Tuesday, January 30, 2018

New Release from Jimmy Ghaphery: Songs for Cosmos



Jimmy Ghaphery has a new audio release on Music Is Big Place: Songs for Cosmos. Music played mostly on poemophone, a kind of typewriter-based kalimba. Check it out!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Playlist, Week of 2018-01-28

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Wadada Leo Smith's new album Najwa is brilliant... great guitar-driven textures, and some of the best drumming I've ever heard from Pheeroan akLaff... much more high-energy out than anything else I've heard him do... I like Brandon Ross's playing in this context more than in Henry Threadgill's.... Henry Kaiser sounds right at home... Smith's trumpet, of course, towers over everything...

Playlist 2018-01-29:

*Beethoven: Piano Sonata/Mendelssohn/Liszt/Schubert (Paul Lewis)
*Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 (Romantic) (BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra)
*Fauré: Piano Quartet No. 1/Franck: Piano Quintet (Schubert Ensemble of London)
*Handel: Concerti Grossi Op. 3 Nos. 1 & 2/Chandos Anthems (Academy of Ancient Music)
*Haydn: Symphonies Nos. 6 & 8/Giuliani: Guitar Concerto No. 1 (Edoardo Catemario/Wiener Akademie)
*Haydn: Symphonies Nos. 77 & 76 (Academy of Ancient Music/Christopher Hogwood)
*Mozart: A Mozart Festival
*Saint-Saëns: Violin Concerto No. 3/Wienawski: Violin Concerto No. 2 (Itzhak Perlman/Orchestre de Paris)
*Xenakis: Synaphaï
*Muhal Richard Abrams: Song for All
*Derek Bailey: Standards
*Anthony Braxton: GTM (Outpost) 2003 (disc 2)
*Rodger Coleman/Sam Byrd: Unheard Voices "Waltzing with Adolph"
*Bill Dixon" Bill Dixon in Italy, Volume 1
*Barry Guy/London Jazz Composers' Orchestra: Portraits (disc 1)
*Matt Mitchell: A Pouting Grimace
*Roscoe Mitchell Discussions Orchestra: Discussions
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2018-01-15 "Slip Mixer Blend" (wav)
*Tom Rainey Trio: 2017-09-09 Jazz Gallery, NYC (wav) (disc 2)
*George Russell Sextet: 1964-07-03 Newport Jazz Festival
*Wadada Leo Smith: Najwa
*Tyshawn Sorey: The Inner Spectrum of Variables (disc 1)
*Tyshawn Sorey: Verisimilitude
*Sun Ra and His Solar Arkestra: The Magic City (Full Stereo Version)
*Cecil Taylor: The Tree of Life
*Henry Threadgill Zooid: This Brings Us To, Volume 1
*McCoy Tyner: Today and Tomorrow (selections)
*Carter Family: 1927-1934 (disc 2)
*Deerhoof: The Magic
*Deerhoof: I Thought We Were Friends (single/streaming)
*Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings (disc 30)
*Funkadelic: Reworked by Detroiters (disc 1)
*Various artists: Eccentric Soul: The Cash Label

Reading List, Week of 2018-01-28

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Reading List, Week of 2018-01-29:

*Sanderson, Brandon. Words of Radiance (started)
*Shakespeare Up Close: Reading Early Modern Texts (ed. Russ McDonald, Nicholas D. Nace, and Travis D. Williams) (started)
*Gombrich, E. H. A Little History of the World (transl. Caroline Mustill) (finished)
*Sanderson, Brandon. The Way of Kings (finished)
*Jackson, Holbrook. Anatomy of Bibliomania (in progress)

Monday, January 22, 2018

Playlist, Week of 2018-01-21



I have been particularly drawn to large-ensemble improvisational music for the last 20 or so years, fueled largely by the two CD-length pieces on Alms/Tiergarten (Spree) in Cecil Taylor's mammoth box set In Berlin '88 and by various Anthony Braxton compositions for large ensemble like Composition 96 and those on Eugene (1989)... some of the most invigorating and inspiring music in this area is the work by the Globe Unity Orchestra... standard disclaimers apply on the (sort of tired) teasing out of what's "composed" and what's "improvised"... what interests me is how various sub-groups and individuals alter and contrast textures and timbres against a backdrop of often free, unstructured rhythm... of course this activity is interesting with smaller groups as well (I experience this frequently myself, with New Ting Ting Loft), but I love the possibilities of how it can play out with a big group... my recent explorations of Barry Guy's music have been quite fruitful in this regard... Got a pile of super-cheap classical CDs at the library book sale, so I'll be working my way through them... Will get back deeper into Threadgill-land in a couple of weeks... Still absorbing the way-out music Rodger Coleman and I recorded in December... massive walls o' sound...

