Tuesday, August 27, 2013

'Straight-up raucousness' from the 'Paris of the Appalachians'

JILL left for the "PARIS OF THE APPALACHIANS" today.
PITTSBURGH is the land of Terrible Towels, Primanti Brothers sandwiches and "Night of the Living Dead."
The city is also famed for its contributions to the development of JAZZ, with the drummer and bandleader ART BLAKEY among the principal figures.
While leading his group The Jazz Messengers, Blakey was known for fostering the careers of upcoming players and composers throughout the 1950s and 60s.
Today, I'm listening to his 1964 album "FREE FOR ALL."
It features the talents of tenor saxophone player Wayne Shorter, trombone player Curtis Fuller, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and others.
Shorter composed two of the album's four works and Hubbard another.
I love this album because it works on two important levels: It makes the listener think, while it also makes the listener move to the groove.
In his book, "Hard Bop Academy: The Sidemen of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers," Alan Goldsher describes what Blakey sought in a saxophone player:
"The majority of the saxophonists hired by Art Blakey were logicians, jazz intellectuals who could think you into a blissful state of swing-itude. This isn't to say that the Messengers' reedists couldn't throw it down."
Goldsher then describes Shorter's work on this 1964 album.
Goldsher writes:
"Wayne Shorter -- himself a supra-cerebralist -- would rear back and go nuclear; his frenetic solo on the title cut of 'Free For All' is a picture of straight-up raucousness."
I needed to hear that raucousness this morning: I was up an hour earlier than normal to take Jill to the airport and her flight to Blakey's hometown.