“Definitive, once-and-for-all developments seem no longer appropriate to musical thought as it is today, or to the actual state that we have reached in the evolution of musical technique, which is increasingly concerned with the investigation of a relative world, a permanent ‘discovering’ rather like the state of ‘permanent revolution’.” Pierre Boulez (Sonate, que me veux-tu?, 1960)
1. Monarch All Star Jazz feat. ‘The King‘ – Lover Come Back to Me (Monarch 10″)
2. The Majestic Arrows - I’ll never cry for another boy (rehearsal) (Bandit)
3. Stanley Black – unknown (‘Cuban Moonlight’)
4. Lloyd Miller - Gozel Guzler (Version II) (Jazzman Records, Reissue 2009)
5. Controller 7 – Unbalanced (‘Left Handed Straw’, 6months, 2001)
6. Samiyam – Catch me riding dirty (‘Man vs. Machine EP, Poobah, 2009)
7. Andras Fox - Love is Gone (draft) (unreleased)
8. Oh No – Midnight Missions (‘Dr. No’s Ethiopium’, StonesThrow, 2009)
9. J’Dilla – Donuts (intro) (‘Donuts’, StonesThrow, 2008)
Listen: a good piece of music is never definitive. There could have been alternate takes. There could have been unforeseen errors in equipment, in the musicians approach, in the mood of an engineer, in the vinyl pressing. There could be samples that could have been used differently. There could have been an extended version, etcetera.
That is not to say that the artist lacked drive or integrity to complete their work. Whilst this list features drafts and rehearsal recordings, most are mastered songs, cut to record and released. But these pieces of music still contain what I would call an unfinished element – an element which threatens to spawn a new version, a sample waiting to be used, a loop that could be extended if need be, and so on.
The infinite JDilla is perhaps the figure of the unfinished musician – his songs built upon the work of others who came before, his work has inspired musicians to come, and the very structure of ‘Donuts’ suggests endless revolution. Ending with the track ‘Intro’ seems self-explanatory in this regard.
“So you see! There’s no end to the things you might know, depending how far beyond Zebra you go.” Dr. Seuss