The Freelance Mentalists.
Sunday, January 17, 2021
  Life's A Gas: Uproxx ballot, Top Twenty-Two, others, comments re: 2020 music

This time, Uproxx encouraged us to choose from a list of releases. I didn't have much faith in/understand the instructions re write-in picks, so just chose alphabetically--and ended up with most of my ideal Top Ten anyway:

Uproxx Top Ten

*Ideal Top Ten  **Nashville Scene ballot (which is posted here):

1. Archie Shepp/Attica Blues (Didn't know this was reissued, but it's great and stands in for his latest, Ocean Bridges, which isn't on the list, also for Moses Boyd's Dark Matter and the Kaleidoscope post-acid jazz comp)

2. **Bob Dylan/My Rough and Rowdy Ways 

3.*and **Elizabeth Cook/Aftermath 

4.*Gil Scott-Heron/Makaya McCraven/ We're New Again: A Re-Imagining By Makaya McCraven

5. *Irreversible Entanglements/Who Sent You?

6 *and**Lucinda Willams/Good Souls, Better Angels

7.*Sault/Untitled (Black Is)

8.*Sunwatchers/Oh Yeah

9.*Tony Allen/Hugh Maskela/Rejoice

10. *Various Artists/AngelHeaded Hipsters: The Songs of Marc Bolan and T.Rex

Song of the Year (not really, but close enough, since they insisted on just one):

Nick Cave/"Cosmic Dancer' (never dreamed I'd list one of his tracks! Got to give it up this time, though)



But the Ideal Top Ten got out of hand---some refused to leave the lifeboat--still, meant to make this a Lucky Thirteen, but what's so lucky about that---?


Top Twenty-Two

1.Tony Allen/Hugh Masekela: Rejoice

2. Amazones D' Afrique: Power

3. AngelHeaded Hipsters: The Songs of Marc Bolan and T.Rex

4. Fiona Apple: Fetch The Bolt Cutters

5. Mulatu Astatke & Black Jesus Experience: To Know Without Knowing

6. Azana: Ingoma

7. Black Riot: Early Jungle, Rave, and Hardcore

8. Blue Note Re:Imagined

9. Moses Boyd: Dark Matter

10. Beatrice Dillon: Workaround

11. Rita Indiana: Mandinga Times

12. Irreversible Entanglements/Who Sent You?

13. Kaleidoscope---New Spirits Known and Unknown

14. Love Saves The Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture, 1970-1979

15.  Arthur Russell: Sketches For World Of Echo: June 25, 1984 Live At Ei

16. Sault: Untitled (Rise)

17. Gil Scott-Heron/Makaya McCraven/ We're New Again: A Re-Imagining By Makaya McCraven

18. Archie Shepp/Raw Poetic/Damu The Fudgemunk: Ocean Bridges

19. Sunwatchers: Oh Yeah

20. Jessie Ware: What's Your Pleasure

21. Ill Considered: East West

22. Peter Stampfel & The Dysfunctionells: Not In Our

Wildest Dreams

(for ones from the aforementioned Ideal List not on this Top 22, see 

NScene In The SubMeme---country etc. ballot, comments re: 2020



Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela, Rejoice: some tracks a little too much like lesser or style-sound reliant variants of others? Maybe a couple, but overall groove and style-sound (what they do and how it's produced, lightning in a shapely bottle) hooks abound between the twin leads of flugelhorn (mellowness netted and pushed and pulled and slid through) the loping, splattering, slinking, stinking, whatever's right for drums, with bits of tenor sax, keys, vibes at times hang-fly (to steal an ancient Village Voice-quoted term of Steve Coleman's) Calm and tireless, enough space in there, none wasted.


Amazones D'Afrique: Trouble

unusually concise, otm band bio/non-frothing press release:

Les Amazones d'Afrique is a creative force that embraces international voices; sweet, strong harmonies that summon the rights of women and girls; and a meltdown of heritage and new gen talent. They were formed in Bamako, Mali, in 2014 by three renowned Malian music stars and social change activists, Mamani Keïta, Oumou Sangaré and Mariam Doumbia. Since then, collective has expanded to involve many female artists from across Africa and the diaspora.

While their cause — campaigning for gender equality and eradicating ancestral violence — is worthy enough in itself, their musical creative expression is equally powerful. Richly melodic and far-ranging, it blends pan-African styles and collaborative harmonies with gritty, contemporary pop, and the Congotronix-style production of legendary producer Doctor L (aka Liam Farrell).

Their debut album République Amazone featured guest contributions from the likes of Angélique Kidjo and Nigerian singer-songwriter Nneka, and caught the attention of President Obama, who included one of the songs in his 20 favourite tracks of 2017. In 2020, they release their follow-up album Amazones Power, on which familiar voices like Mamani Keïta and Rokia Koné appear alongside a younger generation of singers who represent the exciting new sound of modern Africa.

Yeah, it's intergenerational, among other dynamics, and though the translated lyrics aren't necessary---the sound immediately and developmentally rules, as on the debut, which I didn't have translations for---they do provide more light, sometimes at startling angles.Pan-African heritage x eyewitness poptronix even more invigorated by younger contributors.



From the splendid Hal Willner thread on

AngelHeaded Hipsters: The Songs of Marc Bolan and T.Rex---Listened today and it's a mixed bag of course, but I was surprised how many singers followed Bolan's voice right down to detailing the warble of his trills. (About a quarter of them)

Which didn't bother me because it made me realize how essential those trills are to putting his lyrics and melodies into stratosphere. So the album made me look at his work in a new way, which I wasn't expecting but I should have expected since the other Wilner tributes were so special because of that exact knack of his.

Julius Caesar Memento Hoodie (bendy), Monday, September 14, 2020 9:30 PM (three months ago) bookmarkflaglink

Just listened for the first time, and it made me listen to his work in a new way also, elaborating on some elements, which is true to their spiraling stardust tophat tendencies, while staying true to the boogiedelic patterns and prancing, like hands across thee Ocean (incl. ov Tyme) insider-outsider art, "primitive" but nevah crude. In other words, despite my wondering if Bolan's songwriting was up to Weill's and so on's possibility-wise, another Willner mission accomplished, dependable and surprising. Not a Magnum Opus, or a final fiery leap, like black*: this is more like You Want It Darker, El Cohen leaving the building with mission accomplished album-wise one more time, as his conversations with the muse-mistress take a break (working on two or three albums 'til he checked out).

Only spotting a few dud vocals so far, and the musos do pretty well even on those tracks. Really seems like it's close to twice as good as the Pitchfork review indicates (rating of 4.4, I'd say 7.0, at least). also good in spacey associative ways hard to quantify, but if you're already into Willnar and most of his current guests at all, and you think you might like it, you probably will.


Listening again, now to the 2-CD, and liking Jett's "Jeepster" better, with Ribot one of the guitarists. Bolan's writing, lyrics and tunes, more subtle than I realized---not on that one, but most others so far---also hearing how he and Bowie apparently influenced each other for a while, in effect kind of a Buck Owens-Beatles crosstalk thing (so maybe some creative competition as well). Of course they both worked with Visconti, right? (Børns now going toward old Robert Plant at his best, Beth Orton up to the line, maybe a little past, King Khan and organist Brian Mitchell ripping it up on "I Love To Boogie," and so on, the always finewine Gaby Moreno gliding through the rippling "Beltane Walk": "I met a boy, he was God's fool").U2 actually not sucking on "Bang A Gong," not even Bono---Uh-oh, he's making these little sounds of desire. But now back into the words, the groove. Good guests too duh. The sax has to elbow past him later, does.

Listening on a better boombox (Panasonic RX-D55) has clarified several things, incl. that xpost U2-Eltie "Bang A Gong" is actually good all the way through; he and the horns should sign up for a longer tour ov duty, all rootie. Also lots of words, like "Let's do it like we're friends, do it like we're friends," and maybe that will happen for us as well, and even Emily Haines's vocals all through "The Ballrooms of Mars,", where "John Lennon knows your name and I've seen his," fair enough, also little zing

On the other hand, it's clearer than ever that, while the musos do real good, esp. into finale, Perry Farrell only lends a nerf vocal to what still seem like built-in limitations of "Rock On," heard here as plodding rehash of "Bang a Gong," to which maybe it was the follow-up, like they used to do back then, for inst. whatever it was that was meant to milk a little more "Rhinestone Cowboy" feel and money.

(Perhaps this is more apparent because "Rock On" has to follow Disc 2's opener, Father John Misty's "Main Man"---and every other strong track, now revealed to be all of Disc 1.

Bolan is certainly presented here as a casual god of the perfectly thrown-away line. Applying also to bullseye ballad "Cosmic Dancer," so affectingly delivered by Nick Cave (!). Song of 2020 if anything is.

(Meanwhile, Lucinda Williams is letting the music carry the marvelous "Life's A Gas"(I hope it's gonna last") refill bubble' as I mentioned after trying to describe her latest breakthrough, Good Souls, Better Angels here: 


(spoiler: it worked out okay)

Fiona Apple, Fetch The Bolt Cutters:

just listened to this---deluxe edition on youtube---for the first time, after a lot of things by and including Robert Wyatt*, also Shelby Lynne's 2020 s/t---and I'm stuck by the compatibility: small group, bass, percussion, keyboards, usually piano, which is what seems like the main writing instrument, for a freewheeling yet instantly recognizable style---depplyed,in Apple's case, for challenging and sometimes(?) lavishing the object of her attentions with self-expression and "idiomatic to idiosyncratic but clear enough" results, as I said about Lynne's album---and maybe Apple's learned something from jazz, like the other two (upthread, she's quoted re Miriam Makeba, and I get some of that too, also the oblique strokes of xpost non-standardbearers Kate Bush and Joan Armatrading)(Tuneyards, or some of the same sonic sensibility, although Apple came first, recording-wise). Nevertheless, she's got her own agenda, own axes and axis, as always.
On first listen, her music seems like it's in good shape---still tensile, even robust in its lean way, despite and maybe because of some more allnighters now and then and again and again---a driving and driven quality in there, but her own kind of discipline, pace---not quite like anybody else, despite the comparisons (though I would not have been surprised if she hadn't lasted very long, but then I ditto re Jerry Lee and Little Richard). But---is it basically just more of the same, of a good ol' artist we're glad to get more of? If so, does it "basically" matter?? Considering that she, the musical persona and creator, *isn't* quite like anybody else, oh hell no: that nobody else, even from the small convergence I've mentioned, will quite do as substitute---but I wonder if I will listen to this, incl. in memory, as much as I do these other (more prolific) artists, or did listen to her previous albums---years ago, with all those years between them, and this one too: does that matter, momentum and impact-wise? As long as she seems to be more about holding the fort than breakthroughs--although who knows what kind of offstage breakthroughs it might have taken for her to get this far.

― dowFriday, 5 June 2020 

(*Think I've pasted from Robert Wyatt: Classic or Dud? 

into prev. yearly round-ups,and several handy posts have been added in 2020-21---here's his 2020 news:

If you want songs that touch your mind as well as your heart, these are the best,” says Brian Eno regarding Robert Wyatt and Alfie Benge’s recently released Side By Side, a collection of lyrics, poems, writings, and drawings from the Wyatt and painter, songwriter, Alfie Benge, longtime collaborators and partners.

Along with the release of the book, the ever-reliable Domino has begun a reissue campaign of his solo work, beginning with His Greatest Misses, a non-chronological survey of his decades-spanning oeuvre. Originally released in Japan and available now for the first time on vinyl, it’s a non-chronological look at the sonic inventor’s work between 1974—2003.

