Saturday, July 22, 2017

Blue Goose

Image result for duke ellington never no lament

Is there a better summation of Duke Ellington's mastery of swing and mood than 1940's sublime Blue Goose?  It starts off with grand but subtle piano. Johnny Hodges states the whimsical theme; Harry Carney restates it majestically. Cootie Williams steps in, then the full band comes in. Ben Webster solos over the groove before Lawrence Brown takes over the theme, then the full band comes in again, with almost dissonant chords and flourishes. Hodges then recapitulates the theme and takes it out, with Ellington having the last word (or syllable). All over a sumptuous bed of relaxed but insistent swing. All in a little over three minutes. Just marvelous.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Playlist, Week of 2017-07-16

In a great summer for major reissues, another one to add to the list is the new remastered and expanded edition of Purple Rain... key draw is the second disc of unreleased material, much of which I've heard, but not with this sound quality, including the amazing "Wonderful Ass,"one of my favorite Prince bootleg tracks...  second key draw is the presence of all the Purple Rain-related extended 12-inch singles, many on CD for the first time... there are some issues with this release, though, and the best overall review I've seen of it is here... It's also guitar week, it seems! In addition to revisiting some of the unreleased December 2016 sessions with Rodger Coleman, whose guitar playing always gets me excited, I'm enjoying delving a little deeper into the guitar playing of Nels Cline... his playing in the guitar/bass/drum trio context is particularly inventive, with a hefty dose of noise mixed in, especially on Instrumentals... Henry Kaiser's Everything Forever is an extended 80-minute solo guitar piece that quickly delves into "Dark Star" territory... it's a long trance piece, but the mood is beautifully sustained... Mix in some Garcia, some Fripp, and some Steve Hillage and you have a nice week of guitar.

Playlist 2017-07-17:

*Johann Christian Bach: Six Favorite Overtures (Academy of Ancient Music)
*Anthony Braxton Zim Sextet: 2017-06-03 Moers (CDR)
*Nels Cline: Coward
*Nels Cline Singers: Instrumentals
*Nels Cline Trio: Ground
*Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: 2016-12-26 Nashville (wav) (selections)
*Mary Halvorson Quintet: Saturn Sings
*Ingrid Laubrock/Tom Rainey: 2011-07-25 NYC (CDR)
*Roscoe Mitchell Creative Orchestra: Sketches from Bamboo
*Thelonious Monk: Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960 (disc 1)
*Sun Ra and His Arkestra: Super-Sonic Jazz
*Sun Ra: 1982-06-24 Mannheim, Germany (CDR) (disc 1)
*Henry Threadgill Sextet: Just the Facts and Pass the Bucket
*John Zorn: Moonchild: Songs Without Words
*Apples in Stereo: The Discovery of a World Inside the Moone
*Area: Maledetti (Maudits)
*Beach Boys: 1967: Sunshine Tomorrow (selections)
*Beatles: Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band (Super Deluxe Ed.) (discs 2, 3)
*Gong: Live in Sherwood Forest '75
*Grateful Dead: Cornell 5.8.77 (disc 3)
*Grateful Dead: 50 Shades of Black & White (1987-04-07 East Rutherford NJ)
*Hatfield and the North: The Rotters’ Club (side 2)
*Henry Kaiser: Everything Forever
*King Crimson: Islands (40th Anniversary Ed.) (disc 2)
*King Tubby: Two Big Bull in a One Pen Dubwise
*Prince and the Revolution: Purple Rain (Deluxe Expanded Edition) (discs 2, 3)
*Prince: Released (CDR compilation)
*Prince: Unreleased (CDR compilation)
*Rolling Stones: Havana Moon
*Neil Young: On the Beach

Reading List, Week of 2017-07-16

Reading List 2017-07-17:

*Thomson, David. Television: A Biography (started)
*Youngquist, Paul. A Pure Solar World: Sun Ra and the Birth of Afrofuturism (started)
*Kirkman, Robert, et al. The Walking Dead (issues 92-93) (started/finished)
*Steele, Greg. Kitties (started/finished)
*Brontë, Anne. Agnes Grey (finished)
*Jackson, Holbrook. Anatomy of Bibliomania (in progress)
*King, Frank. Walt and Skeezix, Vol. 3: 1925-1926 (reread/in progress)
*Silliman, Ron. The Alphabet (in progress)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Other, Better World

