Monday, April 17, 2017


Music Week

Music: Current count 28033 [28009] rated (+24), 401 [404] unrated (-3).

Lowest rated count February 27 (20), second lowest this year. About the only excuse I can think of is that the relative bumper crop of A- records took a lot of extra time -- even the ones on Napster were more likely to get three than two spins, and the Perelman-Shipp CDs have proven nearly impossible to rank or even to sort out -- though they've been a constant pleasure to play.

I'll also note that my office space has turned into a horrible mess, where the normally FIFO new jazz queue is now a teetering pile. I need to do a lot of "spring cleaning" -- especially moving trays of CDs to shelves, a fairly hideous task given deterioration of my eyesight. Anyhow, my short-term workaround has been to play old music on the computer, the selections suggested by wherever I'm stuck in compiling my last fifteen years of jazz reviews into two book files.

I'm at the stage where I'm going through the database files and fishing the reviews out of a large text file. I just finished Jazz (1960-70s), so next one up is the even longer Jazz (1980-90s), then the really huge Jazz (2000- ), plus post-2000 vocalists, separate files for Latin and Pop Jazz, and some scattered names I've filed elsewhere (Avant-Garde, Classical, New Age, maybe Africa or Latin or Electronica?). The 20th Century file is growing slowly now -- mostly records that came out before I started writing seriously about jazz, plus some later reissues -- at 610 pages (271k words), but the 21st Century file is picking up speed, with 338 pages (159k words).

Given how long the last database file took, I can't even imagine when I'll be done (in the sense of finishing the compilation phase. (August? October?) And I expect the result then will be terribly redundant and shot full of holes -- certainly not something a real publisher might take any interest in. To come up with something useful I'd have to go back and take each artist in turn, write a short bio and critical summary, and fill in a few holes. I might also need to take less of a kitchen sink approach -- just focus on "notable" (especially "recommended," maybe even "essential") albums to cover up how much of the rest I never managed (or will manage) to get to.

On other fronts, Lee Rice Epstein has a nice piece on the late Arthur Blythe (the star, by the way, of the Horace Tapscott album right/below). I also got notes that Alan Holdsworth and Jay Geils died recently.

I had hopes of driving out to the EMP Pop Conference in Seattle (April 20-23), but it's clear now I'm not going to make it. Would have been a nice way to break out of my winter rut, but I guess I'm stuck.

Not much more to say. Listening to more Stanley Cowell at the moment. By the way, Cowell's debut album is on Napster as Travellin' Man, but I went with the title of the LP I bought back in 1977 (like many old LPs it slipped my mind when I compiled my original rated records list; glad to fill this one in).


New records rated this week:

  • Jacob Collier: In My Room (2016, Membran): [r]: C+
  • Larry Coryell, Barefoot Man: Sanpaku (2016, Purple Pyramid): [r]: B+(*)
  • David Feldman: Horizonte (2016 [2017], self-released): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Craig Finn: We All Want the Same Things (2017, Partisan): [r]: A-
  • Gerry Gibbs & Thrasher People: Weather or Not (2016 [2017], Whaling City Sound): [cd/r]: B
  • Rhiannon Giddens: Freedom Highway (2017, Nonesuch): [r]: B+(**)
  • Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp: The Art of Perelman-Shipp, Volume 1: Titan (2016 [2017], Leo): [cd]: A-
  • Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp: The Art of Perelman-Shipp, Volume 2: Tarvos (2016 [2017], Leo): [cd]: A-
  • Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp: The Art of Perelman-Shipp, Volume 3: Pandora (2016 [2017], Leo): [cd]: A-

Old music rated this week:

  • Stanley Cowell: Blues for the Viet Cong (1969 [1977], Arista/Freedom): [r]: A-
  • Blood & Burger: Guitar Music (2002 [2003], Dernière Bande): [r]: B+(**)
  • Red Records All Stars [Jerry Bergonzi/Bobby Watson/Victor Lewis/Kenny Barron/Curtis Lundy/David Finck]: Together Again for the First Time (1996 [1998], Red): [r]: B+(***)
  • Horace Tapscott Quintet: The Giant Is Awakened (1969, Flying Dutchman): [r]: A-
  • Charles Tyler Ensemble: Black Mysticism (1966, ESP-Disk): [r]: B+(***)
  • Charles Tyler Ensemble: Eastern Man Alone (1967, ESP-Disk): [r]: B+(**)
  • James Blood Ulmer: Revealing (1977 [1990], In+Out): [r]: A-
  • James Blood Ulmer: Part Time (1983 [1984], Celluloid): [r]: B+(**)
  • Bobby Watson: Live in Europe: Perpetual Groove (1983 [1984], Red): [r]: B+(***)
  • Bobby Watson: Appointment in Milano (1985, Red): [r]: A-
  • Bobby Watson & Tailor Made With Tokyo Leaders Big Band: Live at Someday in Tokyo (2000 [2001], Red): [r]: B+(*)
  • Bobby Watson: The Gates BBQ Suite (2010, Lafiya Music): [r]: B+(**)


Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • Craig Fraedrich With Trilogy and Friends: All Through the Night (Summit)
  • Mats Holmquist: Big Band Minimalism (Summit)
  • Sarah Partridge: Bright Lights & Promises: Redefining Janis Ian (Origin)
  • Cuong Vu 4-Tet: Ballet (Rare Noise): advance, April 28