14 abr. 2009

My year of Ellington is already paying off huge benefits. A whole nother dimension has opened up into my listening: I think I was already good at hearing polyphonic voices, listening, say, to bass drums and piano with a horn on top. I didn't have quite the appreciation of orchestral textures and voicings, layered timbres, and structural shifts in timbres--the specialty of both Ellington and Strayhorn as composers/arrangers. I got some of this from Gil Evans and his collaborations with Miles, of course, and from some of the "cool jazz" school. But to see where all this started is a rare privilege. I'm enjoying the "replacement of ignorance with knowledge."

I consciously stretch my capabilities. For example, I am starting a theater reading project. Since I rarely read a play (who does?) I am missing out on certain insights that I might otherwise have. I will read 400 plays over the next several years and see what comes of that.

2 comentarios:

Thomas Basbøll dijo...

I'd love to hear your take on Money Jungle: Ellignton with Mingus and Roach.

Jonathan dijo...

I don't quite feel Mingus meshes well with Ellington. You would think they would, despite the stylistic difference. I'll have to give it another listen to see if I've changed my mind.