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....

Playlist, Week of 2018-07-01




Trying to keep a balance between new discoveries and older, well-loved classics... with limited time and a finite future, will I ever deeply love any new music the way I have come to love Mingus Dynasty, one of the first jazz records I loved (my dad's LP)?... will I successfully identify and peg the new music I am exposed to now as being as worthy of my time and attention as The Far East Suite has proven to be?... some music is meant to be of its time only, I suppose... what lasts is a matter of personal taste and inclination as much as any cultural status accorded by...who? fans, critics, bean-counters?... Wide-ranging exposure is good... No longer do I have the time to live with a few albums and play them over and over and over... well, I could, of course, but there's just so much out there... my ears are greedy... Connecting again with Annette Peacock's wonderful vocals on the first Bruford album... amazingly, I hadn't known that the Rock Goes to College set had also been filmed and is available on youtube... she's amazing in this, the only live set I know of of this band with both her on vocals and Allan Holdsworth on guitar...

Playlist 2018-07-02:

*AMM: 1994-05-16 Bielefeld, Germany (CDR)
*Atomic: Retrograde (selections)
*Anthony Braxton: Sextet (Parker) 1993 (discs 4, 5)
*Anthony Braxton Zim Sextet: 2018-05-29 London (CDR)
*Bill Bruford: Feels Good to Me
*Bruford: Rock Goes to College
*Rodger Coleman and Sam Byrd: The Mathematics of War
*Duke Ellington: The Far East Suite
*Mats Gustafsson/Craig Taborn: Ljubljana
*Large Unit: Erta Ale (disc 3)
*Large Unit with Marshall Allen: 2018-06-17 Philadelphia (CDR)
*Arto Lindsay/Paal Nilssen-Love: Scarcity
*Charles Mingus: Mingus Dynasty
*Ikue Mori: In Light of Shadows
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2018-06-25 "Wood and Wires" (wav)
*Tyshawn Sorey: Verisimilitude
*Sun Ra: Sun Ra Radio Premier, Part 3 (streaming)
*Various artists: WSAM: Some Jazz (CDR compilation)
*Ben Webster: King of the Tenors
*Dirty Projectors: Dirty Projectors
*Gang of Four: Solid Gold / Another Day Another Dollar
*King Crimson: 1971-04-14 Frankfurt
*King Crimson: 1971-04-15 Frankfurt
*King Crimson: 1971-08-10 London
*Tito Puente: The Complete 78s: Vol. 2 (disc 2)
*Shardik: Shardik
*Various artists: WSAM: Summer on the radio (CDR compilation)
*Various artists: WSAM: Grooves for Grammaw (CDR compilation)
*Various artists: Music for Merce (1952-2009) (discs 7, 8)
*Yes: 1976-06-17 Jersey City, NJ (CDR) (disc 2)

Reading List, week of 2018-07-01

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Reading List 2018-07-02:

*Shakespeare, William. 2 Henry VI (ed. Rory Loughnane, New Oxford Shakespeare, Critical Reference Ed.) (reread/started)
*Vaughan, Brian K., et al. Paper Girls 1 (started/finished)
*Vaughan, Brian K., et al. Paper Girls 2 (started/finished)
*Vaughan, Brian K., et al. Paper Girls 3 (started/finished)
*Vaughan, Brian K., et al. Paper Girls 4 (started/finished)
*King, Stephen. The Outsider (finished)
*Bruford, Bill. Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer (in progress)
*Cochran, Peter. Small-Screen Shakespeare (in progress)
*Thomson, David. The New Biographical Dictionary of Film (4th ed.) (in progress)

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

New Ting Ting Loft Gig This Sunday

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing and sunglasses

New Ting Ting Loft will be playing this Sunday, July 1, at a show for RVA Noise, at Strange Matter, opening for To Live and Shave in L.A. (pictured above). Not sure where we are in the lineup (except that we won't be last)---we're actually lobbying to go on first so it won't interfere with our bedtimes--we ain't youngsters any more. I'll be playing a reduced kit (for portability). I am looking forward to checking out the headliners; one of their recordings features Matt Mitchell. Should be a blast!

There's a Facepook page for the show, and details are below:

RVA NOISE Presents:

TO LIVE AND SHAVE IN L.A. (Earth)
http://www.toliveandshaveinla.com/
https://toliveandshaveinla.bandcamp.com/

w/ special guests:
NEW TING TING LOFT (RVA)
http://worldofabstractdreams.blogspot.com/2015/01/new-ting-ting-loft-short-retrospective.html

And local support by:
OOZING MEAT (RVA)
https://chaoticnoiseproductions.bandcamp.com/album/oozing-meat-splatter-high-cassette
FUK U / IDIOT (NYC/RVA)
DJ RAT-WARD (RVA)
http://ratward.blogspot.com/

Sunday July 1st, 2018
8PM Doors // 9PM Sounds
$5 // 18+ 

"TO LIVE AND SHAVE IN L.A. is an experimental music collective founded in 1993 by avant-garde composer/producer Tom Smith (formerly of Washington, DC groups Peach of Immortality and Pussy Galore) and Miami Beach musician/producer Frank "Rat Bastard" Falestra. The group's primary aesthetic assertion posits that "genre is obsolete". Although often categorized as purveyors of noise music, TLASILA have been noted to pursue an unorthodox approach, "construct(ing) songs around an overwhelming plethora of sonic detail, challenging the listener to engage with a surfeit of information,"deliberately blurring "the line between harsh metal-on-metal noise and abstract musique concrète" Smith's lyrics "distance" the group "from any potential peers," "scanning like (they) came from some previously unearthed hermetic treatise." They'll be accompanied by NEW TING TING LOFT from Richmond, Virginia, playing an aggressive blend of improvised music with a 20 year history of troubled and adventurous aesthetics. filling out the bill will be OOZING MEAT, NYC/RVA act FUK U / IDIOT and soundscapes provided by DJ RAT WARD!

Andrew Cyrille on Cecil Taylor

Andrew-Cyrille-photo.png
https://www.arsnovaworkshop.com/

Great interview with Andrew Cyrille on playing with Cecil Taylor:
Toward the end of the time I played with him, we went to Japan. It was just Jimmy, Cecil, and myself. We played what we played. We played duets. We played trios. This is my own feeling, but you can make music with anybody. You don’t have to have a set formula like trumpet, saxophone, bass, piano. That’s okay, but you don’t have to have that. As you play, the music becomes so substantial that you don’t even miss the other voice until it gets there and then it adds to the mix. Music comes from the inside out, not from the outside in. [emphasis mine]

Monday, June 25, 2018

Playlist, Week of 2018-06-24

Image result for large unit erta ale

Listening all over the place, as usual... maybe sometime I'll try just sticking to one artist for a whole week just for the hell of it... Really digging the Large Unit set with Marshall Allen from Philadelphia the night after I saw them here in Richmond... he fits right in... went back to Paul Bley's Barrage with Marshall Allen (and Milford Graves!) and enjoyed it much more this time around... I was for whatever reason less than taken the first few times I heard it.. but Allen's playing is so spot on, taking it really out relatively early (1964) in the sixties free jazz vein... The 1991 AMM set was a quartet, with the late Lou Gare... the more I explore AMM, the more I realize just how varied and deep their explorations are... longer-time fans than me already know this, of course... After revisiting Pharoah Sander's Karma, I realized why I hadn't gone back to it much over the years... it's boring...

