3-21-11 Roy Nathanson
Every now and again, I just stumble across a vast quantity of music – and I am totally surprised.
Last year, I was up in the S.F. Bay Area and rifling through the $3 (and under) CD bins of the oddball Rasputin’s chain of stores – in search of…$3 CD enlightenment. After looking through many thousands of CD’s, I saw a name I recognized: Roy Nathanson.
Get your mental rolodex flipping. What context do I know this name? He’s a member of the Lounge Lizards! I quickly scan the CD cover – and see a 2nd L.L. name: Curtis Fowlkes! This must be the place. Into my stack it went. So, there are Lounge Lizards solo CD’s that aren’t by John or Evan Lurie?
Long story short: the album I found was “Sotto Voce”, from 2006. Interesting ‘loose jazz’ behind some oddball spoken word stuff – “outside”, but pleasant. I was even more surprised when the sound of this disc appealed to my GF! Oh, wait – there’s an Elvis Costello connection (he’s quoted on a sticker on the cover, endorsing Nathanson).
OK – I’m not in New York – so I missed this one alltogether. Rest assured I am the first person to buy tickets for any Los Angeles area Lounge Lizards gig.
Wait a minute…in February, I went to the Claremont swap meet – and I visited Rhino Claremont afterwards – and what do I find? Yet another Roy Nathanson CD, this time I found “Subway Moon” (from 2009) – in the cheap CD bin. Only this one isn’t self-released, it’s from a German company.
OK, let’s Google this guy. He’s got a Wikipedia entry? He’s still alive! Yeah!
So, looks like I have to find 5 more Roy Nathanson albums, and 8 titles by the Jazz Passengers. I’ve never seen any of this stuff, and didn’t know it existed! So, there’s European jazz albums by this guy and Elvis Costello and Deborah Harry are their guest vocalists? What music press am I not reading? How did I know nothing of this?
I know, I vacationed in Toronto instead of midtown Manhattan. I haven’t been to Europe since 1992. I no longer read “Rock & Folk”, the venerable French music magazine – surely they would’ve picked up on this stuff. I guess I could look for more of this guy’s stuff in the jazz section @ the 3 x Amoeba Music stores, “Misc. N”? Nobody’s going to confuse Jazz Passengers with Jazz Messengers, are they? Or is that the point?
It’s so cool to not already know everything. I love being surprised. I just never thought there was so much more Lounge Lizards-related info that I didn’t have under control.