August 2012 Notebook
Index
Latest

2017
  Sep
  Aug
  Jul
  Jun
  May
  Apr
  Mar
  Feb
  Jan
2016
  Dec
  Nov
  Oct
  Sep
  Aug
  Jul
  Jun
  May
  Apr
  Mar
  Feb
  Jan
2015
  Dec
  Nov
  Oct
  Sep
  Aug
  Jul
  Jun
  May
  Apr
  Mar
  Feb
  Jan
2014
  Dec
  Nov
  Oct
  Sep
  Aug
  Jul
  Jun
  May
  Apr
  Mar
  Feb
  Jan
2013
  Dec
  Nov
  Oct
  Sep
  Aug
  Jul
  Jun
  May
  Apr
  Mar
  Feb
  Jan
2012
  Dec
  Nov
  Oct
  Sep
  Aug
  Jul
  Jun
  May
  Apr
  Mar
  Feb
  Jan
2011
  Dec
  Nov
  Oct
  Sep
  Aug
  Jul
  Jun
  May
  Apr
  Mar
  Feb
  Jan
2010
  Dec
  Nov
  Oct
  Sep
  Aug
  Jul
  Jun
  May
  Apr
  Mar
  Feb
  Jan
2009
  Dec
  Nov
  Oct
  Sep
  Aug
  Jul
  Jun
  May
  Apr
  Mar
  Feb
  Jan
2008
  Dec
  Nov
  Oct
  Sep
  Aug
  Jul
  Jun
  May
  Apr
  Mar
  Feb
  Jan
2007
  Dec
  Nov
  Oct
  Sep
  Aug
  Jul
  Jun
  May
  Apr
  Mar
  Feb
  Jan
2006
  Dec
  Nov
  Oct
  Sep
  Aug
  Jul
  Jun
  May
  Apr
  Mar
  Feb
  Jan
2005
  Dec
  Nov
  Oct
  Sep
  Aug
  Jul
  Jun
  May
  Apr
  Mar
  Feb
  Jan
2004
  Dec
  Nov
  Oct
  Sep
  Aug
  Jul
  Jun
  May
  Apr
  Mar
  Feb
  Jan
2003
  Dec
  Nov
  Oct
  Sep
  Aug
  Jul
  Jun
  May
  Apr
  Mar
  Feb
  Jan
2002
  Dec
  Nov
  Oct
  Sep
  Aug
  Jul
  Jun
  May
  Apr
  Mar
  Feb
  Jan
2001
  Dec
  Oct
  Sep
  Aug
  Jul
  Jun
  May
  Apr
  Mar
  Feb

Friday, August 31, 2012

Expert Comments

Underground rap odds & ends:

Three records here I had at A- based on limited Rhapsody sampling -- I do like that underground vibe. Especially pleased to see Lyrics Born, which is a couple years old. Still have a short list of A- underground rap that never showed up in EW -- The Left: Gas Mask; 7L & Esoteric: 1212; Rakaa: Crown of Thorns. Should re-check Ab-Soul, which I had at B.

By the way, the much-delayed August A Downloader's Diary has been resynched for September, and is up early.

A Downloader's Diary (23): September 2012

Insert text from here.


This is the 23rd installment, (almost) monthly since August 2010, totalling 586 albums. All columns are indexed and archived here. You can follow A Downloader's Diary on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Music Week/No Jazz Prospecting

Music: Current count 20337 [20304] rated (+33), 706 [724] unrated (-18).

Seems like a healthy rating mark, but I've been taking it very easy, pulling out old records from the unrated file -- most of which dates from a few bouts of mass closeout buying back in 2002-04. I'm collecting the reviews in the August Recycled Goods column, whose release is delayed to the end of the month. Back in early August, I felt like I didn't have an adequate store of reviews -- the column will be my 100th, an occasion which demands more than the half-dozen items I had stashed away. Up to about 35 now, but they're still awfully scattershot, and I'm not finding many gems among piles I bought for about $1/disc and hadn't bothered to play for almost a decade. I should probably figure out some way to round it off. As it is it feels like I'm ending the series with a classic heat death whimper.

Meanwhile, no Jazz Prospecting. I think I managed six records for the week, including one A-list find, but that will keep. I seemed to be recovering a bit a week ago, but I took a turn for the worse middle of last week. Went back to doctor on Friday. Ran some tests, but still no answers. Meanwhile, fever has returned, and I've been coughing more than ever. I've been out of sorts for more than a month now, Last few days I've been barely conscious. No idea when that will change. Until it does, I'm pretty much putting everything on hold.

I did finally get the unpacking done this today, so I can run that.


Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • Adventure Music: 10 Years ([2012], Adventure Music, 3CD)
  • Amikaeyla: Being in Love (Roots Jazz)
  • Ed Cherry: It's All Good (Posi-Tone)
  • Chives: Dads (Primary)
  • The Billie Davies Trio: All About Love (Cobra Basement)
  • Graham Dechter: Takin' It There (Capri)
  • Denise Donatelli: Soul Shadows (Savant)
  • Elina Duni Quartet: Matanë Malit (ECM): advance, October 16
  • Carlos Franzetti: Pierrot et Colombine (Sunnyside)
  • Beka Gochiashvili (Exitus Entertainment)
  • Iron Dog: Interactive Album Rock (self-released)
  • Dave King: I've Been Ringing You (Sunnyside)
  • Steve Lipman: Ridin' the Beat (Locomotion)
  • Lou Pallo of Les Paul's Trio: Thank You Les (Showplace Music Production)
  • Reggie Quinerly: Music Inspird by Freedman Town (Redefinition Music)
  • Jordan Young: Cymbal Melodies (Posi-Tone)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Expert Comments

Jason Gubbels mentioned my Rhapsody Streamnotes and Jazz Prospecting posts at EW, which led to a discussion of The Cherry Thing. I tried to explain:

The Thing is never going to be all that easy to listen to, and while they're relatively well behaved behind Cherry, they do crack up into cacophony once, and Gustafsson is never that far from a nasty squawk attack. Their best albums were the first ones, eponymous in 2000, followed by She Knows with Joe McPhee in 2001 -- both available in the box Now and Forever -- probably because that's when they were closest to their garage rock roots. I've never been much of a Gustafsson fan -- I've regularly panned his work in Aaly Trio and Gush, his socalled blues record, and I find Sonore a tedious slog (even though I generally love Vandermark) -- but he gets more grunge out of the bari sax than anyone else I can think of, and Flaten and Nilssen-Love make for a very lively rhythm section. The bigger problem with the Cherry album is that she's playing in their arena -- doing Suicide and the Stooges -- instead of the hip-hop of her two great albums, so this one has a tough time living up to expectations. Took me quite a while to get into it, and I wouldn't expect a lot of people who loved Raw Like Sushi to make the jump. Still, it's gotten a lot of favorable reviews -- makes me think that noise rock fans should listen to more avant jazz.

Music Week/Jazz Prospecting

Music: Current count 20304 [20269] rated (+35), 724 [731] unrated (-7).

First Jazz Prospecting in about a month. Don't know what the odds of another one next week are, but at least the bins aren't stuffed any more. Never really recovered from last month's flu, and I'm having something of a relapse: did nothing on Saturday, got some work done on Sunday, and woke up this morning as miserable as I've been during the whole ordeal. Could hardly stand up, but feeling a bit better now, so who knows?

Lots of Duduka Da Fonseca below. Sometimes it breaks like that.


John Abercrombie Quartet: Within a Song (2011 [2012], ECM): Guitarist, b. 1944 in Portchester, NY; more than 50 albums since 1971, most on ECM, a major figure albeit a tricky one to get a firm grasp on -- usually lurks in the woodwork, but sometimes can step out and dazzle. Has a group here that makes lurking a pleasure: Joey Baron (drums), Drew Gress (bass), and Joe Lovano (tenor sax). B+(***)

Roni Ben-Hur/Santi Debriano: Our Thing (2011 [2012], Motéma): Guitar-bass-drums trio, with Brazilian drummer Duduka Da Fonseca's name in smaller type as "featuring" (he contributed one song, as did Ben-Hur, to the bassist's four). Ben-Hur is an Israeli with more than a dozen albums since 1995, with a soft tone and boppish demeanor that works nice here, especially on covers from Monk, Jobim, and Berlin. Debriano was born in Panama but grew up in New York, and has a substantial discography of his own. B+(***)

Jerry Bergonzi: Shifting Gears (2012, Savant): Tenor saxophonist, b. 1947, has recorded steadily since 1983. Mainstream player, from 2006 on recorded a series of exceptional albums that underscored both how mainstream he was and how vital mainstream could be -- the titles self-explanatory, Tenorist, Tenor Talk, Simply Put. Here the title suggests kicking it up a notch, and while Phil Grenadier (trumpet) and Bruce Barth (piano) are as secure in the mainstream as he is, they do just that. A-

Otmar Binder Trio: Boogie Woogie Turnaround (2012, Jump River): Pianist, don't have much to go on and have a lot of problems trying to parse the liner, but probably German, claims he first got into boogie-woogie in 1978, but doesn't seem to have any other albums. Mostly trio, with Alexander Lackner (bass) and Michael Strasser (drums). Cover says "feat BJ COLE & christian DOZZLER," but where? on what? (Cole plays pedal steel; Dozzler is credited with "harp," by which I think they mean harmonica.) And there are other musicians, especially on the last track. The music is clearer: piano boogie, with at least one cut recalling Professor Longhair, delightful all the way through. B+(***)

Brazilian Trio [Helio Alves/Nilson Matta/Duduka Da Fonseca]: Constelação (2011 [2012], Motéma): Piano-bass-drums, should attribute this to Brazilian Trio but the stars' names loom in small print above, and if you don't know them you should. Second group album. More jazz than MPB, a fleet piano trio that builds on the native rhythms, with one original from each principal, a lot of Jobim, and the closer from Cedar Walton. B+(*)

Brubeck Brothers Quartet: Life Times (2012, Blue Forest): Dave Brubeck's sons, Chris Brubeck (electric bass, bass trombone) and Dan Brubeck (drums), plus Chuck Lamb on piano and Mike DiMicco on guitar. Several albums since 2000. They don't appear to have any desire to move out of their famous father's shadow: four (of eight) songs are by the senior Brubeck, and a fifth is Paul Desmond's "Take Five," stretched out to 10:25, sounding as glorious as ever. B+(***)

Marco Cappelli's Italian Surf Academy: The American Dream (2012, Mode): Guitarist, has a handful of albums since 2002, goes with a compact group here -- electric bass and drums -- rocking a couple Morricone pieces and more similar items that I don't recognize. Gaia Matteuzzi adds voice to one piece, taunting I'd say, and there is some more uncredited voice that adds to the dramaturgy. Ends with a take of "Secret Agent Man," a nice nod to surf guitar. B+(**) [advance]

Marco Cappelli: In the Shadow of No Towers (2011, Mode, DVD): Two 53-minute video collages based on Art Spiegelman's 2004 graphic book, In the Shadow of No Towers, one narrated in English by John Turturro, the other in Italian by Enzo Salomone. Guitarist Cappelli composed the music with his group Sintax Error -- Daniele Ledda (keyboards, live electronics), Roberto Pellegrini (drums, percussion) -- and while it's mostly soundtrack background, sometimes the music runs ahead of the narrative. Grade for the music. The graphics are probably best experienced in book form, although you do get the basic idea. B+(*)

Neneh Cherry & the Thing: The Cherry Thing (2012, Smalltown Supersound): Avant-garde trumpeter Don Cherry's step-daughter cut a marvelous hip-hop album in 1989 (Raw Like Sushi), a good follow-up in 1992, and not much more. She was born in Stockholm, and Cherry was most influential in Scandinavia, which leads to the Norwegian sax trio known as the Thing: Mats Gustafsson on tenor/baritone sax, Ingegrigt Håker Flaten on bass, Paal Nilssen-Love on drums. The Thing plays a punk variant of free jazz, often starting with rock songs and ripping them up. They're well behaved here, Gustafsson's bari providing a strong hint of menace without disrupting Cherry's flow -- although he does wreck the joint on "Dirt" (a Stooges song). Not the dream album one hoped for, but a working combo that can't help but stir shit up. A-

Neil Cowley Trio: The Face of Mount Molehill (2012, Naim Jazz): Piano trio, with Rex Horan on bass and Evan Jenkins on drums. Fourth album, augmented with strings on most tracks but the effect isn't obvious other than that there's more going on than you'd figure a trio could concoct. Lots of beat and bounce -- at one point Laura came in and approvingly described this as techno; I'm more tempted to say postbop boogie-woogie. Not all like that, and even at his most grooveful Cowley avoids the slickness of smooth jazz. B+(***)

Duduka Da Fonseca Quintet: Samba Jazz -- Jazz Samba (2009 [2012], Anzic): Brazilian drummer, sixth album since 2002, has four-fifths of a prime Brazilian jazz group -- Helio Alves (piano), Guilherme Monteiro (guitar), Leonardo Cinglia (bass) -- plus an interested, dedicated outsider in Anat Cohen (tenor sax, clarinet). Possibly despite her intents, Cohen tilts the field from samba to jazz, and while I generally prefer her tenor the extra weight slows down the drummer, making it basically her show, and not even that much of a samba showcase. B+(*)

Hamilton de Holanda Quinteto: Brasilianos 3 (2011 [2012], Adventure Music): Mandolin player (ten-string, to be precise), b. 1976 in Brazil, specializes in choro. Has a lot of album since 2002, especially once US mandolinist and Adventure Music owner Mike Marshall turned his ear to Brazil. Quinteto includes harmonica, guitar, bass, and drums. I find it hit-and-miss, but the mandolin work is impressive. B+(*)

Ecco La Musica: Morning Moon (2011 [2012], Big Round): Group: Aaron Bittikofer (bass), Jim Crew (accordion, clarinet, marimba, piano), Marco Buongiorno Nardelli (flutes), Ed Butler (drums, fender rhodes, percussion). First album. AMG dubs this classical, which isn't obvious to me, mostly because the rhythm is solid enough to constitute a groove. Lot of flute, though, and some uncredited choir clouding the horizon. B

Eric Erhardt: A Better Fate (2010 [2012], Tapestry): Tenor saxophonist, from Philadelphia, based in Arvada, CO, where he teaches. First album, a broad postbop effort with Russ Johnson sparring on trumpet, both piano (Nick Paul) and guitar (Sebastian Noelle), Linda Oh on bass, percussion (James Shipp) as well as drums (Mike Davis), and Dan Willis (soprano sax, oboe) guesting on two tracks. B+(*)

The Jay Lawrence Quartet: Sweet Lime (2011 [2012], Jazz Hang): Drummer, has a previous album from 2006. He wrote 7 (of 11) pieces, covering Chick Corea, Ray Noble, Sting, and Monk, and turned them over to a mainstream sax-piano quartet: Tamir Hendelman is flashy on piano, and Bob Sheppard exceptionally rambunctious on tenor sax. B+(**)

Maïkotron Unit: Effugit (2011 [2012], Jazz From Rant): Canadian trio, brothers Michel Côté (clarinets, piccolo) and Pierre Côté (cello, bass), plus drummer Michel Lambert, except that both Michels also play something called a maïkotron. As best I have been able to figure out, this is a tenor sax mouthpiece hooked up to all sorts of brass plumbing, in some cases capable of ranging below the bass saxophone -- two inside pictures show four very different-looking contraptions. The group's previous Ex-Voto won me over, but this is a bit less convincing, more limited to the novelty of the sounds. B+(***)

