August Break

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DTM.2 is a year old. I just unplugged the old URL, so if you still link to thebadplus.typepad, you are officially behind the times.

New pages:

All in the Mix. (Finally, my Lennie Tristano meditation makes it over from the old site.) 

The past year of obits: Abbey Lincoln, James Moody, Milton Babbitt, George Shearing, Joe Morello, Ray Bryant, Frank Foster.

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The Ted Panken archive of interviews is consistently amazing.  NOLA: Ed Blackwell and Dr. John.  The latter has a great Earl Palmer story.

I hired him to make a date with us. I said, “Earl, could you just play a backbeat; these people are giving me some shit.” He took both sticks, ran them through the snare drum, and walked off the gig. Wasn’t even his drums!

Palmer had a great backbeat!  He's on a lot of classic rock.  But the transition for that generation was an emotional and possibly racially-charged issue. It would be interesting to find the first time a backbeat showed up on, say, a Blue Note record in the 60's.  Certain drummers like Elvin Jones and Billy Higgins never used one, I believe.  Blackwell plays a stunning second-line beat in the New Orleans tradition on "Rock the Clock." Or what about that thing Paul Motian plays on "Mortgage on My Soul?" (Both tracks have Charlie Haden's "rock" bass in all its fuzzed-out glory.)

When I saw Dr. John in the park Saturday I was a little disappointed by how every song had a backbeat. Good band, of course, but it was less mysterious then I had anticipated, and the Doctor didn't play that much of his outstanding piano, either.  Chuck Brown, on the other hand, was just awesome.  Probably everyone else knows this already, but Ben Street just told me that my favorite late Miles Davis records, Tutu and Amandla, are filled with Go-go beats via Marcus Miller.  The "junior conga" helps make Go-go go.  See Chuck Brown if you get the chance. 

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Ted and the estimable Lewis Porter are finally added to my blogroll.

Soho has more books.

Alex on Morton Feldman and Blair McMillen, two names that I have dates with in the future.

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After Labor Day, expect interviews with Mickey Roker and Jim McNeely and an essay about Bud Powell.  Thanks for reading.

08/01/2011

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