Tom Waits' Rain Dogs is an extension of Swordfishtrombones, and certainly an experiment into yet another backwater, scurvy-ed and dilapidated album. For me, the real hit on it is Marc Ribot, who helps drive the jostled 'Singapore', but anchors down 'Jockey Full of Burbon'. This, of course, is not meant to overlook appearances from Bobby Previte on auxiliaries here and there, Greg Cohen on upright, or John Laurie's background vocalish-sax on 'Walking Spanish'. The more solemn Diane, by veterans Chet Baker and Paul Bley, is heroin remnants dripping off into standards. By '85 Baker was utterly destroyed by heroin, drugs or drug deals, by this time and admist label and mood jumping, he would fall out of a window to his death three years later. But here is one of Baker's last statements: trumpet accompanied by chiming piano trade off on a textbook rendition of 'How Deep is the Ocean'. Its dreary, hazy, and relaxing.

John Carter's Castles of Ghana features free-jazz compositions on the clarinet as well as Bobby Bradford on cornet. It's left-field avant howls create an atmosphere of remorse and reflection on the African Slave Trade. Lester Bowie is similar on I Only Have Eyes For You, an album not unlike Coltrane's My Favorite Things. State of the Tenor is a live double-disc from Joe Henderson and is a history lesson, with selections from all walks of jazz, as well as a beautifully recorded show from the Village Vanguard. The Big Gundown, Zorn's reworking/tribute to Ennio Morricone, was at one point titled Once Upon a Time in the Lower East Side and is his first in a set of interpretations he would do. After reinventing quartet interactions on his early works, Gundown is the ushering in of a phase which would move on to put Ornette Coleman, hard bop,and Mickey Spillane through his own filter. Finally, Ran Blake's third-stream, film nior compositions are collected on Painted Rhythms and then he would go on to do many more things, mostly in the footsteps of Horace Silver.
  1. Chet Baker and Paul Bley - Diane
  2. John Carter - Castles of Ghana
  3. Tom Waits - Rain Dogs
  4. Lester Bowie - I Only Have Eyes For You
  5. Joe Henderson - State of the Tenor
  6. John Zorn - The Big Gundown
  7. Ran Blake - Painted Rhythms, 1


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