Having the attention span that would make a sugar addictive five year old blush, I don't often go for boxed sets, but after getting my tax refund from Uncle Sam (you'll buy no more rifles with my money, you pigs!) I succumbed to the temptation of the new Richard Thompson boxed set RT: The Life and Music of Richard Thompson. The music is split onto four discs, each with a different theme and then a special fifth disc of extreme rarities. I've listened to the first couple of discs so far and the music is uniformly excellent, complete with several ripe live tracks, b-sides and radio air checks. Other discs in heavy rotation at this time include the new CD from trombonist Gianluca Petrella, Indigo4, which deftly combines post bop jazz with some subtle electronics and samples (including one of Thelonious Monk) and the new Ron Horton CD, Everything in a Dream, where he improvises in his rich buttery tone on trumpet and flugelhorn over music from some of his Jazz Composers Collective colleagues.
On the bitorrent front, there have been several excellent shows that are forming a growing queue on my computer. I've had a chance to wade through a couple of these – an Ahmad Jamal Trio concert from Paris on June 27, 2004 where the group juggles jazz chestnuts and some Jamal originals in a completely unique way. The most fascinating thing about the music is the dynamics, going from fast and loud to soft and subtle without missing a beat. This trio has been together for years and works at a near telepathic level. Nearing the end of his very long life and performing in Milan, June 29, 1991, blues legend Champion Jack Dupree could still pound the piano while belting out his class tales of cheatin' women and lyin' men. 81 years old at the time, Champ relies on the band to take a lot of the load, particularly an uncredited guitarist who breaks off some wonderful solos. But in the end, it all comes back to the big man who reigns over the proceedings lie a king on his throne.
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