Thmei was the activist group formed by Sun Ra and Alton Abraham in the 1950s in Chicago:
Thmei needed a public address system, a means of spreading its message of building a better world through culture and art. Or maybe a medium that was the message, art that built the better world it announced. For Sun Ra, music was that art, a creative medium that could challenge reality and offer something better in the process: a new sound, a progressive sensibility, a bold promise that however ugly the world might be, a more beautiful one awaited those adventurers who could feel and respond to music's call. (Paul Youngquist, A Pure Solar World: Sun Ra and the Birth of Afrofuturism, 2016, p. 62)

Friday, July 14, 2017

Pick of the Week

Happy to see that Who Doesn't Fade? has been chosen as a Pick of the Week over at Avant Music News! What an honor--thanks, guys.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Playlist, Week of 2017-07-09

In addition to that other big re-release celebrating 1967, we now have 1967: Sunshine Tomorrow, featuring a gorgeous new true-stereo mix of the Beach  Boys' classic Wild Honey... the album sounds better than ever... while still maintaining its air of rediscovered simplicity, the new mix gives the album a beautiful sense of detailed clarity, a breath of country air, a sweeter thing or two... absolutely gorgeous... also included are tons of alternate takes, session tracks, and unreleased live and live-in-the-studio gems from the Smiley Smile and Wild Honey era... it's great to finally have "A Little Help from My Friends," as well as the full version of "I Was Made to Love Her" (with the coda at the end), on CD (both of these were previously only available on the LP "Rarities") (itself pretty rare).... The newly discovered tapes of Thelonious Monk's soundtrack sessions for Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960 are primo... Also continuing my on and off explorations of Bud Powell, whose playing continues to fascinate me... As do the Beatles... Revolver and Sgt. Pepper: gaddam....

Playlist 2017-07-10:

*Nonpareil Wind Band: A Grand Sousa Concert (selectins)
*John Philip Sousa: Sousa Band (CDR compilation)
*Nels Cline Trio: Ground
*John Coltrane Quintet: 1961-07-01 Newport Jazz Festival (CDR)
*For Living Lovers: Brandon Ross/Stomu Takeishi: Revealing Essence
*Andrew Hill: 2001-08-14 Saaldelden, Austria (CDR)
*Thelonious Monk: Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
*David Murray Octet: Dark Star: The Music of the Grateful Dead "Dark Star"
*Bud Powell: Tempus Fugue-It (disc 1)
*Ben Redwine/Daniel Barbiero/Jonathan Matis: Microeconomics
*Henry Threadgill Sextet: Just the Facts and Pass the Bucket
*David Torn & Prezens: 2007-08-24 Saalfelden (CDR)
*David Torn & Prezens: 2008-01-19 Budapest (CDR) (disc 2)
*World Saxophone Quartet: Requiem for Julius
*Amon Düül II: Live in Tokyo
*Beach Boys: 1967: Sunshine Tomorrow
*Beach Boys: Love You
*Beatles: Revolver (2009 mono remaster)
*Beatles: Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band (Super Deluxe Ed.) (discs 1, 2, 3, 4)
*De Facto: Megaton Shotblast
*Flash: Flash
*Henry Kaiser: Eternity Blue
*Henry Kaiser: Everything Forever
*King Crimson: Islands (40th Anniversary Ed.) (disc 1)
*Oneohtrix Point Never: R Plus Seven
*Dusty Springfield: Complete A and B Sides 1963-1970 (disc 1)
*Brian Wilson: Live at the Roxy Theatre (disc 2)

Reading List, Week of 2017-07-09

Reading List 2017-07-10:

*Brontë, Anne. Agnes Grey (started)
*Lemire, Jeff, and Dean Ormston.  Black Hammer: Secret Origins (started/finished)
*Turow, Scott. Testimony (started/finished)
*Corey, James S. A. Babylon's Ashes (finished)
*Shakespeare, William. Love's Labour's Lost (original-spelling ed.) (reread/finished)
*Turner, Steve. Beatles '66: The Revolutionary Year (finished)
*Jackson, Holbrook. Anatomy of Bibliomania (in progress)
*King, Frank. Walt and Skeezix, Vol. 3: 1925-1926 (reread/in progress)
*Silliman, Ron. The Alphabet (in progress)

Friday, July 7, 2017

Another Bonus Playlist from the Magic Jukebox

It's time for another installment of a Magic Jukebox playlist, this time from late June 2017!

