Junk Magic – Compass Confusion – discovered via Night After Night
I have a friend who assembles a number of great year end lists. Things like top live performances, hip hop albums, jazz albums, albums of composed music, etc…it is quite impressive. I have trouble remembering what performances I saw in a given year, much less what my favorite 10 of them were. So my resolution for 2021 is to use this space to keep track of every live performance or new recording that I hear.
Given how much I have written here in the past few years, it is unlikely that many (any?) of these things will get full reviews, and I am pretty sure I will not assemble them into top 10 lists at this time next year, but I will hopefully at least have a record of the new sounds and live performances I encountered. Wish me luck.
One of the joys of teaching is that your students graduate (well, some drop out), then they go and do cool stuff. One of my new favorite bands is Dad?. The shows are fun, and the people in the band are some of my favorites.
Dad? Saturday at the Saturn Bar.
Me and the band pre-show. (Note, this band is so cool that George Porter, Jr. took this picture)
Give them a listen below.
One of my go to recordings recently has been Return the Tides by Rob Mazurek and Black Cube SP. I have also recently been on a kick to try to expand my listening to and appreciation of music that is more mainstream or popular than what I usually listen to. This has led me to spend some time with the new D’Angelo record and even check out some Iggy Azalea, in efforts to better understand some of the recent discussions on these topics. I have found that there is more musical commonality across those spaces than I might care to admit.
Growing up musically in a space that was largely influenced by jazz culture, I have some completist tendencies. I like to dig deeply into the music of my favorites. I guess that could be more of a me thing than a jazz thing, because I did that as a kid with my favorite rock bands too. Once I decided I really liked a band, I had to get all of their albums. This habit has made it hard for me to “skim” the music of someone who is new to me, but my recent decision to broaden my horizons has forced me to do just that.
What I have discovered is that even cursory exposure to new music is rewarding and offers insight into old favorites as well. Maybe that has always been obvious to most of you. It just hit me in a new way today.
I try not to be too trombone-centric in my listening or writing, but this post is about new music from two trombonist led trios.
Jeb Bishop has just released a CD by his new trio that features Jason Roebke on bass, and Frank Rosaly on drums. Jeb was one of my favorite trombonists before he became a close friend, collaborator, and colleague. I think this is some of his best recorded work. I was honored that Jeb asked me to mix and master this CD (or at least turn the virtual knobs and faders until he liked what he heard). I spent lots of time with this music in my ears throughout the mixing process, and I still like to listen to it. That’s a pretty strong endorsement. You can hear samples at CD Baby.
In other trombone trio news, Jacob Garchik has posted a recording of his trio that was made at Ibeam in Brooklyn on April 10, 2010. There is a zip file of 256k mp3s, and youtube video of the entire concert as well. Check it out here.
This past Tuesday night, the Open Ears Music Series hosted Conference Call (Gebhard Ullmann, Michael Jefry Stevens, Joe Fonda, and George Schuller). What a great night. These four guys are amazing musicians. The music has just the right balance of cool composed material, free blowing, noise, and humor. They laughed on stage… regularly, not just once. It was beautiful. Sometimes improvisers can begin to take themselves too seriously, but Conference Call mixes plenty of fun and laughter in with their artistic integrity. It was refreshing.
I did a little financial experiment Tuesday night as well. Instead of leaving the donation receptacle on the front of the stage and making announcements and walking the jar once per set, I stood at the door and took the donations there. It wasn’t exactly a cover, because I didn’t turn anyone away, or demand a specific amount. I just said, “We are asking for $10, but whatever you can do is cool.” Most of the regular music fans didn’t even blink, and just put in their $10. A few put less. Oddly,
many some musicians were reluctant to cough up $10 for a great band that is on the road. I get that cats are broke, but the musicians have to get paid somehow. If we all get in for free, who pays the band? I related two results to taking the donations at the door. There was more money for the band, and there was less talking during the show, because every one had bought in and was committed to hearing music. The downside was that I was stuck at the door. I could hear pretty well, but it still isn’t the ideal place to listen.
Do any of you have tips/ideas/theories about how to maximize compensation for the artists in donation type situations?
These two disks have been in my heavy rotation recently. They are both excellent. Click links, listen to samples, explore, and purchase.
Mike Reed’s People Places & Things About Us
David Binney & Alan Ferber In the Paint