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Jazz

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Eric Dolphy's Out to Lunch Still Sounds Fresh and Odd 50 Years Later

Posted by on Tue, Feb 25, 2014 at 12:16 PM

NPR reminds us that Eric Dolphy's unique classic avant-jazz LP, Out to Lunch, came out 50 years ago today. This is as great a time as any to revisit it or introduce yourself to it.

The lineup of Dolphy (bass clarinet, alto saxophone, flute), Tony Williams (drums), Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone), Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), and Richard Davis (bass) is phenomenal, and the compositions baffling and brilliant. Williams, who was only 18 at the time Out to Lunch was recorded, is jaw-droppingly agile and inventive here and Hutcherson plonks out some very bizarre textures and motifs. The entire album's possessed of a strangely enchanted aura and every listen reveals new facets. Even if you only focus strictly on Williams' cymbal and hi-hat work, you will come away from Out to Lunch fulfilled. It's truly tragic that Dolphy died a mere four months after releasing this classic LP, age 36.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Hard-Hitting Movie-Related Interview with Dylan Ryan of Sand

Posted by on Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Epic storytelling.
  • "Epic storytelling."
Dylan Ryan is an LA-based drummer who plays in a million genre-spanning bands: from the electronic group Rainbow Arabia, to Saddle Creek mainstays Cursive, to singer/songwriter Tim Kasher, and then into jazzier stuff with Icy Demons and Herculaneum. Ryan's most recent endeavor is his project Sand, a psychedelic band that he wanted to contain elements of "Black Sabbath, the Cure, Jaco-era Joni Mitchell, and free jazz.” The result is songs with minimal surf/spaghetti western movements, somewhat folk-y influences, and a striking ability to evoke familiarity while remaining inherently unique and melodic. Sand plays at the Royal Room in Columbia City tonight to promote their new record Sky Bleached on Cuneiform Records.

Naturally, I decided to interview him with a few hard-hitting questions about TV and movie discoveries while on tour. Here’s what he had to tell me:

What are some memorable movies that you've ended up watching on tour? Which ones do you find yourself repeatedly re-watching? It changes from tour to tour. Sand, for example only watches No Retreat, No Surrender. With Cursive, there was a tour where Step Brothers was really resonating with the group of us young men. I think my favorite is on one Icy Demons tour, we got totally immersed in Some Kind of Monster, but not in a healthy way at all. Our tour manager started referring to us by the names of who he thought each of us was acting like, and guess who I got? The fucking producer! I thought I'd be an obvious choice for Kirk, in the role of master steedsman/shredder. Or at least the drummer.

What are some movies that new/old friends from around the country always seem to have at their house?
Lately, I've been trying to predict what people will have in their collections. I'm getting really good at telling if someone owns Amelie or not. But there are definitely patterns. I think the Eternal Sunshine/High Fidelity/Donnie Darko triumverate may be most common. But way out of the norm, recently I saw an amazingly thorough horror collection with seriously everything from mainstream B movies like Dr Giggles and Maniac Cop, to Italian gore and Begotten and weird great stuff I haven't thought of for years.

What, in your opinion, is the best music documentary?
Controversial topic. Real issues. My favorites? Maybe my current favorite is Athens, GA: Inside Out. I've always loved Decline Of Western Civ Part 2. And in the ongoing new vs. old Aerosmith debate, I have seriously lost friends over The Making of Pump, which evidently I alone love.

What, in your opinion, is the best fictional band from TV/film? Is the band in Lost Boys real?

Did action movies stop being good after 1998? Hello? Entrapment, anyone?

