Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The 2019 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll

Results for the 2019 edition of Francis Davis' Jazz Critics Poll, for the past two years hosted by NPR, were posted yesterday. In a year where I could see now clear consensus favorite in advance, it was still not that surprising too see Kris Davis' Diatom Ribbons take the no. 1 spot, considering it received a good deal of buzz late in the year. Happy to see James Brandon Lewis' An Unruly Manifesto make the top 20, especially considering he did most of the albums promotion himself, as well as the strong finish for Anna Webber's Clockwise. Steve Lehman is be now a long-time favorite who continues to impress in many formats, and even if The People I Love didn't resonate with me quite as much as  Dialect Flourescent or Selebeyone, it's still a terrific release by one of this generations leading and most original musicians, composers and improvisors. Disappointed, though, that neither Per 'Texas' Johansson/Torbjörn Zetterberg/Konrad Agnas nor Gard Nilssen Acoustic Unity, who both released stellar albums, made the top 50, but at least I did my bit.

Speaking of things I did, I blurbed the winner of the Rara Avis category (re-issues, vault releases and similar), Musical Prophet, which covers Eric Dolphy's 1963 New York sessions. This, along with the results, plus Francis Davis' essay can be accessed via the link up top, while individual ballots (also available via the main article) are as always hosted by Tom Hull and can be accessed here. You should go check them all out, it's half the fun of such polls, but I'm posting mine below.

NEW RELEASES
  1. James Brandon Lewis, An UnRuly Manifesto (Relative Pitch)
  2. Per "Texas" Johansson-Torbjörn Zetterberg-Konrad Agnas, Orakel (Moserobie)
  3. Anna Webber, Clockwise (Pi)
  4. Gard Nilssen Acoustic Unity, To Whom Who Buys a Record (Odin)
  5. Emmeluth's Amoeba, Chimaera (Ora Fonogram)
  6. Avram Fefer Quartet, Testament (Clean Feed)
  7. Aki Takase Japanic, Thema Prima (BMC)
  8. Federico Ughi, Transoceanico (577)
  9. Steve Lehman Trio & Craig Taborn, The People I Love (Pi)
  10. Taylor Ho Bynum 9-tette, The Ambiguity Manifesto (Firehouse 12)
REISSUES/HISTORICAL
  1. Eric Dolphy, Musical Prophet: The Expanded 1963 New York Studio Sessions (Resonance -3CD -18)
  2. Detail, Day Two (1982, NoBusiness)
  3. Griot Galaxy, Kins (1981, Third Man)
VOCAL
  • Art Ensemble of Chicago, We Are on the Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration (Pi -2CD)
DEBUT
  • Nick Dunston, Atlantic Extraction (Out of Your Head)
LATIN
  • Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet, The Rhythm of Invention (Patois)

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

El Intruso 12th Annual International Critics Poll

The results for the Argentine "dedicated to other music" magazine El Intruso's 12th Annual International Critics Poll were posted this Monday. Link to the results and personal ballots here. I'll point you to the "musician of the year" category in particular, and happily note that 5 of the top 6 are female artists.



Posting my ballot below, although you can also find it via the results page linked to above.

Musician of the year: Gard Nilssen, Jaimie Branch, Eric Revis
Newcomer Musician: Georgia Wartel Collins, Nick Dunston, Claire Rousay
Group of the year: Gard Nilssen Acoustic Unity, Emmeluth’s Amoeba, jaimie branch’s Fly or Die II
Newcomer group: Nature Work, Aki Takase Japanic, Aila Trio
Album of the year: James Brandon Lewis – An UnRuly Manifesto (Relative Pitch Records), Per “Texas” Johansson / Torbjörn Zetterberg / Konrad Agnas – Orakel (Moserobie Music Production), Gard Nilssen Acoustic Unity – To Whom Who Buys a Record (ODIN)
Composer: James Brandon Lewis, Anna Webber, Taylor Ho Bynum
Drums: Gard Nilssen, Damion Reid, Christian Lillinger
Acoustic bass: Eric Revis, Luke Stewart, Petter Eldh
Electric bass: Luke Stewart, Brian Gibson, Ellen Brekken
Guitar: Anthony Pirog, Hedvig Mollestad, Mary Halvorson
Piano: Matt Mitchell, Craig Taborn, Kris Davis
Keyboards/Synthesizer/Organ: Craig Taborn, Jamie Saft, Anja Lauvdal
Tenor Saxophone: James Brandon Lewis, Andre Roligheten, Per “Texas” Johansson
Alto Saxophone: Signe Emmeluth, Steve Lehman, Mette Rasmussen
Baritone Saxophone: Eirik Hegdal, Julian Argüelles, Mats Gustafsson
Soprano Saxophone: Sam Newsome, Roscoe Mitchell, André Kassen
Trumpet / Cornet: Magnus Broo, Jaimie Branch, Steph Richards
Clarinet / Bass Clarinet: Ken Vandermark, Jason Stein, Patrick Holmes
Trombone: Mats Äleklint, Steve Swell, Jeb Bishop
Flute: Nicole Mitchell, Henry Threadgill, Anna Webber
Violin / Viola: Matt Manieri, Ola Kvernberg, Jean Cook
Cello: Tomeka Reid, Christopher Hoffman, Fredrick Lonberg-Holm
Vibrafone: Mattias Ståhl, Christopher Dell, Matt Moran
Electronics: Ikue Mori, Noel Meek, Tommi Keränen
Other Instruments: Theon Cross (tuba), Bill Lowe (tuba), Hild Sofie Tafjord (French horn)
Female Vocals: Sofia Jernberg, Moor Mother (Camae Ayewa), Fay Victor
Best Live Band: Gard Nilssen Acoustic Unity, Moskus, Henry Threadgill Zooid
Record Label: Hubro, Records Astral Spirits, Pi Recordings

