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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 Winterhook.

Buell Neidlinger  Blue Chopsticks (the review)
 Glenn had heard this CD

"Blue Chopsticks"
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 different.
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.

"2300 Skidoo"
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.

"The Gig"
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.
S Really!
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 on.
J I think that's exactly right. It's like the Mentos commercials of CDs.

Copyright © 1996 Peppercorn Press. All rights reserved.