Monday, September 4, 2017


Music Week

Music: Current count 28627 [28590] rated (+37), 369 [374] unrated (-5).

Some of this came out in the August Streamnotes, posted on Wednesday as I decided that waiting for the end of the month wouldn't net much more of major interest. Chalk that up as one of those "watched pot never boils" stories: after closing, I came up with the five A-list jazz albums to the right, plus a Swet Shop Boys EP I didn't know existed (see Christgau's Expert Witness -- by the way, third week in a row where he featured a record I had previously A-listed: Waxahatchee's Out in the Storm, Hamell on Trial's Tackle Box, and Swet Shop Boys' Cashmere; on the other hand, I panned Algiers' The Underside of Power with a B-).

Tips on the jazz albums came from all over, notably from Francis Davis returning to the Village Voice to write about Kirk Knuffke. The John Escreet album was one I was vaguely aware of (it came out in 2016 and got some Critics Poll votes) but didn't bother looking up until I saw it on Phil Overeem's latest 2017-to-date list. Similarly, Nate Wooley is on Chris Monsen's 2017 list; and DEK Trio (like Barry Altschul last week) has been recently reviewed by Tim Niland (to do list: Matt Lavelle, Matthew Shipp, Mette Rasmussen). On the other hand, Ernest McCarty Jr. & Jimmie Smith's Erroll Garner tribute came from my queue -- secret weapon there is the late pianist Geri Allen channeling the master so expertly you'll wonder if it was recorded posthumously in heaven.

Those records led me off on several tangents, which you can easily map out from the following list.

Also regarding the Village Voice, I added a bunch of recent Voice articles to Carol Cooper's website today. Interesting stuff, including a couple of tips I should follow up on.


Tweeted on Nikki Haley Says North Korea 'Begging for War':

Classic projection as Nikki Haley is the one begging for war, repeatedly tightening sanctions noose to provoke one.

It's getting hard to explain the Trump Administration without resorting to psychological concepts, because their disconnection from reality goes so far beyond quirks and ordinary neuroses. I stumbled across a guy the other day talking about an unprecedentedly deranged leader and it sure sounded like he was talking about Trump. Only context eventually pointed to Kim Jong-un, a person you can be virtually certain he knows absolutely nothing about. I wrote some more about Haley in the notebook today. Maybe I'll fold that into Weekend Roundup, if we get that far.

A secondary point: I entered the URL into the tweet like I usually do, but Twitter picked up a picture, the title, and a lead and put them into a box like I often see, but that never happens with my own posts. There must be some trick to that -- something websites do to tell Twitter what to use in a link. Wish I knew whatever that is.

[PS: Just after posting, I noticed this Max Blumenthal tweet:

Neocons rented the vacant space in Nikki Haley's head. Lindsey Graham was the broker, Sheldon Adelson the lender.

Tweet included a link to Jim Lobe: Nikki Haley: Neocon Heartthrob. Blumenthal's "vacant space" snark may be offensive, but Lobe notes that Haley's "most influential adviser" is Graham's former chief counsel, and that Adelson contributed $250k to Haley's "A Great Day" slushfund, five times as much as number two-ranked Koch Industries.]


New records rated this week:

  • Tim Berne's Snakeoil: Incidentals (2014 [2017], ECM): [dl]: B+(***)
  • Stanley Cowell: No Illusions (2015 [2017], SteepleChase): [r]: B+(**)
  • DEK Trio: Construct 1: Stone (2016 [2017], Audiographic): [bc]: A-
  • DEK Trio: Construct 2: Artfacts (2017, Audiographic): [bc]: B+(***)
  • DEK Trio: Construct 3: Ovadlo 29 (2017, Audiographic): [bc]: B+(***)
  • Chet Doxas: Rich in Symbols (2017, Ropeadope): [cd]: B+(*)
  • John Escreet: The Unknown: Live in Concert (2016, Sunnyside): [r]: A-
  • Filthy Friends: Invitation (2017, Kill Rock Stars): [r]: B+(*)
  • Jim Gailloreto's Jazz String Quintet: The Pythiad (2016 [2017], Origin Classical): [cd]: B-
  • Gogol Bordello: Seekers and Finders (2017, Cooking Vinyl): [r]: B+(**)
  • Kesha: Rainbow (2017, Kemosabe/RCA): [r]: B+(*)
  • Kirk Knuffke: Cherryco (2016 [2017], SteepleChase): [r]: A-
  • Ernest McCarty Jr. & Jimmie Smith: A Reunion Tribute to Erroll Garner (2017, Blujazz): [cd]: A-
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: The Punishment of Luxury (2017, White Noise): [r]: B+(***)
  • Lewis Porter/Phil Scarff Group: Three Minutes to Four (2017, Whaling City Sound): [r]: B+(***)
  • Saint Etienne: Home Counties (2017, Heavenly): [r]: B+(***)
  • San Francisco String Trio: May I Introduce to You (2016 [2017], Ridgeway): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Unhinged Sextet: Don't Blink (2016 [2017], OA2): [cd]: B
  • Swet Shop Boys: Sufi La (2017, Customs, EP): [r]: A-
  • Carl Winther & Jerry Bergonzi: Inner Journey (2016 [2017], SteepleChase LookOut): [r]: B+(***)
  • Nate Wooley: Knknighgh (Minimal Poetry for Aram Saroyan) (2016 [2017], Clean Feed): [r]: A-

Recent reissues, compilations, and vault discoveries rated this week:

  • George Freeman: 90 Going on Amazing (2005 [2017], Blujazz): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Mono No Aware (2017, Pan): [r]: B+(*)
  • John Prine: September 78 (1978 [2017], Oh Boy): [r]: B+(***)

Old music rated this week:

  • DEK Trio: Burning Below Zero (2014 [2016], Trost): [r]: B+(***)
  • John Prine: Prime Prine: The Best of John Prine (1971-75 [1976], Atlantic): [r]: A-
  • John Prine: Pink Cadillac (1979, Asylum): [r]: B
  • John Prine: Storm Windows (1980, Asylum): [r]: A-
  • John Prine: John Prine Live (1986, Oh Boy): [r]: B+(*)
  • Saint Etienne: Good Humor (1998, Sub Pop): [r]: B+(**)
  • Saint Etienne: Sound of Water (2000, Sub Pop): [r]: B+(**)
  • Saint Etienne: Finisterre (2002, Mantra): [r]: B+(**)
  • Saint Etienne: Travel Edition 1990-2005 (1991-2004 [2004], Sub Pop): [r]: B+(***)
  • Trio-X [Joe McPhee/Dominic Duval/Jay Rosen]: On Tour: Toronto/Rochester (2001, Cadence): [bc]: B+(***)
  • Trio-X [Joe McPhee/Dominic Duval/Jay Rosen]: Journey (2003, CIMP): [bc]: B+(**)


Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet: Diablo en Brooklyn (Saponegro): September 22
  • Eric Hofbauer: Ghost Frets (Creative Nation Music)
  • Lauren Kinhan: A Sleepin' Bee (Dotted i)