Sunday, February 8, 2015

Songs of the Day

So, today it's three tracks up for review: "What I Say," "Nem um Talvez," and "Selim."
I'll be honest, "What I Say" isn't my favorite.  It's definitely a solid number, but my god is it repetitive.  I feel bad for Michael Henderson who essentially plays Bb the entire song, with the same rhythm the whole time.  Not to say that what's going on here isn't dope, there are definitely some shining moments among the solos, but it's a jam over the same groove for 20 minutes.  Twenty whole minutes of the same groove.  That being said, having the same groove allowed for drummer DeJohnette to go off for the majority of it, and his skills are nothing short of amazing.  I guess the simple groove also makes improvising over it that much easier, but I got the point after 5 minutes.  This is one for the serious jazz heads that want to analyze and transcribe the insane solos that go on throughout this number.
"Nem um Talvez" is another number written by Brazilian composer Hermeto Pascoal, but this one isn't as off-the-bat Brazilian sounding as "Little Church."  This track is very mellow, with an eeriness to it that's pretty cool.  I like that this is another track where Miles and the vocals (again, by Hermeto) are in unison on the melody - it adds a richness to a melody that would otherwise feel somewhat empty were either of those parts on their own.  The percussion (Airto Moreira) kind of makes the song feel like it's part of an evil seance, or something, which is pretty cool.  Dope tune. 
"Selim" is essentially the exact same song as "Nem um Talvez" except without the percussion, the bass line is slightly different, and it's half as long.  I actually became familiar with this song at a very early age, as my father did a cover of it with the Yellow Jackets on his record Bang!Zoom!, but had been unaware that it was a cover until recently.  Needless to say, this one has a soft spot en mi coraz√≥n :)

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