Tuesday, December 25, 2018


Music Week

Music: current count 30842 [30808] rated (+34), 269 [269] unrated (+0).

Surprised the count is this high. I was on a tear early in the week, especially between the time I compiled last week's results and when I finally posted them last Wednesday. However, that came to a screeching halt on Thursday or Friday (I can't remember which), when I woke up and found it very difficult and painful to sit up or stand. It doesn't seem like back pain; more in my hips, evenly distributed. I've had something like this happen a few widely scattered times in the past, but it's always cleared up in a couple of days. This doesn't seem to be getting better. Once I straighten up I can walk around without too much pain, but bending over or kneeling down is tough.

I had ambitious plans for fixing a Christmas Eve dinner, working mostly out of two Yotam Ottlenghi cookbooks, Ottolenghi and Jerusalem. I figured I should do some preliminary shopping on Friday, even though I hadn't fully sorted the menu out, and do a bit more on Sunday before starting to cook that evening. But with the pain and immobility, I started cutting back. I got my wife to drive me to Dillons for the Friday shopping, and made do with the single stop. Then I asked one of my guests to help out with the cooking. Linda Jordan joined me for several hours Saturday evening and from 1:30 through dinner on Sunday, and somehow we knocked out a decent menu of dishes (descriptions from memory):

  • Shawarma: a leg of lamb, marinated overnight in a spice paste, and roasted.
  • Sweet potato gratin: sliced into rounds, packed with garlic and sage, partly baked, then covered with cream and baked more to finish.
  • Eggplant: cut in half, roasted, topped with sauteed onions, spices, and feta cheese.
  • Eggplant: cut into cubes, roasted, in a saffron-yogurt sauce.
  • Endive: split, carmelized, stuffed with a mix (bread crumbs, parmesan, herbs, cream), topped with prosciutto, and baked.
  • Pearl barley and parsley salad: also with toasted cashews and spiced feta cheese.
  • Zucchini and tomato salad: also with walnuts, in a yogurt sauce.
  • Tomatoes: cut into chunks, with basil and dressing.
  • Mast va khiar: cucumber, scallions, golden raisins, walnuts, and mint in yogurt.
  • Amish Door's date pudding, topped with caramel sauce and whipped cream.

Saturday night Linda made the pudding and caramel sauce; we roasted the eggplants, cooked the barley, prepped the feta, mixed up the marinade and rubbed it into the lamb. After Linda left I did the mast va khiar and the whipped cream.

Sunday I had to get the lamb into the oven by 1:30. I sliced an onion, and started frying it. Linda arrived and took over. I mostly mixed sauces. I tried cutting the sweet potatoes with a mandoline, but gave up and used the food processor instead (harder to set up, but cut much faster). Two ovens were the key: while the lamb was roasting at 325F, the gratin and the endive needed 400F: 70 minutes for the sweet potatoes and 20 for the endive. We actually had all the side dishes and the latter ready for the oven by 4:30, so there was no last-minute drama. I hadn't really thought that through in the planning, but it worked out perfectly. Food was pretty good, too.

Pain wasn't too bad walking around, or sitting on a high bar stool doing prep. Linda did pretty much all of the stovetop cooking, as well as shuffling things in and out of the ovens. Got a good night's sleep, but this morning was the worst yet -- especially after sitting at the computer 15-20 minutes. This stretch on the computer has gone on for two hours. Not too bad crouched over working here, but I expect it will be tough getting up.

Plan is to come back and post this later tonight. I'm due to post December's Streamnotes sometime this week. I may go ahead and push it out without the usual indexing. Music count for the last 3-4 days has been close to zero. No idea when I'll be able to do more.

I should note that the Howard Riley album below (Live in the USA) would have topped my Reissues/Historical ballot in the Jazz Critics Poll had I gotten to it in time. I've said before that most years I find another A-list album within 2 days of filing my ballot, and a ballot-contender within two weeks. I'm usually thinking of new releases there, but note that Adam Forkelid's Reminiscence (also below) is up at number 12 in my Best Jazz Albums of 2018 list, so just barely below top ten.


