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.
Multi-instrumentalist Sam Sadigursky has released the second of his Words Projects, wherein musicians and like-minded vocalists present poetry in a beat-cum-back to the future manner. This is not your grandfather's poems read over a bongo but is creative integration of vocals into an instrumental fabric.
Sadigursky's saxophones and clarinet as well as Pete Rende's piano/Rhodes and accordion thoroughly blend with the vocals to create a "'reading" true to the overall meter and phrasing of the poem(s). Nate Radley's guitar/banjo stylings and Richie Barshay's percussion add a bit of needed color to what otherwise is a fairly monophonic sound palette, texturally rich but sonically narrow. This, combined with the artful vocals of Wendy Gilles, Monika Heidemann and Becca Stevens, makes for a deeply engaging listen.
Poet Andrew Boyd's three contributions are choice narrations of desperate situations that are a perfect fit for these environs. A lyric sheet is included and the way to experience these pieces is to use it while listening; otherwise one might not realize that the true definition of "rock bottom' is "purchasing the collected works of Yanni." Subjects also include David Ignatow's "No Theory," a description of the evisceration of a chicken, and "Miss Teen USA," whose legendary incoherence might be the seeds of a Vice Presidential candidacy someday. While the biting sarcasm of "The War Works Hard" is presented over a cacophonous build, all is not dark, and moments like Langston Hughes' uplifting "The Dream Keeper" and Sadi Ranson Polizzotti's lover's delight "Such Fruit-The Ritual" are points of light.
Track Listing: Paths; Such Fruit; No Theory; The Dream Keeper; Miss Teen USA; It Takes A Nail; Indecision; The Sea And The Man; The War Works Hard; Therapy.
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.