1. Beatles -  I'm looking through you (Anthology)
2. Beach Boys -  Child is father to the man
3. Beatles - Twist and shout (Ed Sullivan)
4. Duke Ellington - Raising the rent
5. Duke Ellington - Bluebird of Delhi (Myrah)
6. Beatles - Something/Blue jay way (Love)
7. Jimi Hendrix - Message to love (live Hawaii)
8. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles - Ooo baby baby
9. Miles Davis - Riot (Antwerp)
10. Roger & the Gypsies - Pass the hatchet
11. Elvis Presley - Return to sender
12. Flying Lotus - Coronus, the terminator
13. Pavement - Hit the plane down
14. Billie Holiday - Don't Explain
15. Duke Ellington - Tiger Rag Part 1
16. James Brown - Lickin' stick, lickin' stick (live Dallas)
17. Beatles - Your feet's too big (Star Club)
18. NPG - Get wild
19. Billie Holiday - Everything happens for the better
20. Impressions  - I need to belong to someone
21. Husker Du -  I don't know what you're talking about
22. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles - Would I love you
23. Paul McCartney & Elvis Costello - Playboy to a man (demo)
24. Hank Williams - My bucket's got a hole in it
25. Pavement - No life singed her (live)
26. Louis Armstrong - That's my home
27. Eddie Floyd - Holding on with both hands
28. Sun Ra - Unidentified synth/percussion piece (ESP tribute)
29. Otis Redding - I can't turn you loose (live)
30. Sun Ra - Springtime again (live Detroit)
31. Elvis Costello - Tears before bedtime
32. XTC - Terrorism
33. Zombies - I remember when
34. Paul Whiteman - I can't have the sweetie
35. Ornette Coleman & Prime Time: In all languages (live Wax Museum DC)
36. Beatles - The long and winding road
37. John Lee Hooker - Let's go out tonight
38. Stock, Hausen, & Walkman: Glass box
39. XTC - Into the atom age
40. Duprees - You belong to me
41. OOIOO - On mani
42. Sun Ra - Dawn over Israel
43. Breeders - Flipside
44. Sly & the Family Stone - Trip to your heart
45. Sly & the Family Stone - Let me have it all
46. White Stripes - Dead leaves and the dirty ground
47. Nu Sounds - Perfume counter
48. Beatles - I've got a feeling
49. Guided By Voices - Motor away
50. Beatles - Reminiscing (Star Club)
51. Otis Redding - Dock of the bay (take 2)
52. Syreeta wright - Keep him like he is
53. Sun Ra - Overtones of China
54. Area - Giro, giro tondo
55. Duke Ellington - Cotton tail (soundie version)
56. Tad Thaddock - Attitude sax (live New Horizons)
57. John Coltrane - Pursuance
58. Miles Davis - Eighty one
59. Lollipop Shoppe - You must be a witch
60. Beatles BRG - It won't be long (yeah)
61. Time - My summertime thang #3
62. Sun Ra - State Street
63. De La Soul - D.A.I.S.Y. age
64. Sun Ra - 'Round midnight (live Detroit)
65. Sun Ra - Intergalactic Universe
66. Anthony Braxton - Composition 40D
67. Tad Thaddock - Billy the Song
68. John Lee Hooker - Down child
69. Betty & Charles - You can't find love
70. UYA - Unleash your armadillo
71. Mothers of Invention - King Kong II
72. Miles Davis - The theme (live Antwerp)
73. Beatles - Help! (take 4)
74. Guided By Voices - He's the uncle
75. Louis Armstrong - Blue again
76. Elvis Presley - Lover doll
77. XTC - No thugs in our house
78. Beatles BRG - Best of Ringo drum mix
79. Bobby Byrd - Never get enough
80. Dusty Springfield - Another night
81. Sun Ra - Along came Ra (live)
82. Sun Ra - Dance of the living image (rehearsal)
83. Captain Beefheart - Ant man bee
84. High Llamas - Up in the hills
85. Yardbirds - Shapes of things
86. Alemayehu Eshete - QondJit
87. Rufus Thomas - Sophisticated Sissy
88. Pavement - Two states
89. Santana - Batuka
90. Alton Ellis - Mad, mad, mad
91. Robert Wyatt - Maryan
92. Zach Hill - The Sacto smile
93. Mar-Keys - Bo-Time
94. Deerhoof - Frenzied handsome, hello!
95. Jackie Wilson - (I can feel those) vibrations
96. Isley Brothers -  Angels cried
97. Circus devils - Bull spears
98. Tower of Power - Flash in the pan
99. Delta Spirit - Trashcan
100. Sun Ra - Joy (live)

