Mark Feldman, Benoît Delbecq, and Fred Frith & Ikue Mori

Artist: Mark Feldman

Title: Sounding Point

Label: Intakt Records

Release Date: 2/12/21

Personnel: Mark Feldman – violin

Impression: Feldman has a long history of dazzling with his imaginative and technical proficiencies in a wide variety of settings, but he has never played more sensitively and inventively than he does on this set of inspiring originals and fascinating covers.

More Info: Intakt Records site

Listen Here:

Buy Here: Bandcamp  and Intakt Records Store

 

 

Artist: Benoît Delbecq

Title: The Weight of Light

Label: Pyroclastic Records

Release Date: 2/12/21

Personnel: Benoît Delbecq – piano

Impression: By now, the Cageian prepared piano tends to invoke rather one-dimensional “outsider” music, but at the hand of a master of Delbecq’s caliber, it is elevated to an idealized and expressive tool for the creation of highly compelling art such as this fine recording.

More Info: Pyroclastic Records

Listen Here:

Buy Here: Bandcamp

 

 

Artist: Fred Frith and Ikue Mori

Title: A Mountain Doesn’t Know It’s Tall

Label: Intakt Records

Release Date: 2/12/21

Personnel: Intakt; 2/12; Fred Frith – home-made instruments, various toys and objects, electric guitar; Ikue Mori – laptop electronics

Impression: Frith and Mori stand atop the legions of improvisers working to create beguiling alien landscapes and on this fiery tome they seem to have finally gone and implemented Plan 9.

More Info: Intakt Records site

Listen Here:

Buy Here: Bandcamp and Intakt Records Store

 

André Gonçalves, Ingrid Laubrock, and The End

Artist:  André Gonçalves

Title: Instrumentals

Label: ShhPuma Records

Release Date: 10/20/20

Personnel: André Goncalves – compositions and sounds

Impression: Instrumentals showcases Gonçalves as a kind of enlightened musical sand-artist who fashions arresting works out of malleable and eroding sound elements, and it is striking for both it’s sublime simplicity and the meticulous attention to detail AG has given.

More Info: André Gonçalves website and ShhPuma Records

Listen Here:

Buy Here: Bandcamp and ShhPuma Store

 

 

Artist: Ingrid Laubrock

Title: Dreamt Twice, Twice Dreamt

Label: Intakt Records

Release Date: 11/20/20

Personnel: Intakt; 11/20; Disc 1: EOS Chamber Orchestra w/ Soloists: Sam Pluta – Electronics: Cory Smythe – Piano, Quarter-Tone Keyboard; Robert Landfermann – Double Bass; Tom Rainey – Drums; Ingrid Laubrock – Tenor and Soprano Saxophones; Disc 2: Ingrid Laubrock – Tenor and Soprano Saxophones; Cory Smythe – Piano and Quarter-Tone Keyboard; Sam Pluta – Electronics + Zeena Parkins – Electric Harp; Adam Matlock – Accordion; Josh Modney – Violin

Impression: Laubrock utilizes both chamber-orchestral and smaller ensemble arrangements of a new set of positively revelatory pieces to navigate the cloudy world of oneiric logic through music, not unlike how Freud did using psychoanalysis…though the reward for undivided attention to her method far outweighs anything he could have offered.

More Info: Ingrid Laubrock website and Intakt Records

Listen Here:

Buy Here: Bandcamp and Intakt Records Store

 

 

Artist: The End

Title: Allt Är Intet

Label: RareNoise Records

Release Date: 11/13/20

Personnel: Sofia Jernberg – Voice; Kjetil Møster – Tenor Sax, Clarinet, Electronics; Mats Gustafsson – Baritone Sax, Flute, Live Electronics; Anders Hana – Baritone Guitar, Langeleik (Norwegian Zither); Børge Fjordheim – Drums

Impression: One of the fiercest and most pummeling collections of music this year also happens to contain some of the most poignant musical moments in recent memory due in no small part to the expressive proficiency of Sofia Jernberg.

