin “Smitty” Smith on drums. Here, they start with the piano playing the introductory chords from Miles’ version of the tune, and then they move into the “Hallucinations” head, here with a light, bouncy feel. All three members of the trio really give it this feeling, a really joyful sound. Shearing takes a casually virtuosic piano solo out after they play through the head. Like many of the versions of the tune in this column, he keeps the melody front and center while improvising. At about 2:00, this arrangement has some open drum breaks for Smith, who takes the opportunity to add some really great fills (which, incidentally, were recorded with a nice stereo sound in your headphones). After these sections for drum fills, there’s a brief section left open for Brown to add a little bass fill before the trio moves back into the tune’s head. Then at 3:30 or so they return to the little “Budo” addition to the tune and take it out with Smith’s cymbals. A great, bouncy piano trio version of “Budo” here.

Keith Jarrett’s trio with Gary Peacock on bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums played “Hallucinations” on their Whisper Not album, recorded live in Paris in 1999. Jarrett’s solo piano introduces this version of the tune before DeJohnette’s hi-hats join in along with Peacock’s bass. Holy cow, what an opening out of the head into Jarrett’s solo at about 0:30! (Nearly enough to make the vocalizations passable…) That ascending line from Jarrett leads to a fantastic solo over the excellent walking bassline and swinging drums. Like Powell, Jarrett’s solo is very much based on the melody, even as (around 1:40 or so) he gets into a sort of pointillistic sort of thing and the melody becomes abstracted. Really, what do you say about this solo? Jarrett is absolutely killing it – short of Powell himself, what more could you hope for from a pianist on this tune? The trio is swinging and locked together, rock-solid backing from DeJohnette and Peacock behind the piano. Jarrett finishes his piano solo and Peacock takes a walking bass solo at about 4:00. Jarrett returns for a quick phrase, followed by an open drum break for DeJohnette. This continues for a bit, with DeJohnette getting in some really great rolls (check that second drum break out). Then at 5:25, they return to the “Hallucinations” theme and play through the head. Phew… this is incredible stuff, almost exhausting to listen to given the energy that these three musicians are putting into the music. Really amazing, showing how far out a tune can be taken within an acoustic piano trio context – there’s lots of examples where a tune is re-contextualized by playing with different instruments or giving it a modern backbeat, but Jarrett, Peacock, and DeJohnette just swing the hell out of “Hallucinations”, doing the tune proud.

Kenny Barron’s excellent 2005 album Images, with Stefon Harris on vibes, Anne Drummond on flute, Kiyoshi Kitagawa on bass, and Kim Thompson on drums, featured this quintet’s take on “Hallucinations.” They have the flute and vibes stating the melody over a walking bassline and piano chords. At about 0:20, Barron joins the melodic line briefly so the flute, piano, and vibes all play in unison, then returns to playing chords through the head. Following the head, Barron takes a piano solo over a walking bassline and Thompson’s drumming. This version has a head of steam behind it, both in terms of the tempo and the way that the band pushes the tune forward. After a brief piano solo, Harris takes a vibes solo starting around 1:45 or so, accompanied by the drums and bass as well as Barron’s comping. A too-short vibes solo is followed by a similarly brief flute solo from Drummond. The flute here is an interesting difference from the versions above, and Drummond does a fantastic job with this tune. After the flute solo, there is space for some open drum breaks, and then the band returns to the “Hallucinations” head, arranged similarly to the opening with the flute and vibes playing the melody in unison. A really great, all-too-brief version of the tune; it would be great to hear Barron, Harris, and Drummond get a chance to stretch out more on this. As it is, the front-line combination of piano, flute, and vibes is an interesting one – this could become light and insubstantial, but the way this quintet pushes forward (thanks in no small part to the strong rhythm section) that’s never a problem. Great stuff.

Hallucinations by Kenny Barron on Grooveshark

This isn’t everything, of course. This tune has been done by Charles Mingus (as “Budo”), Ellis Marsalis (as “Hallucinations”), Cedar Walton (“Hallucinations”), Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan (“Budo”), Joey DeFrancesco (“Hallucinations”), and many others. Plenty of space for great improvisations, as the versions above show. Whatever the instrumentation, ranging from solo piano to the nonet on Birth of the Cool, this tune is a masterpiece of the bop era. Keep listening.

Ben Gray is a listener with a lot of ideas about this music around in his head.

BADBADNOTGOOD – “Velvet” (Stream)

BADBADNOTGOOD – “Velvet” (Stream)

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

The world got a nice surprise this morning with a new song from BADBADNOTGOOD. The compositional and technical maturity keyboardist Matty Tavares, bassist Chester Hansen, and drummer Alex Sowinski have shown over the last few years, particularly in their latest release, III, from earlier this year, this new song feels so much like it’s out of something from the CTI catalog. If you’re already cool with these guys, it’s a sign the’re still climbing new heights, but if you’re one of those who still wonder what’s the deal with these guys, this track may be the one to prove they deserve all the praise they’ve gotten and they’re still living up to it. Check out the stream after the jump.


Produced, Written & Arranged By BADBADNOTGOOD
Alex Sowinski – Drums, Percussion, Vibraphone, Love
Chester Hansen – Bass, Synthesizer, Love
Matty Tavares – Keyboard, Synthesizer, Guitar, Love
Engineered By Matty
Photo By Rose Flutur & Connor Olthuis
Mastered By Joao Carvalho

For more, BADBADNOTGOOD’s latest album of original compositions, III, is out now on Innovative Leisure.

They’ll also be touring the west coast through this and next week, so make sure to roll through if you can.
OCTOBER 9TH, RIVERSIDE, CA, THE BARN AT UC RIVERSIDE
OCTOBER 11TH, LOS ANGELES, CA, ECHOPLEX
OCTOBER 14TH, SEATTLE, WA, NEUMOS
OCTOBER 15TH, PORTLAND, OR, MISSISSIPPI STUDIOS
OCTOBER 16TH, SAN FRANSISCO, CA, CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCE