Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Music Week

December archive (in progress).

Music: Current count 39275 [39203] rated (+72), 36 [32] unrated (+4: 8 new, 28 old).

The rated count, and the reviews below, cover 9-10 days, which partly explains the big numbers. But even at the normal 7-day mark I was close to 50, a total that pops up mostly when I go off into deep dives of mostly-familiar old music (often with short run times), like my recent specials on Jerry Lee Lewis (58) and Loretta Lynn (63). This week was nowhere near that easy, but I was locked into a zone counting jazz critics' ballots, and they were generating long lists of things to check out.

The official deadline was end-of-business Monday, but on Tuesday I compiled a list of invited critics who hadn't voted and sent off last-ditch reminders. That produced another half-dozen ballots, bringing the total to 150. That leaves me four short of last year. I'm a bit disappointed, but it's still a respectable turnout, enough to maintain our boast of having the broadest, most comprehensive poll anywhere.

I still have a ton of work to do, starting with adding notes to explain various artifacts of the poll. The biggest problem this year was how many voters wanted to combine votes for two albums in one line, especially where labels released two albums by one artist at the same time: Mary Halvorson, Amaryllis and Belladonna (May 13, on Nonesuch; complicating this, they were released as separate albums on CD and digital, but were packaged together on vinyl); and Ahmad Jamal, Emerald City Nights: Live at the Penthouse 1963-1964 and 1965-1966 (Dec. 2, on Jazz Detective/Elemental).

This week's haul means that I've currently heard and rated 843 jazz albums this year (out of 1443 in my tracking file, a file which now includes 185 albums that got votes in the Jazz Critics Poll that I haven't yet heard, even as I'm shouldering the day-to-day work.

Needless to say, work on my Non-Jazz EOY and my EOY aggregate files has largely stalled (although not before Beyoncé took a commanding lead in the latter).

To answer a question I just got, the poll will again be published by Arts Fuse, some time between Christmas and New Years, and will be known as the 17th Annual Francis Davis Jazz Poll, in honor of its founder and guiding spirit, who I'm pleased to say is still keeping a keen eye on things.

I did manage to kick out a belated Speaking of Which on Tuesday. Buried therein is the germ of an idea on how to solve a large share of America's political problems.

I didn't get around to writing about the plan to shift the Democratic presidential primaries away from Iowa and New Hampshire and focus on South Carolina, but I recall floating an idea quite a while back to restructure primaries: run them in five Super Tuesday rounds, starting with the 10 smallest states (plus D.C.), then the next 10, etc. The bottom 10 states have too many Dakotas, but are still pretty diverse. You could even do more than 10 for the first round, so you can pick up traditional early states like Iowa, South Carolina, and Nevada. A couple new ideas could help here: the Democratic Party could run the primaries privately, mostly using mail votes (based on state registration records), so you wouldn't have to get a lot of state laws passed; the Party would be responsible for providing a neutral forum for debates, pamphlets, and get-out-the-vote efforts, in effect centralizing a lot of the fundraising tasks, and making campaigning much less prohibitively expensive; eligibility would be limited from round to round based on results.


New records reviewed this week:

Alex Acuña: Gifts (2021 [2022], Le Coq): Drummer, originally from Peru, moved to Puerto Rico in 1967 and on to Las Vegas in 1974. Played in Weather Report 1975-78, many side-credits since along with a few albums he led. Peruvian saxophonist Lorenzo Ferrero stands out among a fine Latin jazz ensemble. B+(**) [sp]

Adeem the Artist: White Trash Revelry (2022, self-released): Country singer-songwriter Adem Bingham, originally a "seventh-generation Carolinian," considered the ministry before a songwriting bug and other concerns led to a very good debut album called Cast-Iron Pansexual. Here a deep dive into his "white trash" roots generates an even better sequel. A- [sp]

[Ahmed]: Ahad/Wahid (2022, A Cheeseboard Production, EP): Two songs, 11:04, a free jazz quartet with Pat Thomas (piano), Antonin Gerbal (drums), Joel Grip (bass), and Seymour Wright (alto sax). They had a good album out in 2021. This could fit into another. B+(*) [bc]

