On March 19, mvm sat down with jazz drummer Dylan Jack to talk about five records that matter to him.
The guidelines? Choose five records. Maybe they’ve influenced a particular musical approach you enjoy. Maybe you’ve been listening to them a lot recently. Or maybe they’re just records you want to share because you find them interesting.
Here are Dylan Jack’s five picks:
1. Garrison Fewell and Eric Hofbauer – “The Lady of Khartoum”
“Eric Hofbauer [the guitarist in the Dylan Jack Quartet] did a duo record with a guitar player who’s now passed away, Garrison Fewell. … It’s a guitar record with percussion, bells and a world influence. You don’t miss bass or drums. And the way that they explore standards? You have to pay attention. They take a Thelonious Monk tune and expand on it. There’s everything from small, 15 second interlude tracks to longer pieces. … I like listening to those types of records more than full bands, because I feel it allows for more creativity for those people to branch out.”
2. New York Eye and Ear Control
“It’s the heavy hitters of free jazz — Sunny Murray, the drummer, who was a huge influence on me; Roswell Rudd; Albert Ayler; John Tchicai; and Gary Peacock on bass. It’s cool because in free jazz, people think it’s just ‘in your face,’ but when you have guys who understand it, and what the message is all about, they’ll step back. And you can hear that in the tracks. If Albert Ayler is coming out, everyone else goes back. He’ll fade out and someone else will come in, and that person will fade back. There are composed parts, very minimal, but they listen so deeply, and it makes you do the same. Two of the tracks are 20 minutes long, so you have to take a nap after this one [laughs].”
3. Sleep ∞ Over – “Forever”
“This is a band I know nothing about, but it has my highest rating on iTunes. I always have it on the car. There was a guy in one of my bands who posted one of the songs on Facebook years ago and I listened to it — it was one of the most beautiful things I’d ever heard in my life. It’s not jazz. It’s haunting pop. Medium tempo, relaxing, beautiful vocals, electronics. It’s always my go-to while driving home at 2 in the morning after a loud gig. It hits me and I don’t know why.”
4. Thelonious Monk – “Complete Blue Note Collection”
“I was mostly familiar with what he put out on Columbia/Riverside, but after reading his biography, I picked this up because I wanted to listen to the early recordings. At that point, Monk got such bad reviews. Nobody liked it. And now you listen and wonder why. … The angularity of the music, all these leaps. I’ve always liked the jumping around. There’s just a sense that not everything is so beautiful and easy.“
5. John Surman – “Invisible Threads”
“It came out this year, and it’s a trio with saxophone, piano and vibraphone. It’s very low key. Nothing too fast. It sounds like flowing water. Surman’s sense of time can be flexible, but the players are all on the same page. It’s a nice change from what I’m used to. I’m not sure how long it will stand the test of time for me, but I’ve been listening to this a lot recently.”
Read more about Dylan Jack in the May 2018 issue of Merrimack Valley Magazine. If you want to hear his music, check out the Dylan Jack Quartet’s 2017 album “Diagrams” here dylanjackquartet.bandcamp.com or download this exclusive track for mvm readers [Here].