Monday, January 14, 2019


Music Week

Music: current count 30949 [30913] rated (+36), 263 [260] unrated (+3).

Rated count remains healthy despite my various disabilities. The breakdown shifted rather dramatically toward "recent reissues, compilations, and vault discoveries" -- probably because I finally added a few rather deep compilation-oriented lists to my EOY Aggregate and its Old Music companion, including the complete Jazz Critics Poll: Reissues/Historical list. Some other late-breaking polls I picked up:

The James Brown compilation topped the Ye Wei list, and could have rated higher had I spent more time with it. The FOLC is one of those retro-rock things Phil Overeem especially loves. I was vaguely aware that a lot of Sun Ra had been reissued last year, so when my first two picks turned out to be especially good, I tried out a bunch more. Trying to figure out the lay of the land, I jotted down a list of 85 more Sun Ra albums on Napster that I haven't heard. I should return to them at some point.

There is a new XgauSez over on Robert Christgau's website, as well as the 2018 Dean's List. I wanted to get the reviews caught up, but in the end decided just to post the list. Still don't feel up to starting the planned site redesign, and probably shouldn't risk it until I do.

I gather there is a Village Voice Pazz & Jop poll in the works, so that will probably wrap up my EOY list madness. Christgau held back his point assignments for the poll, although I wouldn't expect them to post ballots this year after they failed last year. Christgau will be writing some kind of piece for the poll. For the first time in 15+ years I didn't get an invite, so I find myself losing interest. Much more info can be mined from my own EOY Aggregate anyway.


New records rated this week:

  • Art Brut: Wham! Bang! Pow! Let's Rock Out (2018, Alcopop!): [r]: B+(**)
  • David Binney: Here & Now (2018, Mythology): [r]: B-
  • Itamar Borochov: Blue Nights (2018 [2019], Laborie Jazz): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Peter Brotzmann & Fred Lonberg-Holm: Ouroboros (2011 [2018], Astral Spirits): [bc]: B+(***)
  • Chuck Deardorf: Perception (2017-18 [2019], Origin): [cd]: B+(**)
  • The Delines: The Imperial (2019, El Cortez): [r]: B+(***)
  • Bryan Ferry and His Orchestra: Bitter-Sweet (2018, BMG): [r]: B+(**)
  • Joe Fiedler: Open Sesame (2018 [2019], Multiphonics Music): [cd]: B+(***)
  • Miho Hazama: Dancer in Nowhere (2018 [2019], Sunnyside): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Janczarski & McCraven Quintet: Liberator (2016 [2018], ForTune): [bc]: B+(*)
  • Brandon Lopez: Quoniam Facta Sum Vilis (2018, Astral Spirits): [bc]: B+(*)
  • Loretta Lynn: Wouldn't It Be Great (2006-17 [2018], Legacy): [r]: B+(**)
  • Quinsin Nachoff's Flux: Path of Totality (2016-17 [2019], Whirlwind, 2CD): [cd]: A-
  • May Okita: Art of Life (2018 [2019], Origin): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Ernie Watts Quartet: Home Light (2018, Flying Dolphin): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Zeal and Ardor: Stranger Fruit (2018, MVKA): [r]: B+(*)
  • Denny Zeitlin/Buster Williams/Matt Wilson: Wishing on the Moon (2009 [2018], Sunnyside): [r]: B+(**)

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

  • Gordon Beck Quartet: When Sunny Gets Blue (1966-68 [2018], Another Planet): [r]: B+(*)
  • James Brown & the Famous Flames: The Federal & King Singles As and Bs 1956-61 (1956-61 [2018], Acrobat, 2CD): [r]: A-
  • Feeling Kréyol: Las Palé (1988, Strut, EP): [r]: B+(*)
  • Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!! And Rights!! ([2018], FOLC): [bc]: A-
  • Gumba Fire: Bubblegum Soul & Synth-Boogie in 1980s South Africa (Soundway): [r]: B+(**)
  • Guy Lafitte: His Tenor Sax & Orchestra 1954-1959 (1954-59 [2018], Fresh Sound): [r]: B+(***)
  • Guy Lafitte: Quartet & Sextet Sessions 1956-1962 (1956-62 [2018], Fresh Sound): [r]: B+(**)
  • Dave McKenna: In Madison (1991 [2018], Arbors): [r]: B+(**)
  • John Prine: Live in Asheville '86 (1986 [2016], Oh Boy): [bc]: B+(**)
  • Sun Ra & His Arkestra: Sun Ra With Pharoah Sanders & Black Harold: Judson Hall, New York, Dec. 31, 1964 (1964 [2018], Enterplanetary Koncepts): [bc]: B+(**)
  • Sun Ra: Astro Black (1972 [2018], Modern Harmonic): [r]: B+(*)
  • Sun Ra: The Cymbals/Symbols Sessions: New York City 1973 (1973 [2018], Modern Harmonic, 2CD): [bc]: B+(***)
  • Sun Ra & His Arkestra: Discipline 99 (Out Beyond the Kingdom Of) (1974 [2018], Enterplanetary Koncepts): [bc]: B+(**)
  • Sun Ra: Of Abstract Dreams (1974-75 [2018], Strut): [r]: A-
  • Sun Ra and His Arkestra: Taking a Chance on Chances (1977 [2018], Enterplanetary Koncepts): [r]: B+(***)
  • Sun Ra: God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be (1979 [2018], Cosmic Myth): [r]: A-
  • Sun Ra: Sun Ra Plays Gershwin (1951-89 [2018], Enterplanetary Koncepts): [r]: B
  • Jesse Sharps Quintet & P.A.P.A.: Sharps and Flats (2004 [2018], Nimbus West/Outernational Sounds): [r]: B+(***)

Old music rated this week:

  • Sun Ra and His Myth Science Arkestra: We Travel the Space Ways (1960 [2012], Enterplanetary Koncepts): [r]: B+(*)


Grade (or other) changes:

  • Joshua Redman/Ron Miles/Scott Colley/Brian Blade: Still Dreaming (2017 [2018], Nonesuch): [r]: [was B+(**)] B+(***)


Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • Moppa Elliott: Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band (Hot Cup, 2CD): February 14
  • Iro Haarla, Ulf Krokfors & Barry Altschul: Around Again (TUM)
  • Alexander Hawkins: Iron Into Wind: Piano Solo (Intakt)
  • Heroes Are Gang Leaders: The Amiri Baraka Sessions (Flat Langston's Arkeyes)
  • Human Feel [Chris Speed/Andrew D'Angelo/Kurt Rosenwinkel/Jim Black]: Gold (Intakt)
  • Greg Murphy Trio: Bright Idea (Whaling City Sound)
  • Tom Rainey Trio With Mary Halvorson and Ingrid Laubrock: Combobulated (Intakt)
  • Dave Rudolph Quintet: Resonance (self-released)
  • Wadada Leo Smith: Rosa Parks: Pure Love: An Oratorio of Seven Songs (TUM): February 15
  • Ernie Watts Quartet: Home Light (Flying Dolphin)