No Agreement

No Agreement by Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Africa 70.
Bandcamp Link: No Agreement

There’s a good story about Lester Bowie in, “Message to Our Folks: The Art Ensemble of Chicago”.

The Art Ensemble had finished up a European tour and most of the band headed back to the US.

Lester had some money left and decided, as an African American musician, instead of going home, he wanted to go to Africa and play with the biggest name in African music of the time, Fela Kuti.

So, without knowing anyone in Nigeria, he booked a flight to Lagos. He gets to the hotel, drops off his bags, grabs his trumpet. Hails a cab. He asks the cab driver to “take me to Fela”. Amazingly, the cab driver does not flinch and drives the crazy American Jazz musician right to Fela’s compound.

Bowie arrives unannounced, shows Fela his trumpet, and Fela decides to audition him right then and there. Fela pulls out a Jamey Aebersold record and tells Lester to play along. Blues in B Flat. Lester, of course, aces this audition, and stays in Nigeria for several months playing with Fela’s band and absorbing the culture.

The book says Bowie played on 5 of Fela’s albums during his stay in Nigeria from June to August of 1977, but this album is the only one I can find which credits Mr Bowie. He is a featured guest and takes a solo on both tracks. For my money, he acquits himself with more grace on the instrumental track, “Dog Eat Dog”.

Mr Bowie said about the experience, “Music life is a great time, if you just go on and trust it.” 

#FelaKuti #LesterBowie #NoAgreement #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #Africa70

Proton Pump

Proton Pump by Akira Sakata & Chikamorachi with Masahiko Satoh.
Bandcamp Link: Proton Pump

Chikamorachi is the bass and drum combo of Darin Gray and Chris Corsano. They usually include a guest or two on each album. Reed player Akira Sakata is one of their more frequent collaborators. He is a Japanese woodwind player who is probably best known in the West for his appearance as a guest saxophonist on Last Exit’s “The Noise of Trouble” album.

I wasn’t familiar with keyboardist Masahiko Sato, but he brings the Cecil Taylor-esque multi handed polyphonies to keep up with way above the speed limit playing of Corsano, Gray, and Sakata. Interestingly, I also hadn’t remembered that Sakata played clarinet. For someone primarily known as a Sax player, he plays a pretty mean clarinet.

This is Energetic “Free Jazz”, with some Bebop-ish runs and the odd Jazz/Blues lick. It will get you to work faster than you usually drive.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #Chikamorachi #DarinGray #ChrisCorsano #AkiraSakata #MasahikoSatoh

All Nerve

All Nerve by the Breeders.

A lot of my middle aged friends are listening to this new Breeders album, so I thought I should give it a listen.

Produced by Steve Albini, the classic “Last Splash” lineup of the Breeders has resolved (or forgotten) their differences and reunited. Kim and Kelley are both sober, and like the rest of us, middle aged.

It certainly sounds like a Breeders album, though a lot of the songs make me realize a) that the Breeders sound a bit like wire b) many of the good bits of the Pixies came from Kim Deal.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #TheBreeders #AllNerve

Insecurities

Insecurities by ADT.
Bandcamp Link: Insecurities

On this release ADT is a quintet of Guitar, Drums, Saxophone, Electronics, and Keyboards. The lack of bass unmoors them, leaving the drums, keyboard, and electronics as focus, with sax and guitar weaving in and out from time to time adding texture.

Eclectic squonk and squiggle often with more in common with early Tangerine Dream or Pink Floyd than “Jazz”, per se. Thoroughly enjoyable.

#TodaysCommuteSoundtrack #ADT #Insecuties #JakeAcosta #BenBillington #CarlosChavarria #KyleDrouin #AdamTramposh

2017-10-27 Zimpel/Ziołek

Zimpel/Ziołek

Zimpel/Ziołek by Zimpel/Ziołek.

Bandcamp Link: Zimpel/Ziołek

Folk-Rock-World Music meets the modern digital toolbox. And clarinets.

Melodically, this music reminds me strongly of something, but I can’t quite place it. Robert Wyatt, maybe.

In terms of practical execution, most tracks build a base of digital loops, upon which clarinet and vocals are layered. Further processing is then applied.

There is an odd tension between very pleasant vocal (or clarinet) melodies and the unusual sounds coming from the processing. Well, pretty unusual for folk-rock-world music, anyway.

Also, welcome back fog!

#WaclawZimpel #KubaZiołek #TodaysCommuteSoundtrack

2017-10-25 Slow Learner

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Slow Learner by musicianer.

Bandcamp Link: Slow Learner

Baritone Sax, Double Bass, and Percussion trio.

10 shorter songs, 3-5 minutes, or thereabouts.

The title, apparently literal, not an allusion to the Thomas Pynchon collection of short stores. Though, I think the name of the last song, “Fail Beautifully”, is probably a reference to a passage from Beckett’s Worstword Ho, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” I like this album, but sort of feel like many of the tracks end just as they are getting going. A little more time for the players might have given the whole thing more breathing space.

#JoshSinton #JasonAjemian #ChadTaylor #todayscommutesoundtrack #IlusoRecords