December 2019 Notebook
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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Music Week

Expanded blog post, December archive (complete).

Music: Current count 32538 [32491] rated (+47), 228 [230] unrated (-2).

Took an extra day to post Music Week this week. I figured I had one more day in the month to work with, or actually one more day to wrap up the year in calendar time, so I got in a little extra listening. Also used the time to add some lists to the EOY aggregate. Got up to Radio X in AOTY's list of lists. Haven't done anything from the NPR Jazz Critics Poll yet -- should be up in early January, not sure exactly when -- nor have a tracked down the JJA lists (that usually track JCP ballots). Hence, very little data so far on jazz (other than my own grades).

I did get an invite to join something called Village Voice Pazz & Jop Rip-Off Poll, and picked off a couple dozen ballots there. My rule there was to only count ballots from people I recognized, which mostly means members of the Expert Witness Facebook group.

This week's records were mostly things I took an interest in while compiling lists. The one major exception was that I resolved to listen to the last 2019 releases in my promo queue, including a couple I just got this week. The result is that, for now at least, the "pending" lists in my 2019 file are empty. On the other hand, I've tried not to accidentally delve into 2020 releases (looks like I have 18 records waiting).

Quite a few B+(***) records below (15). Probably means I moved too fast, at least on a few of them. (Kajfes is the one jazz record I'm most tempted to review, especially after his Nacka Forum record got an A-. But also I rarely give rap and electronica records anyway near enough attention, although that didn't stop YBN Cordae or Atom[TM], or for that matter Sault.)

All of this month's reviews have been rolled up in December 2019 Streamnotes, but I haven't done the usual indexing yet. Usually takes me 3-4 hours to do it all, and if I hold back for that I'll be even later. Sometime next week. More lists too. Maybe next week I'll be able to say a few things about the EOY Aggregate, and have some more general reflections on the year. Or maybe I'll just decide I'm due for a break.


New records reviewed this week:

  • Abjects: Never Give Up (2019, Yippee Ki Yay): [r]: B+(**)
  • Albare: Albare Plays Jobim (2019, Alfi): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Backxwash: Deviancy (2019, Grimalkin, EP): [r]: B+(***)
  • Philip Bailey: Love Will Find a Way (2019, Verve): [r]: B+(*)
  • Barker: Utility (2019, Ostgut Ton): [r]: B+(***)
  • Bonzo Squad: There's Always Tomorrow (2019, self-released, EP): [cd]: B
  • Boogie: Everythings for Sale (2019, Shady/Interscope): [r]: B+(*)
  • Peter Brötzmann: I Surrender Dear (2019, Trost): [r]: B+(**)
  • Deep State: The Path to Fast Oblivion (2019, Friendship Fever): [r]: B
  • Dumb: Club Nites (2019, Mint): [bc]: B+(***)
  • EarthGang: Mirrorgang (2019, Dreamville/Interscope): [r]: B+(*)
  • Emmeluth's Amoeba: Chimaera (2019, Řra Fonogram): [r]: B+(***)
  • Gang Starr: One of the Best Yet (2019, TTT/Gang Starr): [r]: B+(*)
  • Elena Gilliam/Michael Le Van: Then Another Turns (2019, Blujazz): [cd]: B+(***)
  • Devin Gray: Devin Gray's Algorhythmica (2019, Rataplan, EP): [bc]: B+(*)
  • Devin Gray GPS Trio: Blast Beat Blues (2019, Rataplan, EP): [bc]: B+(*)
  • Jason Hawk Harris: Love & the Dark (2019, Bloodshot): [r]: C+
  • The Hot Sardines: Welcome Home/Bon Voyage (2019, Eleven): [r]: B+(***)
  • Insignificant Other: I'm So Glad I Feel This Way About You! (2019, Counter Intuitive): [r]: B+(*)
  • Loraine James: For You and I (2019, Hyperdub): [r]: B+(**)
  • Goran Kajfes Tropiques: Into the Wild (2019, Headspin): [bc]: B+(***)
  • Ari Lennox: Shea Butter Baby (2019, Dreamville/Interscope): [r]: B+(*)
  • Danny Lerman: Ice Cat (2019, Blujazz): [cd]: B-
  • Haviah Mighty: 13th Floor (2019, self-released): [r]: B+(***)
  • Nacka Forum: Sĺ Stopper Festen (2019, Moserobie): [cd]: A-
  • The New Pornographers: In the Morse Code of Brake Lights (2019, Concord): [r]: B+(*)
  • Isabelle Olivier/Rez Abbasi: OASIS (2019, Enja/Yellowbird): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Henrik Olsson/Ola Rubin: Olsson/Rubin (2019, Barefoot): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Rozina Pátkai: Taladim (2018 [2019], Tom-Tom): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Lee Scratch Perry: Heavy Rain (2019, On-U Sound): [r]: A-
  • Lee Scratch Perry: Life of the Plants (2019, Stones Throw): [r]: B+(***)
  • Sampa the Great: The Return (2019, Ninja Tune): [bc]: B+(**)
  • Sault: 5 (2019, Forever Living Originals): [bc]: A-
  • Sault: 7 (2019, Forever Living Originals): [bc]: A-
  • Derek Senn: How Could a Man (2019, self-released): [r]: B+(***)
  • Somersaults [Olie Brice/Tobias Delius/Mark Sanders]: Numerology of Birdsong (2018 [2019], West Hill): [bc]: B+(***)
  • Svetlost: Odron Ritual Orchestra (2019, PMG): [bc]: B+(***)
  • Thick: Thick (2019, Epitaph, EP): [bc]: B+(*)
  • Ronnie Wood & His Wild Five: Mad Lad: A Live Tribute to Chuck Berry (2019, BMG): [r]: B+(***)
  • Billy Woods: Terror Management (2019, Blackwoodz Studioz): [bc]: B+(**)
  • YBN Cordae: The Lost Boy (2019, Atlantic): [r]: A-
  • Young Nudy & Pi'erre Bourne: Sli'mere (2019, RCA): [r]: B+(***)

