I know I said my next shopping trip would be only older music, but I couldn’t resist some newer releases. Here’s a quick rundown of the older records:
This record has multiple personalities. Some of the tunes are mellow, almost smooth jazz, with Metheny on acoustic guitar and Higgins playing restrained and simple. Some of the tunes have Metheny exploring the then-new world of guitar synths and Higgins exploring all the empty spaces. Some are straight-forward trio jazz, with Metheny employing a more traditional jazz tone and Higgins swinging hard. The constant is Haden, who drives the proceedings with inventive lines that propel the group forward.
Great record from a great band. Richard Davis is solid throughout, and the arrangements are fun and modern (for 1970). Released the same year as Bitches Brew, Consummation shows how electric instruments could be woven into more traditional jazz settings. The track below, Ahunk Ahunk, is highlighted by Roland Hanna’s electric piano.
Another installment from the 1989 Montreal Jazz Festival, which featured an eight night tribute to Charlie Haden. This night finds Haden with Don Cherry and Ed Blackwell, his bandmates from Ornette’s The Shape of Jazz to Come/This is Our Music quartets. The group plays mostly Ornette tunes, with a couple of Cherry’s compositions added in. Haden is featured prominently and sounds like he’s having a lot of fun.
This record was recorded in 1960, around the same time as My Favorite Things, when Coltrane was still playing much more straight ahead, but it wasn’t released until 1964, the same year as A Love Supreme. While tracks like “Liberia” have hints of where Coltrane was going, this record probably sounded pretty quaint next to the explorations of the Classic Quartet. Still, “Central Park West” may be Coltrane’s most beautiful melody.
Space is the place. This record proves that. Or something.