23 Jul 2023
14 Jan 2023
31 Dec 2022
24 Dec 2022
My favorite thing about the coming of any new year is all the “best of” lists that my favorite commentators post. Best music, best film, best football game, best mutual fund, best everything. All the lists are crap, but it’s a blast to see where my favorites sit in comparison to the experts.
11 Dec 2022
03 Dec 2022
02 Dec 2022
04 Nov 2022
23 Oct 2022
Well gang, I’ve decided to move my music discussions back to my blog. Easy enough to link in slack if I want to, but everyone who wants to see can see. I think music is a tell - you can learn quite a bit about someone by understanding their music. I’ve got no problem with people finding me that way. So, here we go again for the nth time trying to bring the music blog back to life.
27 Dec 2019
The Sara Chaksad Orchestra is new to me, recommended by Apple Music or AllAboutJazz - I can’t remember. Those are my go-to sources for new jazz music, so I’m certain it’s one of the two. Anyway…
22 Jul 2018
Wandered down to the lab a couple of weeks back and a student asked why I stopped posting to my blog. Not sure, but I took this as an indication that someone other than me actually looks at the thing. So, I decided to make a comeback and start posting here again rather than only the lab music slack channel. I’m starting slowly with a list of new tunes on the Bryston. The Bryston, for those of you who don’t know, is my digital music player where all my music lives. I want to say New on the Turntable, but that doesn’t work anymore. Regardless, here’s a list of what new things got played this week:
19 Mar 2016
You find out who your friends are with things explode.
18 Mar 2016
It should be pretty clear from my initial set of prototype pictures that the room and the new gear don’t exactly go together. Using the bar in the back as an equipment rack and stacking the speakers in front of the wooden built-ins is highly non-optimal. Enter Natural Breeze. By far the best remodelers in Lawrence and as I would learn later, the best guys ever.
06 Mar 2016
Well, I’ve finally given up completely on eMusic. Too bad really as I use to love their products and their services. If you want to figure out how to piss off your core customer base, you can learn a great deal from these people.
24 Dec 2015
Finally. My boycott of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame can officially come to an end. Chicago is in. It simply took far too long for a band that defined a sound, was exceptionally popular in two different incarnations, and whose political activism was as unique as its music to make the hall. Every pep band in the world plays 25 or 6 to 4. Beginnings, Saturday In the Park, and Does Anybody Know What Time It Is? are among the greatest pop/rock songs of all time. 11 number one hits and multiple number one albums. Finally there is justice.
04 Aug 2015
Escapists present a nice fun album in the autumn stone. A bit of chamber pop with just a twinge of ska - think The Aluminum Group sans electronics plus sax and you’re close to the Escapists sound. Dreamy vocals, jangley guitars, good horns, nice harmonies and a great summer feel. I really dig the lead vocalist and the groovy bass and drums. (And yes, groovy is the just right adjective here.) There is a nice consistency in the sound with a few surprises thrown in.
04 Aug 2015
Horizontal Lines presents Twin Within, a dream-pop album with fantastic vocal harmonies over acoustic guitars. However, what makes this album go and a thoroughly enjoyable listen is the wonderful dissonance these guys create in just the right places. Not dissonance in the harmonic sense, but dissonance in the logical sense. A chord progression here, stylistic twist there, then an unexpected song choice in a way that should bring listeners back over and over again.
15 Feb 2014
Chicago is among my favorite bands of all time. I started listening in junior high school, when through a time in high school when I wanted to be their trumpet player, and have never been able to sit still for Saturday In the Park. Very few bands that I listened to in 7th grade still appeal to me in any way shape or form. In fact, Chicago might be the only one.
15 Feb 2014
Tierney Sutton’s After Blue is a collection of Joni Mitchell tunes she performs with several backing ensembles including The Turtle Island Quartet. If you’re not familiar with Sutton (I wasn’t before this) she typically does straight-ahead jazz vocal albums with a mix of standards and original work. I ran across her stuff before making this purchase, but never bit. I will be going back and listening again after this wonderful album.
