Streamnotes: April 26, 2021

Most of these are short notes/reviews based on streaming records from Napster (formerly Rhapsody; other sources are noted in brackets). They are snap judgments, usually based on one or two plays, accumulated since my last post along these lines, back on March 29. Past reviews and more information are available here (16577+ records).

Recent Releases

The Anchoress: The Art of Losing (2021, Kscope): Catherine Anne Davies, born in Wales, grew up in England, got a PhD in "literature and queer theory" (published a book, Whitman's Queer Children), played in Simple Minds 2014-18. Second album, debut was Confessions of a Romance Novelist. Makes a strong impression here, although I'm not prepared to try to figure out whether she's as smart as she seems. B+(***)

Tamar Aphek: All Bets Are Off (2021, Kill Rock Stars): Israeli singer-songwriter (in English), plays guitar and keyboards, and plays them hard. Ends, improbably, with "As Time Goes By." B+(**)

Julien Baker: Little Oblivions (2021, Matador): Singer-songwriter from Tennessee, third album (not counting all-star trio Boygenius). Rocks a little harder than her "sad girl" works. B+(*)

Yaala Ballin: Sings Irving Berlin (2021, SteepleChase LookOut): Standards singer, from Israel, moved to New York "in 2004 to study with Sheila Jordan," fourth album -- her second, On the Road (2011), was a personal favorite. Backed by a swing-oriented band -- Michael Kanan (piano), Chris Flory (guitar), and Ari Roland (bass) -- hard to go wrong with Berlin. B+(***)

Rahsaan Barber: Mosaic (2020 [2021], Jazz Music City, 2CD): Saxophonist (alto/tenor/baritone, sometimes two at once -- who does that remind you of?), third album, quartet with piano-bass-drums, guest trumpet and/or trombone on some tracks. Roland Barber's trombone is a nice touch. B+(**)

Jon Batiste: We Are (2020 [2021], Verve): Pianist, from New Orleans, debut 2005, upped his profile in 2015 as music director of Stephen Colbert's Late Show. Title song, with its New Orleans marching band backup, was released as a single in June 2020, inspired by Black Lives Matter protests. Vocals abound -- I count 11 credits, but that includes Gospel Soul Children -- so slot this under r&b, not jazz. Choice cuts: "Freedom," "Sing." B+(**)

Benny the Butcher: The Plugs I Met 2 (2021, Black Soprano Family, EP): Buffalo rapper Jeremie Pennick, has a bunch of mixtapes since 2004, two albums, five EPs -- this one's more like a short album (9 songs, 28:33). B+(**)

John Butcher/Veryan Weston/Řyvind Stonesund/Dag Erik Kriedal Andersen: Mapless Quiet (2018 [2020], Motvind): Tenor/soprano sax, piano, bass, drums; one 49:28 piece, recorded live in Norway. Some strong patches, but seems to run out early. B+(**) [bc]

Cabaret Voltaire: Dekadrone (2021, Mute): British new wave/industrial pioneers, debut 1978, disbanded 1994, returned as an alias for founder Richard H Kirk with a 2020 album. Early stuff was hit and miss, but they found an awesome groove in the mid-1980s (e.g., The Original Sound of Sheffield '83-'87: The Best of the Virgin/EMI Years). Not much groove here, with a single 49:55 track, ambient that prods you incessantly. I enjoy short stretches, but find it a bit tedious at such length. B+(*)

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis: Carnage (2021, AWAL): Singer-songwriter from Australia, started 1970s in the Birthday Party, has fronted the Bad Seeds since 1983. I've never liked his albums, but many critics do, and it's possible someone could compile a best-of I'd have to show some respect to (a concession based mostly on use of their songs in Peaky Blinders). Ellis joined the Bad Seeds in 1994, and has done a number of side projects with Cave (mostly soundtracks). His trademark is the murky darkness his voice strains against. A couple spots here test my resistance, but I still came away with no interest. B