Recent reissues, compilations, and vault discoveries:

  • AtomTM: Lassigue Bendthaus/Cloned (+ Singles) (1992, AtomTM Audio Archive): [bc]: A-
  • Burial: Tunes 2011 to 2019 (2011-19 [2019], Hyperdub, 2CD): [r]: B+(*)
  • Masahiko Satoh/Sabu Toyozumi: The Aiki (1997 [2019], NoBusiness): [cd]: A-

Old music:

  • Olie Brice/Tobias Delius/Mark Sanders: Somersaults (2014 [2015], Two Rivers): [bc]: B+(***)
  • Emmeluth's Amoeba: Polyp (2017 [2018], Řra Fonogram): [r]: B+(*)

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Weekend Roundup

No intro. Didn't really feel like doing this in the first place, but had tabs I wanted to close.


Some scattered links this week:

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Music Week

Expanded blog post, December archive (in progress).

Music: Current count 32491 [32466] rated (+25), 230 [226] unrated (+4).

Skipped last week, so this one covers two weeks, with a big hole in the middle. On. Dec. 12, I had surgery to open up my nasal passages, hopefully to breathe better. The surgery was fairly quick, and I was home by noon, but my recovery hasn't been anything to brag about. I did virtually nothing for over a week. Had a follow-up appointment after a week, with the PA poking around, pulling out scabs and clots of blood. During that week I checked email and processed a few late ballots for Francis Davis's NPR Jazz Critics Poll (we did finally match last year's total of 140), but couldn't work for more than 15 minutes at a time (even on something as mechanical as Noisey's EOY list, which took me 4-5 sessions). I didn't feel much better Friday, but found I could get some work done. I only played old jazz for a week, but started streaming some new music -- mostly hip-hop, as it turned out. Pretty much everything I heard landed at B+(**), and this week's reviews are even shorter and shabbier than usual.

Almost finished the week without a single A- record, but Trapline landed 10th on Phil Overeem's year-end list. I still can't tell you why, but three plays convinces me there's enough going on there to merit the grade. Almost added a second one, Emmeluth's Amoeba: Chimaera, from

Chris Monsen's list, but decided I need another play before trying to write anything.

