While no-one was watching, music had gone post-Bowie

That’s literally what Donny McCaslin‘s latest LP is all about.

Working with Bowie seems to have made such an impression on this prolific free jazz saxophonist, that they went and recorded another Bowie album without Bowie. Or with Bowie still with them, inside their minds and hearts.

Released on October 14th, Beyond Now is indeed a record made by the complete backing band (drummer Mark Guiliana, bassist Tim Lefebvre, and keyboardist Jason Lindner — thank you, Allmusic) which was present and working with Bowie on his marvellous Blackstar self-requem. Beside featuring two grand Bowie covers, A Small Plot of Land (original here) and Warszawa (original here), the title track seems to tell us about Bowie himself, and the eerie sounds highly reminisce those on 2016 Bowie masterpiece.

A highly recommended listen from me, 9/10 (yup, that’s one blank star more than what I gave for Blackstar initially). Come on, it got me writing this after months of a blogging break. Try it.

Donny McCaslinBeyond Now
★★★★☆

I would have gladly shared the song called Glory, as the dynamics in that piece will make your ears cry with joy. However, it doesn’t seem to be available on Youtube, therefore consider starting from the beginning and going beyond now.

Presenting to you, Shake Loose.

Temptation

Continuing the topic of jazz covers, here’s one after Tom Waits. (There’s later video of the same song performed by Diana Krall, but it’s worse in my opinion — less primal, more pop.)

Archie Shepp plays rap

Few years ago I’ve seen wonderful Archie Shepp in concert. Even though he’s not, to say the least, young (born in 1937) he was so energetic and full of drive, pure fire. Recently I found very unusual disk by him: “Phat Jam in Milano”, recorded in 2007 (yes, he was 70 years old at that time). This is a live recording with Napoleon Maddox (yes, a rapper). Very interesting, I’d say.

Some rap (with sax solo at 2:20):

Amazing Archie Shepp’s “Revolution”:

What do you think?

My favourite jazz reviewer is Scott Yanow. But today I found out that I strongly disagree — for the first time — with one of his reviews.

The review of John Coltrane’s “Live at the Village Vanguard Again!” says:

John Coltrane plays […] with great beauty on “Naima,” but Pharoah Sanders’ ferocious screeching […] largely ruins the almost-sacred ballad.

In my opinion, the contrast between mellow Coltrane’s tones and severe aggressiveness of Sanders brings the colour to the piece which otherwise would be unbearably boring in this format. What do you think?