Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Mr. B and Cecil & Derek

(Nothing playing right now)
This morning I listened to a Billy Eckstine album that I bought at an estate sale a few weeks ago. The album is called Don't Worry 'Bout Me and it has a picture on the front of Mr. B smoking a cigarette in a long cigarette holding. And he's looking off to his left.

There's a song on the album called "Stranger In Town" where he keeps repeatingthe lyric about being "a stranger in my home town." I realize it's only a song, but it's odd to think of that because for one thing, Pittsburgh is his hometown. And in his last days, he was living with a niece, who lives about 5 minutes away from my house. Stranger, my butt.


I should have known what I was getting into when I bought a used copy of the Cecil Taylor/Derek Bailey performance Pleistozaen Mit Wasser (Shakin' the Glass). Several years ago I remember hearing it described as very pointilistic music. Bailey makes all kinds of weird scraping, plinking noises with a guitar, Cecil plays all over the piano............what would it sound like together?

I didn't figure that I'd like Bailey's work and be disappointed with Cecil. He doesn't even touch the piano until about 10 minutes into the performance. Prior to that he does his "poetry" thing, which isn't miked so you only hear him in the distance, that is when he's loud. It's 62 minutes, broken into 2 tracks and while some of it is intriguing, I wonder how often I'll play it.

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