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Monday, March 29, 2021

Music Week

Expanded blog post, March archive (in progress).

Music: Current count 35141 [35113] rated (+28), 212 [218] unrated (-6).

Very little I feel like adding here. Rated count is down. I blame that Peter Stampfel monstrosity, but I probably would have made up the loss had I gotten onto an archive kick. New A-list this week is marginal, but at least it's all 2021 releases. And while I don't feel very certain about Lana Del Rey, I did play it four times, so I figure I gave it plenty of chance. Stampfel only got one play, as did the live doubles from Neil Young and Charles Lloyd.

Life remains stubbornly stuck. Wrote a bit in my memoir, but not much. Spent a little more time collecting bits for a book roundup. I'll probably post that mid-week.


New records reviewed this week:

  • Nik Bärtsch: Entendre (2019 [2021], ECM): [r]: B+(**)
  • Lana Del Rey: Chemtrails Over the Country Club (2021, Polydor/Interscope): [r]: B+(**)
  • Floating Points/Pharoah Sanders & the London Symphony Orchestra: Promises (2021, Luaka Bop): [bc]: B+(**)
  • Amit Friedman: Unconditional Love (2018 [2021], Origin): [cd]: B
  • Ghetts: Conflict of Interest (2021, Warner): [r]: B+(*)
  • Barry Guy: Irvin's Comet (2019 [2020], NoBusiness): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Chris Hopkins: Meets the Jazz Kangaroos: Live! Vol. 1 (2020, Echoes of Swing): [r]: B+(**)
  • Jonathan Kane and Dave Soldier: February Meets Soldier String Quartet (2020 [2021], EEG): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Achim Kaufmann/Ignaz Schick: Altered Alchemy (2016 [2021], Zarek, 2CD): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Mark Lewis Quartet: Naked Animals (2019-20 [2021], Audio Daddio): [cd]: B+(*) [04-02]
  • Loretta Lynn: Still Woman Enough (2007-20 [2021], Legacy): [r]: A-
  • Magnet Animals: Fake Dudes (2020 [2021], RareNoise): [cdr]: A-
  • Mai-Liis: Mai-Liis on Life (2019-20 [2021], OA2): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Wu Man/Kojiro Umezaki: How (2019 [2021], In a Circle): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Ben Patterson: Push the Limits (2020 [2021], Origin): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Ignaz Schick/Oliver Steidle: Ilog2 (2020 [2021], Zarek): [cd]: A-
  • Peter Stampfel: Peter Stampfel's 20th Century in 100 Songs (2021, Louisiana Red Hot): [bc]: B+(**)

Recent reissues, compilations, and vault discoveries:

  • Edo Funk Explosion Vol. 1 (1980-85 [2021], Analog Africa): [r]: B+(**)
  • Allen Ginsberg's The Fall of America: A 50th Anniversary Musical Tribute (2021, Ginsberg): [r]: B+(**)
  • La Ola Interior: Spanish Ambient & Acid Exoticism 1983-1990 (1983-90 [2021], Bongo Joe): [bc]: B+(*)
  • Charles Lloyd Quartet: Montreux Jazz Festival 1967 [Swiss Radio Days Volume 46] (1967 [2019], TCB, 2CD): [r]: B+(**)
  • Now That's What I Call Music! Outlaw Country (1968-2015 [2021], NOW): [r]: B+(***)
  • Joe Strummer: Assembly (1986-2002 [2021], Dark Horse): [r]: B+(**)
  • Neil Young With Crazy Horse: Way Down in the Rust Bucket (1990 [2021], Reprise, 2CD): [r]: B+(**)

Old music:

  • Allen Ginsberg: Songs of Innocene and Experience (1970, MGM/Verve Forecast): [r]: B+(***)
  • Allen Ginsberg: The Complete Songs of Innocence and Experience (1970 [2017], Omnivore, 2CD): [r]: B+(**)
  • A Love Electric: Son of a Hero (2014, Ropeadope): [r]: B
  • A Love Electric: Permanent Immigrant (2020, Imagination Demand): [r]: B+(*)


Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • Rahsaan Barber: Mosaic (2020 [2021], Jazz Music City, 2CD) [04-09]
  • Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas: Soundprints: Other Worlds (Greenleaf Music) [05-07]
  • Jacques Schwarz-Bart: Soné Ka-La 2: Odyssey (Enja) [05-21]
  • Natsuki Tamura/Satoko Fujii: Keshin (Libra) [04-09]

Monday, March 22, 2021

Music Week

Expanded blog post, March archive (final).

