Wednesday 16 March 2011

Melvin Sparks RIP (March 22, 1946 - March 13, 2011)

That great, funky guitarist died on Sunday due to complications associated with diabetes. This is a recent video of Melvin doing what he was famous for. There's also lots of great recordings to check our with Lou Donaldson, Lonnie Smith, Hank Crawford, Houston Person, Idris Mahammad, Bernard Purdie . . .

Link to Nate Chinen's New York Times obituary.

Monday 7 March 2011

Jakob Bro: Weightless Film Trailer

I"ve just been listening to Danish guitarist Jakob Bro's last CD, Balladeering. It's very much in the vein of Paul Motian's recent recordings (Jakob plays in Paul's electric band sometimes). The musicianship and musicality is of the highest order, as it should be with Paul Motian (drums), Lee Konitz (alto) and Bill Frisell (guitar) on the session.

The music is very laid back indeed. As Lee says at the recording session featured in the film, "I think it's established a very specific mood". There's lots of space with some lovely, light guitar twanging from Jakob and Bill, Paul's delicate drumming and Lee's alto sounding heartfelt.

The trailer (Part 1 of 3) gives a taster of the album. I particularly like the dialogue between mild-mannered Jakob and New Yorker Lee:

JB: Bill and I play the melody so you just . . .
LK: Fuck around
JB: Yeah . . .

Jakob seems to be an untutored musician but the following line from the Wikipedia entry rather gives the game away:
Bro has never received any musical training besides short periods spent at the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus, the Berklee College of Music in Boston and New School University in New York.
Well I wish that was the musical training I hadn't received!

BTW My daughter thinks one of the tunes sounds like this: Sufjan Stevens - Decatur