a decade with few highlights, Rock music grabbed a new boost of energy with
Grunge in the early ’90s. The Spin Doctors were not your average jam band:
guitarist Eric Schenkman was a Berklee student, just like Metheny, Frisell,
diMeola, Abercrombie and Sco. Pocket full of Kryptonite
is a splendid
Rock album, and it is a tragedy, though unsurprising, that the band was not
able to maintain the same pitch on successive albums. Home Belly Groove
a fine live album too — if you can edit out vocalist Chris Barro’s
intertrack wittering (a shame, because he sang very well). The Doctors were
something like a finely honed version of Men At Work. An unbelievable rhythm
largely abandoned emerging Rock music, I was captivated by the sound of Echobelly.
Glenn Johansson’s playing first cuts, and then rocks. Not a guitar soloist
in the grand old mode, but a fine sounding player, nonetheless.
days, nostalgia aside, I’ve been captivated by the work of Anthony Wilson
with Diana Krall on her Live at the Paris Oly
DVD. This is quite simply
a perfect example of the Jazz form, from the fine orchestra to the immaculate
rhythm section. The softer pieces are reminiscent of that peak achieved by
the King Cole Trio back in the 1940s. On that note, Oscar Moore’s delicate
and stylish touch is a wonder. There are two fine triple CD compilations — somewhat
strangely compiled, not according to chronology or musical type — that
sell for less than a song: The Great Nat King Cole
1 and 2. I will now, doubtless, have to dig out Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery
recordings. And, yes, I know I should put in a few paragraphs about Django
Reinhardt and Joe Pass. And what about Dick Dale and Link Wray? Or Tiny Grimes,
Les Paul, Scottie Monroe? And not a word about Steve Cropper? And Roy Buchanan
was real guitarist’s
guitarist, until one night he got too drunk and hung himself in a police cell.
I have to mention Johnny Winter, too. This could take a lifetime, but
what better way to spend a lifetime?
Shorter short list
Pressed to name my top picks I would have to list Clapton on Fresh Cream, Hendrix
on Electric Ladyland, Beck on Truth, Page on Zep I, Stills on
Stephen Stills, Santana on Abraxas, Rory Gallagher’s European
Tour, Jack Bruce’s Cities of the Heart, King Crimson’s
Beat, Holdsworth on Road Games, David Torn on Cloud About
Mercury, McLaughlin’s Live at the Royal Festival Hall, Frisell and Sco
on Mark Johnson’s Bass Desires.
On DVD: Hendrix on Jimi Plays Berkeley, The Led Zeppelin DVD,
Clapton’s 24 Nights, Rory Gallagher’s Irish Tour, King
Crimson Deja Vroom, Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii, Metheny on Joni
Mitchell’s Shadows and Light, and Anthony Wilson on Diana Krall’s
Live in Paris.