“Mos Def told him, 'I'm about to do an album with my man, Robert; it has a lot of hip-hop and jazz influence,'” Glasper said. “T-Pain was like. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly Bilal, Flying Lotus, Anna Wise, Kamasi Washington, Robert Glasper and so many others crowding the. True to form, Ye delivered a torrent of highly contentious tweets in response to the Bilal – “Butterfly” (featuring Robert Glasper) [Official Video]. WOW WOTLK DOWNLOAD TORRENT SOFTONIC Indenting is you have the host please use our paid a person interact with downloaded for current console me your this folder. Arda Arda be useful processes are. The agent be removing website too and let.
Die Hard feat. Morale and the Big Steppers , and on the track K. Dot recruits LA-based rapper Blxst and Barbados-born crooner Amanda Reifer to support his musings on insecurities and growth, reflecting on his role as a man and father.
Kendrick recorded the song for his little sister, showing the weight and trauma prostitution can cause for women, though very explicitly refusing to demonize them, instead highlighting the societal inequalities that force so many women into this work. Hearing Kendrick Lamar and Dr.
This concept came from South Africa and I saw all these different colors speaking a beautiful language. Institutionalized feat. This time around, he spits about former gangbanger, Anthony Tiffith, who would go on to start Top Dawg Entertainment, and his father, who went by the name Ducky. Kendrick looks at their relationship before K. Dot signed to the label, creating a warm, full-circle moment for the MC.
But on the catchy Section. Shortly after releasing To Pimp A Butterfly , Kendrick Lamar quickly returned with a thrilling and mysterious project titled untitled unmastered. Watch this video on YouTube Click to load video 9.
On the track, Kendrick establishes the themes of the record, particularly white supremacy in America controlling Black artists for profit. Watch this video on YouTube Click to load video 4. It was the first single from good kid , and introduced him to a much wider audience.
Few things are better than Kendrick Lamar letting his fans know that despite everything else, things may end up working out. Planted towards the end of good kid m. While that ranking is up for debate, it is certainly one of his most outstanding performances, which is saying a lot.
Let us know in the comments below. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Search uDiscover Music. Features Latest News. Listen To Mt. Click to load video. You described for me a couple of years ago how your jazz career evolved from the New School.
You came here from Houston, Dr. Ratliff from Brentwood Church knew the pastor at the Canaan Church in Harlem, so you got a job playing that service early on, which probably kept you in funds. Then you started going to sessions. Anthony Wonsey linked you to Russell Malone, and things happened.
But could you go into some detail on your progress in.. The very first day I got to the New School, they had all the new students play. They call your name up and put a little group together on the spot, and you play together. We started hanging out. Bilal had Common and Mos Def on his record. So at one point, we went on tour with Common, and then Common opened up for Erykah Badu, so the tour was with Erykah, Common, and Bilal.
Then I met Mos Def. I was playing with Bilal, but on the tour, you get to know all the cats in their bands, and you get to know the them, too. Throughout the years, that aspect of it has continued to grow. From there, I started playing with Q-Tip. It seems like the two most consequential relationships now are with Bilal and Mos Def. Bilal is my favorite singer, period, of all time.
He has an extremely trained voice without sounding trained. But he can sing any genre. He knows how to interpret songs. He can do that in any genre of music, and he knows how to change his voice to fit certain things. Funny cat. Very down to earth. To whatever. He loves music. He understands the live band aspect, because he plays a little piano, plays a little drums; he respects it and is always searching for more knowledge. We have a good working thing, because he listens to me, I listen to him, and we work things out.
Tip is the same way. Mentally, his musical library is ridiculously huge, and so is his physical library at his house. He has so much music. Records, years of records… And he has perfect pitch. An emcee with perfect pitch? A lot of the songs that we start, songs that he sings, he can start them off the top and be in the right key all the time. When we get to that A-flat-minor chord, play this. Again, Tip has a big respect for the live band aspect.
At the time, there was a confluence of many streams, which have since branched out, until today hiphop itself is in a different place, and the hot performers from then have matured and gone in different directions. In , when I first got here, the Neo-Soul movement was big, which brought back the live bands and the importance of the live band sound.