Jacám Manricks: Cloud Nine (2011 [2012], Posi-Tone): Alto saxophonist, b. in Australia, descended from Portuguese in Sri Lanka, studied at William Patterson U. in NJ and Manhattan School of Music, based in New York. Wrote 7 of 9 tunes (covers Jobim and Ivar Widéen). Strong mainstream group: David Weiss (trumpet), Adam Rogers (guitar), Sam Yahel (organ), and Matt Wilson (drums). B+(**)

Daniel McBrearty: Clarinet Swing (2011 [2012], Dan McB Music): B. in Wales, based in Antwerp since 2001, at which point he started gravitating toward trad jazz. Plays clarinet, in a trio with piano and bass. Three originals, standards like "Body and Soul," "Jitterbug Waltz," "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," "When I Grow Too Old to Dream." B+(*)

Ray Parker: Swingin' Never Hurt Nobody (2012, Pythagoras): Bassist, first album, a string trio with Jon Hart on guitar and Russell George on violin. Mostly standards, ranging out for a Jobim and a bit of Charlie Parker. Closer in feel to the Hot Club de Paris than to the String Trio of New York. B+(*)

Jeremy Siskind: Finger-Songwriter (2012, Bju'ecords): Pianist, third album, a set of original songs (plus a Billy Joel bonus) sung by Nancy Harms, backed by spare piano and occasional woodwinds by Lucas Pino. The songs have dedications, mostly writers (Borges, Kerouc, Wallace Stevens). Not clear on the lyrics, but the sax is always a nice touch. B+(*)

John Stowell/Ulf Bandgren: Throop (2011 [2012], Origin): Acoustic guitar duo, Stowell using nylon strings, Bandgren steel. Stowell has a substantial catalog going back to 1978, always a thoughtful presence. Don't know Bandgren. Prickly. B+(*)

Kenny Wheeler Big Band: The Long Waiting (2011 [2012], CAM Jazz): Long-time major figure, but his flugelhorn only goes so far in a big band, this one enhanced by Diana Torto's scat vocals, something I could do without. Otherwise, the texture and flow is something to marvel at. B+(*)

Jessica Williams: Songs of Earth (2009-11 [2012], Origin): Pianist, b. 1948, has a lot of albums, too many of which are solo, but this one cherry picked from a couple years of live dates stands out, not least because she keeps the left hand hard at work. B+(***)

Denny Zeitlin: Wherever You Are: Midnight Moods for Solo Piano (2011 [2012], Sunnyside): B. 1938, got an MD from Johns Hopkins, has close to three dozen albums since 1964, many, like this one, solo. Two originals, rest standards (including a Jobim), tightly reasoned, authoritatively played. B+(**)


And these are previously reviewed (sometimes tentatively) records I've listened to further:

John Abercrombie: The Third Quartet (2006 [2007], ECM): The only time ECM's publicist ever questioned my judgment was on this record, asking if I'm all right, which at the time I certainly was not. I let my grade stand, figuring that any encounter between the mild-mannered guitarist and Mark Feldman, the most orthodoxly classical of jazz violinists, couldn't amount to much. So I was surprised when the last edition of The Penguin Guide placed a crown on this record. Liking the new record, I figured I should finally reassess this one, and have to admit it makes the most of the pair's virtues -- also, of course, resplendent backing by Marc Johnson and Joey Baron. [Was: B] B+(***)


Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • George Cables: My Muse (High Note)
  • Jeff Coffin & the Mu'tet: Into the Air (Ear Up)
  • Denise Donatelli: Soul Shadows (Savant)
  • Holus-Bolus: Pine Barren (Prom Night): advance
  • Lee Konitz/Bill Frisell/Gary Peacock/Joey Baron: Enfants Terribles (Half Note): September 25
  • Harold Mabern: Mr. Lucky: A Tribute to Sammy Davis Jr. (High Note)
  • Elliott Sharp's Terraplane: Sky Road Songs (Enja): September 11
  • Katherine Young: Releasing Bound Water From Green Material (Prom Night): advance

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Weekend Roundup

Some scattered links I squirreled away during the previous week:


  • Ben Jacobs: Further Bad News for Southern Democrats: Points out that the Democrats only bothered to run three candidates for six Louisiana house seats. (The Libertarians managed five.) This is just further evidence of how poorly organized the Democrats are. (Cue Will Rodgers joke here.) Some of the blame here surely goes to Obama's decision to get rid of Democratic Party chair Howard Dean and his "50 state strategy." For another example, Obama's not going to be interested in running any sort of campaign in Kansas, and that's trickled down to the local party. The Democrats didn't bother to file a candidate to run against Kevin Yoder in a house seat that only two years ago was held by a Democrat. In Wichita, the Democrats didn't nominate anyone for District Attorney, an office they've held for more than a decade.

  • Ed Kilgore: Telling the Brief Success Story of Mitt Romney:

    Success, success, success. What other option does his campaign have than to paint a brief and heavily edited story of Mitt's life as one unbroken triumph after another? But the editing will have to be heavy: Bain without outsourcing or too much "creative destruction," the Olympics without public subsidies or too many references to London, and of course the Massachusetts governorship with most of his major accomplishments going unmentioned. I suppose they could have gone in a very different direction, telling Mitt's tale as one of sin and redemption whereby he has finally come to the True Faith of a ideology that treats government merely as a help-mate to private-sector "job creators" and moral censors. But such an approach would show defensiveness about "success," and we can't have that in a room full of the smug and self-righteous, can we?

  • Paul Krugman: The Ryan Role:

    Mark Kleiman points us to a lamentable but revealing column by William Saletan, which illustrates perfectly how the essentially ludicrous Paul Ryan has gotten so far -- namely, by playing to the gullibility of self-proclaimed centrists, who want to show their "balance" by finding a conservative to praise. [ . . . ]

    Look, Ryan hasn't "crunched the numbers"; he has just scribbled some stuff down, without checking at all to see if it makes sense. He asserts that he can cut taxes without net loss of revenue by closing unspecified loopholes; he asserts that he can cut discretionary spending to levels not seen since Calvin Coolidge, without saying how; he asserts that he can convert Medicare to a voucher system, with much lower spending than now projected, without even a hint of how this is supposed to work. This is just a fantasy, not a serious policy proposal.

    So why does Saletan believe otherwise? Has he crunched the numbers himself? Of course not. What he's doing -- and what the whole Beltway media crowd has done -- is to slot Ryan into a role someone is supposed to be playing in their political play, that of the thoughtful, serious conservative wonk. In reality, Ryan is nothing like that; he's a hard-core conservative, with a voting record as far right as Michelle Bachman's, who has shown no competence at all on the numbers thing.

    Also worth noting is Krugman's first reaction to Romney's pick of Paul Ryan for VP: Galt/Gekko 2012. Clever to put Ryan ahead of Romney there: reminds me of what happened the last time a vacuous but opportunistic headliner (Bush) picked a hardcore ideologist (Cheney) for his ticket mate.

  • Paul Krugman: Culture of Fraud: One of many comments on Romney's "white paper on economic policy":

    The big story of the week among the dismal science set is the Romney campaign's white paper on economic policy, which represents a concerted effort by three economists -- Glenn Hubbard, Greg Mankiw, and John Taylor -- to destroy their own reputations. (Yes, there was a fourth author, Kevin Hassett. But the co-author of Dow 36,000 doesn't exactly have a reputation to destroy).

    And when I talk about destroying reputations, I don't just mean saying things I disagree with. I mean flat-out, undeniable professional malpractice. It's one thing to make shaky or even demonstrably wrong arguments. It's something else to cite the work of other economists, claiming that it supports your position, when it does no such thing -- and don't take my word for it, listen to the protests of the cited economists.

    And by the way, this isn't obscure stuff. To take one example: the work of Mian and Sufi on household debt and the slump has been playing a big role in making the case for a demand-driven depression, which is exactly the kind of situation in which stimulus makes sense -- so you have to be completely out of it and/or unscrupulous to cite some of their work and claim that it refutes the case for stimulus. Or to take another example, which Brad DeLong picks up, anyone following the debate knows that the Baker et al paper claiming to show that uncertainty is holding back recovery clearly identifies the relevant uncertainty as arising from things like the GOP's brinksmanship over the debt ceiling -- not things like Obamacare. [ . . . ]

    Remember, Romney spent months castigating President Obama because he "apologizes for America" -- something Obama has never, in fact, actually done. Then he spent weeks declaring that Obama has denigrated small business by claiming that businessmen didn't actually build their own firms -- all based on a remark that was clearly about infrastructure.

    Meanwhile, Romney's tax plan is now a demonstrated fraud -- big tax cuts for the rich that he claims would be offset by closing loopholes, but the Tax Policy Center has demonstrated that the arithmetic can't possibly work. He turns out to have been dishonest about when he really left Bain. And on and on.

    So this is a campaign that's all about faking it -- fake claims about Obama, fake claims about policy, fake claims about Romney's personal history.

    Is it really surprising, then, that the economists who have decided to lend their names to the campaign have been caught up in this culture of fraud?

    A personal note: my own view of Romney, never high in the first place, was taken down a couple notches several weeks ago when I first saw the talking head credited as Romney's "chief economic advisor" pop up on TV: Glenn Hubbard. The nation has no shortage of conservative economists, so how unimaginative (not to mention lazy and ignorant) was it for Romney to settle on the same guy who advised Bush 12 years ago? Of course, if you're in the 0.1% stratospheric bubble Romney inhabits, you might think of the Bush years as some sort of golden age of prosperity, ane experience that virtually everyone else missed out on. (Mankiw, by the way, was Bush's second chief economist, after Hubbard.)

    Also on Romney's white paper, see: Andrew Leonard: Back to the Bush Future!, and for background, Kevin Hassett, World's Worst Economist, Works for Romney.

    Also, this bit by Brad DeLong (HHMT = Hassett, Hubbard, Mankiw, Taylor):

    HHMT: We are presently in the most anemic economic recovery in the memory of most Americans, with significant joblessness and long-term unemployment, as well as lost income and savings.

    WRONG: We are in the worst downturn, but we are not in the "most anemic" recovery -- the recovery of 2001-2004 was more anemic. HHMT should know: three of them held high federal office in the George W. Bush administration that managed that recovery, and back then all four attempted (uncovincingly, IMHO) to rebut claims from people (like me) that the early 2000s recovery was anemic and that more stimulative policies were then needed.

    Much more from DeLong on Hassett, including this Barry Ritholtz quote: "Call it the audacity of cluelessness." You can also read how Hassett "called for the USAF to attack France and Switzerland to stop CERN's Large hadron Collider from going into action."

  • Andrew Leonard: Our Chick-Fil-A Economy:

    I blame Meat Mondays and Chick-Fil-A. Somewhere during the the past 10 to 15 years economic policy positions in the U.S. have become cultural values: Issues like tax cuts or deficits have become as toxic in the public discourse as abortion or gay marriage. Increasingly, people seem to choose their positions not because of what the "evidence" indicates, but because they are seeking ideological markers that fit snugly into a web of tribal partisan allegiances. To pick just one defining example: It doesn't matter whether one can prove that tax cuts are at a historic low, or have a disastrous effect on the deficit, or even how many economists point out that further cuts won't generate revenue to pay for themselves. Opposition to taxes defines what it means to be a conservative today, just as does opposition to abortion. You can't be a conservative who supports higher taxes -- that would make you a liberal. The hardening into concrete of this faith-based economic policy value system is a relatively recent phenomenon that has incurred disastrous fallout: The U.S. is now incapable of debate or compromise. We've chosen sides, and all-out war is all we've got left.

    A full explanation of the Meat Monday (as opposed to the socialist plot behind Meatless Mondays) follows, including a quote from Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA): "This is a reminder to USDA that it's supposed to advocate for American agriculture, not against it." Which makes Leonard's post Congress Hangs Farmers Out to Dry all the more interesting:

    Just how screwed up is the United States? A catastrophic drought has impelled the federal government to designate more than half the nation's counties as disaster areas. Yet even in the face of this historic disaster, Congress has proven itself incapable of passing legislation, large or small, to help the farmers affected by the drought.

    The big failure is Congress' inability to pass a new farm bill. The Senate did manage to rally the votes to get a comprehensive trillion-dollar five-year bill through its chamber, but House Republicans refused to go along because the bill includes too much funding for food stamps. [ . . . ]

    The Senate, however, is unlikely to take up the House's bill because it pays its $383 million price tag by gutting $650 million from two environmental conservation programs. The point is moot, anyway, because the Senate has also closed down for the rest of August. The drought will continue, but Washington can't be bothered.

    The dysfunction doesn't end there. Conservative activist groups also opposed the House bill, on the grounds that farmers and livestock owners should have known better.

    One area where we actually do have an overbloated welfare state is for farmers, but in the past that's been an agreeable compromise. In particular, food stamps help the poor, but they also help absorb the sector's overproduction, so both right and left benefit -- as long as they can get together and compromise. But we've lost not only the ability to tolerate something that is mutually beneficial, we've also lost sight of why it's important to have a government that actively meddles in the farm market: because the market, left to itself, is dysfunctional -- something that had become abundantly obvious in the years before the New Deal.


Links for further study:

  • Joel Beinin: The Left, the Jews and Defenders of Israel: Reviews three books, two by US liberals who wish their love of Israel to be returned by something more liberal than the current right-wing junta (Peter Beinart, The Crisis of Zionism, and Jeremy Ben-Ami, A New Voice for Israel: Fighting for the Survival of the Jewish Nation), plus a book that sees anti-semitism lurking under every rock (especially the red ones: Robert Wistrich, From Ambivalence to Betrayal: The Left, the Jews and Israel). Focuses mostly on the latter, but picking over who said what when misses the point: from 1870-1945, every increase in anti-semitism in Europe was the result of the nationalist drive to war, scapegoating Jews as outside the nation, and raising the pitch of violence. (Dreyfus, you should recall, was blamed for sabotaging France in the Franco-Prussian War.) That nationalist drive, in turn, was driven by Europe's imperialist subjugation of the rest of the world -- a culture both for war and for racism. It isn't ironical that when some Jews sought to follow the path of European imperialism and nationalism, they recapitulated the drive to war and racism. The Zionists' most convenient scapegoats, of course, were the Arabs whose land and freedom they took, but Zionists have never lacked for Jews to blame as well: indeed, how is the whole "self-hating" characterization not an especially insidious form of anti-semitism? What is remarkable about Israel isn't its long slide into racism and militarism, but how long it was able to pass itself off as progressive and moral -- an illusion so alluring that Beinart and Ben-Ami are still under its spell.

    By the way, you can read selected quotes from Beinart's book here. Also quotes from Gershom Gorenberg: The Unmaking of Israel, which goes further into the undemocratic nature of Israel.

  • Eric Foner: Freedom Deferred: Book review of Stephen Kantrowitz: More Than Freedom: Fighting for Black Citizenship in a White Republic, 1829-1889 (Penguin). I also noticed a 2003 article by Foner, Not All Freedom Is Made in America, which cited Louis Hartz, noting:

    Prevailing ideas of freedom in the United States, he noted, had become so rigid that Americans could no longer appreciate definitions of freedom, common in other countries, related to social justice and economic equality, "and hence are baffled by their use."

  • Rosie Gray: How Management Killed "The Village Voice".

  • Mark Oppenheimer: The Prodigal Frum: Useful background story, helps explain both why Frum was Bush's most eloquent defender and why he occasionally wanders off the reservation. Quotes Frum's brother Michael: "When you're born with a silver spoon in your mouth, it's easy to say poor people don't deserve fuck all."

  • William Julius Wilson: The Great Disparity: Review of two books, Timothy Noah's important The Great Divergence: America's Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It (Bloomsbury), and Charles Murray's hideous Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 (Crown Forum).

Friday, August 17, 2012

Rhapsody Streamnotes (August 2012)

Pick up text here.

Pitchfork Poll

Here's the list of Pitchfork's suggested albums, sorted by my grade (where available, else U; alphabetized by artist within a grade slot):

Update: The ballots disappeared before I got this done, as did a temp file I created, so this is limited to 1996-2004 plus about a third of 2005-2009. Using other related sources, I've started to extend this here.

  1. Beck: Odelay (1996, DGC) [A+]
  2. DJ Shadow: Endtroducing (1996, Mo Wax) [A]
  3. Eminem: The Marshall Mathers LP (2000, Interscope) [A]
  4. Ghostface Killah: Fishscale (2006, Def Jam) [A]
  5. Mr. Lif: I Phantom (2002, Definitive Jux) [A]
  6. OutKast: Stankonia (2000, LaFace) [A]
  7. Spoon: Kill the Moonlight (2002, Merge) [A]
  8. The Streets: Original Pirate Material (2002, Vice/Atlantic) [A]
  9. Brian Wilson: Smile (2004, Nonesuch) [A]
  10. Aesop Rock: Labor Days (2001, Def Jux) [A-]
  11. Arctic Monkeys: Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not (2006, Domino) [A-]
  12. Art Brut: Bang Bang Rock & Roll (2006, Downtown) [A-]
  13. Basement Jaxx: Rooty (2001, Astralwerks) [A-]
  14. Be Your Own Pet: Be Your Own Pet (2006, Ecstatic Peace) [A-]
  15. Beck: Midnite Vultures (1999, Interscope) [A-]
  16. Blackalicious: Blazing Arrow (2002, MCA) [A-]
  17. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (2005, self-released) [A-]
  18. Common: Like Water for Chocolate (2000, MCA) [A-]
  19. D'Angelo: Voodoo (2000, Virgin) [A-]
  20. Bob Dylan: Time Out of Mind (1997, Columbia) [A-]
  21. Missy Elliott: Miss E . . . So Addictive (2001, Goldmind/Elektra) [A-]
  22. Eminem: The Eminem Show (2002, Aftermath) [A-]
  23. Four Tet: Rounds (2003, Domino) [A-]
  24. Fuck Buttons: Tarot Sport (2009, ATP) [A-]
  25. Girl Talk: Night Ripper (2006, Illegal Art) [A-]
  26. Cee-Lo Green: Cee-Lo Green . . . Is the Soul Machine (2003, Arista) [A-]
  27. PJ Harvey: Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea (2000, Island) [A-]
  28. The Hold Steady: Stay Positive (2008, Vagrant) [A-]
  29. Jay-Z: The Black Album (2003, Roc-A-Fella) [A-]
  30. LCD Soundsystem: Sound of Silver (2007, DFA/Capitol) [A-]
  31. Loretta Lynn: Van Lear Rose (2004, Interscope) [A-]
  32. Madvillain: Madvillainy (2004, Stones Throw) [A-]
  33. Magnetic Fields: 69 Love Songs (1999, Merge, 3CD) [A-]
  34. M.I.A./Diplo: Piracy Funds Terrorism, Vol. 1 (2004, self-released) [A-]
  35. M.I.A.: Kala (2007, Interscope) [A-]
  36. Modest Mouse: The Moon and Antarctica (2000, Epic) [A-]
  37. Modest Mouse: Good News for People Who Love Bad News (2004, Epic) [A-]
  38. Mountain Goats: Tallahassee (2002, 4AD) [A-]
  39. OutKast: Aquemini (1998, LaFace) [A-]
  40. OutKast: Speakerboxx/The Love Below (2003, Arista) [A-]
  41. The Postal Service: Give Up (2003, Sub Pop) [A-]
  42. Radiohead: In Rainbows (2008, TBD) [A-]
  43. Dizzee Rascal: Boy in Da Corner (2004, Matador) [A-]
  44. The Shins: Chutes Too Narrow (2003, Sub Pop) [A-]
  45. Sonic Youth: Murray Street (2002, Geffen) [A-]
  46. Sonic Youth: Sonic Nurse (2004, Geffen) [A-]
  47. Spiritualized: Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space (1997, Arista/Dedicated) [A-]
  48. Spoon: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (2007, Merge) [A-]
  49. Stereolab: Emperor Tomato Ketchup (1996, Elektra) [A-]
  50. The Strokes: Is This It (2001, RCA) [A-]
  51. Sufjan Stevens: Greetings From Michigan: The Great Lakes State (2003, Asthmatic Kitty) [A-]
  52. TV on the Radio: Dear Science (2008, DGC/Interscope) [A-]
  53. Tom Waits: Mule Variations (1999, Epitaph) [A-]
  54. Kanye West: The College Dropout (2004, Roc-A-Fella) [A-]
  55. The White Stripes: White Blood Cells (2001, Sympathy for the Record Industry) [A-]
  56. Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002, Nonesuch) [A-]
  57. Yo La Tengo: I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One (1997, Matador) [A-]
  58. Erykah Badu: New Amerykah, Pt. 1: 4th World War (2008, Universal/Motown) [***]
  59. Doom: Born Like This (2009, Lex) [***]
  60. Franz Ferdinand: Franz Ferdinand (2004, Domino) [***]
  61. 5 Years of Hyperdub (2009, Hyperdub) [***]
  62. The Go! Team: Thunder, Lightning, Strike (2004, Columbia) [***]
  63. Kanye West: Graduation (2007, Roc-A-Fella) [***]
  64. Yo La Tengo: Popular Songs (2009, Matador) [***]
  65. Young Jeezy: Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101 (2005, Def Jam) [***]
  66. Devendra Banhart: Cripple Crow (2005, XL) [**]
  67. Dan Deacon: Bromst (2009, Carpark) [**]
  68. Dismemberment Plan: Emergency and I (1999, DeSoto) [**]
  69. Franz Ferdinand: You Could Have It So Much Better (2005, Domino) [**]
  70. The Flaming Lips: Embryonic (2009, Warner Bros) [**]
  71. Charlotte Gainsbourg: IRM (2009, Elektra) [**]
  72. Hot Chip: The Warning (2006, Astralwerks) [**]
  73. Santogold: Santogold (2008, Downtown) [**]
  74. Sleater-Kinney: The Woods (2005, Sub Pop) [**]
  75. Robert Wyatt: Comicopera (2007, Domino) [**]
  76. Atlas Sound: Logos (2009, Kranky) [*]
  77. Baroness: Blue Record (2009, Relapse) [*]
  78. The Big Pink: A Brief History of Love (2009, 4AD) [*]
  79. Black Lips: Good Bad Not Evil (2007, Vice) [*]
  80. Peter Bjorn and John: Writer's Block (2007, Almost Gold) [*]
  81. The White Stripes: Icky Thump (2007, Warner Bros) [*]
  82. Aesop Rock: Bazooka Tooth (2003, Definitive Jux) [B+]
  83. Air: Moon Safari (1998, Caroline) [B+]
  84. Arcade Fire: Funeral (2004, Merge) [B+]
  85. The Avalanches: Since I Left You (2000, Sire/Modular) [B+]
  86. Basement Jaxx: Kish Kash (2003, Astralwerks) [B+]
  87. Built to Spill: Perfect From Now On (1997, Warner Bros) [B+]
  88. Cannibal Ox: The Cold Vein (2001, Def Jux) [B+]
  89. Clipse: Lord Willin' (2002, Arista) [B+]
  90. DFA Compilation #2 (2004, DFA) [B+]
  91. Dr. Octagon: Dr. Octagonecologyst (1996, Dreamworks) [B+]
  92. Missy Elliott: Under Construction (2002, Elektra) [B+]
  93. El-P: Fantastic Damage (2002, Definitive Jux) [B+]
  94. Ghostface Killah: The Pretty Toney Album (2004, Def Jam) [B+]
  95. Grandaddy: The Sophtware Slump (2000, V2) [B+]
  96. Jay-Z: The Blueprint (2001, Roc-A-Fella) [B+]
  97. Massive Attack: Mezzanine (1996, Gyroscope) [B+]
  98. Modest Mouse: The Lonesome Crowded West (1997, Up) [B+]
  99. Morrissey: You Are the Quarry (2004, Attack) [B+]
  100. Non-Prophets: Hope (2003, Lex) [B+]
  101. Radiohead: OK Computer (1997, Capitol) [B+]
  102. The Rapture: Echoes (2003, Strummer/Universal) [B+]
  103. RJD2: Dead Ringer (2002, Definitive Jux) [B+]
  104. Scissor Sisters: Scissor Sisters (2004, Universal) [B+]
  105. Sleater-Kinney: All Hands on the Bad One (2000, Kill Rock Stars) [B+]
  106. Sleater-Kinney: One Beat (2002, Kill Rock Stars) [B+]
  107. Elliott Smith: XO (1998, Dreamworks) [B+]
  108. Spoon: Girls Can Tell (2001, Merge) [B+]
  109. The Streets: A Grand Don't Come for Free (2004, Atlantic) [B+]
  110. The Strokes: Room on Fire (2003, RCA) [B+]
  111. Tortoise: TNT (1998, Thrill Jockey) [B+]
  112. The White Stripes: Elephant (2003, V2) [B+]
  113. Wilco: Being There (1996, Sire/Reprise) [B+]
  114. The Wrens: The Meadowlands (2003, Absolutely Kosher) [B+]
  115. Wu-Tang Clan: The W (2000, Loud) [B+]
  116. Ryan Adams: Heartbreaker (2000, Bloodshot) [B]
  117. Badly Drawn Boy: The Hour of the Bewilderbeast (2000, Twisted Nerve) [B]
  118. Belle and Sebastian: If You're Feeling Sinister (1996, Enclave) [B]
  119. Andrew Bird: The Mysterious Production of Eggs (2005, Righteous Babe) [B]
  120. Björk: Homogenic (1997, Elektra) [B]
  121. DJ/Rupture: Minesweeper Suite (2002, Tigerbeat) [B]
  122. Fennesz: Venice (2004, Touch) [B]
  123. Ghostface Killah: Supreme Clientele (2000, Epic/Razor Sharp) [B]
  124. The Libertines: Up the Bracket (2002, Rough Trade) [B]
  125. Lykke Li: Youth Novels (2008, Atlantic) [B]
  126. The New Pornographers: Mass Romantic (2000, Mint) [B]
  127. Ponytail: Ice Cream Spiritual! (2008, We Are Free) [B]
  128. Pretty Girls Make Graves: Good Health (2002, Lookout) [B]
  129. Radiohead: Kid A (2000, Capitol) [B]
  130. Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Fever to Tell (2003, Interscope) [B+]
  131. Beck: Sea Change (2002, Interscope) [B-]
  132. Daft Punk: Discovery (2001, Virgin) [B-]
  133. Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes (2008, Sub Pop) [B-]
  134. Grizzly Bear: Veckatimest (2009, Warp) [B-]
  135. Junior Senior: D-D-Don't Don't Stop the Beat (2003, Crunchy Frog/Atlantic) [B-]
  136. Prefuse 73: One World Extinguisher (2003, Warp) [B-]
  137. Radiohead: Amnesiac (2001, Capitol) [B-]
  138. Interpol: Turn on the Bright Lights (2002, Matador) [C+]
  139. Björk: Vespertine (2001, Elektra) [C-]
  140. Acid Mothers Temple: In C (2002, Squealer) [U]
  141. After Dark (2007, Italians Do It Better) [U]
  142. Air: Talkie Walkie (2004, Astralwerks) [U]
  143. Alejandra and Aeron: Bousha Blue Blazes (2003, Orthlorng Musork) [U]
  144. Ellen Allien: Berlinette (2003, Bpitch Control) [U]
  145. And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead: Source Tags and Codes (2002, Interscope) [U:X]
  146. Angels of Light: Everything Is Good Here/Please Come Home (2003, Young God) [U]
  147. Animal Collective: Here Comes the Indian (2003, Paw Tracks) [U]
  148. Animal Collective: Feels (2005, Fat Cat) [U:**]
  149. Animal Collective: Sung Tongs (2004, Fat Cat) [U]
  150. Annie: Anniemal (2004, 679) [U:*]
  151. Aphex Twin: Richard D. James Album (1996, Elektra) [U:B+]
  152. Atlas Sound: Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See but Cannot Feel (2008, Kranky) [U]
  153. Autechre: Confield (2001, Warp) [U]
  154. Derek Bailey: Ballads (2002, Tzadik) [U]
  155. Devendra Banhart: Rejoicing in the Hands (2004, Young God) [U]
  156. William Basinski: The Disintegration Tapes (2002, 2062) [U]
  157. The Beta Band: The Three EP's (1998, Regal) [U:X]
  158. The Beta Band: Hot Shots II (2001, Astralwerks) [U]
  159. Björk: Medulla (2004, Elektra) [U:S]
  160. Black Dice: Beaches & Canyons (2002, Fat Cat) [U:C+]
  161. Blur: 13 (1999, Virgin) [U]
  162. Boards of Canada: Music Has the Right to Children (1998, Matador/Warp) [U]
  163. Boards of Canada: Geogaddi (2002, Warp) [U]
  164. Bonnie "Prince" Billy: I See a Darkness (1999, Palace) [U]
  165. The Books: Thought for Food (2002, Tomlab) [U]
  166. The Books: The Lemon of Pink (2003, Tomlab) [U:***]
  167. Boredoms: Super Ae (1998, Birdman) [U]
  168. Boredoms: Visual Creation Newsun (2001, Birdman) [U]
  169. The Boy Least Likely To: The Best Party Ever (2005, Rough Trade) [U]
  170. Brainiac: Hissing Prigs in Static Couture (1996, Touch & Go) [U]
  171. Alan Braxe & Friends: The Upper Cuts (2005, Play It Again Sam) [U]
  172. Bright Eyes: Fevers and Mirrors (2000, Saddle Creek) [U]
  173. Brightblack Morning Light: Brightblack Morning Light (2006, Matador) [U]
  174. Broadcast: The Noise Made by People (2000, Tommy Boy) [U:X]
  175. Broadcast: Haha Sound (2003, Warp) [U:X]
  176. Broken Social Scene: You Forgot It in People (2002, Arts & Crafts) [U:S]
  177. Built to Spill: Keep It Like a Secret (1999, Warner Bros) [U]
  178. Califone: Quicksand/Cradlesnakes (2003, Thrill Jockey) [U]
  179. Califone: Heron King Blues (2004, Thrill Jockey) [U]
  180. Camera Obscura: Underachievers Please Try Harder (2004, Merge) [U:***]
  181. Cam'ron: Purple Haze (2004, Roc-A-Fella) [U:*]
  182. Neko Case: Blacklisted (2002, Bloodshot) [U:X]
