4 de junho de 2004

«Downbeat» em tom de Jones


A mais recente edição da revista «Downbeat» coloca em destaque Norah Jones, fazendo eco do seu mais recente disco, e aproveita para divulgar um Top 30 All-Time Vocal Jazz Albums. É de ler...

O outro Jones, o Elvin, é recordado no site desta publicação, que recupera um antigo Blindfold Test realizado em 1975:

The Blindfold Test: Elvin Jones
An Exclusive Online Extra

by Herb Nolan ? 03/27/1975

There's one thing Elvin Jones does everytime he works in Chicago (where this Blindfold Test was conducted), he plays a free concert for Warden Winston Moore and the prisoners at Cook County Jail. This trip was no exception: on a cold, overcast Wednesday afternoon, Elvin and his band (including Junior Cook, tenor, Roland Prince, guitar, and David Williams, bass) drove out to the county courts and jail complex at 26th and California. The concert was held in a long, aging, one-story building with low beams and a concrete floor. Elvin's group played for more than an hour to a capacity crowd of about 1,200 inmates, as many as the building would hold and about 25 percent of the total prison population. The Cook County concert was just one of a series he's done in the past couple of years, and they are among some of the most personally satisfying performances he gives these days.

On his way through the double, barbed wire topped gates, Elvin took a guard's name and address so he could send him his newest album.

Elvin Jones, who just signed with Vanguard Records after ending his long association with Blue Note, is as musically active as when he started leading his own bands about nine years ago. On the road more than ten months out of the year, Elvin plans to tour Italy and Japan this year, as well as make another trip to South America for the USIA.

He was given no information about the records played.

1. JELLY ROLL MORTON. Wolverine Blues (second take) (From Mr. Jelly Lord, RCA). Morton, piano; Johnny Dodds, clarinet; Warren "Baby" Dodds, drums. Recorded June 10, 1927.

Yeah! That was something. The style is early jazz just when it was beginning to become the sophisticated art form it is now. I won't even begin to guess who it is, but I will say it's a recent recording or a good recording of an old record. It's a shame that this sort of redoing isn't done more so people can really get a clear idea, a clear impression, of what things were like.

That record took three or four minutes, all that music in three or four minutes. It's like some of the old Duke Ellington recordings; the whole thing would only last two minutes and 15 seconds or somethin' like that, and you'd have a complete composition, a symphony, a concerto, or whatever, and everything would be perfectly matched ? the musicians, the composition, the sound.

I think as far as classification, that's five in my book. I don't know who it is, and I don't care who it is. All I know is it's beautiful music and I love it.

Nolan: I'm going to tell you anyway, the drummer is someone you talk about quite often.

Jones: Baby Dodds? And who's that clarinet, Bunny Bigard? No, Johnny Dodds with Jelly Roll Morton on piano. Jelly Roll Morton, there you are, the master. The first thing that comes to my mind is I'd like to have a copy of that. This is what you should hear on the radio when guys are getting ready to go to work at five o' clock in the morning and then build up, or down, to the rest of the music that's current. When I go to a museum, the things there are selected from thousands of sculptures and paintings worthy of public attention, and this is what should occur when you turn on the radio to listen to a music program. Who cares who makes the most money? The fact is this should be available so the proper attention can be paid to it ? so it is part of everybody's life. That's the way I feel.

Here I am. I'm supposed to be a musician and that's a record I never heard. I never had an opportunity to hear that. Maybe I would have been a little better if I'd had a chance to hear that when I was ten years old; maybe I would have been a better drummer.

2. DIZZY GILLESPIE. Two Bass Hit (From The Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra at Salle Pleyel; Paris, France, Prestige). Gillespie, Benny Bailey, Dave Burns, Lamar Wright Jr. , Elmon Wright, trumpets; Al McKibbon, bass; Kenny Clarke, drums; Chano Pozo, congo drums. Arranged by John Lewis. Recorded in 1948.

I know that's Dizzy Gillespie with that first big band with Fats Navarro, Miles, and all the cats. I think Tad Dameron did that arrangement. It's a lousy recording but a good reproduction. The lack of attention and sophistication in recording I think reflects on people's feelings and the whole atmosphere involved in producing this art form. Maybe the guys were thinking "well we won't make much money on it anyway, so the hell with it. But we like Dizzy, so okay, we'll throw a couple of bones to the dog right?" That's what pisses me off. This is a masterpiece. It's a live recording too, isn't it?

Whoever the drummer is, he's a hell of a one. Could he be Teddy Stewart? Ray Brown on bass? This is another one you should hear on the radio every morning. This is one of the best records ever recorded and it was live, it wasn't contrived. John Birks said that Gillespie is a master of his own instrument. And I think a lot of people in the world ? except perhaps in this country ? have the utmost respect for this man. I think this is a contribution, a real contribution.

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