Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Playlist Abstract Index June 10/10

I don't know if it was good or bad timing that I played this last week - RIP Mr. Dixon.

I want to say that I loved his work unconditionally, but that just isn't true. His tone, phrasing and way around long-form ideas were all his own, a combination of the most delicate breathiness and sudden squalls of discomfort. However, his approach to digital delay - which he used constantly in the two instances in which I saw him - was maddeningly static. He had a tendency to crank up the echo to about a half to 3/4 second delay and stay locked in that setting, regardless of tempo or feeling generated by his fellow musicians. This was effective enough with the barest sounds from his trumpet, but not so much at louder volumes where his inflexible approach quickly became boring.

That's not an issue on this record. Dixon had recorded very infrequently until the last decade, and the two Vade Mecum sets were his only recordings of the 90s. His improvising is tremendous throughout, both lyrical and percussive, with a smoky, atmospheric tone that was all his own. Aided by the titanic double double bass of Barry Guy and William Parker and Tony Oxley, who in many ways is his equivalent as a drummer, this album has a gravity and sense of occasion that tears down musical prejudices. Dixon dances over and comments on the bottom end heft with much grace. I've played this disc for many people, who invariably get sucked in by the intimate, universally understood communication between the players.

Thanks to Aum Fidelity and Thrill Jockey, Dixon was better represented on record in the past few years than ever before, and he was a beloved teacher of his craft. Like his trumpet playing, warm tributes to the man are sure to unfold slowly but steadily over a long period of time.


tornados vs. dynamos 3-3 - real sounds (rough guide)
fly me home - the hockers (unknown)
tetero - grupo palma africanan (soundway)
lamento de un galax - do re mi 245 (vampisoul)
amy - bassekou kouyate (sub pop)
for toumani - roswell rudd malicool (no label)
everybody loves the sunshine - seu jorge (now again)
ganja smuggling - eek a mouse (greensleeves)
fever - junior byles (trojan)
time stiff - junior murvin (17 north parade)
men mwen - mr. ok (masalacism)
quivering with speed - matthew shipp (thirsty ear)
zig zag - colin fisher (ncra)
octette #1 - bill dixon (soul note)
warm - echospace (modern love)
regressor - demdike stare (modern love)
nobrow - bjorn svin (rump)
uncomfortable combination - professor fingers (otnorot)
cherry moon - lorn (alpha pup)
cmyk - james blake (r & s)
take your fingers - michael fakesch (k7)
isolex - loom (mille plateaux)
special baby - lack of afro (freestyle)
stmlignemauve - kenlo craqunuques (no label)

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