Friday, December 20, 2019

Fave music (i.e. mostly jazz/"jazz") of 2019

I've often been wary of posting year-end favorites until sometime into the new year, mainly since from experience something interesting invariably pops up at later dates that demands my consideration. Be that a late release that hits the sweet spot, or something that has flown under ones radar, the latter being an example of why -- in spite of the many groans they inspire -- I still find year-end lists useful: something might pique your interests when it's placed among other stuff you admire picked by a person whose taste you trust.

Whether I am to be trusted or not I'll leave up to you to decide. In any case, as years have gone by I've become less stressed out that such list should somehow be final. They are, for me, a report of how things stand at the time it is posted. And on that note, if you arrive at this list after the personal ballots for the NPR Jazz Critics Poll, in which I voted, have been published, and something doesn't quite square with my ballot, that's because this list has been posted at a later date and for whatever reason, something felt slightly different this time around. That said, even if album X placed slightly higher than Y on one compared to the other, chances are I still like them both a hell of a lot.

With that out of the way, here's a list of my favorite jazz and jazz adjacent albums released over the past year or so, stopping at 40 because I have to stop somewhere. Plus, with an additional list consisting 10 fave "other" releases, that makes 50.

The best of the best:
  • James Brandon Lewis: An UnRuly Manifsto (Relative Pitch Records)
  • Per 'Texas' Johansson/Torbjörn Zetterberg/Konrad Agnas: Orakel (Moserobie Music Production) 
  • Gard Nilssen Acoustic Unity: To Whom Who Buys a Record (ODIN)
  • Anna Webber: Clockwise (Pi Recordings)
On heavy rotation:
  • Taylor Ho Bynum 9-tette: The Ambiguity Manifesto (Firehouse Records)
  • Avram Fefer Quartet: Testament (Clean Feed)
  • Emmeluth's Amoeba: Chimaera (Øra Fonogram)
  • Aki Takase Japanic: Thema Prima (Budapest Music Center Records) 
  • Steve Lehman Trio + Craig Taborn: The People I Love (Pi Recordings) 
  • Federico Ughi: Transoceanico (577 Records)
  • Matt Brewer w/Mark Shim and Damion Reid: Ganymede (Criss Cross Jazz)
  • Dave Rempis, Brandon Lopes & Ryan Packard: The Early Bird Gets (Aerophonic Records)
  • Gebhard Ullmann: mikroPULS (Intuition Records)
  • DKV & Joe McPhee: The Fire Each Time (6CD, Catalytic Sound)
  • jaimie branch: FLY or DIE II: bird dogs of paradise (Internaional Anthem)
  • Nature Work (Jason Stein/Greg Ward/Eric Revis/Jim Black): Nature Work (Sunnyside) 
 Thoroughly enjoyed:
  • Abdullah Ibrahim: The Balance (Gearbox Records)
  • Steph Richards: Take the Neon Lights (Birdwatcher Records)
  • Tomeka Reid Quartet: Old New (Cuneiform Records)
  • The Big Yes: The Big Yes (Nakama Records) 
  • Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom: Glitter Wolf (The Royal Potato Family)
  • Rich Halley Quartet: Terra Incognita (Pine Eagle Records)
  • Matt Mitchell: Phalanx Ambassadors (Pi Recordings)
  • Petter Eldh: Petter Eldh Presents Koma Saxo (We Jazz)
  • The Attic (Rodrigo Amado, Goncalo Almeida, Onno Govaert): Summer Bummer (NoBusiness
  • The Big Yes: The Big Yes (Nakama Records) 
  • Kris Davis: Diatom Ribbons (Pyroclastic Records)
  • Nick Dunston: Atlantic Extraction (Out Of Your Head Records)
  • Junius Paul: Ism (International Anthem
  • William Parker/In Order to Survive: Live/ShapeShifter (AUM Fidelity)
  • Fire! Orchestra: Arrival (Rune Grammofon)
  • Art Ensemble of Chicago: We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration (Pi Recordings)
  • Somersaults (Tobias Delius / Olie Brice / Mark Sanders): Numerology of Birdsong (West Hill Records)
  • Fredrik Ljungkvist Trio: Atlantis (Moserobie Music Productions)
  • Gebhard Ullmann Basement Research: Impromptus and Other Short Works (WhyPlayJazz)
  • Scheen Jazzorkester & Thomas Johansson: As We See It... (Clean Feed)
  • Aila Trio: Aila Trio (Hoo-Ha Recordings)
  • Nick Mazzarella Trio: Counterbalance (Astral Spirits)
  • Christian Meaas Svendsen + Nakama + Rinzai Zen Center Oslo: New Rituals (Nakama)
  • Burton Greene / Damon Smith / Ra Kalam Bob Moses: Life's Intense Mystery (Astral Spirits)
Vault/Re-issue:
  • Griot Galaxy: Kins (Third Man Records)
  • Clifford Jordan: Glass Bead Games (Purple Pleasure Records)
  • The Quintet: Events: 1998-1999(PNL) [Disclaimer: I wrote liner notes for this release]
  • Detail: Day Two (NoBusiness Records)
  • Sam Rivers: Emanation (NoBusiness Records)

