Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer Splurge

Well, my "parsing EAI" post will have to wait until later as I get through the backlog of Bagatellen/STN/AAJ/Paris Transatlantic reviews, but in the meantime I thought I'd share a couple of short-lists of recordings to check out this year. Last year was the first in memory that I was able to intelligently compile a top ten list of new releases and reissues. It was a good year for both, and not just "good," but actually "excellent," as a slew of fantastic new releases hit the shelves in jazz, free improvisation, experimental and avant-rock. Ditto the reissue market, which seems to be rolling along unabated - even as the download blogs and lack of CD sales run rampant.

I'm looking forward to the new 2 or 3 disc set of Bill Dixon's music on Firehouse12 (look for an interview on All About Jazz in due course) this fall, and similarly can't wait to get my grubby paws on Josh Berman's new disc on Delmark.

But for now, here are some titles that have moved me. Check your local brick and mortar or look up the labels online if you have difficulty finding these titles in your area.

New Issues:
Alexander Hawkins Ensemble "No Now Is So" (FMR)
Rob Mazurek "Sounds" (Delmark)
Joe Morris-Jon Voigt-Tom Plsek "MVP LSD - The Graphic Scores of Lowell Skinner Davidson" (Riti)
Talibam! "Boogie in the Breeze Blocks (ESP-Disk)
Trio X "Live in Vilnius" (No Business)

Reissues/Unearthed Gems:
Dave Bixby "Ode to Quetzalcoatl" (Anthology)
Ted Daniel "Loft Years, Volume 1" (Ujamaa)
Nathan Davis "The Best Of, 1965-1976" (Jazzman)
Sunny Murray "Big Chief" (Eremite)
Sperm "Shh!" (De Stijl)
Splinters "Split the Difference" (Reel Recordings)

Happy listening!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


It's hard to believe that it's been nearly three months since I updated Ni Kantu. The reasons are pretty easy to come up with - lack of time & a lot of uncertainty/frustrations in my life. Personal venting's not really the business of this blog (otherwise I'd update it daily, natch). But now might be a good time to think about what, exactly, I do want it to be about - after all, my regular writing gigs have been put on temporary back burner as well due to the issues above. Still, the piles of discs to listen to gets ever higher and I'm not for want of mental stimulation from all that I hear and see. So please don't abandon ship just yet - a real, actual post will come later today. Followed by more in the coming weeks, including a few reviews.


Clifford Allen