Monday, September 27, 2004

Dennis González NY Quartet - NY Midnight Suite (in French)

A fabulous album. Ellery Eskelin (ts), Mark Helias (b) and not-a-newcomer-but-a-revelation Michael Thompson (d). Post-Ornette Coleman small group improvisation; freewheeling and yet generally concise. González reels off improvised melodies that sound like quotes from half-remembered songs, Eskelin provides a searching foil, Helias challenges and Thompson shades and prods.

I was caught off guard by González's importance in my collection: number 8 should be arriving soon. And I still haven't cracked the Silkheart's, which many people swear by.

More generally, it's weird how many CDs from artist one needs to feel properly acquainted. 40 Miles Davis entries more or less do that for me (counting the Plugged Nickel box as one album), but I still need to get Ascenseur pour l'échafaud. Mingus is in the double-digits (again, counting the Atlantic box as one entry) and each album is so rich (I remember Pete Wareham of Polar Bear saying that one could buy a Mingus album every five years and be content) that only a few more should suffice, but which ones? A little low on Coltrane (especially early and late), Ellington, Basie. Poor on Hancock (the last time I was at the library, I passed on the Blue Note box, I suppose I'll be getting it next time), Corea, Jarrett, Bill Evans (I'll have to tread carefully though: I like Everybody Digs but Waltz for Debby not so much), Cannonball has to make do with just Something Else, Ornette Coleman is represented by his own Something Else and three of the Atlantic quartet dates, while Steve Coleman has almost an entire shelf to himself (thanks in part to the MP3s on his website), Louis Armstrong definitely (the Hot 5s/7s JSP box is the only article on my to-buy list, but when will I have the 30 euros?), Zorn is in there only with a couple of Masadas, etc., etc.

At the other end of the spectrum: Wonder, everything from the 70s plus a comp of earlier stuff and I'm satisfied, Ben Harper, the first 4-5 albums and I think that's enough, all nine entries for The Roots (I might as well take out a subscription), five Outkast (ATLiens remains my favourite album, another one to subscribe to), a couple of Gangstarr's left me seeing no need for more, one Ludacris and am content with it, and one Mos Def and wish I had more.

Etc., etc.

Yeah, but where are Bach, Beethoven, et al.? A few here and there, but apart from Scarlatti, I don't *love* "that" music.

Can't wait for the completion of the killer app, the homemade CD shelf.