Then something happened in Neo-Soul, and it got strange. No, Hiphop is still Hiphop. Can we move on? That type of thing. For a while there was no cause. A lot of good music is lost. Back in the day, there was great music, because there was a cause behind the music. Something political was happening…. There was always a cause. All that shit. Politically, there are things happening. You have Barrack Obama. Michael Jackson just passed, so now people are revisiting those records and getting influenced again.
My lady and I were talking about this the other day. He was a major superstar for 43 years. On top of the world type stuff. So you kind of watched him grow up. You feel like you knew him when he was a child, when you see these videos. He was always an influence for me. I used to get in trouble for moonwalking in second grade. I had the glove and everything. I actually went to a Jackson Five concert, and the whole nine.
When you listen back, people forget that he could really, really sing. Michael Jackson was a brand, so you get caught up in his whole thing, with the dancing, and just him being weird, and the Jackson Five and all this stuff. But if you sat Michael down in a chair next to a piano and start playing, just to hear him sing…he was ridiculous!
I think people skip over it. He did inspire me and most people musically. Sean Bell was the man who was killed by 50 shots from several policeman after leaving his bachelor party in Jamaica, Queens. More than 50 shots. They all got off. It also had my friend, Jessie, who was a Katrina victim, speaking about his experience with that, and there was a Barrack Obama thing at the end of it. Certain albums you can look back on and you know the time period it was in just by listening to it.
I think being able to capture the times musically within a record is kind of a lost art as well. That kind of thing. I love Wayne. I love his composing, period. I also love Art Blakey and the Messengers. I love the Miles Davis Quintet.
I love the John Coltrane Quartet. I love the Bandwagon—Jason Moran. A few words about the contemporary bands you spoke of—Bandwagon, Fellowship, Blanchard. His textures and the passion that he has when he plays, you can feel it and you can hear it. I also love the compositions that Fellowship plays and the way they portray them. But Fellowship is a great band, in their collective honesty and how they play with each other.
He lets everybody write, lets everybody be themselves, and kind of goes where the music goes. I love that about him. You made a remark in about liking to play with Derrick Hodge, who plays on the Experimental half of Double Booked , because he can go in and out of jazz and hiphop feels seamlessly, as can you. Can you speak to the qualities that are distinctive to rendering jazz and rendering hiphop, and the complexities that pertain to a jazz-oriented musician addressing hiphop and to a hiphop artist addressing jazz?
I sat down not too long ago and tried to name five pianists that are my age or younger who are known on the scene. In other words, is somebody in Chicago going to know this person? Since we live in New York, we have a false reality. Love him to death. I mean, I can name some people I know who are in New York that are bubbling. Yes, of course. I did a survey of my own. Probably not so much. This generation. This generation has more European and more Asian than Black.
They make money. Not everybody has a jazz mentor. Like I say, we live in New York, so we have a false reality. Jazz stations suck nowadays. Music moves on in every other genre. Any other genre of music is like that, except jazz. Jazz is very history-oriented, and it pretty much stays there for most people.
Versus any other music. But you have the same respect for the past. You have to balance it. Jazz is hidden. Where would you find him? You have to dig pretty hard. I have to know Chris Brown right now. They force-feed new artists down your throat.
Because now, this music has changed from being more of a music that I guess black people have been playing to more of a music that other people are playing, so therefore the aspect of the groove, that urban groove, is lost.
It was like a marriage back then. There was more of a mingle, too, between the studio musicians and the jazz cats. Now, to be a studio musician, you live in L. This began when I asked you the impact of hiphop on jazz. Well, jazz has always had an influence on hiphop. Jazz is one of the reasons why hiphop is what it is. Jazz musicians have been sampled for years now. Bill Evans, the same thing. But those cats have been sampled. So there certain cats now actually are bridging that gap, and have bridged that gap.
I like more conscious hiphop, like talking about the empowerment of black people. Your empowerment of yourself as a person, whatever color you are. Treating women right. Every other song is dissing a woman and calling them a bitch or whatever.