Music: Current count 35113 [35082] rated (+31), 218 [223] unrated (-5).

More old music than new, again. Probably too early to call that a trend, but the relative ease of processing familiar artists was the main thing that pushed the rated count above 30 this week. Old jazz this week. Started with a friendly link to Drums Parade, which might have rated higher had I given it more time, which would have happened if I had an actual CD to look at while it played. Some good stuff there, especially toward the end. That led to Sid Catlett and Baby Dodds. I might note that The Chronological Cozy Cole 1944 is even better than the Catlett. And the reminder that most of the trad jazz albums on American Music are on Napster pointed me to New Orleans clarinetist George Lewis. I also thought I'd check out Joe Chambers' back catalog after not liking his new album, and didn't much care for the old ones either. Oh, well.

By the way, I counted up Chambers' Blue Note albums for the review below, but held back from noting my guess of how many A-list albums he was on. It think that guess was 10-12, but when I checked, famous albums by Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Sam Rivers, Wayne Shorter, and McCoy Tyner fell short. Here's the actual list (all A-):

  • Andrew Hill: Andrew!!! (1964, Blue Note)
  • Andrew Hill: Compulsion!!!!! (1965, Blue Note)
  • Bobby Hutcherson: Dialogue (1965, Blue Note)
  • Bobby Hutcherson: Happenings (1966, Blue Note)
  • Bobby Hutcherson: Oblique (1967, Blue Note)
  • Archie Shepp: Fire Music (1965, Impulse!)
  • Archie Shepp: Kwanza (1969, Impulse!)

Since I'm no longer tracking new releases, I'm having some trouble finding new things I want to listen to. Some records below come from Phil Overeem, who seems to be struggling a bit himself. I doubt I'll ever manage the 7-CD Julius Hemphill box, or for that matter William Parker's 10-CD Migration of Silence Into and Out of the Tone World. (I have a promo sampler of the latter, and haven't bothered to play it yet.) More likely I will check out Peter Stampfel's 20th Century in 100 Songs, as it seems to be complete on Bandcamp (minus the "88 pages of liner notes," which is likely to make a difference).

Laura's been bugging me to stream movies, especially ones that got nominated for awards. I haven't been enjoying them much, but as best I can recall, here's a graded list, consulting the Wikipedia list (also for 2021), plus a few titles I picked up from IndieWire's "50 Best Movies":

  • Bacurau: Kleber Mendonça/Juliano Dornelles, Brazil's wild, wild east. [B+]
  • Da 5 Bloods: Spike Lee rips off Vietnam. [B-]
  • The Dig: Simon Stone, digs up an ancient ship. [B+]
  • Enola Holmes: Harry Bradbeer invents a sister for Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes. [B+]
  • Judas and the Black Messiah: Shaka King, on Fred Hampton. [B+]
  • Ma Rainey's Black Bottom: George C Wolfe does August Wilson's play. [C+]
  • Mank: David Fincher, on Herman Mankiewicz, on William Randolph Hearst (and Louis B Mayer). [B+]
  • Nomadland: Chloé Zhao, on getting away from it all. [B]
  • Promising Young Woman: Emerald Fennell, revenge the hard way. [B+]
  • Small Axe: Mangrove: Steve McQueen, the trial. [B+]
  • Small Axe: Lovers Rock: Steve McQueen, the party. [B+]
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7: Aaron Sorkin doesn't totally screw up the trial of the century. [B+]
  • The United States vs. Billie Holiday: Lee Daniels. [B]

The Small Axe movies might deserve higher ratings, but they're very different, and I hedged because we didn't bother with the other three. Collectively, they're more like a limited series, which would move them into another, and more competitive, set. We haven't been to the movie theater since Bill Warren sold out his local chain (roughly a year before Covid-19 shut it down), in large part because my patience for 2-hour movies has worn thin. We watch a fair number of TV series, and I'm much happier with their pacing, character development, and story telling.

I don't have any opinions on actors, except that Amanda Seyfried was good in Mank, and Gary Oldman wasn't. Note no less than three appearances for America's nemesis, J Herbert Hoover, and they were all merciless. The music films bothered me in lots of ways, but rarely for their music -- one minor exception was how Audra Day mastered Billie Holiday's tics but missed the seamless phrasing that made them seem natural. I also didn't like the treatment of Lester Young, who has a story worth exploring on its own (although hopefully not by anyone so ham-fisted). (By the way, neither point figures in Nitish Pahwa's What's fact and what's fiction in The United States vs. Billie Holiday, but if you watch the film, you'll be wondering.)

