Kids These Days – Traphouse Rock

★★☆☆☆ = Eh, fine

Sounds like?

Rap with a rock band

Moods

The energy of a live show with the polish of the studio

Thoughts

I really like some of these productions, distinct in their use of instrumentation. The album didn't really resonate with me. Almost felt like canned aggression, too polished as a studio album.  

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Kids-These-Days-Traphouse-Rock/release/4536212

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Kids These Days – Traphouse Rock

Description: Album Review of Kids These Days – Traphouse Rock


Rating: 2 out of 5

 

Lee Morgan – The Sidewinder

★★☆☆☆ = Eh, fine

Sounds like?

Hard bop

Moods

Downtown

Thoughts

I'm torn on this, not really my thing but it's so good for what it is. I especially love Henderson's solos, feels like he's in prime form.

However I'm just not sure I'd put this on again, the title track made it onto a playlist but that's about as far as I'd go to revisit. I need to stop listening to hard bop.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Lee-Morgan-The-Sidewinder/release/579852

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJi03NqXfk8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12srcPirMeM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNK8E7Mwwk0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP5bkHfRYVU

Spotify


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Lee Morgan – The Sidewinder

Description: Album Review of Lee Morgan – The Sidewinder


Rating: 2 out of 5

 

Louis Cole – Time

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

Quick bedroom synth jazz funk pop

Moods

the white thundercat of synths

Thoughts

He's got a distinct sound of synth poppy synth funk. It's quick like those little soulful flourishes a keys player might lay in but all the time. It's jazzy and technical, good, but songwriting can get tiring. I like the lyrical themes, digital insecurities around sex and relationships; timeless but modern.

I have fond memories of knower shows and wish Louis the best luck as a proficient backbone of brainfeeder.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Louis-Cole-Time/release/12543607

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8Sjam1hnrA

Spotify


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Louis Cole – Time

Description: Album Review of Louis Cole – Time


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Boxhead Ensemble – Quartets

★★☆☆☆ = Eh, fine

Sounds like?

effect-laden modern classical

Moods

Cerebral

Thoughts

I can't tell if it's because I listened to this with ear buds or if it's recorded in a certain way but it felt very much 'in my head'. These tracks have space and build tension at times as well as create feelings of intimacy. Reminds me of an indie version of the Kronos quartet.

On second listen I was especially bored, just OK.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Boxhead-Ensemble-Quartets/release/198661

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Boxhead Ensemble – Quartets

Description: Album Review of Boxhead Ensemble – Quartets


Rating: 2 out of 5

 

Szun Waves – At Sacred Walls

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

post rock jazz

Moods

Stoned

Thoughts

Jazz I guess but reminds me a lot of post rock in it's slow building songs. Rhythms, electronics and sax textures gradually break down as the album wears on. Like Abbott is a member which explains the solid electronics. Really like the meditative hum on the title track.

Appeals with it's stoner vibe. Drumlines are off time and it noodles a bit. If you approach this as a post rock ambient record it's solid, jazz not so much.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Szun-Waves-At-Sacred-Walls/release/8891765

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ze2RBJWVS4E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJw3pXxzgsk

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTvYn5EgoaU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9enveKtvOL8

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Szun Waves – At Sacred Walls

Description: Album Review of Szun Waves – At Sacred Walls


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Snarky Puppy – Bring Us The Bright

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

Modern fusion big band

Moods

Compositional perfection

Thoughts

They are almost like modern day big band featuring a big ensemble playing music in an orchestrated fashion. It's fusion in the sense that they draw from so many influences (rock, funk, jam bands, classical) while still staying true to jazz. My only fault is also the biggest compliment: their compositions are fantastic but can have the rehearsed stuffiness at times; missing the loose rawness of jazz I'm typically drawn to. They are so tight but I prefer their live studio albums as it adds that looseness.

As for individual tracks:

'Celebrity' is a great track, love the albums Dre g-funk from the keys line to the wompy bass effects.

Has a nice flow, 'strawman's' mellow beginning is a good example of this, drawing from jambands with quick guitar work and Herbie funky keys.

'34 klezma' begins with a yiddish rhythm and rich strings and piano, it's decadent in a classical sense.

Can't go wrong with a snarky puppy release

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Snarky-Puppy-Bring-Us-The-Bright/release/6447917

Listen!

