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ha’fway 2010

4th Jul 10 (Sun) Leave a comment

Happy 234th birthday, United States!

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So, here are my faves of the first half of 2010… it’s all bound to switch around by year’s end:

Artist Album (label)

  1. Holy FuckLatin (Young Turks)
  2. JónsiGo (XL)
  3. Mike PattonMondo Cane (Ipecac)
  4. ElleryThis Isn’t Over Yet (Set Adrift)
  5. Charlie HunterGentlemen, I Neglected To Inform You You Will Not Be Getting Paid (Spire Artist Media)
  6. George HrabTrebuchet (Geologic)
  7. Damien JuradoSaint Bartlett (Secretly Canadian)
  8. AutorYnoPastrami Bagel Social Club (Tzadik)
  9. Clogs (with Shara Worden & Sufjan Stevens) – The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton (Brassland)
  10. Tin HatForeign Legion (BAG Production)
  11. The Dreamers play John Zorn‘s Masada Book Two: Ipos, Book of Angels, Vol. 14 (Tzadik)
  12. Charlotte Gainsbourg & BeckIRM (Elektra)
  13. Kaki KingJunior (Rounder)
  14. Jeanne CherhalCharade (Barclay)
  15. Loose GripLooking Glass (Fabrikant)

I didn’t get a few that already came out this year (yet)… the new Chali 2Na, David Cross, Hiromi, Johnny Cash, Beak>, et cetera; but they may make it to the list at the end of the year.

The 2nd half of 2010 promises to bring some potential great ones, too… a few more from John Zorn, Nellie McKay (in the fall), Over the Rhine‘s new one (or maybe that’s early 2011), Zero 7‘s new one, Secret Chiefs 3 Book of Souls (maybe), a new Sufjan Stevens (just speculating, I know he’s working on one), Ani DiFranco always has something coming out, Dave Douglas’ Spark of Being (Trilogy), probably something from one of Mike Patton‘s other bands, and I’m sure another dozen or more that I’ll dig from Tzadik.

Favorite concerts of 2010 (so far):

  • Dave Douglas’ Brass Ecstasy – PDX Jazz Fest, Portland, Feb 28th
  • Tegan & Sara – Keller Auditorium, Portland, Apr 8th
  • Jónsi – Roseland Theater, Portland, Apr 13th
  • Kaki King – CD World, Eugene, May 16th
  • Holy Fuck – Mississippi Studios, Portland, June 6th
  • Zappa Plays Zappa – McDonald Theatre, Eugene, June 12th
  • Pink Martini – Oregon Bach Festival, Eugene, June 26th(click pictures below for review links)

~Dan – np: MelvinsThe Bride Screamed Murder

recent jazz {Mar/Apr 2010}

24th Apr 10 (Sat) Leave a comment

So, I usually don’t do album reviews, but I get tons of music; so I figured I’d do little snippet reviews once a month or so… here are some recent jazz CDs I got recently. All of them were pretty darn fabulous…

The DreamersMasada Book Two, Book of Angels, Volume 14: Ipos (Mar 2010) The Dreamers sextet is made up of Cyro Baptista, Joey Baron, Trevor Dunn, Marc Ribot, Jamie Saft, and Kenny Wollesen and it quite frankly one of John Zorn’s most accessible bands.  They weave in and out of some new Masada compositions.  Highly enjoyable and easily drinkable with enough complexities to keep you coming back to the well!
http://www.myspace.com/zornroz

John ZornIn Search of the Miraculous (Feb 2010) This album was inspired by “esoteric spiritual practices, white magic, ritual, traditional myths and ancient legends.”  This album is a great adventure, and as a plus is performed by the soothing Alhambra Trio (who had a great, evocative album out in late 2009) joined by special guests Kenny Wollesen, Carol Emanuel, and Shanir Blumenkranz.
http://www.myspace.com/johnzorn

Jamie Saft A Bag of Shells (Mar 2010) This soundtrack album is for the four films Murderball, God Grew Tired of Us, Dear Talula, and Brooklyn Exile.  It jumps all over the place, starting with the harder edged “Murderball” title track to many different styles – some background music and some that catch your ears and take them for a ride.
http://www.myspace.com/jamiesaft

Haftor Medbøe – A Box of Monkeys EP (Jan 2010) My only complaint about this EP is that… it’s too short. Haftor Medboe bridges the gap from contemporary jazz to electronic, and while I’m usually not fond of vocals in my jazz music, the Björk-like vocals from guest singer Anneke Kampman are a superb match.  This guitar-driven EP has a great mix of electronics and traditional jazz instrumentation (sax & trombone).
http://www.haftormedboegroup.net/

Loose GripLooking Glass (Apr 2010) This guitar and tenor sax infused contemporary jazz band is led by drummer Chris Wallace.  I dig this record a lot… great for fans of Chris Potter and Joe Lovano on the sax angle, great for fans of the guitar jazz like John Scofield, etc.  It’s a well made record, that I’m sure will get many more spins from me this year.
http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/LooseGrip

VW BrothersMuziek (Feb 2010) The Van Wageningen Brothers have played with many immense talents in the jazz world (anyone heard of Stan Getz?).  Finally on their own… they captured some great sounds on their band-leading debut album. From the funk of “You Guys Done Yet?” to the South American flavor of “Benito” and “Zapatos de Madera” to the Miles Davis cover “Milestones,” the VW Brothers don’t disappoint – check it out now!!
http://www.vwbrothers.com/

Chris TedescoLiving the Dream (late 2009) Partially recorded with a big band and partially with a 32-piece studio orchestra, Living the Dream grabs for the 1960s jazz gusto led by Chris’s wonderful trumpet work.  This is a definite record to pick up if you dig the swinging big band style.  The album also features singer Tony Galla on a handful of tracks.
http://www.christedesco.com/

The Ullmann Swell 4News? No News! (early 2010) German reed-man Gebhard Ullmann and New York free-jazz trombonist Steve Swell trade off writing duties and collaborate to bring some great free-jazz improvisations as well as some concise, beautiful compositions to our ears.  There is definitely a noticeable juxtaposition between the four songs from each leader and the 2 collaborative pieces.  While the album isn’t cohesive, it’s not really intended as such.  With that being said, it is definitely an enjoyable spin for my ears.
http://www.gebhard-ullmann.com/
http://www.steveswell.com/

More by late April/early May…

~Dan – np: SevendustAlpha

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