Colin Stetson – All This I Do For Glory

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?
Deep brooding sax laid on top of repetitive songs.

Moods
David Lynch

Thoughts
Colin Stetson is an impressive player. His distinct approach to the sax utilizing circular breathing and tiny microphones creates sounds and textures that go beyond a typical saxophone; like the opening and closing of flaps and squawking dissonance.

These qualities don’t always make-up for the loose songwriting and his albums kind of feel like he’s just wanking off (felt this way when I saw him live too).

Ultimately it’s hard to deny the effectiveness of the textures he creates and those interested in experimental dark jazz should check him out. Stetson has a vision he’s able to perfectly articulate and in that way he’s a master at his craft.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Colin-Stetson-All-This-I-Do-For-Glory/release/10212933

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srBkjdjvoJg



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Colin Stetson – All This I Do For Glory

Description: Album Review of Colin Stetson – All This I Do For Glory


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Ambrose Akinmusire – A Rift In Decorum (Live At The Village Vanguard)

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?
Modern jazz that is rooted in tradition but veers into tasteful experimental deconstructions.

Moods
Downtown jazz

Thoughts
Impressive stuff, wholeheartedly suggest this to fans of modern jazz.

I need to look up the style this is called but I feel this is part of a broader move forward for jazz. His compositions follow a general pattern with a somber melodic start to these songs that veers into intense free jazz like breakdowns. They illustrate a masterful knowledge of post-bop and mindful control on limits free jazz breakdowns.

I think what sets this apart (ie from Justin Brown’s latest) is the way the band keeps it together and doesn’t totally abandon a collective playing. Jazz, as a genre, evolved into something where people seemed to go free, fusion or forced to play as a revivalist. This record combines something of the free and revitalist approach but does so in a modern way that feels fresh.

Credit is due to the band and leadership of Ambrose. He’s a trumpet player who’s style I actually enjoy and is executing a vision perfectly. Justin Brown’s drumming is always impressive and his influence can’t be understated. I find he works very well as a member as a band rather than a leader; see my notes on nyeusi for more there.

Conflicted on what to rate this so gave it a 3 for now. Believe I need a bit more time to really set in with listening sessions where I can enjoy this. Overall a great record with fresh ideas, recommended.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Ambrose-Akinmusire-A-Rift-In-Decorum-Live-At-The-Village-Vanguard/release/10749297

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Ambrose Akinmusire – A Rift In Decorum (Live At The Village Vanguard)

Description: Album Review of Ambrose Akinmusire – A Rift In Decorum (Live At The Village Vanguard)


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Justin Brown – Nyeusi

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?
Modern spiritual jazz with a keen sense of rhythm and shimmering keys.

Moods
Stoner experimental

Thoughts
An enjoyable listen but requires a certain patience. The song structures typically follow a build from a quiet-calm and end in a fit of explosive energy. Justin Brown’s distinct approach to the drum kit (off rhythm, complex, technical) can feel distracting at times as if he’s just soloing letting everything else happen around him. It’s hard to feel the band jiving at those times and more reminiscent of a free-jazz album. Considering this my favorite tracks are Replenish are and Fyfo, an accessible pair indebted to hip hop.

It’s an interesting listen and something that deserves decent headphones or speakers that can separate the mix as it can be a lot to pick out at times. He’s pushing jazz forward in his own way and anyone curious about the contemporary scene should hear this.

More Info
https://www.discogs.com/Justin-Brown-Nyeusi/release/12251209

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Justin Brown – Nyeusi

Description: Album Review of Justin Brown – Nyeusi


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Billy Childs – The Child Within

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?
80/90s post-bop.

Thoughts
Typically not as raw as I like my jazz, reminds me of WBGO (local NYC jazz), but the playing is tight and maintains a pleasant groove. Album highlights:

* Aaron’s song, an interesting piece of songwriting that repeats somber piano and sax melodies.

* Dreams, a lazy swaying melody kicks things off into an intense set of solos.