And as if all that isn’t enough, Wyatt season continues with brand new music: the forthcoming Artlessly Falling by MacArthur Genius Mary Halvorson’s Code Girl. On the new album, he joins the guitarist and composer for three angular but wide-open songs. Like his collaborations Eno, Carla Bley, Björk, Paul Weller, members of Pink Floyd, and many others on the vanguard of rock and the avant-garde, his contributions on Artlessly Falling feel singular, his voice conveying emotionality, beauty, and bewildered wonder.

That’s all on display in The Free Will and Testament of Robert Wyatt, a playlist featuring Wyatt favorites and deep cuts selected by Aquarium Drunkard founder Justin Gage. From his majestic cover of Elvis Costello’s “Shipbuilding” to pioneering work with the prog/jazz fusion combo Soft Machine to late period classics like the Benge/Wyatt-penned “Just As You Are” from 2007’s Comicopera, these songs align mind and heart. As Eno says, “English music has produced some fascinating personalities but few are as unusual as Robert Wyatt.” Unusual, yes. Wonderfully so. (links to Spotify)

― dowSaturday, 24 October 2020 02:07 (three months ago) link

He's good on that Code Girl album--sounds old, but vivid, to lingering impression, long after tracks are over---and alb is all good, by far the best Halvorson set I've heard so far, maybe because she's an accompanist here, to singers and instrumental "chamber" (but non-antiseptic) jazz combo & soloists.

--- dow

i was a little cooler on the album overall, maybe it needs a few more spins to grow on me, but agree that Wyatt is fantastic on it

― nobody like my rap (One Eye Open)Tuesday, 5 January 2021 19:50 (one month ago) link

It's a great setting for him and he sounds perfect on it even if I am not as high on as I was the first Code Girl record, but agreed I need some more time with it

― chr1sb3singerTuesday, 5 January 2021 20:47 (one month ago) link

I dunno what it is about "Worship" but that song can never receive enough praise. It is my calm zen.

Felt lousy all morning---then I heard this! Legendary vibraphonist and "Father of Ethio-jazz", Mulatu Astatke joins forces with Melbourne-based eight-piece Black Jesus Experience on their latest album To Know Without Knowing, an absorbing nine-track assembly of majestic Ethiopian melodies and hip-hop-infused jazz and funk grooves, Also: Latin, reggae extrapolations, 16-bar blues (as a bed for much else), instrumental inflections from at least five different countries of origin, cool but committed female voices, incisive rap, psychedelic guitar (one trip, but that's enough, for "Living On Stolen Land" (Ain't it graaand"): Its moody 6/8 vamp in D is a gateway, yes.) And they've got wedding song, a send-off to the afterlife, other serious fun---that flugelhorn omg:


Someone suggested that I check out Azana, a young "house and soul" singer, as he puts it, from Durban. Here's a good -sounding playlist, all from her current album, Ingoma, I think--might seem a bit ballad-y at first, but mostly of a smooth pulsation, luxury class but never wasteful---or wasted, alas; I wouldn't something a little less reasonable, but she's as good, as that gets. Relatively mainstream "Your Love" is even a fave---first single, and I totally get that, ditto the plainer version of "Goodbye," but most faves make more overt use of "ethnic" elements, like 

the other version of "Goodbye," feat. Just Bheki and Afriikan Papi, and another fave, "Uthando  Lwangemela" (that might be my No.1), also "Silekelela", with 0 guests listed. Ditto the mystique of "Egoli," wiith clipped accents drawing  catchy verses around the sidewalk, then chorus stretching some syllables toward dreamtime--here's the playlist:

And one of several not on the list, v. catchy: 

There's also a live at the Redbox set, where she performs the whole album, apparently, haven;t listened to that yet (several African artists with vids from the Redbox, I see) (Oh also on the list: "Lovers and Best Friends," feat. Disciples of House.)

Someone in YT comments: "If she were Anita Baker or Sade, people would be raving." Yeah, she's in there between them, straightfowardly drawn to something beyond (moments, milestones, pleasures, satisfactions, becoming actual happiness?), via her own way, becoming more and visible. 

*************************************************************************************Soul Jazz Records comp Black Riot: Early Jungle, Rave and Hardcore gets better and better, rollic-King, for the most part.  Swanky jazz appeal, cuttin' a rug, like I don't remember from the first time around, but not like I heard these particular artists. Take it away, press sheet:

Black Riot: Early Jungle, Rave and Hardcore is a brand new collection of heavyweight ragga-influenced hardcore jungle tracks from the early 1990s. Dark and heavy!

Featuring classic and seminal tracks from the likes of Levictus and Krome &Time, alongside a host of rare and little-known ragga & junglist hardcore tunes from the likes of Babylon Timewarp's hypnotic Durban Poison, Rhythm for Reasons' mad 'The Smokers Rhythm', The Freaky rave-y breakbeat sound of 'Time and Age,' Trip One's super dark 'Snowball' and loads more!

Expect super heavy basslines, equally heavy twisted Amen drum loops, even heavier ragga vocals! Original jungle style - roots and culture - from the earliest days of drum and bass.

Included with the album is a free limited-edition graphic mini-novel "Black Riot: The Mysterons save Planet Earth from the Xatheroid Angels." This is the third collaboration between Soul Jazz Records and writer/illustrator Paulo Parisi, the highly respected author of graphic books on Jean Michel Basquiat and John Coltrane.

This new graphic story continues the story of black electronic dance music – this time set around the birth of Jungle and continues onwards from Soul Jazz's earlier 'Invasion of the Killer Mysterons' (Jamaican electronic Dub, co-compiled by Kevin Martin (The Bug)) and Mysterons Invade the Jackin' Zone (about Chicago Acid & Experimental House).

LP, CD, mp3---more info, audio:

*************************************************************************************Blue Note Re:imagined presents classic Blue Note tracks, reworked and newly recorded by a selection of the UK scene's most exciting young talents today. Representing a bridge between the ground-breaking label's past and future, the project will feature contributions from a rollcall of internationally acclaimed jazz, soul and R&B acts – Shabaka Hutchings, Ezra Collective, Nubya Garcia, Mr Jukes, Steam Down, Skinny Pelembe, Emma-Jean Thackray, Poppy Ajudha, Jordan Rakei, Fieh, Ishmael Ensemble, Blue Lab Beats, Melt Yourself Down, Yazmin Lacey, Alfa Mist, and Brit Award-winning Jorja Smith.

It really is re:imagined, sometimes going pretty far, but honoring the originals, often w very deep calm delvings, accessible and thoughtful, never laid back or hyper. Especially struck, at the moment, by "Maiden Voyage" with a vocal chorus where Freddie Hubbard's trumpet was, but not just imitating his lines. Also I'm now getting more aware of, for instance, Bobby Hutcherson and Joe Henderson as *composers*, wanting to get more into their catalogs (well played, Blue Note).(Think I slightly prefer Disc 2, but was fiddling w my boombox settings some during Disc 1.)


I've been meaning to start a thread on this, one of my top 2020 albums so far, but wasn't sure how much traction it would get (also I'm sure I'll regret this thread title in about ten mins). But then dow posted this on rolling jazz:

if the title of Moses Boyd's Dark Matter suggests a science fiction soundtrack, you're on the right trek: "Nommos Descent," feat. Nonku Phiri and Nubya Garcia, is like Quincy Jones of Young London Presents the New Nocturnal PostFreeBop Pop--that's the one that The Guardian calls "over produced," but I don't think so, it fits perfectly after the gruff, vivid social observations over circular jagged beats and recurring sax fiber of "Dancing in the Dark" feat. Obongjayar, the dubbier drive of "Only You," (incl. roil of looped[?] drums), and "Far Gone"'s flexing core times the rippling ricochet piano of Joe Armon-Jones. Elsewhere we get well-chosen bits of conversation, overblown flute, tough guitar---so far I'm only underwhelmed by the opener, which incl. tinny muted trumpet, not good to start w anticlimax.

I guess early works of Soul II Soul and Massive Attack might also be suggested, but this seems more consistently expansive and energized, in a cool, wider-ranging-record-collection way.

― dow, Tuesday, May 5, 2020 7:34 PM (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

One of my favorites this year for sure

― Mordy, Tuesday, May 5, 2020 7:56 PM (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

dow otm, though I don't quite agree about the first track, I've always liked muted trumpet and the whole thing has an overture quality that works as an opener imo

dip to dup (rob)

Nothing against muted trumpet as such, but it sounded tinny in such robust setting, although Boyd was prob going for contrast: the sound of one in the city etc.--- I like it more now that I'm more familiar with the track and the album.

This was my gateway

Then this!



Beatrice Dillon, Workaround: A certain dry elegance---"dry" as in: no big show of echo, or room ambiance, other than clarity and just enough bracing fullness, also no bells and whistles, also no fancy track titles, no guest stars that I know of---suggest the tag of New Music or Serious or even High Brow, if those terms are still used at all--but if so it's High Brow like a High Brow greeting card, pop appeal that brushes ears like brows right away: "minimalism" that I think of as grid-grooves, playing handball without a net except the one in mind, and on a regulation court, nice and roomy---Indian-associated percussive samples and/or realtime new plays encourage me to think of On The Corner, and the whole thing seems like from dance (early inspirations lead to and from subtle, witty allusiveness) to dance (imagined: Serious shaking of tailfeathers tractable fractally, like cigarette smoke in the output of an oscillating fan, at least when the cig's in an ashtray: this is set and setting, rules and points----I think of David Byrne's music written for Twyla Tharp's choreography, Songs From The Broadway Production of "The Catherine Wheel" (look for the video version on YouTube), and Autobiography [Music from Wayne McGregor's Autobiography], by Jlin, ---here's what I said about that on this blog re 2018 albums: Jlin's Autobiography is a commission for a ballet I'd very much like to see---better check the 'Tube---and as always, she cuts up cascading crystal beads of percussive curtains---she came out of or alongside the footwork scene after all----that's all I got, but this excellent read delves into her earlier music:, plenty of amazeballs to be found in here: Oh yeah, and this was my starting point, in 2017: I've been reverberating headphonically to the sounds of Jlinn, who started out in Chicago's footwork scene, then went to college in Gary and developed more of her own thing---currently mostly built from female vox & drums, my fave elements, but also grist for the mill----as are all emotions, in a drive-by, hang-fly (Hey,Steve Coleman!) ricochet way; she doesn't want to stick around too long with that sensitive stuff, lest you cry (also, always leave 'em wanting more) on Black Origami Must admit I got into the previous more quickly, like immediately (afterbeing schooled by BlackO) (Maybe also because its sonic vocab is a bit more inclusive/supportive for beginners, and I need help).


In recent years, thee gloriously notorious La Montra, AKA Rita Indiana, has become better known for her dystopian novels, but now she's back with Mandinga Times, which is pretty amazing, esp. on headphones--though she can vault over or make her way right through all musical traffic, she's always thinking, feeling, remembering in an intimate way) and well-covered here, by Daniel Alarcón:

Last year, Indiana felt ready to come back to music. Much of the recording was done in the fall, just months after Puerto Rico's most tumultuous time in recent memory, when two weeks of raucous street protests forced the resignation of the governor. The political energy of last summer is evident on the album; its songs, sung in the voice of Mandinga, Indiana's gender-neutral alter ego, feel like anthems of discontent. The finishing touches were applied after the world had shut down, making the album feel less like a warning about a dark but still avoidable future and more like musical stenography documenting our current predicament. But, like Indiana's earlier music, and like her work more broadly, "Mandinga Times" is also an immersion in hybridity: it's merengue with a heavy-metal heart; it's gagá mixed with thrash, reggaetón and punk, dembow, trap, and Middle Eastern melodies; it's love songs and battle raps and protest music. When I asked Cabra to describe the album to me, he struggled. To say that it was eclectic was only half true, he said. In fact, each song was eclectic, diverse moods and styles alternating in a single track. "I find it hard to place Rita's project within a genre," he said. "If I describe how her music sounds, I think that takes away its power." That's the album's producer, Eduardo Cabra, of the legendary Puerto Rican band Calle 13 This next one goes into more detail, re backstories of several tracks---to my mostly Anglophone ears, the untranslated social commentary, though dealing w harshscapes etc., *sounds* soulful, lyrical, and urgent; the sadness can be sweet, but never sentimental or otherwise self-indulgent. Also doesn't slow down much.  Update: "Rita Indiana Breaks Down Every Track…"


Irreversible Entanglements: Who Sent You?

