March 10, 2017

gogo

Chris Daly is experienced.

You’ve heard our admonishments before — when in doubt, listen to more jazz. Still, this message clearly continues to fall on the deaf ears of too many readers, as the Billboard charts clearly attest. Today, I’m going to expand the #ListenToMoreJazz movement just a bit and encourage you not just to listen to more jazz, but to take the extra step and EXPERIENCE jazz, too. No, this doesn’t mean go out and buy La La Land tickets, though I’m sure Mr. Gosling and Miss Stone certainly would appreciate it if you did that, too. (Side rant: for the record, I thought it was a perfectly enjoyable flick, and your worldview is pretty fucked and the drugs you take are really shitty if you think the movie was some kind of insidious, subliminal racist screed; there, the soap box is yours again).

The easiest way to dig in up to your eyeballs in the world of jazz, I would argue, actually is quite simple—go to the nearest jazz club and see and listen to things firsthand. I typically find experience to be the best way to experience experience myself. However, I realize this is not possible for everyone due to limitations ranging from a concerning lack of extra dead presidents to a paucity of jazz clubs, reputable or otherwise, in many locales. The next best thing, probably, would be to invest in more live jazz recordings. If you’re looking to experience what jazz looks and feels like right now, today, allow me to point you in the direction of GoGo Penguin’s latest, Live at Abbey Road.

The Manchester three-piece (Rob Turner on drums, Nick Black handling double bass duties and Chris Illingworth on both the black and white keys) recently visited the former Beatles hangout and did some live studio recording of a few of their tracks from their Blue Note debut, Man Made Object. As if that weren’t enough, the EP also contains the world premier of their newest track, “Ocean in a Drop.”

While Man Made Object should already be in your heavy rotation collection, Live at Abbey Road wonderfully captures the tension and dynamics I was fortunate enough to experience in person when the boys recently toured through D.C. You need to get some of that yourself. Your marching orders are clear. Next time we meet, you best be able to answer Jimi’s eternal questions.  Are you experienced? Have you ever been experienced?