Solid record.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Billy-Childs-The-Child-Within/release/8899878

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Billy Childs – The Child Within

Description: Album Review of Billy Childs – The Child Within


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Kneebody – Anti-Hero

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?
Rhythmic modern jazz with rock chops

Thoughts
This record is a very successful marriage of jazz and rock, listening notes:

* Like the drum player a lot here, uses the full range of his kit. Keys too, layers well.
* ‘Uprising’ is a good track, the 2nd half I could see extending into a tension building jam live.
* ‘Drum battle’ takes that and builds it into something a bit heavier.
* The sax player has great solos on drum battle and profar. Good use of distortion but otherwise the playing isn’t quite soulful enough.
* Album has a good flow. Almost has a classical like sway to it. Notes are long and melodic. I’d say this is where the ‘cool’ could be upped with this band..

More Info
https://www.discogs.com/Kneebody-Anti-Hero/release/10046749

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Kneebody – Anti-Hero

Description: Album Review of Kneebody – Anti-Hero


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Steely Dan – Aja

★★★★★ = Classic, essential listening

What’s it sound like?
Intellectual light radio rock

Thoughts
I’ve begun to appreciate Steely Dan more as I grow older. Their brand of breezy light rock with this lingering darkness appeals to me. They capture life’s disappointments in a distinct way, as if they’re always sitting on the border of being cheesy; like an inside joke at times. Is this Satire?

Humor aside, this is really catchy pop rock with articulate and relatable lyrics. A classic rock staple.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Steely-Dan-Aja/release/3366636

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Steely Dan – Aja

Description: Album Review of Steely Dan – Aja


Rating: 5 out of 5

 

Sandy Bull – E Pluribus Unum

★★☆☆☆ = Eh, fine

What’s it sound like?
Bluesy/psychedelic/Americana hardcore string noodling

Thoughts
I like the sound, gonna check out more by this guy, but not interested in repeat listens of this.The no deposit no return blues almost breaks into greatness but stays simmering just wave after wave of noodling, never really going anywhere.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Sandy-Bull-E-Pluribus-Unum/release/5082339

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Sandy Bull – E Pluribus Unum

Description: Album Review of Sandy Bull – E Pluribus Unum


Rating: 2 out of 5

 

Terry Riley,Don Cherry,Karl Berger – Köln – February 23, 1975

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

What’s it sound like?
Spiritual organ and trumpet

Thoughts
A patient but effective piece of minimal spiritual jazz. Cherry’s trumpet playing is in top form with expansive but delicate solos (interesting in this context as I associate him with avant garde dissonance). Descending moonshine dervishes is the highlight as the two seem most in sync with Riley’s organ solos building into tasteful melodic lines that cherry tastefully solos over.

I heard this on the YouTube version which I think is incorrect. Sunrise of the planetary collective sees Riley playing solo on a more electric keyboard that provides an ominous tone. Koln improv falls somewhere in the middle with cherry returning but the keys continuing in their electric sound. Less spiritual, more jazz.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Terry-Riley-Don-Cherry-Karl-Berger-K%C3%B6ln-February-23-1975/release/8692739

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Terry Riley,Don Cherry,Karl Berger – Köln – February 23, 1975

Description: Album Review of Terry Riley,Don Cherry,Karl Berger – Köln – February 23, 1975


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Will DiMaggio – At Ease

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

What’s it sound like?

Happy left field electro. Discogs calls this future jazz which I’ll need to check out.

Has a funky sort’ve new world vibe to it, cool pan flute sound.

Thoughts
This is really good, fresh and original sound. He successfully builds on the retro la-funk that’s been so popular lately.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Will-DiMaggio-At-Ease/release/11768093

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Will DiMaggio – At Ease

Description: Album Review of Will DiMaggio – At Ease


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Ryo Fukui – Scenery

★★★★★ = Classic, essential listening

What’s it sound like?
Proper Jazz piano trio

Thoughts
Solid and highly accessible jazz album. A mix of originals and standards, each feels perfect. Lyrical playing and agile without feeling over the top. Recommended.

More Info
https://www.discogs.com/Ryo-Fukui-Scenery2/release/7296774

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Ryo Fukui – Scenery

Description: Album Review of Ryo Fukui – Scenery


Rating: 5 out of 5