"A mountain ain't nothin' but a tombstone for a fire."

Who Sent You? they said from their liquid cryo-chamber, from a low-light induction field cobbled together with lithium rods, with melted down Romare Bearden and Howardena Pindell paintings, stitched with chaos fibers and placed in the center of the carrion husk of a burnt out shanty town. They took time to scrape ashen samples of what was, their souls the residue thick and caked on, that still climbs those new high-rise condominiums like moss—the only evidence that they were once there, that they were baked into the fabric of this planet—they were there fixing elevators and tossing wrenches into quantum fields until they were stopped! frisked! and turned into weird, 100-foot martyr murals on the backside, the north side, of supermarket walls—Who Sent You? is how the matrix modulation works.

"I remember stealing back the night, and we took as much as we could: every blue-black inch, gasping for air."

Camae Ayewa - voice, texts

Keir Neuringer - saxophone, percussion

Aquiles Navarro - trumpet, percussion

Luke Stewart - double bass, percussion

Tcheser Holmes - drums, congas

"We are more than circles."

"No mas, no more. No longer."

dow, Friday, 17 April 2020 20:01 (eight months ago) link

def not just settings for words, or vice-versa: love the sounds of this whole thing!

-heavy hype, but for who better (if you want to skip that, go straight to

 Irreversible Entanglements Announce New Album, Who Sent You?,

Out March 20th on International Anthem/Don Giovanni

 Free jazz collective Irreversible Entanglements announce their new album, Who Sent You?, out March 20th on International Anthem/Don Giovanni, and today present its lead single/video, "No Más." The group is comprised of Camae Ayewa (aka Moor Mother), saxophonist Keir Neuringer, trumpeter Aquiles Navarro, bassist Luke Stewart, and drummer Tcheser Holmes. Who Sent You? is the punk-rocking of jazz and the mystification of the avant-garde. This record weaves kinetic soul fusion, dreamy yet harrowing poetry, and intricate rhythms into warmth-giving tapestries that comfort and conceal, confront and coerce all at once.


"No Más" was composed by the Panamanian-born Navarro in a harmonic echo of a Strata East free jazz classic over a movement-inducing Latin rhythm. Over its peak moments, poet/MC Ayewa professes: "No mas. No more... No longer will we allow them to divide and conquer, divide and oppress, define our humanity..." Its stunning accompanying video was shot in Johannesburg, South Africa by filmmaker and photographer Imani Nikyah Dennison. The video explores the concept of Africans escaping planet earth, on a path to liberation. A story of migration told through collage, stock footage, and movement, all being driven by the sounds of free jazz and poetry.

Originally performing as two different ensembles at a Musicians Against Police Brutality event in 2015 (in response to the NYPD slaying of Akai Gurley), the future members of Irreversible Entanglements recognized a shared ethos, and shortly after, assembled as a single unit for an impromptu studio date at Seizure's Palace in Brooklyn. That session yielded their debut album, 2017's Irreversible Entanglements. Critical and communal acclaim for the album (including "Best of 2017" nods from NPR Music, WIRE Magazine, Bandcamp, and others) fueled a high demand for the band in the live setting, and the group have since spent much of 2018 and 2019 on the road. They have collaborated in performance with many legends of creative music including Amina Claudine Myers, Pat Thomas, and Nicole Mitchell; and their highest profile shows have included Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, Le Guess Who Festival In Utrecht NL, Barbican in London, and the Smithsonian in Washington DC.


Where the band's self-titled debut was all explosive noisy anthems and glorious cosmic bluster, Who Sent You? is a focused and patient ritual. Irreversible Entanglements take their time in between these grooves, stalking the war-torn streets of the Deep South and post-Columbian apocalypses—taking their time to dream up an amalgamation that sounds truly euphoric. More than the sum of its parts—war-like basslines, haunting saxophone, cyberpunk brass, the unwieldy storm of drums, and the oracular phyletic incantations of Ayewa—Who Sent You? is an entire holistic jam of "infinite possibilities coming back around," a sprawling meditation, a reminder of the forms and traumas of the past, and the shape and vision of Afrotopian sounds to come.

Who Sent You? Tracklist:

1.The Code Noir / Amina

2. Who Sent You - Ritual

3. No Más

4. Blues Ideology

5. Bread Out Of Stone


Irreversible Entanglements Tour Dates:

Tuesday, March 31 - Chicago, IL @ Co-Prosperity Sphere

Wednesday, April 1 - Iowa City, IA @ Mission Creek Festival

Saturday, May 23 - Atlanta, GA @ Atlanta Jazz Festival

Praise for Recent Non-Album Track "Homeless/Global"

Here's the video:

And here's an hour-long performance from 2018:



Kaleidoscope: New Spirits Known and Unknown:

Soul Jazz Records comp of new and recent recordings: many contributors from inter-related scenes, collectives, bands, albums, as the booklet describes: primarily jazz, often with what's often referred to here as "club" sounds, meaning dub, other Caribbean-associated elements (Theron Cross's tuba bobs up several times, so maybe should mention New Orleans influence), hip-hop, funk, weed--a number of tracks could go in a mix with Moses Boyd's Dark Matter, mentioned above (also mentioned "cohesive variety"---several of these artists have recent music on bandcamp, more about some of those later)

Press sheet: Soul Jazz Records' new album 'Kaleidoscope – New Spirits Known and Unknown' brings together many of the ground-breaking artists involved in the new jazz scene that has developed in the UK over the last few years. Featured artists include Matthew Halsall, Yazmin Lacey, Ill Considered, Tenderlonious, Theon Cross, Emma-Jean Thackray and many, many more in this ground-breaking release.

As well as sharing a pioneering spirit in these new artists' approach to frontier-crossing musical boundaries, a further theme of this album is that many also share a determination to independent practices - and most of these artists' recordings featured here are either self-published or released on independent labels. While the attention of this new wave of jazz artists has up until now has been London-based, this album shows how this movement is spread across the whole of Britain (and indeed beyond).

'Kaleidoscope – New Spirits Known and Unknown' shows that while there is commonality in these artists approach to music, there is a wide variety of styles – from deep spiritual jazz, electronic experimentalisation, punk-edged funk, uplifting modal righteousness, deep soulful vocals and much more.

Soul Jazz Records' new release comes as a superb one-off pressing special deluxe triple album edition which comes with a bonus limited-edition one-off pressing 7" single, a standard triple album, and a deluxe double CD pack. This album also comes with extensive sleevenotes, artist interviews and exclusive photography.


Soul Jazz records are also releasing an exclusive one-off pressing double-headed 12" single featuring Theon Cross and Pokus released on the same day as the 'Kaleidoscope' album release. These two tracks do not feature on the vinyl edition of the album - this 12" single will will also be deleted on day of release.

Release Date

17 July 2020


1 Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra – When The World Was One

2 Yazmin Lacey – 90 Degrees

3 Hector Plimmer – Communication Control

4 Ill Considered – Long Way Home (Live At The Crypt)

5 The Expansions – Mosaic

6 Chip Wickham – Red Planet

7 Levitation Orchestra – Odyssey

8 Emma-Jean Thackray – Walrus

9 Tenderlonious and The 22archestra – The Shakedown

10 Pokus – Pokus One

11 Theon Cross – Candace Of Meroe

12 Joe Armon-Jones & Maxwell Owin – Tanner's Tango

13 Collocutor – Gozo

14 Makaya McCraven – Untitled

15 Nat Birchall – Ancient World

16 Ruby Rushton – Moonlight Woman

17 Ebi Soda – Dimmsdale

18 The Cromagnon Band – Thunder Perfect

19 SEED Ensemble – Mirrors

20 Ishmael Ensemble – Kito's Theme

21 Vels Trio – Yellow Ochre (Part 1)

More info, audio snips:

dow, Tuesday, 30 June 2020 19:39 (six months ago) link

I like that Makaya McCraven is an honorary member of this scene now

change display name (Jordan), Tuesday, 30 June 2020 19:40 (six months ago) link

Yeah! I'll prob get the 2-CD

dow, Tuesday, 30 June 2020 19:41 (six months ago) link

I don't know much about Ill Considered, but I love their s/t album from a few years ago


Got my 2-CD Kaleidoscope, just played it for the first time, and right away hearing several, if not quite a few, that would work on a mixtape w Dark Matter. Maybe not the ones by McCraven and Ill Considered, but they're real good in other ways---lots of cohesive variety here, as well there might be, going by all the connections made and noted in booklet. Several of these artist started out pretty isolated, but maybe that was an advantage in some ways, developing their own sound (w help of That One Guy, even, a teacher and/or mentor, early on), before they get to the scenes, and this big tent community.

Now going through some other releases by Kaleidoscope contributors (Tenderlonious and Nubya Garcia have albs out this Fri. 21rst)

For instance: take a bracing break with Yazmin Lacey's current EP, Morning Matters if that doesn't show, it's on YouTube Music, lots of these K-scopers are on bandcamp too---bandcamp may be better for artists, but YTM has better audio on my little old set-up.

dow, Monday, 17 August 2020 19:23 (four months ago) link

Oops, that's the art---let me try it again, and then audio:


Not the best art, but pertains to the music.

Some more albums/EPs this one led me to:

K-scope contributor Emma-Jean Thackray initially not leading me much further  more about the lively agreeable rhythm than development or striking themes, but  horns on "Yang" more assertive  though stilll not that distinctive, right off:   maybe still not that great, suspect "Walrus" was the right pick and enough. (later) I like "Movementt"(sic) dreamy trumpet with jumpy beat, from her 2020 Rain Dance EP, where she samples her band's live performances and adds instruments, sometimes vocals---on this particular track, she plays all the instruments, and I always like her voice (nice video for this one too)--would work in a mix w Dark Matter tracks I think:


Gilles Peterson Presents MV4

Taken from a day of live sessions in London's legendary Maida Vale Studios - studio MV4 to be exact, it was originally intended just for Peterson's BBC radio show broadcast on 20th October 2018. Struck by what a special moment the sessions captured, Peterson has decided to mark the results with a release proper on his Brownswood imprint.

A limited special double vinyl release(download also, from bandcamp & elsewhere) it features a diverse, all-star cast of some of the acts celebrated by Peterson in recent years, in a series of freewheeling and off-the-cuff recordings, several of the tracks backed by the group of Brownswood signee, Joe Armon-Jones. Featuring Dylan Jones, James Mollison, Mutale Chashi, and Marijus Aleksa as well as guest turns from Fatima, Asheber, Nubya Garcia, Hak Baker, and Oscar Jerome, plus a double track special from Bristol based collective, Ishmael Ensemble.

 Esp, struck by tracks w guest vox: right off, the strong yet never overselling lungs of Asheber on "New Day," likewise plus driving rhythm-guitar-as soloing-instrument of xpost Oscar Jerome on "Do You Really", hope and urgency of Fatima on "Only."

Then Hak Baker's phrasing combines dancehall, maybe hip-hop, improvised-seeming exchanges with the rhythm section in a way I've never heard, though I'm not from around here. That's "Thirsty Thursday," more romantic than you might think re title.

Whole thing is morning coffee for basking & grooving.

Will spare you the cover "art," but here's where I listened

My Tweet for Nubya Garcia's The Source---first couple tracks sounded tame at first, but by second spin I got the whole thing: Her tenor sax centers dynamic jazz ballads: straight-ahead, dubwise, cumbia, orbital. V. satisfying & more, please.

