Monday, April 10, 2006

Hubert Laws- Equinox



















The sun has set for this song.

There are two types of jazz fans. I'm not referring to aficionados of free or traditional, vocal or instrumental, and electric or acoustic musics. No, the real division is with those who like strings recordings and those who detest them. I switched teams recently. Now I'm revisiting all the strings albums I initially dismissed- things by Bird, Billie, and this 1972 release by flautist Hubert "Hubie" Laws. Its stringed take on John Coltrane's "Equinox" straddles the line between brilliant tension and just plain silliness. I love it.

4 comments:

Lee said...

I suppose it only deepens my dorkitude that I've always loved jazz with strings, even as a pup.

Speaking of Hubert Laws, he's featured on a satifying cover of Method Man’s “Bring the Pain” on "Def Jazz" a collection of "smooth" jazz interprations of Def Jam hits. It doesn't all work but what ever does.

And speaking of smooth, I suppose that's the at the base of most objections to strings in jazz. It's supposedly supposed to be free and improvisational and all that and how can you do that with 12-50 people holding violins and reading sheet music? True, and yet I like it.

Happy In Bag said...

Thanks for the tip, Lee. You may regret it, though, as you've inspired me to dust off my Herbie Mann collection.

Lee said...

And THAT inspires me to pull out my "Legend of Ron Burgundy" dvd...

Mr. Poncho said...

I was just listening to Ben Webster's "Music for Lover" this morning. There are some nice string arrangements on that one, plus some great tenor playing and cool renditions of oddball Strayhorn/Ellington tunes.
Max Roach made a pretty interesting record with his daughter's string quartet -- less weepy strings and more like some sort of conservatory free-jazz improv experiment. The final fronteer may be jazz with choirs -- Duke Ellington's Sacred concerts come to mind, and Max Roach did one of those too.