Monday, March 13, 2017


Music Week

Music: Current count 27888 [27862] rated (+26), 389 [385] unrated (+4).

Actual new rated count less than above -- I only count 19 records below. I may have missed something below: seems like every record I process means I have to add lines to 4-5 files, and sometimes I lose track of one or more of them. On the other hand, in looking through the database and comparing it to the 20th Century Jazz Guide, I found a half-dozen or so reviews that hadn't been registered, so correcting those added to the count. Thus far I've gone through the Jazz '20-30s file and most of the Jazz '40s-50s, adding stubs for all of the albums I've graded but haven't collected reviews for (basically, records I heard before 2001 or so), and also for all of the artists even if I haven't heard any albums. One side effect of the latter is that I've been checking up on artists I didn't have death dates for, and finding most of them as I go along (and hopefully this trend will change) have indeed died -- some long ago. Still have a long ways to go -- the '60s through '90s files are larger still (though will have more post-2000 records), and there are also separate files for vocals, Latin, and pop. Currently up to 515 pages (254k words).

Almost finished the week without an A- record, but Clean Feed came to the rescue. Actually, two of Christgau's Expert Witness picks came real close: Sunny Sweeney and Whitney Rose. (His other pick, Becky Warren's War Surplus, was an A- back in December.) Jennie Scheinman also came close with an album uncannily similar to Bill Frisell's Disfarmer. Got a letter from Clean Feed today hoping to pinch pennies and switch me over to downloads, which won't stop me from listening but will sure slow me down -- and make me question why bother. I was tempted to give up reviewing back when the Village Voice lost interest in Jazz Consumer Guide, but kept on because labels like Clean Feed kept sending me new releases. That's effectively the difference between a virtuous circle and a death spiral.


New records rated this week:

  • Battle Trance: Blade of Love (2016, New Amsterdam): [bc]: B+(*)
  • Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop: Love Letter for Fire (2016, Sub Pop/Black Cricket): [r]: B+(*)
  • DIIV: Is the Is Are (2016, Captured Tracks): [r]: B+(**)
  • Dinosaur Jr: Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not (2016, Jagjaguwar): [r]: B+(*)
  • Krzyysztof Dys Trio: Toys (2014 [2016], ForTune): [bc]: B+(**)
  • Gorilla Mask: Iron Lung (2016 [2017], Clean Feed): [cd]: A-
  • Norah Jones: Day Breaks (2015 [2016], Blue Note): [r]: B+(**)
  • Murs: Captain California (2017, Strange Music): [r]: B+(**)
  • The Radio Dept.: Running Out of Love (2016, Labrador): [r]: B+(**)
  • Whitney Rose: South Texas Suite (2017, Six Shooter, EP): [r]: B+(***)
  • John K. Samson: Winter Wheat (2016, Anti-): [r]: B+(*)
  • Jenny Scheinman: Here on Earth (2017, Royal Potato Family): [r]: B+(***)
  • Andy Shauf: The Party (2016, Anti-): [r]: B
  • Swans: The Glowing Man (2016, Mute, 2CD): [r]: B+(*)
  • Sunny Sweeney: Trophy (2017, Aunt Daddy): [r]: B+(***)
  • Teenage Fanclub: Here (2016, Merge): [r]: B-
  • Michael Zilber: Originals for the Originals (2016 [2017], Origin): [cd]: B+(**)

Old music rated this week:

  • Swans: Public Castration Is a Good Idea (1986 [1999], Thirsty Ear): [r]: B
  • Peter Van Huffel/Michael Bates/Jeff Davis: Boom Crane (2013 [2014], Fresh Sound New Talent): [r]: B+(**)


Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra: Invitation (OA2)
  • Tom Dempsey/Tim Ferguson Quartet: Waltz New (OA2)
  • Oscar Hernández & Alma Libre: The Art of Latin Jazz (Origin)
  • The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra: The Music of John Lewis (Blue Engine): March 24
  • Matt Otto With Ensemble Ibérica: Ibérica (Origin)
  • Trio 3: Visiting Texture (Intakt)
  • Trio Heinz Herbert: The Willisau Concert (Intakt)