Happened to be passing through Hollywood today, so I decided to duck into Amoeba Music and thumb through the used CDs.
I don’t shop much for CDs anymore. But a few years ago, whilst building up my jazz collection, Amoeba was the gold mine.
It is a store I like to walk into without an agenda. Just browse the jazz aisles, the Rock en Español aisle and the African music aisle and see what leaps into my arms.
Within 10 minutes this afternoon, I found myself holding six CDs. Figured I’d better get out while the getting was good.
And because I likes to share, here is some of what I copped. Click the track titles to hear the music on my Vox blog.
1. “Central Park West” – Odean Pope Saxophone Choir
As a World Saxophone Quartet fan, I was halted in my tracks by an Odean Pope Saxophone Choir CD. Just the concept alone.
I’ve downloaded a few Odean Pope tracks over the years. But what really caught me about “Locked & Loaded: Live at the Blue Note” was this notation: “featuring Michael Brecker, James Carter, Joe Lovano.” That’s a murderers’ row of contemporary reedmen.
Turns out Brecker, Carter and Lovano only solo on selected tracks, they’re not members of the nine-sax “choir.” And none of them partakes of Pope’s luxurious arrangement of John Coltrane’s “Central Park West.” This is a gorgeous track, though.
2. “Brother Joseph” – Frank Lowe
I come to avant-garde tenor man Frank Lowe by way of his occasional work with Jayne Cortez, the poet.
This solo piece is from the 2008 reissue of Lowe’s 1973 LP “Black Beings,” which was released on the influential free-jazz label ESP-Disk.
3. “Once I Wished a Tree Upside Down” – Trilok Gurtu
I lifted up a CD called “The Trilok Gurtu Collection” just to find out what the hell “Trilok Gurtu” means.
It’s a dude’s name. Trilok Gurtu is a tabla player (and Western- style drummer) born in Bombay.
Now check out some of the other musicians listed on this compilation disc: Joe Zawinul... Pat Metheny... Don Cherry. (Sold!)
None of those cats is on this 1991 track. The sax player is Norwegian badass Jan Garbarek, who composed the piece.
4. “Satisfied” – Barbara & Ernie
I had never heard of Barbara Massey and Ernie Calabria – together or separately – and I still can’t find out much about them.
But I bought this Barbara & Ernie CD (“Prelude to...”) because the cover looks cool... and because Eumir Deodato was involved. (He is peculiarly credited for “conducting and orchestral expertise.”)
This disc is a 2007 reissue of a 1971 LP. It was originally released on Cotillion, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records, and was produced by Atlantic’s prolific Joel Dorn. This particular cut features Keith Jarrett blues-vamping on the piano.
Yes, today was a good day.