Playlist 2018-06-25:

*AMM: 1991-12-15 London (CDR)
*Art Ensemble of Chicago: People in Sorrow
*Paul Bley: Barrage
*Anthony Braxton: Quartet (Victoriaville) 1992 "Comp. No. 148 + (108a + 139 + 147)"
*Anthony Braxton: Sextet (Parker) 1993 (discs 2, 3) (streaming)
*Anthony Braxton Zim Sextet: 2018-05-30 London (CDR)
*Miles Davis: The Complete On the Corner Sessions (disc 5)
*Billie Holiday: Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday on Columbia 1933–1944 (disc 3)
*Dave Holland: Uncharted Territories (disc 1)
*Large Unit: Erta Ale (disc 2)
*Large Unit with Marshall Allen: 2018-06-17 Philadelphia (youtube)
*Roscoe Mitchell and the Sound Ensemble: 3x4 Eye
*Ray Noble & His Orchestra featuring Al Bowlly: The Very Thought of You
*Pharoah Sanders: Karma
*Wayne Shorter: Odyssey of Iska
*Sun Ra And His Astro-Ihnfinity Arkestra: Sun Embassy
*Sun Ra: Astro Black (2018 remaster)
*Sun Ra & His Arkestra: The Cymbals​/​Symbols Sessions (New York, 1973) (disc 2)
*Craig Taborn: Daylight Ghosts
*Craig Taborn/Ikue Mori: Highsmith
*Cecil Taylor: Conversations with Tony Oxley
*YoshimiO/Susie Ibarra/Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe: Flower of Sulphur
*Bruford: Seems Like a Lifetime Ago (disc 6)
*Grateful Dead: 1974-05-19 Portland OR "Truckin' > Jam > Not Fade Away" (streaming)
*King Crimson: Islands (40th Anniversary Ed.)
*King Crimson: 1971-04-12 Frankfurt
*King Crimson: 1971-04-13 Frankfurt
*Bruce Springsteen: The Ties That Bind: The River Collection (disc 4)
*Various artists: Eccentric Soul: Omnibus, Vol. 1 (discs 2, 3, 4)
*Various artists: WSAM: Oldies for Old Foax (CDR compilation)
*Various artists: Rum Punch
*Various artists: Music for Merce (1952-2009) (disc 6)
*Sonny Boy Williamson: The Essential Sonny Boy Williamson (disc 1)
*Yes: Tormato

Reading List, Week of 2018-06-24

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Reading List 2018-06-25:

*King, Stephen. The Outsider (started)
*Shakespeare, William. 1 Henry VI (ed. Sarah Neville, New Oxford Shakespeare, Critical Reference Ed.) (reread/started/finished)
*Brubaker, Ed, et al. Velvet (finished)
*Bruford, Bill. Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer (in progress)
*Cochran, Peter. Small-Screen Shakespeare (in progress)
*Thomson, David. The New Biographical Dictionary of Film (4th ed.) (in progress)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Playlist, Week of 2018-06-17


Caught Paal Nilssen Love's Large Unit at Black Iris (RVA) over the weekend, and it was amazing... loved the double drummer interplay, the electronics, the accordion, the energy, the grooves... just fantastic... Still working my way through several different groupings of electronic-related music... And still absorbing outflows from Big Ears (broken record, this, but there was just so much great music there, sending me down many different paths)... And still re-exploring and reveling in the music and spirit of Cecil Taylor... this, of course, will continue for the rest of my life...

Playlist 2018-06-18:

*AMM: 1990-03-31 Zurich (CDR)
*Art Ensemble of Chicago with Muhal Richard Abrams: 1974-08-07 Laren, The Netherlands (CDR)
*Anthony Braxton: Sextet (Parker) 1993 (disc 1) (streaming)
*Anthony Braxton Zim Sextet: 2018-05-28 London (CDR)
*Anthony Braxton Zim Sextet: 2018-05-29 London (CDR
*Bruford: The Bruford Tapes
*Bruford: Live at the Venue
*Bryan Ferry Orchestra: The Jazz Age
*Fire! Orchestra: Ritual
*Dizzy Gillespie: The Complete RCA Victor Recordings 1937-1949 (disc 1)
*Ronald Shannon Jackson: Red Warrior
*Keith Jarrett: Fort Yawuh (disc 2)
*Large Unit: Erta Ale (disc 1)
*Lounge Lizards: No Pain for Cakes
*Lounge Lizards: Queen of All Ears
*Masters of Disorientation: 1990-02-25 Birmingham, Eng. (CDR) (disc 2)
*Rob Mazurek/Exploding Star Orchestra Featuring Roscoe Mitchell: Matter Anti-Matter (disc 1)
*Rob Mazurek/Exploding Star Orchestra: Galactic Parables: Volume 1 (disc 1)
*Ikue Mori: Obelisk
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2018-06-04 "Baby Stick Head Ambush Probe" (mp3)
*Evan Parker: 50th Birthday Concert (disc 2)
*Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble: The Moment's Energy
*Sun Ra: selections (Bandcamp streaming)
*Cecil Taylor: Jazz Advance
*Cecil Taylor: Looking Ahead
*Cecil Taylor: Garden (disc 1)
*J.B.'s: Funky Good Time: The Anthology (disc 2)
*Everly Brothers: The Very Best of the Cadence Era
*Jefferson Pilot: The Optimist Field
*King Crimson: In the Wake of Poseidon (40th Anniversary Series)
*King Crimson: Lizard (40th Anniversary Series)
*Madonna: The Immaculate Collection
*National Health: Missing Pieces
*Tito Puente: The Essential Tito Puente (disc 2)
*To Live and Shave in L.A.: Apfel - Messer - Fliege (streaming)
*Various artists: History of Electronic/Electroacoustic Music (CDR compilation) (disc 13)
*Various artists: Music for Merce (1952-2009) (disc 5)
*Various artists: Eccentric Soul: Omnibus, Vol. 1 (disc 1)
*Frank Zappa/Mothers of Invention: The Roxy Performances (disc 2)

Reading List, week of 2018-06-17

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Reading List 2018-06-18:

*Brubaker, Ed, et al. Velvet (started)
*Cochran, Peter. Small-Screen Shakespeare (started)
*Perry, Thomas. The Bomb Maker (finished)
*Shakespeare, William. King Richard III (Arden 2nd series, ed. Antony Hammond) (reread/finished)
*Bruford, Bill. Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer (in progress)
*Thomson, David. The New Biographical Dictionary of Film (4th ed.) (in progress)

Monday, June 11, 2018

Playlist, Week of 2018-06-10

Image result for avenging angel taborn

Craig Taborn's Avenging Angel is rapidly becoming one of my favorite solo piano recordings... In my ongoing exploration of wonderful piano players, I really need to hear more Agustí Fernández... I know him mostly from his fantastic playing on several Barry Guy large ensemble recordings... I also love that trio recording with Joe Morris and Nate Wooley... Just for the hell of it, these are the pianists that are currently on my mind: Cecil Taylor (always and forever!), Craig TabornAgustí Fernández, Kris Davis, Marilyn Crispell, Muhal Richard Abrams, Bud Powell, Paul Bley, Matt Mitchell, Teddy Wilson, and of course Sun Ra (always and forever!)... Wonderful to hear the Braxton Zim Sextet fresh out of London... The new Roscoe Mitchell/Montreal-Toronto Art Orchestra CD is absolutely great... like Discussions before it, it has re-arrangements and re-imaginings for large ensemble of several of the trio improvisations featured on the two Conversations discs (with Craig Taborn and Kikanju Baku)... this approach is proving to be quite fruitful for Mitchell... I hope he continues to mine his improvs in this way...