Zoh Amba: O, Sun (2021 [2022], Tzadik): Young tenor saxophonist, from Tennessee, first album of many released in 2022 -- I count six in my tracking file -- making her enough of a big deal that she got an in-depth profile in the New York Times. Quartet with Micah Thomas (piano), Thomas Morgan (bass), and Joey Baron (drums), with producer John Zorn joining for one track (alto sax, on "Holy Din"). Some hot streaks, but mostly this is toned down nicely. A- [dl]

JoVia Armstrong & Eunoia Society: The Antidote Suite (2022, Black Earth Music): First album, has a fair number of side-credits (percussion and vocals) going back to Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble in 2002. Composes and plays "hybrid cajon kit" here. Group also features Leslie DeShazor (violin), plus various guests including Mitchell (flute), Jeff Parker (guitar), Yaw Agyeman (vocals), and Teh'Ray Hale (rapper). B+(**) [bc]

Balance: Conjure (2020 [2022], Two Rooms): Saxophonist Marcus Elliot and pianist Michael Malis, with drums (Gerald Cleaver) on two tracks, and spoken vocals (Chace Morris) on two more. B+(**) [bc]

Barcelona Clarinet Players: Fantasías Barcelónicas: A Tribute to Paquito D'Rivera (2021 [2022], Sunnyside): Spanish (or Catallan?) quartet: two clarinets, basset horn, and bass clarinet, with the Cuban object of their affection sitting in on four (of eleven) tracks. B+(*) [sp]

Basher: Doubles (2021 [2022], Sinking City): New Orleans group led by tenor saxophonist Byron Asher, who has several group albums, with Aurora Nealand on alto sax, Daniel Meinecke (synthesizers), and two drummers. A potent mix of avant riffing with swarming rhythm, not that it always works. B+(*) [bc]

Battle Trance: Green of Winter (2022, New Amsterdam): Saxophone quartet, third studio album, all tenors, led by composer Travis Laplante, with Patrick Breiner, Matthew Nelson, and Jeremy Viner. B+(*) [sp]

The Baylor Project: The Evening: Live at Apparatus (2022, Be a Light): Singer Jean Baylor, husband-drummer Marcus Baylor, a band with Terry Brewer on keyboards, Yasuhi Nakamura on bass, and a horn section (trumpet, trombone, tenor/soprano sax). B+(**) [sp]

Karl Berger/Kirk Knuffke: Heart Is a Melody (2022, Stunt): The cornet player could claim this, but much respect to the 87-year-old German who plays vibes, piano, Rhodes, and Melodica. Also to the smaller-print names on the cover: Jay Anderson (bass) and Matt Wilson (drums). B+(***) [sp]

Ran Blake: Looking Glass (2015 [2021], A-Side): Pianist, about 80 when he recorded this, one of many solo albums. Thoughtful and unpredictable as ever. B+(***) [sp]

Blue Lines Trio: Chance and Change (2022, Casco): Dutch group, debut album 2014, with compositions by Michiel Scheen (piano) and Raoul van der Weide (bass, crackle box, sound objects), plus George Hadow on drums. Most impressive when they pick up the pace and break free. B+(***) [bc]

Blue Moods: Myth & Wisdom (2021 [2022], Posi-Tone): The label's house band -- Diego Rivera (tenor sax), Art Hirahara (piano), Boris Kozlov (bass), and Joe Strasser (drums), with Dave Kikoski on piano for 3 (of 10) tracks -- kick off the Mingus centenary year with ten favorites. B+(**) [sp]

Surya Botofasina: Everyone's Children (2022, Spiritmuse): Keyboard player, based in New York, a follower of Alice Coltrane, bills this debut as "spiritual avant-garde music," though it ticks most of the boxes for ambient, then starts to build something more grandiose, which eventually turns into just long. B+(*) [bc]

Staffan Bråsjö: Stratosfär (2020 [2022], self-released): Swedish pianist (also plays organ here, and conducts choir elsewhere), seems to be his first album, although he has side-credits, including the group Into the Wild. Trio with Josefin Runsteen (mostly violin) and Vilhelm Bromander (bass). With the notes citing Bach and Beethoven, this could pass as classical chamber music, but must be jazz because I find it very likable. B+(***) [bc]

Anna Butterss: Activities (2022, Colorfield): Bassist, both electric and acoustic, originally from Australia but based in Los Angeles, appears on Jeff Parker's Mondays at the Enfield Tennis Academy, produces a similar, subtle, shifting groove album here, dubbing in guitar, keyboards, percussion, and flute, along with bits of vocal. Josh Johnson plays sax on two tracks, and there are spot drums/percussion credits. B+(***) [sp]

Frank Carlberg Trio: Reflections 1952 (2021 [2022], 577): Finnish pianist, based in New York, couple dozen albums since 1992. Trio with John Hébert (bass) and Francisco Mela (drums), with a couple vocal spots. The date was a turning point for Thelonious Monk, with reflections on his music, but nothing as simple as a cover. B+(***) [bc]

François Carrier/Alexander von Schlippenbach/John Edwards/Michel Lambert: Unwalled (2022, Fundacja Sluchaj): Alto sax, piano, bass, drums. It seems like Quebec natives Carrier and Lambert have spent much of the last two decades wandering around Europe in search of inspiring piano and bass partners. They finally hit the jackpot in Berlin. A- [dl]

Chicago Soul Jazz Collective Meets Dee Alexander: On the Way to Be Free (2022, JMarq): First group album, so it's hard to picture them without the singer, who is a major asset. B+(*) [sp]

Trish Clowes: A View With a Room (2021 [2022], Greenleaf Music): British saxophonist (tenor/soprano), six albums on Basho before this one, a quartet with Ross Stanley (keyboards), guitar, and drums. Nicely appointed postbop. B+(**) [sp]

Theo Croker Quartet: Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic XII: Sketches of Miles (2021 [2022], ACT): American trumpet player, albums since 2007, quartet -- Danny Grissett (piano), Joshua Ginsburg (bass), and Gregory Hutchinson (drums) -- backed by Berliner Philharmonic conducted by Magnus Lindgren, in a long, surefire program that draws on Miles Davis. B+(**) [sp]

Espen Eriksen Trio Featuring Andy Sheppard: In the Mountains (2022, Rune Grammofon): Norwegian pianist, Trio with Lars Tormod Jenset (bass) and Andreas Bye (drums) has eight albums, this the second joined by the saxophonist (3/7 tracks). Piano is solid on its own, but the sax is special. B+(***) [sp]

Extended: Without Notice (2020 [2022], self-released): New Orleans-based piano trio -- Oscar Rossignoli, Matt Booth, Brad Webb -- all three write songs. Released an album, Harbinger in 2019, that I misread and took the title to be the group name. (Fixing that is going to be a pain.) Meanwhile, another smart set. B+(**) [bc]

Ezra Collective: Where I'm Meant to Be (2022, Partisan): British jazz quintet, led by drummer Femi Koleoso, with Ife Ogunjobi (trumpet), James Mollison (tenor sax), Joe Armon-Jones (keyboards), and TJ Koleoso (bass). Second album, mostly a groove I find very attractive, various guest spots including vocal features (Sampa the Great, Kojey Radical, Emeli Sandé, Nao). B+(**) [sp]

Fazer: Plex (2022, City Slang): German quintet, with trumpet (Matthias Lindermayr), guitar (Paul Brändle), bass, and two drummers. Some sort of post-rock fusion vibe, but the trumpet has some moves, and it's never overly pat. B+(**) [sp]

Anthony Ferrara: Cold Faded (2022, SteepleChase): Young tenor saxophonist, based in New York, second album, gets a veteran rhythm section: Gary Versace (piano), Jay Andersen (bass), and Billy Drummond (drums). B+(**) [sp]

Free Form Funky Freqs: Hymn of the 3rd Galaxy (2020-21 [2022], Ropeadope): Funk-fusion all-star jam: G. Calvin Weston (drums), Vernon Reid (guitar), and Jamaaladeen Tacuma (bass). Third album, after ones in 2008 and 2013. Could be freer (or for that matter, funkier), but lots of pyrotechnic guitar. B+(*) [bc]