(This solo Nubya isn't as complex as Nérija, whose Blume made my Uproxx Top Ten last year----ballot comments

Nérija is certainly compatible with Boom Tic Boom, though *maybe* more persistently passionate, romantic, even, at certain peaks---Blume in Luv?---with perfect timing vanishing into trusted impulse, or so it seems (jazz).

Take it away, bandcamp:

Nérija is Nubya Garcia (tenor saxophone), Sheila Maurice-Grey (trumpet), Cassie Kinoshi (alto saxophone), Rosie Turton (trombone), Shirley Tetteh (guitar), Lizy Exell (drums) and Rio Kai (bass). Blume is a truly breath-taking collection of compositions that perfectly encapsulates everything Nérija. Vibrant, engaging, infectious and truly current, Blume takes you on a sprawling wonderful journey, arriving at what is a majestic body of work of their personal and collective experiences and inspirations over the last half decade or so.

Ebi Soda, Ugh: Body, brio, beats, trombones, other horns, dubwise (though more in a jazz-pop way than most other Kaleidoscope contributors, an updated UK-as-Hell-early-80s-based thing) occasional voices: this album (titled Ugh) will get you or at least me high for a night. At a time, that is (reasonable)(no hangover so far). Now in stereo.


Stupid cover, but I sure hope this link works:

 few initial impressions of highlights on Ill Considered 9---East/West:

1 hour, 47 minutes, 58 seconds, rolls right along, segmentation down in there, tiny mile markers: seconds of distorted audience sounds back in the headphones every now and then, even a little back-and-forth of musos and crowd at one point, also distorted---all part of the carnival scrim, incl dub-associated effects, on the fly or might as well be. Sax turns into a swarm of bassoons about 8 minutes in, bass gets more distorted, needs no other guitars as suggestions of Last Exit just behind the curtain---in the vast Jazz Park (don't stick your fingers in there) on a windswept gray-green summer's day. Later clearing for a Middle Eastern view of the Med, which comes back later still as slow modal ferris wheel, empty but still turning---for a minute,'til the bass has enough, and everything gets zigzag funky---going to night skies, night sweats, emltting the ECM Sound expansions---the bass goes toward a metal chant, everybody falls into a funeral procession, like Ishmael at the beginning of Moby Dick: it's a sign it's time to ship out, and so they do, finding more excitement, along the way, that is---finale is black helicopter blades too fast and shakey, but still cutting through waves of grooves.

I listened on YouTube Music---Bandcamp may be better for artists, but YTM provides better sound on my old computer, non-audiophile headphones:

dow, Monday, 17 August 2020 22:13 (four months ago) link

"Melting" the ECM Sound expansions, that is.

dow, Monday, 17 August 2020 22:15 (four months ago) link

I dunno if there might be some predictable bits in there very eventually, for a while--hazards of long live performance--but an edit might kill the sense of pace, of searching in the moment, however in the moment this actually is.

More notes on Kaleidoscope contributors:

Chip Wickham, flute too exotica at first, but second half more appealing, and even the opener grows on me when listen again he's way into Lateef, main res is some of the backing doesn't support like should?

 Did get into sex reveries, but prev inclined early today and last night lush Listen to whole thing again on gray day

Pokus! "Pokus One" on there, "Pokus Two" maybe even better, "Pokus Three," faster and trickier fave so far, "Four" okay too, "Five" maybe running it into the ground, but "Six" longest intriguing, into the tunnel

Nat Birchall---Tradition Disc In Dub--Nat Birchall meets Al Breadwinner

Not like Kscope try his other 2020 releases, see bandcamp for list but play on ytm if possible, this really sounds better on there Hornsman Rock, Dub in the Heavens pts 1 and 2--kind of disco beat w phasing on cymbals sometimes, if these are the tracks  Mystical Dub, panpipes, melodica on bridge? Organizer Version

Mysticism in Sound! Sun Ra inspired Space Jazz. Nat Birchall plays all the instruments - Tenor & soprano saxophone, bass clarinet, Korg Minilogue synth, bass, drums, hand drums, bells, shaker.

Space Blues too  last night before Demo Convention came on, NPR played a brief round of interviews witn some who knew George Floyd and others killed by cops, a little bit of this kind of music way off in the distance toward the end of those, So I played this

 This Trane Ra "Alabama"  w beats (drums, bass he plays all inst?) first couple, "Dance of the Sun God," check others in between this all more like on Kscope sounding good on bandcamp isn't on ytm

"Omniscient Beings"! Some kind of low-pitched carillon, Ra thing, w his horns in harmonies and variants of phrases, solos, drums, bass

"Inner Pathway" serene matter of fact blues, just how it is as always here carillon or bells handbells groove?? Bass drums sax theme solos and theme in harmony or unison

"Outer Realm" Higher-pitched, midrange bell keys, sax kind of middle eastern more like Pharoah more joyful still calm, committed inc to joy

Collocutor,  Continuation: title track w deep summer headphones, bass *guitar* but not too active, bass clarinet, bells, temple perc, touch of dub sometimes: all moving along, other horns, flute coming in

 whole thing here 

"Pause" more of a pulse, still perc (looped?) at beginning little and bigger sounds close together ,  drum kit backish beat coming in, horns cool w it keeping the watch, then harmonizing more of an alert, still cool kinda trippy back there changes in pressure elevation back and forth, just a bit, non-bass guitar getting active everything louder, single held notes vs the tenor, bell an influence, (this or prev for Singles?) then abruptly to "The Angry One," which rocks out of the gate, w jazz: good change of pace. "Lost and Found" familiar kind of solo sax feature at first, then more members of ensemble start coming in, more varied layers of tempo and texture, settles into pleasant, crisp short phrases of unity, the end of that then "Pause Reprise," good, bit more of a beat earlier than first take, "dub" thing is guitar, plumes of particulates,

Collocutor cont. The Search-Live At The Fish Factory: "Disappearance," kind of Middle Eastern deep saxes, then trumpet, perc add higher faster, then toms upright bass toward soundtrack warning, then everybody higher louder, steady, search party more coffee and continues methodically, but w quick expert scans, to "Conversation 1", stop and give a steady sweep w flashlight in here, skittering sounds react, deep fart, step in, look around, then "The Search" bass steps horns like yes we see, oho and just over hear, deepest guitar notes no bass bow, while other bass steps (or bowed guitar, bowed bass guitar vs upright?)think it is a guitar, not unlike McL w Miles a bit, from early on, twang bar I guess, Sharrock too? This for Singles? But do horns respond in a way that builds this? This ensemble more int for sequence of sounds than extended solos, usually, this guy aside.

But he continues in same vein in "Conversation 2" also his aforementioned bell thing a bit, tablas or something accomp., brief, then high horns fanfare for "Here to there to Everywhere" continuing as mid range and deeper saxes show up, also dirty to high solo trumpet, to midrange, effective trumpet solo/responses then, harmonized horns as accompaniment or counter, then in more of a dirge or rumination, nice, bass in! And drum one at first, then perc, horns still deep but a bit faster, like search party second wind, groove, in the context of which, this calm excursion, sax solo p agreeable, esp with tympani maybe appear and everything speeds up, but then--in to "Conversation 3" starting v quiet and spare, little perc and lone brief trumpet phrases, bluesy held notes on the ends, then more penetrating, then----silence and almost inaudible sounds for a minute, triangle note and flute theme start "Arrival," refreshment of cool harmonies, search party "We're here," still some shades of blue, gentle, careful, bell and drum suggest still some searching, the person searched for has arrived, searching his or her face, he or she searching? Both? Assuaging deep sax solo now welcome in this context, others taking over just in time though, a chorus forming, handing it up and down, all around, guitar pang or accent, as the circle spiral continues steadily, right breaths at end, Nice!

Disappointed in Tenderlonious's bland passe Quarentino and some other 2020 shit, wait til he does something else w 22a


Love Saves The Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture, 1970-1979

In 2019, Reappearing Records released a listening companion to Love and Death on the New York Dance Floor, the third volume of historian Tim Lawrence's NYC saga--link to stream that is on the below bandcamp page, for upcoming soundtrack of his first book, Love Saves The Day (stream for this not yet available):

With knowledge to share, and a readership as well as a dance floor to feed, Lawrence released Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor as the debut imprint on Reappearing Records. A year in the making, a compilation featuring rare and iconic tracks that appear in his much-loved and heavily-thumbed classic Love Saves the Day amounts to the follow-up. The collection features several tracks selected regularly by David Mancuso, the party host who exerted a prophetic and unparalleled influence on New York City party culture, as charted by Lawrence. It also includes choice picks from groundbreaking DJs such as Michael Cappello, Steve D'Acquisto, Francis Grasso, Richie Kaczor, Larry Levan and Nicky Siano, whose expressive contributions are faithfully recorded in Love Saves the Day. The compilation traces how disco grew out of the record collections and intuitive sensibility of these and other DJs, offering a unique survey of the era's expansive sonic palette.

releases May 22, 2020, digital and vinyl



Les Troubadours Du Roi Baudouin - Dibwe Diambula Kabanda


Chuck Mangione - Land Of Make Believe


Wilson Pickett - Don't Knock My Love (Part 1)


Wilson Pickett - Don't Knock My Love (Part 2)


James Brown - Give It Up Or Turn It Loose


Jackson 5 - Hum Along And Dance (Uncut Version)


Brainstorm - Lovin' Is Really My Game (12" Version)


Domenic Troiano - We All Need Love (12" Version)


Gladys Knight And The Pips - It's Time To Go Now

Don't know if Part 1 refers only to the book's placement in series or if there will be a another audio release re the book.


this is how it's divided up on vinyl, according to Vinyl Factory:

Side A

1. Les Troubadours Du Roi Baudouin – Dibwe Diambula Kabanda

2. Chuck Mangione – Land Of Make Believe

Side B

1. Wilson Pickett – Don't Knock My Love (Part 1)

2. Wilson Pickett – Don't Knock My Love (Part 2)

3. James Brown – Give It Up Or Turn It Loose

Side C

1. Jackson 5 – Hum Along And Dance (Uncut Version)

Side D

1. Brainstorm – Lovin Is Really My Game (12 Version)

2. Domenic Troiano – We All Need Love

3. Gladys Knight And The Pips – It's Time To Go Now


Here's the one that came out in 2019, with 16 tracks:


My take:

Just listened to Disc 1 of xpost soundtrack to Tim Lawrence's book, Love Saves The Day: A History of American Dance Culture, 1970-1979, and it's a trip, as expected. New to me: Les Troubadours Du Roi Baudouin's "Dibwe Diambula Kabanda" is a chattery, charming, caffeine come-all-ye, cruising into Chuck Mangione's "Land of Make Believe," with his fluegelhorn, Jon Faddis's trumpet, beats etc. gliding in and out of the orchestration around Esther Satterfield's calm vocal authority---all seems ready for Broadway in the wake of The Wiz, but why bother when we've already got this, for 12-plus painless minutes---will have to check more Chuck, but suspect context incl. anticipation of live James Brown etc. helps a lot---more than ditto: "We All Need Love," by Dominec Trioano, yes the guitarist for The James Gang and Guess Who, here vocalizing and maybe playing synth? Ultimately okay enough---wonder if Joe Walsh, Randy Bachman ever tried disco? Would like to hear.

Nary a wasted measure of the Jackson 5's epic, mostly (but not too: "Ain't no words/To this sonnnggg...")instrumental "Hum Along And Dance (Uncut Version): "Play it Tito!" Squealy balloon piglet guitar, or something: good! I'd never heard anything from their Dancing Machine etc. era. (Later: instrumentality gets elusive quality-inspection-wise, the more I listen.)

