Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Music Notes – The Quiltmaster

 Imagine Pat Metheny, Robert Fripp, John Scofield, and Bill Frisell all had children and sent them to the University of North Texas to study. Then think about those kids meeting and deciding to form a band. Once they found a bassist and drummer and started to record, the L5 Electric Guitar Ensemble would be what it sounded like and The Quiltmaster would be the project they would create.image

Tunes here were composed by Fred Hamilton, instructor at UNT and others with Hamilton also directing the project. I haven’t the foggiest notion what the title track is about (or any of the others on the disc).

Possibly because this is a student project, The Quiltmaster does not seem to have gotten much attention. But it is a really fine recording that deserves greater notice.
By the way, the disc is not available on iTunes or Amazon which is a darn shame. You have to go to the UNT website to find it unless you happen to run across it in a used store somewhere. I can't even remember where I got my copy.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Music Notes – The Choir online concert

While the majority of my music time has been spent listening to jazz, I haven’t forgotten some of the rock bands that have shaped me in some way. So today, because on Facebook, I was able to find out about a special acoustic concert The Choir played online for their fans.
231_02_19_2009_6_39_42_thechoirThe group’s core is drummer and lyricist Steve Hindalong and Derri Daughtery on guitars and lead vocals. In this set, long time sax/lyricon player Dan Michaels did join them for a few of their classic tunes. The acoustic format really does suit The Choir, demonstrating in particular Hindalong’s percussion chops. Daughtery does not get to layer his guitar as he does on their studio releases, but his voice is a gorgeous as ever, providing the empathetic thrust that drives many Choir songs.
Of course the acoustic setting (Mr. Michaels’ living room) is also appropriate for other reasons. First, the group recently released de-plumed' target=_blank>de-plumed, a disc of re-recorded, stripped down versions of songs from each of the band’s twelve studio releases. Second, The Choir has always made music with a kind of intimate, emotional and spiritual intensity, and their God-given gifts cannot be hidden by studio trickery.
Of course I’m biased. But since rock music has not been part of my day to day listening the past few years, I have noticed that only really great groups have any staying power with me, still knock me off my feet. And The Choir is one of those bands. Listen, they didn’t even play two of my favorite tunes, “Restore My Soul' target=_blank>Restore My Soul” and “Chase The Kangaroo' target=_blank>Chase the Kangaroo,” but they still managed to fill the set with some mighty, mighty good music.

The show appears to have been archived at The Choir’s website and can be seen here.