Charlie Gabriel: Eighty Nine (2022, Sub Pop): Longtime clarinet/tenor sax player with Preservation Hall Jazz Band, steps out front with an album named for his age, perhaps not a debut, but should be. A banner proclaims "Preservation Hall Presents," and with Ben Jaffe producing the band backs up his old songs, but nothing that screams "trad jazz." He sings a couple, but not as eloquent as his sax. B+(***) [sp]

Marshall Gilkes: Cyclic Journey (2022, Alternate Side): Trombonist, sixth album since 2008, a nine-part suite with a fairly large (12-piece) group: a wide range of brass, but no reeds. This has a lovely sound, but triggers my anti-classical reflex. B+(*) [sp]

Onno Govaert + Martina Verhoeven/Dirk Serries: Twofold (2021 [2022], A New Wave of Jazz, 2CD): Dutch drummer, albums since 2008, offers two substantial duo discs, one with piano (45:38), the other with guitar (42:10). B+(***) [bc]

Pasquale Grasso: Be-Bop! (2022, Sony Masterworks): Italian guitarist, seventh album since 2015, most solo but this one adds bass (Ari Roland) and drums (Keith Balla), playing one original, one Monk, seven songs by Charlie Parker and/or Dizzy Gillespie, plus "I'm in a Mess," which Gillespie recorded in 1951, and Samara Joy sings. B+(**) [sp]

Craig Harris: Managing the Mask (2021 [2022], Aquastra): Trombonist, also credited with didgeridoo and vocals (three tracks), started with Sun Ra (1976-80), recorded a couple of notable albums for Soul Note in the 1980s, hasn't released a lot more but his 2005 Souls Within the Veil was masterful. B+(**) [sp]

Ulf Ivarsson/Bill Laswell: Nammu (2022, Ropeadope): Two bassists, one Swedish, the other American, have similar careers on the fringes of jazz and pop, leads a group here with Thomas Backman (baritone/alto sax, bass clarinet), organ, and drums. Better for its heavy grooves than ambient affectations. B+(**) [sp]

Keefe Jackson/Jim Baker/Julian Kirshner: Routines (2019 [2022], Kettle Hole): Saxophonist from Arkansas, in Chicago since 2001, Discogs lists 12 albums and twice that many groups. Plays tenor and sopranino here, with piano/synthesizer and drums. Very hit and miss: great in spots, then hits a tone I can't stand. B [bc]

Ant Law & Alex Hitchcock: Same Moon in the Same World (2020-21 [2022], Outside In Music): British, guitar and saxophone, both have previous albums, recorded this during lockdown with various guests -- exact credits are hard to come by. B+(**) [sp]

Janel Leppin: Ensemble Volcanic Ash (2022, Cuneiform): Cellist, also plays keyboards, sixth album since 2011, married to guitarist Anthony Pirog (probably a subject for further research), who amps up the string contingent here (cello, harp, and Luke Stewart on bass). They're joined by two saxophonists (Sarah Hughes on alto, Brian Settles on tenor), with Larry Ferguson on drums. B+(***) [dl]

Joyce Moreno: Brasileiras Canções (2022, Biscoito Fino): Brazilian singer, started in late 1960s, just used her first name until 2009. B+(**) [sp]

Paal Nilssen-Love Circus: Pairs of Three (2021 [2022], PNL): Norwegian drummer, many projects including The Thing. New group here: a sextet with trumpet (Thomas Johansson), alto sax (Signe Emmelulth), accordion, guitar, and bass, plus South African singer Juliana Venter -- who may color background, or free associate (at one point sampling "Strawberry Fields Forever" then sliding into "we are the victims of the Deep State"), or just lay out. Much going on here. B+(***) [bc]

Jeff Parker ETA IVtet: Mondays at the Enfield Tennis Academy (2019-21 [2022], Eremite): Guitarist, I still associate him with Chicago but he's moved on to Los Angeles, worked in avant-jazz and post-rock groups and produced a wide range of albums under his own name. Four tracks here from three dates, ranging 18:00-23:37, are ambient vibe pieces with some meat on their bones, from a quartet with Josh Johnson (alto sax & pedals), Anna Butterss (bass), and Jay Bellerose (drums). A- [dl]