Non-jazz releases:
  • Lightning Bolt: Sonic Citadel (Thrill Jockey)
  • Purple Mountains: Purple Mountains (Drag City)
  • Fontaines D.C.: Dogrel (Partisan) 
  • Little Simz: GREY Area (Age 101)
  • Ekiti Sound: Abeg No Vex (Crammed Disc)
  • Eddy Current Suppression Ring: All In Good Time (Castle Face)
  • Carly Rae Jepsen: Dedicated (Intercscope)
  • Broen: Do You See the Falling Leaves (Su Tissue)
  • black midi: Schlangenheim (Rough Trade)
  • Jamila Woods: Legacy! Legacy! (Jagjaguwar)

Friday, July 12, 2019

Jazz favorites, January through July 7th, 2019



I'm well aware we are a couple of weeks past the half-year mark, but since I'm just now enjoying something of a break between having visited Kongsberg Jazz Festival and the smaller, more condensed and thus more focused sort of protest festival Motvind last week, and gearing up to next week's Molde Jazz Festival, doing a short and quick half-year round-up seemed appropriate. Below are some of the newly released recorded music that has grabbed my attention the most over the first six months plus a week of 2019, and a couple reissues and "vault music" releases of interest. An asterix denotes that I have had a published review of the release in question.


James Brandon Lewis magnificent An UnRuly Manifesto has been a favorite since its release, and seems like a major work in an already promising career. It channels the lessons of Ornette Coleman and cohorts like Charlie Haden while avoiding the trap of trying to sound like them, the odd musical nod apart. Gard Nilssen Acoustic Unity's To Whom Who Buys a Record (officially released today), does something similar in the acoustic trio format, yet another great outing from a terrific band. Catch 'em live if you can. 

Speaking of trios, the number of good-to-great sax, bass and drums albums that have crossed my path is notable, topped by two Scandinavian acts including Acoustic Unity, with Matt Brewer's an all American trio close behind, all exhibiting great inventiveness, agility and skill and slipping in and out familiar structures and melodic hooks and intricate, nimble and exciting acrobatics. Then there's the hefty yet loose limbed, occasionally ferocious Transoceanico by Federico Ughi with Rachel Musson on tenor and Adam Lane on double bass, and the freewheeling openness of Dave Rempis, Brandon Lopez and Ryan Packard's Early Bird Gets.

I'm reluctant to call this a trend, though, as I see no clear cultural, social nor really economic reasons for there being as many sax, bass and drums trios around at this moment in time. So put it down to a happy coincidence, plus that my particular predisposition for sax, bass and drums trios means I tend to sniff such albums up more easily. Nevertheless, the number of recordings in this format that have tickled my fancy are notable not only for their number, but also the variety of musical expressions they exhibit.

