colinmce

Modern/Avant New Releases: A running thread

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Posted (edited)

Has anyone listened to the new Rodrigo Amado quartet release? Looks interesting.

Edited by jlhoots

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I'd be interested to hear too. It's the same group that did This Is Our Language.

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A bandcamp link, just in case: https://rodrigoamado.bandcamp.com/album/let-the-free-be-men

I saw this band live in Vienna. I thought it was not that good - Amado playing way too much (literally non-stop), Corsano's annoying vocalizing and nearly equally annoying bashing drumming and McPhee range-squeezed because of his partners. McPhee is such a broad-range player, he really benefits from having space, and this group just did not provide any. Well, I liked Kessler's playing, to be fair. 

Speaking of Kessler, I remember how much I appreciated Die Like A Dog recording (a radio broadcast, provided by a board member way back when, 15 years ago) where Kessler replaces William Parker on bass. The band sounded so much better  with him (IMHO).                 

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On 30/05/2021 at 10:26 AM, Rabshakeh said:

I think that the academic theory in notes and press releases is getting a bit much.

To me it just fades into an institutionalised version of corporate marketing speech.

Sad but true. 

On 30/05/2021 at 10:53 AM, Д.Д. said:

Regarding musical journalism, I think in the age of streaming it is close to totally irrelevant.

    

Don’t get me started. 
 

Exception for Downbeat. Anything reviewed there I don’t need to hear. 

4 minutes ago, David Ayers said:

Sad but true. 

Except for the ‘sad’ part. 

On 30/05/2021 at 10:26 AM, Rabshakeh said:

I have dropped my subscription to the Wire in the last year 

Late to that particular party. Though I believe they have won prizes for the most meaningless uses of the words ‘tonal’ and ‘Stockhausen’.

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Another (2xCD) 90s CT archival release from Fundacja Słuchaj on the horizon. Looks amazing:

https://sluchaj.bandcamp.com/album/gottingen

"Do you remember the legendary CD Legba Crossing released on FMP? Of course, you do! Each Cecil Taylor's music fan does it! Two years later Ove Volquartz assembled almost the same line-up and brought Cecil Taylor to Gottingen to work with the legendary artist longer and more intense. Here you have the whole monumental concert they gave on September 15th! What is the difference? Fundamental as always in the case of such great visionaries like Cecil was! Here, additionaly Mr. Taylor performs not only as a director and conductor but also as a full-time pianist!!!!!!! So let's discover what happened in 1990 at Junges Theater in Gottingen!!!!!"

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3 hours ago, colinmce said:

Another (2xCD) 90s CT archival release from Fundacja Słuchaj on the horizon. Looks amazing:

https://sluchaj.bandcamp.com/album/gottingen

"Do you remember the legendary CD Legba Crossing released on FMP? Of course, you do! Each Cecil Taylor's music fan does it! Two years later Ove Volquartz assembled almost the same line-up and brought Cecil Taylor to Gottingen to work with the legendary artist longer and more intense. Here you have the whole monumental concert they gave on September 15th! What is the difference? Fundamental as always in the case of such great visionaries like Cecil was! Here, additionaly Mr. Taylor performs not only as a director and conductor but also as a full-time pianist!!!!!!! So let's discover what happened in 1990 at Junges Theater in Gottingen!!!!!"

So what is the line-up?

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26 minutes ago, Steve Reynolds said:

So what is the line-up?

Cecil Taylor, piano, poetry, comp.
Tobias Netta, tp
Heinz-Erich Gödecke, tb
Joachim Gies, as,ss
Martin Speicher, as,bs
Ove Volquartz, ss,ts,bcl, cacl
Harald Kimmig, vi
Alexander Frangenheim, b
Uwe Martin, b
Georg Wolf, b
Kojo Samuels, perc,balafon,elephanthorn
Lukas Lindenmaier, dr
Peeter Uuskyla, dr

For contrast, here is Legba Crossing:

Alto Saxophone – Joachim Gies
Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Flute – Brigitte Vinkeloe*
Double Bass – Alexander Frangenheim, Georg Wolf, Uwe Martin
Drums – H. Lukas Lindenmaier, Peeter Uuskyla
Flute – Sabine Kopf
Oboe – Daniel Werts
Piano – Paul Plimley
Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Bass Clarinet – Ove Volquartz
Trombone – Heinz-Erich Gödecke
Violin – Harald Kimmig
Voice – Trudy Morse
Voice, Composed By – Cecil Taylor

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On 5/30/2021 at 5:53 AM, Д.Д. said:

The only type of liner notes I enjoy reading is the one that describes the circumstances of the session and gives some background on the musicians. I have no interest in reading about the music itself - and even more so when it is some convoluted musicological theory blah blah. Give me some anecdotes from the artists' lives.