Pillbox Patti: Florida (2022, Monument): Florida native Nicolette Hayford, has been kicking around Nashville a decade or so, accumulating songs about the hard life, admitting youth is past and barely notice, leaving her cohort "a little fucked up, but we're still breathing." Debut album, a short one (8 songs, 29:15). B+(**) [sp]

Ishmael Reed: The Hands of Grace (2022, Reading Group): Famous novelist and poet -- I read The Freelance Pallbearers shortly after it came out in 1967 but lost track after The Last Days of Louisiana Red (1974) -- crossed over to jazz when Kip Hanrahan produced his Conjure albums, then released a collection of his piano in 2003. More piano here, mostly solo but some accompanied by flute, guitar, violin, and/or voice (Tennessee Reed). Nothing great, but catches your interest. B+(**) [bc]

Revelators Sound System: Revelators (2022, 37d03d): Jazz side project of MC Taylor (Hiss Golden Messenger) and Cameron Ralston (The Spacebomb House Band). B+(*) [sp]

Stephen Riley: My Romance (2021 [2022], SteepleChase): Mainstream tenor saxophonist, steady run of albums since 2007, this one a trio with Brian Charette (organ) and Billy Drummond (drums). B+(***) [sp]

Gonzalo Rubalcaba & Trio D'ÉTÉ: Turning Point (2018 [2022], 5Passion): Cuban pianist, long based in Florida, many albums since 1985. This is a trio with Matthew Brewer (bass) and Eric Harland (drums), playing seven original Rubalcaba pieces. B+(***) [sp]

Rich Ruth: I Survived, It's Over (2022, Third Man): Given name Michael Ruth, based in Nashville, plays guitar, bass, keyboards, percussion. Second album, billed as ambient but a little loud for that, even before the saxophones (3 + flute) kick in. B [sp]

James Singleton: Malabar (2022, Sinking City): Bassist, from New Orleans, has been around a while but doesn't have much as leader. This is boundary-pushing postbop, with' two saxophones (Rex Gregory and Brad Walker), guitar, drums, and vibes/percussion (Mike Dillon). B+(**) [sp]

Gary Smulyan: Tadd's All, Folks (2021 [2022], SteepleChase): Baritone saxophonist, twenty-some albums since 1997, plays Tadd Dameron songs here, backed by piano (Pete Malinverni), bass (David Wong), and drums (Matt Wilson), sharing the spotlight with vocalist Anaïs Reno. B+(**) [sp]

SWR Big Band/Magnus Lindgren/John Beasley: Bird Lives (2021, ACT): German big band, founded 1951 in Stuttgart attached to public radio station SWR, Discogs lists 50+ albums since 1998, nearly all vehicles for guest stars. Both Lindgren, a Swedish saxophonist, and Beasley, an American pianist, are into big band arranging, and they've lined up a long list of stars -- e.g., Chris Potter and Joe Lovano on tenor sax, Charles McPherson and Miguel Zenón on alto -- to plow through Charlie Parker's songbook. This has some big moments, but perhaps a bit too much formaldehyde? B+(*) [sp]

Jamaaladeen Tacuma/Mary Halvorson: Strings & Things (2014 [2022], Jam-All Productions): Bass and guitar duo, plus some electronics, recorded on the sly during a tour in Japan. Typical of her guitar style in a friendly context. Seven tracks, 28:52. B+(**) [bc]

Thollem: Obstacle Illusion (2021 [2022], Astral Spirits): Pianist, last name McDonas, three dozen albums since 2004, four pieces here, each between 18:13 and 18:45. No credits for other musicians, but second piece sounds like a mix of organ and electronics. B+(*) [bc]

Micah Thomas: Piano Solo (2022, LP345): Young pianist, impressive in several recent side-credits, has chops and ideas. B+(**) [sp]