While I was down, I missed three pieces (free, I think) from Robert Christgau's And It Don't Stop subscription newsletter, so I'll do penance for not announcing them in a timely manner here:

Don't have much more to say at this point. The usual tracking files are in the usual places. I've added a few things to the EOY Aggregate, but it is nowhere near up to date (and while I'm likely to add to it, it may never try to make it as comprehensive as in recent years).


New records reviewed this week:

  • Eric Alexander: Eric Alexander With Strings (2019, HighNote): [r]: B+(*)
  • Gonçalo Almeida/Martin van Duynhoven/Tobias Klein: Live at the Bimhuis (2017 [2019], Clean Feed): [r]: B+(***)
  • Rebecca Angel: Santa Baby (Timeless Grooves, 1): [cd]: B+(***)
  • Atmosphere: Whenever (2019, Rhymesayers Entertainment): [r]: B+(***)
  • Courtney Barnett: MTV Unplugged (Live in Melbourne) (2019, Mom + Pop Music): [r]: B+(**)
  • Beck: Hyperspace (2019, Capitol): [r]: B
  • Dopolarians: Garden Party (2019, Mahakala): [bc]: B+(***)
  • Ras G and the Afrikan Space Program: Dance of the Cosmos (2019, Akashik, EP): [r]: B+(**)
  • Lafayette Harris Jr.: You Can't Lose With the Blues (2019, Savant): [r]: B+(*)
  • Hiromi: Spectrum (2019, Telarc): [r]: B+(**)
  • Hot Chip: A Bath Full of Ecstasy (2019, Domino): [r]: B+(*)
  • Brittany Howard: Jaime (2019, ATO): [r]: B
  • Kaytranada: Bubba (2019, RCA): [r]: B+(**)
  • José Lencastre Nau Quartet: Live in Moscow (2018 [2019], Clean Feed): [r]: B+(**)
  • Jeff Lofton: Jericho (2019, self-released): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Caroline Polachek: Pang (2019, Columbia): [r]: B+(*)
  • Slayyyter: Slayyyter (The Mixtape) (2019, self-released): [r]: B+(**)
  • Sly & Robbie/Roots Radics: The Final Battle: Sly & Robbie vs. Roots Radics (2019, Serious Reggae): [yt]: B+(**)
  • Sly & Robbie: Dub Serge (2019, Taxi): [r]: B+(*)
  • Snotty Nose Rez Kids: Trapline (2019, Fontana North): [r]: A-
  • Stormzy: Heavy Is the Head (2019, Merky/Atlantic): [r]: B+(**)
  • Dave Stryker: Eight Track Christmas (2019, Strikezone): [cd]: B
  • Sudan Archives: Athena (2019, Stones Throw): [bc]: B+(**)
  • Juan Vinuesa Jazz Quartet: Blue Shots From Chicago (2018 [2019], NoBusiness): [cd]: B+(***)
  • The Who: Who (2019, Polydor): [r]: B

Recent reissues, compilations, and vault discoveries:

  • Bobby Bradford/Frode Gjerstad/Kent Carter/John Stevens: Blue Cat (1991 [2019], NoBusiness): [cdr]: B+(**)

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Weekend Roundup

I didn't feel like doing a Roundup this weekend, but found a piece I wanted to quote at length, and figured that might suffice: Andrew Sullivan: What we know about Trump going into 2020. I haven't been a fan of Sullivan's lately (well, ever), and don't endorse his asides on the moral superiority of conservatives, but his assessment of Trump hits a lot of key points, and is well worth reading at length (I am going to add some numbered footnotes where I have something I want to add):

So reflect for a second on the campaign of 2016. One Republican candidate channeled the actual grievances and anxieties of many Americans, while the others kept up their zombie politics and economics. One candidate was prepared to say that the Iraq War was a catastrophe, that mass immigration needed to be controlled[1], that globalized free trade was devastating communities and industries, that we needed serious investment in infrastructure, that Reaganomics was way out of date, and that half the country was stagnating and in crisis.

That was Trump. In many ways, he deserves credit for this wake-up call. And if he had built on this platform and crafted a presidential agenda that might have expanded its appeal and broadened its base, he would be basking in high popularity and be a shoo-in for reelection.[2] If, in a resilient period of growth, his first agenda item had been a major infrastructure bill and he'd combined it with tax relief for the middle and working classes, he could have crafted a new conservative coalition that might have endured.[2] If he could have conceded for a millisecond that he was a newbie and that he would make mistakes, he would have been forgiven for much. A touch of magnanimity would have worked wonders. For that matter, if Trump were to concede, even now, that his phone call with President Zelensky of Ukraine went over the line and he now understands this, we would be in a different world.