New records rated this week:

  • Lynne Arriale Trio: Give Us These Days (2017 [2018], Challenge): [r]: B+(*)
  • Bob Baldori/Arthur Migliazza: The Boogie Kings: Disturbing the Peace (2018, Blujazz/Spirit): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Eraldo Bernocchi: Like a Fire That Consumes All Before It (2018, RareNoise): [cdr]: B+(*)
  • The Beths: Future Me Hates Me (2018, Carpark): [r]: B+(*)
  • Samuel Blaser: Early in the Mornin' (2017 [2018], Out Note): [r]: B+(*)
  • Bobby Bradford/Hafez Modirzadeh: Live at the Blue Whale (2017 [2018], NoBusiness): [cdr]: B+(***)
  • Brockhampton: Iridescence (2018, RCA): [r]: B+(**)
  • Marie Davidson: Working Class Woman (2018, Ninja Tune): [r]: A-
  • Orrin Evans and the Captain Black Big Band: Presence (2018, Smoke Sessions): [r]: B
  • Adam Forkelid: Reminiscence (2017 [2018], Moserobie): [cd]: A-
  • John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble: All Can Work (2017 [2018], New Amsterdam): [bc]: B
  • Park Jiha: Communion (2016 [2018], Tak:til): [r]: B+(**)
  • JLin: Autobiography [Music From Wayne McGregor's Autobiography] (2018, Planet Mu): [r]: B+(***)
  • Phillip Johnston: The Adventuers of Prince Achmed (2013 [2018], Asychronous): [bc]: B+(*)
  • Phillip Johnston & the Coolerators: Diggin' Bones (2017 [2018], Asynchronous): [bc]: B+(***)
  • Martin Küchen/Rafal Mazur: Baza (2017 [2018], NoBusiness): [cdr]: B+(*)
  • Lotic: Power (2018, Tri Angle): [r]: B
  • François Moutin & Kavita Shah Duo: Interplay (2018, Dot Time): [r]: B+(***)
  • Now Vs Now: The Buffering Cocoon (2018, Jazzland): [r]: B
  • Jacob Sacks: Fishes (2017 [2018], Clean Feed): [r]: B+(**)
  • Scheen Jazzorchester/Eyolf Dale: Commuter Report (2018, Losen): [cd]: B+(*)
  • SLUGish Ensemble: An Eight Out of Nine (2018, SLUGish): [bc]: B+(**)
  • Martial Solal: My One and Only Love: Live at Theater Gutersloh (2017 [2018], Intuition): [r]: B+(***)
  • Luciana Souza: The Book of Longing (2018, Sunnyside): [r]: B+(**)
  • Subtle Degrees: A Dance That Empties (2017 [2018], New Amsterdam): [bc]: B+(***)
  • Earl Sweatshirt: Some Rap Songs (2018, Tan Cressida/Columbia, EP): [r]: B
  • Trio HLK: Standard Time (2018, Ubuntu Music): [bc]: B+(***)
  • Trondheim Jazz Orchestra & Ole Morten Vågan: Happy Endings (2018, Odin): [r]: B+(**)
  • Yves Tumor: Safe in the Hands of Love (2018, Warp): [r]: B
  • Ben Wendel: The Seasons (2018, Motéma): [r]: B+(*)

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

  • Marion Brown/Dave Burrell: Live at the Black Musicians' Conference, 1981 (1981 [2018], NoBusiness): [cd]: A-
  • Detail [Johnny Mbizo Dyani/Frode Gjerstad/Evin One Pedersen/John Stevens]: Detail at Club 7 (1982 [2017], Not Two): [r]: B+(***)
  • Howard Riley: Live in the USA (1976 [2018], NoBusiness): [cd]: A
  • Wadada Leo Smith/Sabu Toyozumi: Burning Meditation (1994 [2018], NoBusiness): [cd]: A-
  • Cecil Taylor: Poschiavo (1999 [2018], Black Sun): [r]: B+(***)


Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • Ran Blake/Jeanne Lee: The Newest Sound You Never Heard (1966-67, A-Side, 2CD): January 25
  • Blue Standard: A Good Thing (Big Time): January 18
  • Benjamin Boone/Philip Levine: The Poetry of Jazz: Volume Two (Origin): January 18
  • Eric Dolphy: Musical Prophet: The Expanded 1963 New York Studio Sessions (Resonance, 3CD): January 26
  • Kresten Osgood: Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz (ILK, 2CD)
  • Alister Spence and Satoko Fujii Orchestra Kobe: Imagine Meeting You Here (Alister Spence Music): January 18
  • Stephan Thelen: Fractal Guitar (Moonjune): January 18