Sarah Mary Chadwick: Me and Ennui Are Friends, Baby (2021, Ba Da Bing!): Singer-songwriter from New Zealand via Australia, Discogs lists his as her eighth album since 2012, mostly on labels I've never heard of (like Bedroom Suck and Rice Is Nice). Lo-fi, cut in her living room, stark and barren. I don't much care for it, but if you let it in, you may care a lot. B+(**)

Michael Dease: Give It All You Got (2019 [2021], Posi-Tone): Trombone player, originally from Georgia, more than a dozen albums since 2005. Jim Alfredson can lay the organ on a bit thick at times, but Gregory Tardy (tenor sax) and Anthony Stanco (trumpet) impress. B+(*)

Eminem: Music to Be Murdered By: Side B (2020, Shady/Aftermath/Interscope): Sequel to the "Side A" January, 2020 release, again playing off Alfred Hitchcock samples. Physical package recycles "Side A" as a second CD, but we'll ignore that here (I just deleted the extra tracks, which I gave a marginal A- to back in February). This is a bit more scattershot, but while his shtick isn't new, he can still dazzle. B+(***)

Joe Fahey: February on Ice (2021, Rough Fish): Minneapolis singer-songwriter. Has a couple previous albums, but nothing Discogs or Wikipedia have noticed. Rocks some, chills out, lyrics tend to ramble, but unique enough he may be worth the trouble. Or maybe not. Choice cut: "Fuck the Republicans." B+(***)

Girl in Red: Chapter 1 (2018, AWAL/Human Sounds, EP): Norwegian singer-songwriter Marie Ulven, started recording songs in her bedroom and releasing them on Soundcloud, her debut ("I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend") getting 100 million streams. It leads off five songs here, 13:25, understated jangle pop. B+(*)

Girl in Red: Chapter 2 (2019, AWAL, EP): Five more songs, 15:53. B+(*)

Dry Cleaning: New Long Leg (2021, 4AD): English post-punk band led by singer Florence Shaw, first album after EPs and singles. Talks over rock solid riffs. B+(**)

Paul Dunmall/Percy Pursglove/Olie Brice/Jeff Williams: Palindromes (2020 [2021], West Hill): Tenor sax, trumpet, bass, and drums, live set at Café Oto in London. B+(***) [bc]

For Those I Love: For Those I Love (2019 [2021], September): David Balfe, Irish, first album self-released in 2019, given a proper unveiling this year. Heavily accented spoken word over electronica. B+(***)

Frode Haltli: Avant Folk II (2021, Hubro): Norwegian accordion player, albums since 2002 including folk and classical as well as jazz. Assembled this group for a 2018 album, with Hardanger fiddle, violin, sax, trumpet/goat horn, organ/synth, guitars, bass, and drums. B+(**) [bc]

Hennessy Six/Colorado Springs Youth Symphony: The Road Less Traveled (2020 [2021], Summit): Four tracks composed by Sean Schafer Hennessy (trumpet), the others by band members Cully Joyce (tenor sax/alto flute) and Colin McAllister (guitar). The Symphony adds to the kitchen sink effect, mostly strings. I find it all a bit excessive, but it does have some moments. B+(*) [cd]

Joseph Howell Quartet: Live in Japan (2018 [2021], Summit): Clarinet player, second album, dedicated his debut to Buddy DeFranco, mostly plays Joe Henderson songs here, along with three swing era standards. Backed by a Japanese piano trio -- pianist Keigo Hirakawa is most impressive. B+(**) [cd]

Kari Ikonen: Impressions, Improvisations and Compositions (2020 [2021], Ozella): Finnish pianist, new to me but eight albums since 2001. Nominally solo, but in spots the strings produced so much resonance I wondered whether a guitar or bass had slipped in. B+(***)

Yvette Janine Jackson: Freedom (2021, Fridman Gallery): Sound engineer, based in Kansas, two pieces (22:09 and 19:42), plus two excerpts from same. Electroacoustic "radio opera," occasional words. LP has liner notes by Gregory Tate. B+(*) [bc]