The two core lessons of the past few years are therefore: (1) Trumpism has a real base of support in the country with needs that must be addressed, and (2) Donald Trump is incapable of doing it and is such an unstable, malignant, destructive narcissist that he threatens our entire system of government. The reason this impeachment feels so awful is that it requires removing a figure to whom so many are so deeply bonded because he was the first politician to hear them in decades. It feels to them like impeachment is another insult from the political elite, added to the injury of the 21st century. They take it personally, which is why their emotions have flooded their brains. And this is understandable.

But when you think of what might have been and reflect on what has happened, it is crystal clear that this impeachment is not about the Trump agenda or a more coherent version of it. It is about the character of one man: his decision to forgo any outreach, poison domestic politics, marinate it in deranged invective, betray his followers by enriching the plutocracy, destroy the dignity of the office of president, and turn his position into a means of self-enrichment. It's about the personal abuse of public office: using the presidency's powers to blackmail a foreign entity into interfering in a domestic election on his behalf, turning the Department of Justice into an instrument of personal vengeance and political defense, openly obstructing investigations into his own campaign, and treating the grave matter of impeachment as a "hoax" while barring any testimony from his own people.

Character matters. This has always been a conservative principle but one that, like so many others, has been tossed aside in the convulsions of a cult. And it is Trump's character alone that has brought us to this point. . . .

The impeachment was inevitable because this president is so profoundly and uniquely unfit for the office he holds, so contemptuous of the constitutional democracy he took an oath to defend, and so corrupt in his core character that a crisis in the conflict between him and the rule of law was simply a matter of time. When you add to this a clear psychological deformation that can produce the astonishing, deluded letter he released this week in his own defense or the manic performance at his Michigan rally Wednesday night, it is staggering that it has taken this long. The man is clinically unwell, preternaturally corrupt, and instinctively hostile to the rule of law. In any other position, in any other field of life, he would have been fired years ago and urged to seek medical attention with respect to his mental health.

Footnotes:

  1. Restricing immigration is a favorite talking point of other "never Trump conservatives" (e.g., David Frum), one thing that helps them keep their identity distinct from liberals. There is a case to be made that low-wage immigrants undermine American workers, but Trump and anti-immigrant Republicans only frame the issue in racial and cultural terms.
  2. Of course, this is sheer fantasy: the "conservative" mindset allowed Trump no room to maneuver toward giving even his white middle class supporters a break from the government, let alone more leverage against their employers and the predators who have been stripping wealth at every turn. They couldn't even imagine a government that helped balance the scales (although that's exactly what the New Deal did, with a bias for white people that Trump might admire). Thus, for instance, the infrastructure bill offered nothing but privatization measures.

Sullivan also has an appreciative piece on his old chum's win in the UK elections: Boris's blundering brilliance, including this bit:

The parallels with Donald Trump are at first hard to resist: two well-off jokers with bad hair playing populist. But Trump sees himself, and is seen by his voters, as an outsider, locked out of the circles he wants to be in, the heir to a real-estate fortune with no political experience and a crude sense of humor, bristling with resentment, and with a background in reality television. He despises constitutional norms, displays no understanding of history or culture, and has a cold streak of cruelty deep in his soul. Boris is almost the opposite of this, his career a near-classic example of British Establishment insiderism with his deep learning, reverence for tradition, and a capacity to laugh at himself that is rare in most egos as big as his. In 2015, after Trump described parts of London as no-go areas because of Islamist influence, Johnson accused him of "a quite stupefying ignorance that makes him, frankly, unfit to hold the office of president." Even as president, Trump is driven primarily by resentment. Boris, as always, is animated by entitlement. (The vibe of his pitch is almost that people like him should be in charge.)


Some scattered links this week:

Monday, December 09, 2019

Music Week

Expanded blog post, December archive (in progress).

Music: Current count 32466 [32422] rated (+44), 226 [230] unrated (-4).