Pat Thomas & XT [Seymour Wright/Paul Abbott]: Akisakila/Attitudes of Preparation (Mountains, Oceans, Trees) (2018 [2022], Edition Gamut): British pianist plays tribute to Cecil Taylor by arranging his 1973 piece, with drums and sax, like the original with Andrew Cyrille and Jimmy Lyons. As with the original, the thrash is pretty intense. Finishes with an interview with Cecil Taylor, which Thomas vamps around with. Discogs gives Will Holder a co-credit, for wrapping the album up in small type I can't read. B+(***) [bc]

Tess Tyler: Fractals [Vol. 1] (2022, Manners McDade): Composer, from Bristol, first album (although there's a Vol. 2 out the same day -- the volume numbers aren't on the covers, but referred to on Bandcamp). No credits, but a video shows her playing piano with electronics and a drummer. A- [bc]

Tess Tyler x Spindle Ensemble: Fractals [Vol. 2] (2022, Manners McDade): Five songs from Vol. 1 performed with the composer on piano, accompanied by a Bristol-based string quartet, intended to offer another view into the compositions. All aspects are reduced, including length (30:21). B+(*) [bc]

Johannes Wallmann: Precarious Towers (2021 [2022], Shifting Paradigm): German pianist, fourth album, postbop quintet with Sharel Cassity (alto sax), Mitch Shiner (vibes), bass, and drums. B+(**) [sp]

Yellowjackets: Parallel Motion (2022, Mack Avenue): Fairly popular jazz fusion group, debut 1981, keyboard player Russell Ferrante the only original member, but saxophonist Bob Mintzer joined in 1990, and keeps the group respectable, even when they offer little else of interest. B [sp]

Recent reissues, compilations, and vault discoveries:

Don Ayler: In Florence 1981 (1981 [2022], Railroad Town Music): Trumpet player, brother of saxophonist Albert Ayler, played in many of his brother's 1960s bands, quit after Albert died in 1970, and didn't play until the late 1970s. This live septet is the only thing recorded under his name: originally released on three LPs. It's basically six 15:41-17:27 pieces (107:02, including an extra spoken bit), performed by a mostly obscure septet -- only name I recognize is bassist Richard Willimams (he did a stretch with Sun Ra), but saxophonists Frank Doblekar and Abdul Rahim Mustafa (Donald Strickland) are honorary Aylers, and the guitar and piano can emerge from the cracks. Nice to hear them keep the faith. A- [sp]

Donald Byrd: Live: Cookin' With Blue Note at Montreux (1973 [2022], Blue Note): Trumpet player (1932-2013), from Detroit, started in hard bop c. 1956, was a mainstay of the Blue Note label from 1959, when it entered a golden age, through its late-1960s decline, his experiments in fusion and funk, all the way to 1976. Group here represents his electric funk period, with Larry Mizell's synthesizers, electric piano (Kevin Toney), guitar (Barney Perry), and bass (Henry Franklin), drums and congas, two saxophones, and a second trumpeter (Fonce Mizell, who worked at Motown). B+(*) [sp]

Jean-Charles Capon/Philippe Maté/Lawrence "Butch" Morris/Serge Rahoerson (1977, Souffle Continu -21): French cellist (1936-2011), swung both ways in groups like Bach Modern Quintet and Baroque Jazz Trio, in a quartet here with tenor sax, trumpet, and drums. B+(***) [bc]

Ellery Eskelin/Gerry Hemingway: From the Archives: Live at the Stone in NYC, 2010 (2010 [2022], Auricle): Tenor sax and drums duo, a couple years after they recorded a similar duo called Inbetween Spaces. Three improv pieces totalling 59:53. A bit tentative, but impressive when they get going. B+(***) [bc]

Ronnie Foster: Two Headed Freap (1972 [2022], Blue Note): Organ player, from Buffalo, first album of five released 1972-75 by Blue Note, had two 1978-79 Columbias, not much since until his Reboot (Blue Note) this year, which may have motivated a luxury vinyl reissue. Funk grooves with Gene Bertoncini (guitar), George Duvivier (bass), and Jimmy Johnson (drums), plus a little extra glitz on harp and vibes. B+(*) [sp]

