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Jazz is a conversation—an exchange of ideas between players, as well as between band and audience. Aside from pointing out, via the title’s wry joke, that the genre is very much alive, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge’s Jazz is Dead series has also revealed that jazz is a vital dialogue spanning generations and genres, and in each entry the duo’s hip-hop, funk, and soul roots engage with venerated players like Roy Ayers, Doug Carn, and Marcos Valle.
The most recent entry pairs the duo with reedsman Gary Bartz, and it’s their headiest to date. Bartz has long been in dialogue with pop music forms—all the way back to his classic NTU Troop band of the ‘70s—so the octogenarian keeps step no matter what sound comes his way, grappling and assimilating without breaking a sweat. His horn slots readily into the simmering groove and scratching wah-wah guitar of “Blue Jungles,” while his melodic sing-song solo is every bit as dreamy as the shimmering keys and backing coos on “Day By Day.” No disrespect to all the mighty drummers behind Bartz back in the day, but it’s a real treat to hear Bartz weave in and around Muhammad’s head-knocking drums. The breaks are crunchy and sweet on standouts like “Spiritual Ideation” and “Distant Mode,” with Bartz revisiting the sort of warm, buttery tone that turned him into a jazz-funk star. Streetwise rhythm and smooth melody in a beautiful exchange.
311-B Jefferson St. Lafayette, LA 70501
OPEN: Wednesday thru Saturday
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*SEALED* Jacket still sealed in shrink original wrap; disc sold ungraded or "as is."
NM (Near Mint) Appears unplayed and will bear no marks, sleeve scuffs, or scratches.
EX+ (Excellent) May have one or two visible imperfections (i.e. sleeve scuffs, faint scratches, or other superficial marks) that will not affect playback.
VG+ (Very Good+) A few visible imperfections. These may include sleeve scuffs, light scratches, or other superficial marks.
VG (Very Good) Similar imperfections found on VG+ records but in slightly greater numbers. Records graded VG and above will typically not have any scratches that are deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
VG- (Very Good-) A number of visible imperfections; the presence of a considerable number of light scratches will force a VG- grade, as will the presence of significant isolated defects such as scratches deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
G (Good) Record can be played without skipping, but will have significant surface noise, scratches, and visible groove wear. G+ and G- are used to indicate stronger and weaker copies within this range.
*SW/DNAP* Slight warp, does not affect playback
*QUAD* Quadraphonic Sound, similar to today’s surround sound
All records are visually graded by our experienced staff, using a bright lamp and an Audio-Technica ATLP-120 turntable.