Miles Davis and John Coltrane and Wynton Kelly and Paul Chambers and Billy Cobb, So What

This is jazz, recorded live in 1960 in Sweden. So What is a classic jazz cut, the first track on Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue. It is the kind of music that even if you think you haven’t heard it, you’ve heard it.

This live performance from Sweden is a classic demonstration of jazz and why. Fantastic performers, all five of them, take the tune and turn it into something huger. Yeah, that’s the best word I can come up with. Huger. A better word than amazing, but that, too.

If you want to check out the original album cut, which is great, too, here it is.

Wikipedia note: The actor Dennis Hopper at some point claimed that the name of the song came from a philosophical conversation Hopper had with Davis, during which Davis would say something and Hopper would say, So what?

Steve Moyer Has Died

Steve with Ian MacKaye during a break during the Follow Fashion Monkeys sessions.

  1. Steve loved numbered lists.
  2. He was a good dresser. He always wore shirts with patterns, and often with snaps.
  3. He also recognized the dress of others, pointing out a drummer or bass player who had made a good or bad or interesting choice in a video.
  4. He and I invented the Fantasy Baseball Guide together. Steve was working for Rotowire, my partner in the Guides for a couple of years, and they gifted me with an excellent collaborator. Having a cool and smart partner on the payroll was a beautiful thing for me, and gaining a friend was even more important.
  5. Steve always had ideas, about everything. And his resistance to seeing the middle ground was sometimes frustrating, but often also endearing, which is why everyone ended up giving him a lot of space to be himself. His ideas were passionate and heart-felt and often right. Or valuable, even if you disagreed. Or when he was wrong.
  6. He was more punk than the rest of us. He said so.
  7. When we put together our Essential lists, at the start of Rock Remnants, there was no more surprising item on any list than Steve’s choice of More Specials.

  1. Steve always said the Guide was the best baseball mag out there. Who doesn’t like that?
  2. There were always surprising things about him that would come out in conversation. Like, I’m dating a minister. Or, My country band does [that song] this way…. Or, when I’m at the gym I have to listen to this crap. As if he didn’t know he had other choices to listen to what he wanted. But he did not take to the streaming world. To someone who has driven through Times Square listing to Supershit 666 at maximum volume with Steve, on DVD, these seem like oxymorons. Who is this person who contains such multitudes?
  3. And who gets pissed off when the music isn’t pushing it enough. Even when it is folk music, and it really shouldn’t.
  4. Steve suggested we include a broad range of fantasy voices in the Guide, and helped me to draw those voices in. I’d always been shy about the fantasy industry, a phrase that is particularly ludicrous on Oscar night, but Steve in real and important ways introduced me to people I already knew from LABR and Tout, and helped forge friendships with them that have become a central part of my life. I’m not sure why I didn’t think of that, but with Steve’s help I did.
  5. Steve named Rock Remnants. It was his name. And when my implementation of his name wasn’t to his liking, he was fierce in his defense of his vision. That led to some uncomfortable moments, and we all know what happens to muscle that is challenged.
  6. The perfect tribute would be to burn a CD of cuts Steve loved. A mix tape on CD. Because Moyer didn’t stream. In the meantime, how about this song from The Upper Crust:

 

 

Because the Night

The story I remember is that Patti Smith was recording in the same studio as Bruce Springsteen, she heard this song and put out her own version. Without approval, just hijacked it.

I’ve read Bruce’s autobiography and Patti Smith’s books and I don’t know what the truth is. Maybe I knew once, but now, I like my memory. What I do know is that this is one of the Boss’s best songs. And one of Patti’s best songs. It has become a collaboration.

So, today I was listening to the Screaming Females, a New Jersey band who have made seven albums. I don’t know that much about them, but as a rock band they’re pushing a big rock up a steep hill.

And I stumbled upon their collaboration with 90’s indie band Garbage on a cover of the Boss’s song.

It’s still a good song, but I don’t know. This makes me want to hear Patti and her group.

 

Nina Simone, Brown Eyed Handsome Man

I stumbled across this a couple days ago. It’s a curiosity, the least Chuck Berry-ish Chuck Berry cover I can think of. Hearing Waylon’s version in Steve’s recent post, I couldn’t resist. This version doesn’t sound like this because Simone couldn’t rock ‘n’ roll, it’s because she chose not to.

 

Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson

While we go afield, here’s a tune from Saturday Night Live a bit ago.

Chris Stapleton is the biggest rock guy in country music. Think music.

Sturgill Simpson is the songwriter of country life. Think words.

Here the two of them offer awesome guitar solos, and a classic country theme. On Saturday night TV.

I’m glad to have heard it. And won’t ever likely hear it again.

Sturgill Simpson, You Can Have the Crown/Some Days

A few years ago I heard about this country songwriter named Sturgill Simpson. In recent years what I’ve heard from him has been clever and smarty, and not that interesting.

But this clip, from 2014, is surely the reason folks have been talking about all his talent. This is good stuff, if you like this stuff.

 

The Dead South, In Hell I’ll Be In Good Company

Clever video. But simple.

Simple song. But maybe clever. The lyrics seem to show a dark murder ballad, though I didn’t get that on first listen.

Whatever. Somehow this cute video and folkish trad song has scored 44 million plays on YouTube. That’s huge, it is real money, and it comes from Canadians into bluegrass, even if the music isn’t bound by genre exactly.

More power to them. This isn’t rock, but if these folks can earn green on this fine but totally uncommercial song, I’d say they’re successful remnants.

Also, good title and band name. Especially for northerners. Maybe not as good as The Band.