Chris Robinson @crmusicwriter

mostly music, sometimes books


Two tasty nuggets from the NPR Jazz Website: Jason Moran and Craig Taborn

It took me a while, but since I finally discovered the wealth of free streaming and downloadable jazz on the NPR website I’ve been almost unable to stop mining their jazz and blues site for contemporary and forward thinking jazz.  They post live sets from the Village Vanguard, the Newport Jazz Festival and from other venues  (many of which can be downloaded for free), offer on-demand streaming of their jazz radio programming, such as Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz and Jazz Set with Dee Dee Bridgewater, and their jazz blog A Blog Supreme is updated often.  And for those like me with Catholic music tastes there’s a wealth of other sites that highlight other genres.  I’m particularly digging the live Bonnaroo set from Nas and Damian Marley.  The easiest way to keep up on the goings on at the NPR music website is to subscribe to their various email newsletters such as Jazz Notes or All Songs Considered, which can be found relatively easy on NPR’s different genre websites.

Today the Jazz Notes email, which graces my inbox every Sunday, hipped me to advance streaming of pianist Jason Moran’s newest trio album, Ten.  But you better jump on this soon, because it’s only available until the album drops on Tuesday the 22nd.  Go check it out here.  Moran is one of those guys I need to check out more, which I’m kind of embarrased to admit because he’s been a major force on the scene for a decade.  My first real exposure to him came about a year ago on Charles Lloyd’s 2008 album Rabo de Nube, which was arguably the best jazz record of 2008.  So I’m going to get as many listens to Moran’s new record as possible before the 22nd.  And then I’ll probably have to buy the record because I have a problem.

This morning’s other find^ was a live and free downloadable set from the Craig Taborn Quintet that was recently recorded at the Jazz Gallery.  Go check it here.  I’ve been hip to Taborn a lot longer than Moran, and I keep regretting my decision to sell his album Light Made Lighter a few years back (but hey I was broke and hungry, so what’s a record store clerk living in the city to do?).  His version of “I Cover the Waterfront” on that album is particularly tasty, so much so that I need to buy the album again; I hate when that happens.  But back to this set: it’s awesome (I know, a totally lame and non-descript adjective.  Would radical be any better?).  I’m mostly talking about “Untitled I” which after a quiet and pensive solo intro from Taborn gets into an increasingly complex and hypnotic section of counterpoint from the entire group, which features woodwind man Chris Speed (check out his work on Cuong Vu’s record Vutet) and trumpeter Jonathon Finlayson.  It kind of reminded me of some of Anthony Braxton’s Ghost Trance Music.  Emphasis on kind of.  Anyway, you need to check it out.

Ok, it’s time to get back to my morning coffee, the World Cup, and some cinamon (little spelling help?) chip bread from Lawrence’s super tasy Great Harvest Bakery.


^Like you really care tangent #1: my dog Julian* had his legs crossed and was begging me to take him out because I kind of forgot about him, as I am easily distracted by just about anything – which my students and s.o. can easily attest to. 

*Completely pointless tangent #1: Julian is named after Cannonball Adderley.  Not because I wanted to name a pet after Cannonball, but because I was having a hard time finding names.  It turned out that my CD/LP shelves are great places to names without having to be creative.**  Considering I’ve got 1200 or so recordings the options seemingly endless.  Names that were immediately vetoed: Urbie, Alban, Hank, and Dean.  This method for finding pet names helps prevent naming tradgedies (sp?) like French Fry.  My apologies to my cousin.

**Completely irrevelent point #1: As my music is completely anally (not a word, I know) organized by artist last name and then if I multiple releases – say like my 20+ Miles albums – then it’s chronological by recording date.  Turns out if my music is slightly out of order, say Filles de Kilimanjaro happens to be shelved before Miles in Tokyo, I actually go into minor convulsions.  I know, I’m sick.

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