ICP Orchestra: 30 Yr Jubileum 1997: Day 1 (1997 [2022], ICP): From a "three-day festival/jubileum/party in 1997 to celebrate the 30 year anniversary of ICP." The lineup evolved over time, but this one is especially memorable: Misha Mengelberg (piano), Han Bennink (drums), Thomas Heberer (trumpet), Wolter Wierbos (trombone), Michael Moore (alto sax/clarinet), Ab Baars (clarinet/tenor sax), Ernst Reijseger and Tristan Honsinger (cello), and Ernst Glerum (bass). Add guests Steve Lacy (soprano sax) and Roswell Rudd (trombone), and of course they're playing Herbie Nichols and Thelonious Monk. Four tracks, 31:19. B+(***) [bc]

ICP Orchestra: 30 Yr Jubileum 1997: Day 2 (1997 [2022], ICP): A much longer set (114:28), opening with three songs by guest Cor Fuhler (piano/organ/keyolin), with Louis Moholo (drums) and Roswell Rudd (trombone) also sitting in. After that, it's a kaleidoscope of Mengelberg pieces (with a Moholo co-credit). A- [bc]

ICP Orchestra: 30 Yr Jubileum 1997: Day 3 (1997 [2022], ICP): A third set, runs 52:15, with Roswell Rudd guesting again, playing Mengelberg pieces plus a Herbie Nichols at the end. B+(***) [bc]

Ahmad Jamal: Live in Paris (1971 [2022], Transversales Disques): Newly uncovered "lost tapes" from a live performance, three fairly long piano trio pieces (39:44), with Jamil Nasser (bass) and Frank Gant (drums). These are "excerpts from the full performance," but they are superb throughout. A- [bc]

Jack McDuff: Live at Parnell's (1982 [2022], Soul Bank Music): Organ player Eugene McDuffy, recorded a ton 1960-65 for Prestige, several albums 1969-70 for Blue Note, and had a bit of a revival in the 1990s with Concord. This was from a period when he recorded little, selected from a week in Seattle, released on 3-LP (comes to 118:28). There is some dispute over who else is playing, but the sax and guitar are both rougher and more stronger than I'd expect. B+(**) [sp]

Brother Jack McDuff: Moon Rappin' (1969 [2022], Blue Note): One of four albums the organ player released on Blue Note 1969-70, reissued this year in the label's Classic Vinyl Series. With uncredited guitar, bass, drums, and tenor sax/flute (somewhere). Still, the organ is what matters. B+(**) [sp]

Thelonious Monk: Celebrating 75 Years of His First Recordings Revisited (1947-52 [2022], Ezz-Thetics): "23 Remastered Thelonious Monk Titles From The Blue Note Recordings." A selection from the recordings Blue Note has long hawked as The Genius of Modern Music, as well as in various compilations (The Very Best is a personal favorite, but this is half-again as long: 71:42). Revolutionary in its day, repertoire now. B+(***) [bc]

Thelonious Monk Quartet: Live Five Spot 1958 Revisited (1958 [2022], Ezz-Thetics): More cherry-picking among the newly copyright-free classics. This is the same music Riverside picked for two LPs: Thelonious in Action and Misterioso, remastered with minor edits to fit a single CD. Johnny Griffin plays tenor sax, with Ahmed Abdul-Malik on bass and Roy Haynes on drums. Robert Christgau cites a Griffin solo on Misterioso as life-changing, but I'd be hard-pressed to tell you which, but note that the other album was the one where he got a "featuring" credit. [NB: Lonehill Jazz has its own competing Complete Live at the Five Spot 1958, including additional non-album material on 2-CD. This album is basically the first disc plus one cut from the second.] A- [bc]

Old music:


Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • Lakecia Benjamin: Phoenix (Whirlwind) [01-27]
  • Fred Hersch & Esperanza Spalding: Alive at the Village Vanguard (Palmetto) [01-06]
  • Mike LeDonne/Eric Alexander/Jeremy Pelt/Kenny Washington/Peter Washington: The Heavy Hitters (Cellar) [01-20]
  • Tyler Mitchell Octet: Sun Ra's Journey (Cellar) [01-20]

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