To celebrate the final week of Open Field, Performing Arts at the Walker has a final Jazz playlist to share. This playlist was chosen by David Hill, Manager of the Whole Music Club on the University of Minnesota campus. He’s also the producer of the Making Music series (occasionally presented at the Walker).
If you’re looking to buy, the tracks on this playlist can be found on Itunes or Emusic. And it must be said that David’s original choice for a Wu-Tang cut was “Shame on a N___a” (also from Enter the Wu-Tang) , but we went with his second (censored) choice since these radios play in the family-friendly zone of the Open Field.
Here’s the playlist:
“Tiny’s Tempo” / Charlie Parker, from Savoy Recordings 2:55
“Koko” / Charlie Parker, from Savoy Recordings 2:56
“Oleo” / Miles Davis Quintet, from Relaxin’ with the Miles Davis Quintet 5:54
”Giant Steps” / John Coltrane, from Giant Steps 4:46
“Blues Connotation” / John Zorn, from Spy vs. Spy 1:07
“Blues Connotation” / Ornette Coleman, from This Is Our Music 5:18
“Snagglepuss” / Naked City, from Naked City 2:20
“Speedball” / Naked City, from Naked City :43
“I am Cola” / Boredoms, from Pop Tatari 4:04
“Powerhouse” / Don Byron, from Bug Music 2:55
“Black Wedding” / Naftule’s Dream, from Smash, Clap! 6:45
“Paran” / John Zorn, from Bar Kokhba 4:48
“Stay” / Chris Thomson, from The Three Elements 4:55
“Salmon Jump Suit” / Happy Apple, from Youth Oriented 3:37
“Physical Cities” / The Bad Plus, from Prog 9:13
“Da Mystery of Chessboxin’” / Wu-Tang Clan, from Enter the Wu-Tang 4:39
“Black and Tan Fantasy” / Thelonious Monk, from Thelonious Monk plays Duke Ellington 3:28
“Caravan” / Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Max Roach, from Money Jungle 4:14
“Ghosts: First Variation” / Albert Ayler Trio, from Spiritual Unity 5:16
And here’s what David Hill has to say about his selections:
“I remember the first time that I heard John Coltrane’s Giant Steps. I was in high school, deeply into Stax/Volt, Hendrix, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Fishbone, and completely ignorant of any sort of jazz. My dad, who must have decided that that moment would have the greatest impact to my musical development, placed Giant Steps in a tapedeck, pressed play, and my mind exploded. It’s difficult to believe that I had never heard jazz before in my life. I’m sure that I had heard smatterings of Ellington or Louis Armstrong growing up, but none of it scrambled my brain like that first quaff of Coltrane. An entire new reality opened up for me, and my musical taste was changed forever.
This playlist is a personal one, but one that I am honored to share. It traces my interest and investigations into jazz and music that seemed to me like it must be jazz even if it wasn’t explicitly described as such. These tracks are essential parts of my personal jazz canon; not only because they are fantastic songs in and of themselves, but because they each reference where they came from and where they might be going.
As a matter of course, John Zorn ends up serving as a major signpost in my jazz investigations. His experiments in noise, game theory, chamber music, tape manipulation, and every other possible musical iteration makes him a jazz reference god. I’m not sure that I ever would have taken the time to suss Ornette Coleman’s free jazz if it weren’t for Zorn’s essential Coleman distillations on the Spy vs. Spy record. Yamantaka Eye’s vocals on Zorn’s Naked City albums turned me on to the sonic circus that was the Boredoms, and my love of klezmer music finds its roots in Zorn’s Tzadic recording label.
In addition to the acknowledged giants populating the list, our local Twin Cities jazz workers create a beautiful output. Many jazz fans will tell you that a recorded jazz product pales in comparison to the live experience, and I tend to agree. Luckily, there are plenty of opportunities to discover local jazz artists in their natural habitat, and drink directly from the source. In addition to Thomson, Happy Apple, and The Bad Plus (all connected to the Twin Cities), one can find a flourishing of young, dynamic artists like Fat Kid Wednesdays, Chris Morrissey, The Orange Mighty Trio, Andrew Broder, the Painted Saints, Martin Dosh, and Black Blondie all putting their own interpretations and filters on their idea of ‘jazz’.”
About David Hill
David Hill loves music. He also loves advising the students that book the Whole Music Club at the University of Minnesota, being a graduate student, his bicycle, pregnant ladies, Mark Bittman, Hatch green chile, music videos, and watching people dance.