Sunday, September 04, 2005

Torrential Torrents (part one)

The have been a number of great downloads recently on which is a not for profit Internet music trading community:

R.L. Burnside – New Orleans 4/26/98 This concert is something of a double tribute by the uploader, both to Burnside who just passed away and to that great musical city so devastated by the recent hurricane. Burnside and his well-oiled band blast through their standard set of tunes including “Old Black Mattie” and the roaring “Goin' Down South.” The group also throws in a couple of well-chosen covers of Robert Johnson's “Walkin' Blues” and John Lee Hooker's “Boogie Chillun'.” Great stuff, R.L. was always a galvanizing live performer so hopefully Fat Possum will open up the vaults and let music like this get beyond the collector's circles.

Max Roach and Sam Rivers – Hamburg 1/19/84 Sam Rivers is one of my favorite musicians, and it's a treat to hear him in the company of a master drummer like Max Roach, who gives him a laudatory introduction at the beginning of the concert. As they settle into a free duet to start the concert, you notice how comfortable Roach is with Rivers' stream of consciousness improvisations. It's hard to imagine another musician who has performed with both Charlie Parker and Anthony Braxton equally well, but Roach has done it all at one time or another. The remainder of the concert is with a full band including Odean Pope on saxophones and Cecil Bridgewater on trumpet. The group takes in the whole history of jazz from Parker's “Now's the Time” to Coltrane's Giant Steps and Monk's “Straight No Chaser.” Nowadays, Rivers only plays his own compositions, so it's fascinating to hear him improvise on these familiar themes.

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