La Femme: Paradigmes (2021, Disque Pointu): French "psych-punk" band, some women in the band but founders wee Sacha Got and Marlon Magnée. Third album since an EP in 2010. Genre strikes me as iffy, but first album was called Psycho Tropical Berlin, and I don't have any alternative suggestions, especially as each song points them in another direction. B+(**)

Charles Lloyd & the Marvels: Tone Poem (2020 [2021], Blue Note): Tenor sax legend, also plays some flute, third group album, with Bill Frisell (guitar), Greg Leisz (steel guitar), Reuben Rogers (bass), and Eric Harland (drums). Three originals, after two Ornette Coleman pieces and Leonard Cohen's "Anthem," a 10:26 stretch on "Monk's Mood," a couple others. B+(***)

Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas: Soundprints: Other Worlds (2020 [2021], Greenleaf Music): Poll winners at tenor sax and trumpet, at least when they convened this quintet in 2013. Third album, with Lawrence Fields (piano), Linda May Han Oh (bass), and Joey Baron (drums). Five compositions each for the leaders. Too much talent here to make a bad record, but that talent is wasted on the unison riffing. B+(*) [cd] [05-07]

Pat Metheny: Road to the Sun (2021, BMG Modern): Popular jazz guitarist, composed two suites here, the first ("Four Paths of Light") played by Jason Vieaux ("perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation"), the title set played by the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. Wraps up with Metheny playing a solo piece by Arvo Pärt. B

Ali Shaheed Muhammad & Adrian Younge: Jazz Is Dead 4: Azymuth (2020, Jazz Is Dead, EP): First three albums listed Younge first. No idea why they swapped, but Muhammad is older (1970 vs. 1978), and his tenure with A Tribe Called Quest may have made him more famous (not that I recognized the name). Focus here is the Brazilian jazz-funk group, dating from 1972 up to 2016. This runs longer (8 tracks, 41:25), but is less engaging. B

Ali Shaheed Muhammad & Adrian Younge: Jazz Is Dead 5: Doug Carn (2020, Jazz Is Dead): Eleven tracks, 41:03, so they've outgrown the series' EP start. Carn is a soul jazz pianist, husband of singer Jean Carn, recorded 1969-77 and occasionally thereafter, changed his name to Abdul Rahim Ibrahim by 1977. He mostly plays organ here. High point is a sax solo, probably Gary Bartz. B+(***)

Ali Shaheed Muhammad & Adrian Younge: Jazz Is Dead 6: Gary Bartz (2021, Jazz Is Dead, EP): Alto saxophonist, cut some avant-soul fusion albums in the early 1970s with his Ntu Troop, later struck me as a pure bebop player. His sax nudges this entry back into jazz territory, no matter where the producers go with the rhythm. Eight tracks, 27:35 B+(***) [bc]

Nubiyan Twist: Freedom Fables (2021, Strut): Large British jazz-funk group, third album. B

Dax Pierson: Nerve Bumps (A Queer Divine Dissatisfaction) (2021, Dark Entries): Played keyboards in band Subtle (2001-08) before an auto accident paralyzed him from chest down. Returned as a techno producer, with Live in Oakland in 2019, now this. B+(**)

R+R=Now: Live (2018 [2021], Blue Note): "All-star jazz collective," formed in 2018 for a studio album and a live stand at New York's Blue Note club, Robert Glasper (keyboards) cited as leader, with Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah (trumpet), Terrace Martin (sax/vocals), Taylor McFerrin (synth), Derrick Hodge (bass), and Justin Tyson (drums), plus spoken word on one of the better tracks, but pretty hit-and-miss. B

Dan Rose: Last Night . . . (2017 [2021], Ride Symbol): Rose cut an album in 1979, a couple in the 1990s, released two this year. This one is solo guitar, cautiously feeling his way through standards, some in medleys. B+(*) [cd]

Dan Rose/Claudine Francois: New Leaves (2019 [2021], Ride Symbol): Guitar-piano duo. Francois is French, has an album from 1984 but not much since. Four originals (two each), five more pieces, mostly from pianists (Monk, Silver, Waldron, Bley, Swallow). "Seńor Blues" is especially tasty. B+(**) [cd]

