Monday, July 16, 2018

Jefferson Pilot: The Optimist Field

Jefferson Pilot's new CD The Optimist Field is both a snappy summary of what he's done so far (2013-2018) and a new comprehensive statement on its own. It mixes some of the best songs from his previous releases Hello Mississippi and Welcome Stranger with brand new ones. The older songs are remixed here, and they sound brighter and punchier as a result, and fit in seamlessly with the newer material. This is easily the best release from Jefferson Pilot so far. His explorations of noise sonics, subtle sampling, shifting textures, and avant-garde flavors in the context of rock, pop, funk, and country-flavored songs are truly distinct and original....and fun. Things are really mixed in good here, with songs taking left-, or, well, u-turns all over the place. The spirit of Ringo hovers all over the album, primarily and spiritually in Jeff's excellent drumming throughout (especially in "Poor Dead Soldier"), but also in a sampled drum beat and in "Little Ringo with Words," a heartfelt paean to the young Richard Starkey in his sickbed in Liverpool--a beautiful way to close this album of sonic treats.

This album isn't up on Bandcamp yet, but I understand it will be soon. Well worth checking out! (Full disclosure: proud to say that Jefferson Pilot is my brother. Rock on!)

Playlist, Week of 2018-07-15

Image result for coltrane both directions deluxe

More about the fabulous new Coltrane release after I've had some time to absorb it....

Playlist 2018-07-16:

*Daniel Barbiero/Sam Byrd/Jimmy Ghaphery: 2016-08-27 Rhizome, Washington DC (wav)
*Borah Bergman and Roscoe Mitchell: The Italian Concert
*John Coltrane: Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album (Deluxe Edition)
*Sylvie Courvoisier/Mark Feldman/Ikue Mori/Evan Parker: Miller's Tale
*Michael Formanek:  The Rub And Spare Change
*Michael Formanek: Small Places
*Mary Halvorson Quartet: Paimon (Zorn/Book of Angels Vol. 32)
*Alexander Hawkins-Elaine Mitchener Quartet: Uproot
*Herd of the Ether Space: Short Wayner
*Ingrid Laubrock: Ubatuba
*Nicole Mitchell/Tomeka Reid/Mike Reed: Artifacts
*Roscoe Mitchell: Nonaah (disc 2)
*Roscoe Mitchell: Roscoe Mitchell and the Sound and Space Ensembles
*Roscoe Mitchell and the Note Factory: This Dance Is for Steve McCall
*Roscoe Mitchell/Montreal-Toronto Art Orchestra: Ride the Wind
*Thelonious Monk: The Complete Prestige 10-Inch LP Collection (disc 1)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2018-06-25 "Wood and Wires" (wav)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2018-07-01 Strange Matter, Richmond VA (wav)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2018-07-09 "It Was Great; Nothing Was Working" (wav)
*Sun Ra & His Arkestra with Chamber Orchestra: Pleiades: A Jazz Symphonique (disc 1)
*Craig Taborn: Avenging Angel
*Cecil Taylor Unit and Diane McIntyre Sound in Motion Dance Co.: 1983-03-19 Camden, England (wav)
*Thumbscrew: Ours
*John Zorn's Cobra: Tokyo Operations '94
*Dr. Dog: Critical Equation
*Grateful Dead: Fallout from the Phil Zone (selections)
*Grateful Dead: Dark Star 1972 version 2 (started, 00:00:00-0:36:00)
*High Llamas: Beet, Maize & Corn
*Jefferson Pilot: The Optimist Field
*King Crimson: 1972-02-12 NYC (disc 1)
*Mystery Science Theater 3000: Clowns in the Sky II
*Residents: Meet the Residents (pREServed Edition) (disc 1)
*Residents: The Third Reich 'n Roll (pREServed Edition) (disc 1)
*Shardik: Shardik
*Bruce Springsteen: The Ties That Bind: The River Collection (disc 1)
*Various artists: History of Electronic/Electroacoustic Music (Stockhausen: "Mixtur") (CDR compilation) (disc 14)
*Yes: Best of Wembley 1977 (boot CDR) (disc 2)

Reading List, Week of 2018-07-15

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Reading List 2018-07-16:

*Malvinni, David. Grateful Dead and the Art of Rock Improvisation (started)
*Shakespeare, William. 3 Henry VI (ed. John Jowett, New Oxford Shakespeare, Critical Reference Ed.) (reread/started)
*Greer, Andrew Sean. Less (started/finished)
*Ennis, Garth, and Steve Dillon. Preacher: Book Two (reread/finished)
*Shakespeare, William. 2 Henry VI (ed. Rory Loughnane, New Oxford Shakespeare, Critical Reference Ed.) (reread/finished)
*Sorrentino, Gilbert. Steelwork (reread/finished)
*Thomson, David. The New Biographical Dictionary of Film (4th ed.) (in progress)

Monday, July 9, 2018

Playlist, Week of 2018-07-08

The file for the New Ting Ting Loft Strange Matter gig is up now on the Internet Archive... Back down the Roscoe Mitchell rabbit hole this week... a great place to be... I meant to write in more detail last week about Sun Embassy, the newest anthology of Sun Ra rehearsal sessions, this time from the late '60s, but I never got around to it... this'll have to do: biggest takeaway is the great run-through of "Adventures Outer Planes" (here titled "My Reality Is Real")... this is an excellent composition, the only other version of which is the live one from Copenhagen on 1971-12-05 (released on the Freedom CD Calling Planet Earth, also recently reissued on LP)... except for takes of "Why Go to the Moon" (used in numerous space chants) and "Ancient Aethiopia," none of the other compositions are familiar to me.. although "Cosmic Strut" bears a family resemblance to grooves on Universe in Blue... overall, very percussive-heavy and very minimal soloing, but well worth hearing... As uneven as it is, I continue to return to the Beach Boys' last studio album That's Why God Made the Radio... although parts of it are cursed with Mike-Love-does-Jimmy-Buffet, the album has two strong singles (the title track and "Isn't It Time"), and the last four songs, forming  kind of a suite, are as strong as anything the group did in the '70s...