I feel a bit weird about not writing Weekend Roundup any more, as my Sundays have become days of rest instead of intense pressure in such a sisyphean task. Every now and then I think of writing a standalone piece, but only pulled it off once so far. One idea that appears to have rotted on the shelf was a piece torching Keith C Burris' Two cults column. I'm not sure which is worse: the notion that because the right-wing has become a cult, anything on the left must be equally cultish; or that George Will and Barry Goldwater somehow constitute the vital center of American political thought.

On the other hand, I did finally knuckle down and write a couple pages for my memoir. Not much, but a step toward restarting after February's freeze up. Also, I got my second Covid-19 vaccination last week. Still have a couple weeks until Laura gets her second. After which I hope to cook something for some long-neglected friends. I won't claim that's a return to normal, but seems like a step in the right direction.


New records reviewed this week:

  • Joe Chambers: Samba De Marcatu (2020 [2021], Blue Note): [r]: B
  • Charley Crockett: 10 for Slim: Charley Crockett Sings James Hand (2021, Son of Davy): [r]: B+(**)
  • Rebecca Dumaine and the Dave Miller Trio: Someday, Someday (2020 [2021], Summit): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Michael and Peter Formanek: Dyads (2019 [2021], Out of Your Head): [cd]: A-
  • George Haslam/João Madeira/Padro Catello Lopes/Mario Rua: Ajuda (2019 [2020], Slam): [cd]: B+(***)
  • Marcus Joseph: Beyond the Dome (2021, Jazz Re:freshed): [bc]: B
  • Reza Khan: Imaginary Road (2020 [2021], Painted Music): [cd]: B- [03-26]
  • João Madeira/Hernâni Faustino: dB Duet (2020 [2021], FMR): [cd]: B+(***)
  • Roberto Magris & Eric Hochberg: Shuffling Ivories (2019 [2021], JMood): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Logan Richardson: Afrofuturism (2020, WAX Industry): [bc]: B
  • Schapiro 17: Human Qualities (2020 [2021], Summit): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Zoe Scott: Shades of Love (2020, Zoe Scott Music): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Archie Shepp & Jason Moran: Let My People Go (2017-18 [2021], Archieball): [bc]: B+(***)
  • Ruth Weiss: We Are Sparks in the Universe to Our Own Fire (2018 [2021], Edgetone): [cd]: A-

Recent reissues, compilations, and vault discoveries:

  • Emmylou Harris and the Hot Band: Hot Night in Roslyn: 1976 Radio Broadcast Recording (1976 [2021], Hobo): [r]: B+(***)
  • Juju: Live at 131 Prince Street (1973 [2021], Strut): [bc]: A-
  • Byard Lancaster: My Pure Joy (1992 [2021], Strut): [bc]: B+(***)

Old music:

  • Sid Catlett: The Chronological Sid Catlett 1944-1946 (1944-46 [1997], Classics): [yt]: A-
  • Joe Chambers: The Almoravid (1971-73 [1974], Muse): [r]: B
  • Joe Chambers: Phantom of the City (1991 [1992], Candid): [r]: B+(*)
  • Joe Chambers: Mirrors (1998 [1999], Blue Note): [r]: B+(*)
  • Baby Dodds: Baby Dodds (1944-45 [1993], American Music): [r]: B+(*)
  • Baby Dodds: Jazz A' La Creole (1946-47 [2000], GHB): [yt]: B+(***)
  • Drums Parade: From New Orleans to Swing 1937/1945 (1937-45 [1997], Jazz Archives): [yt]: B+(***)
  • George Lewis: George Lewis and His New Orleans Stompers: Vol. 1 (1943 [1994], American Music): [r]: B+(***)
  • George Lewis: George Lewis and His New Orleans Stompers: Vol. 2 (1943 [1994], American Music): [r]: B+(***)
  • George Lewis: At Manny's Tavern 1949 (1949 [1994], American Music): [r]: B+(***)
  • George Lewis: Hello Central . . . Give Me Doctor Jazz (1953 [2001], Delmark): [r]: B+(**)
  • George Lewis: The Beverly Caverns Sessions, Vol. 2 (1953 [1996], Good Time Jazz): [r]: A-
  • George Lewis With George Guesnon's New Orleans Band: Endless the Trek, Endless the Search (1962 [1997], American Music): [r]: A-
  • George Lewis: At Castle Farm 1964 (1964 [2001], Amerian Music): [r]: B+(**)


Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • Hennessy Six/Colorado Springs Youth Symphony: The Road Less Traveled (Summit)
  • Joseph Howell Quartet: Live in Japan (Summit)
  • Dan Rose: Last Night . . . (Ride Symbol)
  • Dan Rose/Claudine Francois: New Leaves (Ride Symbol)

Monday, March 15, 2021

Music Week

Expanded blog post, March archive (in progress).

