September 8, 2013

Playlist Week of 2013-09-07


* Boulez: Le Marteau sans maître/Dérive 1 & 2 (Ens. Intercontemporain/Boulez) (DG CD)
* Boulez: Repons, etc. (Ens. Intercontemporain/Damiens/Boulez) (DG CD)
* Boulez: Pli Selon Pli (Ens. Intercontemporain/Schäfer/Boulez) (DG CD)
* Miles Davis: Amandla (Warner Bros. LP)
* Sun Ra: The Second Stop Is Jupiter (Norton CD)
* Sun Ra: The Nubians Of Plutonia (El Saturn/Universal LP)
* Sun Ra: Night Of The Purple Moon (El Saturn/Universal LP)
* Sun Ra: Universe In Blue (El Saturn/Universal LP)
* Herbie Hancock, et al.: Blow-Up (Original Soundtrack) (MGM/4MWB LP)
* Herbie Hancock: Death Wish (Original Soundtrack) (Columbia LP)
* Andrew Hill: Pax (Blue Note CD)
* Andrew Hill: Compulsion!!!!! (Blue Note CD)
* Marion Brown: Vista (Impulse! LP)
* Lenny White: Venusian Summer (Nemperor/Atlantic LP)
* Joanne Brackeen: Keyed In (Columbia LP)
* Joanne Brackeen: Special Identity (Antilles LP)
* Gateway (John Abercrombie/Dave Holland/Jack DeJohnette: Gateway (ECM LP)
* John Abercrombie: Cat ‘n’ Mouse (ECM CD)
* Terje Rypdal/Miroslav Vitous/Jack DeJohnette (ECM LP)
* Steve Kuhn: Non-Fiction (ECM LP)
* Joey Baron: Just Listen (Relative Pitch CD)
* Book of Three (T.H. Bynum/J. Hebert/G. Cleaver): Continuum (2012) (Relative Pitch CD)
* Mary Halvorson/Kirk Knuffke/Matt Wilson: Sifter (Relative Pitch CD)
* Chris Abrahams & Magda Mayas: Gardener (Relative Pitch CD)
* Chris Forsyth: Solar Motel (Paradise of Bachelors MP3)†
* Michael Jackson: Off The Wall (Epic LP)
* Mandrill: Mandrill (Polydor LP)
* Ghetto Brothers: Power Fuerza (Truth & Soul LP)
* Notorious B.I.G.: Ready To Die (Bad Boy/Rhino 2LP)
* Frank Ocean: Channel Orange (Island Def Jam CD)
* The Beatles: Rubber Soul (1987 remix) (2009 remaster) (Apple/EMI CD)
* Jerry Garcia Band: Coliseum, Hampton, VA 1991-11-09 (Pure Jerry 2HDCD)
* The Moody Blues: In Search Of The Lost Chord (Deram LP)
* The Moody Blues: To Our Childrens Childrens Children (Threshold/London LP)
* Gentle Giant: Octopus (Vertigo/Alucard CD)
* Bill Bruford: Earthworks (Editions EG LP)
* Steve Hackett: Please Don’t Touch (Chrysalis LP)
* Anthony Phillips: The Geese & The Ghost (Passport LP)
* Brand X: Unorthodox Behavior (Passport LP)
* Happy The Man: Crafty Hands (Arista LP)
* Happy The Man: Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. 1975-10-30 (FM CDR)
* Happy The Man: Baltimore State University 1976-04-03 (SBD 2CDR)
* Happy The Man: Rainbow’s End, Williamsburg, VA 1977-04-24b (FM CDR)
* Boston: Boston (Epic LP)
* Boston: Don’t Look Back (Epic LP)
* Boston: Third Stage (MCA LP)
* Dereck Higgins: Sonospheres (DVH Recordings/Bandcamp ALAC)†
* Amorphous Androgynous: Tales of Ephidrina (Astralwerks/Caroline CD)†/‡
* U.S. Maple: Sang Phat Editor (Skin Graft LP)
* U.S. Maple: Talker (Drag City LP)
* Baroness: Red Album (Relapse 2-45RPM LP)
* Alcest: Ecailles de Lune (Prophecy Productions CD)†/‡
* Locrian: Return To Annihilation (Relapse 2-45RPM LP)
* Verma: Coltan (Trouble In Mind LP)



The upstart avant-jazz label, Relative Pitch Records, continues to crank out interesting releases at a furious pace and all of them are well worth checking out. Here’s a quick overview of the label’s offerings so far this year:

·       Joey Baron: Just Listen (RPR 001): Drums and guitar duets with Bill Frisell, recorded live at Forum Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, Germany on November 11, 2008. Taken from videotape recording, the sonics are a bit thin but otherwise quite nice, with a spacious, wide-angle ambience. Of course, neither of these guys need any introduction, both of them universally acclaimed masters of their instruments—but those who prefer to hear Frisell in a looser, more improvisational setting (a la his early ECM records) will definitely want to pick this up.

