Skip to main content


Showing posts from December, 2014

Attention: Bob James' 1970's CTI Fusion Albums Officially Do Not Stink

On the contrary, not only do Bob James' 70's Fusion albums not stink, they are actually some of the best arranged jazz funk you will ever hear.

These albums are not at all lite jazz, or gasp, smooth jazz. These albums are well produced yes, but have plenty of improvisatory heat, and plenty of challenging arrangements.

I must say right away, I never fell victim to the I hate Bob James Fan club. Sure, some of his later albums are smooth to the point that very little fire is left in the music. But these CTI albums I am talking about, numbered 1 through 3 are masterpieces of bass grooving, tightly arranged jazz funk.

 Lots of fantastic 70's detective thriller music styles thrown in for good measure. I try not to get caught up in the genre box, I don't care if this music isn't classic jazz. It's just plain old good music to my ears.

It also doesn't hurt when Grover Washington Jr's tenor Sax permeates these albums as well.

Bob James One:
The first volume,…

John Coltrane's Giant Steps: My Favorite Tributes to the Saxophone Classic

Any saxophonist since 1960 has had to come to grips with Coltrane, much like Coltrane himself had learn from Charlie Parker.

Really, even now, 54 years later the track "Giant Steps" sounds like a Herculean effort. Trane, using his previously developed Coltrane changes to indeed create a literal GIANT STEP with "Giant Steps".

I do not have a background in music theory, I am not a formally trained musician. I don't approach music listening in that way either, I like the music or I don't.  I have been blessed with an inquiring ear so to speak, I like learning and acquiring a taste for different musics that other people seem to shun.

Giant Steps is one of those jazz war horses that is probably overdone to the point of it being an eye rolling experience. Probably like hearing a rock n roll cover band playing yet another rendition of Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water". Though I can attest, it is infinitely easier to play that on a guitar than &qu…