I have very little time to spare on this, so will keep it short. Spent much of the weekend counting ballots for NPR's 14th Annual Jazz Critics Poll, something Francis Davis started back when we were writing for the Village Voice. Deadline was last night, but there's a good chance that any ballots that arrive today will be counted. I have 132 at present, down a bit from 2018. Some surprises (for me at least) among the new album leaders. Less so among the other categories. This week's haul includes a bunch of records I discovered among the ballots. Still, two/thirds of this week's A- records came from my queue.

Results will probably be posted in about a week. I'm liable to fall out of the loop on that, as I'm scheduled for what should be minor surgery on Thursday, and I'm pessimistic about what I will be able to do the following week or so. In fact, I'm pretty down on getting anything done beforehand either.

Until I got swamped over the weekend, I did a fair amount of work on the EOY Aggregate, which has changed rather dramatically. Up to Thanksgiving, the list was dominated by first-half albums which showed up in mid-year lists -- Sharon Van Etten's Remind Me Tomorrow was leading Billie Eilish's When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go?. Eilish pulled back ahead last week, but the dramatic gains were from: (2) Lana Del Rey: Norman Fucking Rockwell; (4) Angel Olsen: All Mirrors; (5) Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds: Ghosteen; and (11) FKA Twigs: Magdalene. Among first-half albums, (7) Weyes Blood: Titanic Rising is the one that has gained some spots, evidently because those who can stand it like it a lot.

I was fairly up-to-date before the weekend, but haven't added much since. Should see many more lists in the next week or two, but unclear whether I'll be able to keep up. At any rate, the file is doing most of what it needs to do. Still, not much jazz in it, other than my own grades. I'll add the JCP data when it goes public.


New records reviewed this week:

  • Awatair: Awatair Plays Coltrane (2019, Fundacja Sluchaj): [bc]: B+(***)
  • Bones [Ziv Taubenfeld/Shay Hazan/Nir Sabag]: Reptiles (2017 [2019], NoBusiness): [cdr]: B+(**)
  • Anthony Braxton: Quartet (New Haven) 2014 (2014 [2019], Firehouse 12, 4CD): [r]: A-
  • Patrick Brennan/Abdul Moimęme: Terraphonia (2019, Creative Sources): [r]: B+(*)
  • Terri Lyne Carrington + Social Science: Waiting Game (2019, Motéma, 2CD): [r]: B+(**)
  • Anthony Coleman: Catenary Oath (2018 [2019], NoBusiness): [cdr]: B+(**)
  • Chick Corea/Christian McBride/Brian Blade: Trilogy 2 (2010-16 [2019], Concord, 2CD): [r]: B+(**)
  • Rodney Crowell: Texas (2019, RC1): [r]: B+(***)
  • Nina De Heney/Karin Johansson/Henrik Wartel: Quagmire (2018 [2019], Creative Sources): [r]: B+(*)
  • Doja Cat: Hot Pink (2019, Kemosabe/RCA): [r]: B+(**)
  • Marc Edwards/Guillaume Gargaud: Black Hole Universe (2019, Atypeek Music): [r]: B+(**)
  • Andy Emler/David Liebman: Journey Around the Truth (2019, Signature Radio France): [r]: B+(*)
  • Erin Enderlin: Faulkner County (2019, Black Crow Productions): [r]: B+(*)
  • Gorilla Mask: Brain Drain (2019, Clean Feed): [r]: B+(***)
  • Alex Harding/Lucian Ban: Dark Blue (2019, Sunnyside): [r]: B+(**)
  • Eric Hofbauer's Five Agents: Book of Water (2018 [2019], Creative Nation Music): [r]: B+(***)
  • Eric Hofbauer & Dylan Jack: Remains of Echoes (2019, Creative Nation Music): [r]: B+(**)
  • Carl Ludwig Hübsch/Pierre-Yves Martel/Philip Zoubek: Otherwise (2018, Insub): [bc]: B+(*)
  • Ill Considered: Ill Considered 8 (2018 [2019], Ill Considered Music): [bc]: B+(***)
  • Katarsis 4: Katarsis 4 (2019, NoBusiness): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Kimchi Moccasin Tango: Yankee Zulu (2018 [2019], Clean Feed): [r]: B+(**)
  • Lee Konitz Nonet: Old Songs New (2019, Sunnyside): [r]: B+(***)
  • Mat Maneri Quartet: Dust (2019, Sunnyside): [r]: B+(*)
  • MC Yallah X Debmaster: Kubali (2019, Hakuna Kulala): [r]: B+(*)
  • Tom McDermott: Meets Scott Joplin (2018 [2019], Arbors): [r]: B+(**)
  • Camila Meza & the Nectar Orchestra: Ámbar (2019, Sony Masterworks): [r]: B
  • Roscoe Mitchell Orchestra: Littlefield Concert Hall Mills College March 19-20, 2018 (2018 [2019], Wide Hive): [r]: B+(**)
  • Qasim Naqvi: Teenages (2019, Erased Tapes): [r]: B+(*)
  • Tomeka Reid Quartet: Old New (2018 [2019], Cuneiform): [dl]: B+(***)
  • Michele Rosewoman's New Yor-Uba: Hallowed (2017-18 [2019], Advance Dance Disques): [bc]: B+(***)
  • Bob Sheppard: The Fine Line (2019, Challenge): [r]: B+(**)
  • Kalie Shorr: Open Book (2019, self-released): [r]: B+(*)
  • Sonar With David Torn: Tranceportation (Volume 1) (2019, RareNoise): [cdr]: A-
  • Tim Stine Quartet: Knots (2018 [2019], Clean Feed): [r]: B+(*)
  • Steve Swell/Robert Boston/Michael Vatcher: Brain in a Dish (2018 [2019], NoBusiness): [cd]: A-
  • Fay Victor: Barn Songs (2018 [2019], Northern Spy): [r]: B+(**)
  • Bobby Watson/Vincent Herring/Gary Bartz: Bird at 100 (2019, Smoke Sessions): [r]: B+(*)

