Music Blog

February 21, 2007

"I was labelled a free player when I first came to New York. Ornette Coleman and free jazz,

that was no problem for me – I would jump on that train too, and have a good time!" But Sonny Simmons has a curious ambivalence towards the free jazz that made his name: "I got sucked into the avant-garde when I was a young cat. I said 'This is the lick, I'm going with it'. But actually, I'd just as rather just play beautiful melodies, with my own compositions, with a groove. That's my true heart. Avant-garde and free, man, that's cool, but it only goes so far.... People want to hear a snap [he clicks a groove wit...

February 20, 2007

On River: The Joni Letters (2007), Herbie Hancock renews an association with the great singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, who he first worked with on her celebrated album with Charles Mingus. With producer Larry Klein, he selected thirteen songs, and as Klein has explained, "we used the words to guide us. All of the music emanated from the poetry." They assembled an all-star band to interpret them – Wayne Shorter, Dave Holland, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, and guitarist Lionel Loueke. Characteristically for Universal, these instrumentalists support a clutch of vocalists, from Corinne Bailey Rae and Norah Jone...

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