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Jazz Bastard Podcast
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Jazz Bastard Podcast

Author: Patrick Burnette

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Two strikingly handsome middle-aged men get together every other week to discuss jazz in depth. Irreverent, irascible, engaged.
214 Episodes
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The New Year is here and even bastards need a break now and then.  So while Mike crosses the nation and gets back to laboring in education, Pat takes the baton to talk about some jazz releases from last year's three-part Record Store Day extravaganza, and to muse on jazz vinyl in general.  Hate the black stuff?  Don't worry - next episode the boys will be back in the saddle doing what they do best.  Don Cherry – CHERRY JAM; Marion Brown – PORTO NORVO; Jimmy Giuffre – 3&4 THE NEW YORK CONCERTS; Jazz Sabbath – JAZZ SABBATH.
Hooray - we've made it alive through 2020 and through eight seasons of this podcast, too.  To celebrate the big "eighth" (the internet claims it's bronze and pottery for that anniversary, should you want to send gifts) we talk about half that many jazz octets, and throw in an album named after a funky sea-creature as a bonus.  In pop matters, Harry Nilsson's alternate takes and Italian prog get brief look-ins.  Gianluigi Trovesi Octet- FROM G TO G; Alan Wakeman – THE OCTET BROADCASTS 1969 AND 1979; Paul Jackson – BLACK OCTOPUS; Rod Levitt –DYNAMIC SOUND PATTERNS; Paul Dunmall Octet – BEBOP STARBURST.  
Mike loves him some holiday jazz specials,so in honor of Christ coming to earth, realizing it was a lost cause, and leaving before he even hit forty, we're looking at five Christmas-themed albums and EPs.  Three of them appear on Telarc, and Pat has things to say about that.  Pop matters is mostly stuck on Harry Nilsson, as we suspect it will be for some time.  Lauren Henderson – CLASSIC CHRISTMAS; Warren Wolf – CHRISTMAS VIBES; Dave Brubeck - A DAVE BRUBECK CHRISTMAS; Mel Torme – CHRISTMAS SONGS;  Oscar Peterson – AN OSCAR PETERSON CHRISTMAS.
We've been looking at various critic's and website's "best jazz of the 2010's" lists, but now the listeners get to weigh in.  Their wide-ranging suggestions encompass a couple of fairly accessible albums and a couple more challenging discs, all featuring artists who have yet to appear as headliners on our show.   This will conclude our sequence on the best of the decade, but don't worry - things won't get back to normal yet.   Holiday and eighth anniversary episodes are in the chamber.  Craig Taborn - DAYLIGHT GHOSTS; Matthew Shipp - PIANO SONG; Yussef Kamaal - BLACK FOCUS (2016 Brownswood); Aaron Parks – LITTLE BIG.
We take a break from surveying the best of the 2010's to take a gander at five releases from the second half of this wunnerful year, 2020.   Maybe everything else has gone to heck in a handcart this year but the music releases remain strong, as our survey attests.  Three of the five releases are on up and coming label Outside In Music and all of them have something to recommend.  Aaron Burnett - JUPITER CONJUNCT; Kasperi Sarikoski – 3 + 1; Júlia Karosi - WITHOUT DIMENSIONS; Chad McCullough – FORWARD; Mariel Bildsten – BACKBONE.  Pop matters dips into that bane/blessing of the 1970s, disco.  
For the last of our four-episode examination of discs we missed from various best of 2010's lists (and that's almost, but not quite, rapping, isn't it?) it's all about "something blue".  Or, in this case, something Blue Note.  One entry on Avant sneaks in on the basis of its title, so at least it's not a Blueopoly.  J D Allen – AMERICANA – MUSINGS ON JAZZ AND BLUES; Blue Note All Stars – OUR POINT OF VIEW; Nels Cline – LOVERS; Kenny Barron – CONCENTRIC CIRCLES.   In pop matters, Mike takes a minute to slag off Laura Marling and Elliot Smith while Pat wonders if a much more talented Pat's eponymous group was jazz or pop.  
