Friday, December 10, 2010

Jazz Recordings

Some of the jazz sites have started to release their selections for the best jazz recordings released in 2010. My own selections will be forthcoming later in December or in early January. I have largely been listening to recordings from previous years, such as these two selections from 2009 and one selection from 2004.

I tend to listen to Matthew Halsall's Colour Yes while driving and find much to like in Halsall's trumpet, Nat Birchall's saxophone, Rachael Gladwin's harp, and Gavin Barras' bass. Even after many listens, I continue to wonder how Gavin Barras keeps time with his bass. He seems to come in after every five beats in "I Have Been Here Before."

Jon Hassell's Last Night the Moon Came Dropping its Clothes in the Street is the music I turn to most often when I type up grading comments for my students' essays. I am now starting to discover his earlier Power Spot but haven't yet listened to Maarifa Street / Magic Realism 2.

Jeff Ballard, the drummer for Fly, is truly amazing. His work on "Fly Mr. Freakjar," the second track on this recording, is mesmerizing and rhythmically brilliant. Larry Grenadier's bass on "JJ", the fourth track, is fascinating as well. An admirer of Fly's sophomore effort (Sky & Country), I only recently discovered their freshman effort.

Hay Bales in December

Traditionally thought of as an early fall activity, cutting hay has extended later into the fall season this year, perhaps because of the prolonged drought that we have been having. I recently found this field when I was out for a walk one afternoon and returned to it yesterday on what may be the last warm and sunny afternoon in these parts for a long time. These pictures continue to show my fascination with shadows. Clicking on any one picture will enlarge it.