Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Beauty of the Semicolon

 Image result for semicolon creative commons
The British call a period a "full stop," but sometimes you don't want to come to a halt at the end of an independent clause; you want to link it to the next independent clause by something more than sequentiality, and that's where the semicolon comes in. It is a signal that the thought expressed in the first independent clause is not yet complete, not truly independent; it indicates the next clause is not a new thought but a continuation and conclusion, like the second line in a couplet. Then you can use that full stop. (Steven Moore, "Of Cause and Consequence," in My Back Pages, 2017, p. 715)

Monday, February 18, 2019

Playlist, Week of 2019-02-17

Image result for sorey pillars

Not much to say today... getting over being sick... I'm finding Pillars enjoyable but deep, dense, and hard to absorb... it's a challenge to get a handle on three 70+-minute tracks... brilliant playing, and really slowwww developments.... love the way it opens (a long snare roll)... clearly I need to spend a lot more time with this one...

Playlist 2019-02-18:

*AMM: An Unintended Legacy (disc 3)
*Alice Coltrane: Lord of Lords
*Tadd Dameron with John Coltrane: Mating Call
*Kris Davis: Good Citizen
*Kris Davis: Duopoly
*Duke Ellington: The Complete 1936-1940 Variety, Vocalion, and Okeh Small Group Sessions (disc 4)
*Duke Ellington and His Orchestra: Happy Birthday Duke! Vol. 4
*Bill Evans Trio: Sunday At The Village Vanguard
*Agustí Fernández/Artur Majewski/Rafał Mazur: Spontaneous Soundscapes
*Formanex: Treatise- Cornelius Cardew
*Glockestra: In Memory of Keith Sinzinger: 2019-01 Washington DC (youtube)
*Barry Guy/London Jazz Composers Orchestra: Ode
*Herbie Hancock: Mwandishi
*Instant Composers Pool: Hilversum Radio Broadcasts, Vol. 1 (1967) (CDR)
*Instant Composers Pool: Hilversum Radio Broadcasts, Vol. 2 (1968) (CDR)
*Joseph Jarman: As If It Were the Seasons
*Ingrid Laubrock: 2017-06-05 Moers (CDR)
*Ingrid Laubrock: Contemporary Chaos Practices
*Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman: Song X
*Roscoe Mitchell/Montreal-Toronto Art Orchestra: Ride the Wind
*New Ting: 2019-02-04 "Hungry Expectations, Part 1: Don't Spoil the Dream" (wav)
*New Ting: 2019-02-04 "Hungry Expectations, Part 2: During the Meal" (wav)
*RAIC: Multiplicity
*Ches Smith: The Bell
*Tyshawn Sorey: Pillars (disc 3)
*Spontaneous Music Ensemble: Karyobin
*Craig Taborn: Daylight Ghosts
*Craig Taborn/Ikue Mori: Highsmith
*Cecil Taylor: Indent
*Alex Ward Item 10: Volition (Live At Cafe Oto)
*David Bowie: Heroes
*Guided By Voices: Zeppelin over China
*Prince and the Revolution: Purple Rain (Deluxe Expanded Edition) (disc 2)
*Residents: Fingerprince (pREServed Edition) (disc 2)
*Temptations: Psychedelic Soul (disc 2)
*Thinking Plague: In Extremis
*Various artists: Looking Good: 75 Femme Mod Soul Nuggets (disc 3)
*Brian Wilson: That Lucky Old Sun

Reading List, Week of 2019-02-17

Image result for my back pages moore

Reading List 2019-02-18:

*Sorrentino, Gilbert. Mulligan Stew (reread/started)
*Stanley, John, and Irving Tripp. Lulu in the Doghouse (started)
*Watson, Ben. Derek Bailey and the Story of Free Improvisation (started)
*Chast, Roz. Going into Town: A Love Letter to New York (started/finished)
*Le Carré, John. Our Kind of Traitor (started/finished)
*Chute, Hillary. Why Comics? From Underground to Everywhere (finished)
*Moore, Steven. My Back Pages: Reviews and Essays (finished)
*Thomson, David. The New Biographical Dictionary of Film (4th ed.) (in progress)

