Friday, November 16th, 2007
... 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. ...
KZSU, 90.1 FM
(Return to playlists.)
I am toying with the idea of extending these entries to something like
LiveJournal. Disadvantages include the fact that people might actually
read them, putting more pressure on me to get things done on time.
Also, most blog pages use a "skinny column" format that doesn't provide
room for the look/feel that I like for the playlists. One advantage to
LiveJournal would be the ability to make the text go full-screen "below the fold." I guess
I could just have the blog entries link back to here. Ultra-hipster blogger
types might find that uncouth and irritating. Actually, that's all the more
reason to do it that way.
I don't buy into the Power Of Blogging cult. Yes, it's a good medium that
will ultimately have a positive impact on news delivery and information
flow. But I don't go all-out saying blogs will usurp all other
lines of communication; like
most of Web 2.0, blogs are more about self-absorption than "community."
Plus, food for thought: The immediacy of news delivery today means
journalists (bloggers) now have to do more work under tighter deadlines,
probably for less pay. (Any time "the masses" can do something, it lowers
the pay scale.) Blogs = Corporate America wins again!
ARTIST -- "TRACK TITLE" -- ALBUM TITLE (LABEL, YEAR)
Horizontal lines denote microphone breaks.
* William Parker/Raining on the Moon -- "Tutsi Orphans" -- Corn Meal Dance (AUM Fidelity, 2007)
Back in 2002, bassist Parker put out Raining on the Moon, a CD
vocals. It drew mostly from his jazz roots, not the avant-garde side,
combining a rich '60s sound with socially conscious lyrics. Leena Conquest
sang the tunes in a velvety but tough voice. Parker had used song forms
with his Little Huey Creative Orchestra, so this wasn't alien territory,
and Raining on the Moon, while keeping to less than epic lengths,
still gave room to stretch out -- the 14-minute title track being an
This CD is an all-song compilation; basically, "Raining on the Moon" has
become the name of Parker's vocals band. Nicely intricate jazz backing
behind lyrics packed with cynicism, sadness, and hope. If Parker's not
touring with this group, he should.
? Lowbelly -- "Sleep Orange Dream" -- A Phoenix in the Sun (Fort Hazel, 2007)
Boise-based post-rock group with enough saxophone to be considered
jazzy. Nice instrumentals, often based on simple melody or rhythm lines,
with a mostly relaxed feel that sometimes gets amped up by electric
guitar or louder sax. As I think I've mentioned before, Boise has
surprisingly nurtured a little enclave of out/noise musicians.
Daniel Studer -- "Fragment 1" -- Ianus (Unit, 2004)
Studious, sparse pieces, this one with clarinet and a wordless
female vocal prominent. Not the kind of thing I'm always into, but
I'm curious to give some of the longer tracks a good listen sometime.
Gustavo Aguilar -- "Zamzam, a Ki River Spring" -- Dreaming with Serpents (Acoustic Levitation, 1999)
Percussion, with pieces for things like vibraphone, celeste,
multiple tympani, etc., backed by a jazzish band (Wadada Leo Smith
on trumpet and Todd Sickafoose on bass, for instance). A bit jazzy
and a bit academic, a nice mix.
* Susanna Lindeborg's Mwendo Dawa -- "Spring Lines" -- Live at Fasching (LJ Records, 2006)
* Mrafi -- "Alice"/"Il Crogiuolo" -- La Terra di Giubba (Rai Trade, 2006)
Previously noted here.
"Il Crogiuolo" is a 14-minute suite spread across four tracks. The
tracks differ enough to stand alone well as separate pieces, but I'd
wanted to give a spin to one of the suites on here. "Alice" is the
preceding track, which I started on by accident.
Ornette Coleman -- "The Face of the Bass" -- Change of the Century (Atlantic, 1959)
With Donald Cherry, Charlie Haden, and Billy Higgins. Kind of an
easygoing track, with a couple of bass solos, of course.
-- 4:00 p.m. --
* Kirk Joseph's Backyard Groove -- "Get Your Shit Straight" -- Sousafunk Ave. (self-released, 2005)
Happy danceable funk with lots of brass, from a member of the
Brass Band. This particular track gets all '70s on you, with
that fast jabbing wah-wah guitar sound.
Leonard Nimoy -- "Alien" -- V/A: Brain in a Box: Disc 4: Incidental/Lounge (Rhino, 2000; orig released 197???)
Brain in a Box is an ingenious (get it???) compilation of
sci-fi esoterica: TV themes, movie themes, pop songs, retro rock
songs (think "Purple People Eater") ... and random weird stuff like this.
It's a kind of conceptual song/performance, where the narrator is an
alien come to visit on friendly terms, declaring his galactic journey to us
with a cheesy orchestral backing. It's kind of cool, actually.
* Happy Apple -- "1996 A.D." -- Happy Apple Back on Top (Sunnyside, 2007)
We haven't heard much from these guys lately, probably because the
drummer is busy with
The Bad Plus.