Also hadn't heard Wilson Pickett's contributions to that era, like "Don't Knock My Love." Awesome, and although he doesn't sing on "Dont...Pt.2," instrumental's so fine, I don't miss him here quite so bad (later: now I do).

Fave find so far is Brainstorm's brave, hopeful "Lovin' is Really My Game (12" Version)": I love the boogie, but the boogie don't love me"---don't say that. you're great! Cued response, but earned. From Lawrence's booklet: With generic boundaries yet to take root, the Jackson 5's "Hum Along and Dance" moved seamlessly between the Bronx, downtown and Brooklyn, the 15-minute version included here is this version's first legal release on vinyl. Brainstorm's "Lovin' Is Really My Game," played by Larry Levan when the Paradise Garage was still in its infancy, reminds us that disco, once it was let loose, could power its way through anything. (And could keep going long after you weren't supposed to call it "disco" anymore.)

Sometimes, when blissmaster David Mancuso considered last dancers lingering too long in the Loft (his lower-case home, after all), he would play Gladys Knight & The Pips' "It's Time To Go Now," which ends Disc or Part 1. Realness continues at the earnest new beginning of 2., "Brother's Gonna Work It Out," as Willie Hutch or his representative tells a social problem that his business has gotta go too, not just the competition and equivalents in other markets---but hey, change can be fun, just listen to this, and dance along.

Charles Earland's answer is "Leaving The Planet," rising through stratspheres crowded as the streets, but nonstop.

Laura Lee's marching and stomping in a silver elevator, "(If You Want To Try Love Again), Remember Me," she appeals, commands. The Modulations' "I Can't Fight Your Love" has unusual-to-me combo of high voice appeals, gruff voice commands (both male), but we already got Ms. Lee and I'd cut straight from her to Margie Joseph's diamond "Prophecy," one of Nicky Siano's fave peak tracks.

After those two, the voices are more back in the total effect of the builds: Blue Magic have, to my ears re post-Motown 70s, an unusually rich, vivid blend of high male harmonies, here balancing on and in rolling folds of textured rhythm, in "Welcome To The Club." Then, two tours led by prodigal jazzers: Twennynone with Lenny White's "Fancy Dancer," where the details eventually get bigger and closer, almost distended, but not quite: like the original 12", or is it an effect of analog recording, digital remastering? I remember some of Columbia Records' early attempts at digitally remastering Miles Davis vinyl had the same effect (though some others *were* distended. Miroslav Vitous, Herbie Hancock, Airto Morieta and ricochet female voices go all around the town in a dynamic limo, through the shadows at times, basic groundclouds more often, but it is "New York" in the 70s, after all.

"Above And Beyond" is certainly the most sensitive Edgar Winter track I've heard: voices and synths guided through sunset-tinged blue skies by Tom Moulton's production.


Arthur Russell, Sketches For World Of Echo: June 25 1984 Live At Ei ---At first I luved drone monolith that suddenly slid into foreground of "Changing Forest," but, as tends to happen with naked drones, ones without guitars etc. I slid from caffeine to zzzz, however woke up and stayed awake for all other tracks, especially re the amount of thick crunchy sustain and sometimes fuzz bundled with outright cello, behind and within mellow vocal flexing; cello is lone voice, articulate as hell, on "Sunlit Water." Especially good in wintertime? We'll see how it sounds when things melt again.


Sault---Both 2020 releases are great, though Rise has more obvious momentum, maybe less stoner interludes, still reminded of or thinking they prob like There's A Riot Going On, other rueful to oblique poise as pushback mention choosing for categories like Blood Orange, even when it's something they may have grown up with, and some may be American but now distance for perspective  early 70s atmospherics, Gil? Elements also maybe they like Chic (strings) piano---the gravitas and balladic drive of for instance "At Last I Am Free" dark and light dialectic---and some other of Michael, Janet in 80s--think they'd approve of "Wildfires"---early hip-hop, early drums & bass, Prince ("Eternal Life" for inst) also African-tinged rock etc w Michael K, humor etc of "Black Is", spookier, still wry "Monsters" girl groups, some guys in there too? "Miracles", post-doowop shuffle w blunts pangs, of "Hold Me"little bit of a Dr Buzzard vibe in there? W Cory Daye-ish --emotional as well as now stylistic cohesion, though got their own things


Gil Scott-Heron/Makaya McCraven, We're New Again: A Reimagining By Makaya McCraven---Still haven't heard the original album, or Jamie xx's reworking, but the unmistakable sound and sensibility of classic Gil come through: sharp, reflective glints in the dark, rough-edged and fluid, lyrical and realist, searching and on point, thematic and grooving---jazzwise, yet "blues is a feeling" the overall. Only thing is, some of the originals are really short, like down to 37 seconds: golden kernels of potential and realization---McCraven is def. not showboating, but I wish he extended these--maybe he was required to stick to the original track times? I'd like a bit more---Anyway, it's all good, though faves are mostly because they have longer to make an impression: "New York is Killing Me," "I'll Take Care of You," "Me and the Devil"--yes, Scott-Heron and Robert Johnson and Mr. D. riding the Greyhound, seems natural. Speaking voice is worn but clear, singing voice not that different from 1970s. Or is it? Still nobody but him.


(listing these artists in the order on album cover and credits below, though it's damu's page)(also because he has a stupid name)

Archie Shepp, Raw Poetic, Damu The Fudgemunk, Ocean Bridges: good title for extended fluid grooves (Wurlitzer piano and vibes, framing and framed by selective guitar, tenacious bass, chop-and-roll drums, cut across by soprano and tenor sax, a little turntablism, and Raw Poetic's tuneful radio flow, switching back and forth from singing to rapping, sometimes syllable-to-syllable) between shorter, smaller-group, more down to earth exchanges (but still speculative and sometimes maybe splicey, slightly like riffling a deck of cards)("Professor Shepp's Agenda 1" is spoken, but brief and apt; the other 6 shorties are instrumental). Overall, it's pretty lengthy---the longest excursion, "Aperture," might be too diffuse---but I soon stopped thinking of taking a break; so far, it pulls me right through.

Hopeful, rueful, been around, ready for more, guess why they call it the blues.

released May 22, 2020

All songs written & performed by:

Archie Shepp: Tenor and Soprano Sax, Wurlitzer Electric Piano

Raw Poetic (Jason Moore): Vocals/Raps/Lyrics

Earl "Damu the Fudgemunk" Davis: Drums, Vibraphone, Backing Vocals, Turntable Scratching, Mixing/ Production

Pat Fritz: Guitar

Aaron Gause: Wurlitzer Electric Piano, Synthesizer

Luke Stewart: Acoustic and Electric bass

Jamal Moore: Tenor sax, Percussion

Bashi Rose: Drums, Percussion

Except: track 12 written by Pat Fritz and Jason Moore and tracks 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 and 15 written by Archie Shepp

All Tracks Produced and Arranged by Raw Poetic

PS: also check Incl. several albums I'd never heard of!


Sunwatchers, Oh Yeah?: freaky and tight and expansive and somehow mellow simultaneously---they wish us nothing but good things, in and out of the hot rapids---so far my relative faves are "Brown Ice" and "Thee Worm Store" and if you suspect a Zappa influence, I suspect you're right(thinking of FZ's atypically breezy-exhilarating "Peaches En Regalia")---also early Guerilla Toss, maybe (quite a compliment if so).

(later) Brave Rats is here. Bit uneven for an EP, but overall fine. Fave originals: glorious fanfare opener, subtle orbital closer. Fave covers: maypole dance adjustment of Sonny Sharrock's "Black Willie," Nileside asteroid marching orders of Alice Coltrane's "Ptah, The El Daoud." EPs are real!

Notes to self:

they're backing the legendary arthur doyle (along with a few others, billed as "his new quiet screamers) on this 2016 release, recorded in 2012:

same label that released the eugene C collaboration i now see

budo jeru

sweet band — some live jams here:

the live cassette from a couple months back is radical as well:

tylerw,   (and lots of other stuff on bandcamp)

*************************************************************************************Jessie Ware's What's Your Pleasure?  shows she knows her Granny's disco collection v. well, but also for inst.  Robyn and Sade, that last an Azana pick as well. (though Azana's more in there between Sade and Anita Baker w good caffeine I think) Here's Jessie, more of what the world needs now:


More music



I've gotten strung out on the madly prolific Bergsonist: lots of sets on bandcamp, think this, my gateway, is her full-length debut. Middle Ouest (what I think of as tabletop, more than [but also] turntable: she's wary of fancy shit like Garageband because too many rules). Casablanca to Brooklyn, graphics designer, party DJ, activist, daughter of surf musician, it's all in there:


David Mancuso Presents The Loft, Vol.2: finding it more consistently engaging, for listening and imaginary dancing, than Vol. 1, which also has a number of highlights of course, but is such a conventional structure that I wonder if he just signed off on somebody else's playlist.

Discoggers have posted videos for every track here, I think:

Another blast from the past: Larry Young's Lawrence of Newark is a trip too: he doesn't need a synthesizer, and neither do cellist Diedre Johnson nor saxophonist Dennis Mourouse (okay, DM does plug in sometimes). Also got Blood Ulmer (as with Arthur Blythe and David Murray and Ornette Coleman, he can be a crucial, fishhook-to Seven League team player), Pharoah Sanders, a lot of percussion but never too much. May have some abrupt endings early on, but hold onto your horsehead nebula for the homestretch/final third (it's only about 33 minutes, but action packed). He was as prolific as the other original Lifetimers, but this set is especially  boldness-wise.


Hapna! :

It all starts with a sound. The sound of a monophonic synth. Then we have the Drums. And what binds it all together: The Bass.

In search of a departed past. Maybe a trip to Italy 1981. No, we never went to Italy... Ok.

But the colour is definitely brown.

Memories, not necessarily self-perceived, but yet...

A happy childhood. A promising future. And then there's a wizard.

Phrases, echoes. Expanding lines that evolves and re-evolves.

Escape from NY. Growing up. Possibilities and limitations.

The smell of dust and electricity. A wish to go back and forward at the same time.

It all comes down to a introspective groove. The strength of the collective process.


A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector:

Heard a doc about this last night on Public Radio, but maybe American or something, can't find it on so far---anyway, blasts of multi-d music, several whole tracks, between brief interviews w participants----Crystals, Ronettes, other recombinant groups backed by/interacting with the Wrecking Crew and Phil's orchestral hordes, then I played the whole thing on the 'Tube, pretty psychedelic:The original songs mix well w roasted chestnuts.


from Captain Beefheart thread:

Don't remember seeing this thread before the past week; it's gotten me looking around---a bunch of skeevey-looking CDs still on Amazon (several of which I bought quite a few years ago), but also, discovered that they now have a nicely-priced legit-looking...Decals...(ditto several others that I already have), also I'm Going To Do... on mp3 (and a bunch of other Rhino Handmades likewise, incl. Television's Live at the Old Waldorf and that monster Fugs box). Grow Fins mp3 is $49.49, much less than even the used CD edition on there.

I've just finished first listen to Albums That Never Were's version of It Comes To You In A Plain Brown Wrapper---great work-outs, although I could live w/o this long-ass version of "25th Century Quaker," but so many hooks: "Kandy Korrrn, Beee reeeborn"---different from (though utilizing) the Sundazed, and, as always, he tells you exactly what and why and how he used which materials---sound is crisp, well-defined without getting anal about it (I listened to the flac; also offers mp3s: 2 "discs," 45 minutes each):


Stevolende, you were asking about American bands w African influence, I think? 75 Dollar Bill guitarist has some of that, has studied African music.

