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Big bands tempt the ambitious jazzer with their expansive possibilities for arrangements, the variegated colors they offer, and their sheer power.  But, boy, those budgets!  These days you need a generous label or a grant or two to make things work.  We take a look at a very seventies example of the genre and then a brand new effort by a young woman barely old enough to drive.  A guitar trio and a guitar solo fill out the episode, and they couldn't be at further ends of the in to out spectrum.   In the end show, Mike fills us in on a couple major acts he caught recently in San Diego.  Grace Fox – ELEVEN O’SEVEN;  Oz Noy/Riverside Trio – RIVERSIDE; Samo Salamon – DOLPHYOLOGY; Oliver Nelson – SKULL SESSION.
We listen to three releases from 2022, two exploring some interesting corners of jazz repertoire and one bringing back a format that thrived in the '50s.  Then, just for kicks, we get a message back from the future of 1987.  Does label Cellar Music contractually oblige its artists to cover a certain Benny Golson tune?  Listen to experience our hard-hitting investigation.   In pop matters, Mike offers Adele a sandwich.   It's a gesture of love and support, people.  Mark Helias – THE CURRENT SET; Aaron Seeber – FIRST MOVE; Grant Stewart – THE LIGHTING OF THE LAMPS; Scott Burns – TENOR TIME.
It's time for a deep dive, listeners, and the subject this round is underappreciated West Coast keyboard wizard Hampton Hawes.  Hawes did most of his best known recordings for Contemporary Jazz, and we'll look at a couple of releases on that storied (but also underappreciated) label, as well as a collaboration with Charles Mingus and a sample of Hampton's seventies output, when the sideburns got longer and the keyboards got plugged in.  Hampton Hawes: BLUES FOR WALLS ; FOR REAL; FOUR! Charles Mingus:  MINGUS THREE.  Pat takes a ride with Casey Jones in pop matters.
Drummers are the under-sung heroes of the jazz world.  At their best, they lift up and enhance whatever the so-called front-liners are up to while being ready to step up and say their piece when called upon.  But every now and then things get a bit . . . sticky.  This episode explores four recordings where to varying degrees the drummer goes a little wild and oddity results.  Charlie Parker - BIRD & DIZ; Dexter Gordon – ONE FLIGHT UP; Mostly Other People Do the Killing – DISASTERS VOLUME 1; Slide Hampton – MELLOW DY.
"Going Pop" can mean many different things where jazz musicians are concerned, from adding electricity (dang it, Miles, why you do that?), to covering pop songs, to actually experimenting with writing pop songs (not too many take this path and few emerge unscathed).  And then there's rare jazzer combining jazz and pop songs, as you'll soon find out.   This time out we look at approaches all over the spectrum, ending with a vocal album Mike has already pegged as an album of the year contender.  Cecile McLoren – GHOST SONG; John Pizzarelli – DOUBLE EXPOSURE; Reuben Wilson – LOVE BUG; Bill O’Connell – A CHANGE IS GONNA COME.
A great big heapin' helping of a certain blind pianist's work provides the anchor for this time's outing, as we look at one disc from six of a new box set and then fan out to look at a little known second-hand disciple of the great man along with two other stylists further removed.  Pop matters further reveals Mike's ongoing obsession with all things Buckley.  Lennie Tristano  - PERSONAL RECORDINGS, Disc three; Billy Lester -  FROM SCRATCH ; Deanna Witkowski – FORCE OF NATURE; Roberto Occhipinti – THE NEXT STEP .
For all their excursions into the avant garde, fusion, post-bop, and other "edgy" forms of jazz, sometimes the boys just want to wallow right in the middle of the stream - the main part of it, you might say.  This fortnight's feast includes two instrumental and two vocal albums all centered in the tradition and happy to be there.  Mike is unmoved by the rising star this time, but who knows - her next outing may change his mind.  Samara Joy – SAMARA JOY; Maxine Sullivan – CLOSE AS PAGES IN A BOOK;  Asaf Yuria – EXORCISMS; Dave Young – MANTRA. 
Ornette Coleman and Blue Note - not exactly the chocolate and peanut butter of the jazz world, one might think, but for two productive years the avant garde avatar toiled in the vineyards of the hard bop powerhouse.  The label recently released "Round Trip" - a box set re-issuing the fruits of this odd collaboration - and the boys take a deep dive.  Except for the collaboration with Jackie McLean, because that gives Mike PTSD.  Ornette Coleman:  LIVE AT THE GOLDEN CIRCLE, VOLS 1 & 2; THE EMPTY FOXHOLE; NEW YORK IS NOW; LOVE CALL.  
After last episode's extravaganza we decided to keep our focus on larger ensembles for this outing.  It's a mix of historical issues (some better engineered than others) and two nearly brand new releases.  What do they have in common?  Ain't none of them trios.   Pop matters gets historical as we contemplate Pitchfork's deathless mediations on the "oldness" of Steely Dan.  Jazz Station Big Band – MOODS; Woody Herman – MOODY WOODY ; Dollar Brand – AFRICAN SPACE PROGRAM; Michael Leonhart – THE NORMYN SUITES. 
We start off season ten with neither a bang nor a whimper, but rather the sound of exotic auxiliary percussion and the screams of excitable brass.  It's a show devoted to "Latin" music in its many guises, both smooth and bumptious, with looks at a early innovator in the jazz field, a couple of main stream jazzers hoping to strike it rich with the bossa nova craze, and a towering figure in big band jazz who always approached "outside" influences in his own distinctive way.  Chico O’Farrill – COMPLETE NORMAN GRANTZ RECORDINGS; Oscar Peterson – SOUL ESPANOLA; Duke Ellington – LATIN AMERICAN SUITE; Quincy Jones – BIG BOSSA NOVA.
