[JPL] A Jazzman’s Farewell and a Rock Manifesto

r durfee rdurfee2003 at yahoo.com
Thu Dec 27 10:10:34 EST 2007


December 23, 2007
Music
A Jazzman’s Farewell and a Rock Manifesto 
By NATE CHINEN
1. MICHAEL BRECKER: ‘PILGRIMAGE’ (Heads Up). The
intensely focused final album by the tenor saxophonist
Michael Brecker galvanizes a dream team of jazz
modernists, including the guitarist Pat Metheny and
the pianists Herbie Hancock and Brad Mehldau. They all
rise thrillingly to the occasion, but somehow it’s the
ailing Mr. Brecker who makes it sound easy. 

2. RADIOHEAD: ‘IN RAINBOWS.’ “The infrastructure will
collapse,” Thom Yorke coos near the close of this
slippery opus, which exposed the fissures of a
crumbling industry by cleverly subverting it. But “In
Rainbows” (no longer available as a download, but
being released in physical form by ATO on Jan. 1) is
no mere case study. In terms of songwriting,
production and execution this is Radiohead at its most
inspired.

3. BILL MCHENRY: ‘ROSES’ (Sunnyside). Throughout his
gorgeous and uncompromising new record the tenor
saxophonist Bill McHenry threads his melodies as if
through a fabric. He’s confident enough to let his
band mates — the insinuative drummer Paul Motian, the
venturesome bassist Reid Anderson and especially the
ingenious guitarist Ben Monder — shape the songs as
they desire.

4. CHARLES MINGUS SEXTET: ‘CORNELL 1964’ (Blue Note).
A time capsule that reveals an irrepressible Mingus,
on bass and vocals, propelling a short-lived band with
both Eric Dolphy and Clifford Jordan on saxophones.
Nothing, not even musty sound quality, can diminish
the manic ebullience captured here.

5. MIKE MORENO: ‘BETWEEN THE LINES’ (World Culture
Music). This streamlined post-bop outing was the
standout jazz debut of 2007, establishing Mr. Moreno,
an assertively introspective guitarist, as the rare
up-and-comer with discernment to match his prowess. 

6. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM: ‘SOUND OF SILVER’ (DFA/Capitol).
Along with one of the year’s great songs — “All My
Friends,” a dose of self-reflection both wistful and
defiant — this savvy dance-punk epic advances an
irresistibly kinetic agenda. It’s a band effort,
though James Murphy still suggests an opposition party
of one.

7. JOSHUA REDMAN: ‘BACK EAST’ (Nonesuch). This tenor
and soprano saxophonist has never sounded more at ease
than he does here, engaging with a few different
bass-and-drum teams. A fleeting taste of his father,
the saxophonist Dewey Redman, in his last studio
appearance, raises stakes as well as hairs.

8. FEIST: ‘THE REMINDER’ (Cherry Tree/Interscope).
Leslie Feist’s voice is a small but serious marvel as
it ranges in timbre from lacework-precious to
sunspot-bright, managing always to serve the unforced
clarity of her songs. 

9. LIL WAYNE: ‘DA DROUGHT 3.’ Among the boasts on this
unofficial release by the wickedly resourceful New
Orleans rapper: “My flow is art, unique/My flow can
part a sea/The only thing on the mind of a shark is:
‘Eat,/By any means’ — and you’re just sardines.”
Obviously no shark, this one included, has to remember
to keep cruising the waters. 

10. DEERHOOF: ‘FRIEND OPPORTUNITY’ (Kill Rock Stars).
This San Francisco band sounds as startling and
dissonance-crazy as ever, despite Satomi Matsuzaki’s
stronger presence as lead singer. This quick jolt of
an album offers a twist on post-punk that’s as
brazenly ambitious as it is willfully starry-eyed.

Top Songs

RIHANNA “Umbrella” (Def Jam)

LCD SOUNDSYSTEM “All My Friends” (DFA/Capitol)

AMY WINEHOUSE “Rehab” (Universal Republic)

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN “Your Own Worst Enemy” (Columbia)

ALICIA KEYS “Lesson Learned” (J Records) 


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/23/arts/music/23chin.html?ref=music

Roy Durfee
P.O. Box 40219
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87196-0219
rdurfee2003 at yahoo.com


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