[JPL] Bob Dylan's Talkin' Jazz

Mike Stratton dreamtrane at gmail.com
Tue May 24 15:29:09 EDT 2011


Yes, the book is a real treat. I was surprised by how good it was, then
surprised that I should be surprised. He is, after all, a great writer. I,
too, am anxiously awaiting Vol. II.

Mike

On Tue, May 24, 2011 at 2:52 PM, Larry Appelbaum <jumpmonk at hotmail.com>wrote:

> This week's sponsor: Lisa Hilton "Underground" with Nasheet Waits/drums,
> Larry Grenadier/bass and J.D. Allen/tenor sax
>
> "Lisa Hilton has topped herself on 'Underground.'  She's never played,
> written or expressed herself better as an artist.   This is living
> adventurous jazz that breathes fresh but at the same time is rooted in the
> best parts of the past- and always deeply emotive.  Surrounded by some of
> the finest musicians working today, Hilton hits the mark on every cut.
>  She's joined the ranks of her own contemporary heroes."  Todd Steed/WUOT
>
> "Shimmering and spacious. Though not as well known as her session mates,
> Hilton easily holds her own during these performances, and her compositions
> clearly inspire all concerned."  Mike Joyce/Jazz Times
>
> Lisa Hilton
> www.lisahiltonmusic.com
>
> ---------------------
>
>
> thanks for this, Tom. i think i now have to read this book.
>
> > tom reney <tr at wfcr.org>
> >
> > Ed Bradley's interview with Bob        Dylan will be shown on 60 Minutes
> this Sunday, December 5        (2004).  Given Bradley's interest in jazz,
> I'm curious to see if        Dylan is questioned about the substantial jazz
> content that is        included in his memoir CHRONICLES, VOLUME ONE.  As a
> longtime        listener to Dylan and reader of numerous interviews and
>    biographies on him, I've been very pleasantly surprised at the
>  numerous mentions he makes about the music.
> >
> >
> >
> > He recounts playing "The Water Is        Wide" with Cecil Taylor, who
> "could play regular piano if he        wanted to", and another occasion at
> the same "creepy but        convenient little coffeehouse on Bleeker" in
> which he played        with Billy Higgins and Don Cherry.
> >
> >
> >
> > He relates this about        seeing Thelonious Monk at the Blue Note on
> 3rd        Street. "Sometimes he'd be in there in the afternoon sitting at
>      the piano all alone playing stuff that sounded like Ivory Joe
>  Hunter-- a big half eaten sandwich left on top of his piano.  I
>  dropped in there once in the afternoon, just to listen-- told        him
> that I played folk music up the street.  'We all play folk        music,' he
> said.  Monk was in his own dynamic universe even when        he dawdled
> around.  Even then, he summoned magic shadows into        being."
> >
> >
> >
> > He mentions many records, including        relatively obscure Ellingtonia
> like Tourist Point of View and        the Tattooed Bride, and the Gil Evans
> recording of Leadbelly's        Ella Speed.  "If I needed to        wake up
> real quick, I'd put on Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac or        Umbrella Man by
> Dizzy Gillespie.  Hot House by Charlie Parker        was a good record to
> wake up to.  There were a few souls around        who had heard and seen
> Parker play and it seemed like he had        transmitted some secret essence
> of life to them."
> >
> >
> >
> > He's downright rapturous in his        appreciation of two Harrys: Arlen
> ("In Harold's        songs...the cosmic Somewhere Over the Rainbow... I
> could hear        rural blues and folk music"); and Belafonte ("He had
> ideals and        made you feel you're part of the human race...that rare
> type of        character that radiates greatness, and you hope some of it
> rubs        off on you...You know he never took the easy path, though he
>    could have.").  And hyperbolic towards Sinatra's Ebb Tide: "I
>  could hear everything in his voice-- death, God, the universe,
>  everything."
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Even though it wasn't released          until several years after Dylan's
> conversion from folk music          to rock'n'roll, he relates the
> controversy that ensued to          Miles Davis's Bitches Brew, "a piece of
> music that          didn't follow the rules of modern jazz, which had been
> on the          verge of breaking into the popular marketplace until Miles's
>          record came along and killed its chances. Miles was put down
>    by the jazz community. I couldn't imagine Miles being too
>  upset."
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > In the only musically        technical passage in the book, albeit a