Playlist 2018-06-11:

*Lotte Anker/Craig Taborn/Gerald Cleaver: Floating Islands
*Anthony Braxton: Sextet (Parker) 1993 (discs 9, 10, 11) (streaming)
*Anthony Braxton: Composition No. 146 (Moogie and Stetson) (streaming)
*Anthony Braxton Zim Sextet: 2018-05-28 London (CDR)
*Anthony Braxton Zim Sextet: 2018-05-29 London (CDR)
*Anthony Braxton Zim Sextet: 2018-05-30 London (CDR)
*Brötzmann/Noble: I Am Here Where Are You
*Bruford: Gradually Going Tornado
*Agustí Fernández: River Tiger Fire (disc 3)
*Annette Hanshaw: Volume 7, 1929-30
*Joseph Jarman: As If It Were the Seasons
*Masters of Disorientation: 1990-02-25 Birmingham, Eng. (CDR) (disc 1)
*Roscoe Mitchell Quartet: Celebrating Fred Anderson
*Roscoe Mitchell/Montreal-Toronto Art Orchestra: Ride the Wind
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2018-06-04 "Baby Stick Head Ambush Probe" (mp3)
*Evan Parker: 50th Birthday Concert (disc 1)
*Sun Ra and His Arkestra: Jazz in Silhouette
*Sun Ra: The Shadows Took Shape (disc 1)
*Sun Ra: Of Abstract Dreams
*Sun Ra: Sun Ra Radio Premier, Part 2 (streaming)
*Craig Taborn: Junk Magic
*Craig Taborn: Avenging Angel
*Cecil Taylor: Silent Tongues
*Lily Allen: No Shame
*Dark Carpet: 2018-04-27 Brooklyn, NY (CDR)
*Dr. Dog: Critical Equation
*Mike Elder/Harry Forrest/Greg Jordan/Sam Byrd: 2018-04-07 (wav)
*Firesign Theatre: The Tale of the Giant Rat of Sumatra
*Lee Hazlewood: Requiem for an Almost Lady
*Jefferson Pilot: The Optimist Field
*Bruce Springsteen: The Ties That Bind: The River Collection (disc 3)
*Various artists: History of Electronic/Electroacoustic Music (CDR compilation) (disc 12)
*Various artists: Music for Merce (1952-2009) (disc 4)
*Various artists: Technicolor Paradise: Rhum Rhapsodies & Other Exotic Delights (disc 2)
*Various artists: Eccentric Soul: The Outskirts of Deep City
*Various artists: Eccentric Soul: The Prix Label
*Mike Watt: The Secondman's Middle Stand
*Brian Wilson: Brian Wilson
*Yes: 1976-06-17 Jersey City, NJ (CDR) (disc 1)

Reading List, Week of 2018-06-10

Image result for how to read nancy

Reading List 2018-06-11:

*Bruford, Bill. Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer (started)
*Perry, Thomas. The Bomb Maker (started)
*Fish, Stanley. Surprised by Sin: The Reader in Paradise Lost (finished)
*Karasik, Paul, and Mark Newgarden. How to Read Nancy: The Elements of Comics in Three Easy Panels (finished)
*Shakespeare, William. King Richard III (Arden 2nd series, ed. Antony Hammond) (reread/in progress)
*Thomson, David. The New Biographical Dictionary of Film (4th ed.) (in progress)

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

New Release: Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd -- The Mathematics of War



I'm pleased to announce the release of our newest sonic adventure: The Mathematics of War. It's available digitally and as a limited-edition CD (physical discs out next week, I'm told!). It's some of the darkest and densest stuff we've done. All improvised, no overdubs, the usual highest standard of engineering and mastering by Rodger, and spectacular artwork and design from Jeff McLennan and James Buttery, who did such wonderful work on our previous release Who Doesn't Fade? Check out the new release, and others from our catalog, on Bandcamp... and let me know what you think!

From our press release:

Continuing to take the psychic temperature of a world gone mad, long-time musical
compatriots Rodger Coleman and Sam Byrd return with their latest CD, The Mathematics of
War, a turbulent sonic landscape reflective of the 21st Century’s frightening surreality. With
Coleman wielding an increasingly vast array of electronic instruments, gadgets, and loops
pitted against Byrd’s battery of drums, percussion, and samples, the album makes a viscerally
brutal statement of force and conflict that is anything but easy listening.

While all three freely improvised tracks are darkly ruminative, a wide variety of sounds and
textures arise and fall away amidst the din, with hints of rock’n’roll’s radical redemption or the
deceptive calm of New Age synth drones providing a fleeting sense of false comfort, like
distant mirages in a vast, parched desert. And yet, for Coleman and Byrd, their music is
ultimately an expression of freedom and positive energy in the face of forces that would seek to
constrain them. “That’s what makes it related to jazz,” declares Coleman, “even if it doesn’t
sound like what most people think of as ‘jazz.’”

They didn’t set out to make an overtly ‘political’ record; according to Coleman, “the title was
derived from the cover photograph by Jeff McLennan which he called, ‘The Mathematics of
War in The Schoolyard,’ an extremely powerful image that dictated the rest of the visual
concept.” Even so, the music manages to live up to its packaging. “The album can definitely
be seen as a mental reaction to a renewed sense of angst and unrest around the world,” says
Byrd. “When they push that button, your ass gotta go!”

“I’m particularly pleased with how the CD jacket came out,” exclaims Coleman. “It is such a
pleasure to work with these fine folks all over the globe, like Jeff in Canada and James Buttery
in New Zealand. The end result goes far beyond anything I could have imagined on my own
and really makes it something special.” Rob “EoLoVoX” Clark, a college math teacher in
Wisconsin, was brought on board to help with the mathematical symbols and provided the
cryptic equation that appears throughout the artwork. As it turns out, physicist Sean Gourley
did some research on wars and found that just about all of them can be summarized in a single
formula: P(x) = Cx-a. “How’s that for The Mathematics of War?” quipped Clark.

The sheer length and unrelenting intensity of the tracks once again precluded a vinyl release —
in fact, the last track (“Zero Sum Game”) had to be edited to fit the album onto a single CD
(though the full-length track will be available for download on BandCamp). “I love vinyl,” admits
Coleman, “but it just doesn’t make sense with this music. Besides, I think CDs can sound very,
very good.” Engineered by Coleman in his home studio, you can hear for yourself on The Mathematics of War.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Playlist, Week of 2018-06-03



Everything blossoms out from everything else... I was blown away by Craig Taborn at Big Ears, and I keep thinking about his playing, there, so I have been exploring his music, which leads to Lotte Anker, Drew Gress, Tim Berne, Tom Rainey... and then I think of Kris Davis, which leads to Ingrid Laubrock, Mary Halvorson, and doubles back to Tom Rainey... which makes me think of David Torn, which of course leads back to Craig Taborn... and this is just one relatively small circle of connections... all this while exploring early electronic music, music for dance by Cage and Tudor, and AMM... Throw in Jefferson Pilot and Roscoe Mitchell... and ..I love how music coalesces and coexists in my brain, even as I have difficulty keeping it all there...and somehow all this listening helps inform and influence my own playing even as I recognize that my style, such as it is, has little if anything to do with most of what I listen to... I am not that technically adept and do not often find myself in the kinds of settings of the music I listen to... but the settings I create along with others are definitely informed by what I listen to, however obliquely... You are what you eat...

