Author Topic: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.  (Read 5174 times)

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Offline mabuse

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Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
« Reply #80 on: July 06, 2021, 12:02:44 PM »
Sorry if slightly OT, but here's a funny jazz story (emphasis and [...] added):

...But there was one Blue Note Pete La Roca album, Basra. Steve Kuhn [the pianist on Basra] is a wonderful pianist who played with Pete in John Coltrane’s tremendous band with Steve Davis on bass. I saw that quartet often at the Jazz Gallery. Eventually Steve, Pete and I played a lot together and made a few records. Three Waves was Kuhn’s trio date, while Art Farmer’s Sing Me Softly of the Blues has a wonderful rendition of the Carla Bley title track. But the record most people know today is Basra.
...
“One of the tunes on Basra was ‘Lazy Afternoon,’ a tender ballad. We were in full flight, mid-take, with our eyes closed, when Kuhn reached inside the piano to pluck a chord. There were immediate loud and abrupt noises over the P.A. Rudy [legendary recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder] came running out to the room in the middle of the take and angrily told Kuhn, ‘If you touch those strings again, this date is over.’ We were all sitting there pinned to our seats with our eyes bugged out.

...

https://jazztimes.com/features/columns/steve-swallow-pete-la-roca/

Great story. Thanks, T.D.
I remember also once a jazz connoisseur told some stuff about how Alfred Lion was not really a nice person... (I forgot the details)
The guys weren't as progressive as we might imagine.

Anyway, I love this album, Basra.
And Sing Me Softly of the Blues is my favorite Art Farmer's album.

Offline torut

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Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
« Reply #81 on: July 06, 2021, 12:14:18 PM »
Sorry if slightly OT, but here's a funny jazz story (emphasis and [...] added):

...But there was one Blue Note Pete La Roca album, Basra. Steve Kuhn [the pianist on Basra] is a wonderful pianist who played with Pete in John Coltrane’s tremendous band with Steve Davis on bass. I saw that quartet often at the Jazz Gallery. Eventually Steve, Pete and I played a lot together and made a few records. Three Waves was Kuhn’s trio date, while Art Farmer’s Sing Me Softly of the Blues has a wonderful rendition of the Carla Bley title track. But the record most people know today is Basra.
...
“One of the tunes on Basra was ‘Lazy Afternoon,’ a tender ballad. We were in full flight, mid-take, with our eyes closed, when Kuhn reached inside the piano to pluck a chord. There were immediate loud and abrupt noises over the P.A. Rudy [legendary recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder] came running out to the room in the middle of the take and angrily told Kuhn, ‘If you touch those strings again, this date is over.’ We were all sitting there pinned to our seats with our eyes bugged out.

...

https://jazztimes.com/features/columns/steve-swallow-pete-la-roca/

That is an interesting story. I read that Burton Greene was the first jazz pianist who directly played the piano strings on record (probably around 1966), adapting the idea of Henry Cowell. He called it piano harp. He also played prepared piano with golf balls and other objects. If Rudy Van Gelder allowed it, Kuhn might have been the first jazz pianist to record inside the piano.

Online T. D.

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Re: Avant garde music for that piece of furniture called a piano.
« Reply #82 on: July 06, 2021, 12:38:04 PM »
Great story. Thanks, T.D.
I remember also once a jazz connoisseur told some stuff about how Alfred Lion was not really a nice person... (I forgot the details)
The guys weren't as progressive as we might imagine.

Anyway, I love this album, Basra.
And Sing Me Softly of the Blues is my favorite Art Farmer's album.

Lion was apparently nice in some ways, but "played hardball" business-wise. For instance, from the Steve Swallow interview quoted and linked to above,

“Another song on the date is my piece, ‘Eiderdown,’ which is actually the first recording of one of my compositions. It’s also the only tune of mine that I don’t own. Alfred Lion snatched it right out of my hands. After the date had been done, I got a phone call from Alfred and he said, ‘Oh, by the way, “Eiderdown,” who is publishing that?’ I had no idea what he was talking about. I said, ‘Gee, I don’t know.’ Alfred said, ‘No problem.’ He then proceeded to offer me this ‘wonderful’ deal. He would publish it for me and take care of everything and I wouldn’t have to worry about a thing. I was so grateful. ‘Gee, Alfred. Thank you so much.’ I haven’t been able to get that tune back after all these years. Blue Note sold it, it’s gone around, and some big conglomerate owns it now. I keep trying to buy it back because it has been recorded fairly often.

“That’s another kind of Blue Note story. It is a great blessing to jazz that Blue Note existed, but on the business side they were also sort of gangsters."


That is an interesting story. I read that Burton Greene was the first jazz pianist who directly played the piano strings on record (probably around 1966), adapting the idea of Henry Cowell. He called it piano harp. He also played prepared piano with golf balls and other objects. If Rudy Van Gelder allowed it, Kuhn might have been the first jazz pianist to record inside the piano.

Sadly, Burton Greene passed away very recently. This tribute cites his "piano harp" technique. I'm surprised it wasn't used in jazz sooner, but trust Mr. Greene's account. (I'm curious about when Sun Ra first played "inside the piano", but too lazy to research it right now.)

https://www.wbgo.org/music/2021-06-29/burton-greene-pioneering-free-jazz-pianist-dies-at-84


[End of off-topic excursion]
« Last Edit: July 06, 2021, 12:53:23 PM by T. D. »