View Full Version : Meastro Lang? Sweet!

09-06-2006, 03:34 PM
The Bad Plus (http://thebadplus.com/)' Ethan Iverson recently posted on their blog

"Is there a writer who can take on the project of an unbiased overview of [jazz] music since the end of the Vietnam war?" (There are more recent Douglas posts on this topic here and here.)

I offer up a list of records that I copied off my shelves last week when The Bad Plus was taking a break. I?m going to cheat a little bit: instead of the end of ?Nam, I?m going to start in 1973 (the year of my birth) in order to sneak in a few more records.


I submitted my list of jazz/rock records which pretty much went overlooked, which can be viewed here (http://thebadplus.typepad.com/dothemath/2006/09/responses_vol_2.html).

Maestro Lang is on it! Hell yeah.

Al Di Meola

Land of the Midnight Sun 1976
Elegant Gypsy 1977
Splendido Hotel 1978

all on Columbia

***Some hairsplitting electric spanish fusion with the support of Steve Gadd, Anthony Jackson, Jaco Pastorius, Jan Hammer, Chick Corea and others.

Al Di Meola, John Mclaughlin Paco De Lucia

Friday Night in San Francisco 1980
***guitar summit for the ages

Allan Holdsworth

Metal Fatigue 1985 Enigma
Secrets 1989 Intima

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones 1989 Warner

***No one was playing banjo, harmonica or bass like Bela, Victor and Howard Levy at this time. And what the hell is a synth-axe drumatar?

Billy Cobham

Spectrum 1973 Atlantic

***Debut album by Cobham featuring Hammer, Bolin, and Ron Carter among others.

John Abercrombie

Timeless 1974 ECM

Earthy brooding fusion featuring Dejohnette and Hammer

Miles Davis

1985 Aura Columbia

***The music is an amalgam of classical impressionism, European new music, jazz, rock, electronic, and other genres. As a tribute and separate orchestral work, it's quite moving and beautiful, full of moody interludes and evocations of nuance, color, texture, and dynamic.-- Thom Jurek Allmusic.com

Pat Metheny

Bright Size Life 1975 ECM

**Metheny's Debut w/one of Jaco's first recorded dates. Great interplay

Rahassan Roland Kirk

Bright Moments 1973 Rhino

***His best album of the 70s, tour de force.

Return to Forever

Light as Feather 1972
Hymm of the Seventh Galaxy 1973
Where Have I Known You Before 1974
No Mystery 1975
The Romantic Warrior 1976

***The baddest and most frantic electric fusion band, bar none. Di Meola, Corea, White, Clarke, Airto, Williams.

Mahavishnu Orchestra

Apocalypse 1974 Columbia

***John Mclaughlin doing symphonic fusion with George Martin, Jean Luc Ponty and Narada Michael Walden.

Jeff Beck

Blow By Blow 1975 Epic

***Arguably the best of Beck's career. George Martin again at the helm.

Frank Zappa

The Grand Wazoo 1973 Ryko

***One of Zappa's finest instrumental outings.

Return to Forever's 1976 outing The Romantic Warrior is a must have if you like any type of instrumental music.

Metheny's Bright Size Life would make a far better introduction to jazz than something like Kind of Blue.

I think part of the problem as to why more people don't dig jazz is they aren't exposed to it correctly. For instance, I think that to an untrained ear, if I gave someone an Art Tatum or Charlie Parker album to someone who had never heard jazz, they might never buy another jazz album. That shit is farnkly too technical and probably goes over a lot of peoples' heads. Now if I handed them a Chick Corea album or Herbie fusion album, or a even a jazzy Joni Mitchell album, they might take to it immediately.

09-07-2006, 12:42 PM
It seems to me most everything I can think of has already been covered - my personal list would look like this:

- Weather Report - Mysterious Traveller, Black Market style, any other early stuff w/Airto

-Zawinul - side projects

- Rhasaan Kurk - Bright Moments, etc.

- Ornette - before he got too wild

- Keith Jarrett/Jack Dejonete (sic)/Gary Peacock -

- Greg Osby -

-Wayne Shorter

- Mingus

- (on the local scene) Nachito Herera - (I'm blanking on his national equivalent - Gonzalo Rubalcaba's cool, but not like the guy I'm thinking of)

I could keep going, but there are just too many people.

Problems with jazz today- jazz musicians, as in all genres, need a distinct sound audiences can latch on to. Jazz needs personalities again, it needs to stop valuing technical experimentation and start valuing emotional experimentation. However, jazz musicians have stoped valuing pretty much everything besides chops, and I think this will never fly in the non-musician public arena.

09-07-2006, 12:44 PM
"Metheny's Bright Size Life would make a far better introduction to jazz than something like Kind of Blue."

I'd agree completely. In fact, I think I got into that album before I got into Kind of Blue. Or maybe I got into them at about the same time.

09-07-2006, 12:48 PM
a lot of the stuff you mentioned was covered by Ethan when he made the list, so I didn't include it. It would be criminal not to mention jarret, but iverson is like his #1 fan.