Monday, June 10. 2013
Music: Current count 21522  rated (+21), 628  unrated (-6).
Depressing, unproductive week, most likely just one of many more to come. I've rarely felt as bedeviled by the bloodsucking capitalists out there, the ethic of "I've got mine and now I want yours too" that leads to a whole world of indifference and rot. Of course, I've had that theoretical analysis for a long time. Just a lot of concrete, personal evidence lately.
Also struggling with chaos and clutter. Recent notable graded jazz releases are accumulating in three stacks that look like they're about to go Pisa on me. Not so notable stuff is overflowing its big box. Papers and crap are everywhere. Books too, and in slightly expanding circles, tools and computers. It's an insane mess to live and try to work in. Makes me think much of it should go, but then I have to think about what I wanted to do with it, and what I reasonable want to do in general.
The website isn't much neater. The book section has gotten me into trouble again, and there is reason to think I should just disconnect it. That would break a lot of blog links, but would be simpler than trying to figure out which parts are likely to offend which writers and lawyers. The links section is a simpler problem, since it's mostly broken anyway. I'm not sure that it even make sense to try to collate a link farm these days. (Well, I can still see some value in it if you had better tools than I in fact do.) Maybe should rethink the whole concept of what I want to make public and keep private, or is there any ground in between? My operating principle has long been that it doesn't matter to me, and that if by making something public makes it useful to someone else, that's a plus. But that assumption is being called into question at all levels (including whatever it is that the NSA is actually doing).
For those and other reasons I'm predicting relatively light blogging for the next month or so as I try to clean up, in my head as much as in my house. Of course, as it heats up outside -- looks like 93F at the moment, possibly the first time it's gotten that hot here all year, but the forecast as far as it goes calls for that and then some -- I may wind up deciding that all I want to do is sit in front of the computer and listen to music.
But I will post June's Recycled Goods sometime this week. It won't be the 1960s special I had promised -- that's more likely in July -- and it will be relatively short with few surprises.
No A-list records below -- the two Clean Feeds came close, and there are more in the queue -- so I'll rerun a pic from an A- jazz record in the most recent Rhapsody Streamnotes.
One bit of non-jazz news: see 4-Year-Old Boy Accidentally Shoots, Kills Army Vet Father in Arizona. A tragedy, but shouldn't the father -- not just an Army Vet but Special Forces -- have had his own gun on hand to defend himself?
David Ake: Bridges (2012 , Posi-Tone): Pianist, teaches at University of Nevada, Reno (or Case Western Reserve, depending on how dated his website is). Has a couple books, at least two previous records including a solo. This is a sextet with three front-line horns -- Ralph Alessi (trumpet), Ravi Coltrane (tenor sax), and Peter Epstein (alto sax) -- plus Scott Colley (bass) and Mark Ferber (drums). All originals, more free than the label's norm, hard to keep so much firepower down. B+(**)
Lotte Anker/Rodrigo Pinheiro/Hernani Faustino: Birthmark (2012 , Clean Feed): Danish saxophonist, b. 1958, plays soprano, alto, and tenor here. Has close to a dozen albums since 1997; someone I should look into -- Stef Gijssels had her Live at the Loft as his top album of 2009 -- but this is my first encounter. Pinheiro and Faustino play piano and bass in RED Trio, whose original eponymous 2010 album I can recommend highly. This is softly toned and abstract, the lack of a drummer making it seem like nothing much is happening, but it sneaks up on you, demanding and rewarding your attention. B+(***)
Tony Bennett/Dave Brubeck: The White House Sessions, Live 1962 (1962 , Columbia/Legacy): Actually, two separate sets at Sylvan Theatre, near the base of Washington Monument, rather than some cozy confab in the Rose Garden -- you can guess the crowd size from the applause. Brubeck does four cuts starting with "Take Five" and integrating Middle Eastern and Latin rhythms. Bennett then brings his own band in for six songs, ending with an understated "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." Nice enough, but very compact: the temptation here is the four extra cuts at the end where Bennett sings with the Brubeck Quartet. Main thing you get there is a lot more bite in the piano -- Brubeck was ready to rumble, and Bennett skates around him, but they didn't figure out anything for Desmond to do. B+(**) [advance]
Joey Calderazzo Trio: Live (2013, Sunnyside): Pianist, has a dozen or so albums since 1991, also notably part of the Branford Marsalis Quartet since 1998. Trio with Orlando Le Fleming and Donald Edwards, a 71:05 set recorded at Daly Jazz in Missoula, MT (no date given). Two originals, covers of Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, Paul Motian, and "The Meaning of the Blues." B+(*)
