Monday, August 14, 2017


Music Week

Music: Current count 28538 [28508] rated (+30), 378 [375] unrated (+3).

Average week, although more old music than usual as I followed a recent Burnt Sugar album into their back catalog (still missing 2011's All Ya Needs That Negrocity), then also picked up old records from avant-jazz guitarist Joe Morris -- I found some new Ken Vandermark albums on his Catalytic Sound Bandcamp, although better still was a 2008 album Morris album with Vandermark. Unfortunately, a lot of the new Catalytic Sound albums don't come with any music, but I found several on Napster.

Another of the new Vandermark albums is under Eric Revis' name -- like his last several, a good one. It's the first album on Portugal's Clean Feed label I've reviewed since they stopped sending me CDs -- I hope they don't take the grade as positive reinforcement. I probably have download codes for more, but haven't chased them down yet. I did pick up new albums on ECM by Vijay Iyer, Tim Berne, and Gary Peacock. I spent quite a bit of time with the Iyer, and basically timed out in trying to determine whether it's an A-, so I guess it isn't. Still, the Fieldwork-times-two band dazzles here and there, and the mix is more interesting than his last couple ECM albums. Will get to the others sooner or later.

The Hamell Live album seems to be some sort of download-only bonus to the new studio album, but I figured I'd treat it as a separate release as that's how it appears on Napster. Figured it would slack off a bit, but I like it as much (if not more).

I'm a little confused about how the numbers add up, since I graded 5 CDs while only unwrapping 3 new ones, yet wound up with +3 unrated instead of -2. I've double-checked and haven't found the discrepancy.

No progress on the Jazz Guides this past week. I have started on collecting Robert Christgau's Expert Witness pieces at Noisey for a website update, probably by the end of the month. I've probably lost some of the corrections readers sent in. If you sent one in and haven't heard back from me, assume that I did and resubmit it.

I should also note that I've added @BirdIsTheWorm to my twitter feed. He probably tweets too much (13.1K tweets vs. 1815 for me, but he has 3588 followers to my 271), but I figured maybe he'd point me toward some things that I was missing, as in his latest The Round-up: What went unseen. Actually, I've seen 2 (of 5) of those new records -- both B+(*) -- but hadn't heard of the others (just added to my Music Tracking file). I also recommend following @TimothyNiland. At this moment, the front page of his Music and More blog has seven substantial album reviews on it: three of records I've heard [A-, B+(***), B+(*)], the others I will want to check out soon. (Playing Shipp as I write.)


New records rated this week:

  • Carol Albert: Fly Away Butterfly (2017, Cahara): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Burnt Sugar/The Arkestra Chamber: All You Zombies Dig the Luminosity (2016-17 [2017], Avant Groidd): [r]: B+(***)
  • Downtown Boys: Cost of Living (2017, Sub Pop): [r]: B+(**)
  • Julian Gerstin Sextet: The One Who Makes You Happy (2017, self-released): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Laurel Halo: Dust (2017, Hyperdub): [r]: B+(*)
  • Hamell on Trial: Tackle Box (2017, New West): [r]: A-
  • Hamell on Trial: Big Mouth Strikes Again: Hamell Live (2017, New West): [r]: A-
  • Hard Working Americans: We're All in This Together (2017, Melvin): [r]: B+(***)
  • Vijay Iyer Sextet: Far From Over (2017, ECM): [r]: B+(***)
  • Lean Left: I Forgot to Breathe (2015 [2017], Trost): [r]: B+(**)
  • Charles Lloyd New Quartet: Passin' Thru (2016 [2017], Blue Note): [r]: B+(***)
  • Meredith Monk: On Behalf of Nature (2015 [2016], ECM): [r]: B+(*)
  • Richard Pinhas/Barry Cleveland: Mu (2016, Cuneiform): [dl]: B+(**)
  • Eric Revis: Sing Me Some Cry (2016 [2017], Clean Feed): [r]: A-
  • Mark Rubin, Jew of Oklahoma: Songs for the Hangman's Daughter (2017, Rubinchik): [bc]: B+(**)
  • Oliver Schwerdt: Prestige/No Smoking (2015 [2017], Euphorium, 2CD): [cd]: B+(***)
  • Ken Vandermark/Klaus Kugel/Mark Tokar: Escalator (2016 [2017], Not Two): [bc]: B+(***)
  • John Vanore: Stolen Moments: Celebrating Oliver Nelson (2016 [2017], Acoustical Concepts): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Matt Wilson: Matt Wilson's Honey and Salt (2016 [2017], Palmetto): [cd]: B+(*)

Old music rated this week:

  • Burnt Sugar/The Arkestra Chamber: Not April in Paris: Live From Banlieus Bleues (2004, Trugroid): [r]: B+(***)
  • Burnt Sugar/The Arkestra Chamber: If You Can't Dazzle Then With Your Brilliance, Then Baffle Them With Your Blisluth (2004 [2005], Trugroid, 2CD): [r]: B+(***)
  • Burnt Sugar/The Arkestra Chamber: More Than Posthuman: Rise of the Mojosexual Cotillion (2006, Trugroid, 2CD): B+(***)
  • Burnt Sugar/The Arkestra Chamber: Chopped and Screwed: Volume 2 (2007, Trugroid): [r]: B
  • Joe Morris Trio: Antennae (1997, AUM Fidelity): [r]: B+(**)
  • Joe Morris/Mat Maneri: Soul Search (2000, AUM Fidelity): [r]: B+(*)
  • Joe Morris: Singularity (2000 [2001], AUM Fidelity): [r]: B+(**)
  • Joe Morris Bass Quartet: High Definition (2007 [2008], Hatology): [r]: A-
  • Joe Morris: Mess Hall (2011 [2014], Hatology): [r]: B+(**)
  • Randy Newman: Live (1971, Reprise): [r]: B
  • Matthew Shipp: Duos With Mat Maneri and Joe Morris (1997-98 [2011], Hatology): [r]: B+(*)


Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • Chet Doxas: Rich in Symbols (Ropeadope): September 8
  • San Francisco String Trio: May I Introduce to You (Ridgeway): September 8
  • Triocity [Charles Pillow/Jeff Campbell/Rich Thompson]: I Believe in You (Origin): August 18