Recent reissues, compilations, and vault discoveries:

  • Dusko Goykovich: Sketches of Yugoslavia (1973-74 [2019], Enja): [r]: B+(*)
  • Dadisi Komolafe: Hassan's Walk (1983 [2019], Nimbus West): [bc]: B+(**)
  • Yusef A. Lateef: Hikima: Creativity (1983 [2019], The Key System): [bc]: B+(**)

Old music:

  • Kristijan Krajncan: Drumming Cellist (2017, Sazas): [bc]: B+(*)


Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • Ellen Edwards: A New York Session (Stonefire Music) [02-22]
  • Amber Weekes: Pure Imagination (Amber Inn Productions) [01-08]

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Weekend Roundup

No time for an introduction today. On the other hand, much reason to kick this out earlier than usual. Anyway, you know the drill.


Some scattered links this week:

Monday, December 02, 2019

Music Week

Expanded blog post, December archive (in progress).

Music: Current count 32422 [32388] rated (+34), 230 [221] unrated (+9).

I have 52 ballots counted for Jazz Critics Poll. Deadline is December 8, but I'm finding very little reason to shuffle the top of my EOY Jazz List, so I might as well file my own ballot sooner rather than later. This is what I'm handing in:

New music:

  1. Steve Lehman Trio/Craig Taborn: The People I Love (Pi)
  2. Heroes Are Gang Leaders: The Amiri Baraka Sessions (Flat Langston's Arkeyes)
  3. Dr. Mark Lomax, II: 400: An Afrikan Epic (CFG Multimedia -12CD) **
  4. Moppa Elliott: Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band (Hot Cup, 2CD)
  5. James Brandon Lewis: An Unruly Manifesto (Relative Pitch)
  6. Dave Rempis/Brandon Lopez/Ryan Packard: The Early Bird Gets (Aerophonic)
  7. Rich Halley: Terra Incognita (Pine Eagle)
  8. Quinsin Nachoff's Flux: Path of Totality (Whirlwind, 2CD)
  9. Per 'Texas' Johansson/Torbjörn Zetterberg/Konrad Agnas: Orakel (Moserobie)
  10. Liebman Rudolph & Drake: Chi (RareNoise) *

Historical music:

  1. Eric Dolphy: Musical Prophet: The Expanded 1963 New York Studio Sessions (Resonance, 3CD)
  2. Ran Blake/Jeanne Lee: The Newest Sound You Never Heard (1966-67, A-Side, 2CD)
  3. Stan Getz: Getz at the Gate: The Stan Getz Quartet Live at the Village Gate Nov. 26 1961 (Verve, 2CD) **

Miscellaneous categories:

  • Vocal: Heroes Are Gang Leaders: The Amiri Baraka Sessions (Flat Langston's Arkeyes)
  • Debut: Javier Red's Imagery Converter: Ephemeral Certainties (Delmark) **
  • Latin: Miguel Zenón: Sonero: The Music of Ismael Rivera (Miel Music)

One consideration I had was whether to omit records that I didn't receive (or obtain) physical copies of. In recent years, I've done that for historical releases (which have gotten to be hard to come by) but I allowed streamed new releases to slip onto my ballot. After I slid Ill Considered 6 down a couple notches, the only streamed item in my New top ten was the Mark Lomax mega-production. I decided to keep it on the ballot because I had rated it a full A (only three this year, although the top two A- records are good candidates for promotion), and because a couple other critics had voted for it, with a high enough points-per-ballot to move it into the top-30. Among historical records, I decided to keep Getz on the ballot because I didn't have a satisfactory alternative: the next two records I have physical copies of are samplers by Bill Evans and Wes Montgomery, but I'm rather chafed that I haven't been able to hear those artists new-old records (Evans in England and Back on Indiana Avenue), which are the ones other critics are voting for. (The other big set from the same label that I haven't been able to hear yet is Nat "King" Cole's Hittin' the Ramp, currently running 3rd in the poll.) I do have CDs of six more records further down the list, and I'm especially appreciative of the Sam Rivers and Horace Tapscott sets, but they are well down the list, barely over the cusp.

This week's haul is nearly all records suggested by counting JCP ballots. Also noticed a few things from recent lists by Phil Overeem and Chris Monsen, and scrounging through Tim Niland's recent reviews.

My EOY Aggregate was close to up-to-date until today, when we were hit with an avalanche of new lists. Main ways I track these things are through AOTY and Acclaimed Music's EOY 2019 forum. I'll catch up eventually, although lots of things aren't making it easy (slow recovery from illness, anticipation of surgery, visitors, my mind's inability to process it all).


New records reviewed this week:

  • Stefan Aeby: Piano Solo (2018 [2019], Intakt): [r]: B+(*)
  • Rodrigo Amado/Dirk Serries: Jazzblazzt (2018 [2019], Raw Tonk): [bc]: B+(**)
  • The Big Yes: The Big Yes (2018 [2019], Nakama): [bc]: B+(**)
  • Johnathan Blake: Trion (2018 [2019], Giant Step Arts, 2CD): [bc]: A-
  • Jane Bunnett & Maqueque: On Firm Ground/Tierra Firme (2019, Linus Entertainment): [r]: B
  • Daniel Carter/Patrick Holmes/Matthew Putman/Hilliard Greene/Federico Ughi: Electric Telepathy, Vol. 1 (2018 [2019], 577 Records): [r]: B+(***)
  • Cochemea: All My Relations (2019, Daptone): [bc]: B+(**)
  • John Dikeman/George Hadow/Dirk Serries/Martina Verhoeven/Luis Vicente: Ideal Principle (2016 [2018], Raw Tonk): [bc]: B+(***)
  • Petter Eldh: Koma Saxo (2018 [2019], We Jazz): [r]: B+(**)
  • Ellery Eskelin/Christian Weber/Michael Griener: The Pearls (2018 [2019], Intakt): [r]: B+(***)
  • Georg Graewe/Ernst Reijseger/Gerry Hemingway: Concertgebouw Brugge 2014 (2014 [2019], Fundacja Sluchaj): [bc]: B+(**)
  • Joel Harrison: Still Point: Turning World (2019, Whirlwind): [r]: B+(**)
  • Jazzmeia Horn: Love and Liberation (2019, Concord): [r]: B+(***)
  • Keith Jarrett: Munich 2016 (2016 [2019], ECM -2CD): [r]: B+(*)
  • Guillermo Klein: Los Guachos Cristal (2019, Sunnyside): [r]: B+(***)
  • Kokoroko: Kokoroko (2019, Brownswood, EP): [r]: B+(*)
  • Ingrid Laubrock + Aki Takase: Kasumi (2018 [2019], Intakt): [r]: B+(**)
  • Metropolitan Jazz Octet Featuring Dee Alexander: It's Too Hot for Words: Celebrating Billie Holiday (2019, Delmark): [r]: B+(**)
  • Van Morrison: Three Chords & the Truth (2019, Exile/Caroline): [r]: B+(***)
  • Evan Parker/Barry Guy/Paul Lytton: Concert in Vilnius (2017 [2019], NoBusiness): [cd]: B+(***)
  • Junius Paul: Ism (2016-19 [2019], International Anthem): [r]: B+(*)
  • Ken Peplowski/Diego Figueiredo: Amizade (2018 [2019], Arbors): [r]: B+(*)
  • Javier Red's Imagery Converter: Ephemeral Certainties (2019, Delmark): [r]: A-
  • SEED Ensemble: Driftglass (2019, Jazz Re:freshed): [r]: B+(*)
  • Christian Meaas Svendsen + Nakama + Rinzai Zen Center Oslo: New Rituals (2017-18 [2019], Nakama, 3CD): [bc]: B+(*)
  • Pat Thomas/Dominic Lash/Tony Orrell: Bley School (2018 [2019], 577 Records): [bc]: B+(***)
  • Trigger: Pull (2019, Shhpuma): [r]: B
  • Jennifer Wharton's Bonegasm: Bonegasm (2018 [2019], Sunnyside): [r]: B+(*)
  • Yong Yandsen/Christian Meaas Svendsen/Paal Nilssen-Love: Hungry Ghosts (2018 [2019], Nakama): [bc]: B+(***)

