Saturday, December 23, 2017

Hal Willner - That's the Way I Feel Now

A Very 80s Tribute...

We're big Hal Willner fans around here, and we think we're in good company. He's maybe best known for his work at Saturday Night Live, or for works like the one shared here today: an tribute record with an all-star cast. While this isn't my fave of the bunch, it's a doozy.

That's the Way I Feel Now is a multifaceted look at the music of Thelonious Monk, as interpreted by a wide range of artists. John Zorn shows up, as does NRBQ. Todd Rundgren takes a turn, as do the Fowler brothers. Some of this is inspired, some of it doesn't really work. Sometimes it's a little of both: the Rundgren bit is super dated in sound, and doesn't really click for me, but I appreciate the effort. NRBQ, however, hit it out of the park. But then, there's not much they can't do, is there?

Overall, it's a nice introduction to the world of Willner's tribute records. I've got a few of these, and they're all great, but sometimes they're a little more abstract, often with a single (and large) cast who revolve in and out through the record. His Mingus tribute, for example, filters his music through Harry Partch. More on that another time. This one's a little more straight-forward, with individual groups each offering their own takes.

A fun side note: Carla Bley's arrangement (which, it should be said was commissioned by Willner) must have resonated with her, since she was still playing it live a good decade later; it shows up her 1994 record Songs With Legs.

3 comments:

M.D. Milner said...

http://www.mediafire.com/file/4ae77zaz7ktn3n0/That%27s_The_Way_I_Feel_Now_-_A_Tribute_To_Thelonious_Monk.zip

anon'n'on said...

nice choice..start things going here in the comments

anon'n'on said...

..and i'm VSOP on blogrolls