Michael Dease: Coming Home (2012 , D Clef): Trombonist, fourth album since 2007; quintet with Steve Wilson (alto sax), Renee Rosnes (piano), Christian McBride (bass), and Ulysses Owens, Jr. (drums), plus some guests. Postbop, trombone taking most of the leads, and everything else as full and complex as you'd expect from this band. Dease composed five of eleven tunes, got one each from McBride and Rosnes, and covered Ellington, Peterson, Hubbard, and Jule Styne. B+(*)
Django Festival Allstars: Live at Birdland 2012 (2012 , Three's a Crowd): Dorado Schmitt plays guitar and violin, along with Ludovic Beier (accordion), Pierre Blanchard (violin), lots more guys named Schmitt (all on guitar), a few others you don't know, and Anat Cohen (alto sax), on a mix of Django Reinhardt standards and their own originals in the same vein. B+(**)
The Harris Group: Errands (2013, self-released): Ric Harris, guitarist, second group album, with vibes, bass, and drums for the group proper, violin and flute for extras: effectively, easy groove music with extra tinkles. B-
Yoron Israel & High Standards: Visions: The Music of Stevie Wonder (2013, Ronja Music): Drummer, from Chicago, based in Boston, has a handful of albums since 1995. Group includes Lance Bryant on tenor and soprano sax, Laszlo Gardony on piano and keybs, Henry Lugo on bass, with a couple guest spots including a spoken word rap by Larry Roland. Stevie Wonder songs, something few jazz musicians have made much of, but this is fun all the way through, and Roland adds enough to the title cut that they reprise it. B+(**)
Art Johnson/Marc Devine: Blue Sud (2012 , Warrant Music/ITI): Guitar-piano duets. Johnson was b. 1945, worked in California a long time; not sure how much he's recorded, but he has done piano duets with Dwayne Smith before, and dabbled in Brazilian music. Don't know much about Devine, but he fills in a lot of holes. B-
Roger Kellaway & Eddie Daniels: Duke at the Roadhouse: Live in Santa Fe (2012 , IPO): Pianist, b. 1939, and clarinetist, b. 1941, frequently seen in each other's company of late. James Holland joins in on cello, but only becomes a factor late midway through. Program is mostly Ellington, eight of ten if you count "Perdido," with one original each -- Daniels' is called "Duke at the Roadhouse," Kellaway's "Duke in Ojai." B+(**)
Mark Kleinhaut/Neil Lamb: Jones Street (2011 , Invisible Music): Two guitarists, Kleinhaut with a half-dozen albums since 1999, Lamb with more like four. Back cover says, "greetings from Savannah, Georgia; evidently the home of the title street. Has a delicate, laid-back feel, with a bit more swing than new age allows. B+(**)
Liberation Prophecy: Invisible House (2013, self-released): Group from Louisville, KY; led by saxophonist Jacob Duncan with Carly Johnson ("Our Lady of Song") singing most of the pieces -- their one previous album, 2006's Last Exit Angel, had Norah Jones and Andre Easton singing. Music has bits of avant-jazz and prog-rock -- publicist cites Charles Mingus, Frank Zappa, Carla Bley and Sun Ra -- a mix I can't vouch for. Two spins and the best I can say is that they may turn out to be interesting but it's not obvious why. B
Diane Marino: Loads of Love (2013, M&M): Standards singer-pianist, fifth album since 2003; cover notes "featuring Houston Person," which is about as smart a move as any singer can make, adding a little something to every song he plays on (10 of 12). B+(**)
Eric Revis: City of Asylum (2012 , Clean Feed): Bassist, best known as part of Branford Marsalis Quartet since 1997; side credits have mostly been mainstream, but his own albums -- this makes four since 2004 -- have been more avant. This is a piano trio with Kris Davis and Andrew Cyrille. Mostly joint credits, with covers from Monk and Jarrett, and one Revis original. The piano is feisty, slippery, edgy, and the bass is prominent. B+(***)
Julian Shore: Filaments (2012, Tone Rogue): Pianist, second album; all originals, music by Shore and lyrics by singer Alexa Barchini (liner notes includes three lyrics; Barchini sings on six cuts, and Shelly Tzarafi also sings on five). The vocals have a soft, arty feel, and nothing else does much to soften the chill -- horn spots, three guitarists, although Kurt Rosenwinkel makes his presence felt. B
Mary Stallings: But Beautiful (2012 , High Note): Standards singer, b. 1939, cut an album with Cal Tjader in 1961, then nothing until 1990, regular work since. With Eric Reed on piano, sometimes supplemented by Danny Janklow on alto sax and/or Brian Clancy on tenor sax, which helps. A fine singer, but songs like "I Thought About You" make the difference. B+(**)
Marlene VerPlanck: Ballads . . . Mostly (2012 , Audiophile): Standards singer, b. Marlene Pampinella in Newark in 1933; cut an album as Marlene in 1955; nothing else until 1979, but she's recorded regularly since 1989. She built this album around seven arrangements of Cy Coleman songs by her late husband, J. Billy VerPlanck, adding four more songs by Harry Warren, and four more. Cut with two piano trios, adding Claudio Roditi's trumpet on four cuts, and Houston Person's tenor sax on four more. Singer is precise and fluid, no excess mannerisms, and the horns are a plus. B+(**)
Unpacking: Found in the mail last week: