Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Playlist, Week of 2014-07-27



Playlist 2014-07-28:

*John Tilbury and Sebastian Lexer: Lost Daylight
*Daniel Barbiero/Sam Byrd/Jimmy Ghaphery: 2014-07-05 Pyramid Atlantic, Silver Spring MD (wav)
*Bley-Peacock Synthesizer Show: Revenge: The Bigger the Love the Greater the Hate (side 1)
*Anthony Braxton Large Ensemble: 2010-04-29 Wesleyan (CDR) (disc 1)
*John Coltrane: Live in Japan “Crescent”
*Lol Coxhill and Fred Frith: French Gigs (side 1)
*Coleman Hawkins: Classic Coleman Hawkins Sessions 1922-1947 (disc 2)
*Masters of Disorientation: 1990-02-25 Birmingham, Eng. (CDR) (disc 1)
*Roscoe Mitchell: Hey Donald
*Roscoe Mitchell LRG Ensemble: 1998-04-27 NYC (CDR) (disc 1)
*Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris: Testament: A Conduction Collection "Conduction 38, In Freud’s Garden”
*Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris: Testament: A Conduction Collection "Conduction 41, New World, New World”
*Tom Rainey Trio: Pool School
*Wadada Leo Smith: Ten Freedom Summers (disc 1)
*Soft Machine: 6 (disc 1)
*Soft Machine: Bundles
*S.O.S.: Looking for the Next One (disc 1)
*Sun Ra: Astro Black (2014 remaster)
*Cecil Taylor: Nefertiti, the Beautiful One Has Come “D Trad That’s What”
*Scott Brookman (unreleased selections 2014)
*Circulatory System: Mosaics Within Mosaics
*Gary Clark Jr.: Blak and Blu
*Dawn of Midi: 2013-09-02 NYC (CDR)
*Dr. John: Locked Down
*Mike Elder/Harry Forrest/Jimmy Ghaphery/Greg Jordan/Sam Byrd: 2014-07-25 (wav)
*Flaming Lips: Peace Sword
*Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger: Midnight Sun
*High Llamas: Hawaii
*OOIOO: Armonico Hewa
*Santana: Lotus “Incident at Nebashur” (side 6)
*Carla Thomas: Sweet Sweetheart: The American Studios Sessions and More (selections)
*Doris Troy: I’ll Do Anything: The Doris Troy Anthology 1960-1996
*UYA: 1989-08-20 Afro Teen (side B) (cassette>wav)
*Various artists: The History of Indian Film Music (discs 4, 5, 6)
*Various artists: Pop Yeh Yeh: Psychedelic Rock from Singapore and Malaysia--1964-1970

Reading List, Week of 2014-07-27



Reading List 2014-07-28:

*Martin, George R.R. A Feast for Crows (reread/finished)
*Martin, George R.R. A Dance with Dragons (reread/in progress)
*Thomas, Gordon. Los Manos de Jack Kirby (reread/in progress)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

More on Sun Ra 2014 iTunes Remasters

Sun Ra Arkive

As a follow-up to my overview of the Sun Ra bonus tracks from the 2014 iTunes Sun Ra remasters, be sure and check out Christopher Eddy's review and comparison of the mastering job done by Michael Anderson and Irwin Chusid for iTunes. Eddy helpfully includes streaming versions of mixes comparing the Saturn LP, Impulse LP, Evidence CD, Scorpio LP, and iTunes remaster versions of four songs. While you're there, check out the rest of this excellent blog. Saturn research at its most exemplary!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Playlist, Week of 2014-07-20



Playlist 2014-07-21:

*Muhal Richard Abrams: Spihumonesty
*AMM: 1989-10-07 London (CDR)
*Daniel Barbiero/Sam Byrd/Jimmy Ghaphery: 2014-07-05 Pyramid Atlantic, Silver Spring MD (wav)
*Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: Cosmologies (LP test pressing) (side 1)
*Miles Davis: Miles at the Fillmore (discs 1, 3, 4)
*Brian Harnetty: The Star-Faced One: From the Sun Ra/El Saturn Archives
*Roscoe Mitchell Creative Orchestra: Sketches from Bamboo (side 1)
*Roscoe Mitchell Quartet: The Flow of Things
*Roscoe Mitchell: Four Compositions
*Roscoe Mitchell Quintet: 1991-06-28 Bolzano, Italy (CDR)
*Roscoe Mitchell and the Note Factory: This Dance Is for Steve McCall
*Tony Oxley Sextet: 1972-11-01 Berlin (CDR)
*Tom Rainey Trio: Pool School
*Sam Rivers: Dimensions and Extensions
*Sun Ra: The Eternal Myth Revealed, Vol. 1: Highlights (discs 1-3) (CDR compilation)
*Sun Ra: Monorails and Satellites, Vol. 1 (2014 remaster)
*Sun Ra and His Astro Infinity Arkestra: Strange Strings (2014 remaster)
*Sun Ra and His Blue Universe Arkestra: Universe in Blue (2014 remaster)
*Sun Ra: Explore the Cosmos (2014 remaster) (selections)
*Sun Ra: 1978-11-05 Buffalo, NY (CDR)
*Sun Ra: Sun Ra Music Channel (YouTube) (CDR compilation) (selections)
*Animal Collective: Centipede Hz (selections)
*Beach Boys: Hawthorne CA (disc 2)
*Scott Brookman (unreleased selections 2014)
*Circulatory System: Mosaics Within Mosaics (selections)
*Elvis Costello & the Attractions: Get Happy (2003 reissue, disc 1)
*Mike Elder/Harry Forrest/Greg Jordan/Sam Byrd: 2014 selections (wav)
*Roky Erickson & the Aliens: The Evil One
*Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings: Give the People What They Want (selections)
*Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin III
*Marvelettes: Complete Motown Singles (disc 1)
*Mayte: Child of the Sun
*Elvis Presley: Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis (selections)
*Tasavallan Presidentti: Lambert Land (side 1)
*Lewis Taylor: The Lost Album (selections)
*Carla Thomas: Sweet Sweetheart: The American Studios Sessions and More
*Various artists: The History of Indian Film Music (discs 2, 3)

Reading List, Week of 2014-07-20



Reading List 2014-07-21:

*Martin, George R.R. A Feast for Crows (reread/in progress)
*Martin, George R.R. A Dance with Dragons (reread/in progress)
*Thomas, Gordon. Los Manos de Jack Kirby (reread/in progress)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

2014 Sun Ra Centennial Remastered Classics Series

JMC_223517_SUN_RA

iTunes has recently released remasters of many key Sun Ra recordings. Several of these titles include bonus hitherto-unreleased tracks. Here's a report on some of my purchases; I also posted this to the Saturn listserv, but posts there aren't showing up on the website, so I thought I'd include this here too.​​

I am focusing mainly on the bonus material here, but in general, these all sound fantastic to my ears (I am no audiophile) . These are just quick notes that hopefully will help others decide if these bonus cuts are worth it (I have to say: yes!). For the individual tracks, I don’t have any detailed info that the liner notes that are album-only might have. Any further info would be appreciated!


In addition to the unreleased tracks, this marks the first official release in any form of "Astro Black" since it first came out on Impulse in 1972. This alone is a major, major release. "Astro Black" is in my top five all-time Ra faves list. The reissue sounds the best I’ve ever heard it. Crystal clean. Probably Ronnie Boykins' best Ra performance. Killer Gilmore ("Discipline 99") and beautifully subtle moog (the title track). Highly recommended!

“Nubians of Plutonia” bonus tracks:
1. Black Sky Blue Moon (3.02)  Haven’t done an exact comparison, but this sounds the same as the “Spaceship Lullaby” version, with the horns up in the mix.
2. Spontaneous Simplicity (3.01) Electric piano, drone-y bass, percussion. Bottle or something loud in the mix. More prominent bass line than closest contemporaneous version (on “Music from Tomorrow’s World”).
3. Ankhnaton (4.19) Faster, Latin beat, prominent baritone sax.  Flute solo. Nice Gilmore solo. Really nice!
4. Images in a Mirror (3.42) More commonly known as just  “Images.” This version is peppy and deeply swinging. More “big band” than the “Jazz in Silhouette” version.

"When Sun Comes Out" bonus track:
1. The Nile part 2 (5:47) Fades in pretty much where “The Nile” fades out (if a bit slower?), with the bass line quickly dropping out for a 3-minute restrained, melodic drum solo before the bass comes back in under a simmering Eastern-style flute and gently plonking piano.

