Monday, June 23, 2008

You Can Call Me Al

Shall we begin? Indeed. So the July issue of Downbeat has some recommendations to consider. But first, it was pointed out to me the other day that all lovers of music might not be aware of Downbeat as a resource for jazz fans—off to the Wiki with you. Okay back to business.

DB gave a number of albums 4+ stars which represents “Excellent” in the DB world—for those who don’t know this pub, 5 stars are pretty doggone hard to come by. So here are a few of the contenders from this issue.

  • Live / Brad Mehldau Trio (4 stars): I really love Mehldau’s stuff and he also gets a mention earlier in the issue for being one of the first jazz artists for covering Radiohead tunes. Definitely going on the “consider to pick up next time I am shopping list.”
  • Tragicomic / Vijay Iyer (4 stars): just picked it up and listening to it as I write--more after I give it a closer listen. First blush: very boppy, but with overarching melodies that are quite accessible.
  • Standards / Nuttree Quartet (4 stars): just the line up and instrumentation will make me pick this up. John Abercrombie (guitar) Jerry Bergonzi (tenor saxophone) Adam Nussbaum(drums) Gary Versace (Hammond B-3).
  • Vignettes / Marilyn Crispell (4 and ½ stars): Somebody help me here as I don’t have any of her stuff, but I feel like I should know more about her.

Okay, so there are a lot of other artists featured in the issue I will try to get to. But one article that caught my attention was the write up and interview with Al Green about his new album Lay It Down which they describe as an “instant classic.” This caught my attention because I had just read about it in Rolling Stone in their “Buy It Now” write up. I have some of the Reverend’s music and appreciate his place in musical history, but am not some fanatical fan. Still, the seemingly universal praise for this effort--not to mention the folks who are hanging out with him on this disc--makes me consider checking it out.

So let’s open up the fan lines on Al Green. What do you all think? Anyone have the new album or any of his recent efforts? Are the critics right on this one--worth the purchase? Need a promo prompt--here you go.


Lisa B. said...

Love Brad Mehldau, first of all, and twas you who turned me on to him. The Trio came this year as part of the jazz series in SLC and it was a definite highlight, among a pretty darn good series (incl. Dianne Reeves and Regina Carter most recently).

As for the Reverend: I have not yet purchased this disk, but am planning to, and also hoping to catch him later this summer at Red Butte. They've been giving the new disk lots of play on KRCL, and it sounds good--he sounds good. Nobody quite like him--groove-
heavy, a great, great falsetto, sex/religion lyrics . . . what's not to love?

cps said...

And so the passing on continues--didn't remember that about BM.

On AG, yeah--that is generally what I am thinking too--but you have always listened to more soul/funk stuff than me.

Thanks for the trip down SLC music memory lane. Al Green at Red Butte--that would be fun!