Playlist 2018-06-04:

*Muhal Richard Abrams: Things to Come from Those Now Gone
*AMM: 1989-10-07 London (CDR) (disc 2)
*Lotte Anker/Craig Taborn/Gerald Cleaver: Triptych
*Bob Crosby and His Bob Cats: March of the Bob Cats
*Kris Davis: Rye Eclipse
*Miles Davis: Bitches Brew “Bitches Brew”
*Drew Gress: The Sky Inside
*Roscoe Mitchell: Hey Donald
*Roscoe Mitchell Quartet: In Walked Buckner
*Roscoe Mitchell: Sustain and Run
*Roscoe Mitchell/Montreal-Toronto Art Orchestra: Ride the Wind
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2018-04-02 "Hold It Against Me" (wav)
*Paradoxical Frog: Union
*Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble: The Eleventh Hour
*Sun Ra: selections (Bandcamp streaming)
*Various artists: The 1930s- Big Bands
*Allman Brothers: At Fillmore East (side 4)
*Chairmen of the Board: Greatest Hits
*Dark Carpet: 2018-04-27 Brooklyn, NY (CDR)
*Michael Hurley: Hi Fi Snock Uptown
*Louis Prima: Louis Prima (Capitol Collectors Series)
*Sugar: Copper Blue
*Various artists: History of Electronic/Electroacoustic Music (CDR compilation) (disc 11)
*Various artists: Music for Merce (1952-2009) (disc 3)
*Various artists: Technicolor Paradise: Rhum Rhapsodies & Other Exotic Delights (disc 1)
*Various artists: Eccentric Soul: A Red Black & Green Production
*Brian Wilson: No Pier Pressure
*XTC: English Settlement (2016 original master ed.)

Reading List, Week of 2018-06-03

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Reading List 2018-06-04:

*Shakespeare, William. King Richard III (Arden 2nd series, ed. Antony Hammond) (reread/started)
*Shakespeare, William. King Henry VI, Part 3 (Arden 2nd series, ed. Andrew S. Cairncross) (reread/finished)
*Fish, Stanley. Surprised by Sin: The Reader in Paradise Lost (in progress)
*Karasik, Paul, and Mark Newgarden. How to Read Nancy: The Elements of Comics in Three Easy Panels (in progress)
*Thomson, David. The New Biographical Dictionary of Film (4th ed.) (in progress)

Friday, June 1, 2018

Playlist, Week of 2018-05-27







































...still catching up... travel times... hit Dusty Groove (pictured above) and Reckless Records in Chicago and filled some Roscoe Mitchell and Muhal Richard Abrams gaps!

Playlist 2018-05-28:

*Muhal Richard Abrams: One Line, Two Views
*Anthony Davis: Of Blues and Dreams
*Kris Davis: Good Citizen
*Charles Gayle/William Parker/Rashied Ali: Touchin' On Trane
*Mahavishnu Orchestra: The Lost Trident Sessions
*Beach Boys: Today
*Beatles: With the Beatles (2009 stereo remaster)
*Al Bowlly: The Best Of Al Bowlly
*Clash: London Calling
*Jefferson Pilot: Soundtrack to Welcome Stranger
*Queens of the Stone Age: ...Like Clockwork
*Roxy Music: For Your Pleasure

Reading List, Week of 2018-05-27

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Reading List 2018-05-28:

*Shakespeare, William. King Henry VI, Part 3 (Arden 2nd series, ed. Andrew S. Cairncross) (reread/started)
*Shakespeare, William. King Henry VI, Part 2 (Arden 2nd series, ed. Andrew S. Cairncross) (reread/started/finished)
*Shakespeare, William. King Henry VI, Part 1 (Arden 2nd series, ed. Andrew S. Cairncross) (reread/finished)
*Fish, Stanley. Surprised by Sin: The Reader in Paradise Lost (in progress)
*Karasik, Paul, and Mark Newgarden. How to Read Nancy: The Elements of Comics in Three Easy Panels (in progress)
*Thomson, David. The New Biographical Dictionary of Film (4th ed.) (in progress)

Playlist, Week of 2018-05-20



Catching up....

Playlist 2018-05-21:

*Tony Allen: The Source
*AMM: The Inexhaustible Document
*AMM: 1989-10-07 London (CDR) (disc 1)
*Daniel Barbiero & Ken Manheimer: 2018-01-27 Rhizome, Washington DC (streaming)
*Tim Berne: The Shell Game
*Tim Berne’s Snakeoil: Shadow Man
*Paul Bley: Paul Bley with Gary Peacock
*Anthony Braxton: Composition No. 46 (​+​168 and Language Music) (streaming)
*Alice Coltrane: Journey in Satchidananda
*Duke Ellington Small Bands: Back Room Romp
*Michael Formanek: Small Places
*Milford Graves and Don Pullen: Nommo
*Keith Jarrett: Fort Yawuh (disc 1)
*Roscoe Mitchell Quartet: Celebrating Fred Anderson
*Joe Morris/Agusti Fernandez/Nate Wooley: From the Discrete to the Particular
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2018-04-02 "Hold It Against Me" (wav)
*Tony Oxley Sextet: 1972-11-10 Berlin (CDR)
*Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble: Drawn Inward
*Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble: Memory/Vision
*Wadada Leo Smith: Najwa
*Sun Ra: selections (Bandcamp streaming)
*Cecil Taylor: Silent Tongues
*Cecil Taylor Ensemble: Always a Pleasure
*Cecil Taylor Big Band: 1995-07-03 NYC (CDR) (disc 3)
*Beach Boys: That’s Why God Made the Radio
*Elvis Costello & the Attractions: Get Happy (2003 reissue, disc 1)
*Fred Frith: Gravity
*Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks: Last Train to Hicksville
*Jefferson Pilot: The Optimist Field
*King Crimson: Live in Guildford
*King Crimson: Live In Vienna (disc 3)
*Richard Pinhas: 2014-05-16 Victoriaville (CDR)
*Various artists: Music for Merce (1952-2009) (disc 2)
*Various artists: History of Electronic/Electroacoustic Music (CDR compilation) (discs 9, 10)
*Various artists: Variations #2: The Globe (Jon Leidecker) (CDR)
*Various artists: Variations #3: The Approach (Jon Leidecker) (CDR)
*Various artists: Variations #4: The Explosion (Jon Leidecker) (CDR)
*Various artists: Let's Do the Boogaloo
*Various artists: Eccentric Soul: Capitol City Soul

Reading List, Week of 2018-05-20

Image result for shakespeare henry vi part 1 cairncross arden

Reading List 2018-05-21:

Karasik, Paul, and Mark Newgarden. How to Read Nancy: The Elements of Comics in Three Easy Panels (started)
*Shakespeare, William. King Henry VI, Part 1 (Arden 2nd series, ed. Andrew S. Cairncross) (reread/started)
*Fish, Stanley. Surprised by Sin: The Reader in Paradise Lost (in progress)
*Thomson, David. The New Biographical Dictionary of Film (4th ed.) (in progress)

Monday, May 14, 2018

Playlist, Week of 2018-05-13



Sun Ra's Pleiades: a rediscovered classic... his only (?) recording with chamber orchestra... Irwin Chusid and company have done a remarkable job of cleaning up this recording... I have the old Leo 2-CD version, and it's almost unlistenable (this from someone who has a high tolerance for bootleg sound!) -- Chusid has rebalanced the instruments so it doesn't sound like the tabla is right inside your eardrum, the strings now have vibrancy and presence, and the sax solos are more prominent... it's an entirely new listening experience! ...More new Anthony Braxton releases available and streaming at Bandcamp... I love the piece for 100 tubas!...

