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Reccomendations wanted for these jazz artists.

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by DaveBeny, Feb 12, 2001.

  1. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Medeski, Martin & Wood:
    Have discovered this band through the Internet - they seem to be popular in the US, and are apparently a jazz/funk/jam band. I haven't heard any of their stuff, so can anyone reccomend an album that is a good introduction to the band. Is there a "best-of" available?

    Pat Metheny:
    I'm torn between Bright Sized Life (because of Jaco), and the new Trio 99-00 Live album - they had it on a listening post in Tower Records last week, and it sounded pretty good. Help me choose!

    If there are any other good modern jazz/fusion CDs that you want to reccomend, feel free to post them here. Regarding jazz, my tastes are currently limited to 70s fusion (WR, RTF, Headhunters, Back Door), as I find this style more listenable, ie. stronger song structures, with beginnings, middles, and ends, call-and-response, riffs, etc. I picked up the Christian McBride album 'Sci-Fi' and have been disappointed.

    (Remember, keep it listenable! :))


    [Edited by David Benyahia on 02-12-2001 at 11:31 AM]
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well I'm probably not the person to advise as I really love SCi-Fi and can't stop playing it but didn't really like the MM& W albums I heard/bought. I liked their playing on the John Scofield album A GO GO and thought I ought to get some of their albums but found them a bit dull.

    I got an album by Galactic - "Late for the Future", who are supposed to be in the same area (Jam Band) and preferred their style - especially the vocal tracks.

    If you want "easy listening" Pat Metheny, I would recommend "Still Life (Talking)" - although this is probably too lightweight for most Jazz fans, I love Minuano(6/8), which I have played with a band and some of the other tracks have been used as soundtracks for British TV documentaries, so may be familiar to you. This is more "song-based" - but I also like Bright Size Life and is a must for Jaco's playing, especially the last track.

  3. Cornbread


    Jun 20, 2000
    Lawrence, Ma
    I don't really like their newer albums ("Tonic" and "Combustification") as they sound a little "out there". However, I like their compilation, "Last Chance To Dance Trance (perhaps): Best Of (1991-1996)".

    Also, though it isn't as modern, Herbie Hancock's "Head Hunters" and "Thrust" are pretty good jazz/fusion/funk albums.
  4. I really like "Bright Sized Life" but I can't really comment as I don't know the other album you mention.

    As for modern fusion, take a look at Tribal Tech. The albums before "Thick" (Reality Check, Face First, Illicit, Tribal Tech, if you can find that one, Primal Track) may be more listenable. More of my favorite are Gary Willis' (Tribal Tech's bassist) "Bent" and "No Sweat" and Vital Tech Tones' I and II, with Tribal Tech's guitarist (what a coincidence) and V. L. Wooten. I'm a bit hooked on Willis' stuff.
  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    One of my favorite Pat Metheney albums is "Secret Story."

    jason oldsted
  6. David,
    I'll agree with Cornbread that most of Medeski, Martin and Wood's more recent stuff is out there.. I bought their new album, "The Dropper", and it's very abrasive. However, IMO, "Combustication" has enough redeeming qualities to make it worth buying. Other MMW albums I would recommend are "Friday Afternoon in the Universe" and "Shack-man."
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...I know this is hard to believe-
    Honestly, Bright Size Life never really blew me away(& Bob Moses' story [in Jaco's bio]about the events leading up to that album make sense...to me).
    That said, Metheny's Trio Live smokes; Trio '99-'00, again with Bill Stewart & Larry Grenadier, is close behind.
    Other guitar-ish stuff...
    I've been told John Scofield's new one is happenin'(it's a straightahead-ish cd w/ Billy Higgins, Christian McBride, Kenny Garrett, & Brad Mehldau. BTW, Billy Higgins, possibly the most recorded Jazz drummer, is not doin' so well these days. Keep him in your prayers...