Music: Current count 35082 [35047] rated (+35), 223 [228] unrated (-5).

Music Week is mostly a function of time, so I should be able to knock these out every Monday, as long as I spend any time listening to new or previously unrated music. That habit persists, although I'm not working nearly as hard at searching out new records. Indeed, I only rarely bother to add things to the tracking file, and I'm not following metacritic ratings at all. In theory, this gives me more time to work on other projects, but that hasn't worked out very well so far. I did finally write a possible first page for the memoir, but even after turning the lines over in my mind for weeks, I have no feel for how good or bad it is.

Seems like I don't have much feel for anything these days. Life's a chore, making it all the harder to get anything done. Took me 30 minutes tonight just to change a light bulb. (Curses on whoever invented G10 sockets! Next time a bulb burns out, I'm replacing the fixture -- and the dimmer, because it won't work with new fixtures.) Still have to do laundry tonight, and the dryer door latch is broken, so that'll be a lot more work than it should be. (Something else I need to fix, but have you ever tried ordering replacement parts?) And those are just among the little things.

Probably my fault that I don't have anything new I really recommend. (In Layers is probably the best of this week's jazz albums.) But the week hasn't been a complete waste. Still scrounging the bottom of the reggae barrel, and finding a few notable albums.


New records reviewed this week:

  • Baker's Brew: New Works (2020 [2021], Psychosomatic, 2CD): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Dan Blake: Da Fé (2019 [2020], Sunnyside): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Jakob Bro/Arve Henriksen/Jorge Rossy: Uma Elmo (2020 [2021], ECM): [r]: B
  • Ian Charleton Big Band: A Fresh Perspective (2020 [2021], none): [cd]: B+(***)
  • Pat Donaher: Occasionally (2020 [2021], none): [cd]: B+(**) [04-09]
  • Satoko Fujii: Hazuki: Piano Solo (2020 [2021], Libra): [cd]: B+(***) [03-19]
  • In Layers: Pliable (2018 [2020], FMR): [cd]: B+(***)
  • Lukas Ligeti: That Which Has Remaind . . . That Which Will Emerge . . . (2015 [2021], Col Legno): [cd]: B+(**) [03-26]
  • Hafez Modirzadeh: Facets (2018-19 [2021], Pi): [cd]: B+(***)
  • Ben Monder/Tony Malaby/Tom Rainey: Live at the 55 Bar (2020 [2021], Sunnyside): [r]: B+(***)
  • Gary Negbaur: You've Got to Be Carefully Taught (2020 [2021], BluJazz): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Reggie Quinerly: New York Nowhere (2020 [2021], Redefinition): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Jason Ringenberg: Rhinestoned (2021, Courageous Chicken): [r]: B+(**)
  • Charlie Sepúlveda: Charlie Sepülveda & the Turnaround (2020 [2021], HighNote): [cd]: B+(**) [03-26]
  • Jim Snidero: Live at the Deer Head Inn (2020 [2021], Savant): [cd]: B+(**) [03-26]
  • Steve Swell: The Center Will Hold (2019 [2020], Not Two): [r]: B+(***)

Recent reissues, compilations, and vault discoveries:

  • Derek Baiey/Mototeru Takagi: Live at FarOut, Atsugi 1987 (1987 [2020], NoBusiness): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Irene Mawela: the Best of the SABC Years (1982-88 [2019], Umsakazo): [r]: B+(***)

Old music:

  • Bob Andy: Bob Andy's Songbook (1966-68 [1970], Studio One): [r]: A-
  • Ken Boothe: Mr. Rock Steady (1968, Studio One): [r]: B+(**)
  • Dillinger: CB 200 (1976, Mango): [yt]: A-
  • Don Drummond: Jazz Ska Attack 1964 (1964 [1999], Jet Set): [r]: B+(**)
  • Clancy Eccles: Freedom: The Anthology (1967-73 [2005], Trojan, 2CD): [r]: B+(*)
  • Alton Ellis: The Best of Alton Ellis (1968-69 [1969], Studio One): [bc]: B+(**)
  • The Maytals: Never Grow Old: Presenting the Maytals (1962-63 [1997], Heartbeat): [r]: B+(***)
  • Jackie Mittoo: Now (1970, Studio One): [bc]: B+(**)
  • Scientist: Scientist Meets the Space Invaders (1981, Greensleeves): [r]: B+(***)
  • Scientist: Scientist Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires (1981, Greensleeves): [r]: A-
  • Scientist: Scientist Encounters Pac-Man (1982, Greensleeves): [r]: B+(**)
  • Scientist: Scientist Wins the World Cup (1982 [2002], Greensleeves): [r]: B+(**)
  • Scientist/Hempress Sativa: Scientist Meets Hempress Sativa in Dub (2018, Conquering Lion): [r]: B+(***)
  • Sizzla: Bobo Ashanti (2000, Greensleeves): [r]: B+(**)
  • Skatalites: Ska Authentic, Vol. 1 (1967, Studio One): [bc]: B+(**)
  • Skatalites: Ska Authentic, Volume 2 (1970, Studio One): [bc]: B+(***)


Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • Amit Friedman: Unconditional Love (Origin) [03-19]
  • Achim Kaufmann/Ignaz Schick: Altered Alchemy (Zarek)
  • Mark Lewis Quartet: Naked Animals (Audio Daddio) [04-02]
  • Mai-Liis: Mai-Liis on Life (OA2) [03-19]
  • Wu Man/Kojiro Umezaki: How (In a Circle)
  • Roberto Miranda's Home Music Ensemble: Live at Bing Theatre: Los Angeles, 1985 (Dark Tree)
  • Ben Patterson: Push the Limits (Origin) [03-19]
  • Ignaz Schick/Oliver Steidle: Ilog2 (Zarek)

Monday, March 08, 2021

Music Week

Expanded blog post, March archive (in progress).

Music: Current count 35047 [35005] rated (+42), 228 [236] unrated (-8).

Music Week is mostly a function of time, so I should be able to knock these out every Monday, as long as I spend any time listening to new or previously unrated music. That habit persists, although I'm not working nearly as hard at searching out new records. Indeed, I only rarely bother to add things to the tracking file, and I'm not following metacritic ratings at all. In theory, this gives me more time to work on other projects, but that hasn't worked out very well so far. I did finally write a possible first page for the memoir, but even after turning the lines over in my mind for weeks, I have no feel for how good or bad it is.

Seems like I don't have much feel for anything these days. Life's a chore, making it all the harder to get anything done. Took me 30 minutes tonight just to change a light bulb. (Curses on whoever invented G10 sockets! Next time a bulb burns out, I'm replacing the fixture -- and the dimmer, because it won't work with new fixtures.) Still have to do laundry tonight, and the dryer door latch is broken, so that'll be a lot more work than it should be. (Something else I need to fix, but have you ever tried ordering replacement parts?) And those are just among the little things.

Probably my fault that I don't have anything new I really recommend. (In Layers is probably the best of this week's jazz albums.) But the week hasn't been a complete waste. Still scrounging the bottom of the reggae barrel, and finding a few notable albums.


New records reviewed this week:

  • Albare: Albare Plays Jobim Vol. 2 (2020 [2021], Alfi): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Cowboys & Frenchmen: Our Highway (2020 [2021], Outside In Music): [cdr]: B+(*)
  • The Dynamic Les DeMerle Band Featuring Bonnie Eisele: Hot Night in Venice: Live at the Venice Jazz Club (2014 [2021], Origin): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Yelena Eckemoff: Adventures of the Wildflower (2019 [2021], L&H Production, 2CD): [cd]: B+(**) [03-19]
  • Elephant9: Arrival of the New Elders (2020 [2021], Rune Grammofon): [r]: B+(**)
  • Frank Gratkowski/Achim Kaufmann/Wilbert de Joode/Tony Buck: Flatbosc & Cautery (2018 [2020], NoBusiness): [cd]: A-
  • Doug MacDonald Duo: Toluca Lake Jazz (2020 [2021], Doug MacDonald Music): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Sana Nagano: Smashing Humans (2020 [2021], 577): [cd]: B+(***) [03-19]
  • Charlie Porter: Hindsight (2020 [2021], OA2): [cd]: B
  • Idit Shner: Live at the Jazz Station (2019 [2021], OA2): [cd]: B+(**)
  • John Stowell/Dan Dean: Rain Painting (2018-20 [2021], Origin): [cd]: B
  • Theo Walentiny: Looking Glass (2020 [2021], self-released): [cd]: B+(*) [04-02]
  • Chris White/Lara Driscoll: Firm Roots (2020 [2021], Firm Roots): [cd]: B+(**)