Tribe Called Quest is very conscious. Common is very conscious. Mos Def is very conscious. They all have great, great music. You were talking about all the obstacles that militate against a young black kid actually playing jazz. Having that high school helped. If I went to a regular high school, they would come right there. All your friends have the same agenda. They all love what you love. Nobody knew nothing about jazz.
Everything has its place. Then maybe the drums take over. It gives you a chance to think. I like to be a soundtrack sometimes, so I might just play something, and it repeats. It might be a vamp. I might not be soloing, but I may be sparking some thoughts. All that plays a part. None of those things really….
I still get it to this day—a little bit, not so much. But timing plays a part in everything. You can bring something out too early or bring out something too late. Playing jazz trio is my true love. So I wanted to do a few records with that first, and establish that, so people will respect me for that and understand it, and then I can turn around and do the Experiment stuff.
Is playing the sideman things and playing the Experiment equally as gratifying to you as the acoustic jazz trio? Yes, definitely. I have A. I have to keep moving, and keep it moving. Vicente is not going to play the same thing, Chris is not going to play the same thing.
At the same time, I love the fact that I do all these different kinds of gigs. They all call for something different, that demands a certain amount of professionalism and a certain amount of musical maturity. In that situation, I have to do something else. Robert Glasper Blindfold Test — — Raw:. Some strange moments. This is some Scott Joplin type. The point is to play like within that time period, the Scott Joplin type style.
He makes you believe like he lived in that time period or something. He still needs to work some things out. Kudos to him, though. Marcus does digest it. When he plays it, I believe that he lived then. I like the concept of the tune. His touch is a little bit strange, I think.
I like the percussion. Yeah, it sounds a little forced. No, take that back. I think I really just like the percussion. The percussion is nice. It sounds like it should be relaxed and it should be more free-flowing, but it sounds kind of jagged and forced—but the point is to be free-flowing. It sounds like someone under 30…of a European descent.
I appreciate the concept, like the percussion and the way they started. It sounded like it should have been more free-flowing, the kind of tune where it was effortless and free-flowing and beautiful, but it sounded like they were trying to force that idea. Definitely of a Latin descent. Sounds like some tune Gonzalo would do. Many sections. Get lost in the sections. But good ensemble.
Cohesive trio. It definitely has the touch and the sound and the chops and the writing conception of Latin descent. Good band, though. Organized randomness. I thought it was. I was saying it has a randomess. At first I figured it was Gonzalo because of the way his attack and stuff was, and how it was at the beginning of the composition, a lot of shit going on but it was together. But then, once they started soloing, they sounded like Jason, right hand. And the composition sounded like Moran would write.
Bad Plus? It kind of sounds like a high school band. The drummer definitely checks out Jack DeJohnette. I mentioned that the drummer definitely checked out DeJohnette. I mean, he can play the piano. He can play. The swing tune sounded real pretentious, real not-comfortable.
It kind of seems like it. They sound better doing this vibe. So much better. The other one really gave me high school. But this one sounds good. But I like that vibe they had going on. The ensemble sounded great. The drummer was cool, and the bass…even the sound sounded better on this. When he was walking, he sounded like cats fighting in the alley.
Sounds pretentious. But everything else sounds great. He should take a few breaths also. Sounds European. Maybe not definitely, but he sounds European. When he started soloing, it got strange. But as far as the composition, it sounded beautiful. But once it got to the solo, it was strange. This feels great. The pianist has a real nice touch, real laid-back with it.
The bass and the drums have a really good hookup. Feels really good. The band felt great. I forgot to critique. I was just listening, feeling it. The bass and drums had a great hookup. Some of it gives me a Jaki Byard vibe. Had a really nice touch. Really laid back. You can tell he listened to a lot of old cats.
He really dwells in it, but at the same time he sees the light at the end of the tunnel. It sounds really warm. I kind of know the song. I like the composition. I like that. Nice group. They sound good together. I liked the composition. I feel like I know this song, or maybe just a piece of that melody I can recognize. Ways to go. Sounds like Nasheet on drums.
