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.

Monk Centennial, Pt. One


First album I ever bought by him. Pretty fortunate choice, really. I learned more about him as an interpreter here. Also, one of his wonderful LP jackets.

PS: Mine is not a 1964 original, of course, but a weird thing is that, while Bill Evans clearly wrote the (brief) liner notes — there are no credits anywhere on the LP. So other than knowing Monk does piano, I had no clue who was doing what.

Expert Witness Comment of the Week

Trio da Kali & Kronos Quartet

I’ve been kicking myself for weeks since I’ve been too tangled up in non-writerly matters to get a review done for this standout. It’s the second classical-strings-fusion miracle this year, following Carl Craig’s Versus. The secret in both cases, I would say, is tweak and practice tweak and practice. Ten years to perfect the Craig. And Trio de Kali and Kronos have been working out the kinks in live performances since 2014.

Sweat Soundtrack #5

(Again, does not include losers who got dumped after four tracks.)

  1. The Bottle Rockets, Lean Forward, 2009 Bloodshot)
  2. The Budos Band, S/T, (2005, Daptone)
  3. John Zorn/Bar Kokhba,  Lucifer (Plays Masada Book Two) (2008 Tzadik)
  4. Tomer Yosef, Laughing Underground (JDub, 2008)
  5. Mumiv Troll, Vladivostok  (Strange, bent, Russian band we happened to see at the Middle East in Cambridge. Also very funny in a way that conquers language. I have no advice how to get the discs, but this is the one to start with and I have like five or six now.)
  6. The Knife, Shaking the Habitual (2013, Rabid)
  7. Warsaw Project Orchestra, Wendelu (2014, Utility) Catchy early “Afrobeats” album.
  8. Zongo Junction, Thieves! (2010, Zongo Junction)
  9. Various, “Yeah But It’s A DRY Heat” (1993, West World) (Highly recommended collection of Arizona punk nutjobs.)
  10. Rolling Blackouts C.F., The French Press (2016, SubPop)
  11. Love, Black Beauty (2013, High Moon)
  12. Lee “Scratch” Perry, Master Piece (2012, Born Free)
  13. Bloody Panda, Summon (2009, Pronounced Loud)
  14. Spring Hell Jack, The Sweetness of the Water (Thirsty Ear, 2004) (Yes, free jazzy workout. Fun.)

Sweat Soundtrack #4

(This of course does not include the three items that I had not played in quite a while and that flopped badly. They are already gone.)

Pino Minafra, Sudori (Victo, 1995)

Death Vessel, Island Intervals (Sub Pop, 2014)

Paul Schutze, Third Site (Ryko, 1999)

Milton Nascimento, Maria Maria/Ultimo Trem (Far Out, 2004)

Melvins, Houdini (Atlantic, 1993)

Sly & Robbie, Present Stepper Takes the Taxi (Taxi, 2013)

Raphael Saadiq, Stone Rollin’ (Columbia, 2011)

Peaking Lights, 936 (Weird World, 2011)

Sugar Minott, Hard Time Pressure (VP, 2011)

Gino Stitson, Listen: Vocal Deleria II (Universal, 2013)

Sun City Girls, Funeral Mariachi (?? — Library Copy I bought for pennies out of curiosity — 2011 I believe — and in fact the first album by these willfully weird guys I would plug. Also apparently their final release.)

Archie Bronson Outfit, Coconut (Domino, 2010)

The Shape of Doomjazz To Come, Free Nelson Mandoomjazz/Saxophone Giganticus (Rare Noise, 2013)

Diplo, Random White dude Be Everywhere (Mad Decent, 2013)