"Bad & Beautiful" bonus track:
1. Street of Dreams (5:49) (Not a Ra composition) A nice piano intro takes us into “Search Light Blues” territory, a piano/bass/drums trio until Pat Patrick comes in around halfway through with a beautiful baritone sax solo.

"Cosmic Tones" bonus track:
1. Twilight (2.02) This is really special. Celeste, oboe, and French horn? (these are guesses) play otherworldly, subdued, interweaving lines that don’t really go anywhere, but just float there.

Universe in Blue (Remastered 2014) [feat. June Tyson, John Gilmore, James Jacson, Danny Davis & Marshall Allen], Sun Ra & His Blue Universe Arkestra

“Universe in Blue” bonus track:
1. Calling Planet Earth—We'll Wait For You (Bonus Track, Stereo) 23:31

“a previously unreleased sonic tapestry from the same tape as track 1. It's a labyrinthine 23-­minute ‘space suite,’ full of bluster, unexpected dynamic twists, and a vocal centerpiece by June Tyson and the band.”--liner notes

--after the incantation, full-bore group improv
3:36-ish: unaccompanied solo: baritone sax? bass clarinet?
6:56-ish different unaccompanied baritone sax (Patrick?)
9:27-ish: organ solo
11:12-ish: June Tyson: We’ll wait for you
12:07-ish: full band
13:14-ish: moog solo *hot
20:57-ish: full band, slower chords, written passages, “Discipline” feel → end

The highlight of this piece for me is the moog solo--it’s killer!

Strange Strings (Remastered 2014) [feat. Marshall Allen, John Gilmore, Danny Davis & Pat Patrick], Sun Ra & His Astro Infinity Arkestra

“Strange Strings” bonus tracks (all from same or related 1966 sessions):
1. Thunder of the Gods (Mono, Previously Unreleased) (13:23)  Definitely “Strange Strings” territory here. Lots of scraping. Beautiful!
2. Cosmos Miraculous (Mono, Previously Unreleased) (11.10)  “Strange Strings,” with clavioline! Sublime.
3. Moonshots Across the Sky (Mono, Previously Unreleased) (5:41) “Strange Strings,” more zither-oriented.

Monorails and Satellites, Vol. 1 (Remastered 2014) [with Bonus Tracks], Sun Ra

“Monorails and Satellites Vol. 1” bonus tracks:
(Note: I find it hardest to write about Ra solo piano pieces...I just don’t have the piano-writin’ chops or vocabulary...sorry)
1. Soundscapes (Previously Unreleased) 3:25 bass line, high-octave ruminations
2. The Eternal Tomorrow (Previously  Unreleased) 5:42 pretty, provocative
3. The Changing Wind (Previously Unreleased) 3:51 quiet
4. World Island Festival (Previously Unreleased) 6:17 contemplative
5. Don't Blame Me (Previously Unreleased) 4:36 nice, florid
6. Today Is Not Yesterday (Previously Unreleased) 4:08  2-chord in part, similar in feel to “Angel Race”?

“Invisible shield” bonus tracks:
1. But not for me (6:48)  I’m pretty sure this is the same track that appeared on “Standards”
2. Islands in the sun (10:23) --1st 5 min. is released part...then comes really nice piano solo, nice bass clarinet and flute work, same groove. New part basically more of same.

Explore the Cosmos, Vol. 4: Piano & Organ, Sun Ra

Bonus tracks from “Explore the Cosmos” collections, as identified by Irwin Chusid (not marked as such on iTunes):
Vol. 4 - Piano and Organ
1. April in Paris - Choreographers Workshop rehearsal tape (3:56)  Nice solo piano rendition, joined midway through by bongos. 
2. Rhythm & Romance - organ tapes (2:45) Organ, accompanied by tentative drumming. Sounds later than most of the late-’40s-early ‘50s organ stuff on the “Eternal Myth” box set.
3. Gone with the Wind (4:08) Solo piano, nice. What period? Who the hell knows? Maybe late ‘70s Improvising Artists era?
4. My Dreams Tell Me (Part 1) - organ tapes (3:43) Solo organ. A Ra original? This sounds older, more in line with some of the solo organ stuff on the box set.
5. Piano Interlude (1949) (0:40) Just that. Short, contemplative. Ends with phone ring! Similar to some of Monorails bonus tracks.

