Tony Williams/John Mclaughlin CDs

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Jim Napier

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29.05.1992, 11:17:3529.05.92
an

I'd like to hear from anyone who has heard either the new Tony Williams release
Story Of Neptune or the new John Mclaughlin release Que Allegra. What are
they like?

Also I'm interested in 2 Frank Zappa releases "Francesco Zappa" and "Perfect
Stranger". I noticed them in my CD catalog but I can't tell if they're new or
releases of old material on CD.

Thanks.

Jim Napier
Systems Administration
Applied Mechanics & Engineering Sciences Dept.
UC San Diego
(619)534-5414
jna...@ucsd.edu

Roger Stump

ungelesen,
29.05.1992, 12:39:1029.05.92
an
In article <17...@deadmin.ucsd.edu> nap...@sierra.ucsd.edu (Jim Napier) writes:
>
>I'd like to hear from anyone who has heard either the new Tony Williams release
>Story Of Neptune or the new John Mclaughlin release Que Allegra. What are
>they like?
>
I got the new Tony Williams release about a week ago. It's very good, pretty
much in the same vein as the previous releases by this group: reasonably
straightahead, strong compositions (the title suite is especially good),
strong solos. Tony Williams seems a bit more aggressive in this playing than
in the group's last release; he's all over the place. All of the other
players also shine.

For me the biggest pleasure in this album is the continuing development
of Wallace Roney as a soloist. He does some stunning work on muted trumpet
here, very reminiscent of Miles in some ways (tone, of course, but also
note selection, phrasing, etc.). He's obviously a good choice for
the Miles tribute that will be touring this summer with Williams, Hancock,
Shorter and Carter. I don't think that there's any danger of Roney becoming
a Miles clone, however; his own voice is very well developed -- the rapid
runs into the higher register, the very pretty and distinctive tone he gets
on open trumpet. Anyway, if you're a Roney fan (as I am) this album is a
pleasure.

The only thing I'm not sold on regarding this album: the version of
the Lennon/McCartney song "Blackbird." In general I find that L/M songs
don't lend themselves to jazz interpretation particularly well. Whoa, put
down that flamethrower! What I mean here is that _I_ don't particularly
like them. One reason is that I have heard these songs too many times
over the past 20-30 years to "hear past" the original.

Anyway, I would recommend the album as a whole (if I were paid to give it
stars, I would give it four).

--
Roger Stump | "I'm going to call myself on the phone
University at Albany | one day and tell myself to shut up."
rst...@itchy.geog.albany.edu | --Miles Davis

Jeff Beer

ungelesen,
02.06.1992, 10:50:0602.06.92
an
In article <1757...@hpfcso.FC.HP.COM> m...@hpfcso.FC.HP.COM (Marc Sabatella) writes:
>That's one of two cuts I've heard on the radio here. For me, the issue isn't
>that I don't like jazz arrangements of Beatle tunes, just that this isn't a
>particularly inspired one. It seems to add very little to the tune - just the
>some very predictable hard-bop licks on the head. Plus Tony *really*
>overplays on the head. I'm normally one to rush to his defense when these
>charges are leveled against him, but as with his playing on the head to "Sister
>Cheryl" from "Foreign Intrigue" (*almost* ruining one of the best tunes ever
>written by a drummer), it's simply too much of not especially much.

A friend of mine who plays drums saw him live a few weeks ago, and
basically said the same thing. He said Tony is writing some beautiful
tunes, but overplaying all the time, and playing loud. (Then he
demonstrated the types of things he was playing)

Jeff

Roger Stump

ungelesen,
02.06.1992, 13:15:4902.06.92
an
In article <1992Jun2.1...@uxa.ecn.bgu.edu> uj...@uxa.ecn.bgu.edu (Jeff Beer) writes:
>In article <1757...@hpfcso.FC.HP.COM> m...@hpfcso.FC.HP.COM (Marc Sabatella) writes:
...

>>some very predictable hard-bop licks on the head. Plus Tony *really*
>>overplays on the head. I'm normally one to rush to his defense when these
>>charges are leveled against him, but as with his playing on the head to "Sister
>>Cheryl" from "Foreign Intrigue" (*almost* ruining one of the best tunes ever
>>written by a drummer), it's simply too much of not especially much.
>
>A friend of mine who plays drums saw him live a few weeks ago, and
>basically said the same thing. He said Tony is writing some beautiful
>tunes, but overplaying all the time, and playing loud. (Then he
>demonstrated the types of things he was playing)
>
>Jeff

Just for the sake of argument: The definitions of "overplaying" here seem to
be based on preconceptions or expectations about what a drummer's role
should be in a group setting. One of Tony's claims to fame is that he rejected
that expected role in favor of a more active, aggressive approach. If he
occasionally seems to cross the line into overplaying, I am willing to give
him the benefit of the doubt; he knows a lot more about what he's doing than
I do. Of course, my reaction would also depend on _what_ he's playing. If
it's "not especially much" (in Marc's words), then anything is "too much."