Playlist, Week of 2018-01-22:

*Bach: Brandenburg Concertos 1-4 (German Bach Soloists)
*Berg: Violin Concerto/Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht (BBC Symphony Orchestra)
*Messiaen: Turangalîla Symphony (BBC National Orchestra of Wales)
*Schubert: "Death and the Maiden" and "Rosamunde" Quartets (Endellion String Quartet)
*AMM: AMMMusic 1966
*Daniel Barbiero/Cristiano Bocci: Non-Places
*Anthony Braxton Quartet: Live at Moers Festival (sides 1, 2)
*Rodger Coleman and Sam Byrd: 2017-12-27 Nashville (wav)
*John Coltrane: The Major Works of John Coltrane (disc 2)
*Tomas Fujiwara: Triple Double
*Globe Unity Orchestra: Globe Unity ‘67 & ‘70
*Hutcherson, Bobby. Stick-Up!
*Music Improvisation Company: Music Improvisation Company
*Cecil Taylor: Conquistador!
*Deerhoof: Mountain Moves
*Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings (discs 25, 26, 27)
*Fable: 1978-09-25 Hopewell, VA (CDR)
*Oh Sees: Orc
*Tito Puente: The Complete 78s: Vol 3 (disc 2)
*Tito Puente: The Complete 78s: Vol. 4 (disc 1)
*Radiohead: OK Computer
*Frank Sinatra: In the Wee Small Hours
*Various artists: Eccentric Soul: The Deep City Label
*Various artists: Eccentric Soul: The Young Disciples
*Various artists: Nu Yorica! Culture Clash in New York City: Experiments in Latin Music 1970-77 (disc 2)
*XTC: Skylarking (The Surround Sound Series) (disc 2) (selections)
*Yes: 1975-02-16 Philadelphia (CDR) (disc 2)

Reading List, Week of 2018-01-21




At the end of every issue of Classics Illustrated, there was always this pronouncement: read the original. As a kid, I took this to heart with every Shakespeare Classics Illustrated comic I had (all of  them!), as well as many others, but I'd never gotten around to this, one of my favorite Classics comics. Well, of course, the original novel blows the comic out of the water... it turns out to have been one of the worst Classics adaptations ever (an early one, so not surprising). Anyway, The Moonstone is one hell of a novel, a real page-turner and quite ahead of its time, in both its portrayal of women and its sympathy for the Indian (ostensibly) "bad guys." Highly recommended!

Reading List, Week of 2018-01-22:

*Sanderson, Brandon. The Way of Kings (started)
*Vaughan, Brian K., and Fiona Staples. Saga, Volume 8 (started/finished)
*Collins, Wilkie. The Moonstone (finished)
*Gombrich, E. H. A Little History of the World (transl. Caroline Mustill) (in progress)
*Jackson, Holbrook. Anatomy of Bibliomania (in progress)

Monday, January 15, 2018

Reading List, Week of 2018-01-14

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Reading List, Week of 2018-01-15:

*Collins, Wilkie. The Moonstone (started)
*Middleton, Thomas, and Thomas Dekker. The Roaring Girl, or, Moll Cutpurse (finished)
*Sorrentino, Gilbert. The Moon in Its Flight: Stories (reread/finished)
*Gombrich, E. H. A Little History of the World (transl. Caroline Mustill) (in progress)
*Jackson, Holbrook. Anatomy of Bibliomania (in progress)

Playlist, Week of 2018-01-14

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Not much commentary this week... wanted to get back to Coltrane's Ascension, it'd been a while... listened to the first version this week, will get to the second next week... it still really holds up, and is just super... although it flags a little bit with the bass section... amazing that they didn't mention it at all in the latest documentary, but, really, why am I not surprised?... they would have had to cut out some Wynton Marsalis commentary to fit that in...

Playlist 2018-01-15:

*Mendelssohn/Bruch: Violin Concertos (Gil Shaham/Philharmonia Orchestra)
*Art Ensemble of Chicago: 1976-03-14 Philadelphia (CDR) (disc 3)
*Anthony Braxton: The Montreux/Berlin Concerts (side 1)
*Rodger Coleman: 2016-207 various solo pieces (.mp3)
*Rodger Coleman and Sam Byrd: 2017-12-27 Nashville (wav)
*John Coltrane: The Major Works of John Coltrane (disc 1)
*Ingrid Laubrock: 2017-06-05 Moers (CDR)
*New Orleans Rhythm Kings: New Orleans Rhythm Kings and Jelly Roll Morton
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2017-02-27 "Several Round Things" (wav)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2017-11-27: "All That Remains" (wav)
*Tyshawn Sorey: The Inner Spectrum of Variables (disc 2)
*Tyshawn Sorey: Verisimilitude
*Henry Threadgill Zooid: 2008-10-23 Gorizia, Italy (CDR)
*Henry Threadgill Zooid: 2008-10-25 Umeå, Sweden (CDR)
*Various artists: Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music vol. 4: Fourth a-chronology 1937-2005 (disc 2)
*Syd Barrett: The Madcap Laughs
*Beach Boys: Pet Sounds
*Beatles: Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band (Super Deluxe Ed.) (disc 1)
*D’Angelo: Brown Sugar (Deluxe Ed.) (disc 1)
*Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings (disc 28)
*Prince: Letitgo (Maxi Single)
*Prince: Space (Maxi Single)
*Tito Puente: The Complete 78s: Vol. 3 (disc 1)
*Jimmy Reed: Mr. Lucky: The Complete Vee-Jay Singles (disc 1)
*Sonic Youth: Evol
*UYA: 1991-05-029 Slice Loading (wav)
*Various artists: Eccentric Soul: The Trager & Note Labels
*Various artists: Nu Yorica! Culture Clash in New York City: Experiments in Latin Music 1970-77 (disc 1)
*Yes: 1975-02-16 Philadelphia (CDR) (disc 1)