Playlist 2018-05-14:

*AMM: At the Roundhouse
*Paul Bley: Barrage
*Arthur Blythe/In the Tradition: 1982-02-18 Village Vanguard, NYC (CDR) (disc 2)
*Anthony Braxton: Composition No. 19 (For 100 Tubas) (streaming)
*Fire! Orchestra: Exit!
*Fire! Orchestra: Ritual
*Alexander Hawkins: Unit[e]
*Rob Mazurek/Exploding Star Orchestra Featuring Roscoe Mitchell: Matter Anti-Matter (disc 2)
*David Murray: Shakill's Warrior
*Musica Elettronica Viva/AMM: Live Electronic Music Improvised
*Rova :: Orkestrova: An Alligator in Your Wallet
*Muggsy Spanier: Great Original Performances 1931 and 1939
*Sun Ra: Of Abstract Dreams
*Sun Ra & His Arkestra with Chamber Orchestra: Pleiades: A Jazz Symphonique (streaming)
*Cecil Taylor: 1982-07-24 Pisa (wav)
*Cecil Taylor Unit and Diane McIntyre Sound in Motion Dance Co.:  1983-03-19 Camden, England (wav)
*Cecil Taylor Ensemble: Always a Pleasure
*Cecil Taylor Quartet featuring Anthony Braxton: 2007-06-08 London (CDR)
*Zu/Mats Gustafsson: How to Raise an Ox
*King Crimson: Live In Vienna (disc 2)
*Lester Lanin: Best of the Big Bands
*Lifeguards: Waving at the Astronauts
*Object Collection: It's All True (streaming)
*Psycho and the Birds: We've Moved
*Sonic Youth: The Eternal
*Sonic Youth: The Destroyed Room
*UYA (Trio): 1991-07-06 Hold the Bunny Down (wav)
*Various artists: Movie Musicals 1927 to 1936
*Various artists: Music for Merce (1952-2009) (disc 1)
*Various artists: History of Electronic/Electroacoustic Music (CDR compilation) (disc 8)
*Various artists: Variations #1: Transition (Jon Leidecker) (CDR)
*Various ‎artists: Tropicália (A Brazilian Revolution in Sound)
*Yes: Close to the Edge

Reading List, Week of 2018-05-13

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Reading List 2018-05-14:

*Shakespeare, William. King Henry VI, Part 1 (Arden 2nd series, ed. Andrew S. Cairncross (reread/started)
*Almond, Steve. The Evil B.B. Chow and Other Stories (started/finished)
*Middleton, Thomas, and William Rowley. The Changeling (started/finished)
*Milton, John. Paradise Lost (reread/finished)
*Fish, Stanley. Surprised by Sin: The Reader in Paradise Lost (in progress)
*Thomson, David. The New Biographical Dictionary of Film (4th ed.) (in progress)

Monday, May 7, 2018

Playlist, Week of 2018-05-06




Have enjoyed going back to some live Sylvie Courvoisier recordings I have, after getting into her newer Intakt recordings with Ikue Mori... The ripples of Big Ears continue to reverberate... as does the world that Cecil Taylor opened up for us... So much great music out there...

Playlist 2018-05-07:

*Muhal Richard Abrams: Levels and Degrees of Light
*Muhal Richard Abrams & Roscoe Mitchell: Spectrum
*Lotte Anker/Sylvie Courvoisier/Ikue Mori: Alien Huddle
*Peter Brötzmann Trio: Mayday
*Alex Cline: For People in Sorrow
*Rodger Coleman: Gone Again
*Rodger Coleman and Sam Byrd: The Mathematics of War (wav)
*Sylvie Courvoisier: 2009-01-04 NYC (CDR)
*Sylvie Courvoisier/Mark Feldman: 2010-07-03 Whitney Museum of Modern Art, NYC (CDR)
*Sylvie Courvoisier/Mark Feldman Quartet: 2010-11-12 Nevers Jazz Festival, France (CDR)
*Fire! Orchestra: Ritual
*Mats Gustafsson/Jim O'Rourke: Xylophonen Virtuosen
*Fletcher Henderson And His Orchestra: Hocus Pocus
*Wes Montgomery: The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2018-04-02 "Hold It Against Me" (wav)
*Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble: Toward the Margins
*Richard Pinhas/Tatsuya Yoshida/Ryoko Ono: Live At Tusk Festival (side 1)
*Sun Ra & His Arkestra: The Cymbals​/​Symbols Sessions (New York, 1973) (streaming)
*Tom Rainey Trio: 2011-05-06 Firehouse 12, New Haven, CT (CDR) (selections)
*Craig Taborn: Avenging Angel
*Cecil Taylor/The Ensemble: The Light of Corona
*Cecil Taylor/Tony Oxley: 2007-10-11 Modena, Italy (CDR)
*Nora Byrd & John Williams: 2018-01-13 "The Craic," Chicago (CDR)
*Nora Byrd & John Williams: 2018-02-03 "The Craic," Chicago (CDR)
*Grateful Dead: 1969-12-26 Dallas (CDR) (electric set)
*Latin Playboys: Latin Playboys
*Tito Puente: The Essential Tito Puente (disc 1)
*Sonic Youth: Rather Ripped
*UYA: 1991-06-09 Time Bites (wav)
*UYA: 1991-06-23 Tension Rods (wav)
*Various artists: History of Electronic/Electroacoustic Music (CDR compilation) (disc 7)
*Various artists: Eccentric Soul: Sitting in the Park

Reading List, Week of 2018-05-06

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Finally finished it! Been picking away at The Anatomy of Bibliomania for over a year now...

Reading List 2018-05-07:

*Le Carré, John. The Tailor of Panama (finished)
*Thomson, David. The New Biographical Dictionary of Film (4th ed.) (started)
*Jackson, Holbrook. Anatomy of Bibliomania (finished)
*Fish, Stanley. Surprised by Sin: The Reader in Paradise Lost (in progress)
*Milton, John. Paradise Lost (reread/in progress)

Monday, April 30, 2018

Playlist, Week of 2018-04-29



Lots more new Sun Ra making the scene... always a pleasure... I'm really digging the newly released music from the Cymbals sessions in 1973.... Note that two tracks here also appeared (under different names) on Sign of the Myth... and "The Universe Is Calling" originally appeared as "Jazz and Romantic Sounds" on Out There a Minute... still, it's wonderful to have the entire session all in one place, and in much improved sound... Also thoroughly entranced by Mats Gustafsson's Fire! Orchestra... skronk big-band with great grooves and mesmerizing vocals... Dug up an old cassette I recorded of Arthur Blythe with John Hicks, Steve McCall, and Fred Hopkins at the Village Vanguard... I saw Blythe several times in the '80s, but this was the only time I saw his In the Tradition quartet... really amazing, blistering alto sax... and great to hear McCall in this free-bop/swing context... he is just burning!...