Saturday, February 16, 2019


Cursed by a collector's mentality... been thinking about age, and time, and music as an art that has to be experienced in real time... meaning there's limited time to get through it all, as my wife continually reminds me as I accumulate more and more... if I laid out my collection end to end, I couldn't get through a fraction of it before I croak... okay, then prioritization is a factor... and an unceasing cause of anxiety and dread, as I confront the major discographies of prolific artists like Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, Duke Ellington, Anthony Braxton, the Grateful Dead, not to mention the hundreds of other artists who have contributed, and continue to add to, the heritage of great music that demands to be listened to... deciding what to play next is partly a result of my putting in piles (mental or literal) what I want to get through, versus whim or chance... sometimes I am paralyzed by choice.. sometimes favorites don't win... how to get through it all... but one of the benefits and joys of a large collection is the selection process... and having the ability to choose from such a wide range... and in this age of streaming availability, choice becomes less of a privilege and more of a given, but also something all too often taken for granted... and I do hate the perception that Spotify has it all... those who depend on streaming services to determine their listening choices are missing out... it's good to be exposed to new things, of course, but I like the autonomy of seeking it out myself, or through the agency of trusted humans (siblings, friends, bandmates, critics...) rather than algorithms... even so, how to absorb it all and get through it all... I'm thinking particularly of my ongoing (albeit lapsed in the last few months) project to re-listen through all the UYA archives and sort out what's worth returning to... it's hours and hours of music... not to mention the hours of music of New Ting, on the web and off... and the hours of Cecil Taylor I have downloaded from Dime and not listened to yet, as well as the hours I already have heard, at least twice, that I want to get back to... I am nearing the end of my Craig Taborn discography journey, and now I'll be able to go back and focus on those works of his that really speak to me... those works would include Avenging Angel and all his work with Roscoe Mitchell... and Farmers By Nature and all the recordings under his own name... and his wonderful work with Mat Maneri, Tim Berne, David Torn, and Hugh Ragin... Damn, there's so much great music out there!

Playlist, Week of 2019-02-10

Bit late....

Playlist 2019-02-11:

*Art Ensemble of Chicago: Reese and the Smooth Ones
*Alice Coltrane: Journey in Satchidananda
*Bill Dixon University of the Streets Orchestra: 1968 NYC (CDR)
*Duke Ellington: The Complete 1936-1940 Variety, Vocalion, and Okeh Small Group Sessions (disc 3)
*Duke Ellington: Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins
*Flaga: Flaga (Zorn/Masada Book Two: The Book of Angels Vol. 27)
*GRB Trio: 2018-12-08 Richmond VA (wav)
*Harriet Tubman: Ascension
*Alexander Hawkins: Unit[e] (disc 2)
*Ingrid Laubrock: 2017-06-05 Moers (CDR)
*Ingrid Laubrock: Contemporary Chaos Practices
*Tony Levin/David Torn/Alan White: Levin Torn White
*Roscoe Mitchell: Bells for the South Side (disc 1)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2019-01-28 "Rump Roost Tools of America" (wav)
*Eivind Opsvik: Overseas II
*Tony Oxley/Derek Bailey Quartet: Tony Oxley/Derek Bailey Quartet
*Chris Potter Underground Orchestra: Imaginary Cities
*Pharoah Sanders: Jewels of Thought
*Pharoah Sanders: Karma
*Tyshawn Sorey: Pillars (disc 2)
*Sun Ra: Monorails & Satellites: Works for Solo Piano Vols. 1, 2, 3 (disc 1)
*Craig Taborn: Avenging Angel
*Henry Threadgill: Double Up, Plays Double Up Plus
*Henry Threadgill 14 Or 15 Kestra AGG: Dirt... And More Dirt
*Various artists: Wildflowers: The New York Jazz Loft Sessions, Complete (discs 1, 2)
*Alex Ward Item 10: Volition (Live At Cafe Oto)
*Beach Boys: Keep an Eye on Summer: The Beach Boys Sessions 1964
*David Bowie: Scary Monsters
*Gastr Del Sol: Upgrade & Afterlife
*Gastr Del Sol: Mirror Repair
*Grateful Dead: 1973-12-06 Cleveland (CDR) (disc 3)
*Naked City: Torture Garden
*Naked City: Leng Tch'e
*Palberta: Bye Bye Berta
*Liz Phair: Exile in Guyville
*Otis Redding and His Orchestra: Live on the Sunset Strip (disc 2)
*Residents: Eskimo (pREServed Edition) (disc 2)
*Brian Wilson: That Lucky Old Sun: Studio Demos (boot CDR)
*Bernie Worrell: All the Woo in the World