We've made it nine years - four years more than Ziggy Stardust promised us, thank you very much - and to celebrate we're once again discussing ensembles the numerical size of which matches our anniversary.   That means, my friends, nonets, and of course we'll start with the most famous jazz nonet of all, that one that birthed a hundred West-Coast groups.  Miles Davis – BIRTH OF THE COOL; Lee Konitz – NONET; Andrew Hill – PASSING SHIPS; Rabih Abou-Khalil – THE SULTAN’S PICNIC.
Time to look at some of the best and brightest from 2021 - and the recent past.  But, lo!  Is that a controversy brewing off in the distance?  Sounds like the bastards once again are skeptical of generally received wisdom, whether about funky puppies or critics' darlings.  Snarky Puppy – CULCHA VULCHA; Eric Revis - SLIPKNOTS THROUGH A LOOKING GLASS; Pharoah Sanders / Floating Points – PROMISES;  Henry Threadgill – POOF.
For our first podcast of 2022 we take a deep dive into the work of recently departed guitarist Pat Martino.   From a live burner to an introspective duet to a fusion foray and an all-star showcase, Pat's recordings always delivered quality and kept his unique personality to the fore whatever the context.  Pat Martino:  LIVE!, JOYOUS LAKE, WE'LL BE TOGETHER AGAIN, BOTH SIDES NOW.  Mike brings a bonanza to pop matters but Pat has only one little Nightmare.
Like musicians in every genre, jazzers can't resist the lure of making Christmas and/or holiday themed albums from time to time.  Some of the efforts turn into timeless classics.  But let's be real - most of 'em don't.  We talk about two recent efforts, an oddity from the 'ninties, and one of Capitol records many repackaging of their back catalog for holiday commerce.  Straps yourselves in, elves.   Steven Feifke, Benny Benack III– SEASON’S SWINGIN’ GREETINGS; Johnny Costa – CHRISTMAS REFLECTIONS – SOLO PIANO; Various Artists - A CAPITOL CHRISTMAS; Nora Jones – I DREAM OF CHRISTMAS.
After what seems like donkey's years the bastards have a new guest to interview, and we couldn't be happier than to spend an hour with saxophonist, composer, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk booster Dave Mullen.  Dave talks about his new album, Solace, the personal and musical inspirations behind it, his love of multi-saxophonist and blind visionary Rahsaan Kirk, and a host of other topics.  HGTV, release Saxophone Flippers, you cowards!  Pop matters wanders drunkenly from the Beach Boys to the Clash - and that's a big wander.   Dave Mullen:  SOLACE. 
We don't pen up or force-feed our co-host.  This podcast is proud to say we use only free-range Mike.  And when Mike's in the driver's seat, you never know what odd alleyways you might go down.  Today's 'cast looks at two generations of Cherry's, the third appearance on this show of Kemet's best-loved offspring . . . and an album-length cover of Abbey Road?   Brace yourselves, partners.  David Ornette Cherry – ORGANIC NATION LISTENING CLUB THE CONTINUAL;  Sons of Kemet – BLACK TO FUTURE; Mike Westbrook – OFF ABBEY ROAD; Don Cherry – ETERNAL RHYTHM.
Four live records turn up on the boys' plates - of which do they happily partake?  The sessions range in recording dates from the late sixties to the 2010's, but three of the four came out in the last few months.  We talk about a listener-suggested album of "modern" stride piano, a scorching modal date that left the tape in tatters, a recently discovered live appearance from the dean of off-kilter piano and a series of charming duets by two musicians of more recent vintage who left us far too soon.  Which to pick up?  Just stay tuned.  Roy Hargrove & Mulgrew Miller – IN HARMONY; Roy Brooks – UNDERSTANDING; Stephanie Trick – LIVE; Monk – PALO ALTO.
The title gives it away - it's an all-vocalist episode, favoring the ladies (3 out of 4) and offering a mix of standards  (everybody's at it) along with a little more adventurous programming from time to time.  Will the weakest vocalist technically walk away with honors?  Can Pat and Mike overcome their gender-trouble and dig what our sole male vocalist is laying down?  Is Mike's S.O.  always going to be mad at Pat because Mike knows how to shift (blame) better than an Indy 500 driver?  Tune in to find out.  Michael Stephenson MEETS THE ALEXANDER CLAFFY TRIO; Angela Wrigley – YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT LOVE IS ; Champian Fulton – LIVE FROM LOCKDOWN; Sasha Dobson – GIRL TALK.
Trying out CDs by unfamiliar artists is a little like speed dating.   You've got minutes to decide if you're compatible, if you're likely to be in a relationship for the long term, or if you're just ships passing in the night.  Or something like that.  Mike and Pat listen to four 2021 releases by unfamiliar artists and ask themselves who they'd like to take home.  Stay tuned for a pop matters that sneaks in discussion of Indy Jazz Fest's final day.  Brandon Goldberg – IN GOOD TIME; Mark Zaleski – OUR TIME REIMAGINING DAVE BRUBECK; Dave Meder – UNAMUNO SONGS AND STORIES; Andy Farber – EARLY BLUE EVENING.
Time, the bastards decided, for a historical podcast - and this time, the focus is on stride.  Who started it?  Who perfected it?  Who blew it up?  Who deconstructed it?  Keep your left hand limber and the answers will follow.  Pop matters includes a brief look at chanteuse of the day Billie Eilish.  Fats Waller - COMPLETE VICTOR PIANO SOLOS – VOL 1; Art Tatum– SOLO MASTERPIECES VOL 1; Thelonious Monk -  THELONIOUS HIMSELF; James P. Johnson - THE ORIGINAL JAMES P. JOHNSON 1942-1945 PIANO SOLOS.
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