Youtube

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pZdwTTZuOc

Spotify


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Snarky Puppy – Bring Us The Bright

Description: Album Review of Snarky Puppy – Bring Us The Bright


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

The Nels Cline Singers – Macroscope

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

modern jazz with rock and free jazz ethos

Moods

Accessible experimental jazz for guitar shredders

Thoughts

Lots of guitar here. Earlier tracks are loaded with face-melting jazz guitar solos, with Cline coming out swinging; enlivened by percussive pushes. Middle tracks like 'red before orange' showcase his sweet tone.

Later tracks break away from structure, becoming more textural with bits of percussion and electronics. Really like the track 'seven zed heaven' which starts off with a swinging thing that turns into a tension building piece (Cyro's on this! Awesome weird percussive textures for this not familiar (see Hairy Mother intro).

Great album that rewards repeat listens.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/The-Nels-Cline-Singers-Macroscope/release/5631195

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoVY6M8fTXc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzQCQbso-dY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ixk6zST2nM0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZXAIbKNA0o

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZF2PaUA79ao

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The Nels Cline Singers – Macroscope

Description: Album Review of The Nels Cline Singers – Macroscope


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Portico Quartet – Portico Quartet

★★★☆☆ = Good!

Sounds like?

modern classic quartet with rock and jazz songwriting structures

Moods

Modern beauty

Thoughts

A true hybrid of genres incorporating everything from rock and electronic to jazz and classical. I'd say you're most familiar approaching this as a jazz album with classical influences. It's difficult for musicians to get that type of combination right but they pull it off in a patient way with effective touches of electronics and overall 'pretty' and 'contemplative' moments. It's richness would lend well to a live setting an I'd be really interested in seeing these guys live. 'Laker Boo' shifts out of the patient structure into something more aggressive and forward.

I like the ideas here but I'm not sure how much I'll revisit this album. I'm curious to see how they evolve, they have the potential for something truly great.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Portico-Quartet-Portico-Quartet/release/3455552

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpNXM-114WU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQH0GPL33uc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVLveOhrvG8

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

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

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Portico Quartet – Portico Quartet

Description: Album Review of Portico Quartet – Portico Quartet


Rating: 3 out of 5

 

Lee Morgan – Search For The New Land

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

real good hardbop

Moods

Peak creativity

Thoughts

here's what allmusic said about the session:

"the musicians are in particularly creative form on the fresh material, and they stretch the boundaries of hard bop (the modern mainstream jazz of the period). The result is a consistently stimulating set that rewards repeated listenings."

Stray observation: I've never thought of hard bop as a ‘new thing’ but it was not so long ago.

Anyways, focusing on the title track there is definitely a strong creative current that all inventive jazz strives for. Clocking in at roughly 15 minutes it encompasses just under half the album. It has this stop and go kind of momentum with the refrain opening into each of the solos. Reminds me of in a silent way where the song unfolds in these wave type parts, layering on top of each other.

The rest of the outing is pretty good hard bop but never captures that same high. Still the stellar ensemble ensures hard bop fans will leave pleased.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Lee-Morgan-Search-For-The-New-Land/release/1597082

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDfkkRa1VA8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2w909-pj3A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73rT4Gsh7nU

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oX73N9-hUeU

Spotify


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Lee Morgan – Search For The New Land

Description: Album Review of Lee Morgan – Search For The New Land


Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Christian Scott – Stretch Music

★★★★☆ = Quality release and suggested listening

Sounds like?

Rhythmic contemporary jazz

Moods

Fresh Jazz

Thoughts

Surprised I'm just learning about this dude cause he's right up my alley. This album features contemporary compositions rooted in post bop, incorporating elements of hip hop and rock seamlessly. Other reviews applaud the drumming but I think the varied but always strong songwriting is the real standout: ‘twin’ a rhythmic post bop thing, ‘perspectives’ a quiet piece made engaging by a shimmering layer of keys is the perfect lead into the rocking ‘west of the west’ where rocking electric guitar cuts right through the calm. The later half of the album mellows into more traditional post bop carried by strong playing.

I wasn't left with much memory of his trumpet playing but I think that's a good thing as he thrives in versatility. Utilizing tasteful effects when appropriate or a bit of technical flexing in others. His solos are never imposing like certain bandleaders.

It's great and I'm looking forward to checking more out from him. In 2015 I was consumed by kamasi, this is equally as good as the epic.

More Info

https://www.discogs.com/Christian-Scott-aTunde-Adjuah-Introducing-Elena-Pinderhughes-Stretch-Music/release/7525224

Listen!

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1JnHCqqu64

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiGfTWngK54

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktU_X7CDaBM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_byDM5lpDlA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8FLvHFUbTY

Spotify


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Christian Scott – Stretch Music

Description: Album Review of Christian Scott – Stretch Music


Rating: 4 out of 5