Although Max Roach was very much a product of the be-bop revolution of the 1940s, he proved to be quite receptive to modal post-bop and avant-garde jazz in the 1960s. One of the finest post-bop dates Roach recorded during that decade was 1968's Members, Don't Git Weary, which finds the drummer leading a cohesive modal quintet that employs Gary Bartz on alto sax, Charles Tolliver on trumpet, Stanley Cowell on acoustic and electric piano, and Jymie Merritt on electric bass. Despite the use of electric instruments, this isn't an album that emphasizes rock or funk elements or predicts the fusion explosion that was just around the corner – Members, Don't Git Weary is very much a straight-ahead effort, and the harmonic richness of modal playing is illustrated by such gems as Cowell's "Equipoise," Bartz's "Libra," and Merritt's "Absolutions."
In a 2007 interview entitled "Who Norah Adores," Norah Jones, asked to name her three favorite artists, cited violinist Jenny Scheinman, who among her numerous high-profile credits, appears on Jones' multi-platinum, Grammy-winning, groundbreaking Come Away With Me. Jenny has been the Rising Star violinist in Down Beat's International Critics Poll for several years. She has appeared and recorded with artists as diverse as Lucinda Williams and Bill Frisell, Wilco's Nels Cline and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Her residencies at Brooklyn, NY's Barbes with a rotating cast of some of the greatest players in jazz, rock, and country/folk/bluegrass are becoming the stuff of legend.
Violinist Jenny Scheinman's instrumental companion recording to her eponymously titled vocal-emphasized effort of the same time period in 2008 is both an opposite reaction to pop styles and an extension of orchestral music with modern-day twists and turns. It reflects her time working with electric guitarist Bill Frisell, who appears on this date, and also gives a bigger picture of her classical influences via a huge string ensemble, while hinting at the modern creative jazz where her violin voicings take a firmer grip at the core.
Pimpinone, TWV 21:15, is a comic opera by the German composer Georg Philipp Telemann with a libretto by Johann Philipp Praetorius. Its full title is Die Ungleiche Heirat zwischen Vespetta und Pimpinone oder Das herrsch-süchtige Camer Mägden (The Unequal Marriage Between Vespetta and Pimpinone or The Domineering Chambermaid). The work is described as a Lustiges Zwischenspiel ("comic intermezzo") in three parts. It was first performed at the Theater am Gänsemarkt, Hamburg on 27 September 1725 as light relief between the acts of Telemann's adaptation of Handel's opera seria Tamerlano. Pimpinone was highly successful and pointed the way forward to later intermezzi, particularly Giovanni Battista Pergolesi's La serva padrona.
The quirky music of the Microscopic Septet defies classification, other than it is swinging jazz blended with R&B and a host of other influences, full of twists and turns, yet remaining very catchy and accessible. Their debut LP originally came out on the Press label and was finally reissued as a Koch CD in 1998. Much like the musicians that made up Spike Jones' City Slickers in the 1940s, only some very talented players could follow these demanding charts; yet unlike the comparison to Jones' records, there is nothing that is obviously or purely cornball about this music.