  183. Cat Power: You Are Free (2003, Matador) [U]
  184. Nick Cave: Abbatoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus (2004, EMI) [U]
  185. Rhys Chatham: Guitar Trio Is My Life! (2008, Table of the Elements) [U]
  186. Circulatory System: Circulatory System (2001, Cloud) [U]
  187. The Clientele: Suburban Light (2000, Merge) [U]
  188. The Clientele: The Violet Hour (2003, Merge) [U]
  189. Clinic: Internal Wrangler (2000, Domino) [U:***]
  190. Clipse & Re-Up Gang: We Got It 4 Cheap Vol. 2 (2005, self-released) [U:***]
  191. Comets on Fire: Field Recordings From the Sun (2002, Ba Da Bing) [U]
  192. Comets on Fire: Blue Cathedral (2004, Sub Pop) [U]
  193. The Concretes: The Concretes (2004, Astralwerks) [U]
  194. Constantines: Shine a Light (2003, Sub Pop) [U]
  195. Crooked Fingers: Crooked Fingers (1999, Warm) [U:*]
  196. Cyann & Ben: Spring (2004, Locust) [U]
  197. Daft Punk: Homework (1997, Virgin) [U:S]
  198. Dälek: From Filthy Tongue of Gods and Griots (2002, Ipecac) [U]
  199. Danger Mouse: Ghetto Pop Life (2009, Lex) [U]
  200. Danielson Famille: Ships (2006, Secretly Canadian) [U]
  201. The Darkness: Permission to Land (2003, Atlantic) [U]
  202. The Decemberists: Castaways and Cutouts (2002, Kill Rock Stars) [U]
  203. The Decemberists: Her Majesty (2003, Kill Rock Stars) [U]
  204. Deerhoof: Reveille (2002, Kill Rock Stars) [U]
  205. Deerhoof: Apple O' (2003, Kill Rock Stars) [U]
  206. De La Soul: The Grind Date (2004, Sanctuary) [U:*]
  207. Department of Eagles: In Ear Park (2008, 4AD) [U]
  208. The Dismemberment Plan: Change (2001, DeSoto) [U:***]
  209. DJ/Rupture: Special Gunpowder (2004, Tigerbeat) [U]
  210. Dntel: Life Is Full of Possibilities (2001, Plug Research) [U]
  211. Kevin Drumm: Sheer Hellish Miasma (2002, Editions Mego) [U]
  212. Dungen: Ta Det Lugnt (2005, Kemado) [U:X]
  213. Earth: The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull (2008, Southern Lord) [U]
  214. Ekkehard Ehlers: Plays (2002, Pavone) [U]
  215. Enon: Believo! (2000, Seethru Broadcasting) [U]
  216. Enon: High Society (2002, Touch & Go) [U]
  217. Espers: Espers (2004, Locust) [U]
  218. Excepter: KA (2003, Fusetron) [U]
  219. The Exploding Hearts: Guitar Romantic (2003, Dirtnap) [U:*]
  220. Fennesz: Endless Summer (2001, Mego) [U]
  221. The Fiery Furnaces: Gallowsbird's Bark (2003, Sanctuary) [U:**]
  222. The Fiery Furnaces: Blueberry Boat (2004, Rough Trade) [U]
  223. The Flaming Lips: The Soft Bulletin (1999, Warner Bros) [U]
  224. The Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002, Warner Bros) [U:***]
  225. Fleet Foxes: Sun Giant (2008, Sub Pop, EP) [U]
  226. Flying Lotus: Los Angeles (2008, Warp) [U:***]
  227. The Foreign Exchange: Connected (Foreign Exchange Music) [U]
  228. Fuck Buttons: Street Horrrsing (2008, ATP) [U]
  229. Fucked Up: The Chemistry of Common Life (2008, Matador) [U]
  230. Fugazi: The Argument (2001, Dischord) [U:B+]
  231. The Futureheads: The Futureheads (2004, Sire) [U:B+]
  232. The Game: The Documentary (2005, Aftermath) [U:C-]
  233. Gang Gang Dance: Saint Dymphna (2008, Social Registry) [U:**]
  234. Gas: Pop (2000, Mille Plateaux) [U]
  235. George: The Magic Lantern (Pickled Egg) [U]
  236. Godspeed Your Black Emperor: Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada (1999, Constellation, EP) [U]
  237. GZA: Legend of the Liquid Swords (2002, MCA) [U:**]
  238. Hauschka: Ferndorf (2008, Fat Cat) [U]
  239. Tim Hecker: Haunt Me Haunt Me, Do It Again (2001, Substractif) [U]
  240. Matthew Herbert: Around the House (1998, Phonography) [U]
  241. Matthew Herbert: Bodily Functions (2001, !K7) [U]
  242. Hercules & Love Affair: Hercules & Love Affair (2008, DFA) [U:**]
  243. Hot Hot Heat: Make Up the Breakdown (2002, Sub Pop) [U]
  244. Hot Snakes: Suicide Invoice (2002, Swami) [U]
  245. Hrvåtski: Swarm and Dither (2002, Planet Mu) [U]
  246. Interpol: Antics (2004, Matador) [U]
  247. Iron & Wine: The Creek Drank the Cradle (2002, Sub Pop) [U]
  248. Iron & Wine: Our Endless Numbered Days (2004, Sub Pop) [U]
  249. Isis: Oceanic (2002, Ipecac) [U]
  250. Jackie-O Motherfucker: Fig. 5 (2000, Road Cone) [U]
  251. Javelin: Jamz n Jemz (2009, self-released) [U]
  252. Philip Jeck: Stroke (Touch) [U]
  253. Philip Jeck: Sand (Touch) [U]
  254. Jóhann Jóhannsson: Virðulegu Forsetar (2004, Touch) [U]
  255. Junior Boys: Last Exit (2004, Domino) [U:X]
  256. Junior Boys: Begone Dull Care (2009, Domino) [U]
  257. King Biscuit Time: No Style (2000, Regal, EP) [U]
  258. King Geedorah: Take Me to Your Leader (2003, Big Dada) [U]
  259. The Knife: Silent Shout (2006, Rabid/Mute) [U:A-]
  260. Talib Kweli: Quality (2002, MCA) [U]
  261. Ladytron: Witching Hour (2005, Emperor Norton) [U]
  262. Ted Leo & the Pharmacists: The Tyranny of Distance (2001, Lookout) [U]
  263. Ted Leo & the Pharmacists: Hearts of Oak (2003, Lookout) [U:B]
  264. Les Savy Fav: Error: Rome Upside Down (2000, Southern Music Dist., EP) [U]
  265. Les Savy Fav: Inches (2004, Frenchkiss) [U]
  266. Les Savy Fav: Go Forth (2001, Frenchkiss) [U]
  267. Liars: They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top (2001, Blast First/Mute) [U:**]
  268. Life Without Buildings: Any Other City (2000, DC Baltimore 2012) [U]
  269. Lightning Bolt: Wonderful Rainbow (2003, Load) [U]
  270. Low: Things We Lost in the Fire (2001, Kranky) [U:X]
  271. Luomo: Vocal City (2000, EFA) [U]
  272. Man Man: Six Demon Bag (2006, Ace Fu) [U:**]
  273. Manitoba: Up in Flames (2003, Domino) [U]
  274. Mastodon: Leviathan (2004, Relapse) [U]
  275. Matmos: The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of a Beast (2006, Matador) [U]
  276. Michael Mayer: Immer (2002, Kompakt) [U]
  277. Mclusky: Mclusky Do Dallas (2002, Beggars Too Pure) [U]
  278. Megafaun: Gather, Form and Fly (2009, Hometapes) [U]
  279. M83: Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost Ghosts (2003, Gooom Disques) [U]
  280. M83: Saturdays = Youth (2008, Mute) [U]
  281. Menomena: I Am the Fun Blame Monster (2004, FILMguerrero) [U]
  282. Mercury Rev: Deserter's Songs (1998, V2) [U:C+]
  283. The Microphones: It Was Hot We Stayed in the Water (2000, K) [U]
  284. The Microphones: The Glow, Pt. 2 (2002, K) [U]
  285. Mirah: C'mon Miracle (2004, K) [U]
  286. Mission of Burma: The Obliterati (2006, Matador) [U:**]
  287. Mogwai: Young Team (1997, Jetset) [U]
  288. Mouse on Mars: Idiology (2001, Thrill Jockey) [U]
  289. Ms. John Soda: No P. or D. (2002, Morr Music) [U]
  290. Mu: Afro Finger and Gel (2003, Tigersushi) [U]
  291. Múm: Yesterday Was Dramatic -- Today Is OK (2000, Thule/TMT) [U]
  292. My Morning Jacket: It Still Moves (2003, ATO) [U:C]
  293. Marissa Nadler: Songs III: Bird on the Water (2008, Kemado) [U]
  294. Neon Indian: Psychic Chasms (2009, Lefse) [U:X]
  295. Neutral Milk Hotel: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (1998, Merge) [U]
  296. A.C. Newman: The Slow Wonder (2004, Matador) [U:***]
  297. Joanna Newsom: The Milk-Eyed Mender (2004, Drag City) [U:A-]
  298. NOMO: Ghost Rock (2008, Ubiquity) [U]
  299. The Notwist: Neon Golden (2002, Domino) [U:B-]
  300. Fenn O'Berg: The Return of Fenn O'Berg (2002, Mego) [U]
  301. Okkervil River: Black Sheep Boy (2005, Jagjaguwar) [U]
  302. Jim O'Rourke: Insignificance (2001, Import) [U]
  303. Orthrelm: OV (2005, Ipecac) [U]
  304. Erlend Øye: DJ-Kicks (2004, !K7) [U]
  305. Plants and Animals: Parc Avenue (2008, Secret City) [U]
  306. Prefuse 73: Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives (2001, Warp) [U]
  307. Prefuse 73: Extinguished: Outtakes (2003, Warp) [U]
  308. Primal Scream: XTRMNTR (2000, Astralwerks) [U]
  309. Pulp: We Love Life (2001, Island) [U]
  310. Queens of the Stone Age: Songs for the Deaf (2002, Interscope) [U:**]
  311. Radiohead: Hail to the Thief (2003, Capitol) [U:*]
  312. Dizzee Rascal: Showtime (2004, XL) [U:**]
  313. Jay Reatard: Matador Singles '08 (2008, Matador) [U:B+]
  314. Max Richter: The Blue Notebooks (2004, Fat Cat) [U]
  315. Saturday Looks Good to Me: All Your Summer Songs (2003, Polyvinyl) [U]
  316. Scarface: The Fix (2002, Def Jam South) [U]
  317. The Shins: Oh, Inverted World (2001, Sub Pop) [U:*]
  318. Sigur Rós: Agaetis Byrjun (1999, Fat Cat) [U:B]
  319. Sigur Rós: () (2002, Fat Cat) [U:C]
  320. Silver Jews: American Water (1998, Drag City) [U:*]
  321. Elliott Smith: Either/Or (1997, Kill Rock Stars) [U:*]
  322. Elliott Smith: Figure 8 (2000, Dreamworks) [U:N]
  323. Smog: Dongs of Sevotion (2000, Drag City) [U]
  324. Songs: Ohia: Didn't It Rain (2002, Secretly Canadian) [U]
  325. Songs: Ohia: Magnolia Electric Co. (2003, Secretly Canadian) [U]
  326. Spoon: Gimme Fiction (2005, Merge) [U:B+]
  327. Squarepusher: Music Is Rotted One Note (1998, Nothing) [U]
  328. Stars of the Lid: Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid (2001, Kranky) [U]
  329. Sufjan Stevens: Seven Swans (2004, Sounds Familyre) [U:**]
  330. Summer Hymns: Voice Brother and Sister (2000, Absolutely Kosher) [U]
  331. Sun Kil Moon: April (2008, Agua Verde) [U]
  332. A Sunny Day in Glasgow: Scribble Mural Comic Journal (2007, Mis Ojos Discos) [U]
  333. A Sunny Day in Glasgow: Ashes Grammar (2009, Mis Ojos Discos) [U:X]
  334. Sunset Rubdown: Shut Up I Am Dreaming (2006, Absolutely Kosher) [U]
  335. Super Furry Animals: Mwng (2000, Flydaddy) [U]
  336. Super Furry Animals: Rings Around the World (2002, XL) [U:S]
  337. Supersilent: 6 (2003, Rune Grammofon) [U]
  338. Times New Viking: Rip It Off (2008, Matador) [U:**]
  339. Total 3 (2001, Kompakt) [U]
  340. The Tough Alliance: A New Chance (2007, Sincerely Yours) [U:X]
  341. Max Tundra: Mastered by the Guy at the Exchange (2002, Domino) [U]
  342. TV on the Radio: Young Liars (2003, Touch and Go, EP) [U]
  343. TV on the Radio: Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes (2004, Touch and Go) [U:B]
  344. Two Lone Swordsmen: Tiny Reminders (2000, Warp) [U]
  345. 2 Many DJ's: As Heard on Radio Soulwax, Pt. 2 (2002, PIAS) [U:**]
  346. The Unicorns: Who Will Cut Out Hair When We're Gone? (2003, Alien8) [U]
  347. Unwound: Leaves Turn Inside You (Kill Rock Stars) [U]
  348. Viktor Vaughn: Vaudeville Villain (2003, Sound Ink) [U]
  349. Ricardo Villalobos: Alcachofa (2003, Playhouse) [U]
  350. Ricardo Villalobos: Vasco (2008, Perlon) [U]
  351. Vivian Girls: Vivian Girls (2008, In the Red) [U:**]
  352. Tom Waits: Alice (2002, Anti-) [U:*]
  353. Tom Waits: Blood Money (2002, Anti-) [U:A-]
  354. The Walkmen: Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone (2002, Star Time) [U:X]
  355. The Walkmen: Bows + Arrows (2004, Record Collection Music) [U:X]
  356. M. Ward: Transfiguration of Vincent (2003, Merge) [U]
  357. M. Ward: Post-War (2006, Merge) [U:*]
  358. Keith Fullerton Whitman: Playthroughs (2002, Kranky) [U]
  359. Keith Fullerton Whitman: Multiples (2005, Kranky) [U]
  360. Why?: Alopecia (2008, Anticon) [U]
  361. Wilco: Summerteeth (1999, Warner Bros) [U:**]
  362. Wire: Read and Burn: 01 (2002, Pink Flag) [U:A-]
  363. Wire: Read and Burn: 02 (2002, Pink Flag) [U]
  364. Andrew W.K.: I Get Wet (2002, Mercury) [U:A-]
  365. Wolf Parade: Apologies to the Queen Mary (2005, Sub Pop) [U:S]
  366. Xiu Xiu: Fabulous Muscles (2004, 5 Rue Christine) [U:C]
  367. Yo La Tengo: And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out (2000, Matador) [U:B+]
  368. Zomby: Where Were U in 92? (2008, Werk) [U]

