Give the Drummer Some's
Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere
It's always been a great puzzlement why the exquisite, bourbon-and-honey voiced Lorez Alexandria never garnered widespread recognition. She could swing as hard as Ella, deliver a phrase like Billie, create drama like Nina, enunciate like Sarah, bop like Carmen, and tackle unusual material like Peggy. She was just a helluva a singer. One of my very favorites. Need convincing?
Check out her startling take on Hoagy Carmichael's evergreen
and her miraculous version of Stephen Sondheim's near-universally murdered
Send in the Clowns
Library of Alexandria
Lorez Alexandria ~ "Alexandria the Great" | "For Swingers Only" | "Deep Roots" | "Singing Songs Everyone Knows"
(Blog: Pintando Música)
Another from Lorez and more, on page two...
Lorez Alexandra ~ "Early in the Morning"
(Blog: Sun Ship)
Alexandria the Greatest
"What makes a jazz singer? Many things, and if we knew them all, we'd be able to produce such singers almost at will. And we can't. Wishing won't make it so, as the scarred egos of countless young singers testify. Sometimes, a singer can be a jazz singer for on tune, one night. Doris Day, for instance, is to me a jazz singers on one record—April in Paris. And Rosemary Clooney for another—Tenderly. Perhaps in this there's a clue as to the why of jazz singing. Lorez Alexandria says 'a lyric is dead until you breathe life into it,' and I think she has, in this statement, hit at one of the essential elements of jazz singing, which, when added to swinging and a gew more, make a jazz singer," (Ralph J. Gleason, from the liner notes)
Jerome Cooper ~ "The Unpredictability of Predictability"
(Blog: Fusionero's Blog)
Revolutionary Solo Ensemble
"Most famous for his work as a member of the Revolutionary Ensemble, Jerome Cooper is a self-defined "multi-dimensional" drummer who makes things very plain in his liner notes that any instrument he approaches can be played like a drum: "An instrument's name and structure doesn't stop me from playing them like a drum". A not wholly original concept, given the range of experiments by players as diverse as Milford Graves, Tony Oxley, and most obviously Han Bennink, but what does make Cooper stand out is his conservative approach to the ostensible expansion of the drumming world. While many drummers may approach any instrument percussively, that work is often done under the guise of sound exploration or melodic and rhythmic variation. In Cooper's hands, though, instruments of all types sound like drums, and his approach to wind instruments, balaphones, and keyboards as percussive instruments is entirely within a standard (and unfortunately rather limited) drumming idiom." (From Matthew Sumera's review of In Concert: From There to Hear)
Various ~ "Music & Rhythms of Africa"
(Blog: Soul Safari)
"This rare double gatefolded EP reveals some of South Africa’s most popular tunes and key players in the formation of South African Jazz and popular styles like mbaqanga and kwela; Elijah’s Rhythm Kings (Elijah Nkwanyane), African Swingsters, Benoni Flute Quintet and The Alexandra Shamber Boys." (Eddy De Clercq, at Soul Safari)
Billy Higgins ~ "Soweto"
"If you have any interest in jazz, please download and listen to this. Or even if you don't. It's such a great album. I don't have much more to say. Just do it." (Erieger, at Whale Wails)
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