Time Out in the Morning

Some people like Mozart in the morning to get their brains going (at least, that’s one of the prevailing theories, that in particular Mozart’s quartets and quintets are counterpoint that causes your neurons to fire in an order conducive to enhanced synapse activity – on a par with getting a processor accelerator for your PC, which is what the brain is, albeit its artificial intelligence we as OEM installations tend to think is less artificial than other types of intelligence). Oh, how I go on …

Anyway, while some prefer Mozart, I think it’s essential to swing a little early on, and yet find something that will jerk you (gently, of course, it is the butt-crack of dawn) out of your alpha-state. For this delicate task, I have found there is nothing better than a little Dave Brubeck – in particular, his quartet’s classic albums Time Out and Time Further Out. The former, of course, is almost immediately recognizable; the latter is more than more of the same, and I in particular like the Maori-influenced selections. Not quite as culturally-savant as, say, Jazz Impressions of Japan … when I saw Bru in 1994, he and his current group played some selections from that overlooked gem … quite wonderful indeed.

Something is missing from the stereophonic records of the present … something that, if you listen to older rock records, and most jazz from the 50’s and 60’s, you’ll find in spades. That is, of course, STEREO separation. Different instruments on the right and the left, without bleed over; you know, the kind of recordings where if your left car speaker is out, you don’t hear half the tune (only, for example, the “spangle-lang” of Elvin Jones without the cascading sheets of ‘Trane). The Beatles albums had this wonderful feature; most great psychedelic era bands knew how to use it (although not always judiciously). It gives your brain something to think about, separate chunks to process, different paths to interact with. And there is, as a result of this ONLY REASON TO RECORD IN STEREO, something that is so definitely, desparately and sadly lacking from most modern recordings — space.

Oh, but I digress (actually, how can it be a digression when it is the tangent that is more satisfying than the main course) …

Morning, ya’ll…

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