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FREE THE MIND OF ANALYSIS BECAUSE IT HAS NO MEANING

HARMOLODIC / FREE JAZZ / POST / HARD / AND BEBOP / FUSION / RAGTIME / AVANT GARDE / JASS / SHOUT / 3RD STREAM / STANDARDS / BIG BAND / BLACK MUSIC /FREE JAZZ / POST / HARD / AND BEBOP / FUSION / RAGTIME / AVANT GARDE / STANDARDS / BIG BAND / BLACK MUSIC

18.2.10

Lebenese Chickpea and Potato Stew

Lebanese-Style Chickpea and Potato Stew

2 medium onions (3/4 lb. total weight)

2 medium potatoes (3/4 lb. total weight)

1/2 cup olive oil

6 large cloves garlic

42 ozs. good-quality canned tomatoes (e.g., Muir Glen brand), or substitute 18-20 ripe Romas

22 ozs. canned chick peas (or substitute home cooked)

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)

2 1/4-3 teaspoons salt (to taste)

5 large scallions

Small bunch Italian parsley

15 ozs. clean baby spinach (or substitute cleaned and stemmed bunch spinach or chard)

1. Peel and chop onion medium-fine. Peel potato and cut into 1/2-3/4 inch cubes; keep in mind that smaller pieces cook faster. Heat a heavy, wide saucepan or skillet on medium-high heat; add olive oil. When oil is hot, add onion and potato and cook, stirring as needed to prevent sticking, for 10 minutes or longer— just until some of the onion colors gold around the edges and potato pieces are trying to stick and brown onto bottom of the pan. Toward the end of the cooking time, turn/scrape with a wide metal spatula/pancake turner.

2. Peel garlic, trim off root nubs, and press or mince very finely. Drain tomatoes, but save the juice. Chop tomatoes finely and set aside. Using fresh tomatoes, save tomatoes and their juice together. Drain chickpeas; discard liquid, if canned. If freshly cooked, save cooking liquid to use for soup stock (can be frozen); or use in this dish in place of water if sauce needs thinning.

3. When onion/potato is ready, add tomatoes and 1/2 the saved tomato juice. Scrape pan well to deglaze, reduce heat to low, and cook together for about 3 minutes. Add the chickpeas, garlic, pepper, cayenne, most of the salt, and some of the remaining tomato juice, if too dry. Cover and simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, trim off roots and chop scallions—white and green parts. Stem enough parsley leaves and chop medium-fine to make 2 large handfuls; set aside with scallion.

5. After stew has simmered 10 minutes, add spinach, tearing up any large leaves. If stew is too dry after spinach wilts and incorporates, add remaining tomato juice and/or a little water; use some chickpea liquid, if peas are fresh-cooked. Stir well, cover, and simmer 5 minute. Taste and correct seasonings. Stir in chopped scallions and parsley, cook together another 1-2 minutes, and serve. Good with pita or French bread, or over rice or quinoa.

6 servings

My Favorite Sun Ra Albums - Sun Ra - God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be

This is the first installment in my top-whatever list of favorite Sun Ra albums. They are listed in no particular order.



It is so rare to hear Sun Ra in a small ensemble setting, let alone a trio. Here we have Saturn LP 72579:

Side A:
Days of Happiness (Ra)
Magic City Blue (Ra)
Tenderness (Ra)

Side B:
Blithe Spirit Dance (Ra)
God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be (Ra)

Ra-p; Richard Williams-b; Luqman Ali-d. Recorded 7/25/1979.

Luqman Ali, WOW. One sick drummer. He is remains a lifer in the Arkestra, continuing to perform under the direction of alto saxophonist Marshall Allen, who has been in the Arkestra since damn near the beginning.

This is a HOT album, straight up. High energy, it swings. Some might say it is a little straight forward for Sun Ra. I don't think so; I think that sans Arkestra anything could sound a little tame. What I can say is that hearing him with only bass and drums is nothing short of awesome. Mr. Ra tends to lay back in his larger ensembles; Arkestra recordings are more composition oriented; here you have Ra playing jazz piano, straight through.

I'm not too sure about the rarity/availability of this LP, but I'm not too familiar with it, which means it must be a little obscure.

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11.2.10

Wu Fei

2.2.10

Fred Anderson and Hamid Drake - From the River to the Ocean

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Hamid Drake is definitely one of the most exciting drummers in jazz music. His collaborations with William Parker are nothing short of amazing. Likewise his work with fellow native Chicagoan and elder statesman of jazz Fred Anderson. I've seen Anderson and Drake a handful of times in concert, together and separate, and every show has been wonderful. The thing I like about the two of them is that they work within a broader spectrum of jazz than most musicians do. There will be wild, free improvised solos that maintain a deep swing. There will be traditional jazz forms, passages in the music that could be labeled jazz in the strictest sense, yet don't sound like they are locked within the rules of the music.

Hamid Drake is an interesting fellow. I read somewhere he is a practicing Sufi. In his music he is all over the map. I saw him with a European free-form avante garde group whose music was more "art" than music; he took a 15 minute drum solo that was some form of abstract, off kilter, hip hop beat. He'll quote heavy Latin rhythms underneath wild, free form, noisy, ensemble improvisations. On more than one occasion I've seen him come out on stage alone and sit and play a large frame drum and sing in Arabic (something Hamid does on this record; the cover of the album is Hamid holding this frame drum) and literally "clap" the floor with his bare feet. And there is always a heavy presence of Reggae (he just release an album called "Reggaeology" with his group Bindu).

From the River to the Ocean is a beautiful record. I can't stop listening to it. And I think that it is a record that would appeal to just about everybody. From the hardcore free-jazz enthusiast, the more traditional jazz listener, and the music fan who may be a jazz noob.

Check it out. And if you like it, buy it. Purchase via Thrill Jockey Records. Musicians like these need our support.