The Jam Session: Buell Neidlinger
Glenn Brooks, Jason Staczek, Scott Boggan and Mark Oppfelt do some semi-serious listening
accompanied by Pyramid Snow Cap Ale and Ballard Brewing Company
Buell Neidlinger Blue Chopsticks
Glenn had heard this CD
S What's the background on these guys?
G Uh, Buell Neidlinger is a bass player who played with
Cecil Taylor in an early quartet, and I think he performed with
Herbie Nichols or at least he knew Herbie Nichols...
J He denuded Herbie Nichols?
G He k-n-e-w Her-bie Nich-ols, and he promised Herbie
that someday he would record his compositions with strings and
brass. And so, he did. It's a quintet, with reeds, brass, violin,
cello and viola.
M Production's really interesting. Nothing's in the foreground
at all, it's all sitting back there. How similar would these renditions
of the songs be, if we were to hear Herbie's renditions?
G I should have brought that along. They're actually quite
S Did Herbie have just standard instrumentation?
G Only a trio.
M This has a real experimental kind of sound. Like they
got in the studio and just started messing around.
G It's very loose.
M But I don't know if I could listen to this. I'm not
saying I have to get up and turn this off, but for the kind of
jazz that I like, I don't know that I would ever put this on.
But I'd love to have my dad listen to this.
J This sounds kind of like academic to me; like
they're doing the show at the community college.
S You know, maybe we should have put on Buell earlier
in the evening, before the Winterhook.
J It's got that Buster Keaton soundtrack feel.
M There you go!
G It's also got that Richard Green bluegrass violin.
S Seatrain meets the Pink Panther.
G Right! I'm sure Herbie Nichols never thought of this
as a country tune.
S So does Richard Greene have any work these days or why
did he take this gig?
G He's still going strong.
S What's he been doing after Seatrain?
G He had some albums on his own. He did an album on Rounder
called "Rambler" where he covered Ornette Colemen tunes
and other things.
G Another one of those wacky guys who plays everything
from country to jazz.
J I think it's the cello and muted trumpet combination--you
hear it so infrequently.
M Oh! they're cranking up that hurdy-gurdy now.
G It falls to the strings to keep the rhythm going. They're
functioning as the drums. Which makes it sound very oddly classical.
S Yeah, you know, if they had a drummer on this I'll bet
it would be totally different.
G Maybe. Although it clearly would change it. Knowing
Buell Neidlinger, I'm sure this is the sound he wanted.
J I just can't gear up for this. Maybe it's the sound.
G It is a little muffled.
M Yeah, there'd never be a time I'd want to put this CD
J I think that's exactly right. It's like the Mentos commercials