Tag Archives: michael attias

First Song This Morning, Final Song Last Night

Time to introduce a new franchise with a simple premise: corner a musician and find out what he or she listened to before bed and after rising. Sometimes the tunes are deliberately chosen; sometimes they just bubble up as life is being lived. I’ve got requests out to several participants. Hopefully you’ll see responses every few days during the next few weeks.

This edition belongs to Michael Attias, the Brooklyn-based multi-reedist who leads Renku, a trio that finds him in cahoots with bassist John Hebert and drummer Satoshi Takeishi. Their latest disc, Renku In Colmbra (Clean Feed) assures us that agility is one of jazz’s bedrock traits. The trio’s chemistry allows for all sorts of post-Air excursions. He works with Tony Malaby, Marty Ehrlich, Fred Lomborg-Holm, Amanda Monaco, Ralph Alessi, and a host of others. Hats off to Michael for his participation; here are his thoughts on his recent spins.


Miles Davis – “Prince of Darkness” (Sorcerer)

It’s the incredible modernity of Ron Carter that gets me. We’re still dealing with the implications of the kind of elasticity and rhythmic/harmonic superimpositions at work under Wayne Shorter‘s solo. Hearing the original is always the emotional and physical shock it should be. The Sound of Tony‘s drums and cymbals – a blister of moon cut through black clouds moving. The injunction in this kind of beauty is  Rilke’s “You must change your life.”


Charlie Parker – Bird of Paradise (take C) – (Complete Dial Sessions)

Chosen for the intense physical projection of sound, shape, geometry and how singable it is – a sculpture held taut in mid air by the invisible wires of a melody that’s never played (“All the Things You Are”).  Learning to play it from Bird’s sound is about how many kinds of eighth note feels you can inject into your nervous system, how many ways of playing and falling from middle D in a fraction of a second. Things the Omnibook and jazz education cannot teach you, cannot graph into their coordinates. Nor the brutal sweetness of his attack.

renku plays at the cornelia st cafe on march 13