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Old 11-15-2012, 11:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A Night in the Life of the Invisible Man




One night. Twelve hours. Twelve albums. One lonely, see-through bastard.



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i'm not gonna spend my life on music banter trying to convince people the earth is flat.
A Night in the Life of the Invisible Man

Time & Place

25 Albums You Should Hear Before the Moon Crashes into the Earth and We All Die


last.fm

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Old 11-15-2012, 11:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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7:00 pm
Bud Powell—Time Waits: The Amazing Bud Powell (1958)


The invisible man sits at a table by himself, munching on a bread roll. He loves this restaurant—the godfather booths, the mood lighting, the jazz on the speakers—the whole kit and caboodle just has such fantastic ambiance. Normally just being here makes him feel mellow and content, but tonight he's feeling kind of anxious, worrying if his date is going to show up. She's almost forty-five minutes late and he's starting to wonder if he's been stood up, or for that matter, if she even knew they were supposed to meet in the first place. It wouldn't be the first time that's happened—meeting someone he likes at a party only to discover later that she had mistaken him for a coat hanging on a door and assumed she was talking to the cute guy standing nearby in line for the bathroom. He's not generally a morose sort of person, he usually tries to see the bright side of things, but it's moments like this when his condition definitely feels like a burden. He slouches down in his chair and tries to immerse himself in the sounds of the bebop album that fills the air around him, Time Waits: The Amazing Bud Powell.

Like our transparent friend sitting alone in the the restaurant, this album is generally upbeat but with a depressive undercurrent running throughout that it fights very hard against. It opens with the latin-esque "Buster Rides Again", which is one of those swinging, upbeat songs where it's almost impossible to keep your body from moving while listening to it, due in a large part to the interplay between Powell's rhythmic keys and the shapeshifting patterns of drummer Philly Joe Jones. The second track, "Sub City" is a little more mellow, but still a toe-tapping bebop classic, with somebody, probably Powell, off-mic scatting nonsense along with the melody. It's not until track number three, the title track, that the album slumps down into melancholy. Sure it tries to sound simply relaxed, but the subtly dissonant, off-kilter piano staggers reveal a heart that belongs more to the sad sack passed out at the bar than the hipster smoking a cigarette by the stage. Once revealed, the sullen soul of this album can't hide itself despite it's best stabs at being cheery. On the subsequent tracks, "Marmelade", "Monopoly" and "John's Abbey", for example, the tunes pump along in groovy bop fashion, but those off-mic vocals show up again, sounding less like scatting and more like a testy drunk arguing with himself in an alley. Beyond that, on the last of those three, the entire piece feels like it's teetering on the verge of mania. On the one hand it's straight-up bebop, but on the other, like a lot of classic bop, its formalism barely able to contain itself within a mechanism that's flying out of control. In the end, the album turns introspective again with "Dry Soul", another late night rambler that sounds anything but dry.

The despondency that seeps in around the edges of this album is unfortunately no surprise. It was recorded late in Powell's career, when his alcoholism and personal baggage were just on the verge of obliterating his talent. His brother had died less than two years before, in the same Pennsylvania car wreck that killed legendary jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown, but even before that Powell was not the most stable of characters. He was abnormally sensitive to the effects of alcohol and sadly also came to be dependent on it. He spent several years of his life in mental institutions, overmedicated and subjected to electroshock therapy. The result was a shattered man. A genius on par with Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk, but one who was so tragically broken that in end he died young—only eight years after this album—of tuberculosis, alcoholism and malnutrition, no longer even able to play piano like he used to.



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Originally Posted by P A N View Post
i'm not gonna spend my life on music banter trying to convince people the earth is flat.
A Night in the Life of the Invisible Man

Time & Place

25 Albums You Should Hear Before the Moon Crashes into the Earth and We All Die


last.fm
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It made me excited to see another Janszoon journal.

It's making me even more excited to see a Bud Powell album right off the bat... If all the reviews are like this one, I will be a very happy Blarobbarg indeed.
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Just stunning. Where do you get your ideas man? Incidentally, is the guy really invisible, or is that just how the world makes him feel? Again, as in most of your material, the music is not anything I would gravitate towards, but I always love to see your writing and this has as ever not disappointed. If "25 albums" was the dark epilogue to life, this is perhaps the lead-up to it, the last lingering gasps of life before we all succumb to the inevitable; the powerful yet dour realisation that, as so many doomsayers have told us on every street of every city in just about every century, the end is nigh.

Looking forward to the hopefully developing story of the I-Man, and great to see you writing again!
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for your encouragement guys! I'm really looking forward to writing these and hoping that I do so more frequently than I did with my last journal.

And yep, TH, this guy is really invisible. Though fortunately he isn't evil like Griffin or Kevin Bacon.
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i'm not gonna spend my life on music banter trying to convince people the earth is flat.
A Night in the Life of the Invisible Man

Time & Place

25 Albums You Should Hear Before the Moon Crashes into the Earth and We All Die


last.fm
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Damn it! I've been trying to think up a funny idea for a journal, and you beat me to it again! Bastard. Great entry though. Makes me feel inadequate about my musical taste.

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And yep, TH, this guy is really invisible. Though fortunately he isn't evil like Griffin or Kevin Bacon.
It's about time someone recognized that monster for what he is.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for your encouragement guys! I'm really looking forward to writing these and hoping that I do so more frequently than I did with my last journal.

And yep, TH, this guy is really invisible. Though fortunately he isn't evil like Griffin or Kevin Bacon.
Great idea for a journal and will read with interest.

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Damn it! I've been trying to think up a funny idea for a journal, and you beat me to it again! Bastard. Great entry though. Makes me feel inadequate about my musical taste.

It's about time someone recognized that monster for what he is.
You're just a lazy bastard, we all know that you could write a great journal if you stopped being so lazy.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Damn it! I've been trying to think up a funny idea for a journal, and you beat me to it again! Bastard. Great entry though. Makes me feel inadequate about my musical taste.
That's what I'm here for.

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It's about time someone recognized that monster for what he is.
Indubitably. He's only two degrees removed from Hilter after all.

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Great idea for a journal and will read with interest.
Thanks man.
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Originally Posted by P A N View Post
i'm not gonna spend my life on music banter trying to convince people the earth is flat.
A Night in the Life of the Invisible Man

Time & Place

25 Albums You Should Hear Before the Moon Crashes into the Earth and We All Die


last.fm
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Old 11-17-2012, 05:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Lovely album, great concept! Stunning write-up, I'm tickled.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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You're just a lazy bastard, we all know that you could write a great journal if you stopped being so lazy.
Indeed I am lazy, but I also have no desire to do anything so obvious as give my legitimate opinion on music that I have listened to.

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Indubitably. He's only two degrees removed from Hilter after all.


I think that just might be the most perfect response I've seen in years.
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