Somehow, I think Jimi would have been truly touched by this.

“Voodoo Child” played on Korean Gayageum.

Holy cow, that was awesome.

(Hell yeah, I subscribed.)


Guthrie Govan on improvisation.

I need to bookmark this series of clips, because it’s like a selfcontained masterclass for mortals.  The alien intelligence otherwise known as Guthrie Govan held court for a little while at the G4 Experience camp, and fortunately for us all someone captured it.

Part one

Part two

Part three

Part four

Part five

Steve Tibbetts.

Another score for Pandora in connecting me with someone I may never have heard otherwise — guitarist Steve Tibbetts.  He seems to get mixed in most on my Dhafer Youssef station, and it’s always a pleasure to hear the sonic unusual-ness that Tibbetts puts together.  His magic, at least from what I’ve heard so far, is simply this:  he is always Interesting.  That’s a very deliberate capital-I;  this is not “interesting” in the dismissive sense, or the “I’ll-get-to-it-later” sense–rather it’s in the purely literal, “what’s he doing/where’s he going with this” sense.  The dude’s got a mojo that way, and I like it.

Today, “Mile 234” from Big Map Idea, inspired me to do a quick peek on YouTube, where I found what appears to be his channel.  The first thing I watched was him doing what appears to be a quick profile of his studio:

See my point?  Interesting.  This use of samples on an acoustic like that has got me thinking…

Just a couple of other teasers, for now.  “Test“:

and this is just the last volume in a series of clips I will have to look at more closely:

Again, those samples, used in a way I’d have not considered.

Bookmarked, and subscribed.  (The channel doesn’t exactly have a lot of volume, but I think I’d want to know when something new comes out here.  🙂

Matt Balitsaris and Jeff Berman.

On my Pandora radio’s Dhafer Youssef station, I occasionally see this title come by, that always makes me take notice.  The piece is “Trail of Tears”, from (guitarist) Matt Balitsaris and (vibraphonist) Jeff Berman’s album Big Black Sun.

It’s moody, melancholy, patiently insistent–and oh so lovely.  It needed a bookmark.

Unfortunately I cannot find it on YouTube, but I do find what appears to be a different album from these two collaborators, and am working through that now.  Thus far it is clear that this is a duet worth checking out.

Very cool.

Crimson Jazz Trio.

So I’ve just run across Crimson Jazz Trio on YouTube, and you know, I’ve been enjoying it a lot more than I’d have guessed.  I’m not a known fan of piano trios in general, which isn’t entirely fair, but the truth is that while I’m willing to be impressed, I’m inherently a skeptic.

Volume One

Volume Two

Live in 2006

Okay, I’m impressed!

Absolute kudos to the late, and missed, Ian Wallace for putting this out there.  The music holds up really well in the “jazz” format, and by and large I think the re-imaginings are both honorable and fresh.  For my personal tastes, the arrangements occasionally (not often, but occasionally) get a little steeped in specific piano trio cliches that tend to grate on me, but that’s a personal tic.  The musicianship is excellent, and there is enough “mutt” in the (dare I say) fusion of the original style with the trio format, to stand out as original, and keep me both happy and guessing.

Which is really the same thing, when I think about it.  🙂

Saint Francesco da Zappa.

Among YouTube accidents, this one rates pretty high.  A half-hour, 1981 interview of Frank Zappa…by trooper Charles Ash of the Pennsylvania State Police.

Oh boy, so much to unpack here, I hardly know where to start, so I’ll just offer a couple of quick observations.  Frank, as always, is both riveting and on-point.  Even when he edges toward little ironies that could easily turn hypocritical (e.g., while discussing his dim personal view of drugs he visibly picks up a [non-marijuana] cigarette and smokes it), he always gets right back on-point–and he does it well.  “I’m not your Dad,” indeed!  Anyone wanting a half-hour overview on FZ, as a person (the interview never even tries to dig in to the music itself), would be hard-pressed to do better than this.

What I didn’t expect was the quality of the interview itself.  Mr. Ash is both an excellent interviewer and an obvious fan of FZ’s work, and Zappa here speaks his mind without flinching.

Roll this around in your head for a bit, after watching:  can you even imagine such an interview being done today?  I would venture to say it is not possible.  A state trooper–in uniform, clearly implying approval from above–giving polite and uncontested voice to someone who openly (and intelligently) questions multiple aspects of government, religion, law, and even policing itself?  Yeah, right, pull the other one.  At one point in the discussion, it even seems fairly clear that this interview may have been intended to be shown in schools!

I do suspect that at the time, the interview was probably greenlighted primarily because of its obvious utility as de facto anti-drug messaging;  it would not surprise me if trooper Ash really was a FZ fan and sold the idea to management, personally, on that basis.  In 1981, some of the other things that Frank says here about what is now called “deep state” corruption, while not truly condoned, would probably have been deemed less important than the value of having an articulate celebrity personality on record as being against drug use.  Today?  Hell, such speech in any quantity would never be officially approved, at any level;  and if someone like trooper Ash were to do it and offer it for public consumption in perfectly good faith, he would be immediately demonized and arrested on the order of the local DA, and the Organs of the “deep state” (as Solzhenitsyn called them) would spare no expense to remind Us The Unwashed of how unapproved, unacceptable, and probably terroristic such seditious speech is.

For the next six months.

Let me go on record with kudos for trooper Ash, here.  He really does a great job in all aspects.  It may be getting harder and harder to remember a time when the public face of policing looked more like this, than like the Orwellian horror-show it is today, but it did, not all that long ago really–and we were far freer and happier then.

And Zappa…man, such a treasure.  He was a living, breathing rebuke of powerful interests so far across the spectrum that he probably succeeded as he did only because nobody could figure out what to do with him.  I may not share the minarchist faith he displays here, that the problems with the system can even possibly be remedied by appealing to the same system to fix them, but I’ll also go on record as saying I’ll happily take Frank’s minarchism over our current and continually metastasizing deep state, any day.

Yeah, this needed a bookmark.  I still hold that Frank Zappa’s best genius is his music, but everything I have learned about him as a person, reminds me that his success–in music and all the other aspects of his life that are so easily seen as logical extensions of the same genius–was due to his attitude.

To the extent FZ inspires people–myself absolutely included–it’s because of the attitude.




Dave Brubeck, ‘Take Five’.

Another one of those happy accidents on YouTube.  You know it’s a good day when you accidentally run across this:

A part of me says it sounds a bit rushed, but still, what a wonderful chance to see everyone (except poor Gene Wright, of course, who holds it down without fanfare) playing.  And fascinating, too, to hear–even more than on the record–composer Paul Desmond dragging on the tempo set by Morello and Brubeck at each appearance of the head.  It has that feel of “it works, but just barely”–which of course makes for a very exciting live experience!

I’m an unabashed fan of this piece, and love to see the various different ways people interpret it.  Bookmarked!