Thursday, February 17, 2011

...And We're Back

So it's been awhile since my last post. With grad school and baby duties and work I realized I just wasn't able to keep up. In fact, my obsessive desire to write about my project was slowing down the project itself. I couldn't listen to and write a post every single day, which is about how fast I was listening to the recordings. So the baby is getting bigger and (moderately) easier to take care of, grad school is out the window, and I have settled into a routine at work. The last part of the equation is that I just applied for and got a spot writing for the music blog Cover Me. I realize that if I'm spending time listening to and thinking about these recordings, I might as well keep writing about it. The problem is 156 recordings have gone by at this point since my last post. So for that reason, I'm going to make this more of a highlight reel than a play-by-play, talking about the recordings I find the most interesting. With that in mind, I will move on to the next most interesting recording:

Artist: John Coltrane
Album: Blue Train
Recording #262

I heard this recording back in August of last year. My son was only a couple of months old and my parents had just come out to visit. I remember putting this on at work and not finishing it, but when I got home I realized that it actually made great dinner music. I had heard of Coltrane, but really didn't know anything about the kind of jazz he did and I was pleasantly surprised by this album. Having recently slogging through avant garde noise entries, I found myself melting into the soothing, pulsating backbeat and stellar solos. This isn't exactly smooth jazz, but at the same time the dissonance of most of the modern jazz in this book is, thankfully, missing. I still enjoyed the next recording on the list, Coltrane's more challenging "A Love Supreme," but this just happened to be the perfect sound for a home cooked meal on a lazy summer night. If you need something sweet, but not saccharine, pick this one up.

Recordings I skipped:
#257: Joe Cocker- Mad Dogs and Englishmen: Overall impression was this sounded like a fun concert, similar to Van Morrison, had never heard him before, but I have a few songs now
#258: Codona- Codona 3: Genre hopping jazz. Free jazz to African/World. Final track is nice
#259: Leonard Cohen- Songs of Leonard Cohen: Another artist I knew a little about, but not much. Reminded me of Lou Reed and Simon & Garfunkel. Not real impressed overall
#260: Nat King Cole and His Trio- The Complete After Midnight Sessions: Very relaxed jazz, wonderful dinner/after dinner music
#261: Ornette Coleman- The Shape of Jazz to Come: Experimental, but listenable. Steady rhythm, lots of good, fast sax

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