Monday, September 10. 2012
Music: Current count 20416  rated (+33), 664  unrated (-12).
Ratings count looks healthy enough, but nearly all of that was inertia from Recycled Goods: still have a big shelf unit of unplayed records, and they're much easier to deal with than new jazz: I must have played the Konitz album five times before I could write something about it, and I had trouble with Feinberg last night and Cantrall today. (Most of what follows was actually written some weeks back.) Shouldn't have so much trouble with the new Hairybones, which is assaulting the speakers as I type.
Not sure how I feel at the moment -- I suppose we can count that as an improvement, given how bad I've felt for the last six weeks. I don't think there will be a Rhapsody Streamnotes this month, or if there is one it will be pretty short (draft file only has 4 records so far). A Downloader's Diary and Recycled Goods also lost a month this summer -- unintended, but it's been like that.
Joe Alterman: Give Me the Simple Life (2011 , Miles High): Pianist, originally from Atlanta, moved to New York in 2007 to study at NYU. Second album, mostly piano trio with James Cammack on bass and Herlin Riley on drums, joined on four cuts by the redoubtable tenor saxophonist, Houston Person. Wrote 2 (of 12) tracks, with "Georgia on My Mind" the only cover I was sure of. Nice, spry piano, and of course the guest is superb. B+(**)
Angles 8: By Way of Deception: Live in Ljubljana (2011 , Clean Feed): Swedish alto saxophonist Martin Küchen's big group, expanded from six to eight this time -- Eirik Hegdal (baritone sax, soprano sax) and Alexander Zethson (piano) are the adds, although he's also swapped trumpeters (Goran Kajfes replaces Magnus Broo). The piano pays dividends, and Mattias Stċhl's vibes glitter throughout, but the horns are rich, vibrant, triumphant. A-
Bill Cantrall & Axiom: Live at the Kitano (2010 , Up Swing): Trombone player, from and based in New York, studied at Northwestern and Queen's College. One previous album, Axiom, named his band -- basically a hard bop quintet with trombone instead of trumpet -- after it: Stacy Dillard (tenor/soprano sax), Rick Germanson (piano), Gerald Cannon (bass), Darrell Green (drums), plus he picks up Mike DiRubbo (alto sax) and Freddie Hendrix (trumpet, comes as a surprise) for a 23:57 expansion of "Axiom." B+(***)
Michael Feinberg: The Elvin Jones Project (2012, Sunnyside): Bassist, b. 1987, second album, takes the Coltrane Quartet as his starting point, starting and ending with Elvin Jones compositions, covering Coltrane, Steve Grossman, Frank Foster, and Jimmy Van Heusen ("Nancy With the Laughing Face") in between, with one Feinberg original. Group is overloaded with talent: George Garzone, Tim Hagans, Leo Genovese, Billy Hart, plus guitar (Alex Wintz) on two tracks. Lots of superb runs, and the drummer has fun. B+(**)
Lee Konitz/Bill Frisell/Gary Peacock/Joey Baron: Enfants Terribles (2011 , Half Note): The drummer, at 56, is the youngest here, so "enfants" as much of a joke as "terribles." The eldest is the alto saxophonist, at 85 -- presumably he's the guy at the end who can't remember his bandmates names, although you'll recognize them. I kept listening for Konitz, and hearing Frisell, playing Konitz-like twists on the standards repertoire. Not that the alto sax isn't present. He just works a around the lines, letting the band for this "Live at the Blue Note" disc support him. B+(***)
Igor Lumpert Trio: Innertextures Live (2011 , Clean Feed): Tenor saxophonist, b. 1975 in the future Slovenia, studied in Austria, spent some time in Munich playing for a group that won a "Best Jazz Group of Germany" award, wound up in New York. With Chris Tordini on bass (presumably "Christhopher" is a typo) and Nasheet Waits on drums. All originals, smart free jazz, shies away from excessive drama and volume. B+(**)
Pat Martino: Alone Together With Bobby Rose (1977-78 , High Note): Pre-aneurism, previously unreleased, Rose adds a second guitar but is more rhythm accompaniment than duet partner. B+(*)
Michael McNeill Trio: Passageways (2010 , self-released): Pianist, b. 1982, based in Buffalo, first album, a trio with Ken Filiano (bass) and Phil Haynes (drums). I often despair of my inability to sort out the vast wave of piano trios that come my way, but sometimes I'm caught by surprise -- just rarely by someone I've never heard of before. First clue here is the bassist, who never plays on uninteresting albums. Filiano kicks off the 20:34 opener -- that length another sign that something is up here -- but when the pianist takes over he darts in and out, never settling for something ordinary. The other four pieces range 5:48-9:58. A-
Platform 1: Takes Off (2011 , Clean Feed): New Ken Vandermark group, with Magnus Broo (trumpet), Steve Swell (trombone), Joe Williamson (bass), and Michael Vatcher (drums). All but the drummer contribute songs -- Vandermark's two dedicated to label head Pedro Costa and Roswell Rudd, good news for the trombonist, who has the hot hand here. When the horns are flaring, as impressive as any band working, including Vandermark's previous Five. Don't quite get the dead spaces, though. B+(***)
Trespass Trio [Martin Küchen/Per Zanussi/Raymond Strid]: Bruder Beda (2011 , Clean Feed): Like Angles, Exploding Customer, Sound of Mucus, another Martin Küchen group, a trio with Küchen on alto sax, Per Zanussi on double bass, and Raymond Strid on drums. Second group album. Slowly, cautiously navigates the free jazz shoals, at once daring and moderate. B+(***)
Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:
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