Jacques Schwarz-Bart: Soné Ka-La 2: Odyssey (2020 [2021], Enja): Saxophonist, from Guadeloupe, debut 1999, released Sone Ka-La in 2006. Band with piano, bass, drums, and extra percussion, incorporating gwoka rhythms. So far, so good, but I'm less fond of vocalist Malika Tirolien, scatting along like an extra horn. B+(*) [cd] [05-21]

Serpentwithfeet: Deacon (2021, Secretly Canadian): Singer-songwriter Josiah Wise, from Baltimore, grew up in his mother's church choir, studied classical music and was infatuated with opera. Second album, short (11 songs, 29:09). Choice cut: "Fellowship." B+(*)

Skarbř Skulekorps: Dugnad (2020 [2021], Hubro): Norwegian drummer Řyvind Skarbř, several albums since 2009, second under this group name, which includes trumpet, three saxes (Signe Emmeluth, Eirik Hegdal, and Klaus Holm, who also plays clarinet), guitars (including pedal steel), and bass, with a couple guests. B+(**)

Dr. Lonnie Smith: Breathe (2021, Blue Note): Organ player, not to be confused with his contemporary Lonnie Liston Smith (more of an electric piano guy), has wavered between soul jazz and pop, never impressing me much, but this is pretty agreeable. Produced by Don Was, half trio with Jonathan Kreisberg (guitar) and Johnathan Blake (drums), half adding horns (John Ellis, Robin Eubanks, Sean Jones), with two vocals toward the end (Alicia Olatuja on something gospelly, and Iggy Pop crooning "Sunshine Superman"). B+(**)

Veronica Swift: This Bitter Earth (2021, Mack Avenue): Jazz singer, semi-famous musical parents (Hod O'Brien, Stephanie Nakasian), cut a record when she was 10 with Richie Cole and her father's piano trio. (O'Brien was pianist on Roswell Rudd's Flexible Flyer, which is my favorite Sheila Jordan album ever.) Second big label effort, backed by Emmet Cohen (piano), bass, and drums, occasionally others. Standards, some common but most not, done with authority and panache. B+(***)

Aki Takase/Christian Weber/Michael Griener: Auge (2019 [2021], Intakt): German piano-bass-drums trio, the pianist moving from Tokyo to Berlin in 1987. Explosive. A-

Thumbscrew: Never Is Enough (2019 [2021], Cuneiform): Guitar-bass-drums trio (Mary Halvorson, Michael Formanek, Tomas Fujiwara), sixth album since 2014, nary a false step -- a fine context for the guitarist. B+(***) [dl]

Tony Tixier: I Am Human (2020 [2021], Whirlwind, EP): French pianist, has a couple albums. Originally released as a 6-track EP in 2020, reissued with an extra track (bringing it to 25:12). Two solo pieces, the others duets, including a lovely "Someone to Watch Over Me" with his twin brother Scott Tixier on violin. B+(*)

The Weather Station: Ignorance (2021, Fat Possum): Canadian band fronted by singer-songwriter Tamara Lindeman, folkie roots, fifth album since 2009. B+(**)

Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad: Jazz Is Dead 3: Marcos Valle (2020, Jazz Is Dead, EP): R&B producers, first volume entertained several guest artists, but the second one focused on a single artist (Roy Ayers). Valle is a Brazilian pop star, started with the bossa nova craze in 1963, and still working at 77. Not sure whether these are new performances or remixes, but the luscious samba groove argues for the latter. Eight tracks, 27:29. B+(***)

Miguel Zenón & Luis Perdomo: El Arte Del Bolero (2020 [2021], Miel Music): Alto sax and piano duo, from Puerto Rico and Venezuela respectively, but have played together often over the last decade-plus. Six songs by as many composers, taken at a leisurely pace (51:47). B+(***)