Can you tell me about the best TV discoveries of tour that you would like to share? A Dog With A Blog is something that stumbled upon recently and it's easily the weirdest show on TV. Need to study this one further, but it's the story of a dog who speaks to a human family and blogs via voiceovers about how crazy life can be.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Tonight: Industrial Revelation

Posted by on Fri, Nov 15, 2013 at 1:41 PM

It can be argued without much effort that the coolest band in Seattle is Industrial Revelation, a quartet that has a jazz foundation but is not musically confined by jazz. But why may IR be the coolest band in town? For one, Evan Flory-Barnes is the band's bassist; for two, Ahamefule J. Oluo is its trumpeter; for three, Josh Rawlings is its keyboardist; and for four, D'Vonne Lewis is its drummer. Those are the four solid reasons, but here is the big question: Why doesn't Seattle know that IR is probably its best and most promising band? Is it something like Edgar Allan Poe's "purloined letter"? Something that is so obvious that it is entirely missed? Hopefully, the time of the Industrial Revelation will happen sooner than later.

Download their new album here:

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FRI 11/15
Industrial Revelation
The Royal Room, 5000 Rainier Ave S, 906-9920, earshot.org, 8 pm, $12, all ages

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Industrial Revelation Interview: Show This Sunday, New Album Oak Head, 4-by-4 Shapes

Posted by on Thu, Oct 10, 2013 at 3:52 PM

ATTN SEATTLE: See Industrial Revelation play. You will not regret it.

The quadrangled members of Industrial Revelation are absolute players. Chaste capacitors for sound, each one of them, with outright ability and aptitude. Seattle based bassist Evan Flory-Barnes, trumpeter Ahamefule Oluo, drummer D’Vonne Lewis, and keyboardist Josh Rawlings could each take their respective instrument to the top of a mountain and make it talk to the curved expanses for days and days alone. From some fire tower in the Cascade Range they could discuss ice ages via vibrations with whatever gods were hovering around. Thankfully for us, they choose to play together, for human ears, at altitudes with more oxygen.

As musicians, Flory-Barnes, Oluo, Lewis, and Rawlings are listeners. They know when to listen and when to play - when to set the trap, and when to let the trap set them instead. They’re aware of what's going on with each other and are able to get out in front of real time.

Industrial Revelation’s jazz isn’t jazz, but it is. For their new studio album Oak Head, they convened and recorded over two days this past spring at a cabin by the Hood Canal in Quilcene, WA. Some songs they'd been playing for over a year, and others that were formed on the spot, after they hit record. Oluo spoke.

Industrial Revelation utilizes improvisation. How do you know when to hit record? How do you know when a moment is going to happen?

Oluo: Everyone in the band is under the same understanding that if a moment isn't happening, you shouldn't be playing. The idea is that every note, every beat, is coming from a genuine place, that’s the goal. Just like a conversation, you never know exactly what direction things are going to go but in a great conversation, that journey is made without posturing. In my opinion, one of the worst things you can do in a conversation is try to say something cool for the sake of saying something cool - it becomes the antithesis of cool. Musical improvisation is the same way, if you play something that you truly mean and you play it in honest language, you should be able to hit record at any moment and it will be magical. Obviously though, not all magic is created equal.

Industrial Revelation play this Sunday, Oct. 13th, 8 PM, at 2312 2nd Ave. $7. All Ages.

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Ahamefule J. Oluo: Mingus Was the Greatest and Richmond Was the Baddest Motherfucker Ever

Posted by on Fri, Aug 16, 2013 at 1:13 PM

When ever Ahamefule opens his mouth about jazz musicians and history, I'm all ears...

Is it just me, or was Dannie Richmond the baddest m*th*rf*ck*r that ever lived? It would not be hyperbolic for me to say that I am NOT being hyperbolic when I say that Dannie Richmond was the swingingest assemblage of atoms to ever hold 2 matched-weight cylinders of hickory. Known primarily as Mingus's drummer, he had the gift and the curse of a lifetime association with one of the greatest and most fascinating minds of the 20th century. Dannie Richmond spent the majority of his career both figuratively and (on the bandstand) literally in the shadow of the always larger than life Charles Mingus.

It's a great little piece about a drummer Charles Mingus plucked out of the thinnest air imaginable...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Doug Nufer, Wally Shoup, and Bill Horist at Barça

Posted by on Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 4:01 PM

This very interesting free event combines the poetry of Seattle's favorite wine merchant, Doug Nufer, and the sounds of two accomplished jazz musicians, Bill Horist (on the guitar) and Wally Shoup (on the sax). Because I do not have a nifty crystal ball nearby, I cannot tell you how this collaboration/experiment will end, but I do for sure like all of its elements—the poet, the jazz, and the bar. I also know that the performance will center on Nufer's Lounge Acts, a chapbook to be released in the near future by Insert Blanc Press.