> cryptic one, he credits        Lonnie Johnson with showing him a guitar
> style that was "more        active with more definition of presence...I had
> the idea he was        showing me something secretive."  (Coincidentally, I
> just read        an interview with Stones' bassist Bill Wyman in which he
>      recounts a significant encounter with Lonnie J on a NYC street
>  when the Stones first came to the States.  And there's some        great
> footage of Lonnie in the new DVD series of the 1960's        American Folk
> Blues Festival concert tours; Lonnie's shown being        introduced by
> Sonny Boy Williamson, playing solo and with        Victoria Spivey.)
> >
> >
> >
> > He devotes several pages to Robert        Johnson, the initial impact of
> hearing the 1962 release of        Johnson's 1936-1937 recordings, King of
> the Delta Blues        Singers.  "From the first note the vibrations from
> the        loudspeaker made my hair stand up....When Johnson started
>  singing, he seemed like a guy who could have been sprung from        the
> head of Zeus in full armor....The songs weren't customary        blues
> songs.  They were perfected pieces...They were so utterly
>  fluid....short punchy verses that resulted in some panoramic        story--
> fires of mankind blasting off the surface of this        spinning piece of
> plastic."  And upon seeing the photographs of        Johnson that appeared
> only in the past 20 years. "He looks        nothing like a man of stone, no
> high-strung        temperament...wearing an unusual gilded cap like Little
> Lord        Fauntleroy.  He looks nothing like a man with a hellhound on his
>        trail.  He looks immune to human dread and you stare at the
>  image in disbelief."
> >
> >
> >
> > His adoption of the name Bob Dylan        is tied not only to Dylan
> Thomas, but, in typically convoluted        fashion, to jazz singer Dave
> Allyn, whom he mistakenly describes        as a saxophonist.
> >
> >
> >
> > And in language that echoes Ralph        Ellison's insights about how
> black musicians often gave whites a        key to their own identities, he
> describes an amazing odyssey in        which he leaves a rehearsal session
> in San Rafael, CA in        complete dejection only to wander into a barroom
> where an        unnamed jazz singer and combo are performing.  "Something
> was        calling me to come in and I entered, walked along the long,
>  narrow bar to where the jazz cats were playing in the back on a
>  raised platform in front of a brick wall.  I got within four        feet of
> the stage and just stood there against the bar, ordered        a gin and
> tonic and faced the singer.  An older man, he wore a        mohair suit,
> flat cap with a little brim and a shiny necktie.         The drummer had a
> rancher's Stetson on and the bassist and        pianist were neatly dressed.
>  They played jazz ballads, stuff        like Time on My Hands and Gloomy
> Sunday.  The singer reminded me        of Billy Eckstine.  He wasn't
> forceful, but he didn't have        to be; he was relaxed, but he sang with
> natural power.  Suddenly        and without warning, it was like the guy had
> an open window to        my soul.  It was like he was saying, 'You should do
> it this        way.' All of a sudden, I understood something faster than I
> ever        did before.  I could feel how he worked at getting his power,
>      what he was doing to get at it.  I knew where the power was
>  coming from and it wasn't his voice, though the voice brought me
>  sharply back to myself. I used to do this thing, I'm thinking.         It
> was a long time ago and it had been automatic.  No one had        ever
> taught me.  This technique was so elemental, so simple and        I'd
> forgotten.  It was like I'd forgotten how to button my        pants.  I
> wondered if I could still do it.  I wanted at least a        chance to try.
>  If I could in any way get close to handling this        technique, I could
> get off this marathon stunt ride...This was        revelatory...I had that
> old jazz singer to thank."
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Tom Reney
> >         "Jazz à la Mode"
> >         Monday - Thursday, 8 p.m.- Midnight
> >         WFCR
> >         Public Radio for Western New England
> >         Hampshire House
> >         131 County Circle
> >         Amherst, MA 01003-9257
> >         413-545-3220 office
> >         413-545-2546 fax
> >         tr at wfcr.org
> >         www.wfcr.org
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> >
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