Monday, March 6, 2017


Music Week

Music: Current count 27862 [27834] rated (+28), 385 [391] unrated (-6).

Streamnotes (February 2017) came out last week, actually on March 1 (but I backdated it). March draft file is open now, starting with 17 records listed below. At this point no real direction as to what I'm covering: I picked off a few 2016 releases that I hadn't bothered with before -- ones that got some attention from the EOY lists. Highest rated album from my EOY Aggregate List I haven't heard is Metallica's Hardwired . . . to Self Destruct, in 83rd. Highest point in the list where there are three or more straight unrated records starts at 230: Andy Stott, Wild Beasts, Woods, The Body, then after one I've heard (Clipping) there's The Drones and Fat White Family. Next cluster of 5+ I haven't heard starts at 291: Opeth, Roly Porter, Ty Segall, St Paul & the Broken Bones, Sunflower Bean, Suuns, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Thrice, Wild Nothing, and Zayn.

Also checked out Christgau's picks last week: Syd's Fin closes strong enough I could see grading it up, but three or four plays didn't quite convince me, and I didn't enjoy Nnamdi Ogbonnaya's Drool at all. I gave NxWorries' Yes Lawd! the same grade months ago, but still haven't checked out the John Legend album yet (fwiw, the only Legend album I have heard is a B).

The old Ken Vandermark records I happened to notice on his Bandcamp page as among the few I hadn't heard. A bit disappointed that the two FME records only hinted at how good the band was on two records I had previously rated A-: Cuts and Underground. I need to check more closely for whatever I've missed (though my grade list seems pretty comprehensive).

Achieved a milestone of sorts in the Jazz Guide project: got up to date with my Streamnotes reviews, copying the 20th century ones into a book file which now measures 459 pages, and the later ones into a long text file that I'll eventually fold into the 21st century book. Next step on 20th century is to go through the database files and add all the rated-but-unreviewed albums in as stubs. I knocked the first (and probably shortest) of those files off today, for jazz artists who first appeared before 1940. As with every step on this project, it's been a slow slog.


New records rated this week:

  • AMP Trio: Three (2016 [2017], self-released): [cd]: B
  • Courtney Marie Andrews: Honest Life (2016, Mama Bird): [r]: B+(*)
  • Beans on Toast: Rolling Up the Hill (2015, Xtra Mile): [r]: A-
  • Beans on Toast: A Spanner in the Works (2016, Xtra Mile): [r]: B+(**)
  • Gianni Bianchini: Type I (2016 [2017], self-released): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Carlos Bica & Azul: More Than This (2016 [2017], Clean Feed): [cd]: B+(***)
  • Chicago Edge Ensemble: Decaying Orbit (2016 [2017], self-released): [cd]: A-
  • Marc Ducret Trio+3: Métatonal (2014 [2015], Ayler): [bc]: B+(**)
  • The Hotelier: Goodness (2016, Tiny Engines): [r]: B+(*)
  • Sarah Jarosz: Undercurrent (2016, Sugar Hill): [r]: B+(**)
  • Lisa Mezzacappa: Avant Noir (2015 [2017], Clean Feed): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Nnamdi Ogbonnaya: Drool (2017, Father/Daughter/Sooper): [r]: B-
  • Old 97's: Graveyard Whistling (2017, ATO): [r]: B+(***)
  • Eivind Opsvik: Overseas V (2016 [2017], Loyal Label): [cd]: B+(***)
  • Keith Oxman: East of the Village (2016 [2017], Capri): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Noah Preminger: Meditations on Freedom (2016 [2017], self-released): [cd]: B+(***)
  • The Reunion Project: Veranda (2016 [2017], Tapestry): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Hiromi Suda: Nagi (2015 [2017], BluJazz): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Syd: Fin (2017, Columbia): [r]: B+(***)
  • Thee Oh Sees: A Weird Exits (2016, Castle Face): [yt]: B+(*)
  • Keith Urban: Ripcord (2016, Capitol Nashville): [r]: B
  • Velkro: Too Lazy to Panic (2016 [2017], Clean Feed): [cd]: A-
  • Ryley Walker: Golden Sings That Have Been Sung (2016, Dead Oceans): [r]: B+(*)

Old music rated this week:

  • Double Tandem [Ab Baars/Ken Vandermark/Paal Nilssen-Love]: OX (2012, dEN): [bc]: B+(***)
  • FME: Live at the Glenn Miller Café - Feb. 27, 2002 (2002, Okka Disk): [bc]: B+(***)
  • FME: Montage (2005 [2006], Okka Disk, 2CD): [bc]: B+(**)
  • Lean Left: Live at Area Sismica (2012 [2014], Unsounds): [bc]: B+(***)


Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • Chicago/London Underground: A Night Walking Through Mirrors (Cuneiform): advance
  • MEM3: Circles (self-released): March 24
  • The Microscopic Septet: Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play the Blues (Cuneiform): advance
  • The Ed Palermo Big Band: The Great Un-American Songbook: Volumes I & II (Cuneiform, 2CD): advance
  • Daniel Weltlinger: Samoreau: A Tribute to the Fans of Django Reinhardt (Rectify): March 31