Other things of note: Anna Webber's intriguing, percussion work inspired Clockwise, the continued rise of trumpeter Steph Richards as an instrumentalist, composer and bandleader, the perpetual relevance and inventiveness of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, veteran pianist Burton Greene's return to the piano trio with Life's Intense Mystery, the absorbing zen-jazz of Christian Meaas Svendsen's New Rituals, to mention only a few. The list is capped at 30 for no particular reason other than to keep it somewhat short. I've heard more good music than I've found space for here, also in fields outside of jazz:



Tête de la course:

- James Brandon Lewis: An UnRuly Manifsto (Relative Pitch Records) *
- Per 'Texas' Johansson/Torbjörn Zetterberg/Konrad Agnas: Orakel (Moserobie Music Production) *

- Gard Nilssen Acoustic Unity: To Whom Who Buys a Record (ODIN) *
- Anna Webber: Clockwise (Pi Recordings) *

Chase:


- DKV & Joe McPhee: The Fire Each Time (6CD, Catalytic Sound)
- Matt Brewer w/Mark Shim and Damion Reid: Genymede (Criss Cross Jazz) *
- Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom: Glitter Wolf (The Royal Potato Family) *

- Nature Work (Jason Stein/Greg Ward/Eric Revis/Jim Black): Nature Work (Sunnyside) *
- Scheen Jazzorkester & Thomas Johansson: As We See It... (Clean Feed) *
- Bjørn Marius Hegge: Ideas (Particular Recordings) *

Breakaway:

-  Aki Takase Japanic: Thema Prima (Budapest Music Center Records) *
- Dave Rempis, Brandon Lopes & Ryan Packard: The Early Bird Gets (Aerophonic Records)
- Federico Ughi: Transoceanico (577 Records) *
- Steph Richards: Take the Neon Lights (Birdwatcher Records) *

- Angelica Niescier: New York Trio feat. Jonathna Finlayson (Intakt)
- Fire! Orchestra: Arrival (Rune Grammofon) *
- Art Ensemble of Chicago: We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration (Pi Recordings) *

- The Attic (Rodrigo Amado, Goncalo Almeida, Onno Govaert): Summer Bummer (NoBusiness) *
- Matt Mitchell: Phalanx Ambassadors (Pi Recordings)
- Gebhard Ullmann Basement Research: Impromptus and Other Short Works (WhyPlayJazz)

- Christian Meaas Svendsen + Nakama + Rinzai Zen Center Oslo: New Rituals (Nakama) *
- William Parker / In Order To Survive: Live/Shapeshifter (AUM Fidelity)
- Fabian Almazan Trio: This Land Abounds With Life (Biophilia)

- Alex Fournier: Triio (Furniture Music Records)
- Matthew Shipp Trio invites Nicole Mitchell: All Things Are (Rogue Art)
- Maria Faust, Tim Dahl & Weasel Walter: Farm Fresh (Gotta Let It Out)
- Boneshaker (Mars Williams, Paal Nilssen-Love, Kent Kessler): Fake Music (Soul What Records)
- Iro Haarla, Ulf Krokfors & Barry Altschul: Around Again - The Music of Carla Bley (TUM) *
- Lind May Han Oh: Aventurine (Biophilia Records) *
- Greg Ward presents Rogue Parade: Stompin' Off From Greenwood (Greenleaf Music) *

Reissues/vault:
- Detail: Day Two (NoBusiness)
- Alice Coltrane - Live at the Berkeley Community Theater 1972 (BCT Records)
- Griot Galaxy: Kins (Third Man Records)
- Clifford Jordan: Glass Bead Games (Purple Pleasure Records)
- Sam Rivers: Emanation - Sam Rivers Archive Project, Volume 1 (NoBusiness)

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Fave Jazz of 2018

I'm repeating myself, but doing year-end round-ups when the year isn't even over still feels a bit odd. That said, having voted in Francis Davis annual Jazz Critics Poll over the past 7 or so years, where votes are due at the beginning of December, has made me get used to a Thanksgiving to Thanksgiving "jazz season" of sorts. So, putting together a top 10 ballot for this year's edition of the Jazz Critics Poll is where and when this now expanded list was started. I do consider of whatever crosses my path after this "season" ends, of course, and have added a couple of notables here, too. Withthat out of the way, below is my list of the 50, which seemed an apt and sufficient amount at he time of posting, best jazz albums released since the turn of the year. An asterisk denotes that I've written about the album in question (see here and here for info about where and when). As has been my custom in recent year, I separate these recordings into sections rather than rank them in any strict, numbered manner. That said, they are loosely listed in order of preference.