Playlist 2018-04-30:

*Muhal Richard Abrams: One Line, Two Views
*Tony Allen: The Source
*Arthur Blythe/In the Tradition: 1982-02-18 Village Vanguard, NYC (CDR) (disc 1)
*Peter Brötzmann Trio: Mayday
*Sylvie Courvoisier/Mark Feldman/Ikue Mori/Evan Parker: Miller's Tale
*Fire! Orchestra: Exit!
*Fire! Orchestra: Enter
*Fire! Orchestra: Ritual
*Stan Getz and Joano Gilberto: Getz/Gilberto
*Annette Hanshaw: The Twenties Sweetheart
*Graham Haynes: Transition
*Rob Mazurek/Exploding Star Orchestra Featuring Roscoe Mitchell: Matter Anti-Matter (disc 1)
*Steve Miller/Lol Coxhill: "The Story So Far​.​.​." ".​.​.​Oh Really?" (disc 2)
*Roscoe Mitchell: Songs in the Wind
*Roscoe Mitchell: Bells for the South Side (disc 2)
*Ray Noble & His Orchestra featuring Al Bowlly: The Very Thought of You
*Sun Ra & His Astro-Infinity Arkestra: Sign of the Myth
*Sun Ra & His Arkestra: The Cymbals​/​Symbols Sessions (New York, 1973) (streaming)
*Sun Ra: 1980-02-05 Squat Theatre, NYC (CDR)
*Craig Taborn: Daylight Ghosts
*Cecil Taylor Quartet: 1969-11-02 London (CDR)
*Cecil Taylor Big Band: 1995-07-03 NYC (CDR) (discs 1, 2)
*Cecil Taylor/Tony Oxley: 2007-06-08 London (CDR)
*Cecil Taylor/Tony Oxley: 2007-10-11 Modena, Italy (CDR)
*Fred Astaire: Starring Fred Astaire (disc 1)
*John Barry: Goldfinger (Original Motion Picture Score)
*Flight of the Conchords: Flight of the Conchords
*Grateful Dead: 1969-02-22 Vallejo CA (CDR) (disc 2)
*George Harrison: All Things Must Pass (disc 2)
*King Crimson: Live In Vienna (disc 1)
*Dean Martin: The Essential Dean Martin
*Lee Perry: I Am the Upsetter (disc 4)
*Todd Rundgren: Runt + The Alternate Runt (disc 2)
*Sonic Youth: NYC Ghosts & Flowers
*Sonic Youth: Murray Street
*Sonic Youth: Sonic Nurse
*Sonic Youth with Mats Gustafsson and Merzbow: Andre Sider Af Sonic Youth
*Various artists: History of Electronic/Electroacoustic Music (CDR compilation) (discs 5, 6)
*Various artists: Eccentric Soul: Smart's Palace
*Yes: 1975-07-23 Providence RI (CDR) (disc 2)

Reading List, Week of 2018-04-29

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Reading List 2018-04-30:

*Fish, Stanley. Surprised by Sin: The Reader in Paradise Lost (started)
*Le Carré, John. The Tailor of Panama (started)
*Kirkman, Robert, et al. The Walking Dead (issues 115-130) (started/finished)
*Jackson, Holbrook. Anatomy of Bibliomania (in progress)
*Milton, John. Paradise Lost (reread/in progress)

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Playlist, Week of 2018-04-22



So, inspired by the music of Matt Mitchell and Kate Gentile, I've been going back to the Tim Berne's Snakeoil albums... these are really excellent, and are easily my favorite Berne recordings... and in a nice stroke of serendipity, I just stumbled on this, even though it came out last month: the always insightful Hank Shteamer wrote this blog post about Snakeoil which is definitely worth checking out... Always a pleasure to go back to the old original Art Ensemble sessions... And how wonderful it was that Cecil Taylor and Anthony Braxton played together, back in 2007... already over ten years ago, holy crap... too bad they didn't make it to the studio, but the live performances are choice...

Playlist 2018-04-23:

*Muhal Richard Abrams: Song for All
*Art Ensemble: 1967/68 (discs 1, 2, 3)
*Tim Berne: Snakeoil
*Tim Berne’s Snakeoil: Shadow Man
*Tim Berne's Snakeoil: You've Been Watching Me
*Tim Berne's Snakeoil: Incidentals
*Anthony Braxton: Trillium R: Composition 162 - An Opera in Four Acts/Shala Fears for the Poor (disc 1)
*Anthony Braxton: Sextet (Parker) 1993 (disc 8) (streaming)
*Rodger Coleman and Sam Byrd: 2017-12-27 Nashville (selections)
*Steve Coleman and the Council of Balance: Genesis
*Miles Davis: Seven Steps: The Complete Columbia Recordings Of Miles Davis 1963-1964 (discs 1, 2)
*Eric Dolphy: Berlin Concerts
*E.S.T.: Leucocyte
*Kate Gentile: Mannequins
*Vijay Iyer Sextet: Far from Over
*Ingrid Laubrock: Serpentines
*Mahavishnu Orchestra: 1973-02-24 Rindge, NH (CDR)
*Matt Mitchell: A Pouting Grimace
*Roscoe Mitchell Trio: No Side Effects (disc 1)
*Roscoe Mitchell: Bells for the South Side (disc 1)
*Roscoe Mitchell Discussions Orchestra: Discussions
*Tom Rainey Trio: Hotel Grief
*Return to Forever: Where Have I Known You Before
*Tyshawn Sorey: The Inner Spectrum of Variables (disc 2)
*Sun Ra: Of Abstract Dreams (streaming)
*Cecil Taylor Unit: One Too Many Salty Swift and Not Goodbye
*Cecil Taylor Quartet featuring Anthony Braxton: 2007-06-08 London (CDR)
*Amon Düül II: The UA Years 1969-1974
*Mike Elder/Harry Forrest/Greg Jordan/Sam Byrd: 2018-04-07 (wav)
*5uu's: Hunger's Teeth
*Funkadelic: Reworked by Detroiters (disc 1)
*Grails: Doomsdayer's Holiday
*Henry Kaiser: Everything Forever
*Mars Volta: Frances the Mute
*Steve Miller/Lol Coxhill: "The Story So Far​.​.​." ".​.​.​Oh Really?" (disc 1)
*Neu!: Neu!
*OOIOO: Shock City Shockers, Vol. 2: OOIOO Remix
*Sonic Youth: Dirty
*Sonic Youth: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star
*Sonic Youth: Washing Machine
*Sonic Youth: A Thousand Leaves
*Various artists: History of Electronic/Electroacoustic Music (CDR compilation) (disc 4)
*Various artists: The Telugu Connection (CDR)
*Junior Wells' Chicago Blues Band: Hoodoo Man Blues
*Wire: Chairs Missing
*X-Legged Sally: Compilation CD [1986-1997]
*Neil Young: Tonight’s the Night

Reading List, Week of 2018-04-22

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Reading List 2018-04-23:

*Milton, John. Paradise Lost (reread/started)
*Kirkman, Robert, et al. The Walking Dead (issues 111-114) (started/finished)
*Boyle, James, Jennifer Jenkins, and Keith Aoki. Theft! A History of Music (finished)
*Christgau, Robert. Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s (finished)
*Corey, James S. A. Persepolis Rising (finished)
*Gould, Jonathan. Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life (finished)
*Jackson, Holbrook. Anatomy of Bibliomania (in progress)

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Playlist, Week of 2018-04-15

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Two recent albums featuring pianist Matt Mitchell and drummer Kate Gentile have been exciting me for the last few weeks: Mitchell's A Pouting Grimace and Gentile's Mannequins... both of these were on several of last year's best-of lists, and with good reason... both have compositions with intriguing, knotty melodic lines that turn and twist on themselves... Mitchell's piano and electronics work is exquisite, and Gentile is a clean inventive drummer whose textures sometimes evoke Chris Cutler... in fact, much of this music evokes the improvisational textures of late-era Henry Cow, which makes sense when you consider that Mitchell used to play in Thinking Plague... Mitchell's music is also more than a little related to the work he's done with Tim Berne's Snakeoil... I continue to revisit Sonic Youth with awe at the sheer, oh I don't know, guitar-ness of it all... I don't know when I'll return in depth to Cecil Taylor... I am still reeling from the news of his death... In the meanwhile, I plan on continuing to explore Muhal Richard Abrams and Roscoe Mitchell... especially since this week marks the ending of my Henry Threadgill listening spree... for me, the studio albums are far stronger than all the live shows, especially the Zooid ones... and his two most recent albums, In for a Penny and Old Locks are among his strongest ever...

