You'd think the new year would prompt me to resolve to update more, but given my recent schedule, I can only ease into it for now. There will be some new music in the coming weeks, but for now, a few videos that I've found in my limited free time:
Wayne Krantz: "Afkap." This tune has plenty of vibe and a fair degree of chops but Keith Carlock and Tim Lefebvre are the ones who really get to lay into this tune, especially when the tempo shifts. And I love the use of major seventh chords in the heads. Check out the previous two segments of this footage for some of Krantz's insights into conventional jazz language vis-a-vis his approach to improv.
Wilco: "Impossible Germany." I confess I only really bothered paying attention to Wilco once they recruited Nels Cline and released Sky Blue Sky. I'd only really heard about them when Yankee Hotel Foxtrot hit in 2002, but I'm warming up to them now. Nels's solo here follows the same general path of the other versions out there, but this is the best one in my opinion. Less shredding and tonal experiments than his jazz/avant/creative music projects, but still authentically Nels.
The Mars Volta: "Wax Simulacra." The gospel drums of the newly inducted Thomas Pridgen meets the prog-rock free jazz assault of TMV for their network TV debut. Letterman and the audience probably have no clue what the hell is going on. I recently read a bizarre and scary yet somehow inspiring article in Harp Magazine from late 2006 about TMV's origins. They also made the cover of this month's issue with an interview about the making of The Bedlam in Goliath.
The Hagen Quartet: Ravel's String Quartet, No. 1 in F Major (Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4). I studied this composition in college, and it's the reason I stuck with composing. When someone says "string quartet" to me, this is what plays in my head. I love how the opening of the first movement sounds like a tape playing backwards.