Free when free

I play more freely when I know I’m not getting paid for a gig. I figure that since we aren’t being paid in return for a specific thing, I can play however the hell I want. Sadly, as many musicians know, the gigs that often pay the best (weddings, banquets) are those that restrict you to playing in the background. You can’t open up and stretch out. As much as I like getting $$, there is something to be said for having the chance to play with abandon.

In A Silent Way

The Complete In A Silent Way Sessions is great as music and as a way of seeing the direction that so many of the musicians involved in the recordings would go on their own. The early sounds of Weather Report (Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul), the Mahavishnu Orchestra (John McLaughlin), Chick Corea’s Return to Forever, and Tony Williams’ Lifetime, and Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi (not to mention Miles Davis’ own groups of the early ’70s) are all heard on these tracks.

Dwele's "Subject"

Detroit’s Dwele (who you may know from his work with Slum Village) has released his first solo album, “Subject.” His lyrics and themes are not radically divergent from those of other R&B artists, but the overall sound is far more interesting than standard Top 40 fare. His use of overdubbing is reminiscent of Marvin Gaye’s. Good stuff.