Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hit Repeat

With so many albums to listen to, I rarely listen to an album more than once in a short period of time. Here are a few that got repeated spins at Chez Rocky recently:

Diana Krall, Live in Paris (45 rpm ORG LP and cd). Krall isn't the most adventurous jazz musician to put it mildly, but what she does she does well. My main problem with her studio albums is their overall listless pacing. No such problem with this live show recorded at the Olympia in Paris. She keeps up a nice pace throughout. A thoroughly enjoyable set. And the sound quality is topnotch.

Beethoven, Symphony No. 5 (Karajan '62, Karajan '77 LPs). I've become a little obsessed with this symphony lately. Listen to it and you become convinced of the immense grandness of life. In college I read a poem by Adrienne Rich that reduced Beethoven's music as an expression of sexual frustration. I suppose you can view anything through the lens of gender politics. But why would you? Don't be such a downer, Adrienne.

Bobby Hutcherson, Happenings (45 rpm Music Matters LP and Blue Note cd). A while ago I realized that Hutcherson was a sideman on some of my favorite jazz albums. So I started picking up albums he led. Happenings is one of the few in which he doesn't play with horns; it's just him and a rhythm section including Herbie Hancock. If there is such a thing as lyrical free jazz, Hutcherson would be the master.

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