the giddy vol. 3.

freddie hubbard hoe down - blues & the abstract truth
what a great tune!!!  i'm an eric dolphy nut and went through a period where i was gobbling up every audio treat i could find.  the lineup on this record is fascinating (evans, haynes, pc, oliver), and freddie hubbard's blue collar trumpet playing plays the foil to my hero.  this tune is often the stepchild to the popular stolen moments, yet is undoubtedly the best chart on the set.  my favorite part showcases freddie's persistent pursuit of the line as he pushes into his second chorus at 1:16.  he knocks, knocks, knocks, and won't be denied as he kicks down the door to a 9 bar lick stacked with vintage hard bop vocab.  eric's alto solo that follows is delightfully urgent. this album is a must have.

guillermo klein miula - filtros
i stumbled upon this record through my perusings of do the math, the blogging podium for pianist ethan iverson.  i admire the bad plus, respect ethan's knowledge, and follow his threads when i can.  this band is chock full of great players (cheek, monder, mchenry, zenon, ballard) which made it even more alluring.  i'm not big into latin music, but this record kills.  my favorite part follows the trombone solo at 3:53 with a 7/4 pointillistic that does some taffy pull metronomic modulation (that i still don't understand) for about 45 seconds.  i dig that it makes musical sense and is not stuck in there for the "hey look, i can do snazzy things with counting that you ain't up on" effect.

wynton marsalis chelsea bridge - tony bennett sings ellington
i bought the this tony bennett album strictly for educational purposes, and was pleasantly surprised when i noticed that one of my favorite tunes had made the list.  chelsea bridge is full of great harmonies, reeking of strayhorn.  i was all geared up to hear tony croon with orchestra on this gorgeous number, yet became struck with an ill tummy when i heard the polarizing wynton marsalis plunging his way through the melody.  he's a tremendous trumpeter but can be a real ass. nonetheless, he sounds incredible on this cut.  great pitch, unparalleled control, stylistically on point.  my favorite part is the way he finishes the form proper at 3:13 by going all 8va on it.  i could live without the gritty cadenza that follows soon thereafter, so i usually race back to my stereo and hit stop before that part.  childish, i know, but hey...

hank mobley remember - soul station
hank sure does have the smoothest sound.  so even, so calculated.  it took me forever to get into his playing. i'm not a big fan of the era from which he hails, because the tunes were always a big turnoff.  one of my private students (who can really blow) turned me on to this record, and this tune in particular.  hank sounds great on the whole side. it's rare for me to have listened to an entire album.  usually i get buried in the first couple of cuts, which is where this track lies.  my favorite part is the way that he wraps around to the top of the next chorus at 1:31. hank mobley is the billy dee williams of tenor saxophone.

frank morgan all the things you are - major changes
my folks are not music people.  my mom is a retired lunch lady who loves the beatles, probably equally for their singable tunes and their cutesy mop top haircuts.  my dad is a retired truck driver who made us listen to financial advice from talk show legend bruce williams that he had recorded on cassette. nobody in my family stuck the silver spoon of music in my mouth, so there was a high level of aimless energy when i expressed significant interest in playing music.  my parents were in omaha one weekend, popped into a record store to buy me a poster of a saxophone and heard this album on the speakers.  my mom picked it up, brought it home, and put it on the record player.  i fell in love with frank's sound, yearning and searching while fighting back the tears of heartache.  my favorite moment on this cut occurs at 4:51 on the out head.  i love the way frank gets to the high E. i do the bridge this way every time i play the tune, tipping my cap to frank morgan (and no, this guy is not the wizard of oz).

dave douglas penelope - the infinite
musically speaking, i think dave douglas may have saved my life.  i first heard him on in our lifetime and myra melford's above blue, then witnessed him soon thereafter at the sanctuary with his string quartet (feldman, friedlander, cohen, sarin).  his originality was the final nail in my coffin, ultimately convincing me that there was something appealing about improvised music.  he is a creative windstorm, although sometimes over saturated with projects (most of which i sponsor with my hard earned bucks).  this album is an homage to miles, and this tune fuses two tunes (miles runs the voodoo down and boplicity) into one.  i dig the way uri caine's rhodes blankets the background.   my favorite moment rears its head at 3:05 when, after the band concludes the first statement of the cool melody, dave drives out of the history books and into a refreshing new edition of jazz music.

i felt like i had finally struck gold when i first heard bruce hornsby. his piano playing has the type of clarity that i prefer, and the tunes had just enough feel-good country vibe with musical twists.  his vocals were always cool, and the harmonies fit my falsetto fine and dandy.  this is one of his lesser known tunes, in the shadows of the way it is (and the subsequent tupac track).  i played and sang this tune for swing choir auditions in high school. why didn't someone stop me?  the video here leaves a lot to be desired, including jack nicholson behind the kit, the phony clarinet solo, the dx-7, and bruce's cuffed sleeves.  nonetheless, my favorite part surfaces at 3:50 when bruce bangs out those four As back to back (belly to belly, it's a zombie jamboree!!!)

the giddy vol. 1   the giddy vol. 2

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