Expert Witness Comment for the Week

The Beefheart is on order and I can’t think of another player who has done so much to preserve and honor his former leader. Also just picked up the Cuneiform tribute Lucas did back in 2009 (thoughts not formed yet).

And I’m weirdly alienated from the Stones in a way I never thought would be possible. I was actually charmed by the 2016 blues album the first time through (hey, it had shape and tone and kidz had become overly resistant to the old ferts) but by the fourth listen knew it was an empty exploitation. I’m sure the grade is correct, but there’s too much out there to listen to to acquire any more Mick and Keef.

“I’m Not Trying To Win the World …”

Third year of decline in overall visitors and views of the Miles To Go blog (I do still regard the Donna Douglas blowup as distorting). Maybe it’s the decline of blogs as cool new things, or I’m not as fanatic about posting (2017 not as full of disasters as 2016, but this fall and winter have been hit by a couple terrible personal events — not to me), or that I never do nothin’ to make anything viral.

Whatever, I’ve become a quality over quantity poster and am pleased to note that one of the type of posts that jumped up this year is “The Air Is Still and the Light Is Cool,” which are recommendations of less-well-known albums from the past that I adore.

Got one coming up tomorrow, I think.

NPR Jazz Critics Poll 2017

The results are in.

My selections were a lot closer to the second 10 choices …

Best New Releases

Various, Celebrate Ornette (Song X)
Tim Berne’s Snakeoil, Incidentals (ECM)
Bill Frisell/Thomas Morgan, Small Town (ECM)
Wadada Leo Smith, Najwa (TUM)
Paul Jones, Clean (Outside Music)
J.D. Allen, Radio Flyer (Savant)
Wadada Leo Smith, Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk (TUM)
Ron Miles, I Am a Man (Yellowbird)
Kirk Knuffke, Cherryco (SteepleChase)
Greg Abate, Road To Forever (Whaling City Sound)
Reissues or Historical
 
The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane: Turiyasangitananda (Luaka Bop)
Thelonious Monk Quintet, Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960 (soundtrack) (Sam/Saga)
Best Vocal
Dominique Eade/Ran Blake, Town and Country (Sunnyside)
Best Debut
Jaime Branch, Fly or Die (International Anthem)
Best Latin
Miguel Zenon, Tipico (Miel Music)

 

Expert Witness Comment for the Week

On the stereo: Now That’s What I Call 90s Pop 

VERY useful collection, not only because exquisitely entertaining sequence of tunes, but because I can dump at least three CDs I was keeping for only one number (Will Smith, Christina Aguilera, Sheryl Crow).

 

PS: That posted, I have to say the sequence isn’t brilliant enough to make me like Boyz II Men and Ricky Martin and … well, I donno how often I will throw this on. But the contexting work is a keeper.

Glory Era of Glossy

Good to recall a time when print was the powerhouse it has never been since. I was young and foolish, being shaped into a professional, so I went along with the upbeat mood: print was invincible! tech could makes pages more gorgeous than ever before! ultimately, big follies like: we don’t need no steenking subscriptions, ad revenue will never go down! online publications and social media are mere fads!

I resemble the remark that Vanity Fair was improperly revived. however — they hired me as a freelancer to do short reviews that paid the most serious scratch I had received until then. I managed a couple and a kill fee for a third when the shakeup came and the new brass shoved us out the windows. I never accepted Tina Brown’s “famous for being famous is as good as famous for accomplishments,” but I will admit that a lot of those first features in the Vanity Fair before her were a boring mess.

Couple Quick Music Points …

… as I struggle to find something I like today.

I am a tough sell for pure voices-and-percussion albums. And I don’t think it’s a “just me” kinda taste quirk. I know voice-and-percussion can be captivating, gripping, on stage, but the format is too hard to follow all the way though a whole album.

Next, it’s hard, lotta work, to redeem corny tunes though improvisation. If you roll out one lame-o, half-gimmick tune after another, I come to suspect you may like corny tunes. Because, I mean, there’s no question there’s an audience for them.