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Notes From Underground

Let me tell you about some of the music I’ve been digging lately. First, there’s that burning set featuring Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones from Berlin, 1987. Joshua Redman’s recent double-trio engagement at New York’s Highline Ballroom and Ravi Coltrane’s Vanguard show from last December have received repeated plays, as have a killer Wynton Kelly-Wes Montgomery 1965 jam at NYC’s Half Note, a ’57 Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers gig in Philly and a steamy 1981 Tokyo meeting of Herbie Hancock and Carlos Santana.

If you’re wondering why you haven’t seen these for sale, it’s because they aren’t. These unreleased live recordings are among thousands that make the rounds on the Internet, available for free download to those who know where to find them. I mention this not to make anyone jealous or to rile music-industry types, but because to me the gray-area practice of making stealth recordings is validated by what’s discussed in Thomas Conrad’s Opening Chorus piece in this issue.

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