Vol. 6 - The Blues
1. Dawn (excerpt) - Strange Strings session tapes (6:19) Wow, I was expecting a strange strings instrumentation thing, but this is more like a late slow-blues ‘50s composition, similar in feel to “Space Loneliness.” Piano, electric piano, bass, drums, trumpet, sax, flute, trombone (at least). String of solos: trombone, oboe, electric piano, baritone sax, fade. A gem!
2. Blue York (1961) (3:46) - Bad & Beautiful session tapes (different version than on Continuation Vol. 2): Nice, bluesy baritone sax, piano. Rawer than the “Continuation” track.

Vol. 9 - Vocals
1. Dreams Come True: the sample sounded extremely similar to versions on box set. Didn’t buy.
2. Memories of You (1949) (1:40) Ra crooning over sultry piano. Very similar to “Smile” from box set.
3. Recollections of There (4:52) w/Theda Barbara. Cecil-ish piano, abstract, questing, with cymbal flourishes. Theda Barbara comes in with wordless vocalizing. Excellent! 
4. Smile (1949): same as on box set.
5. Perfidious Lover: Box set has “version 2.” Sample sounded just like that version. Didn’t buy.
6. The Living Myth (1976) (3:53) w/June Tyson. A band arrangement for the last part of “Along Came Ra,” with June Tyson. Gilmore (?), and others on vocals, taken at a slow pace. After the vocals, the band blossoms out into a set of baritone sax-anchored flourishes that sound conducted. Excellent!



Monday, July 14, 2014

Playlist, Week of 2014-07-13



I have delved into some of the recent iTunes 2014 Sun Ra remasters. Watch this space for the quick overview I posted to the Saturn listserv.

Playlist 2014-07-14:

*Various artists: Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music #6: Sixth a-chronology 1957-2010
*Various artists: District of Noise Vol. 6: A Compilation of Experimental Music from Washington DC
*AMM: Combine + Laminates + Treatise ‘84
*AMM: 1988-01 BBC Maida Vale Studios (CDR)
*Daniel Barbiero/Sam Byrd/Jimmy Ghaphery: 2014-07-05 Pyramid Atlantic, Silver Spring MD (wav)
*Anthony Braxton's Sonic Genome Project: 2010-01-31 Vancouver (CDR) (disc 1)
*Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet & 7-tette: Navigation (The Complete Firehouse 12 Recordings) (disc 2)
*Miles Davis: Miles at the Fillmore (discs 3, 4)
*Duke Ellington: The Private Collection, Vol. 6: Studio Sessions New York 1968
*Herbie Hancock: Sunlight (side 1)
*Roscoe Mitchell and the Sound Ensemble: Snurdy McGurdy and Her Dancin’ Shoes
*Roscoe Mitchell: Roscoe Mitchell and the Sound and Space Ensembles
*Grachan Moncur III: Evolution
*Sun Ra & His Intergalactic Research Arkestra: The Invisible Shield (2014 remaster)
*Sun Ra: Monorails and Satellites, Vol. 1 (2014 remaster)
*Sun Ra and His Astro Infinity Arkestra: Strange Strings (2014 remaster)
*Sun Ra and His Blue Universe Arkestra: Universe in Blue (2014 remaster)
*Sun Ra: Astro Black (2014 remaster)
*Sun Ra: Explore the Cosmos (2014 remaster) (selections)
*Tom Rainey Trio: Pool School
*Leo Smith: Budding of a Rose
*Cecil Taylor Quintet: 1965-07-02 Newport Jazz Festival
*Various artists: WSAM: Jazz = DNA (cassette compilation)
*Beach Boys: Hawthorne CA (disc 1)
*Scott Brookman (unreleased selections 2014)
*Chemical Brothers: Further (selections)
*Chemical Brothers: Come with Me
*Dungen: Tio Bitar
*Lost: Lost Tapes 1965-1966
*Mr. Bungle: Mr. Bungle
*Various artists: The History of Indian Film Music (disc 1)
*Mary Wells: Something New: Motown Lost & Found

Reading List, Week of 2014-07-13



Reading List 2014-07-14:

*Thomas, Gordon. Los Manos de Jack Kirby (reread/started)
*Thomas, Gordon. “Squanto Must Die” (reread/finished)
*Martin, George R.R. A Feast for Crows (reread/in progress)
*Martin, George R.R. A Dance with Dragons (reread/in progress)

For this re-read of the two latest Song of Ice and Fire novels, I am trying the concurrent reading of both of them at once, as outlined here. Gotta say, it's a gas! The image comes from a different source, but I couldn't resist.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Life Itself


Reading is sometimes thought of as a form of escapism. . . . But a book can also be where one finds oneself; and when a reader is grasped and held by a book, reading does not feel like an escape from life so much as it feels like an urgent, crucial dimension of life itself. (Rebecca Mead, My Life in Middlemarch, as quoted by Claire Messud)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Playlist, Week of 2014-07-06



Playlist 2014-07-07:

*AMM: At the Roundhouse
*AMM: Laminal (disc 2)
*Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet: Box
*Paul Bley/John Gilmore/Paul Motian/Gary Peacock: Turning Point
*Anthony Braxton: For Trio
*Anthony Braxton/Roscoe Mitchell Creative Orchestra: 1984-06-30 Austria (CDR)
*Thomas Chapin Trio: Sky Piece
*Miles Davis: Volume 1 [Blue Note]
*Miles Davis: Volume 2 [Blue Note]
*Miles Davis: Miles at the Fillmore (discs 1, 2)
*Jimmy Giuffre: New Forms in Jazz
*Roscoe Mitchell: “Chant” (Wildflowers: The New York Jazz Loft Sessions, Complete, disc 3)
*Roscoe Mitchell/Anthony Braxton Creative Orchestra: 1984-06-30 Austria (CDR)
*Roscoe Mitchell and the Sound Ensemble: 3X4 Eye
*Pete La Roca Sims: Turkish Women at the Bath
*Sun Ra: Discipline (cassette compilation)
*Sun Ra and His Astro Infinity Arkestra: Strange Strings (2014 remaster)
*Sun Ra: Monorails and Satellites, Vol. 1 (2014 remaster)
*Wadada Leo Smith & Roscoe Mitchell Creative Orchestra: 1979-06-03 Moers
*Cecil Taylor Quartet: At Newport
*Cecil Taylor Quintet: 1965-07-02 Newport Jazz Festival (streaming)
*Beach Boys: Pet Sounds
*Tex Goldstein: Horse In The Teepee
*Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings: Naturally
*Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings: 100 Days 100 Nights
*Killswitch Engage: As Daylight Dies
*Kropotkins: Five Point Crawl
*Floyd Miles: Goin’ Back to Daytona
*Carla Thomas: Sweet Sweetheart: The American Studios Sessions and More
*Various artists: Miami Sound: Rare Funk & Soul from Miami, Florida 1967-1974
*Various artists: WSAM: Seattle (CDR compilation)
*Mary Wells: Something New: Motown Lost & Found (disc 1)

Reading List, Week of 2014-07-06



Reading List 2014-07-07:

*Martin, George R.R. A Feast for Crows (reread/started)
*Martin, George R.R. A Dance with Dragons (reread/started)
*Thomas, Gordon. “Squanto Must Die” (started)
*Pynchon, Thomas. “A Journey into the Mind of Watts,” NYT Magazine, 1966-06-12 (started/finished)
*Thomas, Gordon. “The End of Fun” (started/finished)
*Brown, Charles Brockden. Edgar Huntly, or, Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker (finished)
*Prévost, Edwin. No Sound Is Innocent (finished)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Gig this Saturday in Silver Spring MD: "Site Specific Improv & Jazz"


Colla Parte

I'm playing in a trio this weekend, with Daniel Barbiero and Jimmy Ghaphery, at a benefit for the Pyramid Atlantic. I'm very excited about this; it'll be the first time we've played together as a trio, and it will be all improv, with dancers. This group is what is billed as "Site-Specific Improvisation in sound and movement with musicians."

It's a Dan Barbiero double bill, with Colla Parte also playing, and I am equally psyched to see them after enjoying so many of their recordings. If you are in the DC area, come check out this nice evening of improvisational fireworks. Sparklers optional.