Friday, May 24, 2013

So...Patricia Krentcil AKA "Tan Mom" Now Has a Pop Song?

Posted by on Fri, May 24, 2013 at 1:25 PM

I suppose we all remember "Tan Mom?" Maybe? She was a mom who was arrested for allegedly taking her six-year-old into the tanning bed with her. In all her public appearances she had tanned/self tanned to the point of being brown, like it was fucked up, hence her nickname "Tan Mom." Kelly O posted about this as it happened. Anyways, now "Tan Mom," Patricia Krentcil, has a single out...

Fake famous people make me regret the internet.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Tineke Postma's Haunting Beauty

Posted by on Thu, May 9, 2013 at 4:25 PM

(Seattle Art Museum) What should you do after work today? You should head down to Seattle Art Museum and check out the hauntingly beautiful jazz of Dutch saxophonist Tineke Postma. Her quartet is performing between 5:30 and 7:30 pm as part of the Art of Jazz series, which is in its 17th year. The way Postma blows is either direct like an unadorned wall or spooky like a ghost. Sometimes, she becomes so intense that it's like watching a person walk through a wall or pass a mirror without casting a reflection. However, Postma, who has released five albums (the most recent of which being The Dawn of Light), never plays outside of the stable tradition of modern jazz (1947 to 1969). She knows how to explore without getting lost.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

ICP Orchestra and the Art of Dutch Avant Garde Jazz

Posted by on Wed, Apr 3, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Co-founded in 1967 by Misha Mengelberg, a Dutch pianist who entered jazz history by way of Eric Dolphy's last album, Last Date,
Instant Composers Pool is a community of musicians who are dedicated to the production of free/experimental jazz. It's no exaggeration to say that these musicians are amazing. See/hear for yourself...


ISP performs tonight at Seattle Art Museum's Plestcheef Auditorium (1300 1st Ave).

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Music and Movies of the L.A. Rebellion

Posted by on Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Charles Burnett and Clarence Spegler
The L.A. Rebellion, which Charles Mudede wrote about here, was an African American film movement that took place primarily in the 1970s and '80s (Mudede will also be participating in the Cinema Salon that takes place this Saturday at 6pm).

It wasn't about music, but music was a part of it. Unlike the funk-powered blaxploitation films of the era, these filmmakers turned to blues, jazz, and gospel to ground their narratives about community and work—or the lack thereof.

To describe funk as a more commercial genre wouldn't be quite fair, but the L.A. Rebellion directors weren't thinking about radio airplay, drive-ins, and soundtrack recordings in the same way. Curtis Mayfield's Superfly soundtrack, for instance, still remains better known than the 1972 drama for which he did some of his finest work (or maybe that's just me; I have the record—my Dad had the record—but I still haven't seen photographer-turned-filmmaker Gordon Parks, Jr.'s movie).

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Asshole Glory of Ginger Baker

Posted by on Sun, Mar 3, 2013 at 12:03 PM

baker.jpg
  • Animator Jacob Ribicoff/Snag Films
Beware of Mr. Baker
(Jay Bulger, 2012, US, 92 mins.)

Instead of a hagiography filled with kind words from old chums, Jay Bulger's Beware of Mr. Baker revels in opportunities to present drummer Ginger Baker in all his asshole glory.

It's a disrespectful, attention-getting approach that suits its cantankerous subject like one of his old sheepskin coats. According to an IMDb user who caught the film at a London screening, the "fractious Q&A...ended with shouting, swearing, recriminations all round, and Jay Bulger seemingly storming off stage."

Unfortunately, Bulger films himself as if he were part of the profile—no wonder Baker, who now lives in South Africa, smacked him in the face with his cane in the opening sequence. When you've got a larger-than-life subject at your disposal, get the fuck out of the way. Let him narrate, let his friends and enemies narrate, or drop the narration altogether (the better documentaries don't need it).