Playlist 2018-04-16:

*AMM: Fine
*Lotte Anker/Craig Taborn/Gerald Cleaver: Triptych
*Tim Berne's Snakeoil: You've Been Watching Me
*Rodger Coleman and Sam Byrd: 2017-12-27 Nashville (selections)
*Decoy & Joe McPhee: Oto
*Tomas Fujiwara: Triple Double
*Kate Gentile: Mannequins
*Barry Guy New Orchestra: Oort-Entropy
*Matt Mitchell: A Pouting Grimace
*Roscoe Mitchell: Duets with Tyshawn Sorey and Special Guest Hugh Ragin
*Roscoe Mitchell: Bells for the South Side (disc 2)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2018-03-19 "Cornering the Market" (wav)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2018-03-26 "Bowser Intake Ratio" (wav)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2018-04-02 "Hold It Against Me" (wav)
*Wadada Leo Smith: Najwa
*Tyshawn Sorey: The Inner Spectrum of Variables (disc 1)
*Tyshawn Sorey: Verisimilitude
*Sun Ra: selections (Bandcamp streaming)
*Henry Threadgill Zooid: In for a Penny, In for a Pound
*Henry Threadgill Ensemble Double Up: Old Locks and Irregular Verbs
*Henry Threadgill Zooid: 2017-03-26 Knoxville TN (CDR)
*Lily Allen: Sheezus
*Colin Blunstone: Ennismore
*Carter Family: Volume 2 1935-1941 (disc 2)
*Firesign Theatre: I Think We're All Bozos on This Bus
*Grateful Dead: 1969-02-22 Vallejo CA (CDR)
*Grateful Dead: Three from the Vault (1971-02-19 Port Chester, NY) (disc 2)
*J.B.'s: Funky Good Time: The Anthology (disc 1)
*Ozric Tentacles: Jurassic Shift
*Panda Bear: Person Pitch
*Lee Perry: I Am the Upsetter (disc 3)
*Rascals: Freedom Suite (side 4)
*Sonic Youth: Evol
*Sonic Youth: Sister
*Sonic Youth: Daydream Nation
*Sonic Youth: Goo
*This Heat: This Heat
*Various artists: History of Electronic/Electroacoustic Music (CDR compilation) (discs 1, 2, 3)
*Various artists: Eccentric Soul: The 4J Label
*Hank Williams: The Original Singles Collection (disc 1)
*WMWS: One Night Stand
*Yes: 1975-07-23 Providence RI (CDR) (disc 1)
*Frank Zappa/Mothers of Invention: The Roxy Performances (disc 1)

Reading List, Week of 2018-04-15

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Reading List 2018-04-16:

*Boyle, James, Jennifer Jenkins, and Keith Aoki. Theft! A History of Music (in progress)
*Christgau, Robert. Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s (in progress)
*Corey, James S. A. Persepolis Rising (in progress)
*Gould, Jonathan. Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life (in progress)
*Jackson, Holbrook. Anatomy of Bibliomania (in progress)

Monday, April 9, 2018

Playlist, Week of 2018-04-08



Great to have the wonderfully remastered CD of God Is More than Love Can Ever BeSun Ra's only piano trio album... Under the double sway of Roscoe Mitchell's hypnotic sax and Sonic Youth's hypnotic guitar grooves... Going back and digging Milford Graves' work with Giuseppi Logan... I have a hard time with the sax player's almost inept and feeble attempts at free jazz, but when Logan drops out and Don Pullen takes over, true fire emerges...

Playlist 2018-04-09:

*Anthony Braxton: 4 Compositions (Ulrichsberg) 2005 Phonomanie VIII (disc 2)
*Miles Davis: Aura
*Decoy with Joe McPhee: Spontaneous Combustion (disc 2)
*Joe Henderson featuring Alice Coltrane: The Elements
*Giuseppi Logan Quartet: The Giuseppi Logan Quartet
*Roscoe Mitchell Trio: No Side Effects (disc 2)
*Roscoe Mitchell Quartet: 2009-06-28 Tivoli (CDR)
*Roscoe Mitchell's Cards For Orchestra Project: 2009-08-30 Sant'Anna Arresi, Italy (CDR)
*Roscoe Mitchell Trio: Angel City
*Roscoe Mitchell: 2011-02-17 Roulette, NYC (CDR)
*Roscoe Mitchell: Bells for the South Side (disc 1)
*David Murray/Milford Graves: Real Deal
*Paradoxical Frog: Paradoxical Frog
*Charlie Parker: The Complete Charlie Parker on Verve (disc 5)
*Sun Ra: God Is More than Love Can Ever Be (Remastered 2018 Ed.)
*Henry Threadgill Zooid: Tomorrow Sunny/The Revelry, Spp
*Henry Threadgill Zooid: 2012-03-18 NYC (CDR)
*Eberhard Weber: Yellow Fields
*Chicago: At Carnegie Hall (disc 4)
*Tim Gane & Sean O'Hagan: La Vie d'Artiste (disc 2)
*King Geedorah: Take Me to Your Leader
*Lee Perry: I Am the Upsetter (disc 2)
*Prince: Lovesexy 25 (webcast boot CDR)
*Sly and the Family Stone: Live at the Fillmore East October 4th & 5th, 1968 (disc 4)
*Sonic Youth: Bad Moon Rising
*Sonic Youth: Sonic Nurse
*Sonic Youth: The Eternal
*Sonic Youth: The Destroyed Room
*Various artists: Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music #7: Seventh and Last a-Chronology 1930-2012 (disc 3)
*Yes: 1975-07-06 Memphis (CDR)

Reading List, Week of 2018-04-09

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A while ago I read Emily Wilson's new translation of The Odyssey, and quite enjoyed it, even though I still prefer the majestic Fagles translation... I followed that up with The Lost Books of the Odyssey, which is truly amazing... Zachary Mason's poetic re-imagining, retelling, and re-inventions of  Odysseus' adventures is absolutely mindbending...

Reading List 2018-04-09:

*Boyle, James, Jennifer Jenkins, and Keith Aoki. Theft! A History of Music (started)
*Corey, James S. A. Persepolis Rising (started)
*James, P. D. Sleep No More: Six Murderous Tales (started/finished)
*Mason, Zachary. The Lost Books of the Odyssey (finished)
*Shakespeare Up Close: Reading Early Modern Texts (ed. Russ McDonald, Nicholas D. Nace, and Travis D. Williams) (finished)
*Christgau, Robert. Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s (in progress)
*Gould, Jonathan. Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life (in progress)
*Jackson, Holbrook. Anatomy of Bibliomania (in progress)

Friday, April 6, 2018

R.I.P. Cecil Taylor

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It happens to us all, and now it's happened to Cecil Taylor, whose music has been a major guiding force in my life since the 1970s. The only time I met him was in 1980 at Blues Alley in DC, after I'd just been transformed to a higher plane of being by two hour-long incendiary sets of his quartet with Jimmy Lyons, William Parker, and Rashid Bakr. God knows what he thought of the two rather thin goggle-eyed white guys (me and my brother Jeff), clutching albums for him to sign and basically slack-jawed and inarticulate (unlike him--he was gracious, polite if reserved, and majestic). I hope he at least could tell how much the music he'd just shared had meant to us. His music, that life spirit, has sustained me for it seems like forever, and has inspired my drumming as much if not more than any drummer. The sheer energy and love of life that pervaded his very being channeled through his fingers to anyone open to listen and receive. I'll miss that spirit deeply. Thank you, Mr. Taylor.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Playlist, Week of 2018-04-01



I am on a Roscoe Mitchell roll after having seen him at Big Ears last week... It's been an awful lot of music to absorb, but I think I've been up to the task, heh heh.... I love his orchestration of "Nonaah" as played by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra... why doesn't that kind of thing happen regularly in the States?... oh, yeah, right, forget I asked...

