It's amazing that the brilliant Bart Hofnagel dropped a new CD so soon after his brilliant solo set, The Ages of Man: Evolution in Music. While the usual clueless critics didn't get the point of its nine brilliant blank trackshello, didn't they teach you that evolution is a slow process?his many fans instantly downloaded the whole brilliant thing as soon as it came out, and they'll want to grab this one, too.
As always, it's hard to pick highlights on a brilliant Hofnagel project with its tireless oncoming originalsbut to these ears, "Sneer" is nothing less than a brilliant major mega-minimalist hyper-retro-trad existential statement. As Hofnagel explains in his brilliant, self-penned liners (page 46), he was inspired by the writings of Hegel, Homer's Iliad, an empty pizza box ("gone, gone"), the sound of one hand clapping, and the personal charm of Miles Davis to "fire up the Jazz Canon, ascend past every conceivable musical zenith, and wax the eyebrows of God." Brilliant.
Note: Ode to Myself is available briefly in a special limited edition with a full-color fold- out, two drops of Hofnagel's DNA, and a coupon for 10% off on his brilliant self-help bestseller, Perfect As Is: Who Needs Practice?
Track Listing: Too Hip for My Shoes, Come Sneer Like Me, I Like Mirrors (The Pose), Masturbation in 7/4, Bronze
My Diapers, Angst Sells, Gotterdammerung
I love jazz because...it's in my blood! My late father, Billy Ainsworth, was a musical prodigy who dropped out of school at 17 after he stunned the seasoned musicians of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra with an in-off-the-street audition
I love jazz because...it's in my blood! My late father, Billy Ainsworth, was a musical prodigy who dropped out of school at 17 after he stunned the seasoned musicians of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra with an in-off-the-street audition. He was on the band bus the next day as Dorsey's alto sax and clarinet player, and never looked back. He played with great bandleaders such as Freddie Martin, Tex Beneke and Ray McKinley, some before he was out of his teens (they had to lie about his age to get him into nightclubs). Many older musicians have told me he was the greatest alto sax player they ever worked with. He was equally great on clarinet and was clarinetist and harmony singer for cocktail jazz pioneers, the Ernie Felice Quartet.
He eventually left the road and settled down, and that's when I came in. By that time, he was, by day, vocal group session leader/player/arranger for classic jingles and commercial music produced in Dallas. At night, he played in society bands, jazz combos and elegant showrooms. Tuesdays were slow in the showrooms, so band members' families got in free, and my mom took me to see him backing such legends as Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Steve and Eydie, and a very old Ella Fitzgerald. Between that, hearing his record collection, growing up around the legendary musicians and singers who were like aunts and uncles to me, and just listening to him practice around the house, filling the neighborhood with incredible jazz sax riffs, I couldn't help becoming that weird kid who was listening to Peggy Lee, Ella and Manhattan Transfer when my classmates were listening to rock, country and soul.
Even though he died before I ever sang professionally, he remains my inspiration and all my CDs are dedicated to him. I like to think that he'd like my music, since it's built on the foundation he handed down to me.