Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Billy Bang, Sun Ra|
Tribute to Stuff Smith
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Listen to Samples
The most poignant jazz recording ever?
Jan P. Dennis | Monument, CO USA | 12/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sun Ra, that unreconstructed jazz iconoclast, had had a stroke before this session was recorded. If one compares his pre-stroke to post-stroke playing, there is an undoubted drop off from a technique standpoint.But you know what? It's a trade off. What he lost in technique, he more than made up in depth of feeling. Listen. This disc has a vibe unlike any other jazz outing in the 100-year history of this music. A kind of off-kilter, profound meloncholic joy: that's what I hear here. Yes, it lacks precision and sheer pyrotechnics, but oh, the ravishing emotional content! Amazingly, John Ore on bass and Andrew Cyrille completely tune into the sensibility and deliver amazingly sensitive and beautiful playing.Ra displays a spare, Monkish pianism that speaks volumes. Pick any tune at random--my favorite Ellington song, "Satin Doll," will do. This performance strikes me as one of the finest, most revelatory I've ever heard. Or again, take "Deep Purple." Not only does it seem to evoke a simpler, more elegant bygone era, there's an entirely remarkable thing happening here--I don't know how to describe it other than a frisky sadness--that totally nails this piece of music. Billy Bang's playing also deserves some comment. First off, I don't usually like jazz violin. Most practitioners seem to opt for the vitruoso route--understandable with an instrument featuring a somewhat annoying timbre: if you play it fast enough, perhaps no one will notice. Bang just lets its inherent timbral strangeness hang out there, opting instead for hidden tonal richness that he patiently reveals by a combination of quirky double-stopping, low-register sawing, and daring intervalic swoops.All in all, I'm entirely taken by this odd session, hearing as I do unusual emotional depth and swing in its glorious sonorities. Perhaps you will hear something similar . . ."
Moments of Brilliance, Moments of Disappointment
Michael P. Higgins | New Orleans, LA | 09/28/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First off, I should inform the readers that Billy Bang and Sun Ra rank among my favorite jazz musicians. Second, I had no knowledge of Stuff Smith before this album, and have since grown to love his music. That said, I must say that I do at times enjoy this album, but find myself wishing it had been recorded before Sun Ra's stroke, or perhaps (I hate to say this) with a different pianist. Billy Bang shines throughout, and at times his playing sounds better than ever. Unfortunately, Sun Ra's piano just brings sadness to those who are familiar with the work of his prime. And so the what ifs of history continue..."