Monday, November 27, 2017


Music Week

Music: Current count 28931 [28909] rated (+22), 391 [394] unrated (-3).

Rated count down, mostly attributable to Thanksgiving, when I fixed a small dinner: roast goose with potatoes, baked zucchini niçoise, oven-braised pumpkin, sweet and sour cabbage. All recipes were new to me, and came out as well as hoped. For dessert I made three pies: maple pecan, chocolate pecan, and key lime. For the first two, I tried two different pie shell recipes, and found the "easy" one not only not as good but also not as easy. The key lime had a graham cracker crust that came out rather crumbly, but otherwise I was very pleased.

Further disruptions over the weekend: stereo went on the blink on Saturday, which drove me to listening to so-so albums on Napster. It (for reasons currently unfathomable) started working on Sunday, but I couldn't focus, as I was cooking several Indian dishes to get an idea how several menu ideas for next week's Peace Center Annual Dinner might play out. I'll be directing dinner for sixty on Friday, December 1, and until then I expect to have very little time for music. Menu will be Indian (except for dessert), mostly because I can cook more recipes ahead of time, making the logistics relatively manageable. Still, an enormous amount of work for an amateur like myself.

The dinner work already wiped out any chance at a Weekend Roundup -- possibly the first one I've missed since Trump was elected (though I may have blocked something out -- I do recall at least one threat to throw in the towel).

Current plan is to publish November's Streamnotes on Tuesday. Not likely to have much not already in the file, and there's at least a small chance I might not get the indexing done. But it needs to get up before the end of the month, and I won't have any time after Tuesday. Still will have more records than October (current count 114).

While I'm at it, I'd like to recommend Mark E. McCormick: Some Were Paupers, Some Were Kings: Dispatches From Kansas. McCormick wrote an op-ed column at the Wichita Eagle, and this collects many of his best pieces, not least on the perennial topic of race relations. Laura Tillem helped edit and design the book, and I helped her a bit with the conversion from one hideous Microsoft format to another. By the way, McCormick will be giving the main presentation at Friday's Peace Center 25th Annual Dinner.

By the way, François Carrier sent me a note asking that I mention his crowdfunding project. I routinely ignore requests to post notices, and certainly don't want to encourage more of them, but a few years ago when I got especially flustered I wrote a mass email to everyone who was sending me CDs announcing my intent to stop reviewing. François wrote me back immediately and insisted he was going to keep sending them anyway. As you can see here, few musicians have given me more pleasure more consistently. So by all means, encourage him to play and record more.


By the way, I thought the iconic story of last week was when Trump pardoned the turkey on Thanksgiving, and said "I feel so good about myself doing this." (See Jessica Contrera.) When I first read the quote, I thought it the perfect example of his narcissism. Only when I saw the video later did the full perversity sink in. As Contrera notes, the lead up to the quote was: "Are we allowed to touch? Wow." The video looks like Trump groping the turkey as he says, "I feel so good about myself" -- his look suggesting fond remembrances of other birds he's groped.

Another iconic moment was captured in this tweet by Daniel Dale (picture here; story here):

Trump is holding this event honouring Native American code talkers, and insulting Warren as "Pocohontas," in front of a portrait of president Andrew Jackson, who signed the Indian Removal Act.

Very sad to see John Conyers caught up in the sex abuse scandals. He was first elected to the Congress in 1964 and was one of the first dozen House members to vote against the Vietnam War. Aside from his brief post-9/11 lapse, he has been one of the most consistent critics of American belligerence abroad, as well as a steady champion of civil rights and liberties. Not perfect, I guess -- I certainly don't like his "Pro-IP Act" -- but for a very long time one of the very best Congress had to offer.


New records rated this week:

  • Björk: Utopia (2017, One Little Indian): [r]: B+(*)
  • Raoul Björkenheim Ecstasy: Doors of Perception (2017, Cuneiform): [dl]: B+(***)
  • Carn Davidson 9: Murphy (2017, self-released): [cd]: B
  • Ori Dagan: Nathaniel: A Tribute to Nat King Cole (2017, Scat Cat): [cd]: B
  • Deer Tick: Vol. 1 (2017, Partisan): [r]: B+(*)
  • Deer Tick: Vol. 2 (2017, Partisan): [r]: B+(*)
  • Die Enttäuschung: Lavaman (2017, Intakt): [cd]: A-
  • Jari Haapalainen Trio: Fusion Nation (2017, Moserobie): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Alexander Hawkins-Elaine Mitchener Quartet: Uproot (2017, Intakt): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Kasai Allstars & Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste: Around Félicité (2017, Crammed Discs): [bc]: B+(**)
  • Kasai Allstars: Félicité Remixes (2017, Crammed Discs): [r]: B+(*)
  • Joe McPhee/Damon Smith/Alvin Fielder: Six Situations (2016 [2017], Not Two): [r]: B+(***)
  • Lorrie Morgan/Pam Tillis: Come See Me & Come Lonely< (2017, Goldenlane): [r]: B+(*)
  • Evan Parker & RGG: Live @ Alchemia (2016 [2017], Fundacja Sluchaj): [bc]: A-
  • William Parker Quartets: Meditation/Resurrection (2016 [2017], AUM Fidelity, 2CD): [dl]: A-
  • Frank Perowsky Jazz Orchestra: Gowanus (2017, Jazzkey): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Gregory Porter: Nat "King" Cole & Me (2017, Blue Note): [r]: C+
  • Daniel Rosenthal: Music in the Room (2016 [2017], American Melody): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Blake Shelton: Texoma Shore (2017, Warner Brothers Nashville): [r]: B+(*)
  • Dave Zinno Unisphere: River of January (2017, Whaling City Sound): [cd]: B+(*)

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

  • Dion: Kickin' Child: The Lost Album 1965 (1965 [2017], Norton): [r]: C-

Old music rated this week:

  • Die Enttäuschung: Die Enttäuschung 4 (2006 [2007], Intakt): [r]: B+(***)


Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • Kris Davis & Craig Taborn: Octopus (Pyroclastic): January 28
  • Angelo Divino: Love A to Z (self-released)
  • Ryan Keberle/Frank Woeste: Reverso: Suite Pavel (Phonoart): February 9
  • Thiefs: Graft (Le Greffe) (Jazz & People): February 5
  • Dave Young/Terry Promane Octet: Vol. 2 (Modica Music): December 8