Prentiss Riddle: Music

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Not that John and Yoko

I was listening to the MP3 blog Flugblog this morning via its WebJay stream when something came on that took me back to the dying days of big band jazz.

In the mid-70's I was last trombone in my high school stage band and just getting into jazz. The gateway drugs at the time were Chicago and Blood, Sweat and Tears, followed closely by big bands like those of Maynard Ferguson (favored by the trumpet players) and Woody Herman (who I liked better because his work was arrangement-driven rather than hanging entirely from Maynard's lip). It was awful stuff -- lame covers of pop tunes, trying to wed the bandleaders' obsession with big harmonic piles of reeds and brass to the electric bass and chucka-chucka guitar required by the kids. Even the jazz fusion I graduated to was an improvement, followed thank heaven by ECM, early Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock, Getz/Gilberto, Mingus, Monk, and Miles.

So when I thought I was half-listening to a Maynard Ferguson track -- like Hawaii Five-O stretched out past the commercial break -- I wondered, where did Fluxblog dig that up?

Turns out it wasn't Maynard at all, but one Japanese soundtrack goddess Yoko Kanno. Fluxnlog explains all with a comic by M.E. Russell, an alternate-universe John and Yoko.

John and Yoko by M.E. Russell

Now I totally dig it. Amazing what just a drop of ironic hipster context will do. Gotta rent the anime.

music 2005.05.25 link