Friday, November 24, 2006

New Digging In

As I mentioned in passing recently, this month I moved back to Jamaica Plain, my favorite neighborhood in Boston and my home before I landed on Cruise Ship X. I really lucked out with the apartment- it's a block from Arnold Arboretum, on a quiet residential street, with good roommates and parking. And it's not outrageously priced, either; I feel pretty lucky.

One of the things I do like about moving (one of the few, actually) is that it forces me to look at all the music in my collection- I must have 600 CDs now, plus various odds and ends in other media. (Of course, my record player is broken...) I haven't listened to some of this music for at least five years, so I'm going to try to go through a lot of it over the next couple of months for my own amusement, and maybe blog about a little bit. I'm hoping some time away will give me fresh ears for some of it. So to begin (I'm going alphabetically through pieces of my collection)

Cannonball Adderly, Something Else. I think this was in the first dozen or so CDs I bought, in my attempt to cover all the important jazz alto players. (Hey, I was fifteen) I never warmed to Cannonball as much as most alto players, perhaps because he was such a dominant model among my peers. Listening now, I am stuck by just how good it is, and how fresh it sounds. Having heard so much secondhand Cannonball it's astonishing to hear the real thing. Particularly here, where the band and the tunes mean he leans more on his bop than his R'n'B proclivities. (Yes, I know that's a terribly reductionist way of putting it. There's a whole chapter of a book right there)

I'm also struck here by Hank Jones. I'm not the biggest HJ fan, and I feel that he drifts off into cocktailville a little too often. (See cadenza on "Autumn Leaves") But when the rhythm section is going he swings his ass off.

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