In this third podcast on some of the best-reviewed jazz of the 2010's that we missed first time 'round, the boys look at four albums that 'borrow' something, whether inspiration from a sci-fi author, jazz protests of the sixties, or jazz greats of the past such as Charlie Parker or Duke Ellington.   It's a light pop matters segment this time but little known indie band The Bolshoi and Italian horror soundtrack maestros Goblin do get a mention.  Delfeayo Marsalis – SWEET THUNDER; Irreversible Entanglements – IRREVERSABLE ENTANGLEMENTS; Nichole Mitchell – MANDORLA AWAKENING II:  EMERGING WORLDS; Rudresh Mahanthappa – BIRD CALLS.  
In this second episode of our prestigious four-part series (we got that idea from Masterpiece Theatre), "new" or at least "newish" music is the focus.  Four albums from the best of the 2010's that seem to promise ambition and adventure and, for the most part, deliver.  The journey may get rocky at times, but brace yourselves as we head for the hinterlands.  Matana Roberts – COIN COIN CHAPTER TWO:  MISSISSIPPI MOONCHILE; Linda May Han Oh – AVENTURINE;  Sons of Kemet – YOUR QUEEN IS A REPTILE;  Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah  - CENTENNIAL TRIOLOGY.  Pop matters ranges from Harry Nilsson to Umberto and, let's face it, no one's home on that range.
The boys start their trawl through some best-of-decade picks they missed during the last eight years by focusing on four albums in the, let's face it, somewhat amorphous "something old" category.  By which we mean, I think, albums on best of decades lists featuring well-established artists playing in fairly familiar modes.  Any, the results are mixed (surprised, anybody?) but do let us pontificate on a few of the big names from the last few decades and dream of being jazz producers . . . Jack DeJohnette – HUDSON; Keith Jarrett and Charlie Haden – JASMINE; Sons of Kemet – YOUR QUEEN IS A REPTILE; Joe Lovano – BIRD SONGS.  
This is a strange one, listeners, as the boys compare and contrast various jazz "best-of" lists for the 2010's and then let you, the listener, "behind the curtain" as they decide how to populate the next four shows of the podcast.  Mike's rubric:  something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.  Having already discussed 250 (count 'em) albums from the 2010's, can our intrepid podcasters find a "Kind of Blue Killer" from the last decade?  And will any of us be around for episode 300?  Tune in to find out.  (Pop matters touches on Sly Stone, Badfinger, Daryl Hall, and Captain Beefheart.)
Sometimes the boys just can't agree.  This is one of those times.  Two new selections split them down the middle (though they at least "like" both selections), while one of the two oldies drives poor Mike (and Mike's family) up the proverbial wall (or is that escalator?)  Carla Bley (and poet Paul Haines) – ESCALATOR OVER THE HILL; Matt Ulery – POLLINATOR; Mathis Sound Orchestra – WORLD UNITY; George Adams – AMERICA.  Odd crooner Scott Walker and the Giles Martin remix of Abbey Road are the focus of pop matters.
Lockdown can't stop the boys from interviewing interesting musicians (it's not like we did it in person before . . .)  This time pianist, composer and educator Danny Green visits our slightly demented neck of the woods to discuss his latest project (a group called LP and the Vinyl with a vocalist covering . . . gasp . . . rock and pop tunes as well as jazz standards) as well as three albums that influenced his approach to music making.  The discussion ranges from favorite San Diego haunts to the perils and pleasures of touring to how the internet makes teaching music to young people, let's say, "interesting."  Brad Mehldau Trio - ART OF THE TRIO - VOLUME 4; Chick Corea - THE ULTIMATE ADVENTURE; Alexandre Andres - MACAXEIRA FIELDS; LP & the Vinyl – HEARD AND SEEN.
Ya want big bands?  We got big bands.  Sometimes we got one in each speaker.  In this exploration of the more extroverted side of jazz, the boys explore works by a blazing trumpet player (and world-class womanizer), a so-so clarinetist with a heart of gold, two piano-playing band leaders who both worship Duke Ellington, and two (but it sounds like thirty) major-league skin-pounders.  Much musing on the glory days of fifteen musicians criss-crossing the nation via bus results, and there's just time left to discuss Wilco, Carl Wilson and . . . Celine Dion?   Buddy Rich and Max Roach – RICH VS. ROACH; Duke Ellington and Count Basie – FIRST TIME! THE COUNT MEETS THE DUKE; Woody Herman – COMPLETE COLUMBIA RECORDINGS DISC 7; Harry James – TRUMPET BLUES – THE BEST OF HARRY JAMES. 