Recent reissues, compilations, and vault discoveries:

  • Don Cherry: Cherry Jam (1965 [2021], Gearbox, EP): [os]: B+(*)

Old music:

  • Big Youth: Dreadlocks Dread (1975, Klik): [yt]: B+(***)
  • Big Youth: Natty Cultural Dread (1976, Trojan): [r]: B
  • Big Youth: Hit the Road Jack (1976, Trojan): [yt]: B+(**)
  • Big Youth: Isaiah First Prophet of Old (1978, Negusa Nagast): [r]: B+(**)
  • Big Youth: Progress (1979, Negusa Nagast): [lp]: A-
  • Big Youth: A Reggae Collection (1973-80 [1992], Essex Entertainment): [cd]; A-
  • Big Youth: The Chanting Dread Inna Fine Style (1973-82 [1982], Heartbeat): [r]: B+(***)
  • Big Youth: Live at Reggae Sunsplash (1982 [1984], Sunsplash): [yt]: B+(**)
  • Big Youth: A Luta Continua (1984 [1985], Heartbeat): [r]: B+(**)
  • Big Youth: Manifestation (1988, Heartbeat): [r]: B+(*)
  • Big Youth: Higher Grounds (1995, VP): [r]: B+(*)
  • Dr. Alimantado: Best Dressed Chicken in Town (1973-76 [1978], Greensleeves): [yt]: B+(***)
  • Eek-a-Mouse: Wa-Do-Dem (1981 [1982], Greensleeves): [r]: B+(***)
  • Joe Gibbs & the Professionals: African Dub All-Mighty (1975, Joe Gibbs Record Globe): [r]: B+(***)
  • Joe Gibbs & the Professionals: African Dub All-Mighty Chapter 2 (1976, Joe Gibbs Record Globe): [r]: B+(***)
  • Joe Gibbs & the Professionals: African Dub All-Mighty Chapter 3 (1978, Joe Gibbs Record Globe): [r]: A-
  • Joe Gibbs & the Professionals: African Dub Chapter 4 (1979, Joe Gibbs Music): [r]: B+(**)
  • Joe Gibbs & the Professionals: African Dub Chapter Five (1984, Joe Gibbs Music): [r]: B+(**)
  • Marcia Griffiths: Naturally (1978, Shanahie): [r]: B+(**)
  • The Heptones: Cool Rasta (1976, Trojan): [r]: B+(*)
  • Bunny Wailer: Protest (1978, Island): [r]: B
  • Bunny Wailer: Struggle (1979, Solomonic): [yt]: A-
  • Bunny Wailer: Rock 'n' Groove (1981, Solomonic): [yt]: B+(***)
  • Bunny Wailer: Tribute (1981, Solomonic): [yt]: B+(**)
  • Bunny Wailer: Time Will Tell: A Tribute to Bob Marley (1981 [1990], Shanachie): [yt]: B+(***)
  • Bunny Wailer: Marketplace (1985, Shanachie): [yt]: B+(*)
  • Bunny Wailer: Liberation (1989, Shanachie): [yt]: B+(**)


Grade (or other) changes:

  • Bunny Wailer: Crucial! Roots Classics (1979-82 [1994], Shanachie): [cd]: [was: A] A+


Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • Jared Feinman: Love Is an Obstacle (West of Philly): [cdr]
  • Michael and Peter Formanek: Dyads (Out of Your Head)
  • George Haslam/João Madeira/Padro Catello Lopes/Mario Rua: Ajuda (Slam -20)
  • In Layers: Pliable (FMR -20)
  • João Madeira/Hernâni Faustino: dB Duet (FMR)
  • Roberto Magris & Eric Hochberg: Shuffling Ivories (JMood)
  • Gary Negbaur: You've Got to Be Carefully Taught (BluJazz)
  • Charlie Sepúlveda: Charlie Sepülveda & the Turnaround (HighNote) [03-26]
  • Jim Snidero: Live at the Deer Head Inn (Savant) [03-26]

Monday, March 01, 2021

Music Week

Expanded blog post, March archive (in progress).