Cream of the crop:
  • Hanna Paulsberg + Magnus Broo: Daughter of the Sun (Odin) *
  • Salim Washington: Dogon Revisited (Passin' Thru) *
  • Trondheim Jazz Orchestra & Ole Morten Vågan: Happy Endlings (Odin) *
  • Ken Vandermark, Klaus Kugel & Mark Tokar: No-Exit Corner (Not Two Records) *
  • Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg: Dirt... And More Dirt (Pi Recordings) *
Heavy rotation:
  • Angelika Niescier, Christopher Tordini & Tyshawn Sorey: The Berlin Concert (Intakt Records) *
  • Daniel Carter, William Parker, Matthew Shipp: Seraphic Light (AUM Fidelity)*
  • Erlend Olderskog Albertsen: RødssalG nEEn GlassdøR (Dugnad Rec.) *
  • Rodrigo Amado, Joe McPhee, Kent Kessler, Chris Corsano: A History of Nothing (Trost Records)*
  • Dave Holland, Evan Parker, Craig Taborn & Ches Smith: Uncharted Territories (Dare2 Records) *
  • James Brandon Lewis & Chad Taylor: Radiant Imprints (Off) *
  • The Necks, Body (Fish of Milk) *
  • Johan Lindström Septet: Music For Empty Halls (Moserobie Music Productions) *
  • Friends & Neighbors: What's Next (Clean Feed) *
  • Myra Melford Snowy Egret: The Other Side of Air (Firehouse 12) *
Thoroughly enjoyed:
  • Mia Dyberg Trio: Ticket! (Clean Feed)*
  • María Grand: Magdalena (Biophilia)
  • Kaja Draksler, Petter Eld, Christian Lillinger: Punkt.Vrt.Plastik (Intakt) *
  • Fredrik Nordström: Needs (Clean Feed) 
  • Adam Hopkins: Crickets (Out of Your Head Records)
  • Harriet Tubman: The Terror End of Beauty (Sunnyside Records) 
  • Bjørn Marius Hegge: The Creator Has a Bachelor Plan (Particular Recordings) * [review due to be published before the end of the year.]
  • Tord Gustafsen Trio: The Other Side (ECM) *
  • Moskus: Mirakler (Hubro) *
  • Fay Victor's SoundNoiseFUNK: Wet Robots (ESP Disk') *
  • Josephine Davies' Satori: In the Corner of Clouds (Whirlwind Recordings) * [published in Musikkmagasinet, Dec. 17th.]
  • Jemeel Moondoc Quartet: The Astral Revelations (RogueArt)
  • Brandon Lopez: quoniam facta sum vilis (Astral Spirits)
  • Jason Stein's Locksmith Isidore: After Caroline (Northern Spy)
  • Chris Pitsiokos CP Unit: Silver Bullet in the Autumn of Your Years (Clean Feed) 
  • David S. Ware Trio: The Balance (Vision Festival XV +) (AUM FIdelity)
  • The Heat Death: The Glenn Miller Sessions (Clean Feed) *
  • Sylvie Courvoisier Trio: D'Agala (Intakt) *
  • Tyshawn Sorey: Pillars (Firehouse 12)
  • Barre Phillips:End to End (ECM)
  • Håvard Wiik Trio: This Is Not a Waltz (Moserobie Music Productions, 2017)
  • Igor Lumpert & Innertextures: Eleven (Clean Feed) 
  • Christian McBride: Christian McBride's New Jawn (Mack Avenue Records)
  • Luke Stewart: Work for Upright Bass and Amplifier (Astral Spirit)
  • Bjørn Marius Hegge Trio: Assosiasjoner (Particular Recordings) *
  • Lauren Sevian: Bliss (Posi-Tone)
  • Steve Coleman and Five elements: Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1 (The Embedded Sets) (Pi Recordings) *
  • Mette Rasmussen & Chris Corsano: A View of the Moon (From the Sun) (Clean Feed) *
  • Emmeluth's Amoeba: POLYP (Øra Fonogram)
  • Espen Eriksen Trio & Andy Sheppard: Perfectly Unhappy (Rune Grammofon)
  • Atomic: Pet Variations (Odin) *
  • Mary Halvorson: Code Girl (Firehouse 12) *
  • JD Allen: Love Stone (Savant)
  • Amaro Freitas: Rasif (Far Out Recordings) 
  • Orrin Evans and the Captain Black Big Band: Presence (Smoke Sessions)
Reissues/vault:
  • Frode Gjerstad with William Parker and Hamid Drake: Frode Gjerstad with William Parker and Hamid Drake (4 CD, NotTwo Records) *
  • Svein Finnerud Trio: Plastic Sun (ODIN) *
  • Sonny Rollins: Way Out West (Deluxe) (Craft)
  • Charles Mingus: Live In Detroit / Strata Concert Gallery / 46 Selden (BBE) *
  • Anthony Braxton: The Essential Anthony Braxton: The Arista Years (Arista/Legacy)
  • John Coltrane Quartets: Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album (Impulse!) *
  • Miles Davis & John Coltrane: The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series Vol. 6 (Columbia/Legacy)
  • Erik Andresen Quartet: GIP (Jazzaggression Records)
(The Ornette Coleman 10 LP box set The Atlantic Years (Atlantic/Rhino) would trump pretty much any music any year, but though I know the music contained here inside out, I do not own this particular box set and so I only mention this in passing here rather than add it to the list proper).
PS: If you think the album is a silly concept to care about in the era of streaming, then 1) you tell that to musicians who have spent time and energy writing compositions, hours practicing with a group of musicians (regulars or not) that they probably already had in mind when writing the music and whom they have to pay for their services as they also have to do for studio time. Go tell them that they should only record a single in stead. 2) f*ck the exploitative nature of the current streaming services, and finally 3) f*ck off!

