Somethin’ Else

Cannonball Adderley – Somethin’ Else

In the mid-90s, there was a jazz renaissance lead by youth, the kind of youth that might be now considered hipsters, except hipsters didn’t exist back then. But perhaps it was this youthful interest in bebop jazz along with jazz related culture like the Beats and novels like On the Road that re-introduced ‘hipster’ back into the urban elite lexicon. All I know is that I was young and going to clubs in Hollywood to listen to other young people like myself try and play Miles Davis. But because I considered myself edgier and an anarchist, I didn’t listen to any old jazz, I listened to free jazz.

Ornette Coleman – Ramblin’

One of my favorites was Ornette Coleman, I admit that I am a devoted follower of melody and love it so much more when I am deprived of it. Hence, my love of flirtatious free jazzers like Coleman who only hints at melody and makes me wait, teases me me until the final semi-melodic resolve, oh! I like it straight on too like this Cannonball Adderly song Somethin’ Else, a song of exquisite rhythm – it pulls me in every time. Steady, steady until I’m lost in the beats and then come in all those wailing horns, plucked basses and pounding pianos. How could a girl not like this? Throw in some heroin and that’s excellence right there! Well, I don’t know if Adderly did heroin but it’s rumored Eric Dolphy did and sadly, he died young of heroin or diabetes, no one is quite sure. But before he moved onto the spectral plane he left behind Hat and Beard one of the finest pieces of music to have entered my ears. He’s another teaser, with all that chaos rubbing raw at the edges and then easing back into a cohesive collection of dissonant instrument noises. All the while his saxophone goes wildly on, and on.

Eric Dolphy – Hat and Beard

And for fun, The Art Ensemble of Chicago:

The Art Ensemble of Chicago – Theme De Yoyo

“Your voice is like a long fuck that’s music to your brain…”

2 thoughts on “Somethin’ Else

  1. don quixote says:

    I dig this post of yours Chimatli! Being a lifelong and passionate afficionado of Jazz and Blues I’m thrilled to hear you are too.
    I have enjoyed live almost all these artists you feature here and have some fond memories of the venues and music heard.
    Back in the early sixties there was an after hours jam held at a Theatre on La Brea called the “Kabuki” (maybe it was on Crenshaw, probably still there) where for a couple of bucks one could witness some of the great jazz artists blow together. My father and I used to catch that after hours show all the time. I was only about 16 or 17 and it blew my mind to see Miles and Cannonball his brother Nat, John Coltrane, Charles Lloyd, Philly Joe Jones, all playing together on that show stage. One night Art Blakey was there featuring one of my favorite musicians “Lee Morgan” and Aretha Franklin was in the audience and was invited to perform with the Jazz Messengers. SHe was in a pair of jeans and had her hair in a towel or something, very casual. She played the piano and sang so powerfully that it almost blew the roof off the joint. This was in the early sixities mind you.
    I always liked Ornette Coleman due to his free way of thinking and playing although I adhere to Miles admonition that “the closer jazz is to the blues the more powerful it is”.
    And that is usually the way I feel about jazz.
    Looking at your list of great jazz artists I saw the name of the late Lester Bowie, one of the real characters and also one of the most experimental and blues oriented jazz innovaters in my book.
    One of my absolute favorites from Lester Bowie when he led the Brass Fantasy Ensemble. Hope you dig it too.

  2. Chimatli says:

    Thanks for stopping by the site and as always, thanks for sharing your memories. And what memories they are, wow! Aretha Franklin with Art Blakely? Did that feel as momentous as it sounds? And all those other jazz greats, how fortunate you were to have a father with such fine taste in music!

    The Lester Brown link you suggested is amazing! “I only have Eyes for You” happens to be one of my favorite songs from this era and what a version! Such emotion from those horns.

    Please continue to feel free to comment and suggest music, your tastes and opinions are highly appreciated!

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