21 August 2014

The Jams

In Boston, we are fortunate enough to have excellent jazz programming on the radio every day from 5:00 am until 1:00 pm, thanks to Harvard's radio station WHRB. It may be hopelessly old fashioned, but that's still how I find out about a lot of the music I eventually come to love. I hear new things on the radio, write down the names and seek them out. Add to that my late-to-the-party discovery of discogs.com and we have a potentially dangerous situation. Most recently I discovered the album "Puttin' It Together" by the Elvin Jones trio, currently on it's way to the house. "Sweet Little Maia" is from that album. Besides being a mega-jam, this performance serves a triumvirate of style lessons, hence making it loosely appropriate for a clothing blog.

Elvin Jones, the groups leader and drummer, keeps things simple and classy in a plain tuxedo, not unlike what he often wore during his six year stint with the massively influential John Coltrane Quartet. The tie tucked under the shirt collar may be a dated, and the barrel cuffs on what appear to be a normal white shirt rather than a pleated formal one remind of that old style casual black tie that we lost sight of in the last forty years. Despite how you might feel about these inconsequential transgressions, playing the drums as well as Elvin does kind of gives you a pass.

Jimmy Garrison, also late of the John Coltrane Quartet, shows us that maybe, just maybe, there are situations in which a Nehru jacket and turtleneck can be not only acceptable, but downright cool. Those situations include being Jimmy Garrison and performing jaw dropping bass solos in 1968. Don' try it at home.

Joe Farrell presents a style anomaly. His look is very high school chemistry teacher, and I can almost feel the thickness of his polyester through the screen. But he proves that just because you're a badly dressed white guy playing a soprano sax doesn't necessarily mean you're painfully lame. This of course flies in the face of Kenny G.'s entire musical career.

Can't wait for this record to arrive. Once it does, I can almost guarantee that it will be in regular rotation on the turntable at the AAW Shop. Drop by some Saturday if you want to give it a listen.


randall said...

One of the things that I really miss about living in Boston is all the great radio stations and shows.

A couple of my favorites were:

American Primitive (now defunct) on WMBR on Satruday mornings

Hillbilly at Harvard on WHRB on Satruday mornings, followed by the Metropolitan Opera


Backwoods, also on Saturday morning on WMBR.

American Primitive was my absolute favorite though. Jason Beek, if you happen to read this, please make them available online if you can.

William said...

Hello, We are very fortunate to have a fantastic jazz radio station in Toronto, heard on 91.1 FM. You can also hear hit from their website www.jazz.fm ... thought you might like to have a listen ...