Unfortunately, I missed seeing this duo from Java the last time they were through San Francisco.
Vocals, Stringed Instruments, and percussion. The vocal strategies are not dissimilar to those Atilla Cshihar uses in SUNN O))), very low frequency. The various long stringed instruments deployed in an eclectic manner, bowed and plucked, droning and dancing. The percussion deep and polyrhythmic.
They’ve gotten a reputation for synthesizing the traditions of Indonesian music with modern experimental music, which is exactly what you find on this release.
Enjoyable and interesting. I hope that I can manage leaving the house the next time they are in town.
Great titles, adventurous writing, interesting instrumentation, and expressive playing. Modern Improvised Music at its best!
The use of long horn tones from Mr Viner over propulsive rhythms occasionally reminds me of some of Chris Speed’s work, but the more scattered pulse of Ms Gentile’s percussion and Mr Mitchell’s keyboards is very distinct from Mr Speed’s usual collaborators.
A unique, compelling, and rewarding recording. (I think this is the first time I can remember ever heard anyone use a Prophet Sampler/Keyboard on a “Jazz” release, kudos to Ms Gentile and Mr Mitchell.)
The Rarity of Experience by The Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band.
The first song on this album, “Anthem I”, really does take you back to the heyday of guitar squall, when dinosaurs like Dire Straits walked the land.
With guitar strategies roughly in the neighborhood of Television, Dire Straits, and Richard Thompson, Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band certainly stand apart from much of contemporary pop music (not to say they’re shy about using modern digital fx to layer their guitar sound even thicker than the aforementioned guitar kaiju ever considered). Deadpan, Meat Puppets-ish vocals on some tracks, add to the retro feel.
Though, not really a “nostalgia” band, I feel like they haven’t quite synthesized their influences into their own voice.
Looking forward to finding out where they go from here on their next album.
Sing Me Some Cry by Eric Revis, Ken Vandermark, Kris Davis, and Chad Taylor.
I was super excited when I read on @ken_vandermark’s most informative, inspirational, and entertaining Instagram feed that he was recording with these talented individuals, all of whom I am a fan of. The result does not disappoint.
Moments of spiky tension and sequences of aching beauty.
Favorite track (at the moment): Solstice… The Girls (For Max & Xixi).
Not really particularly “Out”, this is more like ambitious, noir-ish, post-bop. One of several albums McLean did in partnership with trombonist Moncur. With three of the songs from Moncur, and one from McLean, musically, this album is a little more Moncur than McLean.
The overall strategies for the pieces are pretty traditional, (just “head, solos, head,”) but the heads themselves are pretty complex. “Esoteric”, in particular, is just bonkers. Kudos to Haynes and Ridley for keeping it together on that one!
Actually, everyone is great here, particularly Hutcherson, Moncur, and the aforementioned Haynes.
Just the sort of thing that would have black turtle-necked beatniks snapping their fingers and shouting, “Go, Daddy-O, Go!” between sneaking out to smoke a joint, score, or discuss their etchings with fetching young things from Peoria.
Together, as One by Dinosaur, (Laura Jurd, Elliot Galvin, Conor Chaplin, and Corrie Dick). I was listening to a podcast from WNYC about what they called “Jazz Adjacent Artists” and this recording from Dinosaur stuck out as the most potentially interesting.
Led by Trumpeter Laura Jurd, this group is operating in the vicinity of Post-Miles fusion with a few modern touches. If I had to complain about anything, I’d say it’s a tad overwritten. I wish they’d spend more time improvising and less time reading music.
Pleasant and enjoyable, but not compelling. (I bet my Fusion enthusiast, Millennial co-worker would love it.)
Sunrise in Different Dimensions by Sun Ra Arkestra.
Tune in to Disco Roto on Radio Valencia tonight at 8pm. Mrs. Flannestad will be featuring Sun Ra and the Arkestra in anticipation of the Arkestra’s upcoming concerts this week at SF Jazz. (Or listen to the podcast later at: Disco Roto Travels the Spaceways.)
One of my favorite Arkestra albums, mostly because even though it is on the late side in his career, Mr. Ra sticks primarily to the piano. Great to hear him tickling the ivories, rather than squelching the buttons on an organ or farfisa.
School Days by Steve Lacy, Roswell Rudd, Henry Grimes, and Denis Charles.
Thelonious Monk legendarily once berated someone accompanying him who was not working up to Monk’s standards by saying, “Play that thing or throw it away!” No one here could be accused of not playing. Grimes is especially numinous, with nimble runs up and down the length of his bass’ neck. Outstanding.