    John McLaughlin's latest, The Heart Of Things, is one I'm gonna pick up(I see it's now available @ColumbiaHouse). It's recorded "Live in Paris" with Dennis Chambers, Matt Garrison, Gary Thomas, & Jim Beard(I think).

    I also agree with Erick; both of Willis' solo discs are definitely worth owning(especially Bent).
    Too, Tribal Tech's newest, Rocket Science, is a keeper; IMO, it has a Weather Report vibe about it & Kirk Covington's drumming is beginning to rival Willis' bass chops. ;)

    If you're a Weather Report fan, how' bout Victor Bailey's Low Blow...pretty accessible Fusion.

    And, in case you're like me & missed these the first time around-
    All of Billy Cobham's '70s Fusion records have finally made their way to cd-dom; I especially like Crosswinds and Total Eclipse.

    ...and I highly recommend Steps' Smokin' In The Pit.
    Just in case you have heard of Steps...that's Mike Brecker, Mike Maineri, Eddie Gomez, Steve Gadd, & Don Grolnick's '70s ACOUSTIC Fusion band.
  8. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    MMW: their Gramavision recordings, esp. "Shack-Man" are good. "Tonic" is interesting, but the acoustic instrumentation keeps the funk from flowing.

    Pat Metheney: "Question and Answer" is a must have, if only to hear Roy Hanes.

    If you like 70s fusion, Mark Isham's recent "Miles Remembered" is in that vein. Also check out "Who Loves You?", the Jaco tribute album on Concord/JVC that I've been plugging here forever.
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I've got this - double CD - it's great. I just noticed also that "Jazzwize" (UK Magazine) are selling a video of the same band live in Copenhagen in the 80s, which I intend to order. They also have a video of Chick Corea with Stanley Clarke, which is going on my list!!
  10. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    What's the personnel on that LIVE vid?
    I have seen a video with the Steps Ahead line-up from '86(Maineri, Mike Stern, Steve Smith, Victor Bailey, & Brecker)...it's electric Steps.
    I have the cd from that concert; still good stuff.

    If you liked Smokin' In The Pit-
    Both Paradox and Step By Step are being sold together on Steps: A Collection.
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    No it's 1983 - live in Copenhagen with Brecker, Elias, Mainieri, Gomez (on bass ) and Erskine. It's an hour video. It's impossible for us to find "Steps" CDs as in the UK we have a horribly anodyne pop boy/girl band of this name who are very popular. So the only CDs I have been able to find are "Steps Ahead".
  12. Jimmy J

    Jimmy J

    Jan 5, 2000
    Howdy kids

    JimK, glad to see you're still treading these boards - just got the Alain CD "Call Me Al" - Alain is surely getting the hang of it, aint he?

    The fretless playing on this set is mindblowing. I am going home to weep now.
  13. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Jimmy J-
    ...yeah, I'm still here, boring everyone(as usual).
    Thanks for the Caron reminder, I keep forgettin' about pickin' up Al.

    This mornin' I'm checking out Chick Corea's Three Quartets(w/ Brecker, Gomez, & Gadd). Looks like a Steps' record...sounds like a Steps' record, too.

    ...that vid sounds good; Eliane Elias was still in the band when that was recorded? ...man!
  14. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Thanks for the suggestions everyone - most appreciated, and I will check out as many as I can.

    I have now ordered Metheny's 'Bright Size Life' and 'Trio 99-00 Live' and am looking forward to getting them in a couple of days. I am also going to keep my eyes open for Medeski, Martin & Wood's 'Last Chance To Dance Trance (best of 1991-1996)'.

    I wish I'd started this thread a month ago, as some of my recent purchases have been a bit hit-and-miss. I was really disappointed in McBride's 'Sci-Fi'. When I saw that it had versions of 'Aja' and 'Havona' on it, I assumed that the rest of the album would be in a similar jazz-rock vein, but the album is pretty much "straight ahead" jazz, and the bass just gets lost in the mix most of the time. Nice solo in 'Havona' though.