Regarding musical journalism, I think in the age of streaming it is close to totally irrelevant. I did enjoy reading the reviews by Eugene Chadbourne (whose writing I prefer to his music) and Dan Warburton (enjoy his music too!) when they were still reviewing stuff. I also liked short and to-the-point reviews by François Couture. But in general, as far as I am concerned, if the musical journalism dies out completely - good riddance.  

I hate the fanboy (and often quite an illiterate fanboy at that) style of Free Jazz Blog reviews, I also mainly use it to see what's been released. Never bother with the reviews themselves. Even their motto "Free = liberated from social, historical, psychological and musical constraints. Jazz = improvised music for heart, body and mind" is as trite as it can possibly get. 

    

Absolutely on all fronts. I actually wonder sometimes whether writing about music is relevant at all -- especially since "criticism" comes mostly from the social media/fan side now -- and while I continue to ply away at it in one form or another, one sometimes has to find other ways to engage with the work. FJB is not for me.

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Eugene Chadbourne is the only thing I'll stop to read on AMG.

Don't at all mind technical musical notes in reviews or liners but only if it's relevant (ie - not already more or less obvious) and, more importantly. accurate. But it's seldom either.

I think writers of this type have looked at too many "program notes" from classical concerts and thought, hey, that's a good idea! But it's usually not. I mean, if you really want/need to know about shit like that, in classical, go look at the score. In other musics...look at what there is to look at. But don't, oh god, PLEASE don't, try to fit an aural experience into a physical blueprint, unless you know exactly what you're doing and/or if that's the express purpose of the music anyway. And if it's the latter...is listening really all that important, except as bonus points?

And I would say to just let the musicians speak for themselves, but...not always a good idea either!

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I enjoy Dave Sumner's Bandcamp jazz reviews after discovering him at a music forum I spend time at and I started reading Pete Margasak's reviews after I discovered that he was hired for a position that I had left in Chicago. I'm still devoted to The Wire magazine. I like the variety of the reviews and the personalities shine thru in such a way that it can be a marker for how much you give credence to what they have to say (and the way that they say it).

Edited by rostasi

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This might be a European viewpoint, but I typically associate this sort of intensely technical vocabulary with arts institutions, because it is the type of vocabulary that is required when submitting requests for funding (e.g., here in the UK, requests for funding from the Arts Council). This scientific / technical style makes it easier for the person with the purse strings to justify allocating the grant.

I always assumed that the reason for the growing prevalence of this sort of garbage language is a reflection of the increasingly institutionalisation is of the music - not in itself a good or bad thing - with an accompanying “creep” into press releases and other sorts of non-specialist publications as it increasingly begins to be seen as the appropriate language to use when discussing the music in general.

I should add that the above is based on experience of visual arts and the museum/gallery sector in the UK, so may not reflect wider circumstances or the music world.

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Well, "technical" stuff is how the music gets made, I mean, it doesn't make itself, right? But back in the day, composers would just dedicate piece to somebody,title the movements by tempo marking, and let that be it. I don't like too much detail in general reviews/program notes, because...who are you trying to convince, right?  At one level, the basic level, the music should speak for itself. And then if you want/need to know more, go get it. But only it connects first. Anything else is just kinda posing, I think.

Like, I've heard any number of things that I didn't know exactly what was going on. But I can't say that there's been much, if any, that I've only started to like once learning the specifics. Of coutrse, there's always the entitledtype dilettante who needs to "understand" in order to "appreciate", and then must "appreciate" in order to "like". Those type....grr....you don't have to do any of that in that order. Something either makes you listen again or it doesn't. There's no formal process. Use your ears and keep an open mind. Anything else, really, isn't listening to music, it's just gobbling up an aural confirmation bias, there really no listening involved. Just hearing, at best.

Already too much jargon.

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That's all well and good, but surely the younger me will not be the only one here who, as a novice listener and fan, has benefited greatly from reading liner notes or record reviews? And I often got a lot of pleasure out of it too.

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