·       Chris Abrahams & Magda Mayas: Gardener (RPR 1011). Abrahams, from the Australian avant-rock band, The Necks, teams up here with Berlin-based pianist Mayas for a series of improvised keyboard duets, recorded in 2009. Moving between piano, harpsichord and harmonium, the musicians create a variety of interweaving textures, from droning calm to prickly pointillism, all the while maintaining a near-mystical sense of purposefulness as the tracks seamlessly flow together. An exquisitely crafted album of contemplative, spiritual chamber music, composed in the moment of creation, Gardener is s record which rewards multiple, deep listenings. Most highly recommended!

·       Book of Three: Continuum (2012) (RPR 1012). An ad hoc all-star ensemble of cornettist Taylor Ho Bynum, bassist John Hebert and Gerald Cleaver on drums, this finds Bynum playing in a slightly more straightforward jazz setting than usual—and the results are stunning. Playing both composed pieces and free improvisations, the set flows together beautifully, with everyone at the top of his game. Even though it was recorded in a studio, this CD burns with a focus and intensity usually found only in a live performance. The Don Cherry influence is palpablebut that is a good thing and partly what makes this CD so compelling (the rest lies in the killer rhythm section). Continuum (2012) is one of the most approachable and downright enjoyable recordings in Bynum’s ever-growing discography and, therefore, totally essential.

·       Mary Halvorson/Kirk Knuffke/Matt Wilson: Sifter (RPR 1014). Anything with Mary Halvorson’s guitar on it is a must-have, in my opinionbut, to be honest, this one doesn’t quite work for me. A mostly swinging affair, the lack of a bassist cramps her style a bit, leaving her to hold down the low end while also providing the harmonic territories. So, when she solos, the bottom seems to drop out of the music. Nevertheless, Knuffke has a warm, burnished tone on trumpet, with a fluid, post-bop sensibility that meshes well with Halvorson’s spidery guitar work and Wilson’s tasteful drumming. Add, say, John Hebert on bass and this one could have really taken flight—but, as it is, Sifter remains frustratingly earthbound. Even so, Knuffke is a player to keep an eye on and Halvorson’s undeniable brilliance makes this worth having.

These are all available directly from the label or at discriminating online outlets like Downtown Music Gallery and Squidco. I can’t wait to hear what they put out next!

1 comment:

Sam said...

The music just keeps on happening!

Here are my lists from last week:

Playlist 2013-09-09:

*Anthony Braxton Ensemble: 1995-02-09 Tri-Centric Festival, NYC (CDR) disc 2
*Anthony Braxton Ghost Trance Ensemble: 2000-08-01 Lisbon (CDR)
*Miles Davis: Rare Miles (CDR compilation) disc 3 [1952-1955]
*Miles Davis: Volume 1 [Blue Note]
*Miles Davis: Volume 2 [Blue Note]
*Miles Davis: Chronicle: The Complete Prestige Recordings 1951-1956 (discs 1, 2)
*Charles Mingus: The Jazz Workshop Concerts 1964-65 (discs 1-6)
*Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble: Memory/Vision
*Wadada Leo Smith: Ten Freedom Summers (discs 1, 2)
*Beach Boys: SMiLE (Fast Eddie’s 2004 Reconstruction)
*Beach Boys: Sunflower (side 1)
*Beach Boys: Made in California (discs 1-5)
*Fireman: Electric Arguments
*Grateful Dead: Dick's Picks 7 (1974-10 London) selections
*Mutiny: Mutiny on the Mamaship
*Candi Staton: Candi Staton
*Mary Wells: Something New: Motown Lost & Found (disc 1)

Reading List 2013-09-09:

*Nutting, Alissa. Tampa (started)
*Shakespeare, William. The Tempest (Arden ed., 3rd series, ed. Vaughan & Vaughan) (reread/started)
*Fleming, Ian. The Man with the Golden Gun (reread/started/finished)
*Fleming, Ian. You Only Live Twice (reread/started/finished)
*Fleming, Ian. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (reread/finished)
*Shakespeare, William. The Tempest (Arden ed., 2nd series, ed. Frank Kermode) (reread/finished)
*Hyde, Lewis. Common as Air (in progress)
*Ryan, Kevin, and Brian Kehew. Recording the Beatles (in progress)
*Weldon, Michael J. Psychotronic Video Guide (in progress)