This reminds me of a review of Ralph Peterson's _Volition_ (I think in
downbeat) in which the reviewer complained that the drums were too loud
in the mix. (The reviewer went on to note that this was becoming a common
problem in drummer-led groups.) I tended to agree at the time, but have
since changed my mind. Who knows, maybe that's how this music is _supposed_
to sound?

Marc Sabatella

ungelesen,
01.06.1992, 11:55:0901.06.92
an
In rec.music.bluenote, rst...@itchy.geog.albany.edu (Roger Stump) writes:

> The only thing I'm not sold on regarding this album: the version of
> the Lennon/McCartney song "Blackbird."

That's one of two cuts I've heard on the radio here. For me, the issue isn't


that I don't like jazz arrangements of Beatle tunes, just that this isn't a
particularly inspired one. It seems to add very little to the tune - just the

some very predictable hard-bop licks on the head. Plus Tony *really*
overplays on the head. I'm normally one to rush to his defense when these
charges are leveled against him, but as with his playing on the head to "Sister
Cheryl" from "Foreign Intrigue" (*almost* ruining one of the best tunes ever
written by a drummer), it's simply too much of not especially much.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Marc Sabatella "Blondes and jazz seldom go together" - Cmdr. William Riker
ma...@hpmonk.fc.hp.com

Marc Sabatella

ungelesen,
03.06.1992, 13:36:2703.06.92
an
In rec.music.bluenote, rst...@itchy.geog.albany.edu (Roger Stump) writes:

> One of Tony's claims to fame is that he rejected
> that expected role in favor of a more active, aggressive approach. If he
> occasionally seems to cross the line into overplaying, I am willing to give
> him the benefit of the doubt; he knows a lot more about what he's doing than
> I do. Of course, my reaction would also depend on _what_ he's playing. If
> it's "not especially much" (in Marc's words), then anything is "too much."

Agreed, and I love him for it. He can push a soloist like very few others.
But on completely arranged and written out (and relatively mellow) heads (ie,
the melody), it still sounds out of place. Actually, what it sounds like to me
is that he is simply mixed too high. He is not playing all that agressively -
just simple (albeit mucho cool) ride patterns - hence my comment about playing
"not especially much". I do believe it is simply mixed too loud.

> This reminds me of a review of Ralph Peterson's _Volition_ (I think in
> downbeat) in which the reviewer complained that the drums were too loud
> in the mix. (The reviewer went on to note that this was becoming a common
> problem in drummer-led groups.) I tended to agree at the time, but have
> since changed my mind. Who knows, maybe that's how this music is _supposed_
> to sound?

Ralph was actually playing aggressively on that album; I agree, it was supposed
to sound that way. But Tony is not playing agressively on these heads - and
it would have been inappropriate for him to try, since the heads have a very
simple groove to them.

> Roger Stump | "I'm going to call myself on the phone
> University at Albany | one day and tell myself to shut up."
> rst...@itchy.geog.albany.edu | --Miles Davis

Good adivce from Miles, here. I should probably listen to it :-)

Roger Stump

ungelesen,
04.06.1992, 15:54:3604.06.92
an
In article <1757...@hpfcso.FC.HP.COM> m...@hpfcso.FC.HP.COM (Marc Sabatella) writes:
...
>But on completely arranged and written out (and relatively mellow) heads (ie,
>the melody), it still sounds out of place. Actually, what it sounds like to me
>is that he is simply mixed too high. He is not playing all that agressively -
>just simple (albeit mucho cool) ride patterns - hence my comment about playing
>"not especially much". I do believe it is simply mixed too loud.
>
I went back to listen to "Sister Cheryl" after reading your original post,
and now understand a little better what you were saying. There is indeed an
important difference (in terms of effect) between playing aggressively (a la
Ralph Peterson) and having the drums mixed too high. I misunderstood you at
first because I couldn't remember anything obtrusive about Tony's playing
on that track, and so made an assumption (the wrong one) about what you meant.
Anyway, after listening to the track again, I still don't find anything too
obtrusive. Too each his own. I do agree, though, that this is a great tune
(one of the best ever written by a drummer, didn't you say?).
> ....
>
>Good adivce from Miles, here. [See .sig below]

> I should probably listen to it :-)
>
One of the great things about Miles was that he never did make such a call,
or if he did, he didn't listen to himself (well, except maybe for a while in
the late 1970s :-). But for us mortals: words to live by, at least on
occasion :-).

>
>Marc Sabatella "Blondes and jazz seldom go together" - Cmdr. William Riker
>Em...@hpmonk.fc.hp.com
--
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