On his YouTube channel, Pat Metheny has a series of solo performances of songs he loved growing up. I was surprised to see a cover of Antonio Carlos Jobim's Girl From Ipanema; it turns out that an attempt to learn a chord gave him the opening sound of a song he knew well from the radio.
Fall colours are still weeks away, but the air has been cooler the last while.
Enough of a mental leap to Autumn Leaves, the jazz standard. Here's Miles Davis from 1964, with a lineup for the ages: Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on bass, Tony Williams on drums and Wayne Shorter on tenor sax.
I heard this Pat Metheny track on the Sirius XM channel Real Jazz, and would not have guessed it was Metheny, because it so heavily features sax. The Unity Band, Metheny's latest project, is the first time he's featured sax in more than three decades. No wonder!
Aguas de Março is also known as the Waters of March, although the words in the English version of Tom Jobim's bossa nova standard are usually flipped around to fit what the season means in the northern hemisphere. I digress. It's a wonderful song; my favourite version (and there are many, including Cassandra Wilson, David Byrne and that commercial for Coke that ran decades ago) is Jobim himself singing with Elis Regina.
In the car the other evening, I heard a tune called Bacalao Tonight by Clifton Anderson. Thanks to allergies, I can't go near salt cod, but I bet the title would play well here in St. John's. And the tune, too, which is feisty, boppy and a whole plate of fun.
I can't find a version to stream here, but I did find this alternative by Anderson. (Trivia note: his uncle was saxophone god Sonny Rollins.)
We've had quite the summer in St. John's, and hopefully the run of good weather is not yet done. I heard a version of Estate by jazz pianist Ezra Weiss on Sirius XM in the car a while back, and it fit the heat and the mood of the day.
It's not May anymore, but this song by Stockholm's Quiet Nights Orchestra fit the mood for the weather today in St. John's: bright, sunny, warm, with that feeling, as I walked into work this morning, that the season had really turned. (I know: a dangerous expectation to have here indeed.)
In any event, here's a tune for the warmer weather.
I haven't seen Mo' Better Blues in years, and I wonder how it holds up. The music, I suspect, has become kind of dated ... which makes a bit of sense, as it was very much anchored to what was happening at the crossroads of jazz and hip hop circa 1990. This is Gang Starr's theme to the Spike Lee film, er, joint.
Here's a conversation with my son from today, after I got home and turned on Real Jazz, the XM satellite channel that's one of my favourites for unwinding.
Nick: "You listen to jazz a lot." Me: "I do." Nick: "No, I mean, a LOT. You must love it." Me: "Well, I grew up listening to it." Nick: "Ah. That explains a lot." Me: "And now you are, too." Nick: (Blank stare)
To be fair to the boy, he doesn't complain about the jazz. He may well as he gets older (he's 12 now).
But I bet, just as I love listening to the Dave Brubeck records my dad played in the Sixties and Seventies, he'll connect years from now to stuff I love. I hope so, anyway.
Dot Dot Dot is Morse code for the letter 'S,' the full message Guglielmo Marconi claimed to have received atop Signal Hill in St. John's in 1901. It ushered in the age of telecommunications. My maternal grandfather worked as a telegraph operator for Canadian Marconi on Signal Hill for many years.
As well, I have a habit of overusing the ellipsis when I write ... as frequent readers might notice.