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Jazz Legend Julian Priester Could Use Your Help

Posted by on Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Retired Cornish College of the Arts professor and revered avant-garde jazz trombonist/composer Julian Priester (aka Pepo Mtoto) has been struggling with kidney problems, which prevent him from touring, thereby cutting off his primary source of income. Therefore, Priester and his wife are facing financial hardship. Friends have set up a page on a fundraising site called youcaring.com to help them take care of healthcare costs.

Priester has been a fixture on Seattle's jazz scene for 35 years and has played with an impressive array of world-class musicians, including Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Sun Ra, Herbie Hancock, Max Roach, Sunn O))), and Charlie Haden.

Read more about Priester's predicament and donate money to the cause, if you can, here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dave Brubeck Exits at 91

Posted by on Wed, Dec 5, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Jazz composer and pianist Dave Brubeck is no more. Most in the world today and in the future will remember him for this pretty and very catchy tune...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

We Got the Jazz: Robert Glasper Blends Jazz and Hiphop

Posted by on Sun, Nov 4, 2012 at 10:16 AM

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Robert Glasper is a jazz pianist who is closely connected with the most progressive schools in hiphop and soul. His rise began in 2005, when he signed to the venerable Blue Note Records and released Canvas, a collection of crisply produced compositions (all but one by Glasper) that do not break with standard jazz. His second album with Blue Note, In My Element, expanded into hiphop territory. The first half of his third album, Double Booked, went back to the jazz tradition as the Robert Glasper Trio, while the second half went forward into the hiphop present as the Robert Glasper Experiment. His latest, Black Radio, released earlier this year, is basically an extension of the second half of Double Booked.

What distinguishes Glasper, who was raised in Houston and educated at a number of art schools, is his ability to successfully fuse hiphop and jazz. One of the reasons for this success can be found, I think, in his recognition of the differences between the forms. Jazz is one thing; hiphop is another. So often, jazz musicians or hiphop producers guide their experiments with the bad idea that the two forms are closely related—part of a smooth and unproblematic continuum. This kind of thinking almost inevitably results in a mess of a jazz that sounds nothing like hipĀ­hop or hiphop that sounds nothing like jazz. Glasper knows that any experiment in blending these forms needs to be sensitive to their real dissimilarities. In a 2007 New York Magazine article, "Elegy for Fort Greene," Glasper states: "Playing in a hiphop setting requires more discipline than playing jazz... You have to learn how to duplicate that sample, playing the exact same thing over and over again with the same inflection." Jazz is much less rigid and more expressive than hiphop.

Continue reading »

Robert Glasper Experiment play the Triple Door Tonight at 7 and 9:30 pm.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It's Autumn in Seattle

Posted by on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 12:54 PM

A trio lead by the Japanese jazz pianist Tsuyoshi Yamamoto captures the mood of this time of the year in this part of the world, "Autumn in Seattle".

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Don't Miss Elina Duni at Earshot Tonight: Albanian Jazz Beauty

Posted by on Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Elina Duni is from Albania. Her music is a mix of jazz and Albabian folk music. This strange mix of very distinct forms darkles like rain in the dusk. Duni comes to Seattle with a quartet. If you bring a heart to her music, it will be broken in the most wonderful way possible.

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Jazz is a world

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Shirley Clarke's The Connection

Posted by on Sun, Oct 21, 2012 at 1:15 PM

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  • Milestone Films
The Connection
(Shirley Clarke, US, 1961, 35mm, 110 mins.)

"Sordid and disagreeable."
—Bosley Crowther, The New York Times

The Connection is a jazz film, and it's also a film about junkies. Not all jazz films revolve around substance abuse, but many do: Otto Preminger's The Man with the Golden Arm, Bertrand Tavernier's Round Midnight, etc.

In her first feature, the fearless Shirley Clarke (Cool World, the Oscar-winning Robert Frost: A Lover's Quarrel with the World) shuns the heretofore glamorous, Hollywood image of the drug addict. These guys, who frequent the same Manhattan tenement, are a motley-looking bunch, even though den father—and Steve Buscemi lookalike—Leach (Warren Finnerty) prides himself on his housekeeping skills.