Thursday, August 16, 2012

1992-2012 Poll

Brad Sroka is running a poll over at the Christgau Expert Witness forum where folks are supposed to pick out their 20 favorite albums from 20.5 years. I went through my database and found 201 albums in those years that I had graded A or A+ (13 of the latter, a grade I'm awful stingy with). I argued, to no avail, that one should be able to vote for more than 20 albums. (Even the Pitchfork poll, which somehow inspired this one, let voters list up to 100 albums, or 6-7 per year.) Having done that much work, I figured I would entertain the crowd with a list of the jazz subset from my 201 -- Christgau doesn't cover much jazz, so most of these albums would be outside of his domain (unlike the remaining non-jazz albums, which mostly do show up on his A-lists). However, thanks to the software geniuses at Microsoft, I couldn't post this list there.

So here it is: all the A/A+-rated jazz from 1992-2012, in rank order (more or less):

  1. James Carter: Chasin' the Gypsy (2000, Atlantic)
  2. Sonny Rollins: This Is What I Do (2000, Milestone)
  3. William Parker: Sound Unity (2005, AUM Fidelity)
  4. Sonic Liberation Front: Ashé a Go-Go (2004, High Two)
  5. Billy Bang: Vietnam: The Aftermath (2001, Justin Time)
  6. David Murray: Creole (1998, Justin Time)
  7. Rudresh Mahanthappa/Steve Lehman: Dual Identity (2010, Clean Feed)
  8. Ornette Coleman: Sound Grammar (2006, Sound Grammar)
  9. Adam Lane: New Magical Kingdom (2006, Clean Feed)
  10. Spaceways Inc.: Version Soul (2002, Atavistic)
  11. Billy Jenkins: True Love Collection (1998, Babel)
  12. Matthew Shipp: Harmony and Abyss (2004, Thirsty Ear)
  13. Billy Bang: Prayer for Peace (2010, TUM)
  14. William Parker: Scrapbook (2003, Thirsty Ear)
  15. David Murray: Like a Kiss That Never Ends (2001, Justin Time)
  16. Alexander von Schlippenbach: Monk's Casino (2005, Intakt)
  17. William Parker: Raining on the Moon (2002, Thirsty Ear)
  18. Tommy Smith/Brian Kellock: Symbiosis (2005, Spartacus)
  19. Rich Halley/Dan Raphael: Children of the Blue Supermarket (2011, Pine Eagle)
  20. Massimo Urbani: The Blessing (1993, Red)
  21. Vandermark 5: Target or Flag (1998, Atavistic)
  22. Don Pullen: Ode to Life (1993, Blue Note)
  23. James Carter: The Real Quietstorm (1995, Atlantic)
  24. Orlando Cachaito Lopez: Cachaito (2001, World Circuit/Nonesuch)
  25. Triage: American Mythology (2004, Okka Disk)
  26. Nils Petter Molvaer: Solid Ether (2000, ECM)
  27. David Murray: Long Goodbye: A Tribute to Don Pullen (1998, DIW)
  28. Roberto Juan Rodriguez: El Danzon de Moises (2002, Tzadik)
  29. Paraphrase: Pre-Emptive Denial (2005, Screwgun)
  30. William Parker: . . . And William Danced (2002, Ayler)
  31. Steve Lehman: Dialect Fluorescent (2012, Pi)
  32. The Fully Celebrated: Drunk on the Blood of the Holy Ones (2009, AUM Fidelity)
  33. James Carter: Conversin' With the Elders (1996, Atlantic)
  34. David Murray: Sacred Ground (2007, Justin Time)
  35. David Sanchez: Obsesion (1998, Columbia)
  36. Vandermark 5: Elements of Style . . . Exercises in Surprise (2004, Atavistic)
  37. Jewels and Binoculars: Ships With Tattooed Sails (2007, Upshot)
  38. William Parker: Double Sunrise Over Neptune (2008, AUM Fidelity)
  39. Powerhouse Sound: Oslo/Chicago Breaks (2007, Atavistic)
  40. Thelonious Monk/John Coltrane: At Carnegie Hall (2005, Blue Note)
  41. Nik Bärtsch: Rea (2006, Ronin Rhythm)
  42. Harry Allen: Blue Skies (1994, John Marks)
  43. David S. Ware: Corridors and Parallels (2001, AUM Fidelity)
  44. Nils Petter Molvaer: ER (2006, Thirsty Ear)
  45. Mostly Other People Do the Killing: Shamokin!!! (2007, Hot Cup)
  46. Matthew Shipp: Harmonic Disorder (2009, Thirsty Ear)
  47. Barney Wilen: New York Romance (1994, Sunnyside)
  48. Avram Fefer/Eric Revis/Chad Taylor: Eliyahu (2011, Not Two)
  49. Jon Faddis: Teranga (2006, Koch)
  50. David Murray: Gwotet (2004, Justin Time)
  51. Lee Konitz: Jazz Nocturne (1992, Evidence)
  52. William Parker: The Peach Orchard (1998, AUM Fidelity)
  53. Arthur Blythe: Focus (2002, Savant)
  54. Vandermark 5: Free Jazz Classics Vols. 3 & 4 (2006, Atavistic)
  55. Allen Lowe: Blues and the Empirical Truth (2011, Music & Arts)
  56. Yusef Lateef/Archie Shepp: Tenors of Yusef Lateef and Archie Shepp (1992, YAL)
  57. Benjamin Herman: Hypo Christmas Treefuzz: More Mengelberg (2010, Dox)
  58. Craig Harris: Souls Within the Veil (2005, Aquastra)
  59. Randy Sandke: Unconventional Wisdom (2008, Arbors)
  60. Ernie Wilkins: K.a.l.e.i.d.o.d.u.k.e. (1994, Birdology)
  61. World Saxophone Quartet: Political Blues (2006, Justin Time)
  62. William Parker: I Plan to Stay a Believer: The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield (2010, AUM Fidelity)
  63. Vijay Iyer: Tragicomic (2008, Sunnyside)
  64. Mark Lomax: The State of Black America (2010, Inarhyme)
  65. Kenny Barron/Mino Cinelu: Swamp Sally (1995, Verve)
  66. Michael Hashim: Green Up Time (2001, Hep)
  67. Abraham Burton: The Magician (1995, Enja)
  68. Zu/Spaceways Inc.: Radiale (2004, Atavistic)
  69. West Nkosi: Rhythm of Healing (1992, Earthworks)
  70. Bernardo Sassetti: Ascent (2005, Clean Feed)
  71. Mi3: Free Advice (2007, Clean Feed)
  72. Angles: Epileptical West: Live in Coimbra (2010, Clean Feed)
  73. David Murray: Jazzosaurus Rex (1993, Red Baron)
  74. Lester Bowie: The Fire This Time (1992, In+Out)
  75. Stephen Scott: Aminah's Dream (1993, Verve)
  76. Anthony Braxton: 20 Standards (Quartet) 2003 (2005, Leo)

But since we're here, might as well do the non-jazz part of the list, too:

  1. Lily Allen: It's Not Me, It's You (2009, Capitol)
  2. Pavement: Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (1993, Matador)
  3. Beck: Odelay (1996, DGC)
  4. Pet Shop Boys: Very (1993, Capitol)
  5. Cornershop: When I Was Born for the Seventh Time (1997, Warner Bros)
  6. Iris Dement: My Life (1994, Warner Bros)
  7. Buck 65: Talkin' Honky Blues (2003, Warner Music Canada)
  8. Lucinda Williams: Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (1998, Polygram)
  9. Sonic Youth: Dirty (1992, DGC)
  10. Jimmie Dale Gilmore: Spinning Around the Sun (1993, Elektra)
  11. The Roches: A Dove (1992, MCA)
  12. Leonard Cohen: Live in London (2008, Columbia)
  13. John Prine: In Spite of Ourselves (1999, Oh Boy)
  14. Manu Chao: Proxima Estacion: Esperanza (2001, Virgin)
  15. DJ Shadow: The Private Press (2002, MCA)
  16. Los Lobos: Colossal Head (1996, Warner Bros)
  17. Maria Muldaur: Richland Woman Blues (2001, Stony Plain)
  18. Todd Snider: The Devil You Know (2006, New Door)
  19. Dave Alvin: King of California (1994, Hightone)
  20. Amy Rigby: Little Fugitive (2005, Signature Sounds)
  21. Loudon Wainwright III: High Wide and Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project (2009, 161)
  22. Bruno Mars: Doo-Wops and Hooligans (2010, Elektra)
  23. Lyrics Born: Later That Day . . . (2003, Quannum Projects)
  24. Brian Wilson: Presents Smile (2004, Nonesuch)
  25. OutKast: Stankonia (2000, LaFace)
  26. P.J. Harvey: To Bring You My Love (1995, Island)
  27. Iris Dement: The Way I Should (1996, Warner Bros)
  28. Liz Phair: Exile in Guyville (1993, Matador)
  29. Cornershop: Handcream for a Generation (2002, Beggars Banquet)
  30. Moby: Play (1999, V2)
  31. The Coup: Party Music (2001, 75 Ark)
  32. Todd Snider: East Nashville Skyline (2004, Oh Boy)
  33. Amy Rigby: Diary of a Mod Housewife (1996, Koch)
  34. Mavis Staples: We'll Never Turn Back (2007, Anti-)
  35. L7: Bricks Are Heavy (1992, Slash)
  36. Rachid Taha: Made in Medina (2001, Ark 21)
  37. Gogol Bordello: Super Taranta! (2007, Side One Dummy)
  38. Kanye West: Late Registration (2005, Roc-A-Fella)
  39. Lucinda Williams: Sweet Old World (1992, Chameleon)
  40. John Prine: Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings (1995, Oh Boy)
  41. Cachao: Master Sessions Volume 2 (1995, Crescent Moon/Epic)
  42. NERD: In Search of . . . (2002, Virgin)
  43. Loudon Wainwright III: Older Than My Old Man Now (2012, 2nd Story Sound)
  44. Buck 65: Man Overboard (2001, Metaforensics)
  45. Youssou N'Dour: Rokku Mi Rokka (2007, Nonesuch)
  46. Randy Newman: Harps and Angels (2008, Nonesuch)
  47. Jimmie Dale Gilmore: One Endless Night (2000, Rounder)
  48. Blackalicious: Nia (2000, Quannum Projects)
  49. Van Morrison: Down the Road (2002, Universal)
  50. Leonard Cohen: The Future (1992, Columbia)
  51. Orchestra Baobab: Specialist in All Styles (2002, Nonesuch)
  52. Mzwakhe Mbuli: Resistance Is Defence (1992, Earthworks)
  53. Amadou and Mariam: Dimanche à Bamako (2005, Nonesuch)
  54. Handsome Boy Modeling School: So . . . How's Your Girl? (1999, Tommy Boy)
  55. Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010, Roc-A-Fella)
  56. K'Naan: The Dusty Foot Philosopher (2008, IM Culture)
  57. The Roots: Rising Down (2008, Def Jam)
  58. The Beautiful South: 0898 Beautiful South (1992, Go! Discs)
  59. V.V. Brown: Travelling Like the Light (2009, Capitol)
  60. Buck 65: Square (2002, Warner Music Canada)
  61. Nelly: Country Grammar (2000, Universal)
  62. Hayes Carll: Trouble in Mind (2008, Lost Highway)
  63. DJ Shadow: Endtroducing (1996, Mo Wax)
  64. Ghostface Killah: Fishscale (2006, Def Jam)
  65. Rilo Kiley: More Adventurous (2004, Brute/Beaute)
  66. Todd Snider: Live: Near Truths and Hotel Rooms (2003, Oh Boy)
  67. Manu Chao: Clandestino (1998, Ark 21)
  68. Public Enemy: Rebirth of a Nation (2006, Guerrilla Funk)
  69. Iris Dement: Infamous Angel (1992, Philo)
  70. Raphael Saadiq: The Way I See It (2008, Columbia)
  71. K'Naan: Troubadour (2009, A&M/Octone)
  72. Oumou Sangare: Seya (2009, World Circuit/Nonesuch)
  73. Sufjan Stevens: Illinois (2005, Asthmatic Kitty)
  74. Youssou N'Dour: Nothing's in Vain (2002, Nonesuch)
  75. The Roots: How I Got Over (2010, Def Jam)
  76. John Fogerty: Revival (2007, Fantasy)
  77. Beck: Mellow Gold (1994, DGC)
  78. Le Tigre: This Island (2004, Island)
  79. The Streets: Original Pirate Material (2002, Vice/Atlantic)
  80. Eminem: The Marshall Mathers LP (2000, Interscope)
  81. Sue Foley: Without a Warning (1993, Antone's)
  82. Sonic Youth: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star (1994, DGC)
  83. Les Amazones de Guinée: Wamato (2008, Sterns Africa)
  84. Robyn: Body Talk (2010, Konichiwa/Cherrytree/Interscope)
  85. Mekons: OOOH! (Out of Our Heads) (2002, Quarterstick)
  86. Todd Snider: Agnostic Hymns and Stoner Fables (2012, Aimless/Thirty Tigers)
  87. The Beautiful South: Blue Is the Colour (1996, Ark)
  88. Lucinda Williams: Essence (2001, Lost Highway)
  89. Stevie Wonder: Conversation Peace (1995, Motown)
  90. The Perceptionists: Black Dialogue (2005, Definitive Jux)
  91. Manu Chao: La Radiolina (2007, Nacional/Because)
  92. Kelis: Tasty (2003, Star Trak/Arista)
  93. L7: Hungry for Stink (1994, Slash/Reprise)
  94. The Coup: Pick a Bigger Weapon (2006, Epitaph)
  95. The Highlife Allstars: Sankofa (2001, Network)
  96. Steinski: Nothing to Fear: A Rough Mix (2002, Soul Ting)
  97. Loudon Wainwright III: Career Moves (1993, Virgin)
  98. Willie Nelson/Asleep at the Wheel: Willie and the Wheel (2009, Bismeaux)
  99. Spoon: Kill the Moonlight (2002, Merge)
  100. Jesus and Mary Chain: Stoned and Dethroned (1994, Warner Bros)
  101. M People: Elegant Slumming (1994, Epic)
  102. The Klezmatics: Wonder Wheel: Lyrics by Woody Guthrie (2006, JMG)
  103. Tricky: Blowback (2001, Hollywood)
  104. Lobi Traoré: Bwati Kono "In the Club" (2011, Kanaga System Krush)
  105. Billy Bragg/Wilco: Mermaid Avenue (1998, Elektra)
  106. Justin Warfield: My Field Trip to Planet 9 (1993, Warner Bros)
  107. Girls Against Boys: House of GVSB (1996, Touch & Go)
  108. Vampire Weekend: Contra (2010, XL)
  109. Amy Rigby: Middlescence (1998, Koch)
  110. Cee-Lo Green: Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections (2002, Arista)
  111. Imperial Teen: On (2002, Merge)
  112. Bob Dylan: Love and Theft (2001, Columbia)
  113. Transplants: Transplants (2002, Hellcat)
  114. Elastica: The Menace (2000, Atlantic)
  115. The Chills: Soft Bomb (1992, Slash)
  116. Mr. Lif: I Phantom (2002, Definitive Jux)
  117. Mekons: Ancient and Modern (2011, Bloodshot)
  118. L.L. Cool J: 14 Shots to the Dome (1993, Def Jam)
  119. Big Boi: Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty (2010, Def Jam)
  120. La Cherga: Fake No More (2008, Asphalt Tango)
  121. Dessa: A Badly Broken Code (2010, Doomtree)
  122. Sam Phillips: Martinis and Bikinis (1994, Virgin)
  123. Jimmie Dale Gilmore & the Wronglers: Heirloom Music (2011, Neanderthal Noise)
  124. Jonatha Brooke: The Works (2008, Bad Dog)
  125. Garbage: Garbage (1995, Almo)

No compilations in the above, per Sroka's rules, although a lot of world music (and some others) is available in no more accessible form. Didn't try to pull out the A- grades: 20 years worth would get us close to 2000 records -- most of which I'm sure hold up quite well, and some of which should be promoted.


UPDATE: Sroka wrote to correct me that some compilations are eligible: "they just can't be of material released before 1992." He then muddied the waters by saying he would accept King Sunny Adé: The Best of the Classic Years, released in 2003 but containing music previously released in 1967-74 (i.e., well before 1992, albeit only on Nigerian labels).

A quick recheck reveals 61 A/A+ compilations released in 1992 or later, but all of them have material previously released before 1992. It is possible that a few of the African comps have nothing previously released in the US, but that's very difficult to determine. Individual artist albums like the aforementioned King Sunny Adé would be even harder to search out. It certainly is the case that some Various Artists comps would be eligible, if only they were better -- tributes, dance remixes, maybe some hip-hop comps. I can think of some A- records like that, but none showed up on the A/A+ list.

DownBeat Reader's Poll

After several email reminders, I voted in DownBeat's Readers Poll the other day. You can too, although I think the last chance is August 17: click here. It's a slog, with categories you care about and others you don't. And their suggested nominees, which may (or may not) be good ones. They do provide a form to write in someone else. I didn't avail myself of that, figuring I shouldn't waste my vote on someone with no chance of winning. Still, while some answers are obvious, most are pretty arbitrary. My notes follow. For comparison, see my notes on voting in DownBeat's 2012 Critics Poll -- pretty much the same regime, except that critics can vote for three (as opposed to one) nominees, and have that extra "Rising Star" complication.