Music: Current count 35005 [34967] rated (+38), 236 [249] unrated (-13).

Last week I speculated that I might nudge this week's Music Week up a day to fit it into February. Of course, it could have been that I was in no mood to wrap up February Streamnotes. (I certainly wasn't.) However, my post on Tom Cotton's Big Plan chewed up all my time on Sunday. Then it occurred to me that February was a wasted month anyway, so why not cut my losses and get a fresh start on March. It was easy enough to move this week's reviews forward. And I can still postpone the wrap up bookkeeping a few days, so no pressure there.

I did make a dent in the new CD queue this week, but still quite a lot to get to there. Admittedly, didn't find much I liked there. Also my attempts at streaming new non-jazz (Willie Nelson, The Hold Steady, Slowthai) were also disappointing, so my only solid recommendations below are old music. I started the week listening to more records by the late Jamaican toaster U-Roy (including two recommended by Clifford Ocheltree), then stumbled onto some more reggae I felt like playing. After floundering around a bit, I decided to look for an expert list, and found this one on Mojo: The 50 Greatest Reggae Albums. I'm not sure it's a very good list, but it gave me some ideas to follow up on. I feel like sticking with it for a while. My own interest in reggae started in the 1970s, when I got on Island's promo list (although I may have had some earlier). Over the years, I've listened to a fair amount (although there's plenty more I haven't gotten to).

The reggae albums were just the push I needed to lift the rated count over 35,000. I was surprised to see that happen this week, but it's a big, round number I've been closing in on, so was just a matter of time before I would hit it. Not something I have to think about any more.

One thing I am tempted to think about is Chuck Eddy's 150 Best Albums of 1976. That was the year before I moved to New York, when Don Malcolm and I were planning out Terminal Zone, when my view of the rock world was at its most idealistic. My years in New York were richer in life experiences, and probably in music, but 1976 was when I started to feel like I really knew something.

Worth noting that Eddy's top two records are probably mine as well: Have Moicy! and Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band. Also that at the time I used to figure I had to have at least one mainstream rock band in my top ten, and he has the year's two best: Blue Oyster Cult's Agents of Fortune (5) and Bob Seger's Night Moves (7). I can't imagine I'll ever warm to Aerosmith or Thin Lizzy or Boston or Crack the Sky or Heart, but I should track down some of his disco obscurities, especially as others are prominent on my list (and we share Silver Convention's Madhouse). Personal fave I'm surprised to see here is Michael Mantler's The Hapless Child and Other Inscrutable Stories (114).

Lawrence Ferlinghetti died last week, at 101. Seems like just yesterday we were touting his 101st birthday, so I'm still more in the mode of celebrating his life than mourning his death. There was a day (many decades ago) when I read a lot of poetry, and he was the North Star everyone else rotated around.


New records reviewed this week:

  • Franco Ambrosetti Band: Lost Within You (2020 [2021], Unit): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Emmet Cohen: Future Stride (2021, Mack Avenue): [r]: B+(**)
  • Randal Despommier: Dio C'è (2019 [2021], Outside In Music): [cd]: B
  • Yoav Eshed/Lex Korten/Massimo Biolcati/Jongkuk Kim: A Way Out (2019 [2021], Sounderscore): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Futari: Beyond (2019 [2021], Libra): [cd]: B+(*)
  • The Hold Steady: Open Door Policy (2021, Positive Jams): [r]: B+(**)
  • Ethan Iverson/Umbria Jazz Orchestra: Bud Powell in the 21st Century (2018 [2021], Sunnyside): [r]: B+(**)
  • Jazz Worms: Squirmin' (2017 [2021], Capri): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Andy LaVerne: Rhapsody (2021, SteepleChase): [r]: B+(**)
  • Johan Lindström Septett: On the Asylum (2020 [2021], Moserobie): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Shai Maestro: Human (2020 [2021], ECM): [r]: B+(*)
  • Meridian Odyssey: Second Wave (2020 [2021], Origin): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Willie Nelson: That's Life (2021, Legacy): [r]: B
  • Larry Newcomb Quartet: Love, Dad (2020 [2021], Essential Messenger): [cd]: B+(*)
  • Grete Skarpeid: Beyond Other Stories (2020 [2021], Origin): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Slowthai: Tyron (2021, Method): [r]: B+(*)
  • Yuma Uesaka/Cat Toren/Colin Hinton: Ocelot (2019 [2021], 577): [cd]: B+(***) [03-26]
  • Rodney Whitaker With the Christ Church Cranbrook Choir: Cranbrook Christmas Jazz (2020 [2021], Origin): [cd]: B
  • Greg Yasinitsky Yazz Band: New Normal (2019-20 [2021], Origin): [cd]: B

