Monday, January 15, 2018


Music Week

Music: Current count 29181 [29150] rated (+31), 367 [368] unrated (-1).

Initial calculation came out at 24 new ratings, surprisingly low. Still, the list below only comes to 26. I looked through the unrated list and found the discrepancies, plus a few others, nudging me over the thirty mark. That should have been easy given the weather and the availability of EOY lists suggesting things to check out. Still, main reason I didn't get more done was the Danny Fox Trio album, which I must have listened to 7-8 times. Came out pretty much as I surmised from the first play, but I couldn't come up with anything to write -- indeed, I don't seem to have any vocabulary to describe what I was hearing. Very frustrating.

Also must have played Gregory Lewis at least five times -- a surprise, but I noticed several critics jumped the gun and listed this 2018 release on their 2017 Jazz Critics Poll ballots. One record with some upside potential that only got two plays was Big K.R.I.T.'s double: I concluded, as far as I got, that first disc is A-, but second falls a bit short.

One thing I could use some help on is proofreading updates to Robert Christgau's CG database. All of the reviews from January through June 2017 are here (please excuse the style sheet confusion). I'll add a second batch when I get it entered. Christgau is writing a Pazz & Jop piece for the Village Voice this year. Not sure when that's going to be posted, but he expressed a desire that I get his reviews up by then. (Probably won't happen this week, but odds are much better for next.) Main things to look out for are missing italics and elided words -- for technical reasons the things I'm most likely to screw up.

I'm still fiddling with my EOY Aggregate file. It should correlate somewhat well with the Pazz & Jop results, but retains a relative (but not very significant) UK bias, and has a distortion that raised three Expert Witness favorites into the top twenty (Jason Isbell, Jens Lekman, Waxahatchee). I went back and spent more time on several Christgau favorites, resulting in two upgrades (Isbell, Princess Nokia), though I couldn't quite see adding them to my still short non-jazz A-list.


New records rated this week:

  • Big K.R.I.T.: 4Eva Is a Mighty Long Time (2017, Multi Alumni/BMG, 2CD): [r]: B+(***)
  • Anouar Brahem: Blue Margins (2017, ECM): [r]: B+(**)
  • Daniel Caesar: Freudian (2017, Golden Child): [r]: B+(*)
  • CunninLynguists: Rose Azura Njano (2017, A Piece of Strange Music/RBC): [r]: B+(**)
  • CupcakKe: Ephorize (2018, self-released): [r]: B+(***)
  • Eminem: Revival (2017, Aftermath/Shady/Interscope): [r]: A-
  • Danny Fox Trio: The Great Nostalgist (2016 [2018], Hot Cup): [cd]: B+(***)
  • Ghostpoet: Dark Days + Canapes (2017, Play It Again Sam): [r]: B+(**)
  • Ishmael Ensemble: Songs for Knotty (2017, Banoffee Pies, EP): [r]: B
  • Kondi Band: Salone (2017, Strut): [r]: B+(***)
  • Gregory Lewis: Organ Monk Blue (2017 [2018], self-released): [cd]: A-
  • Lil Uzi Vert: Luv Is Rage 2 (2017, Atlantic): [r]: B+(*)
  • Roc Marciano: Rosebudd's Revenge (2017, Quality Control/300/Atlantic): [r]: B+(**)
  • JD McPherson: Undivided Heart & Soul (2017, New West): [r]: B+(*)
  • Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band: Front Porch Sessions (2017, Family Owned): [r]: B+(**)
  • Portico Quartet: Art in the Age of Automation (2017, Gondwana): [r]: B+(**)
  • Dan Pugach Nonet: Plus One (2017 [2018], Unit): [cd]: B-
  • Steve Slagle: Dedication (2017 [2018], Panorama): [cd]: B+(***)
  • Mavis Staples: If All I Was Was Black (2017, Anti-): [r]: B+(***)
  • David Virelles: Gnosis (2016 [2017], ECM): [r]: B+(*)
  • Mark Wade Trio: Moving Day (2017 [2018], self-released): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Wiki: No Mountains in Manhattan (2017, XL): [r]: B+(**)

Recent reissues, compilations, and vault discoveries rated this week:

  • Otim Alpha: Gulu City Anthems (2004-15 [2017], Nyege Nyege): [bc]: B
  • Willie Nelson: Willie's Stash Vol 2: Willie Nelson and the Boys (2011-12 [2017], Legacy): [r]: B+(*)
  • Hermeto Pascoal & Grupo Vice Versa: Viajando Com O Som: The Lost 1976 Vice Versa Studio Sessions (1976 [2017], Far Out): [r]: B+(**)
  • Soul of a Nation: Afro-Centric Visions in the Age of Black Power: Underground Jazz Street Funk & the Roots of Rap 1968-79 (1968-79 [2017], Soul Jazz): [r]: B+(*)


Grade (or other) changes:

  • Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit: The Nashville Sound (2017, Southeastern): [r]: [was B+(**)] B+(***)
  • Princess Nokia: 1992 Deluxe (2017, Rough Trade): [r]: [was B] B+(***)


Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • Dawn Clement: Tandem (Origin): January 19
  • George Cotsirilos Quartet: Mostly in Blue (OA2): January 19
  • Kate McGarry/Keith Ganz/Gary Versace: The Subject Tonight Is Love (Binxtown)
  • Leslie Pintchik: You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl! (Pintch Hard): February 23
  • Margo Rey: The Roots of Rey/Despacito Margo (Origin): January 19
  • Edgar Steinitz: Roots Unknown (OA2)
  • Kevin Sun: Trio (Ectomorph Music): February 2
  • Thiefs: Graft (Le Greffe) (Jazz & People)
  • Michael Waldrop: Origin Suite (Origin): January 19