Recent reissues, compilations, and vault discoveries:

  • Joseph Daley: The Seven Deadly Sins/The Seven Heavenly Virtues (2010-13 [2019], Jodamusic): [r]: B+(**)
  • Sam Rivers: Zenith [Sam Rivers Achive Project, Volume 2] (1977 [2019], NoBusiness): [cd]: A-
  • Makoto Terashita Meets Harold Land: Topology (1983 [2019], BBE): [bc]: A-

Old music:

  • Johnathan Blake: Gone, but Not Forgotten (2014, Criss Cross): [r]: B+(***)
  • Joseph Daley: The Seven Heavenly Virtues (2013, Jodamusic): [r]: B+(*)


Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • Rebecca Angel: Santa Baby (Timeless Grooves, EP)
  • Benny Benack III: A Lot of Livin' to Do (LA Reserve) [01-24]
  • Bones [Ziv Taubenfeld/Shay Hazan/Nir Sabag]: Reptiles (NoBusiness)
  • Bobby Bradford/Frode Gjerstad/Kent Carter/John Stevens: Blue Cat (NoBusiness)
  • Anthony Coleman: Catenary Oath (NoBusiness)
  • Katarsis 4: Katarsis 4 (NoBusiness)
  • Evan Parker/Barry Guy/Paul Lytton: Concert in Vilnius (NoBusiness)
  • Sam Rivers: Zenith [Sam Rivers Achive Project, Volume 2] (1977, NoBusiness, 2CD)
  • Masahiko Satoh/Sabu Toyozumi: The Aiki (1997, NoBusiness)
  • Steve Swell/Robert Boston/Michael Vatcher: Brain in a Dish (NoBusiness)
  • Juan Vinuesa Jazz Quartet: Blue Shots From Chicago (NoBusiness)
  • The Westerlies: Wherein Lies the Good (Westerlies) [01-31]

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Didn't do a Weekend Roundup last week, but I had a couple of links cached away, seed for today. Didn't much want to do one this week, either, but here goes.

First, a few links on the Democratic presidential debate (not many, as I started looking late, or maybe there wasn't much to find?):

In "this week in senseless violence," note that a couple people were stabbed in London in what's being taken as a "major terrorist incident" (What we know about the London Bridge stabbings), 11 were shot in New Orleans (New Orleans shooting: What we know), and A Mexican cartel gun battle near the Texas border leaves 21 dead).


Other scattered links for the last two weeks:


Nov 2019 Jan 2020