Miguel Zenón/Ariel Bringuez/Demian Cabaud/Jordi Rossy: Law Years: The Music of Ornette Coleman (2019 [2021], Miel Music): Alto saxophonist, one of the major players of his generation, has spent most of the last decade cultivating his Puerto Rican roots, looks another direction here, for this live set from the Birds Eye Jazz Club in Basel, Switzerland. The others, from various points in Latin America, play tenor sax, bass, and drums, on seven Ornette Coleman compositions. The tunes are as radical ever, and played with aplomb. But for some reason I'm not nearly as blown away as I was on first hearing The Shape of Jazz to Come. A-

Recent Reissues, Compilations, Vault Discoveries

Gary Lucas: The Essential Gary Lucas (1981-2020 [2021], Knitting Factory, 2CD): Guitarist, from Syracuse, played with Captain Beefheart circa 1980, and memorialized him with his Fast 'N' Bulbous tribute band (again in 2017 with Nona Hendryx). This is billed as a 40-year retrospective, with 36 songs from 30+ widely scattered albums. Hard to find details online, but first disc is fairly conventional singer-songwriter fare (with better-than-average guitar), with second more eclectic/experimental (often, but not necessarily, better). B+(*)

Roberto Miranda's Home Music Ensemble: Live at Bing Theatre: Los Angeles, 1985 (1985 [2021], Dark Tree): Bassist, born in New York, parents Puerto Rican, long based in Los Angeles, teaches at UCLA, most of his recordings are connected to the "four giants" here: Bobby Bradford (cornet/trumpet), John Carter (clarinet), James Newton (flute), and Horace Tapsott (piano). Band also includes two members of the bassist's family: Louis R. Miranda Sr. (vocals/percussion), and Louis R. Miranda Jr. (drums), along with a few others. Starts with some brilliant piano, works around to give everyone a spotlight, some better than others. B+(***) [cd]

Spoon: Everything Hits at Once: The Best of Spoon (2001-19 [2019], Matador): Indie band from Austin, founded in 1993 by Britt Daniel and Jim Eno, seven albums 2001-17 (plus reissues of 1990s work). Conceived of as an introduction/overview, but does have two hit singles ("Don't You Evah" and "Got Nuffin"), two more chart songs (30, 31). Given how many Spoon albums I've A-listed (4), I'm surprised I don't find this more engaging. [Songlist from other sources.] B+(***)

The White Stripes: My Sister Thanks You and I Thank You: Greatest Hits (1998-2007 [2020], Third Man): Critically acclaimed alt/indie band from a period when I had lost my interest in same, so while I heard (and sometimes rated favorably) their records, I don't remember anything on them, or recognize anything here except for the occasional cover. This is a generous selection (26 songs, 79:28), probably a useful substitute for their six albums, not that you need one. Despite some impressive guitar I can't say as I enjoyed it much. B+(***)

Neil Young: Young Shakespeare (1971 [2021], Reprise): Between After the Gold Rush and Harvest, Young did a solo tour, his set captured here at Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford, Connecticut. B+(**)

Old Music

Willie Headen: Blame It on the Blues (1954-60 [2006], Ace): R&B singer, recorded singles for Dootone/Dooto, a dozen of which were collected in a 1960 LP with this artwork, except his name appeared as Willie Hayden. Reissue doubles the length, picking up some previously unreleased takes. Has a bit of Bobby Bland in his voice. B+(***)

Justin Hinds & the Dominoes: Carry Go Bring Come: The Anthology (1963-72 [2005], Trojan, 2CD): Ska singer, worked with Duke Reid from 1963, recording scores of singles to 1972, none bigger than the title song in 1964 (original credited to Billy Ward & the Dominoes, with a second version later), which stand out, with dozens of other songs coming close enough. A-

Justin Hinds and the Dominoes: Jezebel (1976, Island): After leaving Reid, Hinds worked the Jack Ruby. This is the first of two albums Island released, which got lost behind the bigger names. Rasta roots, plenty of groove. B+(***) [yt]

Justin Hinds and the Dominoes: Just in Time (1978, Mango): Second album, also produced by Jack Ruby. Opening songs are "Let's Rock," "Let Jah Arise," "Help Your Falling Brother," but the one that hooks is "Bad Minded People." Second side goes pop, with a bubbly "(On) Broadway" and the self-evident "Groovin'," but the originals are even more seductive. A-