Hall of Fame: George Russell; Also on ballot (henceforth AB): Abdullah Ibrahim, Anthony Braxton, Buck Clayton, Charlie Haden, Don Cherry, Don Pullen, Herbie Nichols, Illinois Jacquet, Mildred Bailey, Shelly Manne, Tommy Flanagan, obviously many more; Not on ballot (henceforth NB): Lee Konitz (4th in the Critics Poll; what's with dropping him?), Art Farmer, Bud Freeman, Don Byas, Don Redman, Henry "Red" Allen, Leroy Jenkins, Louis Jordan, Jimmy Rushing, Lucky Thompson, Mal Waldron. I would have voted for Konitz had he been on the ballot.

Jazz Artist: I assume this requires something intangible beyond playing. William Parker; AB: Anthony Braxton, Bill Frisell, Dave Douglas, Henry Threadgill, James Carter, John Zorn, Lee Konitz, Matthew Shipp, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Vijay Iyer; NB: Ken Vandermark, Steve Lehman, Wadada Leo Smith.

Jazz Group: I (usually) skip over artist-name groups here, no matter how much they like to think of themselves as group efforts. Mostly Other People Do the Killing; AB: Atomic, Claudia Quintet; NB: ICP Orchestra, Microscopic Septet, ROVA, World Saxophone Quartet; RIP: Vandermark 5.

Big Band: ICP Orchestra (not really a big band, just 9 pieces, but hey!); AB: Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Gerald Wilson Big Band, Peter Brötzmann Tentet, Satoko Fujii Orchestra, Steven Bernstein Millennial Territory Orchestra, Vienna Art Orchestra; NB: Anthony Brown's Asian American Orchestra.

Jazz Album (released June 1, 2011 to May 31,2012): Steve Lehman Trio: Dialect Flourescent (Pi); AB:

  • Andrew Cyrille & Haitian Fascination: Route De Freres (Tum)
  • Charles Lloyd/Maria Farantouri: Athens Concert (ECM)
  • Darius Jones Trio: Big Gurl (Smell My Dream) (AUM Fidelity)
  • David Murray Cuban Ensemble: Plays Nat King Cole En Español (Motéma)
  • David S. Ware/William Parker/Cooper Moore/Muhammad Ali: Planetary Unknown (AUM Fidelity)
  • Don Byron: Love, Peace, and Soul (Savoy Jazz)
  • Ehud Asherie: Upper West Side (Posi-Tone)
  • Eivand Opsvik: Overseas IV (Loyal Label)
  • Ivo Perelman/Joe Morris/Gerald Cleaver: Family Ties (Leo)
  • James Carter Organ Trio: At the Crossroads (Emarcy)
  • Jenny Scheinman: Mischief & Mayhem (Jenny Scheinman)
  • Marcus Strickland: Triumph of the Heavy, Vol. 1 & 2 (Strick Muzik)
  • Rudresh Mahanthappa: Samdhi (ACT)
  • Side A: A New Margin (Clean Feed)
  • Sonny Rollins: Road Shows, Vol. 2 (Doxy/EmArcy)
  • Ted Nash: The Creep (Plastic Sax)
  • Tyshawn Sorey: Oblique-I (Pi)
  • Vijay Iyer Trio: Accelerando (ACT)

NB: Cf. the A-lists for 2011 and 2012. I don't have the necessary info to sort out the release dates, but will note that of the 27 A- (or better) jazz records on the 2012 list, only 8 (30%) were on the ballot. (But note that my 2012 list includes post-June 1 releases; no idea how many, but I figure the ballot must be missing at least 50% of my A-list records.)

Ballot breakdown by grade: A (1), A- (18), B+(***) (21), B+(**) (27), B+(*) (24), B (4), B- (1), U (52, 35% of total).

Historical Album (released June 1, 2011-May 31, 2012): Cartagena! Curro Fuentes & the Big Band Cumbia and Descarga Sound of Columbia 1962-72 (Soundway); AB:

  • Miles Davis Quintet: Live in Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 1 (Columbia/Legacy)

NB: I've only heard 6 of 31 ballot albums, but haven't heard much else either. Lack of access to these historical albums bothers me greatly.

Trumpet: Wadada Leo Smith; AB: Brian Lynch, Dave Douglas, Enrico Rava, Nils Petter Molvaer, Paolo Fresu, Ralph Alessi, Roy Campbell, Steven Bernstein, Tomasz Stanko, Wynton Marsalis; NB: Dennis Gonzalez, James Zollar, Matt Lavelle, Natsuki Tamura, Randy Sandke, Taylor Ho Bynum, Warren Vaché.

Trombone: Roswell Rudd; AB: George Lewis, Julian Priester, Ray Anderson, Steve Swell, Steve Turre, Wycliffe Gordon; NB: Jacob Garchik, Joe Fiedler, Phil Ranelin.

Soprano Saxophone: Evan Parker; AB: Jan Garbarek, John Surman, Michael Blake, Wayne Shorter; NB: Brent Jensen, Joe Giardullo, Vinny Golia. I would prefer picking a specialist, but no one is looking to step into Steve Lacy's shoes. Most of the big names are better on larger horns (Parker included), but I'm reluctant to pick someone who just plays one cut per album (of which, Chris Potter is probably tops, with Marcus Strickland rising fast; Branford Marsalis won the critics poll, and he's usually solid).

Alto Saxophone: Tim Berne; AB: Anthony Braxton, Bobby Watson, Darius Jones, Greg Osby, Henry Threadgill, Joe McPhee, John Zorn, Jon Irabagon, Kenny Garrett, Lee Konitz, Marty Ehrlich, Miguel Zenón, Oliver Lake, Ornette Coleman, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Steve Lehman, Ted Nash; NB: Arthur Blythe, Bob Wilber, Dave Rempis, François Carrier, Loren Stillman, Mark Whitecage, Martin Küchen, Matana Roberts, Michael Moore, Philip Johnston, Sabir Mateen.

Tenor Saxophone: David Murray; AB: Billy Harper, Branford Marsalis, Charles Gayle, Charles Lloyd, Chris Byars, Chris Potter, Chris Speed, David S. Ware, Donny McCaslin, Evan Parker, Harry Allen, Houston Person, James Carter, Jan Garbarek, Jerry Bergonzi, Joe Lovano, Joel Frahm, Jon Irabagon, Ken Vandermark, Peter Brötzmann, Sonny Rollins, Tony Malaby, Von Freeman. NB: Archie Shepp, Avram Fefer, Chris Cheek, Dave Rempis, Ellery Eskelin, Ivo Perelman, Joe McPhee, Juhani Aaltonen, Larry Ochs, Pharoah Sanders, Rich Halley, Rodrigo Amado, Scott Hamilton, Tommy Smith.

Baritone Saxophone: John Surman; AB: Claire Daly, Dave Rempis, Fred Ho, Gary Smulyan, Gebhard Ullman, Hamiet Bluiett, James Carter, Ken Vandermark, Mats Gustafsson, Scott Robinson, Tim Berne, Vinny Golia. NB: none. I don't really like picking a non-specialist, but this is Surman's main horn (unlike Carter and Vandermark, Berne and Golia), and I haven't heard a thing from Bluiett in several years.

Clarinet: Louis Sclavis; AB: Anat Cohen, Ben Goldberg, Chris Speed, Darryl Harper, Don Byron, François Houle, Marty Ehrlich, Michael Moore, Ned Rothenberg, Perry Robinson, NB: Allan Vaché, Lajos Dudas, Mort Weiss.

Flute: Henry Threadgill; AB: Dave Valentin, Kali Z. Fasteau, Nicole Mitchell, Robert Dick, Sam Most; NB: Juhani Aaltonen.

Piano: Myra Melford; AB: Ahmad Jamal, Alexander Von Schlippenbach, Brad Mehldau, Cecil Taylor, Enrico Pieranunzi, Ethan Iverson, Fred Hersch, George Colligan, Jason Moran, Keith Jarrett, Kenny Barron, Martial Solal, Matthew Shipp, McCoy Tyner, Satoko Fujii, Uri Caine, Vijay Iyer. NB: Abdullah Ibrahim, Bill Carrothers, Carla Bley, Cedar Walton, Chucho Valdes, Dave Burrell, David Berkman, Giorgio Gaslini, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Guus Janssen, Hal Galper, Irène Schweizer, Joanne Brackeen, Kris Davis, Marilyn Crispell, Misha Mengelberg, Muhal Richard Abrams, Nik Bärtsch, Pandelis Karayorgis, Paul Bley, Ran Blake, Roger Kellaway, Steve Kuhn.

Electric Keyboard: Matthew Shipp; AB: Bugge Wesseltoft, Craig Taborn, Sam Yahel, Uri Caine. NB: Alexander Hawkins, Nik Bärtsch. Not an accurate pick, in that Shipp plays very little keyb, but maybe a hopeful one.

Organ: Brian Charette; AB: Dan Wall, Joey DeFrancesco, John Medeski, Mike LeDonne NB: Vince Seneri, Jeppe Tuxen.

Guitar: Nels Cline; AB: Bill Frisell, Howard Alden, Jeff Parker, Jim Hall, Joe Morris, John Abercrombie, John McLaughlin, John Scofield, Liberty Ellman, Marc Ribot, Mary Halvorson, Peter Bernstein, Rez Abbasi, Russell Malone; NB: Anders Nilsson, Billy Jenkins, Brad Shepik, Dom Minasi, Gordon Grdina, James Blood Ulmer, Kevin O'Neill, Luis Lopes, Marc Ducret, Michael Musillami, Pedro Gomes, Pete McCann, Raoul Björkenheim, Samo Salamon, Scott DuBois, Ulf Wakenius, Wolfgang Muthspiel.

Bass: William Parker; AB: Arild Andersen, Barry Guy, Ben Allison, Charlie Haden, Dave Holland, Drew Gress, Eivind Opsvik, Gary Peacock, Harrison Bankhead, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, John Hébert, Marc Johnson, Mark Dresser, Michael Formanek, Omer Avital, Peter Washington, Ray Drummond, Reggie Workman, Scott Colley; NB: Adam Lane, Alexis Cuadrado, Arthur Kell, Avishai Cohen, Cecil McBee, Hans Glawischnig, Harvey S, Henry Grimes, Joe Fonda, John Lindberg, Ken Filiano, Mark Helias, Moppa Elliott, Pablo Aslan, Reid Anderson, Ron Carter, Stephan Crump.

Electric Bass: Steve Swallow; AB: Jamaaladeen Tacuma, James Genus, Nate McBride, Stomu Takeishi; NB: Melvin Gibbs, Massimo Pupillo. A lot of bassists play some electric, but it's hard to keep track of who plays what where.

Violin: Jason Kao Hwang; AB: Aaron Weinstein, Charles Burnham, Didier Lockwood, Mat Maneri, Rob Thomas, NB: Jenny Scheinman (major omission), Jesse Zubot, Philipp Wachsmann.

Drums: Andrew Cyrille; AB: Ben Riley, Bill Stewart, Billy Hart, Bobby Previte, Dan Weiss, Dave King, Eric Harland, Gerald Cleaver, Gerry Hemingway, Hamid Drake, Han Bennink, Jack DeJohnette, Jim Black, Joey Baron, John Hollenbeck, Lewis Nash, Matt Wilson, Mike Reed, Paal Nilssen-Love, Scott Amendola, Tyshawn Sorey, Victor Lewis. NB: Anthony Brown, Günter Baby Sommer, Harris Eisenstadt, Kevin Norton, Louis Moholo, Paul Lytton, Stefan Pasborg, Susie Ibarra, Thomas Strønen, Tom Rainey, Tony Oxley.

Vibes: Warren Smith; AB: Bobby Hutcherson, Jason Adasiewicz, Joe Locke, Kenny Wollesen, Khan Jamal, Steve Nelson; NB: Bill Ware.

Percussion: Han Bennink; AB: Adam Rudolph, Dan Weiss, Hamid Drake, Kahil El'Zabar, Marilyn Mazur, Michael Zerang, Satoshi Takeishi, Susie Ibarra, Warren Smith, Zakir Hussain; NB: Kevin Diehl, Jerry Leake, Ravish Momin, Roberto Juan Rodriguez.

Miscellaneous Instrument: Bob Stewart (tuba); AB: David Murray (bass clarinet), Eric Friedlander (cello), Gary Versace (accordion), Howard Johnson (tuba), Myra Melford (harmonium) Rabih Abou-Khalil (oud), Richard Galliano (accordion), Scott Robinson (bass sax); NB: Bill Cole (didgeridoo), Cooper-Moore (diddley bow), Hamilton de Holanda (mandolin), John Gill (banjo), Marcus Rojas (tuba), Mike Marshall (mandolin), Philipp Wachsmann (electronics), Will Holshouser (accordion).

Male Vocalist: Freddy Cole; AB: Bob Dorough, Giacomo Gates, Mose Allison, Theo Bleckmann; NB: Jamie Davis, Tony DeSare.

Female Vocalist: Sheila Jordan; AB: Cassandra Wilson, Diana Krall, Dianne Reeves, Fay Victor, Lorraine Feather, Patricia Barber, René Marie, Tierney Sutton; NB: Lisa Sokolov, Mary Stallings, Yaala Ballin.

Composer: Ben Allison; AB: Carla Bley, Dave Douglas, John Zorn, Randy Weston, Steve Lehman; NB: Adam Lane.

Arranger: Steven Bernstein; AB: Allen Toussaint, Carla Bley, Gerald Wilson, John Hollenbeck. NB: Anthony Branker, David Weiss.

Record Label: Clean Feed; AB: Cuneiform, Delmark, ECM, HighNote, Pi, Posi-Tone, Sunnyside; would rate higher if they serviced me better: 482 Music, Arbors, Enja, Firehouse 12, Intakt, Leo, Mosaic, Tzadik.

Blues Artist or Group: James Blood Ulmer; AB: Carolina Chocolate Drops, Dr. John, Eric Bibb, Otis Taylor, Taj Mahal; NB: Guy Davis, Maria Muldaur, Sue Foley.

Blues Album: Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton: Play the Blues (Warner); AB: none. Heard 7 of 24 records; only 1 A-, 1 *** (Otis Taylor), 2 ** (Bonnie Raitt, Dr. John), 3 * (Janiva Magness, Joe Louis Walker, Tedeschi Trucks Band). Doesn't appear to be anything A-list not on ballot.

Beyond Artist or Group: The Roots; AB: Arcade Fire, Hayes Carll, Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Pink Martini, Tune-yards; NB: damn near everyone.

Beyond Album (released June 1, 2011-May 31, 2012): Leonard Cohen: Old Ideas (BMG); AB:

  • Bruce Springsteen: Wrecking Ball (Columbia)
  • Jay-Z and Kanye West: Watch the Throne (Def Jam/Roc-a-fella)
  • Killer Mike: R.A.P. Music (Williams Street)
  • Merle Haggard: Working in Tennessee (Vanguard)
  • Pistol Annies: Hell on Wheels (Columbia Nashville)
  • Tom Waits: Bad As Me (Anti-)

AB: see the year lists above, for lots of non-jazz, non-blues beyond the ballot (what shows up on the ballot is pretty arbitrary). Heard 24 of 34 records. Ballot breakdown by grade: A- (7), B+(***) (2), B+(**) (4), B+(*) (5), B (3), B- (3).