Monday, July 3, 2017

Playlist, Week of 2017-07-02

Thunderball: one of the ones that got away... I used to have this album as a kid, and I remember staging elaborate battle scenes with toy soldiers (or puppets?) with it going on in the background... wonderfully evocative... I stupidly sold it in a purge years ago, one of my few album-loss regrets... at least I can stream it... I've been going back and listening to other music from the Who Doesn't Fade? sessions... much of it is more aggressive than what we released, but more unfocused... can't release everything!... Highlight of the Grateful Dead documentary soundtrack is the 24-minute "Dark Star" from the Fillmore East 1970-02-14... much better sound than what was previously available... In the meanwhile, getting my prog rocks off with Steve Hackett... Phil Collins' drumming is always a pleasure... at least up to 1981, after which I just couldn't take his music any more... I'd stopped listening to Genesis long before... In my further explorations of Keiji Haino, I've delved into Fushitsusha, and this is some wild stuff... sonically dense noise guitar trio work... not crazy about his vocalizing, but it does work in context... Area is by far the greatest Italian prog group: a unique mixture of hard rock, fusion synth lines, free out jazz, and the insane vocals of leader Demetrio Stratos... Also enjoying revisiting the early folk psychedelia of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd...  Piper at the Gates of Dawn is closer to the Canterbury scene than any of their later albums, which is why I prefer it... by the time of Meddle, I get pretty bored... the Beatles Sgt. Pepper box continues to blow me away... The other big 1967 release, of course, is the Beach Boys Wild Honey collection... more on that next week!

Playlist 2017-07-03:

*John Barry: Thunderball (original soundtrack)
*Muhal Richard Abrams Experimental Band: 2012-08-25 Saalfelden, Austria (CDR)
*Art Ensemble of Chicago: 1995-01-12 Santa Cruz, CA (CDR)
*Arthur Blythe: Illusions
*Arthur Blythe: Blythe Spirit
*Nels Cline/Henry Kaiser/Jim Thomas/Weasel Walter/Allen Whitman: Jazz Free: A Connective Improvisation
*Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: 2016-12-26 Nashville (wav) (selections)
*Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: 2016-12-28 Nashville (wav) (selections)
*Duke Ellington: Live Th. Champs Elysées 29/30 Janvier 1965, Part. 2
*Fushitsusha: II (disc 2)
*Barry Guy & London Jazz Composers Orchestra: 1975-03-10 London (CDR)
*Barry Guy New Orchestra: Amphi • Radio Rondo
*Bill Laswell: Baselines
*Ingrid Laubrock/Tom Rainey: 2017-01-04 NYC (CDR)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2017-06-12: "Spread the Eggs" (wav)
*Tony Oxley Sextet: 1998-09-10 Cologne, Germany (CDR)
*Eddie Prévost-John Stevens Double Trio: 1978-08-02 London (CDR)
*Ben Redwine/Daniel Barbiero/Jonathan Matis: Microeconomics
*Devadip Carlos Santana & Turiya Alice Coltrane: Illuminations
*Area: Crac!
*Jose "Chepito" Areas: Jose "Chepito" Areas
*Syd Barrett: The Madcap Laughs
*Beach Boys: 1967: Sunshine Tomorrow
*Beatles: Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band (Super Deluxe Ed.) (discs 1, 2, 3)
*Buffalo Springfield: Buffalo Springfield Again
*Faust: Rien
*Grateful Dead: Long Strange Trip: Motion Picture Soundtrack
*Grateful Dead: Cornell 5.8.77 (disc 2)
*Steve Hackett: Voyage of the Acolyte
*Pink Floyd: The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
*Prince: Crystal Ball (discs 2, 3)
*Stereolab: Chemical Chords
*Brian Wilson: Live at the Roxy Theatre (disc 1)
*WMWS: One Night Stand

Reading List, Week of 2017-07-02

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Reading List 2017-07-03:

*Corey, James S. A. Babylon's Ashes (started)
*Kirkman, Robert, et al. The Walking Dead (issues 88-91) (started/finished)
*Jackson, Holbrook. Anatomy of Bibliomania (in progress)
*King, Frank. Walt and Skeezix, Vol. 3: 1925-1926 (reread/in progress)
*Shakespeare, William. Love's Labour's Lost (original-spelling ed.) (reread/in progress)
*Silliman, Ron. The Alphabet (in progress)
*Turner, Steve. Beatles '66: The Revolutionary Year (in progress)