31 Dec 2013
For the first time I’ve been playing around with various sample rates and resolutions. I picked up new versions of Gaucho by Steely Dan, Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, and New Moon Daughter by Cassandra Wilson. Gaucho is 96/24 flac, New Moon Daughter is 192/24 flac, and Kind of Blue is 192/24 AIFF. So, I’m maximizing sample rates and sample resolution on music remastered using the best known techniques. Furthermore, all this music is stuff I know very, very well.
21 Dec 2013
New tunes on the server since my last update:
07 Dec 2013
Just a quick note about this really nice, retro album by Treetop Flyers. I saw a review in Paste and pulled down their sampler as I often do only to discover a reincarnation of the old pop group America. You remember America - Horse With No Name was a radio hit from my childhood. Anyway, Things Will Change could have been on an America album straight up. This is cool as I really like America, but here’s the odd thing - they’re British. British as in not America at all! Kind of fun if you ask me. Great album here. You should buy it.
04 Dec 2013
I have a very soft spot in my musical heart for the classic jazz trio
29 Nov 2013
Lots of new music on the server since my last update. Here’s some of it:
20 Jul 2013
Just picked this up from iTunes on a recommendation from my wife who seems to know my music tastes better than I do! This is a pop album. It is a damn good pop album like nothing I’ve heard before, but it is pop. Laura Mvula is British with an African tinge to it. The title track brings this out. Reading a bit about her, she has Gospel roots and has worked extensively with community vocal groups. This is not a religious album in any traditional sense, but it is oddly gospel. Can’t quite put my finger on why.
20 Jul 2013
14 Jun 2013
You’d think that with a name like Vile, Kurt Vile would be the front man for very angry punk band. Not so. Definitely not so. This is my second album by Kurt Vile and both are consistently outstanding rock albums in a similar vein as Josh Rouse with a bit more edge.
08 Jun 2013
Years ago I saw a documentary when doing laps around the television about Tom Dowd. Dowd was a recording engineer and producer for Atlantic Records and was among the first to use stereo and multitrack recording techniques. He also worked on the Manhattan Project and made the decision to go into recording when his classified work was more advanced than academia would acknowledge.
26 May 2013
Just a quick note about this album I just picked up on an impulse. I didn’t have any Allman Brothers in my collection and this came highly recommended as one of the best live albums of all time. Holy crap is that ever an understatement! Just finished up In Memory of Elizabeth Reed an am in the middle of You Don’t Love Me. I have never heard anything like this. I mean I’ve heard a ton of music like this - southern, guitar-based rock and roll - but never played like this. The musicianship on every instrument is phenomenal. If you don’t have this album you need to. Now.
19 May 2013
I got this album from iTunes based on a one song preview and a rating over 9 on Pitchfork. I never do that - it was a classic impulse buy. I which all my impulses were this good!
21 Jan 2013
Just picked up Dirty Projectors’ Swing Low Magellan last week and have become completely smitten by the thing. Funny thing that I’ve owned Bitte Orca for quite some time and never really paid that much attention to it. Particularly surprising given all the rave reviews it got. I just didn’t get it. I think I get it now.
21 Oct 2012
Sometimes when I’m in a music buying frenzy I end up buying something that goes on the shelf for awhile until I get through the music that started the frenzy. Such is the case with Build Anyway purchased at the same time with new Minus the Bear and Sea and Cake. Finally got around to listening to this on a run the other day and was floored. So much so that I’m listing it here before the new Minus the Bear or Sea and Cake.
14 Oct 2012
Twilight is a straight-ahead quintet album with a twinge of old-style fusion, ala The Crusaders, anchored by the wonderful trombone work of Louis Bonilla. As much as I hate to admit it after years of band rivalries, I’ve grown to love trombone. Deep, warm sound - like the tenor sax of the brass section. I also tend to like the quintet format a bit better than trio, but that’s nothing but personal taste.
