Wednesday, March 07, 2007

dietrich's ecclecticism

Deer Hoof, from sentireascoltare.comadam sends this link to a podcast of favorite tunes by john dietrich of deerhoof, a band i've recently discovered (thru adam) and immediately like without having delved to far into the recordings.

i have to admire mr. dietrich's taste which is far more ecclectic than even my own. of the 22 artists/titles listed i have knowledge of only the following 7:
  1. fiery furnaces - i thought blueberry boat was a strange and largely unappealing uptake on 70s rock-theater.
  2. bill dixon - clearly a modern trumpet master - why are there so many saxophone gods and so few trumpet gods?
  3. us maple - noisy, right? i think i would like & need to hear more
  4. bartok - dunno what "tale" is but his 6 string quartets are some of the best music of all time
  5. satie - is it possible his reputation is far greater than the music actually warrants?
  6. marc ribot - i still know only through his masterful work on the classic mid-1980s tom waits albums - what's his one leader date to hear?
  7. patty waters - vintage ESP era improv stuff, right? never actually heard tho.
otherwise i'm stumped, any and all help appreciated...


Taylor Brady said...

For Marc Ribot -- dunno, I actually prefer him in other people's bands. Some of the Zorn Electric Masada stuff, maybe. He did a sort of Ayler tribute thing in '05 called Spiritual Unity, which included the recently returned Henry Grimes on bass. Should've been great. Wasn't.

The Patty Waters I have is Patty Waters Sings. One side of shortish, whispery things somewhere between folk ballad/jazz tune/art song, one side an extended version of "Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair" where she goes all Linda Sharrock. (An ungainly comparison, but it's still early here and that's the best I can do). The leap out of introvert barely-there voice into shrieking, keening, growling, et al is pretty startling. Not one I listen to a lot, but it's worth hearing for sure.

Re: trumpet gods vs. saxophone gods, have wondered about that myself. My current working assumption is that, because of the martial roots of the trumpet, the extrovert, bravura performance we usually associate with the "instrumental god's" virtuosity is actually kind of a default performance style for trumpet and therefore not all that special. The really unique trumpet players are the ones who manage to make it sound like something other than a rousing call to arms -- e.g., Dixon's puffs and rumbles, Bowie's smears, Davis's pure vibratoless non-"brassy" sound. So then you're in this funny position where the real innovators and players of interest are the ones who for the most part adopt an anti-showboating style. (OK, Bowie can showboat, sure, but the real interest in his playing isn't there). Contrast this with the more "frontal" approach of sax players from the same eras who tend to get first billing, historically speaking...

Anyway, I'm sure there are as many counterexamples as confirming instances for that. Like I said, a working assumption -- I could be talked out of it.

Taylor Brady said...

P.S. to the above --

On the saxophone side of the comparison, this might be why, flat-out amazing musician that he is, you're unlikely to hear John Tchicai popping up on many people's lists of sax gods. "It slides away from the proposed" (Baraka's apt take on Tchicai's playing) lacks the -- what? -- pyrotechnic bona fides for "godhood." Which might be as good a reason as any for "no gods, no kings" to serve as a listener's credo.