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Sound Ideas #10 - Deep Cuts
Thanks for dropping in. This hour is about deep cuts, longer exploration and exposition on a form. None of these gems would ever fit on a "45". 
Artist Track Album
Charles Earland Europa Unforgettable
Cannonball Adderley Straight, No Chaser Cannonball's Sharpshooters
Bill Evans Round Midnight Live at Shelley's Manne-Hole
Stanley Turrentine Impressions Sugar
Dave Brubeck Quartet Take Five Live at Carnegie Hall

From its earliest days Jazz has drawn heavily on popular songs and melodies. To the uninitiated it may seem that this popular music was solely from before 1950; however, this is simply not the case. Well written music, stylistic concerns aside, can always be a viable platform for jazz improvisation. Charles Earland was especially gifted in taking popular material and transforming it into art of the highest order. His rendition of Carlos Santana's Europa reveals the richness of the original piece while at the same time translating it into the language of jazz.

After recording Straight No Chaser a couple of years earlier as a member of Miles Davis' band, Cannonball recorded a rather different take on the Monk standard. Taken at a much slower tempo, this version grooves in a way that is rarely heard. They also took their time expressing themselves in this treat of a long recorded outing.

Bill Evans was a master of listening and implication. The level of interaction in his playing, regardless of the setting, was always high, and when taking place in front of a live audience, his mastery of listening and responding was truly revealed. He also shared a sensitivity with Count Basie of knowing exactly which single note to play at a given moment and being able to fill the room with it. In this recording with his second famous trio we hear him stretch out and interact and it almost seems like he is sitting in the room with us in the present.

Although associated primarily with John Coltrane, this version of Impressions as performed by Stanley Turrentine while still very exploratory remains more accessible to the jazz neophyte than most of the recordings of Impressions made by Trane. It is especially interesting how they can play for nearly a quarter of an hour on a tune that has only two chords. Impressions is a 32-bar song form A-A-B-A, with the 'A' sections in D minor and the 'B' section one half step higher in Eb minor. On the piano this translates to the first scale being all of the white keys, and second scale being all of the black keys along with the C and F white keys. (Yes, for you music geeks, we are talking Dorian, not Melodic minor here). Nevertheless, you are in store for quite a ride.

We close out the hour with energetic rendition of Take Five by the Dave Brubeck quartet. While taken at a speed that far exceeds the original laid back tempo, the band never misses a beat and the energy level is palpable even at times when it seems like the instruments are almost whispering. At times Paul Desmond's alto lines seem almost comical in their light heartedness yet it is easy to tell how deadly serious this quartet was in everything they did.

Listening to music and understanding the language being spoken can be rich and rewarding. With practice you will begin to hear so much more, and engage more deeply in the conversation. Eventually the musician will seem to be speaking directly to you...and he/she will be.