Does harp music fill you with images of celestial angels - or a (relatively) tamed Pharaoh Sanders?  Either way, there's something for you here in this brief overview of "cosmic" jazz.  We start with a good, long look at the early career of Pharaoh Sanders and his brief gig with displaced resident of Saturn, Sun Ra, then move on to Alice Coltrane's contribution to the formation of cosmic/spiritual music.  Finally, two exemplars of the genre - including one who's active and trending right this very moment - take the spotlight.  John and Alice Coltrane – COSMIC MUSIC: Pharoah Saunders – IN THE BEGINNING (disc 4); Lonnie Liston Smith – EXPANSIONS; Brandee Younger – SOUL AWAKENING.
The boys take a break by cobbling together an episode from a lengthy pop matters segment discussing Funkadelic, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Suzanne Vega, and Dr. Demento (among others) with an episode of Pat's Vinyl Corner covering Blue Note's recent LP issues as well as box sets by Coltrane and Leonard Bernstein (?)
Listeners of a certain age will remember the Saturday Night Live "sound" - all squealing saxes and twice-removed soul gestures.  In this podcast we talk about one possible precursor to the sound and three of its best known practitioners - some of whom may or may not have partaken in Bolivian Marching Powder from time to time.  No Pop Matters this round, as it ended up growing so big it got its own .5 edition.  Brecker Brothers – LIVE AND UNRELEASED; Donald Byrd – STREET LADY; David Sanborn – SONGS FROM THE NIGHT BEFORE; Randy Brecker – SOME SKUNK FUNK.
In this wide-ranging interview, the boys talk with bassist Nicholas Krolak, a Philadelphian with insights on pacing a set, marketing difficult-to-publicize music like jazz, the cost of including standards on a cd, and the oblique thinking of Bad Plus pianist Orrin Evans.  There's also some discussion of "bachelor cookies" (not a euphemism) in there.  Nicholas Krolak - VOICE = POWER; Booker Ervin - TEX BOOK TENOR; Orrin Evans - FLIP THE SCRIPT.
Female vocalists take the stage this episode, with voices ranging from small and whispery to bold 'en brassy and approaches ranging from the hardest of hardcore jazz to relatively pop-oriented (if not populist or low-brow).  Most of these are brand new releases, so grab them up and support musicians stuck, with the rest of us, in lock-down mode.  Pop matters trots out some obscure artists including Faun Fables, Paolo Nutini and Lorna Hunt.   Jazzmeia Horn – LOVE AND LIBERATION; Leslie Beukelman – GOLDEN DAFFODIL; Lauren Henderson – SONGBOOK SESSION; Thana Alexa – ONA; Lesley Barth – BIG TIME BABY
The boys aren't called bastards for nothing and sometimes they can be hard on unfamiliar musicians.  This episode they are pleased to revisit two artists whose earlier projects got rough treatment but whose new releases tickle a bastard's fancy.  At the same time, they discuss two artists brand new to the show and like their releases as well.  What are the odds?  (Seriously, we don't know.  We're both bad at math.)  Pop matters wanders from Urge Overkill (the most hated band from Chicago for a while there) to Iggy Pop (David Bowie's scariest friend for a while there).  Charles Pillow – CHAMBER JAZZ; Nuphar Fey – SERENITY ISLAND; GRID- DECOMPOSING FORCE; Sasha Mashin – HAPPY SYNAPSE.
As lockdown enters day number "both of us have lost count, haven't you? ", the boys decide to check out some new releases.  There's a prestige project celebrating the First Couple of jazz, offerings from North and South of the US border, and a lo-fi jam session cut and pasted for your listening pleasure.  Then Pat apologizes for the Alan Parsons Project and the Damned. Somebody has to.  Gabriel Chakarji – NEW BEGINNING; Makaya McCraven – HIGHLY RARE; Lakecia Benjamin – PURSUANCE; Rachel Therrein – VENA.
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