Truth is Beauty by Marco Cochrane
One of the most eye-catching artworks at this year’s Burning Man festival was a 55-feet tall sculpture of a woman in a beautifully elegant pose. Truth is Beauty is the second of three sculptures in a series called The Bliss Project by artist Marco Cochrane. Constructed of welded steel rods and balls and covered in stainless steel mesh skin, the massive sculpture had interactive lighting effects that made it constantly change.
My new sounds:
My new sounds:
COMBT JACK ON TEDXGOWANUS
Eastern Sounds brings oboe, Chinese globular flute, and other instruments to the hard bop table yet still remains accessible and fun.
“It will soon be axiomatic, if it is not already, that there is a close relationship between American and Near Eastern improvisational music.”
The opening lines of the original liner notes from Eastern Sounds, written in 1961, are frighteningly prophetic. Not only have Eastern and American music found similarities and partnerships in years since 1961 (George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, for example), but the cultures of the two areas of the world have clashed. The music that inspired these liner notes puts Yusef Lateef in that prophetic position, blurring the lines between Eastern and Western music.
A man always interested and experimenting with Eastern music, inspiring John Coltrane to do the same, Yusef managed to bring a completely different side of jazz to the table, although the world overlooked it because of Miles Davis and his Kind of Blue era. Even today, Eastern Sounds is a fresh, vibrant album.
Lateef is a master of woodwind instruments, most notably the oboe and the tenor saxophone. However, he begins Eastern Sounds on the Chinese globular flute, an instrument capable of producing only five different pitches. The instrument embodies his circular style perfectly, forcing him constantly to return to the same pitches and melodies. Plum Blossom has the same effect as the Wayne Shorter composition Nefertiti, repetitive in nature but always changing through expression of the melody and similar ideas.
The flute gives the song a unique sound, unlike anything ever heard in jazz music to that point. Plum Blossom sets the standard and the mood for the entire album, easily the most experimental song on the album but still easily accessible. Still, the rest of the album is not just standard jazz fare. Blues for the Orient follows a typical blues chord progression, but Lateef picks one of the least jazzy instruments in the world, the oboe, and puts a completely new spin on a standard 12-bar blues.
Lateef proves that just a simple choice in instrumentation can change everything.