Here's another album of their bouncing and mildly goofy free jazz,
with a sunny energy and a nose-thumbing attitude. I do like Happy Apple
better than The Bad Plus. It's very uncool of me, I know, but ...
as I think I've mentioned before, the Bad Plus'
rock covers turn me off -- "Iron Man" was great, sure, but the others
come across too much like hipster muzak. And the piano poundin of
Ethan Iverson, while intriguing, gets tiresome after long listens.
* Francois Carrier and Michel Lambert -- "White Summit" -- Kathmandu (FMR, 2007)
Sax and drum duets, energetic stuff from two European jazzsters
that we've encountered quite a bit, through various CDs sent our way.
This particular track carries soe nice strong energy and is a good
way to open the CD.
* James Gordon Anderson -- "Alphamirrar (Green Emerald Mix)" -- Transtemporal Empires (self-released, 2007)
Anderson is an apparently Australian composer of computer music,
I'm guessing. This 2-CD set contains lots of orchestral washes,
sweet strings mixed into mildly avant-garde collages. Also plenty
of crunchier and noisier computer sounds -- this track, for example,
is a marimba on speed working a jackhammer -- but overall too "sweet"
for my ears. Anderson can't resist going for the gravitational pull
of strong tonal sounds, culminating in the last track, which is an
outright hymn on strings.
* Jon Raskin Quartet -- "African Tulips" -- Jon Raskin Quartet (Rastascan, 2007)
* Kioku -- "Binalig" [excerpt] -- Both
Far and Near (Quiet Design, 2007)
Matthew Shipp -- "The New Circumstance" -- Piano Vortex (Thirsty Ear, 2007)
* Martin Speicher, Georg Wolf, Lou Grassi -- "Please, Confirm!" -- Shapes and Shadows (Clean Feed, 2007)
Nice, bright free-jazz session from a trio of sax, bass, drums.
Energetic stuff with plenty of creativity and a variety of moods, including
the 14-minute title track, which is appropriately shadowy and shapeless.
"Please, Confirm!" is the opening track, an attention-getting jazzy
flow, energetic and speedy.
-- 5:00 p.m. --
Patrick Cress' Telepathy -- "Zum Bolly Bali" -- Meditation, Realization (Odd Shaped Case, 2006)
Patrick Cress' Telepathy -- "Sarcasm in the 13th Dimension" -- Meditation, Realization (Odd Shaped Case, 2006)
Previously noted here and
here. Telepathy hasn't played a gig in six
months due to the usual real-life interferences (birth of a child, band member
moving to NYC, etc.) They're slated to play a show Sunday, Nov. 18, though,
a reunion of sorts. Apparently they intend to put out another album as
well, their fourth -- which is great news.
* Myo -- "Some Things I've Lost, Some Things I've Gained" -- Process (MT6, 2007)
Every now and again, a CD survives through its nine weeks in
rotation without attracting a single spin on-air. The reason is usually
external: The CD got lost and no one noticed it, or
it was too damn hard to see on the shelf. The latter case happens a lot
with discs that arrive in thin sleeves, as with this one. Noticing it
hadn't gotten any play, I put it on. Myo is a laptop noise artist
who's created some nice pieces here, both loud and soft.
I liked this one, with its bass pulse followed by your standard
* Taffetas -- "Taffetas" -- Fanta (Rasa, 2006)
I'm not saying there's anything wrong with mailing CDs in thin
sleeves, by the way. It saves on postage, and we certainly don't
need any more jewel cases at the station. Just noting that sometimes,
the simple marketing reality is that anything in odd or creative
packaging can sadly be overlooked, at least at our station. That
goes for big packages as well as small ones.
Friendly world music with African kora in the band but a
European sound overall, with an energetic female vocalist who sounds like
she could be fronting a tango band or a romantic Paris-cafe group.
* Melanie Auclair -- "Jour 2: L'adaptation" -- Decore Sonore (Ambiances Magnetiques,2007)
Previously noted here.
Particularly weird stuff here, with spoken word augmenting the
Morgan Guberman and Matt Ingalls -- "Verdigris" -- Duets (self-released, 1999)
Nice variety of bass-and-clarinet duets, in the free improv idiom.
This one's a long and particularly busy track, making it nice for radio
* Timeless Pulse Quintet -- "21" [excerpt] -- Timeless Pulse Quintet (Mutable, 2007)
* Otomo Yoshihide's New Jazz Orchestra -- "Straight Up and Down/Will Be Back" [excerpt] -- Out to Lunch (Doubt, 2007)
* Saco Yasuma -- "Liquid Entity" -- Another Rain (Leaf Note, 2007)
Yasuma leads an accessible but free-wheeling piano combo here,
with Roy Campbell (trumpet) and Ken Filiano (bass) adding some out-jazz
cred. Great postbop stuff that could actually play at
* = Item in KZSU rotation
! = Pop anomaly
? = Item not in KZSU library
-- Go back to Memory Select playlists.
-- Bay Area free/improv music calendar: http://www.bayimproviser.com.