Tuesday, December 11, 2018


Music Week

Music: current count 30774 [30736] rated (+38), 259 [264] unrated (-5).

No Weekend Roundup this week. Sunday was the deadline for ballots for the 13th Annual Jazz Critics Poll, and I spent pretty much every waking hour collecting and compiling mail, checking details on records, and occasionally kicking back requests for clarification or changes -- main problem is the arbitrary 10-year cutoff date between new and historical music categories. Still counted a couple of stragglers today, giving us 137 ballots -- same as in 2017. I expect results to be published at NPR sometime next week, but don't know anything for sure. Presumably they'll let me know in time for me to set up the complete totals and individual ballots on my website. I still have some annotation to do, but everything is pretty well set up on my end. That means I should get back to normal shortly -- it's just that aside from JCP, nothing I had planned to do last week got done, so I'm starting from a hole.

I did wind up making one minor change to my JCP ballot (see last week): I dropped Nik Bärtsch's Ronin: Awase from 10th place on my new list and moved Martin Küchen & Landaeus Trio: Vinyl into its slot from the Reissues/Historical list (moving the following three records there up). Küchen's music dates from 2013-14, so doesn't qualify as historical given the 10-year rule. And I decided that it isn't really a reissue, even though the music was previously released on two vinyl LPs. This was their first appearance on CD, and it's not unusual for new records to go through changes from format to format. Seemed like the best answer for JCP, although I still have it Reissue/Historical in my own still-evolving EOY lists Jazz (also Non-Jazz). Both of those lists grew by 2 last week, so now are 55-49. Still, none of the new records came close to being ballot picks.

No incoming CDs last week, although I did get a couple packages this week, including new releases from NoBusiness in Lithuania. I don't think I've ever run the numbers before, but my impression has long been that close to half of my top-rated albums come from European artists (22/55 this year) and/or labels (25/55) -- not that I'm sure I'm counting either right. (Add one in both columns for Japan/Asia.)

I should also offer a link to the EOY Aggregate file. I was close to caught up a week ago, but since then I've fallen way behind -- lots of lists are coming out, and I've only counted a few. So I expect quite a bit of change as I catch up.


New records rated this week:

  • Albatre: The Fall of the Damned (2018, Shhpuma): [r]: B
  • Anguish: Anguish (2018, RareNoise): [cdr]: B+(**)
  • Lotte Anker/Pat Thomas/Ingebrigt Hĺker Flaten/Stĺle Liavik Solberg: His Flight's at Ten (2016 [2018], Iluso): [bc]: B+(**)
  • Kadhja Bonet: Childqueen (2018, Fat Possum): [r]: B-
  • Butcher Brown: Camden Session (2018, Gearbox): [r]: B+(*)
  • Carla Campopiano Trio: Chicago/Buenos Aires Connections (2018, self-released): [cd]: B
  • Guillermo Celano/Jachim Badenhorst/Marcos Baggiani: Lili & Marleen (2016 [2018], Clean Feed): [r]: B+(**)
  • Coyote Poets of the Universe: Strange Lullaby (2018, Square Shaped, 2CD): [cd]: A-
  • Dystil: Dystil (2017 [2018], Clean Feed): [r]: B+(*)
  • Satoko Fujii/Joe Fonda: Mizu (2018, Long Song): [bc]: B+(***)
  • The Goon Sax: We're Not Talking (2018, Wichita): [r]: A-
  • Guillermo Gregorio/Rafal Mazur/Ramón López: Wandering the Sounds (2018, Fundacja Sluchaj): [bc]: B+(***)
  • Barry Guy: Barry Guy @ 70: Blue Horizon: Live at Ad Libitum ()2017 [2018], Fundacja Sluchaj, 3CD): [bc]: A-
  • Eric Harland: 13th Floor (2018, 13th Floor): [r]: B+(*)
  • Stefon Harris + Blackout: Sonic Creed (2017 [2018], Motéma): [r]: B-
  • Ingrid Jensen/Steve Treseler: Invisible Sounds: For Kenny Wheeler (2018, Whirlwind): [r]: B+(***)
  • Jessice Lurie: Long Haul (2017, Chant): [r]: B+(**)
  • Masta Ace & Marco Polo: A Breukelen Story (2018, Fat Beats): [bc]: B+(***)
  • Wojtek Mazolewski Quintet: Polka (2018, Whirlwind): [r]: A-
  • Onyx Collective: Lower East Suite Part One (2017, Big Dada, EP): [r]: B+(*)
  • Onyx Collective: Lower East Suite Part One (2017, Big Dada, EP): [r]: B+(*)
  • Onyx Collective: Lower East Suite Part Three (2018, Big Dada): [r]: B+(***)
  • Chris Pitsiokos/Susana Santos Silva/Torbjörn Zetterberg: Child of Illusion (2017 [2018], Clean Feed): [r]: B+(*)
  • Rosalía: El Mal Querer (2018, Sony Music): [r]: B
  • Akira Sakata & Chikamorachi With Masahiko Satoh: Proton Pump (2015 [2018], Family Vineyard): [r]: B+(***)
  • Akira Sakata/Simon Nabatov/Takashi Seo/Darren Moore: Not Seeing Is a Flower (2017 [2018], Leo): [r]: B+(**)
  • Josh Sinton's Predicate Trio: Making Bones, Taking Draughts, Bearing Unstable Millstones Pridefully, Idiotically, Prosaically (2018, Iluso): [bc]: B+(**)
  • Tirzah: Devotion (2018, Domino): [r]: B+(**)
  • Turbamulta: Turbamulta (2018, Clean Feed): [r]: B+(*)
  • Chucho Valdés: Jazz Batá 2 (2018, Mack Avenue): [r]; B+(***)
  • Voicehandler: Light From Another Light (2017 [2018], Humbler): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Walking Distance: Freebird by Walking Distance feat. Jason Moran (2018, Sunnyside): [r]: B+(***)
  • Aida Bird Wolfe: Birdie (2018, self-released): [cd]: B+(***)
  • Z-Country Paradise: Live in Lisbon (2016 [2018], Leo): [r]: A-

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

  • Joan Jett: Bad Reputation [Music From the Original Motion Picture] (1976-2016 [2018], Legacy): [r]: A-
  • L7: Wireless (1992 [2016], Easy Action): [r]: B+(***)
  • L7: Fast and Frightening (1990-98 [2016], Easy Action, 2CD): [r]: B+(**)

Old music rated this week:

  • L7: Slap-Happy (1999, Bong Load): [r]: B+(**)


Unpacking: Found in the mail last week: no music albums, but let's list some recent music books:

  • Robert Christgau: Is It Still Good to Ya? Fifty Years of Rock Criticism 1967-2017 (paperback, 2018, Duke University Press)
  • John Corbett: Vinyl Freak: Love Letters to a Dying Medium (paperback, 2017, Duke University Press)
  • Tom Smucker: Why the Beachboys Matter (paperback, 2018, University of Texas Press)