Playlist 2018-04-02:

*Anthony Braxton: Sextet (Parker) 1993 (disc 7) (streaming)
*Anthony Braxton: 4 Compositions (Ulrichsberg) 2005 Phonomanie VIII (disc 4)
*Anthony Braxton/Milford Graves/William Parker: Beyond Quantum
*Decoy with Joe McPhee: Spontaneous Combustion (disc 1)
*Kate Gentile: Mannequins
*Vijay Iyer Sextet: Far from Over
*Mephista: Entomological Reflections
*Roscoe Mitchell Quartet: Live at “A Space” 1975
*Roscoe Mitchell and the Sound Ensemble: Snurdy McGurdy and Her Dancin’ Shoes
*Roscoe Mitchell: Duets with Tyshawn Sorey and Special Guest Hugh Ragin
*Roscoe Mitchell/Fred Frith/George Lewis/BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra: 2014-02-22 Glasgow (CDR)
*Roscoe Mitchell Trio: No Side Effects (disc 1)
*Roscoe Mitchell Trio: Angel City
*Roscoe Mitchell Discussions Orchestra: Discussions
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2018-03-19 "Cornering the Market" (wav)
*New Ting Ting Loft: 2018-03-26 "Bowser Intake Ratio" (wav)
*Evan Parker: Monoceros
*Ernesto Rodrigues/Guilherme Rodrigues/Daniel Barbiero: {the} nature {of things} likes to hide
*Henry Threadgill Zooid: 2010-06-24 NYC (CDR) (disc 2)
*Henry Threadgill Zooid: 2011-11-25 Poznan, Poland (CDR)
*James Blood Ulmer with The Thing: Baby Talk
*Ben Webster with Strings: Music for Loving (disc 1)
*John Barry: Thunderball (Definitive Soundtrack Collection)
*Clash: Sandinista! (disc 1)
*Firesign Theatre: Dear Friends
*Tim Gane & Sean O'Hagan: La Vie d'Artiste (disc 1)
*Sonic Youth: Murray Street
*Various artists: Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music #7: Seventh and Last a-Chronology 1930-2012 (disc 2)
*Various artists: Eccentric Soul: The Bandit Label
*Yardbirds: Live Yardbirds! Featuring Jimmy Page

Reading List, Week of 2018-04-01

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Reading List 2018-04-02:

*Sanderson, Brandon. Oathbringer (finished)
*Christgau, Robert. Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s (in progress)
*Gould, Jonathan. Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life (in progress)
*Jackson, Holbrook. Anatomy of Bibliomania (in progress)
*Mason, Zachary. The Lost Books of the Odyssey (in progress)
*Shakespeare Up Close: Reading Early Modern Texts (ed. Russ McDonald, Nicholas D. Nace, and Travis D. Williams) (in progress)

Friday, March 30, 2018

Brief Report: 2018 Big Ears Festival



I was lucky enough to be able to attend two days of the 2018 Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, and it was a deeply overwhelming experience, full of positivity, good vibes, and unbelievably challenging and inspiring music. Here's a brief report on what I saw. I took all these pictures; yes, they suck but there are plenty of places where you can see better ones.















Friday started of with a major implosion of space and time in my mind, with Roscoe Mitchell Trio Five: Vincent Davis on drums and Junius Paul on bass. I could quibble a little with the standard inclusion of bass and drum solos--they seemed to be there mainly to give Roscoe a chance to rest--but when he was playing, all three were on fire: high, high free energy in the finest, classic sense of that music. I was not familiar with Junius Paul, but Vincent Davis I knew from the excellent trio album No Side Effects. Much of this set was similar to that record: fiery, out, intense explosions of energy from one of the masters.












Well, that set alone would have been enough to last me a year, but there was much more to come. After catching most of a solo set from Ikue Mori (loud and intriguing), we had to split to catch Rocket Science.















A quartet organized by trumpeter Peter Allen, the main draw for me was sax giant Evan Parker. They played a brilliant hour-long improvisation, and I loved how Parker and Allen played off each other. Rarely subtle, the electronics punctuation and sound manipulation of Sam Pluta added a layer of noise to the proceedings that worked most of the time, but I felt he ran out of ideas halfway through. Not true for Craig Taborn, whose brilliant command of the piano varied between quiet, subtle ruminations to aggressive counter-attentions to the electronics. This was my first time seeing all these folks, and they just blew me away, Taborn especially.















From one giant to another: the majestic Milford Graves doing a solo set in a big theatre setting at the Bijou. Anything I say about this set will sound hokey, but it was truly transcendent and life-affirming. Graves expostulated about life, his approach to the drums, his approach to life, in a thoroughly engaging and sometime hilarious manner. He talked about applying martial arts movements and actions to his drumming, and he demonstrated on the drums. He vocalized in... Japanese? American Indian? gibberish? ( I heard "big ears" in there somewhere.) And he did things on and with the drums that I've never seen or imagined before. It was truly amazing.















The evening ended with an Evan Parker solo performance in a church with gorgeous acoustics. Another mind-blowing stunner of a set! This was my favorite of the three contexts I saw Parker participate in--amazing dexterity, breath control, multiphonics, throat singing, interstellar space-out virtuosity. Check out this sample.















The next day got jump started with a high-energy duo from skronk-samba guitarist Arto Lindsay and powerhouse Thing drummer Paal Nilssen-Love (this was to make up for my wimping out and missing The Thing's show late Friday night!). Wake up!
















After that, it was back over to another church with great acoustics for a stellar set from the Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble. Hard to see, since all the band member were on the same level as the audience (here you can just see Craig Taborn at the piano and Ikue Mori on laptop), but wonderful to listen to. This was a beautiful, wide-ranging improvisation, with excellent contributions from all involved, especially Taborn on piano and Ned Rothenberg on bass clarinet and flute.















I didn't get in line in time to see the duet performance of Milford Graves with pianist Jason Moran, dammit. I did manage to get in for most of the encore, and what I heard was a fiery Cecil Taylor-ish maelstrom of energy. Here's a short video clip. I loved Moran's playing when I saw with Anthony Braxton at the Kennedy Center; he should take it out more often, he fits right in!
















The final show I saw, and the absolute highlight of the entire festival was Roscoe Mitchell Trios back at the Bijou. Oh my gawd. Similar to the structure of Bells for the South Side, Mitchell conducted and played through a series of sub-set trios with the large band he had assembled, in differnt configurations, before finishing with a heart-stopping crescendo climax with the entire group--and what a group. Craig Taborn again--on piano and electronics--was simply outstanding, and in his short statement on electronics said more than any other single electronic artist I saw the whole festival. The Sound Ensemble rhythm section of Tani Tabbal and Jaribu Shahid, plus percussionist Ches Smith and Chicago drummer Mike Reed, plus Tyshawn Sorey on drums, percussion, piano, and toy piano, plus James Fei on reeds and electronics and Hugh Ragin on trumpet! Damn! I am not doing this music justice--I hope it was recorded. Here are a couple of video snippets to whet your appetite.