Monday, July 25, 2016


There's a Nina Simone moment when
she sings 'Oh Lord, please don't let me
be misunderstood', where, in her usual
voice, she sort of swoons over the lyric,
dragging it. It's a heavy touch, snide,
but meaningful too. The thing about
her was she always sang like a crank.
Here she mumbles along, 'Once I
had a brain, I used to think things.'
I love listening to that  -  this one
is not the usual jazzy, pop version. 
This one cut I have is like a staccato,
techno-pop CD she did, late. The
form fits her, but only inasmuch as
she goes along with it. It's really quite
different for her. Not sure I love it all,
but I like the occasional listen. Like
seeing a Valentino film, restored.
More than that, yes, but just as
transformative, is listening  -  clearly
and closely  -  to Dave Brubeck's
'Take Five.' That's a startling roll.
The drum solo break in there is exquisite.
I mean, more than exquisite, it's call
and answer; the drum talking back
to itself. That's Joe Morello, by the
way, and it's been described as 'jolting',
which doesn't do it justice. 1959 was
a funny year, and I always was suspect
about that 'jolting' word  -  Joltin' Joe
Dimaggio was still around, playing
baseball, and I just figured some geeky
reviewer thought he'd be cool. It's
more than jolting : it's time-fracturing.
It's over-lapping. It's miraculous.
Ginger Baker, playing harsh solo on
'Toad', with Cream, could do not better,
but he'd take longer. This is crisp, and
succinct, precise, and 'in-tune.' I wonder,
can you say that about drums? In-tune?

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