Also, from my ancient Columbus OH show previews:

Toubab Krewe

3/17 @ Newport

North Carolina's Toubab Krewe combine rock and African approaches. Nowadays they're automatically associated with Vampire Weekend, but the Krewe evoke and extend the Allman Brothers Band's early exploration of rhythmic and tonal sources. Their 21-string kora and 12-string kamel ngoni can be played as harps or lutes, while infiltrating guitars, bass and drums. "Live At The Orange Peel" also attracts Umar Bin Hassan, of the proto-rap Last Poets, and Appalachian fiddler Rayna Gellert. Other shows are stashed at the band-approved, but be sure to check them out with 0 screens between.

The Dodos

Tuesday @ Café Bourbon Street

The Dodos' two-man versatility seems inspired by Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson," where an initially bland folkie-pop sound gets its foot in the door, then slips through a number of little twists and turns. And, especially on their new album, "Visiter" (sic), the Dodos add flecks of metal, blues, and African music studies, the last of which might remind you of Vampire Weekend, but with more straight-forward lyrics, about jobs and other relationships. Too many words sometimes, but the performers keep herding them through ripe tunefulness and dynamics.

Think the title comes from The Young Visiters, a child-written book, said to be classic attempt at/re-imagining Jane Austen "romance." Seems appropriate for a band reaching this far.

They came back to Cowtown!

The Dodos

Sunday @ Newport Music Hall

The Dodos combine refined and rude music into a world of local concerns, rolling and tumbling with their elusive namesake through dynamically extinct dimensions of good and bad vibrations. They have an actual vibraphone, with Keaton Snyder's mallets and pedals testing Logan Kroeber's rigorously non-standard percussion and Meric Long's amplified acoustic guitars. Long's got a railroad of pitches on his 24-string drum guitar, and some gracefully moody tunes. Bad vibes override when his lyrics get too much room, but live recordings often celebrate the Dodos' beautifully cracked noise.

Later saw 'em closing a talk show w Neko Case playing guitar as well, seeming right at home.

Fool's Gold

Friday @ The Summit

The sliding poise and eloquent chatter of guitars instantly open "Surprise Hotel", where it wouldn't be surprising to find Fool's Gold partying with Extra Golden, Toubab Krewe and Tinariwen, who previously connected Columbus to electric crosscurrents of African and American music. Primed by "Hotel", their self-titled debut album also spins Fool's Gold through Middle Eastern, Indonesian and Latin refractions, polyrhythmically orbiting their name's cautionary, anti-utopian irony. "Nadine, please don't bear your soul to me," is a heartfelt serenade, from the lush, sun-brushed depths of Los Angeles-based FG's kaleidoscopic focus.

Oh yeah, Extra Golden!

Extra Golden

Friday @ Rumba

Extra Golden is comprised of two American rock guitarists and two Kenyan benga singer-percussionists. On EG's third album, Thank You Very Quickly, bouncing, strutting beats and crowing, high-note licks meet down-tuned tones. Sometimes they energetically settle in together---right before shifting tectonic party plates of texture and rhythm dare players and listeners to adapt. But it all fits. "Fantasies of the Orient" satirically swings like an exotic golf pro. The title track and "Ukimwi" veer through true stories of political arrest and AIDS, respectively, continuously developing the album's most compelling melodies.

And immigrants count, especially if they've been living in DC for quite a while:


K'naan found his international audience in 1999, when the 21-year-old rapper appeared at a United Nations conference, deftly delivering a critique of UN relief programs in his birthplace, Somalia. Living in urban America also provides cogent commentary for performances with the Roots and Mos Def, while his pop appeal comes though with Lenny Kravitz and Nelly Furtado. K'naan's own traveling band blends hip-hop, reggae, rock and African elements, in purpose-driven propulsion.

04/14 @ The Newport, 1722 N High St.

7 p.m.

Chris Thomas King with the Floorwalkers

Singer/songwriter/arranger/multi-instrumentalist Chris Thomas King not only plays the blues, he plays the bluesmen, in movies such as "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and "Ray." Rootsy success hasn't inhibited King's blues odyssey, which sometimes encounters hip-hop, chamber music, jazz, African sources and psych-rock. His afternoon Jazz Academy-sponsored workshop at the Lincoln traces the blues through ancient-to-contemporary connections. This concert includes CTK favorites and new songs. Columbus's soulfully folk-rocking Floorwalkers open.

03/05 @ The Lincoln Theatre, 769 E. Long St.

Workshop: 2 p.m., Concert: 8 p.m.

Although it began as a spin-off of the 2002 movie Drumline, Drumline Live is not a conventional screen-to-stage adaptation. Don Roberts, the film's musical director, now takes its script's basis in college band development full circle and beyond. Nearly 40 performers play, dance and sing through African music, gospel, jazz, generations of r&b and hip-hop. Creative competition is also part of this tradition, while audience interaction adds sparks to each performance.

02/01 @ The Palace Theatre, 34 W. Broad St.

7:30 p.m.

Also, you could count these guys:

The Ragbirds

Saturday @ Rumba Café

The Ragbirds are great, but so what? Sure, Erin Zindle maintains vocal poise, while dancing and trading her electric violin for mandolin, melodica, banjo, accordion, and percussion. True, the rhythm section steams through well-timed, seamless dreams of Caribbean, East European, Middle Eastern, African, Irish and Appalachian themes. Yet they might just be another world-class world music band from Michigan, if not for Zindle's everyday magic realism. She gossips about the moon, and gets unreasonably reasonable with the proper authorities, in between confiding, "Listen/Tell yourself the truth/Until you believe it."

Oh yeah, Fool's Gold did at least one follow-up album, which I didn't play much, because of the vocals, should try again. Blanking on the title, don't want to hazard a guess and blame the wrong album.

Can't find 'em at the moment, but also wrote a show preview for the American band Princeton, whose album I liked a lot, and Either/Orchestra, Boston jazz band who ranged through many musics, especially (at least in the 2000s, when I previewed) Ethiopian

wiki sez:

The E/O began performing original arrangements of Ethiopian songs, inspired by a compilation called Ethiopian Groove: the Golden 70s. In 2000, after three of these songs appeared on the album More Beautiful than Death, Francis Falceto, the producer of Ethiopian Groove, contacted Gershon and eventually arranged an invitation for the E/O to play at the Ethiopian Music Festival in Addis Ababa in 2004. Along with Indo-British singer Susheela Raman the same year, the E/O was the first non-Ethiopian artist to appear in the festival, and was the first US big band to appear in Ethiopia since Duke Ellington's in 1973. Their concert at the festival was recorded and ultimately appeared in Falceto's Ethiopiques series on the French Buda Musique label. Five Ethiopian guests appear on the recording: Mulatu Astatke, Getatchew Mekurya, Tsedenia Markos, Bahta Hewet and Michael Belayneh. This tour and recording have led to an ongoing collaboration with Astatke, the primary founder of Ethiopian jazz, concerts with Ethiopian expatriates singer Hana Shenkute, krar player Minale Dagnew, masinko player Setegn Atanaw, and the great Ethiopian singer Mahmoud Ahmed with whom E/O released a DVD in 2007. Mahmoud Ahmed and fellow legendary Ethiopian singer Alemayehu Eshete played Lincoln Center Out of Doors in 2008 backed by E/O. The group debuted a collaboration with vocalist Teshome Mitiku in the summer of 2010, including a headlining appearance at the Chicago Jazz Festival.



Back to 2020:

Moses Sumney, græ: Holy Moly, may well be ultimate-so-far Alternative R&B, although I hear he hates being called any kind of R&B, too limiting, but here are the tropes(as in, "These are--The breaks." geddit). Also some nice folkoid strumming etc., in lengthy yet fleet sequence, tracks of morphadelic momentum---did start wishing for more vocal variety toward the end, but overall he got me right way. Def liking him better than Frank Ocean.


Wussy, Ghosts: Odds and sods, appropriately for The Who influence that keeps coming back, even on campfire and laundromat songs here (guitars tend to push back against and through woolgathering words, some the vocal levels take getting used to, but yknow studio field recordings, with some odd little ambient sounds---Lisa Gardner's voice always comes right out, even on one of her damn Magic Numbers Radio Shack tracks, where she comes out just enough to pull me in, or close enough to see her slow spin, in the dryer, like.

She also rolls one of the most startling highlights among several: a cover of the Eddie Hinton-Donnie Fritts classy chestnut "Breakfast in Bed," a highlight of the all-highlights Dusty In Memphis, here with guitars from another part of theeeee 60s.


Patrick Cowley, Some Funkettes: Firmly packed studio rat EP, sassy and fresh from the can, man, mid-to-late 70s queries--fave so far is instrumental version of "I Feel Love," with as much or as prominent organ as synth, maybe 60s garage fave Farfisa, bringing out seedy soulful punky Latin highlights from melody---other fave is finale, "Spiked Punch Dub." whole thing is here, with much else:

(PC is the warm leatherette mustachio Arthur Russell re posthumous gifts that keep on coming, and giving.)


Not In Our Wildest Dreams
by Peter Stampfel & The Dysfunctionells

The Ds are Rich Krueger, who makes some pretty wild albums of his own when away from his bigtime medical duties--read all about his music on xgau's site---times five other guys, incl. multi-instrumentalists, and a couple of others show up on some of these selections from four live sets, in '94 and '96. Grab a coffee and vitamins and headphones:

The new Jeff Parker, Suite For Max Brown, has instantly taken/held me for more of a first spin than any other album of recent release. No great solos, none needed, when grooves keep forming and flex like this. The most distinctive/least familiar element, to my ears, is the way he uses his Korg (etc.) for a sort of jar-of-lightning-bugs effect at the center, or to the side, or wherever it needs to go. He says he doesn't want to sit down and "fall into writing patterns," but the music is patterned, just enough. Also savor what the drums bring to the mesh, no matter who is playing: McCraven, Jamire Williams, Jay Bellerose, Parker himself. Well I guess I wouldn't mind "great solos" to take it further, but they don't seem nec. here, it ain't about any kind of solos.


Parker and two who played on his album, Josh Johnson and Rob Mazurek, recently teamed with Chad Taylor for the first new Chicago Underground Quartet set since early 00s. Good Days has a good late night deep focus, cheerful and shaded,tone set by the elusive Alan Shorter's '69 "Orgasm"as opener, extended via dorsal fin sky roll of "Strange Wing," by far the longest track, moving right along like all. Marurek's cornet provides submarine lights when needed, Taylor's "solo log drum" piece "Lormé"  fits right into the canopy----it's really not nec. late night weedio; my maiden voyage was midday, sober as I'll ever be: 


Looking fwd to spending more time w/ that new Chi Underground Quartet! So far am liking its sustained mood more than Suite For Max Brown as a whole (although for me Parker's newest one's highs are super-high, for instance I am blown away by "Go Away" and to a slightly lesser extent the earlier track that adds, uh, electronic swirl to the same bass ostinato/groove, "Fusion Swirl")― Cysteine Chapo (Craig D.)

"Go Away" rules

dip to dup (rob)


Yeah, and speaking of Rob Mazurek, I just now remembered doing a show preview when he played Columbus with Sao Paulo Underground in 2012:Tres Cabecas Loucuras was their most recent album, maybe the first. Not sure because ads on discogs are messing with my computer---looks like most recent was in 2016 ( a couple of releases listed for 2014 incl. Pharoah Sanders), 2013 album is on bandcamp, will have to check this---here's what I wrote, such as it is (does convey some of their appeal):

Sao Paulo Underground 09/23

Brazil's Sao Paulo is one of the world's biggest cities, with a somewhat surreal, rough-edged industrial vitality, an intriguingly compatible challenge for Midwestern composer/performer Rob Mazurek, veteran of hardy collective Chicago Underground. Sao Paulo Underground, which is Mazurek and three versatile Brazilian instrumentalists, also reflects his time with UK synth-pop combo Stereolab and Chicago's jazz-influenced Tortoise, often tagged as "post-rock." Most typically, SPU evokes the spirit of Miles Davis's trans-genre, shape-shifting seismic grooves, as Marzurek's cornet makes a rich, sometimes darkly smoldering impact on the urban earth of 21rst Century Brazilian acoustic/electric/electronic soundscapes.