    Monday, December 03, 2018

    Listening Booth: Music releases (and other stuff) covered July through November, 2018

    As I've been listening back on some of the year's notable releases with the deadline for the Francis Davis run Jazz Critics Poll coming up this weekend, it seemed an apt opportunity to post a rundown of the music I've covered during the second half of 2018. I've got no time to add translated excerpts or listening notes this time around, so this post lists artists and releases, plus my original grading where applicable, in addition to where and when they were published.

    For Musikkmagasinet (Klassekampen's weekly music supplement):
    • Mia Dyberg Trio: Ticket (Clean Feed) - Reviewed Aug. 6th, 2018. Original grade: 5/6
    •  Daniel Carter, William Parker, Matthew Shipp: Seraphic Light (AUM Fidelity) - Reviewed Aug. 13th, 2018. Original grade: 5,5/6
    •  Moskus: Mirakler (Hubro) - Reviewed Aug. 20th, 2018. Original grade: 5/6
    •  Wayne Shorter: Emanon (Blue Note) -Reviewed Aug. 27th, 2018. Original grade: 4/6
    •  Ken Vandermark / Klaus Kugel / Mark Tokar: No-Exit Corner (Not Two Records) - Reviewed Sept. 3rd, 2018. Original grade: 5,5/6 
    • Lassen: Eventyrer (Jazzland) - Reviewed Sept. 17th, 2018. Original grade: 4,5/6
    •  Tord Gustavsen Trio: The Other Side (ECM) - Reviewed Oct. 1st, 2018. Original grade: 5/6
    • The Necks: Body (Fish of Milk/Northern Spy) - Reviewed Oct. 1st, 2018. Original grade: 5,5/6
    •  Fay Victor’s SoundNoiseFUNK: Wet Robots (ESP-disk) - Reviewed Oct. 8th, 2018. Original grade: 5/6
    • Hanna Paulsberg Concept + Magnus Bro: Daughter of the Sun (Odin) - Reviewed Oct. 15th, 2018. Original grade: 5,5/6
    • Jonathan Finlayson: 3 Times Round (Pi Recordings) - Reviewed Oct. 22nd, 2018. Original grade: 4/6
    •  Trondheim Jazz Orchestra & Ole Morten Våga: Happy Endlings (Odin) - Reviewed Oct. 29th, 2018. Original grade: 5,5/6
    •  Charles Mingus: Live In Detroit / Strata Concert Gallery / 46 Selden (BBE) - Reviewed Nov. 5th, 2018. Not graded.
    • Atomic: Pet Variations (Odin) - Reviewed Nov. 12th, 2018. Original grade: 4,5/6
    • Myra Melford’s Snowy Egret: The Other Side of Air (Firehouse 12) - Reviewed Nov. 19th, 2018. Original grade: 5/6
    • Eric Dolphy: Musical Prophet: The Expanded 1963 New York Studio Sessions (Resonance Records) - Reviewed Nov. 26th, 2018. Not graded.
    Live reviews:
    • Sons of Kemet, Oslo Jazzfestival, Nasjonal Jazscene August 12. Published Aug., 20th, 2018
    For Jazznytt:

    • Steve Coleman and Five Elements: Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1 (The Embedded Sets) (Pi Recordings) - Reviewed in Jazznytt #248, fall 2018. No grade.
    • Der Lange Schatten: Concurrances (Trouble In The East Records) - Reviewed in Jaznnytt #248, fall 2018. No grade.
    • Friends & Neighbors: What’s Next? (Clean Feed) - Reviewed in Jaznnytt #249, winter 2018. No grade.
    • Mette Rasmussen Chris Corsano: A View of The Moon (from the Sun) (Clean Feed) - Reviewed in Jaznnytt #249, winter 2018. No grade.