DownBeat's Critics Poll results came out in their August, 2012 issue. Some quick comments:

  • Hall of Fame: Paul Motian jumped the queue by dying. Someone does that more years than not, something I attribute more to the bottleneck than to the critics' attention deficit disorder. The Veterans Committee added Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt: good choices.
  • Trumpet: Dave Douglas still handily bests Wynton Marsalis (153 to 119), but lost to Ambrose Akinmusire, a big surprise by someone I've barely noticed. The poll has long had a strong Blue Note effect, but this is ridiculous. (In these categories, I favor veterans as long as they're pretty active.) RS was Avishai Cohen, an interesting choice.
  • Trombone: Wycliffe Gordon finally knocked Steve Turre off the top spot, which strikes me as fair. Trombone Shorty came in 3rd, which is way beyond ridiculous.
  • Soprano Saxophone: Branford Marsalis beat out two people who mostly play soprano, with Wayne Shorter in 4th -- the guy who usually wins this category. Marsalis only plays soprano one or two cuts per album, rarely embarrassing, but several other tenors manage the same trick -- most notably, Chris Potter (8th) and Marcus Strickland (the RS). God, I miss Steve Lacy.
  • Alto Saxophone: Rudresh Mahanthappa finally won, handily over Miguel Zenón, and is likely to hold it unless Ornette Coleman actually records something. Darius Jones barely lost RS to David Binney.
  • Tenor Saxophone: The pecking order reaffirmed: Sonny Rollins over Joe Lovano; then next generation of mainstreamers: Branford Marsalis, Chris Potter, Joshua Redman; then an assorted bunch of icons: Charles Lloyd, David S. Ware, Wayne Shorter, David Murray, Houston Person; then another mainstream generation: JD Allen, Mark Turner, Donny McCaslin, Anat Cohen (who won RS). Marcus Strickland has moved to 16th on the main list, slipping to 3rd on RS, tied by Jon Irabagon in a pleasant surprise.
  • Baritone Saxophone: Big win for Gary Smulyan, someone I don't know at all well.
  • Clarinet: Landslide for Anat Cohen, more than 2-to-1 over perennial winner Don Byron.
  • Flute: Nicole Mitchell owns this now, and will for decades to come.
  • Piano: Keith Jarrett has owned this as long as I can remember, but Vijay Iyer beat him (as well as winning Jazz Artist and Jazz Group and getting his picture on the cover). Probably not a one-shot deal either. Robert Glasper won RS (edging Iyer, actually), another Blue Note effect.
  • Guitar: No one close to Bill Frisell, who topped Nels Cline 259-104. Mary Halvorson came in 4th -- somehow her publicists send me her crummy records but not the ones everyone else likes. Julian Lage won RS: just a name to me with a less-than-great debut album (I didn't get his second). Lots of upcoming guitarists.
  • Bass: Christian McBride won big, 283-152 over Charlie Haden, while William Parker came in 4th (100) and Dave Holland 6th (62), along with others we won't bother naming. McBride also won for electric bass, a category that baffles me. Linda Oh won RS. She's good, but as with McBride, the competition is so stiff in this category, it's weird how arbitrary some of these votes seem.
  • Violin: Regina Carter owns this, all the more so with Billy Bang gone, scoring 330-146 over Mark Feldman, who always struck me as the most conventionally classical of jazz violinists. Jenny Scheinman came in 4th; Jason Hwang 9th. Hwang, who's nearly a decade older than Carter, won RS.
  • Drums: Jack DeJohnette won, with the late Paul Motian in 4th. Not my pick, but can't complain about anyone who would vote for DeJohnette.

Still very mainstream. Still nearly impossible for a European to get a hearing. Some evidence of a generational shift, especially in the rise of Iyer and Mahanthappa. (I doubt that Akinmusire will stick.)

Expert Comments

Unlikely that I'll send in anything to Sroka's 20-year poll -- 20 records just seems like too tight of a cut. But I thought I'd contribute this (but MSN didn't allow the post):

Just did a preliminary sort on my 1992-2012 A list (201 records), and thought I'd pull out the jazz for your perusal (a little more than a third of the list). Tried to sort in rank order, but that's tough to do. All very good records.

[list moved above]

BTW, I wrote up some notes on the DownBeat Readers Poll, on my blog. Link there if you want to vote. I think the deadline is tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Expert Comments

Brad Sroka pushes a new poll:

Welcome to the first Expert Witness Improves upon Pitchfork poll. Pitchfork is celebrating its 15 years of existence this week by inviting readers to contribute to The People's List, which invites you to vote for your favorite albums between 1996 and 2011. Pitchfork allows you to vote for between 20 and 100 albums. Voting for that poll ends this Friday.

After consulting with some EW regulars, I decided that I would like to host a similar poll documenting 20 of your favorite albums of the last 20 years -- 1992 to the present. We can claim it's to celebrate the 20 years of semi-popular music's commercial viability since Nevermind hit number one on the Billboard album chart in January 1992. But really we just like to have polls, and it's been awhile since we've had one. Personally, I wanted to do this because I recently reread Rolling Stone's 1967-1987 poll and thought it would be fun to do something similar. Then I learn that these Pitchfork people put up this People's List, and so then I started to get competitive. And now here we are.

These rules are cribbed from Patrick, our expert pollmaster:

  1. Everyone may vote, lurkers definitely included.
  2. Pick your 20 favorite albums released between 1992 and the present (define "favorite" any way you like -- it's your list). Specify the title and artist.
  3. Rank your appreciation of said albums by dividing 200 points among them, with each album being given a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 30 points. You may choose to leave out the points, in which case each of your 20 albums will be given 10 points.
  4. Only albums of new or previously unreleased material qualify. Best-ofs and re-issues don't. The Basement Tapes would qualify for 1975. The various-artists release Dark Was The Night would qualify for 2009. Bob Marley's Legend would not qualify at all.
  5. Albums should have been released from within the chosen timespan only. Remember, it doesn't matter when the album caught on -- it matters when it was released. For example, you cannot vote for Nirvana's Nevermind, despite it's enduring popularity throughout 1992. To minimize confusion, we will use our host's dates from the '90s CG book and his website as our final release dates.
  6. E-mail your ballot to bradleysroka [at] gmail [dot] com. If you're a regular poster, please include your EW handle so that I know who you are.
  7. DO NOT post your ballot on this board until poll results are published.
  8. Whatever albums get the most points win. Ties are divided by number of votes. Given the presumably small number of voters, and to avoid a bunch of 1-vote-30-points winners, albums need at least 2 votes to make it on the winner list.
  9. Voting ends Friday, Sept. 14. Results will be posted Tuesday, Sept. 18, for that day's EW entry.

I wrote:

Unable to even find Pitchfork's poll, but I'd say that the best thing about it is that they're allowing voters to list up to 100 records, which for 15 years is 6-7 per year. Extending the poll here to 20 years makes it harder to directly compare the two polls, and restricting the ballots to 20 records throws away a lot of useful information (works out to 1 per year) -- especially given that you're likely to have fewer voters here than Pitchfork gets (unless I'm not the only one who can't find the thing). I just did a quick sift through my database and came up with 201 A or A+ records from 1992 to the present. Haven't tried to rank them yet, but the difference between the top 20 and the next 20 (that under these poll rules would be treated as nothing) is bound to be pretty arbitrary.

By the way, I reviewed the entire Shout Factory "Heroes of the Blues" series in Recycled Goods back in February 2004, along with a lot more blues. My own Rainey choice is Milestone's 24-cut eponymous CD (1992), but as best I recall the two reviewed above are pretty much equivalent -- mostly shorter, not necessarily a bad thing. Document, which often has execrable sound, has four CDs of Rainey. JSP, which is usually superb, has a 5-CD budget box.

Milo Miles:

Loot from Annual Record Scrounge with Francis Davis:

CDs:

  • Susie Arioli Swing Band, Pennies From Heaven
  • Amy Cervini, Digging Me Digging You

(both the mode of female singer he pays more attention to than I do, which is why I pick up his recommendations)

  • Clem Snide, The Ghost of Fashion

(band I've meant to get around to for ages, but never did -- Francis remembered the Dean dug 'em)

  • Anat Cohen & the Anzic orchestra, Noir
  • Walt Dickerson, 1976
  • Kenny Dorham Quintet, Jerome Kern Showboat
  • Jim Hall Trio, The Complete "Jazz Guitar"
  • Joseph Jarman, Inheritance
  • Rahsaan Roland Kirk/Yusef Lateef, Separate But Equal

(LP replacements for discs that are, yeah I know, rather uneven)

  • Roscoe Mitchell, Before There Was Sound
  • James Moody, Moody's Mood for Love

(LP replacement)

  • Willem Breuker Kollektief, Thirst

(looks at bit dubious, actually, but I grab every title I see by this outfit)

LPs:

  • ROVA, Beat Kennel
  • Meet Betty Carter and Ray Bryant
  • Albert Mangelsdorf, Now, Jazz Ramwong
  • The College Concert of Pee Wee Russell and Henry Red Allen

DVD/CD:

  • Lee Scratch Perry w/Mad Professor and the Robotiks Band, S/T

The following is a first pass at sorting a 1992-2012 A-list (all full A or A+, otherwise this gets insanely long, but I expect there are some high A- records I would rank near here):