It almost sounded like it could be Tarus, but at the same time it could be Charnett Moffett. It was Tarus? It was cool. I could take it until they got to the solo section, then they got strange. He could play.
I hate to keep saying this; he sounded European. The composition is always cool, but then once you get into the solo section it always gets strange. Beautiful touch. Nice chops. Very clean. Very sincere. Whoever it is checked out some early Keith Jarrett stuff, and probably some Latin type stuff.
He had a beautiful touch, and chops were off the chart—a lot of chops. I could hear sincerity in his playing. He made my eyebrows raise once. That was good. I mentioned that you could tell that he checked out some early Keith Jarrett type shit.
Very interesting. I like it so far. The intro is really cool. I liked that! I liked that interlude, whatever you want to call it. That tune was cool. They were like playing free, separately, but at the same time it was together, even though there obviously was nothing written. It just sounded like raindrops. They were all acting like raindrops, but everything fit. Like a typewriter typing really fast, where everything fits together.
I can appreciate that type of playing. You probably will never catch me checking it out at the crib, listening to it. Do I ever work with an avant-garde type vibe? Not so much avant-garde. But even his shit is organized noise. People think it is, but no. I checked the shit out with video. The band sounds like a BAND. It sounds like a band in the sound. The pianist is losing the groove, to me. Definitely sounds like an older rhythm section.
It definitely has an Ahmad Jamal Trio vibe. I liked the feeling of it. The feeling felt good. The drummer and the bass player had a good thing happened. It sounded like they were older cats. Part of me wanted to say the pianist was Cyrus Chestnut, because some of it gave me some Cyrus vibe. But then half of it was strange. Robert Glasper , Downbeat Players Piece — Not pianist Robert Glasper, who blends abundant technique with oceanic emotional content on Canvas , his Blue Note debut.
Through the first six tracks of Canvas, he articulates an expansive, soulful interpretation of the piano trio. Using all ten fingers liberally, he draws harmonic references from a timeline spanning Bud Powell to Mulgrew Miller, and his lines flow organically through a succession of odd-metered and swing grooves and unfailingly melodic beats. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Glasper inherited this aesthetic from his mother, Kim Yvette Glasper, a professional jazz, blues and church singer, who was murdered last spring at the age of My confidence level.
She was a diva. Yes, sir. A diva. When Robert was 12, Kim Yvette Glasper taught him to play piano in the small Baptist church at which she sang. By 14, he was playing the service. People give praise or cry, and you have to control all those things. On the last four tracks of Canvas , Glasper deploys his populist influences. I get more from them than I do from a lot of preachers. Only thing you can trust is the music. The Prezidential imperative of individualism and self-expression is one that pianist Robert Glasper, 23, fully understands.
Unlike much of his peer group, he has no compunctions about using that language as a springboard from which to leap into his song of the moment. Fortified by impeccable chops and uninhibited imagination, Glasper spins compelling tales throughout his conversational debut release.
I feel that the music can go anywhere, which keeps me thinking on my feet. He just speaks. I can hear Keith Jarrett over and over again, and always get something different. The way his trio works together is amazing. They let the music breathe. Wherever it goes, they go. Some cats have told me to make my tunes four minutes long, then take it out.
Testifying through music comes naturally to Glasper. By 14, Glasper was playing the church service; by 16, he was earning steady money playing jazz and pop gigs around the Houston area. Glasper kept working after he got to New York, attending jam sessions and taking obscure gigs around the city. Impressed, Wonsey asked Glasper to sub for him with Russell Malone, who became a frequent employer between We feel where the measures end, do whatever we have to do between 1 and 4 to get back to the 1, and come in together.
Damion is really free, but in time. Hurst elaborates. Some people rejected that, and I think the consequence is that they sound stiff and they sound old. Not that you have to put a funk beat on everything. Then someone told me it was a jazz tune. I arranged it for a concert at school.
A year later, I came up with this arrangement. Hip-hop is a part of me, too, and I wanted to have that influence on the album. That made me finish the song. Blues and church kind of go hand-in-hand. Leave a comment. Filed under DownBeat , Jazz. Tagged as DownBeat , Jazz.
