Speakers Push Air

Northumbrian Fight Songs
May 27, 2011, 2:03 pm
Filed under: Mixes

When I listen to a bad metal record and think it’s a pointless racket I don’t feel anything. When I listen to a Derek Bailey record or a Pharoah Sanders record and I think it’s a pointless racket I feel like I’ve failed.

Most of what I want to say about jazz is rendered pointless by banality, lack of insight and obviousness. All I know is sometimes a track really grabs me when most of it leaves me cold, irritated or frustrated. I love My Favourite Things and can’t stand A Love Supreme. I guess I go for the “easy stuff” – give me Sketches Of Spain over Bitches Brew every time. Why I love something like Haitian Fight Song and yet dislike* most other Mingus I’ve heard is beyond me.

*or “don’t get it”, which is what I say about jazz I don’t like, a weird caveat I don’t use when I say I dislike Mumford & Sons

Anyway, here’s some jazz. I like it.

Northumbrian Fight Songs (79 mins, 256kbps, 144mb)

01. Sun Ra & His Arkestra – Sleeping Beauty (1979) [00.00]
02. Bill Wells Trio – Presentation Piece #1 (2002) [11.45]
03. Miles Davis – Flamenco Sketches (1959) [20.45]
04. Duke Ellington – Anatomy of A Murder Main Title (1959) [30.00]
05. Salah Ragab & The Cairo Jazz Band – Egypt Strut (1968?) [33.45]
06. Polar Bear – Beartown (2005) [38.45]
07. Art Ensemble Of Chicago with Fontella Bass– Theme De YoYo (1970) [44.30]
08. Charles Mingus – Haitian Fight Song (1957) [53.15]
09. John Coltrane – My Favourite Things (1961) [65.15]

Actually, listening back to it I’ve realised just how much I love the Polar Bear track. Like, “Top Ten Tracks Ever” love.

I suspect I’ve banged on about this before, but it absolutely transports me. That surging power and the Jewish funeral quality it has (I’m sure this comparison manages to be wrong, disrespectful and probably racist all at once).
Somehow it feels like a companion piece to Mogwai’s My Father My King.

3 Comments so far
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that James Andrews quote – “a lot of stuff, people try to portray jazz as being intellectual. But I don’t see it from that. I see it from
the thing where just ordinary people listening to the music or you might be in
a juke joint; that’s the kind of feeling I get from it. I don’t see the other side
or the white-collared type, type jazz musicians; I look for the more extreme
feeling of the jazz. That’s how we play it in New Orleans. Not by a lot of
notes, but strictly the feeling. That’s what makes us so well known and New
Orleans is so famous for that feeling, that beat, and we put the horn stuff on
top of that fabulous beat, man.”

Comment by Earl

“white collar jazz” 🙂

Comment by Earl

Lovely mix – thanks a lot.

Regarding ‘easy’ vs ‘hard’ stuff, I think a lot of the hard stuff was very much a live experience, even more so than normal, with ‘easier’ stuff being a bit more written. Im not about to sit down to listen to bitches brew any time soon, but it was a revelation to watch the filmed gig ‘A Different Kind of Blue’
and id jump to watch it again – the live aspect comes through.

Interesting to read how the pretty much all jazz critics responded to all Miles Davis projects beyond the golden blue note era at teh time – they hated the lot – but I dont think he was really interested in pleasing anyone but his own curiosity – and thats true for a lot of the hard jazz stuff.

Love Supreme is a religious piece though, and I guess you have to get into that devotional space to enjoy it – true for a lot of what I think of as acid jazz (1967-197whenever)

Another case that spring to mind is Alice Coltrane’ album Universal Consciousness, which I would categorise as a hard listen, but then on one track Hare Krishna http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLd0GWYdeO0 it all just feels so easy.

blah blah blah – thanks again for the mix

Comment by mikus

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