The Itals: Early Recordings 1971-1979 (1971-79 [1987], Nighthawk): Reggae vocal trio, roots oriented, issued four albums on this label 1981-88, plus this compilation of early singles and other tracks I can't trace. B+(*)

The Itals: Give Me Power (1983, Nighthawk): Second album, after Brutal Out Deh (1981). B+(**)

The Itals: Rasta Philosophy (1985 [1997], Nighthawk): Third album, a short one (CD has 7 songs, 26:25, one more song than the original vinyl), but some of their best harmonies. B+(***)

The Itals: Cool and Dread (1988, Nighthawk): Fourth album, can hold a groove, have something to say. Still, at the end of the album, I found myself carrying on, with some other song in my head. B+(**)

The Plastic People of the Universe: Apokalyptickej Pták (1976 [2017], Galén): Czech rock band led by bassist Milan Hlavsa, founded in the "Prague Spring" of 1968, drawing inspiration from Frank Zappa and the Velvet Underground. Went underground in 1970, and were tried and imprisoned in 1976, shortly after this concert was recorded. They broke up in 1988, with some members joining the similar-minded Pulnoc, and regrouped in 1997, continuing after Hlavsa's death in 2001. Live artifacts detract somewhat, and I suspect the bouts of Zappaesque artiness, but the instrumental stretches are extraordinary. A-

Duke Reid's Treasure Chest (1964-70 [1992], Heartbeat, 2CD): One of Jamaica's top producers in the ska and rocksteady eras, set up his sound system in 1953, died in 1975. This collects his work for Treasure Isle Records. Some classics here, lots of also-rans. B+(**)

Sonny Simmons: Staying on the Watch (1966, ESP-Disk): Alto saxophonist, cut a couple records with Prince Lasha before this debut, a quintet with wife Barbara Donald (a blistering trumpet), John Hicks (piano), bass, and drums. B+(***)

Sonny Simmons: Music From the Spheres (1966, ESP-Disk): Quintet with Barbara Donald (trumpet), piano, bass, and drums, plus tenor sax (Burt Wilson) on one cut ("Dolphy's Days"). Fast and bracing. A-

Sonny Simmons: Manhattan Egos (1969 [2000], Arhoolie): Alto saxophonist, also plays English horn. Original album with trumpet (Barbara Donald), bass/congas (Juma), and drums (Paul Smith). CD adds four tracks from a live set in Berkeley, with a different group -- no trumpet, but add Michael White (violin). A-

Lonnie Smith: Think! (1968 [1969], Blue Note): Played organ on George Benson's early albums, which led to his own 1967 debut, Figer Lickin' Good Soul Organ. Then, as Benson moved into pop, Smith went with a fading but still powerful jazz label, picking up Melvin Sparks (guitar), David Newman (tenor sax/flute), Lee Morgan (trumpet), and lots of percussion. B+(**)

Lonnie Smith: Turning Point (1969, Blue Note): With Bennie Maupin (tenor sax), Lee Morgan (trumpet), Julian Priester (trombone), Melvin Sparks (guitar), and drums. Two originals, three covers: "See Saw" up his alley, "Eleanor Rigby" not nearly as awful as one would expect. B+(*)

Lonnie Smith: Move Your Hand (1969 [1970], Blue Note): Third Blue Note album, live from Club Harlem in Atlantic City. Four 8-11 minute tracks, two original and two covers ("Charlie Brown" and "Sunshine Superman"). Two saxes (Ronnie Cuber and Rudy Jones), guitar, and drums. Vocal on the title cut. B+(**)

Lonnie Smith: Live at Club Mozambique (1970 [1995], Blue Note): Live set from Detroit, issued 25 years after the fact. Two saxes (Ronnie Cuber and Dave Hubbard), George Benson on guitar, extra percussion. Six originals, including a vocal on "Peace of Mind," followed by covers from Sly Stone and Miles Davis. B+(***)