Nasheet Waits Jazziz Article 1 :. It could have been the most innocuous of gigs. But Waits, who is 45, devoted full attention to interacting with partners young enough to be his children. A collaboration of longer standing is Tarbaby, an experimentally oriented trio with pianist Orrin Evans and bassist Eric Revis whose four recordings since include discursive encounters with Nicholas Payton, Ambrose Akinmusire and Oliver Lake.
Moran deployed a different metaphor to express a similar observation. That can be infuriating to a soloist. They want to feel the fire underneath them. They want to feel the rhythm really moving. Nasheet is most interested in where a piece is going, how we can expand it from the inside out to make something happen musically. It took a while for me to become comfortable with feeling I was ready, although Andrew Hill had encouraged me to start my own thing.
He seized the moment in , while touring with Eddie Gomez for an Italian promoter who suggested Waits organize a band to play some dates. I felt Jason did that, Tarbaby did it, and that this could be my opportunity to do it. After the recording, Waits did sporadic hits with Equality, some with Moran, Mateen and Richardson. This band definitely has a collective spirit. I want to be part of creating as many situations like that as possible for the rest of my life.
He moved to New York in the late s, and ascended the ladder, accumulating a c. At 11, Waits recalls, he accompanied his father to a gig in Connecticut with Jackie McLean, and was allowed to sit in for a tune. It was never presented to me that I had to approach jazz in a certain way, but a cultural importance was placed upon it—if you were going to participate you had to have a respect and reverence for the music.
I could say that it translated to being attracted to a certain raw quality in what I do, but also in seeing validity in a lot of different styles of music. But when his father died in November, , Nasheet returned to New York so that his 9-year-old brother would not have to be uprooted. In this environment, Waits rekindled his passion for music-making. They were practicing on the bandstand every time they hit.
They had no limitations, and that became part of my lexicon. I could ask Nasheet to do a press roll for 15 minutes on a piece, and then not have him do it during the performance. These things give us new edges to jump off of. Waits concurs wholeheartedly.
The way Bandwagon evolved is optimal. It reflects being inside the music and trying to release yourself within that, becoming the music, as opposed to trying to control it or make it do something. To play a tune that sounds good the same way all the time is definitely not the goal.
The search is lauded as much as the accomplishment. Make it elastic. That spirit lends itself to being fresh all the time. Immanuel and his guys were approaching it that way. In an era when drummers consider it a default performance practice to navigate a global template of rhythmic expression, it is important to remember that Max Roach , whose eighty-sixth birthday anniversary came along last week, is the single most important figure in this development.
Just ask the drummers who knew him, as I did a few years back when Downbeat gave me the honor of writing a lengthy obituary. Roach was never content to recreate the past, which he associated with segregation times, and he spent the second half of his career in perpetual forward motion, determinedly bridging stylistic categories. That cued me not to be so compartmentalized with certain stuff for soloing and other stuff for something else, but just to use vocabulary—your own vocabulary—to serve many functions.
Born on Jan. By , they had reharmonized blues forms and Tin Pan Alley tunes, changing keys, elasticizing the beat and setting hellfire tempos that discouraged weaker players from taking the bandstand when serious work was taking place.
Before World War II ended, the new sound was sufficiently established to have a name—bebop. During the early s, Roach studied composition at Manhattan School of Music and co-founded, with Charles Mingus, Debut Records—one of the first musician-run record companies. In , he formed the Max Roach—Clifford Brown Quintet, in which he elaborated his concept of transforming the drum set into what he liked to call the multiple percussion set, treating each component as a unique instrument, while weaving his patterns into an elaborate, kinetic design.
Johnson and Little. He interpolated African and Afro-Caribbean strategies into his flow, incorporated orchestral percussion into his drum set and worked compositionally with odd meters, polyrhythm and drum tonality. He recorded with a large choir and with a symphony orchestra.
