Thursday, March 30, 2006

Homemade Lounge

John's post brought back a whole lotta college for me, my last two years in particular. I was friends with a lot of musicians, most of whom I'd met in the Black Music Ensemble (a rite of passage for jazz musicians who went to school here), most of whom were more talented than myself. There was a lot of playing and teeth-cutting going on, and almost everyone went on to good and unexpected things, musically speaking.

This particular little group was the Dan V3nn3 Trio, guitar/bass/drums. We'd get together and rehearse Coltrane and Tortoise and Cinematic Orchestra tunes. We recorded a demo, but only played two or three gigs (one in my stepmom's bookstore). This is my favorite thing we recorded, a loungy, Marc Ribot-ish version of 'Softly as in a Morning Sunrise'. I have a shaker in one hand and a mallet in the other, v. minimalist. The guitar playing is pretty beautiful.

But wait, there's more! Here's that version of '50 Ways to Leave Your Lover' by the Plat1num P1ed P1pers. It doesn't sound like anything else on the record, in that it's got a memorable melody and it's jazzy, Big Beat bossa rather than Dilla-ish hip-hop.

An aside about that non-quantized beat shit that the kids love these days: the rhetoric is that the snares are laid back or all over the place, and that's what makes it swing differently. I don't hear it that way at all! It sounds to me like the kicks and hi-hats are in the cracks, sometimes shuffly and sometimes super straight, but the backbeat is dead on. Here's a British dude and Madlib talking about this stuff over a Jay Dee beat.

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