    Friday, August 03, 2018

    Listening Booth: Music reviewed January through the first week of July, 2018 + first half and a bit faves

    For a half-year update, this is of course a month late, but since my summer vacation came to an end this week it seems a good if belated moment to post an update of the records I've reviewed so far in 2018. I've also added a short list of "favorites" of the year's new releases up to the last week of July or so. By no means a comprehensive one -- the magnitude of great music to have crossed my path would lead to a much longer list than this, and there's still plenty more on the horizon that I'm not comfortable to rank in any way yet -- but it felt appropriate to give an extra shout out to a handful of the new recordings I've enjoyed the most thus far in 2018.

    For Klassekampen's weekly music supplement Musikkmagasinet (all 2018 releases except where noted):
    • Gard Nilssen Acoustic Unity: Live in Europe (Clean Feed, 2017) - Reviewed Jan. 15th, 2018. Original grade: 5/6
    • Shopping: The Official Body (Fatcat Records) - Reviewed Jan. 22., 2018. Original grade: 5/6
    • Sylvie Courvoisier Trio: D’Agala (Intakt Records) - Reviewed Feb. 5., 2018. Original grade: 5/6
    • Kris Davis & Craig Taborn: Octopus (Pyroclastic Records) - Reviewed Feb. 12., 2018. Orignal grade: 4,5/6
    • Frode Gjerstad with Hamid Drake and William Parker: Frode Gjerstad with Hamid Drake and William Parker (NotTwo, 4CD) - as part of the article "Frode Gjerstad: Verdensklasse." Reviewed Feb. 19., 2018. Not graded.
    • Various Artists: We Out Here (Brownswood Music) - Reviewed 4/6
    • The Heat Death: The Glenn Miller Sessions (Clean Feed) - Reviewed March 5., 2018. Original grade: 4,5/6

    • Erlend Olderskog Albertsen: RødssalG nEEn GlassdøR (Dugnad Rec) - Reviewed March 5., 2018. Original grade: 5/6
    • James Brandon Lewis & Chad Taylor: Radiant Imprints (Off Records)
      - Reviewed March 12., 2018. Original grade: 5/6
    • Mary Halvorsen: Code Girl (Firehouse 12) - Reviewed March 19., 2018. Original grade 4,5/6
    • Miles Davis & John Coltrane: The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6 (Columbia/Legacy/Sony Music)
      - Reviewed March 26., 2018. Not graded.
    • Sons of Kemet: Your Queen Is a Reptile (Impulse!/Universal)
      - Reviewed April 9., 2018. Original grade 4,5/6
    • Svein Finnerud Trio: Plastic Sun (ODIN/Musikkoperatørene)
      - Reviewed April 16., 2018. Not graded.
    • Johan Lindström Septett: Music for Empty Halls (Moserobie Music Productions) - Reviewed April 23., 2018. Original grade: 5/6
    • The Ex: 27 Passports (Ex Records)
      - Reviewed May 7., 2018. Original grade: 5,5/6
    • Dave Holland, Evan Parker, Craig Taborn & Ches Smith: Uncharted Territories (Dare2 Records)
      - Reviewed May 14., 2018. Original grade: 5/6
    • Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg: Dirt... And More Dirt (Pi Recordings)
      - Reviewed May 28., 2018. Original grade: 5,5/6
    • Henry Threadgill: Double Up, Plays Double Up Plus (Pi Recordings)
      - Reviewed May 28., 2018. Orignal grade: 4,5/6
    • Angelika Niescier, Christopher Tordini & Tyshawn Sorey: The Berlin Concert (Intakt Records) - Reviewed June 4., 2018. Original grade: 5,5/6
    • Bjørn Marius Hegge Trio: Assosiasjoner (Particular Recordings)
      - Reviewed June 11., 2018. Original grade 5/6
    • Rodrigo Amado, Joe McPhee, Kent Kessler, Chris Corsano: A History of Nothing (Trost Records) - Reviewed June 18., 2018. Original grade 5/6
    • John Coltrane: Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album (Impulse!/Universal) - Reviewed for July2., 2018. Not graded.
    • Kamasi Washington: Heaven and Earth (Shoto Mas/Young Turks/Playground)
      - Reviewed July 2., 2018. Original grade 4,5/6
    • Salim Washington: Dogon Revisited (Passin’ Thru Records) - Reviewed July 2., 2018. Original grade 5,5/6
     For Jazznytt:
    • Roswell Rudd: Embrace (RareNoiseRecords, rel. 2017), Jazznytt #245
    • Wadada Leo Smith: Najwa (TUM, rel 2017), Jazznytt #245
    • Wadada Leo Smith: Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk (TUM, rel. 2017), Jazznytt #245
    • Joe McPhee/Pascal Niggenkemper/Ståle Liavik Solberg: Imaginary Numbers (Clean Feed), Jazznytt #246
    • Håverd Wiik Trio: This Is Not a Waltz (Moserobie, rel. 2017), Jazznyt #246

