Still Flying

Much like Mac Miller, trumpeter jaimie branch was a musician whose name I’d heard but whose music I never got around to listening to until after her passing a little over a year ago.

Luckily, there seems to be a lot of stuff out there to go through. Keep flying, jaimie!

Not Approved for Therapeutic Use

I’d buried this tidbit in a Weeknotes post a few weeks back and it’s been bugging me ever since. This really deserved its own space.

The Witch on Horseback Institute for Cognitive Salubrity was a short-lived new age education center and performance space founded in Trumansburg, New York in the nineteen-seventies by former employees of the Moog synthesizer company. These forgotten recordings with disgraced Ithaca experimental psychologist Noving Jumand were discovered at a library sale in Ithaca, New York in the early 2020s, and have been restored from the original LPs by the musical entity known as Witch on Horseback, named in the Institute’s honor.

“This recording has not been approved for therapeutic use,” is the disclaimer that appears at the beginning of each track. I haven’t decided yet. Maybe I should listen to it a few more times…

Birdland, Revisited

I just needed somewhere to pin this memory: When I first became aware of Weather Report’s classic jazz fusion tune, it was only in the context of shitty high school marching band or college big band renditions. So many of them that when I finally heard Weather Report’s original version in college, I couldn’t stand it. Couldn’t hear it without cringing. Couldn’t undertand it. Couldn’t watch it being played by anyone, even if they were trying to be true to the original, without a sneer of derision.

I got a copy of HEAVY WEATHER in college when I was heaviest into my Jazz Phase when the thing that separated the people who took jazz courses for the credits was and the Real Hip Cats(TM) was knowing about the side projects of the people who played with Miles on BITCHES BREW (in this case, Josef Zawinul, Jaco Pastorious, et al.). But I didn’t get it, not really. Not “Birdland,” and certainly not “Teen Town” or “Palladium.”

It’s taken nigh on 25 years to finally get all that out of my system and actually appreciate HEAVY WEATHER and “Birdland” for the classics they are. This shit is in the jazz fusion canon for a reason, and now I respect it enough to NOT want any part of rearranging and playing my own version.