Reading List, Week of 2019-02-10

Image result for le carre most wanted man

Reading List 2019-02-11:

*Le Carré, John. A Most Wanted Man (started/finished)
*Chast, Roz. Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant? (started/finished)
*McMurty, Larry. Lonesome Dove (finished)
*Chute, Hillary. Why Comics? From Underground to Everywhere (in progress)
*Moore, Steven. My Back Pages: Reviews and Essays (in progress)
*Thomson, David. The New Biographical Dictionary of Film (4th ed.) (in progress)

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Playlist, Week of 2019-02-03

Another excellent Sun Ra release from Cosmic Myth Records... it's great to have newly remastered versions of Monorails & Satellites Vols. 1 & 2, but of course the real draw here is the previously unreleased Vol. 3... it's gorgeous stuff, very much in the vein of the earlier material... half original pieces and half standards, all favorites of Ra's that he would return to with the Arkestra over the years... like "Easy Street" on Vol. 1, these are more meditative ruminations on the songs rather than literal renditions, and are all the more beautiful and original for it... the CD package is wonderfully assembled, with an excellent insightful essay from Vijay Iyer as well as detailed notes from Ben Young and Irwin Chusid... you can stream it here...

Is there anything grander than the majestic drumming of Sonny Greer with Duke Ellington?... unobtrusive when he needs to be, but on the spot for inventive breaks and colorful punctuations when called on... a firm underpinning of solid swing... some of his best drumming can be found on the small group sessions of the 1930s and '40s... never bombastic or grandstanding, Greer is excellent at adding just the right needed touch at the right time... add Harry Carney in the mix and you're in heaven...

Playlist 2019-02-04:

*AMM: An Unintended Legacy (discs 1, 2)
*Art Ensemble of Chicago: Live [Live at Mandel Hall]
*Diego Barber and Craig Taborn: Tales
*Lester Bowie: All the Magic! (disc 2)
*Rodger Coleman: Seven Seventeen
*Kris Davis and Craig Taborn: Octopus
*Duke Ellington: The Complete 1936-1940 Variety, Vocalion, and Okeh Small Group Sessions (disc 2)
*Harriet Tubman: Araminta
*Alexander Hawkins: Unit[e] (discs 1, 2)
*Ingrid Laubrock: Contemporary Chaos Practices
*Roscoe Mitchell: Conversations I
*Roscoe Mitchell: Conversations II
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2019-01-14 "Channeling the Bard" (wav)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2019-01-21 "Hypersonic Youth" (wav)
*Evan Parker: Set
*Sonny Rollins: Saxophone Colossus
*Wadada Leo Smith: Najwa
*Tyshawn Sorey: Pillars (disc 1)
*Sun Ra: Monorails & Satellites: Works for Solo Piano Vols. 1, 2, 3 (discs 1, 2)
*Craig Taborn: Avenging Angel
*Cecil Taylor Unit: The Unreleased 1976-77 Compositions (Alex Ward youtube compilation)
*Henry Threadgill: Double Up, Plays Double Up Plus
*Henry Threadgill 14 Or 15 Kestra AGG: Dirt... And More Dirt
*Various artists: History of Electronic/Electroacoustic Music (Stockhausen: "Mantra") (CDR compilation) (disc 23)
*Can: The Singles
*Funkadelic: Free Your Mind…
*Grateful Dead: Live/Dead "Dark Star"
*Hatfield and the North: The Rotters’ Club (side 2)
*King Crimson: Meltdown (disc 3)
*Lemon Twigs: Go to School
*Manna/Mirage: Rest of the World
*Neu!: Neu!
*Palberta: My Pal Berta
*Palberta: Shitheads in the Ditch
*Palberta: Hot on the Beach
*Residents: Fingerprince (pREServed Edition) (disc 1)
*Residents: Eskimo (pREServed Edition) (disc 1)
*Various artists: Technicolor Paradise: Rhum Rhapsodies & Other Exotic Delights (disc 3)
*Frank Zappa/Mothers of Invention: The Roxy Performances (disc 4)