Friday, July 6, 2012

Let's review some records!


It's dark outside. Let's review some records that have been sitting on my office windowsill for ages!

John Yao Quintet, In the Now Thuddy-drummed jazz. Merry-go-round horns like in some of those woolier Mingus records swooping in and then darting away, a knifepoint of Hammond organ here and there all chopping up the negative space left by that bass drum.

Ergo, Multitude, Solitude This was on an actual CD and had to stop for a second to think how to play one. It was like not knowing which side of the car the fuel tank is on with CD's on the iMac. Also, I think this CD was still in the stack from my old office, and maybe the office before. Sorry, Ergo. This wave of neglect is not because I don't dig your slow gravity orbit around the smoldering remains of mood jazz, or the static-fuzzy, electronica-infused way you transmit your data back to the home world, or the graceful tumble through space that is how you manifest said orbit. It's that I am lazy with CD's.

Build, Place I know I've listened to this, for I love this group; a quintet or so of smarty-pants, new-composition composing, New York music school types playing each others pieces (these all by member Matthew McBane) like, you know, a band does. I love this idea and the results, which is a rare balance in idea/results negotiations. They (all these composers, actually) lean toward a nervous kind of elation, a Philip Glassy-eyed wonder that perhaps hints at desires to be doing musical theatre or bar jazz. They are, however, doing this because this is what they really want to do. Urgent and precise, like emergency surgery performed on the subway as it rolls past the stop for the Met.

Dirty Projectors, Swing Low Magellan (Streaming at the NYTimes) I just pitched a review of this to someone and they caught it. Idea, meet results!

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