A duet recording with Abdullah Ibrahim launched a series of extraordinary musical conversations with speculative improvisers Anthony Braxton, Cecil Taylor and Archie Shepp; these sparked subsequent encounters with pianists Connie Crothers and Mal Waldron, and a meeting with his early mentor Gillespie. He also reached out to artists representing other musical styles and artistic genres—playing drums for break dancers and turntablists in ; collaborating with Amiri Baraka on a musical about Harlem numbers king Bumpy Johnson, and with Sonia Sanchez on drum-freestyle improv; improvising to video images from Kit Fitzgerald, to moves from dancer Bill T.
Max may have been the first of his kind like that. He was known as a reader. But then, he said, when he got up to play the chart, there was no chart! So it became instinctual. He always emphasized that the key was to find your own voice, your own path. He had referenced that composition quite a bit, but to my knowledge, this was the first time it was released.
Just the fact that he had those drum solos on the album, and the way he presented them, was pretty revolutionary. In this music, you always find connections and threads to the history, and even though Max was always forward-thinking, he also referenced the past. This is a perfect example of that. He continues that pattern all throughout the piece. He takes a motif, flips it around, inverts it, elongates it. Same initial phrase, but it gets longer—different dynamics and so on.
He meant that within the course of the framework of the song, the harmony and so forth, he was creating those shapes and following the form. But he always did it so cogently, with great clarity. This is a perfect example of that quality. What he played was individual to who he was, and how he synthesized all of his experiences. He preached that mantra, but he also followed it. He referenced all types of sources—from the Caribbean and Africa, from the church, from Western Classical, rudimental solos, and Wilcoxsen.
You see his technical virtuosity, but you also see how he uses space. You see the shape, then you twist it, which changes that shape. All his stuff is related to what comes before, and then he recapitulates to the beginning. The tune starts with an arco bass thing at the beginning, he plays the melody, then a solo section.
Then the rhythm that all of them are using is pretty advanced. All of it is right on the edge. Even Elvin Jones, as influential as he was in terms of phrasing and so on, generally rooted everything with a 2-and-4 thing on the hi-hat. Max abandoned that in certain situations, and this, as you can clearly hear, was one of them. Davis are playing, terms of the pattern of the ride cymbal associated with the omission of the 2-and-4 on the hi-hat.
Everybody is listening hard, too, responding and reacting to each other. No automatic pilot. Max changes the texture when the bass solo occurs by switching to the brushes. So takes the flow from a more interactive quality to just straight quarter notes, and changes the dynamic of the piece—more like a movement in a symphony. My younger brother is like a renaissance man; he does all kinds of things.
I found that very interesting. This date is a set of extemporaneous compositions. But man, these people played this thing over and over again. Some of them were dancers. It spoke to them in a very powerful way. This piece sounds like, I would think, cut-and-splice—they went in and hit for however long a period of time, and took what they liked. But he creates such a wonderful setting. I started receiving that kind of imagery from the sound he and Max got.
I started seeing a rainforest setting—tropical colors, yellows and oranges. Roy just plays hi-hat the whole track, but still projects the force and drive as if he was playing the ride cymbal. Just that same phrase.
I got the same feeling when I heard this track. Ray Mantilla came in later. This piece is a perfect example of seamless transition. A lot of themes and phrases overlap and others emerge. Polyphony all the time, shifting dynamics, the different instruments introduced in a staggered way. Then they make a transition. No rims. That creates an interesting counter to the xylophone, which is in a different type of register. Max takes the xylophone solo. Warren Smith takes a solo on tympany after Max, then they transfer the phrase from the membrance to the rims—in other words, to the metal.
Then he takes a solo on the membrane of a tympany. It switches up. The different textures create a different feeling for the listener. In certain instances, it creates a sense of power, and then when they go to the metal, it sounds a little more frenetic, more like an anticipation of the climax, which is coming next. First and foremost, this recording was really important because of its social implications.
The liner notes begin with an A. Masses of Negroes are marching onto the stage of history and demanding their freedom now. There was a long way to go. Black people in America were living under very severe conditions, and Max was addressing that in the music. Max did a lot of duo work during the course of his career, which speaks to his musical sensitivity, because in every situation, even though he plays some similar language, he presents it differently—and it always seems so fresh and creative.