More Info: Mats Gustafsson website and RareNoise Records

Listen Here:

Buy Here: Bandcamp and RareNoise Records Store

 

Support Musicians via Bandcamp on Friday 3/20/20…and beyond

To support musicians during the Covid-19 pandemic, Bandcamp is waiving their revenue share on all sales Friday, March 20, from midnight to midnight PST.

Though certainly not exhaustive, I have assembled a list of some of my favorite recent and forthcoming releases on some of the greatest labels in the world available via Bandcamp. Just click on the label to see all their offerings on Bandcamp and/or click on the album title to see that specific release.  You can use the players on this page to listen.

Musicians are some of the hardest-hit by our new reality, so please consider supporting these and other artists now by loading up if you are able AND by spreading the word about this opportunity.

Don’t forget, you can pay in excess of the asking prices of releases on Bandcamp, making this an optimal way to enact your generosity for all that our favorite musicians do for us.

While you’re at it, ease into the habit of frequenting Bandcamp along with other great music retailers on the regular if you haven’t already!

Music matters friends, so let’s do our best to propagate it in any way we can.

Be safe and be well.

 

GEENLEAF MUSIC

Webber/Morris Big Band “Both Are True

listen here

 

 

INTAKT RECORDS

Tim Berne’s Snakeoil “The Fantastic Mrs 10

listen here

 

 

Aruan Ortiz “Inside Rhythmic Falls

listen here

 

 

Ohad Talmor Newsreel Sextet “Long Forms

listen here

 

 

INTERNATIONAL ANTHEM

Irreversible Entanglements “Who Sent You?

listen here

 

 

NORTHERN SPY RECORDS

Horse Lords “The Common Task

listen here

 

Jerry Cunningham “The Weather Up There

listen here

 

 

ORANGE MILK RECORDS

Nick Storring “My Magic Dreams Have Lost Their Spell

listen here

 

 

OUT OF YOUR HEAD RECORDS

Curt Sydnor “Deep End Shallow

listen here

 

 

NEW FOCUS RECORDINGS / PANORAMIC RECORDS

Ali Can Pushkulcu “Gibberish Shreds

(pre-order, so no preview yet)

 

Hasco Duo “The Same Old Wonder

listen here

 

Luis Ianes “Instrucciones de Uso

listen here

 

 

PI RECORDINGS

Tyshawn Sorey “Unfiltered

(preview at link above)

 

Liberty Ellman “Last Desert

listen here

 

 

PYROCLASTIC RECORDS

Kris Davis “Diatom Ribbons

listen here

 

 

RARE NOISE RECORDS

Bobby Previte, Jamie Saft, and Nels Cline “Music From The Early 21st Century

listen here

 

Giorgi Mikadze “Georgian Microjamz

listen here

 

 

RATTLE RECORDS

Steve Barry and Judy Bailey “Elements

listen here

 

Ferocious “Ferocious

listen here

 

 

CHRIS BROKAW

Chris Brokaw “End of the Night Band Live at the Lost Church

listen here

 

Chris Brokaw “End of the Night

listen here

 

 

FENNESZ

Fennesz “Live at Empty Bottle/Chicago”

listen here

 

Fennesz “Live at Jazz Café

listen here

 

 

OREN AMBARCHI

Oren Ambarchi “Simian Angel

(preview unavailable)

 

 

STEAMROOM RECORDS

Jim O’Rourke “Steamroom 46

listen here

 

 

SOUTHERN LORD

Caspar Brotzmann Massaker “Home

listen here

 

 

SHHPUMA

Bernhard Meyer and John Hollenbeck “Grids

listen here

 

 

BIRDWATCHER RECORDS

Jessica Pavone “Brick and Mortar

listen here

 

 

CHANT RECORDS

Curha “II

listen here

 

Randi Pontoppidan & Christian Rønn ” HEAD¨SPACE

listen here

 

 

EARS & EYES RECORDS

Nuturia “Meeting In Progress

listen here

 