14 Oct 2012
Shout out to Cowboy Indian Bear, a local Lawrence band who won the Top of the Hill award for best local band. I listened to their samples on the LJW website with exceptionally low expectations. Boy was I surprised - this guys are awesome. Very much a pop band with a bit of twee that works very, very well. Really great vocals and some serious chops. I don’t think they’re going to be local very long. Major props to these guys - I always root for local bands.
13 Oct 2012
Excellent straight ahead post-bop trio work. Very classic lines throughout, but with enough twists to keep you listening. Green Dolphin Street, Crossbow and Interloper are particularly good up-tempo tracks. You can guess how Green Dolphin Street goes. Crossbow and Interloper are not tunes that I recognize. Also worth mentioning is Succubus, a great post-bop tune with nice twists and turns with stylistic surprises. Smelly has some Monk-esque feelings mixed with some original ideas and movements.
12 Aug 2012
Freedom Flight is a jewel - brilliant jazz vocals. Nicky has a beautiful voice, but there are lots of those. She also has simple but sophisticated and interesting arrangements and fantastic musicians behind her. Freedom Flight/Blackbird sucked me in. Material is quite varied - a bit of everything from samba through a James Taylor cover. A really good James Taylor cover I might add. I will be on the lookout for album number 2 from Nicky.
03 Jun 2012
I’m sitting here listening and reading back issues of Paste and found a fascinating read on The Beach Boys with some words I’ve never seen before. I completely ignored The Beach Boys for most of my musical life. When I was a serious jazzer listening to such serious jazz groups like Spyro Gyra and Chuck Mangione (stop laughing), The Beach Boys were just silly. During my New Age acoustic years, they were not sophisticated enough. During my indie rock years, they were old. Then I was a tried and true Beatles guy using the Beatles/Stones classification system. You kind of get the picture.
27 May 2012
It’s definitely a jazz guitar month this month. New stuff downloaded this weekend:
08 Apr 2012
John Crowley was not a name I had heard before discovering At the Edge on iTunes. I forgot what lead me there - most likely Ari Hoering - but I’ve been enjoying this album quite a bit recently. If you like your jazz with a post-bop feel and lots of trumpet, fender-rhodes, and tasty drumming, this is definitely an album for you.
21 Feb 2012
Josh Rouse is a long-time favorite of mine. Really great, laid back pop music that kind of reminds me of Glenn Campbell in a very good way. 1972, Nashville, and Country Mouse, City House being my favorites. After a series of releases that I enjoy, but don’t hit the player that often Josh Rouse and the Long Vacations caught me a bit by surprise. It seems he has a band now, but he’s returned to a sound that reminds me of the early albums that are, in my opinion, as close to perfect as you’re going to get.
14 Feb 2012
Ben Allison is a bassist from Portland who was recommended to me by my friend Jeff Lewis after he learned of Ari Hoenig from one of my posts. It’s great how that works, isn’t it? I’ve since invested in quite a few of Ben Allison’s projects and am a big fan.
12 Feb 2012
I had never hear of yMusic before I purchased Beautiful Mechanical. I bought the album and let it sit for a month or so before I got around to listening. I’m a huge fan of playing classical music and listening live, but never a fan of recorded classical music. When I finally did start, I’ve listened to this album every day. The musicians are fantastic and the compositions wonderful.
05 Feb 2012
Just a quick note on Zara McFarlane’s album Until Tomorrow. Very nice classic jazz vocal album featuring Zara and a small ensemble. I like most of the tracks pretty well. Of particular interest are Mama Done, Chiaroscuro, Desire, and My Favorite Things. Desire is by far my favorite track on the album - a nice, slow classic piece featuring Zara and piano. Pretty good album overall if you like vocal jazz.