Saturday, April 07, 2007

HurdAudio Rotation: Spinning the Improvisers

Erik Friedlander: Maldoror. Solo cello improvisation inspired by the poetry of Comte de Lautreamont. The translations of the poems included in the liner notes are dark and surreal. Any excuse to hear Friedlander playing in isolation like this is welcome. I'd listen to a disc of improvisations inspired by still life paintings from hotel rooms if Friedlander is involved with it.

Andrew Hill: A Beautiful Day. A big band led by pianist/composer Andrew Hill (that happens to include the great Marty Ehrlich) recorded at New York City's Birdland on January 24, 25 and 26, 2002. We should all be so fortunate to have a large band like this at our disposal. Hill knows exactly what to do with a large-scale canvas like this as he spins out great ideas and arrangements at every turn. And he still leaves plenty of room for some knockout solos. This is just one of many counter-arguments to the nauseating "jazz is dead"meme.

Albert Ayler: Holy Ghost Box Set (disc 2). I've discussed this disc earlier in this space. Intense. Rewarding to the attentive listener. Punishing for the passive one. I'm so glad this documentation exists and I can come back to it as a reference point. Ayler tapped into something substantial and each listening reveals something new to ponder over as a composer and improviser.

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