I've found that when the chips are down and I have to cut things out of my routine, my blogging tends to suffer, so I apologize for the overly long absence. I'll be mentioning what's been occupying so much of my time soon, but here are some tidbits that have been floating around in my head recently:
Downbeast has chronicled some of Bennie Maupin's recording session in Poland. Read about it in four parts: 1, 2, 3, 4. Cryptogramophone will release the record, tentatively titled Vital Signs in Spring 2008.
And there's more exciting news for Maupin fans: the first CD issue of his heretofore ridiculously rare debut, The Jewel in the Lotus (ECM) is out this Tuesday.
One of my favorite guitarists, Adam Rogers, has finally launched his website. He's a bit underappreciated by the broader jazz public but hardly underrecorded. His extremely varied discography is posted on his site, as well (David Binney, Alana Davis, Dennis Chambers, the Mingus Orchestra, Norah Jones, etc.). Plus, if you were ever curious about his setup, he's posted an impressive list of his gear.
Ambrose Akinmusire took first place the Thelonious Monk Competition for Trumpet at a performance here in Los Angeles, reviewed by the LA Times. Hear him whenever possible. He's got fire in his sound, but it's not necessarily that cliched, brash, "young lions" thing of the '90s. He's solid but subtle, too.
Check him out on:
Vijay Iyer/Mike Ladd: In What Language?
Alan Pasqua: The Anti-Social Club (Brand spakin' new! Preview it at Crypto's website.)
Walter Smith III: Casually Introducing Walter Smith III
Percussion phenom Thomas Pridgen is barely recorded (I've only heard him on Christian Scott's Rewind That so far), but he's been gaining some attention for his crossover into math-metal-psychedelia. Since earlier this year, he's been the drummer for The Mars Volta, one of my current "culty" experimental rock favorites. The new album The Bedlam in Goliath is due out January of 2008.
Check him out (YouTube):
Christian Scott: "Rewind That"
The Mars Volta: "Idle Tooth" (cleaner studio track here).
Thomas Pridgen: drum solo
We'll be back soon.
[Bennie Maupin photo by Ewelina Kowal]
[Adam Rogers photo by Lourdes Delgado]
[Ambrose Akinmusire photo from his MySpace page]
[Thomas Pridgen photo from ModernDrummer.com]