    Also, did anyone else buy Steely Dan's 'Two Against Nature'? I bought 'Aja' and Donald Fagen's 'The Nightfly' a couple of weeks ago, and absolutely love them. Bought 'Two Against Nature' expecting it to be as good, but have found it to be pretty unlistenable.

    One last thing - I forgot to ask about Charles Mingus in my original post. Can anyone reccomend any of the following three for me:

    - 'Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus' - Did very well in 'Bassist' magazine's Top 100 Bass Albums poll.

    - 'The Complete Columbia Recordings' - A 3 CD box set containing 'Mingus Ah Um', 'Mingus Dynasty' and 'Alternate Takes'

    - 'Very Best Of Charles Mingus' - A new compilation just out this year. Contains:
    'Pithecanthropus Erectus'
    'Profile Of Jackie'
    'Tonight At Noon'
    'Haitian Fight Song'
    'Reincarnation Of A Lovebird'
    'Cryin' Blues'
    'Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting'
    'Passions Of A Man'
    'Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am'

    Thanks again,
  15. Deeter


    Dec 5, 2000
    San Fransico, CA

    Mingus Ah Um is definitely a classic, containing great Mingus tunes like, "Better Git it in Your Soul," "Goodbye Mr. Porkpie Hat," and "Fables of Faubus." It's definitely worth picking up.

    I can't really comment on the rest of the titles you mentioned, other than to say "Hatian Fight Song," "Moanin'," and, "Pithecanthropus Erectus," are all classics too, but I would say you might be better off finding which albums those came off of and buying them indivudually. When you go the "Best of . . . " route, you tend to miss a lot of great stuff that gets left off compilations. JMHO.
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    It says on the video sleeve that Eliane Elias was "then 18 years old and on her first professional tour as a musician...later she married Randy Brecker and became a leader."
  17. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    The 3 cd set of Ah Um, Dynasty, & Alternate Takes IS worth having...Dynasty does get a little more "out there", though.

    I agree with you about Two Against Nature; if you loved Aja & The Nightfly, pick up The Royal Scam..."Green Earrings", "Kid Charlemagne"(great, great, bassline by Chuck Rainey!), & "The Fez" are but a few of the kickin' tunes on the album. FWIW, I like The Royal Scam as much as Aja.
  18. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Since 'Two Against Nature' won best album at the grammies last week, among others, perhaps I ought to give it another listen!

    McBride's 'Sci-Fi' is slowly but surely growing on me!

    One of my other hit-and-miss jazz purchases in recent months was 'Bitches Brew'. I'd read how it was one of the "first fusion albums"; "the birth of jazz-rock" etc. So, my hopes were high... What the heck is this!.... Disc 1 is (to my ears) unlistenable, whilst the only track I can regularly manage from Disc 2 is 'Spanish Key'.

  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Although I found Bitches Brew "interesting" to hear, it's not something I listen to a lot.... or at all really.

    On the other hand, "In a Silent Way" from about the same period and with more or less the same band is eminently listenable, has some great bass riffs and is something that appears on my CD player quite often - even my girlfriend likes it and she normally only likes "Iindie" bands. I took the CD along to the Jazz Summerschool and people really liked it when they heard it, but were very biased against it, beforehand - expecting something like Bitches Brew.

    I would descibe parts of it as pre-dating ambient or "chill-out" music, with other parts building up the excitement with great, driven bass ostinatos - even Ed Fugua admitted he liked playing the riff at the end! ;)

    On theother stuff I agree with Jim that "Royal Scam" is probably better than "Two against Nature" although I like this a lot. I heard John Scofield's recent album and was quite suprised - it is much more "straight-ahead" Jazz than previous ones. I actually heard it in the record shop and looked to see what they were playing as I thought it sounded like a CD my Jazz tutor had done with Dave Cliff who is a UK-based guitarist.
  20. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Here's a funny thing: over the last month or so, I have REALLY got into Buddy Rich. I could listen to his drum solos all day!

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