All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
Even though the liner notes penned by guitarist Bruce Arnold were written for fellow music scholars and guitar technicians, the music certainly was for us common listeners. Arnold, a Berklee School graduate, releases A Few Dozen, a follow up to his first recording as leader entitled Blue Eleven. He also works in Release The Hounds, a free jazz improv trio and Spooky Actions, an ensemble that reworks modern classical music. What is particularly striking about the music is his ability to slip into an out of moods and textures. The disc opens with a Bern Nix-like blues swinger, followed by a lovely ballad with bassist Ratzo Harris getting all sentimental laying down a bass line. Arnold navigates the post-bop “7th Street” over some track-ending electronics. The trio has much more in their bag including a deconstructed rumba and some space music. Each of the pieces could be the jumping off point for an entire album of music and I would certainly endorse that notion.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.