Playlist 2018-07-09:

*AMM: 1998-04-03 Padova, Italy (CDR)
*Daniel Barbiero/Sam Byrd/Jimmy Ghaphery: 2017-12-02 Rhizome, Washington DC (wav)
*Bergman/Braxton/Brötzmann: Eight by Three
*Anthony Braxton: Two Compositions (Orchestra) 2005
*Jakob Bro: Returnings
*Rodger Coleman and Sam Byrd: The Mathematics of War
*Stephen Davis/Ralph Alessi/ Kris Davis: Sugar Blade
*Jimmy Ghaphery/Jason Bivins/Ian Davis: 2007 Chapel Hill, NC (CDR)
*Mary Halvorson: Meltframe
*Roscoe Mitchell: Nonaah
*Roscoe Mitchell and the Sound Ensemble: 3x4 Eye
*Roscoe Mitchell Quartet: The Flow of Things
*Roscoe Mitchell and the Sound Ensemble: Live at the Knitting Factory
*Roscoe Mitchell and Muhal Richard Abrams: Duets and Solos
*Roscoe Mitchell: Bells for the South Side (disc 1)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2018-06-25 "Wood and Wires" (wav)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2018-07-01 Strange Matter, Richmond VA (wav)
*Evan Parker ElectroAcoustic Septet: Seven
*Sun Ra And His Astro-Ihnfinity Arkestra: Sun Embassy
*Sun Ra and His Arkestra: Taking a Chance on Chances
*Tom Rainey Obbligato: Float Upstream
*Sara Serpa: Close Up
*Craig Taborn: Avenging Angel
*Alex Ward Quartet: Inductance (streaming)
*Ben Webster with Strings: Music for Loving (disc 2)
*John Zorn/Simulacrum: The Garden of Earthly Delights
*Beach Boys: That’s Why God Made the Radio (selections)
*Heldon: Stand By
*King Crimson: 1972-02-11 Wilmington DE (disc 1)
*Paul McCartney: Kisses on the Bottom
*Mystery Science Theater 3000: Clowns in the Sky
*Parliament: Medicaid Fraud Dogg
*Richard Pinhas/Yoshida Tatsuya: 2014-12-01 Tokyo (CDR)
*Prince: 1980-03-06 Atlanta (streaming)
*Various artists: Music for Merce (1952-2009) (discs 9, 10)
*Brian Wilson: No Pier Pressure (selections)
*Yes: 1976-06-19 Hartford, CT (CDR)

Reading List, Week of 2018-07-08

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Reading List 2018-07-09:

*Sorrentino, Gilbert. Steelwork (reread/started)
*Ashford, Daisy. The Young Visiters (started/finished)
*Bruford, Bill. Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer (finished)
*Cochran, Peter. Small-Screen Shakespeare (finished)
*Ennis, Garth, and Steve Dillon. Preacher: Book Two (reread/started)
*Shakespeare, William. 2 Henry VI (ed. Rory Loughnane, New Oxford Shakespeare, Critical Reference Ed.) (reread/in progress)
*Thomson, David. The New Biographical Dictionary of Film (4th ed.) (in progress)

Friday, July 6, 2018

On Roscoe Mitchell

Roscoe Mitchell Wins Founders Award At The ASCAP Jazz Awards
Roscoe Mitchell (By Oliver Abels / CC BY-SA 4.0)
Watching Roscoe is fascinating. He’s two people. Before, between, and after a set, he sinks into the shadows, humbly trying to take up as little room as possible. It’s easy to forget he’s there. Onstage he’s one of the fiercest consuming presences I’ve ever seen. He fills the room and makes allowances for nothing. You’re smashed against the walls. Roscoe’s playing is nothing short of profound. His skill, technique and individuality is second to none, but that’s no mystery – he was regarded as one of the best sax players of the 60’s and 70’s and he’s never backed down. What makes him special comes from another place – the thing Coltrane and Ayler possessed. Something skill can’t achieve. Call it spirit, emotion, or whatever else. It’s beyond words. Roscoe’s music is mystical and ecstatic. It’s drawn from other worlds, taking you to the outer realms with every breath. Seeing Roscoe live has never ceased to be a revelation, and he gets better with every passing year. I own dozens of his records and even more that feature him. Nothing compares to what he places into a room. --Bradford Bailey, "The Ark of Oto (Okoroku)," 2016-01-24

Monday, July 2, 2018

Shots of the Gig

New Ting Ting Loft live at Strange Matter, 2018-07-01: in a circle, l to r: Ben Scott, Sam Byrd, Tommy Birchette, Jimmy Ghaphery, Fred McGann.

The mysterious figure in white in that last shot is Tom from To Live and Shave in LA, checking up on email? I guess? while we play....