Monday, January 8, 2018

Playlist, Week of 2018-01-07



In my Henry Threadgill listening thread, it's good to be getting into the Zooid years... Liberty Ellman's guitar tone is softer than previous guitarists Threadgill used, and suits the compositional structure better... and Zooid is all about composition, I think, with not so much clear "soloing" going on, especially from Threadgill, who almost seems to recede into the compositional fabric of the music even as he, and the rest of the band, are continually soloing... it may be more harmolodic than not... I realize I don't have a clear grasp on this music yet, or have a way to write about it... whatever it is, it's always very melodic, and the pulse is always steady and propulsive...

Playlist 2018-01-08:

*Daniel Barbiero/Sam Byrd/Jimmy Ghaphery: 2017-12-02 Rhizome, Washington DC (wav)
*Anthony Braxton: GTM (Outpost) 2003 (disc 1)
*Rodger Coleman and Sam Byrd: 2017-12-27 Nashville (wav)
*Duke Ellington: The Complete 1932-1940 Brunswick, Columbia and Master Recordings of Duke Ellington and His Famous Orchestra (disc 5)
*Billie Holiday: Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday on Columbia 1933–1944 (disc 5)
*Ingrid Laubrock with Liam Noble & Tom Rainey: Sleepthief
*Lounge Lizards: No Pain for Cakes
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2017-02-27 "Several Round Things" (wav)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2017-10-09 "Fight Back in the Kitchen" (wav)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2017-11-27: "All That Remains" (wav)
*Paradoxical Frog: Paradoxical Frog
*Tyshawn Sorey: The Inner Spectrum of Variables (disc 1)
*Henry Threadgill Zooid: 2007-05-17 NYC (CDR) (disc 2)
*Fall of Troy: Manipulator
*Tito Puente: The Complete 78s: Vol. 2
*Sonic Youth: Bad Moon Rising
*This Heat: This Heat
*Various artists: Space Age Cocktail Lounge (disc 2)
*Yes: 1972-12-15 London (CDR)

Reading List, Week of 2018-01-07

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Reading List, Week of 2018-01-08:

*Gombrich, E. H. A Little History of the World (transl. Caroline Mustill) (started)
*Middleton, Thomas, and Thomas Dekker. The Roaring Girl, or, Moll Cutpurse (started)
*King, Stephen. Joyland (started/finished)
*Esslemont, Ian C. Deadhouse Landing (started/finished)
*MacDonald, Ian. Revolution in the Head, 3rd ed. (reread/finished)
*Jackson, Holbrook. Anatomy of Bibliomania (in progress)
*Sorrentino, Gilbert. The Moon in Its Flight: Stories (reread/in progress)

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Let's Hear It for Ringo





















As for Starr, long travestied as an amiable mediocrity riding The Beatles coat-tails, he is nothing less than the father of modern pop/rock drumming -- the modest man who invented it. His faintly behind-the-beat style subtly propelled The Beatles, his tunings brought the bottom end into recorded drum-sound, and his distinctly eccentric fills remain among the most memorable in pop music. (Ian MacDonald, Revolution in the Head, 3rd ed., p. 383)

Saturday, January 6, 2018

New Track from RAIC: Balance of the Three



The RAIC recording session I participated in last October is now on Bandcamp for free download (for a limited time) and streaming. Balance of the Three will eventually be part of an album to be released this spring, but for now it's up as a single. Check it out!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Best of 2017



Wow, it's a great honor to be included in the Avant Music News list of best albums of 2017!  Check out Who Doesn't Fade? here. Happy also to see Daniel Barbiero and Cristiano Bocci's Non-Places on the list.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Playlist, Week of 2017-12-31

Happy New Year to everyone! Let's hope it's a lot brighter than 2017 was... frankly glad to see the back of it. At least for me it ended with a bang, a great session with Rodger Coleman which resulted in over 3 hours of music!


Playlist 2018-01-01:

*Billy Cobham: Spectrum (side 1)
*Billy Cobham: Simplicity of Expression: Depth of Thought (side 1)
*Vince Guaraldi Trio: A Charlie Brown Christmas
*Sun Ra: Discipline 27-II (2017 remaster)
*Clash: Sandinista! (disc 1)
*Kinks: The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society
*Mars Volta: De-Loused in the Comatorium
*Touch: Touch

Reading List, Week of 2017-12-31

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Reading List 2017-01-01:

*Sorrentino, Gilbert. The Moon in Its Flight: Stories (reread/started)
*Corbett, John. Vinyl Freak: Love Letters to a Dying Medium (started/finished)
*Kernfeld, Barry. What to Listen For in Jazz (finished)
*Jackson, Holbrook. Anatomy of Bibliomania (in progress)
*MacDonald, Ian. Revolution in the Head, 3rd ed. (reread/in progress)