Saturday, January 12, 2002

The Jam Miami CD which came out at the end of last year is really good. It's a series of live performances of Latin jazz in the Miami scene, with names like Arturo Sandoval and Chick Corea. There's a fair amount of gratuitous high notes on the part of Sandoval, but he's never played as tastelessly as Maynard Ferguson. The CD has some solid charts and performances, and some of the solo work is really excellent. I'm a big fan of through-composed jazz, so it's pretty rare that I find a combo setting or solo-saturated recording enjoyable. Of the small group recordings I've listened to, the only two that I really liked were Chick Corea's early fusion work and the Lennie Niehaus saxophone octet. Most other combos get caught up in their own importance and start talking to themselves in their solos, neglecting the audience. Herbie Hancock and Wynton Marsalis are pretty bad in that regard.

"If you're in jazz and more than ten people like you, you're labelled commercial." - Herbie Mann

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