Jeff Parker & The New Breed, Aly Keïta, and Jim Black Trio

Artist: Jeff Parker & The New Breed

Title: Suite for Max Brown

Label: International Anthem

Release Date: 01/24/20

Personnel: Jeff Parker – drums, vocals, piano, electric guitar, Korg MS20, sampler, etc; Ruby Parker – vocals; Paul Bryan – bass guitar; Jamire Williams – drums Paul Bryan – bass guitar Josh Johnson – alto saxophone and electric piano; Katinka Kleijn – cello; Rob Mazurek – piccolo trumpet; Makaya McCraven – drums and sampler; Jay Bellerose – drums and percussion; Nate Walcott – trumpet

Impression: There is no shortage of catchy tune-age here…ranging from accessible and danceable jams to virtuosic flights of fancy, this is the most well balanced release of 2020 so far.

More Info: Parker’s Website

Listen Here:

Buy Here: Bandcamp  or  Amazon

 

 

Artist: Aly Keïta

Title: Kalan Teban

Label: Intakt Records

Release Date: 01/17/20

Personnel: Aly Keïta –  Balafon, Kalimba, Voice; Jan Galega Brönnimann – Contra Alto- and Bass Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone, Kass Kass, Thumb Piano; Lucas Niggli – Drums, Percussion

Impression: Folky tunefulness is the refreshing and key ingredient in this delicious gumbo of mallet-magic and percussive propulsion.

More Info: Keita’s website  and Intakt Records

Listen Here:

Buy Here: Bandcamp  or Amazon

 

Artist: Jim Black Trio

Title: Reckon

Label: Intakt Records

Release Date: 01/17/20

Personnel: Elias Stemeseder – Piano; Thomas Morgan – Bass; Jim Black – Drums

Impression: Black, who has never sounded better, leads this trio through polyrhythmically dense terrain with what must be telepathy and smoke signals, for the path abounds with fire.

More Info: Black’s website and Intakt Records

Listen Here:

Buy Here: Bandcamp or Amazon

 

2019 NPR Jazz Critics Poll

Happy new year and best wishes to everyone for a beautiful 2020!  I have been decidedly inactive on this site for some time now, but I thought I would drop a note to reflect one last time on 2019.

The 2019 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll has now been published, and Francis Davis has again let me chime in.  Go buy all of this great music!

The overview results are here

Davis’ commentary is here

…and my contribution is here

My favorite part of this poll is reading each of the contributor’s picks, which can be done here

My best of 2019 are as follows…

NEW RELEASES

  1. David Torn-Tim Berne-Ches Smith, Sun of Goldfinger (ECM)
  2. Anna Webber, Clockwise (Pi)
  3. Camila Meza & the Nectar Orchestra, Ambar (Sony Masterworks)
  4. Bill Frisell, Harmony (Blue Note)
  5. Timespine, Urban Season (Shhpuma)
  6. Tyshawn Sorey & Marilyn Crispell, The Adornment of Time (Pi)
  7. Gregg Belisle-Chi, Book of Hours (Ears & Eyes)
  8. Kris Davis, Diatom Ribbons (Pyroclastic)
  9. Sonar With David Torn, Tranceportation (Volume 1) (RareNoise)
  10. Stefan Aeby, Piano Solo (Intakt)

REISSUES/HISTORICAL

  1. Eric Dolphy, Musical Prophet: The Expanded 1963 New York Studio Sessions (Resonance -3CD)
  2. Nat “King” Cole, Hittin’ the Ramp: The Early Years (1936-1943) (Resonance -7CD)
  3. Paul Bley-Gary Peacock-Paul Motian, When Will the Blues Leave (ECM)

VOCAL

  • Camila Meza & the Nectar Orchestra, Ambar (Sony Masterworks)

DEBUT

  • Nick Dunston, Atlantic Extraction (Out of Your Head)

LATIN

  • Camila Meza & the Nectar Orchestra, Ambar (Sony Masterworks)