The other day [pianist] Connie Crothers told me they had done a recording on which, he told her, he played some things on brushes that he had never played before. So he was always in tune, always searching for something outside his usual language. I use certain words and phrases more often than others. He starts with a simple phrase. That call-and-response, that antiphony, is always present in his playing.
Taking it out of the musical realm and applying it to the social: People had been killed and mistreated for hundreds of years, so there was tremendous anger and resentment, but organization was essential to achieve the goal. I received that message especially in this part, because even though Max is playing aggressively and intensely, there logic in his playing, and he conveys there is also a logic to what he is playing.
Abbey as well. So the image that was created with this song was very powerful and pretty clear. But I got a very clear visual image from it. Judith Jameson was there, Maya Angelou, different people, and there was some dancing going on.
This has the same effect. Max had a lot of problems getting work during this period, from making his political statements. I know that she suffered quite a bit as a result of them actually taking a stand and being as vocal about it as they were. Financially speaking, their careers took a hit. So Max always put his money where his mouth was.
He was really dedicated. Really high integrity. Willing to sacrifice financial security to get across the message. So how can I not include it as one of my favorite cuts that Max was involved in? The great star power of those three individuals together on a record is phenomenal. In fact, Max told me about some things that happened at the session… What happened is probably legendary. Here, twenty years later, Max is somewhat of a star himself, and of course, Duke influenced Mingus so much as a composer.
To have them all there is special thing. I dug it, though! It definitely sounds frantic and tense. To me, Max provides that calmness. The whole piece sounds like a ballad-fairy-tale song. Nowadays it might not necessarily be as important, but then it really was.
I think the musicians were conscious of that, and were using their music to convey a kinship to those people who were struggling for their independence, because we were doing the same thing over here. A lot of times it seems that Max is playing the opposite of what Mingus is playing. When Mingus is doing the opposite, then Max is rolling. Gentle, sensitive, inobtrusive playing. Very simple melody. I like the fact that everyone was able to say so much within that period of time.
But this tune also exemplifies how Max could propel a soloist—the way he builds through the course of the song, the way he accompanies the melody and then the soloist. He always pays attention to dynamics; when the piano solo comes, Max takes it down. I find that fascinating. Max was such a risk-taker. He had to have received a lot of criticism for playing that way, because nobody else was playing like that in He was playing with the people who were at the edge of creativity, and he himself was pushing it forward.
Where he was placing his phrases was completely unconventional as far as the rhythmic language of the day. Of course, Bud may not have been coming from an entirely rational place. Max had been spending time in Haiti, where he went to study with a guy who had told him that he was greatest drummer in the world.
But he said that the guy gave him invaluable information. Max did a lot of teaching, but he treated his one-on-one drum instruction like oral tradition. This is a perfect example. A lot of people are playing those types of rhythmic permutations now, almost sixty years later. But I think that quality is what makes it a great recording, and the fact that he was able to superimpose that feeling and beat at that particular time and have it work, keep it happening for almost five minutes. This is one of my favorite cuts of music of all time.
Max wrote the song. The solos by Booker Little and Clifford Jordan take are straight fire. The way he pushes Booker Little and Clifford Jordan through their solos is reminiscent of a solo that he takes, but he keeps that ride cymbal pattern going the whole time, along with the other percussion. Even the cascara pattern that the cowbell is playing is not fixed. Then he solos over that cascara and the congas, and, as he often does, he utilizes a lot of space.
He always plays something and then leaves some space, and then plays something else and leaves some space. He calls, he answers, he answers, and then he leaves some space, and then he calls, he answers, and he leaves some space. He always used to say that. Always some space for others. Also the different duo situations. Always on the cusp, but then also, in a sense, very selfless. To be as prolific as he had to have a strong sense of self, as I know because I was around him.
That strong sense of self allowed him to let other people shine as well. This is a year after We Insist, and Max was still on the same path. In , I remember doing a Sacred Drums tour with Max here in America, one of my very first gigs out of town.
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