Sometimes, the music chooses me ... or at least falls into my lap at just the right time.
Things are crazy. But in the middle of it all, I discover the Lucien Dubuis Trio and Marc Ribot. Yeah sure, you know that I will follow Marc Ribot anywhere. The man is fearless on the guitar, has huge ears, and is willing to hurl himself in just about any direction to complete an artistic statement.
Geez, that sounds so serious.
Ultime Cosmos is not serious. At least, not serious in that We're Wearing Nice Suits, We're Going To Play Jazz kind of way. Heck, this isn't even jazz, not in spirit anyway. A quick read of the instrumental lineup would definitely make a person think 'jazz'contrabass clarinet, guitar, bass, drums, but this record has more of a rock/funk spirit.
I can imagine Stanley Crouch turning up his nose. That's a good thing.
Though Dubuis does switch over to alto here and there (check out the totally unhinged Insomnie"), it's basically the contrabass clarinet doing most of the duty, and that's a good thing, because it's a fun and naughty instrument and a perfect foil to Ribot's guitar. Besides, that instrument's blurty lower register is freaking hilarious! The men trade off rhythm and lead roles as the melodic content splatters, divebombs and just plain misbehaves. The music is loud and unruly and flails its way through rock, surf, and jazz that leans heavily on the funk. Oh man, how I needed this.
The other morning, I was trying to tamp down some rising negative energy, and thought that maybe some breathing exercises might be in order. Just concentrate on the entrance and the exit ... the mind will seek calm. Instead, I popped this disc in and torched those thoughts away. Look and listen, and see if I made the right choice. On the trailer for the accompanying DVD, Dubuis mimics the squealing of the garbage truck, and then the band launches into Ultime Cosmos."
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.