Though Leach sports a stylish neckerchief, it's just his attempt to hide a boil. If he can't stop talking, his compatriots spend most of their time nodding off. Soon, fictional filmmaker Dunn (William Redfield) steps in front of the camera to get them to "act naturally," but they see no point unless he pays them more. Since he already gave them cash to shoot up, ethics don't seem too high on his agenda.

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Hot Hot Friday Night Line Out Giveaway!

Posted by on Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 6:09 PM

This is the inaugural edition of the "Fuck, It's Late, We're Bored, Everybody Left in the Office Donate One Thing to This Pile" Line Out trivia contest! This goes out to you, people who work late on Fridays (we're sorry!) and people who read Line Out on the weekend (that's dedication!).

Trivia Question: What song did Negative Approach's John Brannon sing at karaoke in New Orleans last June?

One lucky winner will receive:

FREE! FREE! FREE! Enter now!
  • KELLY O
  • FREE! FREE! FREE! Enter now!

· A signed* copy of Wilson Phillips's newest album, Dedicated!
· One Caffé Vita gift card with "like, a dollar" on it!
· One WINNING Lucky Kelly O™ Scratch ticket (value: $1)!
· A McDonald's Monopoly sticker thing for a FREE medium fries!
· A coupon for a free 7-Eleven brand bag of chips!

Leave your answer and/or dumb jokes in the comments! Winner will be chosen at random and notified in the comments, and can pick up the prize package at our offices. IT'S FRIDAY! HAVE A GOOD WEEKEND! GOOD NIGHT!

*by "Dave Coulier"

Friday, September 21, 2012

Interview with Esperanza Spalding, Sovereign

Posted by on Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 1:08 PM

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  • Sandrine Lee
Esperanza Spalding is one of the best bass players in the world. She sings and plays and unfolds into the songs with absolute and subconscious mastery. She’s a Grammy winning sovereign of the jazz world. At the age of twenty, she became one of the youngest instructors Berklee College of Music has ever hired. In 2009, she played for Obama at the White House in honor of Stevie Wonder being awarded a Gershwin Prize. You can see Obama in the front row, enraptured, as is pretty much anyone that sees or hears her perform. Spalding’s album Chamber Music Society was the best-selling contemporary jazz album of 2011, and I am at her service. She spoke from her mobile tour bus.

Would you ever want to play with a Miles Davis hologram? I have to be honest, I have dreams of you playing with Miles. Not to be freaky or anything.

The hologram thing seems disrespectful. Seems like a gimmick. I think that would be disrespectful to his legacy. I wish I could have met him though. I’m making my own music, I wouldn’t want to take advantage of an icon that way. Miles is a true master. Evolution of music is so powerful. I've had the privilege of getting to know some people he played with. His music has taught me a lot. You can’t stand in the way of the evolution of music. Even while some people talk about the good ‘ol days, of any particular genre, the truth is, the music lives in the people. The people that are listening to the recordings, the people who are transcribing, and composing, and playing and practicing the music. No matter how great someone was in the past, the best thing that’s happening is the thriving interpolation of the organism of the music right now. We love the masters, and rightfully so. We must embrace what they’ve done. It’s also important to embrace what’s happening now as equally valid, because it’s here.

I spoke with Miles’ guitar player John McLaughlin about recording Bitches Brew. I asked him what direction Miles gave him before the sessions. John said he walked into the studio that day, and Miles told him to play guitar like he didn’t know how to play the guitar.

I think we’re all trying to do that [laughs]. It’s like dialogue. You’re going to go have a conversation with someone you respect, and there will be things you’re going to want to say. But you can’t always come with that prepared schpiel. You have to be willing to let go of everything you intended to say, and flow where the dialogue flows. Even if it means subjects that you’ve never studied. You might discover an idea that you’ve never tried to form words for before.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

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Midnight Haiku

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Friday, August 24, 2012

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

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Monday, January 23, 2012

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

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Today in Jazzy Donuts

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