Relevant Information

From the uncompleted files from about five years ago: Herbie into Kenny and McCoy into Kenny. The left hand is extremely important, and I just didn’t get around to finishing the left hand with Kirkland.

I remembered these when a student asked me yesterday about “E.S.P,”  which in my view is one of the hardest tunes. “Yes or No” is not easy either.

Looking at these now I think I learned what I needed to and am not going to work on these more. They are probably full of mistakes and, again, the Kirkland left hand is crucial. If anyone wants the Finale files to edit you can hit me up on Twitter or FB.

Audio files included…

Herbie Hancock’s solo on “E.S.P.” with Ron Carter and Tony Williams:

herbie ESP 1herbie ESP 2


Kenny Kirkland’s solo on “E.S.P.” with Eddie Gomez and Peter Erskine:

Kirkland ESP 1Kirkland ESP 2



McCoy Tyner’s solo on “Yes or No” with Reggie Workman and Elvin Jones:

McCoy YesNo 1McCoy YesNo 2McCoy YesNo 3McCoy YesNo 4



(Most of) Kenny Kirkland’s first chorus with Robert Hurst and Jeff Watts from video at Bottom Line:Kirkland Yes No


(There’s a bad incorrect edit later in the piano solo.)

Universal Remonster 9


My program notes for Henry Threadgill’s upcoming JALC performances are online. (UPDATE: The performances are postponed and will be rescheduled, more details TK.)

Lewis Porter listens to the most avant-garde moments of Art Tatum. That’s what I’m talkin’ about.

Adam Shatz offers the most detailed history of Mal Waldron yet. Bravo!

(Hmm. Tatum and Waldron are just about as far apart as you can get and still call it the same kind of music.)

Aaron Gilbreath researches Jutta Hipp. I went through Hipp’s Blue Note output earlier this year and was struck by an emotionally resonant “After Hours.” This Avery Parrish cover is overlooked in most articles about Hipp but it proves that you can play the blues no matter who you are or where you are from.

Another Hipp track that really stood out is her own composition, “Horacio,” written for her friend and influence Horace Silver, The articulation is perfect. It’s kind of like Horace laced with Tristano. Really hip. (Really Hipp?)


Will Robin writes about Amy Beach at 150.  It is unquestionably odd that in this moment of heightened identity politics there are no performances of Beach scheduled this year by major orchestras. The Gaelic Symphony is enjoyable, but for my own taste, that kind of richly upholstered romanticism works even better with a star soloist. Beach’s Piano Concerto is a truly fine work next door to Rachmaninoff. It’s arguably better than those two MacDowell concerti, so, the next time someone wants an “early American piano concerto,” skip the MacDowells and play Beach instead.

I don’t mean to brag, but it takes something for somebody to unearth a powerful jazz pianist I haven’t heard of. Mr. Matthew Guerrieri manages this unlikely feat with an overview of François Rilhac,

Jeff Levenson on the late Walter Becker.

Peter Hum on the late John Abercrombie.

Related: Ted Panken’s great interview with Abercrombie from 2012.

Linda May Han Oh on Geri Allen.

Sam Stephenson has a short but intriguing comment on those wonderful Bob Parent photos of Bird, Monk, Mingus, and Haynes.

New to me: Lester Young plays a small group “Tickle Toe” in 1941.







“Like any classic videogame, the Hunt had simply reached a new, more difficult level. A new level often required an entirely new strategy.” — Ernest Cline, Ready Player One

Any requests?

Ron and Billy know each other of course, but there are only a couple records that feature them in tandem, the most notable being an early Buddy Montgomery and a later Pepper Adams. (I’ve paid some attention to their Herbie Hancock Jamey Aebersold Play-A-Long as well.) As far as I know this is the first time they have played a NYC hit together in decades.

Last week I was interviewed by Jeremiah Cymerman for his podcast.


Drift a Melody so Strange and Sweet

Sentimental Mood real book

Up at the New Yorker Culture Desk: Duke Ellington, Bill Evans, and One Night in New York City.

Very special thanks to Mark Stryker, who gave exceptionally valuable feedback to a weak first draft, and Sarah Deming, who sprinkled delicious fairy dust over the structure at the eleventh hour. I had many other readers who influenced major details including Ben Ratliff, Loren Schoenberg, James Newton, Jed Eisenmann, and Anthony Coleman (who is quoted in the piece). I’ve hardly ever worked with a magazine editor but Michael Agger was kind and professional.

Steve Little, the drummer with Ellington at the Rainbow Grill that night, is featured in a DTM interview.

A sentence about the Village Vanguard was cut by the New Yorker: “Fifty years later, the Vanguard is still the hippest place in town, with a management that cares more about the audience enjoying a special ambience rather than filling every seat, every set.”

Of course I’m associated with the Vanguard, so it’s certainly fair to cut the plug for the club. Indeed, I’m working there this week, and took a photo last night in the kitchen that validates the idea of it being “the hippest place in town.” Left to right: Harold Mabern, Billy Hart, Steve Coleman, Joshua Redman.