09/23 @ Wexner Center Performance Space, 1871 N. High St., 7 p.m.


listening now to the 2016 one, Cantos Invisíveis

really, thank you dow

knife sharpening tips (gaudio), Wednesday, 15 April 2020 09:21 (nine months ago) link

Mazurek does some really interesting stuff. I saw him play with his group Black Cube SP (a sort of offshoot of São Paulo Underground - all the same members, plus Thomas Rohrer playing rabeca, a large Brazilian violin-like instrument). I shot some video:


You're welcome, gaudio, and thank you, unperson, for unwrapping some Black Cube. Thought this might be dirgey, given the back story, but no----"Return The Tides (excerpt)," which makes me think of early 70s Miles making his band learn Black Sabbath, is bouncier than the others, but plenty motility among all these proffered sounds (must get whole thing):



Anna Högberg Attack has recently released its second album, Lena.

Thanks for the heads-up, Phil (and for continuing to cover great artists like her)

I indeed thought the same thing in terms of that 10-min tune on her new one sounding very Conquistador!, but wasn't sure to what degree my thinking that was due to Henry Grimes having passed away a week and a half before her album dropped...

call mr zbow that's my name that name again is mr zbow (Craig D.), Tuesday, 5 May 2020 17:05 (eight months ago) link

Yes, and as what unperson calls the creepy groove things stalk the leash-singeing trumpet in track 2 (unperson trans. "It IS Not Too Late"), I think of Gil Evans & Miles Davis, *if* they'd gotten together later (in an official, upfront-type presentation, not w Gil's un-or under-credited input to Miles records, as actually seemed to happen, some say), except Miles didn't usually stick so much to lower, wider notes like this (at moments reminding me of Masekela's flugelhorn on the amazing recent release w Tony Allen--but again, not too close).

Also thinking of Gil, the faster side of Gil, during bluesy balancing act portions of "Dansa Margit"---and when the horn gets softer, and everybody else comes swarming back in, kind of like when the cop show hold-out finally lowers his weapon..."Antigen" has this good use of contrast, dynamic development too---and yeah those opening notes of track one are for all time.


unperson trans. "It Is...," not "It IS," sorry. the notes begin to decay like the reed is dissolving also like how other instruments can go through this in diff. time cycles, as is surely the way of nature, not always but ultimately, after the boom-boom ('appreciate they don't automatically lock into blazing finales, like some free-stylized jazz)



Just listened to about 24 minutes-worth of bandcamp sample tracks from Chad Taylor Trio's The Daily Biological: lyrical, sometimes witty, no-BS drums, tenor, piano.The absence of a bass means all three players sometimes step into the low-end role. A musical problem to be solved "we all approached it differently," Taylor says. "All of our tunes explore different ways to utilize a trio without a bass. You need to be really strong in your playing." They're well-anchored, secure in their bassless space, no need to fill it all up, no busywork, no waste either. Brian Settles starts "Swamp" all alone up there in the humid open air---tenor keeps a sense of fullness, at whatever elevation---then drums x piano come rumbling, ready for work, a truck under the trees. Fave so far is "Untethered": a waltz comes calling, kicking, sometimes crashing, keeps coming around---kinda reminds me of some of the writing, not nec. the playing, of the George Adams-Don Pullen Quartet. Anyway:

Chad Taylor: Drums

Brian Settles: Tenor Saxophone

Neil Podgurski: Piano

eleased April 24, 2020

Tracks 5, 8, and 9 written by Chad Taylor: ctorb@ascap

Tracks 1 and 3 written by Brian Settles: The Poets House Publishing@BMI Tracks 2, 4, 6 and 7 written by Neil Podgurski: NeilPodgurski@ascap

*********************************************************************************************************** You gotta like drums and percussion to dig this, but it's not (just) a show of chops, Cairo Free Jazz Ensemble build a soundscape in what might be a pyramid and/or train station---nice bit of cool sax, Cecilish piano, sunburst trumpet, other horns contribute just enough, for inst to the 3rd quarter stampede, and make pleasant whistling sounds occasionally---also instances of near-silence here and there, they're not afraid of that---one mic for 20 instruments? dunno, but it works, I think: Their parent or previous name meets Sun Ra:


Speaking of Chicago music, here's Tim Stine Trio's Fresh Demons: acoustic guitar (TS), upright bass (Anton Hatwich), drum kit(Frank Rosaly), all tending to lower-range, earthy, perky sounds, very well recorded, reminding me of McLaughlin's Extrapolation minus the sax, which isn't missed. Well, maybe they could use a little more instigation: I started out indifferent to the soon-predictable approach--then got hooked midway, as details seemed to open up more, climbing and rolling, moment to moment. I think, especially now that I know this set gets better, that the prelims will grow on me. 37 minuted, 37 seconds seems right: it's tight.

Excerpts from press sheet:

"Frank Rosaly...functions like a third melodic voice throughout the album, and takes every opportunity to add sounds and surprises to each track. Anton Hatwich works with and against Stine throughout the album, and adds to the overall feel of a chamber trio with each one improvising their own parts in real time.

Fresh Demons follows Knots (2019, Clean Feed) which enlisted Windy City peers Nick Mazzarella, Matt Ulery, and Quin Kirchner. In addition to leading his Trio and Quartet, Stine has played as a leader and sideman in the groups Loris, Stine/Roebke/Reed Trio, Jarod Bufe Quartet and Nick Mazzarella Quintet.  PS: Stine *might* be using a pick-up, unobtrusively. As I said, it's all very attentively recorded, anyway.


Kahil' El Zabir, Spirit Groove (Feat. David Murray)first two tracks---first 30 minutes, seem like predictable 70s settings, first one is kinda like a Pharoah show, but without the overall dynamics, second one has the Leon Thomas voice getting more Al Jarreau, with maybe Brian Jackson fan on keys---Murray sounded fine on the opener, but here he starts to slip into the dimebag elevator space with the rest of 'em---however, "Songs of Myself" has chilly good vibes (friendly ghost of Larry Young's keys), that beat, *then* Murray, tearing at the edges, good stuff. Out of time for now, after that 40-minute segment, but will come back for sure. Although---I've got a lot of good-to-great albums by or featuring Murray, in a variety of contexts, all of them applying a bit more brainpower than this---also, I'm still catching up with the actual 70s, not that interested in recycling, usually, but I admit "Songs of Myself" got me. (Also I like Kamasi Washington pretty well---I mean, if you're gonna invoke/evoke the 70s as ongoing urban spirit trek, do it right.)― dow

I love the singing on both of them tracks, and it's not derivative in a bad way imo it almost goes into deep house territory, splendid stuff!― calzino

Just now enjoyed listening to the rest: Murray's soloing on "Katon" didn't strike me as always being up to his usual standard, which is pretty high o course---but by then, didn't even matter: the rest of it was that good. "In The Spirit" was catchy spirit, "Trane In Mind" more of a piano feature than expected, not too Tynery--both of these were refreshing, by far the shortest tracks---and omg "One World Family" the perfectly extended finale---so I did like most of it after all.― dow

i dont think kahil el zabar is 'doing the 70s' lol i mean hes just been making music for decades...― ILX's bad boy (D-40)


Asher Gamedze, Dialectic Soul--->AG:"Fundamentally, it is about the reclamation of the historical imperative. It is about the dialect of the soul & the spirit while it moves through history. The soul is dialectic. Motion is imperative. We keep moving." For instance, in the opening "Emergence Suite," tenor sax and trumpet can seize on moments all they like or or must, while bass & drums are like,"Yeah, yeah, that's good, that's good, come on now, mind your head, good." Also perfectly supportive of, never submissive to horn comments and slender, strong singing in "Siyabulela." Then a witty, fabulistic stroll through enormity in "Interregnum," where "the hopscotch ended much as it began" along the way (Don't worry, that's almost all for the voices). "Eternality" is more work-out than bliss-out, but good between the couch potato headphones. "Hope In Azania" is adrenaline afterglow in second wind, not too hopeful, but reasonably so it seems; oh yeah Speculative Fourth" does eventually let a human sing along some more with the horns, for a little while, sorry anti-voxxers.


(From the archives---ilx alum geeta on xpost Milford Graves and Full Mantis: And Greg Tate on Swirling, first new Sun Ra Arkestra album since the 90s:


Should have listened more before posting, re opening epic "Episone 18" and next two:

Was just thinking about how frustrated I've so far found the guitar-dominated tracks in first half of the new Starebaby, although some of may be sound quality of the mp3 promo--I enjoy some other jazz w big hairy guitar, most recently Harriet Tubman, also the first Ceramic Dog album (more recent one had odd sound too), Sharrock, Cosey---for the metal-tending, Yakuza---should prob try Liturgy again---anyway, I do enjoy the new Starebaby very much when guitarist is more of a team player, responding to others, texturing and maybe

metal-appropriately infusing-polluting the fluid music, which I imagine as a lake. Will listen more, of course, maybe the big stuff will grow on me too.

It did grow on me, although still takes a minute or two to adjust to indie jazz budget sound; I associate this kind of guitarrrr w more stereo depth, but might be promo download, as prev. speculated. But right off, guitar is big bug trying to fly its way out my bony labyrinth, but can't because headphones and this is a recording, nevertheless zooming in and away, also spinning around and unravelling X+Y axis in here, then swabbing walls of this squat.

---and duh to self "Dawn" has the kind of interactivity I'd previously picked up on later on, ditto "The Long Diagonal"----though some of the guitar interjection in my original getting-into-alb-point, "A Taste of Memory," still seems too stiff, static, though late schematic becomes what the moving finger writes, then into the long fade: that works.

And like I posted before, the rest was never any problem.

(The Ceramic Dog set I referred to was YRU Still Here? They also have a new EP on Bandcamp, album out in 2021, gotta check those.)


(Mayor Baraka of Newark! I think it was Nick Tosches who cited pre-Baraka LeRoi Jones as crucial inspiration-barsetter for the first rock critics, also for the best young jazz critics. He was certainly my gateway to jazz, which I otherwise found intimidating to read about, sitting in the high school band room, looking at my teacher's copies of Downbeat, which may have still been coming out biweekly? Seemed like an onslaught, with all those Bob Thiele Trane albums in particular, all the raves, and pontifications, and some push-back etc.---but Jones's "Scrapple From The Apple" cut right through it all, via concisely compelling imagery, crisply delivered data, straight-ahead declarations and sidewise, corkscrew rips-thus appealing to all aspects of the high school mind, incl. v. assholes who will never get it and don't want to and for inst the cafe potentate who refused to hire Cecil Taylor and was so pissed at those who did; also, when somebody else offered mea culpa (he was blind but now he sees the new thing), LJ sneers, "That's a noble confession and all)". Collected in Black Music (1968) with relatively longer, still concise show and album reviews, profiles (Roy Haynes sets him straight about earning success w/o selling out). Billie Holiday as "The Dark Lady of the Sonnets," and much else, all this ranged as deep and wide in an eyewitness to history/music nut experience sense as the one I got to later did as adventures in contextualization, Blues People (1963), well-covered here, in its 5oth Anniversary year:

Baraka wrote that Blues People was a "theoretical endeavor" that "proposes more questions than it will answer" about how descendants of enslaved Africans created a new American musical genre and turned "Negroes" into "African Americans" in the process. That message still resonates deeply with many scholars, including Ingrid Monson, a professor of African-American music at Harvard University and author of Freedom Sounds: Civil Rights Call Out to Jazz and Africa.

"I assign portions of this book in virtually every course I teach," Monson wrote in Blues People: Amiri Baraka As a Social Theorist, a speech she delivered in 2004, "to remind my students that cultural studies and critical race theory didn't begin in the academy, but in 20th-century African-American thought and intellectual practice from DuBois to Garvey, Locke, Ellington, Ellison and Baraka."

