Friday, March 8, 2013
When I hear anyone talk about Jazz music three things pop into my mind: Bill Cosby, this skit from The Mighty Boosh, and how much I abhor it. The structure, the instruments (get dat trumpet the fuck outa here) turns me off musically immediately . However, my whole mindset about what exactly is jazz music changed this past year after investigating works by Miles Davis, Sun Ra and Herbie Hancock. Check out these offerings of sublime "otherness" by these masters of jazz that took the genre so far out there that ya can't still call it jazz no more, or can you?
Sun Ra, as my boss (a jazz enthusiast) so eloquently put it, was an amazing jazz musician who just so happened to believe that he was from outer space. Sign me up I'm on board! I mean I already love Parliament (clearly influenced by the man, at least visually) for the same thing... here's a couple cuts to get started on your free jazz journey with Sun Ra to the farthest regions of outer space.
Sounds like someone is building a car in the middle of this one, a space car...
Nothing like the sound of a synth gone MAD!
If you dig Sun Ra then you HAVE to watch his SciFi race politics film Space is The Place. Plays like a blaxploitation Holy Mountain directed by the people behind Pee Wee's Play House.
Herbie Hancock has gotta be the one jazz dude I NEVER thought I'd listen to, let alone drop some mulah on one of his records. But damn if that isn't exactly what I did after i heard his masterpiece Sextant. This monster sounds like early Kraftwerk (I'm talking bout the cone records folks) but a hell of a lot funkier and wilder with pling plong electronics all over this mess of a jazz band. When I plunked the needle down on Sextant at la casa, girlfriend became increasingly uncomfortable and said she was in a "Jazz Jungle". Yeah, I feel that too, and I love it!
You can take the Hancock trip one record further with Head Hunters.
After this one my interest in his discography wanes as Herbie goes further into Jazz funk and I'll let The Mighty Boosh tell you bout that ...
The main offender in my preconceived notion of jazz has to be Miles Davis. My introduction to Mr. Davis's music was in the car coming back from Cleveland with my mom after shopping for music 9 years ago. She purchased Bitches Brew and proceeded to torture me with that cantankerous abomination (at least in my mind) of an album all the way back home. Still hate that record even today and what further solidified in my mind that I'd never listen to Miles again was having to listen to a warped record of Evil Live at a store while perusing books. Shit sounded LITERALLY like nails on a chalkboard.
What changed my mind was Julian Cope drooling about these four mid 70's albums, much hated by the jazz world at large. I take heed whatever the arch-dude throws out on his site so I dove deep and can confirm: these albums are OUT THERE man. Mucho wah wah pedal all over these fuckers. Trumpet yer wah wahed. Guitar! Yer wah wahed. Keyboard yer wah wahed to fuck all abandon. Miles took the best from Sly Stone, Payback James Brown, and Jimi Hendrix to make the best kind of freaky out there acid rock funk that no man has approached since!
Dark Magus is an incredible record. The guitar stabs sound like laser beams.
Watch out you'll get lost in Get Up With It's two hour duration. This one comes close to touching on krautrock. The phased guitar reminds me a bit of German Oak no?
Agharta cranks up the acid funk vibe to maximum overload.
Some mental guitar melt downs on Pangaea
So am I forever labeled a jazz lover, shunned by my rock n roll brethren for loving so hard on these albums? Is it "jazz"? I dont know and im not gonna argue or care what you call it, I like mon aim.