Wednesday, May 17, 2006

With a martini in me....

Playing right now: Hank Mobley, Messages

It's the twofer on Prestige that collects Mobley's Messages and Hank Mobley's Second Message. Bought it a couple weeks ago at a record sale at the house of a guy who I used to see at Jerry's all the time. Real obsessive collector. But he's always been nice to me and besides he gave me and the wife a good on records that day.

Anyhow, the Twilight of the Gods continues. Ken Crawford died over the weekend. He was the co-host of "Rhythm Sweet and Hot" on WDUQ. I never met him (I met his co-host Mike Plaskett, who is a great guy), but I heard Ken on the air numerous times. A couple things amazed me about him and Mike. Both were EXTREMELY knowledgeable about the music they played, spewing all kinds of trivia that normally only music enthusiasts could fully appreciate. But it wasn't delivered in the high-and-mighty/you-would-never-know-this-if-I-didn't-tell-you presentation. They both dug the music so much, they thought other people should check it out. They wanted to share it with people.

The other thing about Ken in the context of Mike was that they never ever ever talked over each other. They had their rapport down pat, like two soloists trading fours. Maybe like Al Cohn and Zoot Sims - even though that's not the ear in which they focussed on their show. But I think DJs rarely have that kind of rapport anymore.

Ken, where ever you are, thanks for everything.

Oddly enough I was riding to the Fearnots show on Saturday and heard a snatch of the show on the radio and thought, Is that Ken? Is he back? See, he's been sick for about 2 years and in that time I think he was only back on the air once or twice. I almost pulled the car over one night to find a pay phone and call to say how glad I was to hear him back. But when they said calls were coming in from across the country, I thought that's even better than a call from me.

Finished 2 reviews and sent them off to JazzTimes this morning. One is Joe McPhee/Matthew Shipp/Dominic Duval's In Finland. The other is Valery Ponomarev's Beyond the obvious.. I won't write anything about them here because my goal with this blog is to mention in passing reviews that'll appear in print and write at length about stuff that I won't get to review anywhere else.

I hope to write one more review for JT by the end of this week so I can get it in July issue. I think that's the one their working on now.

Man, this Mobley album is killer. Prestige dates were usually thrown-together affairs where the guys were just blowing to get paid, but Hank was really inspired in a lot of these sides.

On the other hand, breakfast's soundtrack this morning was Lou Donaldson's Midnight Creeper, which I also picked up at the same yard sale. I got all geeked at the sale: Oooh! An original Blue Note, with a gatefold sleeve! Plus, Georgie Benson is on it (old local guys call him "Georgie"). But I think this is one for the sale pile. Sure it has Lonnie Smith on B-3, Blue Mitchell on trumpet, but it's just a funky vamp thing. I think 3 out of the 5 tracks are blueses. And what the hell was Blue Note thinking when they got those cheesy-ass DJs to write liner notes back then?! These guys were 60s descendants of Symphony Sid's smug delivery on the air, I'm sure, and their writing was just as obnoxious. I have an album by Big John Patton where the guy just drips faux-hipness. The guy who penned the notes on Lou's album even has the gall to talk extensively about the 3 songs on side one and then simply name drop the tracks on side two. Ok, pal, you only got to listen to side one before your deadline. Fine. But don't make it so obvious.

Anyhow, as the title implies, I had a martini tonight. Real smooth. I don't have them much anymore. Once in a while at home. But it's making me think that bed might be a good idea. I would like to rise again at 7 tomorrow. That's when I got up today and I got a lot done.

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