Friday, July 12, 2013

Listening Booth: half year round-up, Jazz, pt.2

Well, my plan went belly up, so I will have to finish this at a later date. Among the remaining releases I have jotted down notes for (from approxomately January to late June 2013) are Tylor Ho Bynum Book of Three: Continuum 2012, Jonathan Finlayson Moment & the Message, Rich Halley 4 Crossing the Passes, and Mike Pride Birthing Days, plus a few pop/rock/rap releases. Part two of this will therefore consists of exactly one album, but I'll add some tentative grades for a couple of other releases from the "in" pile, too:

  • Gerald Cleaver's Black Host: Life in the Sugar Mines (Northern Spy) – Late 60s chant-like spiritual jazz, shredding guitars, deep grooves and soaring saxophone cries crash together with splashes of electronics for spice. Half of the eight tracks here stretch beyond the 10 minute mark, the best of which move through free form outbursts, surging grooves, and quieter sections at varying intervals, the opening "Hoover" being a prime example. The lesser ones seem more bound to one motif or idea but end up treading water: "Gromek" keeps churning and churning, but moves very little in any direction. The band, drummer and main man Gerald Cleaver with Cooper-Moore on piano, Darius Jones on alto, Pascal Niggenkemper on double bass and Brandon Seabrook on electric guitar, stir up massive, raw and alluringly violent music at times – "Ayler Children", with its ascending sax and guitar lines over a rapid-fire rhythm, rocks, for lack of a better term. Though not without meditative moments, the ferociousness of this album is its most captivating quality. 7*
  • Chris Potter: The Sirens (ECM) – 7*
  • Ches Smith & These Arches: Hammered (Clean Feed) – 7*
  • Craig Taborn: Chants (ECM) – 6*
  • Trespass Trio + Joe McPhee: Human Encore (Clean Feed) – 6*
 * The Perfect Sounds Listening Booth series is where I post jotted down thoughts and impressions of records. The writing of these notes is mostly done during listens, without too much consideration to composition and/or argumentation, and while the intention is that these notes will form the basis of possible future reviews, they should not be considered fully formed reviews in and of themselves. The grades are tentative and liable to change.

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