...Today's scholars might take issue with the exact nature of Baraka's argument. Ingrid Monson's paper points out the author's "tendency toward social determinism [that] is particularly obvious in Baraka's discussion of class — which, to me, is where his argument is most undermined by essentialism. Here, middle-classness is the ultimate marker of cultural inauthenticity, because the black middle class, according to Baraka, dedicated itself to assimilation."

But Monson offers praise for the book in general. "Blues People is a brilliant and path-breaking book, not because all of its factual information is correct, or because all of its interpretive perspectives are unassailable, but because of the sheer audacity, scope and originality of its interpretive perspective," she wrote.

The audacity could get out of hand later, but made him even more of an exciting performer.)


Speaking of bass in duos, Vince Giordano played that and tuba in Zoom-type settette w Loudon Wainwright III and guitarist David Mansfield: early jazz tunes from their recent I'd Rather Lead A Band, which also incl. VG's other bass instruments and his Nighthawks (he and the band did a lot of music for Boardwalk Empire, which is where they first worked w LWIII). Sounds pretty good! Also lots of informative commentary on the songs:

Also, speaking of Duke, yall know Money Jungle, w Mingus and Roach right? You may have the 7-track original, or the good-sounding late 80s Blue Note LP w a few bonus tracks, like I have--but I wanna get this 15-track CD: There may be later editions that are even more inclusive---one of the few where I'm lured by alll the alt-takes, but several prev. unreleased titles have gradually emerged as well. Of course the latest SOLD OUT vinyl fetish vinyl More Perfect Than Evah remaster has 0 bonus material.


(Sittin' In: Jazz Clubs of the 1940s and 1950s, recently published by Harper Design, is a testament to the bygone American nightlife culture that thrived at midcentury — years before the full realization of a Civil Rights Movement, but well into a more casual arc of racial integration.

The book, a featured item in the WBGO December fund drive, amasses hundreds of souvenir photos, handbills and other memorabilia from clubs across the continental United States: iconic rooms like The Three Deuces on 52nd Street in Manhattan as well as lesser-known spots like Gilmore's Chez Paree in Kansas City. Through the images and ephemera — and several in-depth interviews, with Rollins and others — the book presents a complicated portrait of America in the two decades bracketing the second World War.

...This is a difficult book to classify. In a way, it's a coffee table book, because of all of these incredible images. But it's also a really keen work of jazz history and scholarship...That last bit opens an interview w author:


So this is very, um, cellular, but micros v. gradually reveal a vein of continuity, as B's bass instruments become seamless shades of his other reeds' full tones, no squeals---I snoozed out briefly, but woke up & got more and more tuned in past the 20-minute mark of first track (had been tuned into some segments before)---now about 3/4 way through second track, which flows from first:

released June 4, 2020

Anthony Braxton: sopranino, soprano, alto, baritone, bass, and contrabass saxophones, contrabass clarinet

Eugene Chadbourne: Gibson Marauder electric, Gibson acoustic, bajo sexto, Deering 5-string banjo, Deering fretless 5-string banjo, Regal 5-string banjo, prepared guitar 1.Improv One 57:38 2.Improv Two 54:13 3.Improv Three 56:14 4. Improv Four 57:07 5. Improv Five 57:42 6.Improv Six 59:48 7.Improv Seven 54:05  8.Improv Eight 59:26

Chadbourne's good too, esp, high picks and pecks x bass instruments (fave is that "tuba" sound, now to sopranino, banjo not that far from "You Really Got Me" riff before arpeggio). One for the true headz, but/and if you think you might like it, you probably will, at least some of the time--- Basser still.--and now, along w hungry bass beasts, prepared guitar, I take it, is what's going from "snaredrum" figures to strumming, picking..― bass gettin' lonely, some subterranean blues suggested, crisp kinda-Spanish strings say, "That's the breaks, bass." I'll shut up now.



Three items from a thread re: vocalese etc. RFI: Vocal Jazz Songform 

Just now turned on the radio and heard most of a Radio Deluxe ep from 15 years ago: Annie Ross just happens to drop in on Jessica Molasky and John Pizzarelli, and hey Dad Bucky P. and a pianist are here too--they talk and listen to a couple of tracks from Annie's latest, I Want To Sing---more talking than singing, but tenacious, savoring the beat---also they listen to Joni Mitchell's version of "Twisted," and she tells how LH&R's Sing A Song of Basie came about, calling up Miles for him to listen to an early take ect., more stories,---quite a visit.


From "Interlude," with lyrics credited here to Sarah Vaughan, later known as "A Night in Tunisia," words by Ella Fitzgerald? But wiki sez Raymond Laveen---anyway Striking, militant take from I've long liked Chaka Khan's version, maybe I'll try to post it:

That's from From What Cha' Gonna Do for Me(1981), which I may still have somewhere. Liked it pretty well---remember it as blending her trademark sound w elements of jazz in various ways.
wiki: reminds me it has with a guest appearance by Gillespie himself as well as what today would be called a 'sample' of Charlie Parker's legendary four bar alto break from his 1946 recording of the title. Khan's vocal interpretation also features lyrics written by the singer herself.[8]  



"Boy, you suck. Just my luck. I'd rather get hit by a truck. Lose/My/Number lose. It." sings Allegra Levy on Lose My Number: Allegra Levy Sings John McNeil, where she adds words and sometimes scatting to the trumpeter's tunes. She's usually more subtle than that, I think---she could be a little louder sometimes, she makes me listen more, and never oversings. Got a tight, kinetic piano trio, and McNeil himself shows up sometimes, like on "C.J.," where the scatting first appears, and the bracing "Strictly Ballroom." "Dover Beach" is my fave headphones ballad, with unusually-well mic'd cymbals and drums (bass always sounds great), never obtrusive. Gonna try to link it from YouTube, c'mon ilx,do me right: 


Something of mine just now found on ILM's Slim Gaillard thread fits w prev mentions of vocalese:

yeah, Slim Gaillard was in and out of the music biz between the 30s and 80s (b. 1911?-d.1991), and was back in by the late 50s, so may well have inspired an early 60s album. Originally known for singing, playing guitar and tap-dancing simultaneously, and Slim and Slam (Stewart, bassist) had a hit,"Flat Foot Floogie (Was A Floy-Floy)" in late 30s. Orig "Flat Fleet Floogie," and for that dis to military, was drafted (change to"Flat Foot" albili didn't keep him out). Recorded with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, and stole the show live, at least according to Brian Priestley's notes to Laughing in Rhythm: The Best of the Verve Years (the fleet/foot thing is mine, not BP's) No "F.F.F." here, nor "Cement Mixer," (maybe those weren't on Verve), and I'd need to find some more Gene Krupa cigarettes to get into all of this, but I do dig most of it. "Arabian Boogie" might've inspired Professor Longhair; "Serenade to a Poodle" woofs eloquent; "Soomy Roomy (Song of YXabat)" is a great parody of Yma Sumac and the whole exotica thangette; "Genius" (AKA "Ride Slim Ride") has him as a one-man-band and vocal group, overdubbing eight instruments and a bunch of mouth sounds(incl. harmonies), and making it sound comfortable, in 1951, when overdubbing was something of a chore. There's also "Yo Yo Yo," "Yip Roc Heresy," "Chicken Rhythm" (chorus: "Buk Buk Buk Buk!").Also in the booklet, Harvey Pekar and Joe Sacco's cartoon essay spots him between Charlie Christian and Chuck Berry, Priestly has him early associated with other swing-to-bop teadrinkers like Harry The Hipster Gibson, and Leo Scatman Watson, King Cole Trio(I'd say Cab Calloway before that, and Louis Jordan along side in the later 40s, and even Bob Wills, when he starts bouncing the falsetto around, and of course he invented his own language before Magma)(okay, more like Beefheart, because it twists English to its own purposes) "Gomen Nasal" indeed, and Gezundheit.

― dow, Sunday, 16 September 2007 06:34


In 1977, the first Jazz Alive New Year's Eve special was broadcast live from The Cookery and The Village Gate. The tradition continues with Toast of the Nation, NPR's annual holiday special that rings in the New Year with jazz.

This year features some of the best jazz collectives performing today. Hear four solid hours of festive music from the Catherine Russell Trio (recorded live at Dizzy's Club at Jazz At Lincoln Center), The Jazz Gallery All-Stars (recorded live at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts), KOKOROKO (recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall in London) and Pink Martini (recorded live from bandleader Thomas Lauderdale's home).

News followed by links to these New Year's sets from all participants:

Will listen for the sake of KOKOROKO and Jazz Gallery All-Stars, whom I didn't know about, but incl. Miguel Zenón, alto; Melissa Aldana, tenor; Joel Ross, vibraphone; Charles Altura, guitar; Aaron Parks, piano; Ben Williams, bass; Kendrick Scott, drums; Jessica Boykin-Settles, vocals.) Will give the other bands a shot also. (later) Unexpectedly---I only knew them by name---Pink Martini & friends ranged widest and deepest:

Set List:

  • "Concerto for Trumpet" (Harry James, featuring Gavin Bondy on trumpet)
  • "Tempo Perdido" (Ataulfo Alves, featuring lead vocalist China Forbes) 
  • "Let's Never Stop Falling in Love" (Thomas M. Lauderdale / China Forbes, featuring lead vocalist China Forbes) 
  • "Hang on Little Tomato" (Thomas M. Lauderdale / China Forbes / Patrick Abbey, featuring lead vocalist China Forbes)
  • "Donde estas, Yolanda?" (Manuel Jimenez, featuring lead vocalist Timothy Nishimoto)
  • "Ich dich Liebe" (Lotar Olias / Max Kolpé / Karl Vibach, featuring lead vocalist Storm Large)
  • "And Then You're Gone" (Thomas M. Lauderdale / China Forbes / Alex Marashian / Derek Rieth, featuring lead vocalist Storm Large) 
  • "But Now I'm Back" (Thomas M. Lauderdale / Alex Marashian, featuring lead vocalist Ari Shapiro)
  • "Elohai" (Danny Maseng, featuring lead vocalists China Forbes, Ari Shapiro, and Ida Rae Cahana)
  • "Besame Mucho" (Consuelo Velázquez, featuring lead vocalist Edna Vazquez)
  • "Sola soy" (Edna Vazquez, featuring lead vocalist Edna Vazquez)
  • "Then Your Heart is Full of Love" (Josie Carey Franz / Fred Rogers, featuring lead vocalists Ida Rae Cahana and Sofia von Trapp)
  • "Hey Eugene" (China Forbes, featuring lead vocalist China Forbes)
  • "Una Notte a Napoli" (Thomas M. Lauderdale / China Forbes / Alba Clemente, featuring lead vocalist China Forbes)
  • "Tomorrow" (Charles Strouse / Martin Charnin, featuring lead vocalist Jimmie Herrod)
  • "Auld Lang Syne" (traditional, featuring lead vocalist China Forbes)
  • "Zundoko Bushi" (composer unknown, featuring lead vocalist Timothy Nishimoto)

Musicians: Thomas M. Lauderdale, bandleader & piano; China Forbes, lead vocals; Storm Large, guest vocals; Ari Shapiro, guest vocals; Edna Vazquez, guest vocals; Jimmie Herrod, guest vocals; Gavin Bondy, trumpet; Robert Taylor, trombone; Philip Emilio Baker, upright bass; Dan Faehnle, guitar; Nicholas Crosa, violin; Timothy Nishimoto, percussion and vocals; Brian Lavern Davis, percussion; Miguel Bernal, percussion; Reinhardt Melz, percussion; Andrew Borger, drums and percussion; Sofia von Trapp, vocals; Cantor Ida Rae Cahana, vocals.)     Don Allred






































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