The region known as "Big Sur" occupies 90 miles of spectacular central California coastline and extends inland to the abruptly rising Santa Lucia Mountains. Over the past century, the rugged coastline and terrain, breathtaking vistas, and potential for communion with nature have attracted and inspired a multitude of creative types, such as Charles Lloyd, Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac, Ansel Adams, Hunter S. Thompson and the Beach Boys. Born of a Monterey Jazz Festival commission last year, guitarist Bill Frisell's "Big Sur" features an hour of original music that explicitly references the coastal-mountain environment. The commission included a residency at Glen Deven Ranch, the beauty and quietude of which provided Frisell with both inspiration and time to be alone with his muse.
If you ever wonder what jazz will sound like after all the modernist and post-modernist agendas fall out of fashion, you need look no further than the recordings of Freddy Cole. When Freddy sings, we are left with the music itself, stripped of ideologies, left with songs true to their own emotional prerogatives. Such is the case with Cole's new CD -- "This and That." Here, as in all his work, Freddy's supreme relaxation of delivery makes him the master of under-statement. With his usual rhythm section and guest artists Bootsie Barnes on tenor and Josh Brown on trombone, Freddy & Company get back to basics and let the music speak eloquently for itself.