  1. Lily Allen: It's Not Me, It's You (2009, Capitol)
  2. Pavement: Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (1993, Matador)
  3. Beck: Odelay (1996, DGC)
  4. Pet Shop Boys: Very (1993, Capitol)
  5. Cornershop: When I Was Born for the Seventh Time (1997, Warner Bros)
  6. Iris Dement: My Life (1994, Warner Bros)
  7. Buck 65: Talkin' Honky Blues (2003, Warner Music Canada)
  8. Lucinda Williams: Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (1998, Polygram)
  9. Sonic Youth: Dirty (1992, DGC)
  10. Jimmie Dale Gilmore: Spinning Around the Sun (1993, Elektra)
  11. The Roches: A Dove (1992, MCA)
  12. James Carter: Chasin' the Gypsy (2000, Atlantic)
  13. Leonard Cohen: Live in London (2008, Columbia)
  14. John Prine: In Spite of Ourselves (1999, Oh Boy)
  15. Sonny Rollins: This Is What I Do (2000, Milestone)
  16. Manu Chao: Proxima Estacion: Esperanza (2001, Virgin)
  17. DJ Shadow: The Private Press (2002, MCA)
  18. William Parker: Sound Unity (2005, AUM Fidelity)
  19. Los Lobos: Colossal Head (1996, Warner Bros)
  20. Maria Muldaur: Richland Woman Blues (2001, Stony Plain)
  21. Sonic Liberation Front: Ashé a Go-Go (2004, High Two)
  22. Todd Snider: The Devil You Know (2006, New Door)
  23. Billy Bang: Vietnam: The Aftermath (2001, Justin Time)
  24. Dave Alvin: King of California (1994, Hightone)
  25. David Murray: Creole (1998, Justin Time)
  26. Amy Rigby: Little Fugitive (2005, Signature Sounds)
  27. Loudon Wainwright III: High Wide and Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project (2009, 161)
  28. Bruno Mars: Doo-Wops and Hooligans (2010, Elektra)
  29. Rudresh Mahanthappa/Steve Lehman: Dual Identity (2010, Clean Feed)
  30. Lyrics Born: Later That Day . . . (2003, Quannum Projects)
  31. Brian Wilson: Presents Smile (2004, Nonesuch)
  32. OutKast: Stankonia (2000, LaFace)
  33. P.J. Harvey: To Bring You My Love (1995, Island)
  34. Ornette Coleman: Sound Grammar (2006, Sound Grammar)
  35. Iris Dement: The Way I Should (1996, Warner Bros)
  36. Liz Phair: Exile in Guyville (1993, Matador)
  37. Cornershop: Handcream for a Generation (2002, Beggars Banquet)
  38. Moby: Play (1999, V2)
  39. Adam Lane: New Magical Kingdom (2006, Clean Feed)
  40. The Coup: Party Music (2001, 75 Ark)
  41. Todd Snider: East Nashville Skyline (2004, Oh Boy)
  42. Amy Rigby: Diary of a Mod Housewife (1996, Koch)
  43. Spaceways Inc.: Version Soul (2002, Atavistic)
  44. Mavis Staples: We'll Never Turn Back (2007, Anti-)
  45. L7: Bricks Are Heavy (1992, Slash)
  46. Rachid Taha: Made in Medina (2001, Ark 21)
  47. Gogol Bordello: Super Taranta! (2007, Side One Dummy)
  48. Kanye West: Late Registration (2005, Roc-A-Fella)
  49. Lucinda Williams: Sweet Old World (1992, Chameleon)
  50. John Prine: Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings (1995, Oh Boy)
  51. Cachao: Master Sessions Volume 2 (1995, Crescent Moon/Epic)
  52. Billy Jenkins: True Love Collection (1998, Babel)
  53. NERD: In Search of . . . (2002, Virgin)
  54. Matthew Shipp: Harmony and Abyss (2004, Thirsty Ear)
  55. Billy Bang: Prayer for Peace (2010, TUM)
  56. William Parker: Scrapbook (2003, Thirsty Ear)
  57. David Murray: Like a Kiss That Never Ends (2001, Justin Time)
  58. Loudon Wainwright III: Older Than My Old Man Now (2012, 2nd Story Sound)
  59. Buck 65: Man Overboard (2001, Metaforensics)
  60. Alexander von Schlippenbach/Axel Dörner/Rudi Mahall/Jan Roder/Uli Jennessen: Monk's Casino: The Complete Works of Thelonious Monk (2005, Intakt)
  61. William Parker: Raining on the Moon (2002, Thirsty Ear)
  62. Youssou N'Dour: Rokku Mi Rokka (2007, Nonesuch)
  63. Tommy Smith/Brian Kellock: Symbiosis (2005, Spartacus)
  64. Randy Newman: Harps and Angels (2008, Nonesuch)
  65. Jimmie Dale Gilmore: One Endless Night (2000, Rounder)
  66. Rich Halley/Dan Raphael/Carson Halley: Children of the Blue Supermarket (2011, Pine Eagle)
  67. Blackalicious: Nia (2000, Quannum Projects)
  68. Van Morrison: Down the Road (2002, Universal)
  69. Massimo Urbani: The Blessing (1993, Red)
  70. Leonard Cohen: The Future (1992, Columbia)
  71. Vandermark 5: Target or Flag (1998, Atavistic)
  72. Orchestra Baobab: Specialist in All Styles (2002, Nonesuch)
  73. Don Pullen: Ode to Life (1993, Blue Note)
  74. Mzwakhe Mbuli: Resistance Is Defence (1992, Earthworks)
  75. Amadou and Mariam: Dimanche à Bamako (2005, Nonesuch)
  76. Handsome Boy Modeling School: So . . . How's Your Girl? (1999, Tommy Boy)
  77. James Carter: The Real Quietstorm (1995, Atlantic)
  78. Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010, Roc-A-Fella)
  79. Orlando Cachaito Lopez: Cachaito (2001, World Circuit/Nonesuch)
  80. Triage: American Mythology (2004, Okka Disk)
  81. Nils Petter Molvaer: Solid Ether (2000, ECM)
  82. David Murray: Long Goodbye: A Tribute to Don Pullen (1998, DIW)
  83. Roberto Juan Rodriguez: El Danzon de Moises (2002, Tzadik)
  84. Paraphrase [Tim Berne/Drew Gress/Tom Rainey]: Pre-Emptive Denial (2005, Screwgun)
  85. K'Naan: The Dusty Foot Philosopher (2008, IM Culture)
  86. William Parker: . . . And William Danced (2002, Ayler)
  87. The Roots: Rising Down (2008, Def Jam)
  88. The Beautiful South: 0898 Beautiful South (1992, Go! Discs)
  89. V.V. Brown: Travelling Like the Light (2009, Capitol)
  90. Buck 65: Square (2002, Warner Music Canada)
  91. Steve Lehman: Dialect Fluorescent (2012, Pi)
  92. Nelly: Country Grammar (2000, Universal)
  93. Hayes Carll: Trouble in Mind (2008, Lost Highway)
  94. DJ Shadow: Endtroducing (1996, Mo Wax)
  95. Ghostface Killah: Fishscale (2006, Def Jam)
  96. Rilo Kiley: More Adventurous (2004, Brute/Beaute)
  97. Todd Snider: Live: Near Truths and Hotel Rooms (2003, Oh Boy)
  98. The Fully Celebrated: Drunk on the Blood of the Holy Ones (2009, AUM Fidelity)
  99. James Carter: Conversin' With the Elders (1996, Atlantic)
  100. David Murray: Sacred Ground (2007, Justin Time)
  101. Manu Chao: Clandestino (1998, Ark 21)
  102. Public Enemy: Rebirth of a Nation (2006, Guerrilla Funk)
  103. Iris Dement: Infamous Angel (1992, Philo)
  104. Raphael Saadiq: The Way I See It (2008, Columbia)
  105. David Sanchez: Obsesion (1998, Columbia)
  106. Vandermark 5: Elements of Style . . . Exercises in Surprise (2004, Atavistic)
  107. K'Naan: Troubadour (2009, A&M/Octone)
  108. Jewels and Binoculars: Ships With Tattooed Sails (2007, Upshot)
  109. Oumou Sangare: Seya (2009, World Circuit/Nonesuch)
  110. Sufjan Stevens: Illinois (2005, Asthmatic Kitty)
  111. Youssou N'Dour: Nothing's in Vain (2002, Nonesuch)
  112. William Parker: Double Sunrise Over Neptune (2008, AUM Fidelity)
  113. The Roots: How I Got Over (2010, Def Jam)
  114. John Fogerty: Revival (2007, Fantasy)
  115. Beck: Mellow Gold (1994, DGC)
  116. Powerhouse Sound: Oslo/Chicago Breaks (2007, Atavistic)
  117. Le Tigre: This Island (2004, Island)
  118. The Streets: Original Pirate Material (2002, Vice/Atlantic)
  119. Eminem: The Marshall Mathers LP (2000, Interscope)
  120. Sue Foley: Without a Warning (1993, Antone's)
  121. Thelonious Monk/John Coltrane: At Carnegie Hall (2005, Blue Note)
  122. Nik Bärtsch: Rea (2006, Ronin Rhythm)
  123. Sonic Youth: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star (1994, DGC)
  124. Les Amazones de Guinée: Wamato (2008, Sterns Africa)
  125. Robyn: Body Talk (2010, Konichiwa/Cherrytree/Interscope)
  126. Harry Allen: Blue Skies (1994, John Marks)
  127. Mekons: OOOH! (Out of Our Heads) (2002, Quarterstick)
  128. David S. Ware: Corridors and Parallels (2001, AUM Fidelity)
  129. Todd Snider: Agnostic Hymns and Stoner Fables (2012, Aimless/Thirty Tigers)
  130. The Beautiful South: Blue Is the Colour (1996, Ark)
  131. Lucinda Williams: Essence (2001, Lost Highway)
  132. Stevie Wonder: Conversation Peace (1995, Motown)
  133. Nils Petter Molvaer: ER (2006, Thirsty Ear)
  134. Mostly Other People Do the Killing: Shamokin!!! (2007, Hot Cup)
  135. Matthew Shipp: Harmonic Disorder (2009, Thirsty Ear)
  136. The Perceptionists: Black Dialogue (2005, Definitive Jux)
  137. Barney Wilen: New York Romance (1994, Sunnyside)
  138. Manu Chao: La Radiolina (2007, Nacional/Because)
  139. Avram Fefer/Eric Revis/Chad Taylor: Eliyahu (2011, Not Two)
  140. Kelis: Tasty (2003, Star Trak/Arista)
  141. L7: Hungry for Stink (1994, Slash/Reprise)
  142. Jon Faddis: Teranga (2006, Koch)
  143. The Coup: Pick a Bigger Weapon (2006, Epitaph)
  144. The Highlife Allstars: Sankofa (2001, Network)
  145. David Murray: Gwotet (2004, Justin Time)
  146. Lee Konitz: Jazz Nocturne (1992, Evidence)
  147. Steinski: Nothing to Fear: A Rough Mix (2002, Soul Ting)
  148. Loudon Wainwright III: Career Moves (1993, Virgin)
  149. William Parker: The Peach Orchard (1998, AUM Fidelity)
  150. Willie Nelson/Asleep at the Wheel: Willie and the Wheel (2009, Bismeaux)
  151. Spoon: Kill the Moonlight (2002, Merge)
  152. Arthur Blythe: Focus (2002, Savant)
  153. Jesus and Mary Chain: Stoned and Dethroned (1994, Warner Bros)
  154. M People: Elegant Slumming (1994, Epic)
  155. The Klezmatics: Wonder Wheel: Lyrics by Woody Guthrie (2006, JMG)
  156. Tricky: Blowback (2001, Hollywood)
  157. Lobi Traoré: Bwati Kono "In the Club" (2011, Kanaga System Krush)
  158. Billy Bragg/Wilco: Mermaid Avenue (1998, Elektra)
  159. Vandermark 5: Free Jazz Classics Vols. 3 & 4 (2006, Atavistic)
  160. Justin Warfield: My Field Trip to Planet 9 (1993, Warner Bros)
  161. Allen Lowe: Blues and the Empirical Truth (2011, Music & Arts)
  162. Yusef Lateef/Archie Shepp: Tenors of Yusef Lateef and Archie Shepp (1992, YAL)
  163. Girls Against Boys: House of GVSB (1996, Touch & Go)
  164. Vampire Weekend: Contra (2010, XL)
  165. Benjamin Herman: Hypo Christmas Treefuzz: More Mengelberg (2010, Dox)
  166. Amy Rigby: Middlescence (1998, Koch)
  167. Cee-Lo Green: Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections (2002, Arista)
  168. Imperial Teen: On (2002, Merge)
  169. Craig Harris: Souls Within the Veil (2005, Aquastra)
  170. Bob Dylan: Love and Theft (2001, Columbia)
  171. Transplants: Transplants (2002, Hellcat)
  172. Randy Sandke: Unconventional Wisdom (2008, Arbors)
  173. Elastica: The Menace (2000, Atlantic)
  174. The Chills: Soft Bomb (1992, Slash)
  175. Mr. Lif: I Phantom (2002, Definitive Jux)
  176. Ernie Wilkins: K.a.l.e.i.d.o.d.u.k.e. (1994, Birdology)
  177. World Saxophone Quartet: Political Blues (2006, Justin Time)
  178. William Parker: I Plan to Stay a Believer: The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield (2010, AUM Fidelity)
  179. Vijay Iyer: Tragicomic (2008, Sunnyside)
  180. Mark Lomax: The State of Black America (2010, Inarhyme)
  181. Mekons: Ancient and Modern (2011, Bloodshot)
  182. L.L. Cool J: 14 Shots to the Dome (1993, Def Jam)
  183. Kenny Barron/Mino Cinelu: Swamp Sally (1995, Verve)
  184. Michael Hashim: Green Up Time (2001, Hep)
  185. Abraham Burton: The Magician (1995, Enja)
  186. Big Boi: Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty (2010, Def Jam)
  187. La Cherga: Fake No More (2008, Asphalt Tango)
  188. Zu/Spaceways Inc.: Radiale (2004, Atavistic)
  189. Dessa: A Badly Broken Code (2010, Doomtree)
  190. Sam Phillips: Martinis and Bikinis (1994, Virgin)
  191. West Nkosi: Rhythm of Healing (1992, Earthworks)
  192. Bernardo Sassetti: Ascent (2005, Clean Feed)
  193. Mi3: Free Advice (2007, Clean Feed)
  194. Angles: Epileptical West: Live in Coimbra (2010, Clean Feed)
  195. Jimmie Dale Gilmore & the Wronglers: Heirloom Music (2011, Neanderthal Noise)
  196. David Murray: Jazzosaurus Rex (1993, Red Baron)
  197. Jonatha Brooke: The Works (2008, Bad Dog)
  198. Garbage: Garbage (1995, Almo)
  199. Lester Bowie: The Fire This Time (1992, In+Out)
  200. Stephen Scott: Aminah's Dream (1993, Verve)
  201. Anthony Braxton: 20 Standards (Quartet) 2003 (2005, Leo)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Music Week/No Jazz Prospecting

Music: Current count 20269 [20249] rated (+20), 731 [722] unrated (+9).

Still out of sorts, coughing up a storm, but otherwise recovering. Still no Jazz Prospecting: got up this morning and played Muggsy Spanier's marvelous The "Ragtime Band" Sessions, then followed that with the new Dan Le Sac on Rhapsody. The August Rhapsody file is up to 35 records now, and will run after Downloader's Diary, probably late this week. August Recycled Goods will come out later, hopefully near the end of the month. I embed the month number in the file name, so regard that as some sort of August commitment. I'm mostly pulling previously unrated records from the shelf, and hope to wrap up a lot of old shit. Good chance this will be the last one at least through 2012, as it's the easiest project I have to cut, and scarcely worth the effort.

Expect Jazz Prospecting to return next week, although it will most likely be on the short side, as I'm still prioritizing Streamnotes (and Recycled Goods) over it, and I'm still lying low. I will say that I'm very pleased with the computer rebuild. Still working out minor kinks, and haven't tackled the router replacement yet. Very low energy, and still trying to wait out an exceptionally hot and dry summer.


Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • Bill Anschell/Brent Jensen/Chris Smyer: Blueprints (Origin)
  • Joey DeFrancesco/Larry Coryell/Jimmy Cobb: Wonderful! Wonderful! (High Note)
  • Joe Fiedler's Big Sackbut (YSL)
  • Letizia Gambi: Introducing Letizia Gambi (Jando Music)
  • Hobson's Choice: Of the Waves (Barnyard)
  • Donny McCaslin: Casting for Gravity (Greenleaf Music)
  • Medeski Martin & Wood: Free Magic (Indirecto): advance, September 25
  • Art Pepper: Unreleased Art Pepper Vol. VII: Sankei Hall, Osaka, Japan (1980, Widow's Taste, 2CD)
  • Sam Rivers/Dave Holland/Barry Altschul: Reunion: Live in New York (Pi)
  • Steve Williams & Jazz Nation (OA2)

Monday, August 06, 2012

Music Week/No Jazz Prospecting

Music: Current count 20249 [20246] rated (+3), 722 [696] unrated (+26).

Still sick. Still doing nothing but coughing and complaining. Did manage to catalogue the unpacking to date, an exhausting slog that uncovered a few records I would have looked forward to playing, but at the moment I could hardly feel more indifferent. Recycled Goods won't appear this month, unless I follow through on a fevered idea and dredge up a "best of" from the previous 99 columns. Next one will be number 100, an event that should be worthy of more concentration than I can presently muster. Fair chance there will be no Rhapsody Streamnotes for August either, although if I do anything in the next week or so I may dump that out and start a new batch. First fragments of A Downloader's Diary are in, so that, at least, should appear more or less on its more-or-less expected schedule.

I have used this time to enjoy some old music. Favorite listening: swing trombonist Vic Dickenson. Even upgraded his 1976 record, Plays Bessie Smith: Trombone Cholly, from A- to A. Earl Hines remains a favorite, and of course there's always Coleman Hawkins. No Jazz Prospecting this week. Do at least have my unpacking done.


Unpacking: Found in the mail over the last several weeks -- don't even recall how many:

  • Rez Abbasi Trio: Continuous Beat (Enja): advance, October 9
  • John Abercrombie Quartet: Within a Song (ECM)
  • Angles 8: By Way of Deception: Live in Ljubljana (Clean Feed)
  • Brubeck Brothers Quartet: Life Times (Blue Forest)
  • Hugo Carvalhais: Particula (Clean Feed)
  • Neneh Cherry & the Thing: The Cherry Thing (Smalltown Supersound)
  • Anat Cohen: Claroscuro (Anzic): September
  • Philip Dizack: End of an Era (Truth Revolution)
  • Maya Dunietz/John Edwards/Steve Noble: Cousin It (Hopscotch)
  • Ricardo Fassi: Sitting in a Song (Alice)
  • The Fish: Moon Fish (Clean Feed)
  • Gato Libre: Forever (Libra)
  • Uli Geissendoerfer: Colors (Black Coffee Music)
  • Hairybones [Toshinori Kondo/Massimo Pupillo/Peter Broetzmann/Paal Nilssen-Love]: Snakelust (to Kenji Nakagami) (Clean Feed)
  • Ted Hefko and the Thousandaires: If I Walked on Water (Onager)
  • Fred Hersch Trio: Alive at the Vanguard (Palmetto, 2CD)
  • Johnny Hodges: Yeah . . . About That (Veritas)
  • Keith Jarrett/Jan Garbarek/Palle Danielsson/Jon Christensen: Sleeper (1979, ECM, 2CD)
  • Igor Lumpert Trio: Innertextures Live (Clean Feed)
  • Mahlis-Panos Project; Protoleia (self-released)
  • Max Marshall: Instant Camaraderie (Jazz Hang)
  • Mark Masters Ensemble: Ellington Saxophone Encounters (Capri)
  • Daniel McBrearty: Clarinet Swing (Dan McB Music)
  • Kelly McCarty 3: Roux Steady (Offsuit)
  • Hendrik Meurkens/Gabriel Espinosa: Celebrando (Zoho)
  • Jimmy Mulidore: Jazz for the Ages (Muldoon Jams)
  • Jimmy Mulidore: And His New York City Jazz Band (self-released, DVD)
  • Nadje Noorduis (Little Mystery): October 9
  • Drew Paralic: Wintertime Tunes of Drew Paralic (self-released)
  • Platform 1: Takes Off (Clean Feed)
  • RJ and the Assignment: Deceiving Eyes (self-released)
  • Bobby Sanabria Big Band: Multiverse (Jazzheads)
  • Christian Scott: Christian aTunde Adjuah (Concord, 2CD)
  • Matthew Silberman: Questionable Creatures (DeSoto Sound Factory)
  • Sophisticated Ladies: A True Story (self-released)
  • Natsuki Tamura/Satoko Fujii: Muku (Libra)
  • Trespass Trio [Martin Küchen/Per Zanussi/Raymond Strid]: Bruder Beda (Clean Feed)
  • Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet: Hustlin' for a Gig (Housekat)
  • Eric Vaughn: Minor Relocation (self-released)
  • Florian Weber: Biosphere (Enja)
  • Ezra Weiss: Our Path to This Moment (Roark)
  • Wildlife Control (self-released)
  • Shingo Yuji: Introducing Shingo Yuji (Yujipan Music)


Changed previous grades:

  • Vic Dickenson: Plays Bessie Smith: Trombone Cholly (1976, Gazell): [was: A-] A

Expert Comments

Robert Christgau:

I shared the Pussy Riot video Cam posted here with my old friend Marshall Berman, and if you haven't read All That Is Solid Melts Into Air you should. He forwarded it to his editor at the venerable left journal Dissent, who wondered if Marshall knew anyone who would like to write about it there. Dissent you can check out online. They pay bubkes, which doesn't mean nothing but is close enough. They want someone with some grasp of the Russian context as well as musical knowledge. Lurkers welcome. If you don't know how to reach me directly, write me at my site and Tom will forward. I would of course be delighted if Tom was interested himself.

Milo suggested Timothy W. Ryback, author of Rock Around the Bloc: A History of Rock Music in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union (1989, Oxford University Press). Haven't found Cam's link, so I have no idea what they're talking about.


Jul 2012 Sep 2012