Recent reissues, compilations, and vault discoveries:

  • Hal Galper Quintet: Live at the Berlin Philharmonic 1977 (1977 [2021], Origin, 2CD): [cd]: B+(***)
  • Juozas Milasius/Tomas Kulavicius/Dalius Naujokaitis/Lithuanian Young Composers Orchestra: Live at Willisau, 1993 (1993 [2020], NoBusiness): [cd]: C+
  • Masauyki JoJo Takayanagi/Nobuyoshi Ino/Masabumi PUU Kikuchi: Live at Jazz Inn Lovely 1990 (1990 [2020], NoBusiness): [cd]: B+(**)

Old music:

  • Johnny Clarke: A Ruffer Version: Johnny Clarke at King Tubby's 1974-78 (1974-78 [2002], Trojan): [r]: B+(**)
  • Johnny Clarke: Dreader Dread 1976-1978 (1976-78 [1998], Blood & Fire): [r]: B+(***)
  • Phyllis Dillon: One Life to Live (1972, Trojan): [r]: B-
  • Mikey Dread: World War III (1980, Dread at the Controls): [r]: B+(***)
  • Mikey Dread: Pave the Way (1982, Heartbeat): [r]: B+(**)
  • Keith Hudson: Pick a Dub (1974 [1994], Blood & Fire): [r]: B+(**)
  • Keith Hudson: Rasta Communication (1978, Greensleeves): [r]: B+(**)
  • Prince Buster: Fabulous Greatest Hits (1964-68 [1968], Melodisc): [r]: A-
  • The Upsetters: Return to Django (1969, Trojan): [r]: B+(***)
  • The Upsetters: The Good, the Bad and the Upsetters (1970, Trojan): [r]: B+(***)
  • U-Roy: 30 Massive Shots From Treasure Isle (1970-74 [2009], Attack): [r]: B+(**)
  • U-Roy: Version of Wisdom (1971-74 [1990], Front Line/Virgin): [dl]: A-
  • U-Roy: The Lost Album: Right Time Rockers (1976 [1998], Sound System): [dl]: A-
  • U-Roy: Love Is Not a Gamble (1980, TR International): [r]: B+(***)
  • U-Roy: Serious Matter (1999, Tabou 1): [r]: B+(*)


Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • Magnet Animals: Fake Dudes (RareNoise): cdr [03-26]
  • Hafez Modirzadeh: Facets (Pi) [03-05]
  • Ruth Weiss: We Are Sparks in the Universe to Our Own Fire (Edgetone)


Daily Log

Started to put this 1976 list together (Eddy's ranking in brackets):

  1. Michael Hurley/Unholy Modal Rounders/Jeffrey Frederick & the Clamtones: Have Moicy! (Rounder) [1]
  2. Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band (RCA) [2]
  3. The Wild Tchoupitoulas (Island) [24]
  4. Parliament: The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein (Casablanca) [125]
  5. Blue Oyster Cult: Agents of Fortune (Columbia) [5]
  6. Michael Mantler/Robert Wyatt: The Hapless Child and Other Inscrutable Stories (Watt) [114]
  7. Ronnie Lane: One for the Road (Edsel) []
  8. Bootsy's Rubber Band: Stretchin' Out in Bootsy's Rubber Band (Warner Bros) []
  9. Bob Seger: Night Moves (Capitol) [7]
  10. Parliament: Mothership Connection (Casablanca) []
  11. Hot Chocolate: Man to Man (Big Tree) []
  12. Graham Parker: Howlin' Wind (Mercury) [89]
  13. Kate and Anna McGarrigle (Hannibal) [108]
  14. Kurt Weill: Threepenny Opera: Original Cast Recording -- New York Shakespeare Festival Production (Columbia) []
  15. Funkadelic: Hardcore Jollies (Warner Bros) [80]
  16. The Modern Lovers (Rhino) [28]
  17. George Jones: Alone Again (Epic)
  18. Anthony Braxton: Creative Orchestra Music 1976 (Arista)
  19. David Bowie: Station to Station (Virgin) [50]


Feb 2021