     Other published writing:
    • Murray i utvalg. Three highlights from David Murrays discography, for Musikkmagasinet, Feb. 12., 2018.
    • Frode Gjerstad: Verdensklasse for Musikkmagasinet, Feb. 19., 2018.
    • Carla Bley: Foreganskvinne for Musikkmagasinet, July 2., 2018.
    • Fred Hersch: Inn ruslet Fred for Musikkmagasinet, July 2., 2018.
    • Hittegods: Wilbur Ware: The Chicago Sound for Jazznytt #246

    Fave music January through July (loosely ranked in order of preference):
    • The Ex: 27 Passports (Ex Records)
    • Henry Threadgill 14 or 15 Kestra: Agg: Dirt... And More Dirt (Pi Recordings)
    • Parquet Courts: Wide Awake (Rough Trade)
    • Salim Washington: Dogon Revisited (Passin' Thru)
    • Superchunk: What a Time to Be Alive (Merge)
    • Angelika Niescier, Christopher Tordini & Tyshawn Sorey: The Berlin Concert (Intakt Records)
    • Toni Braxton: Sex & Cigarettes (Def Jam Recordings) 
    • JPEGMAFIA: Veteran (Deathbomb Arc)
    • Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever: Hope Downs (Sub Pop)
    • Erlend Olderskog Albertsen: RødssalG nEEn GlassdøR (Dugnad Rec.)
    • Tracey Thorn: Record (Unmade Road)
    • Lori McKenna: The Door (CN Records) 
    • Pusha T: Daytona (G.O.O.D. Music)
    • Shopping: The Official Body (FatCat Records)
    • Johan Lindström Septet: Music For Empty Halls (Moserobie Music Productions)
    • Jason Stein's Locksmith Isidore: After Caroline (Northern Spy Records)
    • Dave Holland, Evan Parker, Craig Taborn & Ches Smith: Uncharted Territories (Dare2 Records)
    • Janelle Monae: Dirty Computer (Bad Boy Records)
    • Elza Soares: Deus É Mulher (Deckdisc) 
    • Mia Dyberg Trio: Ticket! (Clean Feed)
    • María Grand: Magdalena (Biophilia)
    • Amy Rigby: The Old Guys (Southern Domestic Recordings)
    • Sloan: 12 (Yep Roc Records) 
    • Old Man Saxon: The Pursuit (Pusher, LLC)
    • No Age: Snares Like a Haircut (Drag City)
    • Skadedyr: Musikk! (Hubro) 
    • Rodrigo Amado, Joe McPhee, Kent Kessler, Chris Corsano: A History of Nothing (Trost Records)
    • James Brandon Lewis & Chad Taylor: Radiant Imprints (Off)
    • The Young Fathers: Cocoa Sugar (Ninja Tune)
    • Chris Pitsiokos CP Unit: Silver Bullet in the Autumn of Your Years (Clean Feed)
     Vault music:
    • Frode Gjerstad with Hamid Drake and William Parker: Frode Gjerstad with Hamid Drake and William Parker (NotTwo, 4CD)
    • Sonny Rollins: Way Out West (2LP, Craft) 
    • John Coltrane: Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album (Impulse!/Universal)
    • Anthony Braxton: The Essential Anthony Braxton The Arista Years (Arista Records) 
    • Svein Finnerud Trio: Plastic Sun (ODIN/Musikkoperatørene)
    • Alan Braufman: Valley of Search (Valley of Search, original release on India Navigation, 1975)
    • Miles Davis & John Coltrane: The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6 (Columbia/Legacy/Sony Music)
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