Lonnie Smith: Mama Wailer (1971, Kudu): After Blue Note, one album on Creed Taylor's soul jazz subsidiary (released 39 records 1971-79, 8 by Grover Washington Jr., who plays tenor sax and flute here). Two Smith originals, two covers ("I Feel the Earth Move" and "Stand" -- the latter running 17:20). B+(**)

Lonnie Smith/Alvin Queen: Lenox and Seventh (1985 [2000], Black & Blue): Reorded in Paris. Original release listed drummer Queen's namme first, and added "feat. Melvin Sparks," but the reissue (with an extra cut) swapped the order, and left Sparks on a sidebar, where the organ player's name starts with "Dr." Like everything on this label, leans hard on the blues. B+(***)

Dr. Lonnie Smith: Boogaloo to Beck: A Tribute (2003, Scuffin'): Smith recorded for minor various labels in the 1970s -- Kudu, Groove Merchant, LRC -- and doesn't really pick up until he signs with Palmetto for Too Damn Hot in 2004, or this from a year earlier. First record I can find credited to Dr. Lonnie Smith was The Turbanator in 2000, recorded in 1991. No idea why he'd record a tribute to 1990s rock star Beck unless he was just hard up, which he was. Eleven Beck songs, larded out with plenty of boogaloo (the only one I recognized was "Loser," although Odelay was my favorite album of 1998), with guitar, drums, and "special guest" Fathead Newman (tenor sax) on five. B+(*)

Dr. Lonnie Smith: Rise Up! (2008 [2009], Palmetto): He cut four albums 2004-2009 for Palmetto, this the third, and only one I missed. Mostly quartet with Donald Harrison (alto sax), Peter Bernstein (guitar), and Herlin Riley (drums). B+(**)

Spoon: Telephono (1996, Matador): First album, a trio with singer-songwriter Britt Daniel (guitar), Andy Maguire (bass), and Jim Eno (drums). Fourteen tight, twisted songs, 34:59, intense, bass cranked up. A band with a future, even if as something else. A-

Spoon: Gimme Fiction (2005, Merge): The one album I missed from 1998 on, probably because Christgau's B+ review made it seem inessential, and I hadn't discovered streaming yet. I won't swear he's wrong, but this seems every bit as consistent as the "best of," and if anything the relatively light touch on the vocals is a plus. B+(***)

Neil Young: Eldorado (1989, Reprise, EP): Released in Japan only, shortly before Freedom, which it shares three songs with (different mixes), plus two songs that don't appear elsewhere, totalling 25:30. B+(**) [yt]

Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Arc (1991, Reprise): Edited from their 1991 tour, picking out noisy bits from various songs and piecing them together into a single 35:00 mixtape. Originally appeared along with two CDs of live songs, packaged as Arc-Weld, then split into separate releases. I skipped both at the time, then accidentally queued up this one while looking for that one. Not as unlistenable as I had been led to believe. B

Further Sampling

Records I played parts of, but not enough to grade: -- means no interest, - not bad but not a prospect, + some chance, ++ likely prospect.

Adeena Karasick/Frank London: Salomé: Woman of Valor (2020, Nuiu Music): Canadian poet, klezmer trumpet/shofar player: [bc: 1/14, 3:53/?]: +

Revised Grades

Sometimes further listening leads me to change an initial grade, usually either because I move on to a real copy, or because someone else's review or list makes me want to check it again:

Additional Consumer News:

Grades on artists in the old music section.

Music Weeks

Current count 34897 [34897] rated (+0), 231 [231] unrated (-0).

Excerpts from this month's Music Week posts:


Everything streamed from Napster (ex Rhapsody), except as noted in brackets following the grade:

  • [cd] based on physical cd
  • [cdr] based on an advance or promo cd or cdr
  • [lp] based on physical lp (vinyl)
  • [dvd] based on physical dvd (rated more for music than video)
  • [bc] available at
  • [sc] available at
  • [sp] available at
  • [yt] available at
  • [os] some other stream source
  • [dl] something I was able to download from the web; may be freely available, may be a bootleg someone made available, or may be a publicist promo