Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Jackson 5 (Z-Trip remix).

motown remixed
Jackson 5 (Z-Trip remix) >I Want You Back
As susceptible as I am to the recycling of my youth (Alan and I did create Nick-at-Nite, after all), it seems completely out of hand, especially in the music biz. That being said, I love this track.

My friend Michael is someone I've mentioned here a few times. We met in high school on one of our first recording sessions (in his basement); Mike played guitar, me piano. I don't think I've mentioned he's been one of my inspirations ever since. Smart, stylish, talented. And his sense of music and musicians has always been one of my beacons, especially about guitars. He illuminated the fact that Eric Clapton was an original, not just a star. And that Steve Cropper's sound was the thing, not only the notes.

So when I heard the guitars at the beginning of Z-Trip's deconstruction of I Want You Back, I thought of Mike immediately. People finally seem to be over thinking these early Jackson 5 tracks are bubblegum or formula Motown, but the sophisticated production kind of drowns out just how funky the original was. What this mix has done is taken a track that is completely played out (at least to me, since it's been one of my faves for 35 years) and just perked it right up. And unlike too many of these attempts to revive baby boomer jazz and soul which completely destroy the rhythm of the originals, Z-Trip's kept the beat's integrity, and, in it's own way, this new version rocks just as hard.

I want to shout-out my friend Dario too, a DJ-turned-media-executive, who's continuing interest in dance music prompted me to actually post this thing, which I've been trying to do for two months.

Jackson 5 (Z-Trip remix) >I Want You Back

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Miles Davis and Joe Zawinul.

miles silentzawinul
Miles Davis >In A Silent Way/It's About That Time (A large file.)
Joe Zawinul >In A Silent Way

The other day you were talking (and writing) about Joe Zawinul's Rise and Fall of the Third Stream. I don't think I've ever heard it, or don't remember it. My bad attitude wrongly avoided anything to do with "the third stream," and honestly, generally I avoid Zawinul. Which is funny, because some of my favorite melodies are his --Mercy Mercy Mercy, Birdland, In A Silent Way-- among others. But I never particularly loved his execution, his bands, his arrangements. They always struck me as forced, obvious, kind of corny. (Aside from my too common refrain that his personality in many interviews over the years made me wanna smack him in the face.)

And when you brought him up I instantly thought of In A Silent Way.

For years most everyone thought the 1969 Miles' version was the way Zawinul intended. Probably because anything Miles did was usually thought of as 'definitive.' Joe's take on Zawinul from 1970 has often been in my collection, but I think it was because I liked the photograph and album cover (when it was an LP and 12x12"). My memory was that I didn't care for Zawinul's own version. Well, today I listened again in anticipation of posting it.

I was wrong. Yes, it's a wonderful melody, but, it's also just a wonderful track. Every interpretation I have in my library (Joe's, Mark Isham's, and five mixes or takes by Miles) is wonderful in it's own way. Enjoy these. (A large file.)

Miles Davis >In A Silent Way/It's About That Time (A large file.)
Joe Zawinul >In A Silent Way