One-Liners (June 5th, 2018, Columbia, MO)

Nicole and I went on a seven-mile trail walk today, but I still squeezed in multiple records and there’s still time. In the colossally self-righteous words of Ian Mackaye, “What have you done?” (Wait…was there a cuss word in there? Oh yeah–profanity was pure enough for him!)

So, I will attempt to address each of those platters with a one-liner precise enough to tempt you to try them if you haven’t.

Dr. Michael White: Tricentennial Rag

I confess, I’m a fool for NOLA trad, and here the reigning clarinet master and his not-that-mouldy henchman go back so far, several tracks on this new release kick in with a marching band drum cadence–and he ends with a teasing “Saints.” (No YouTube yet; here’s an Apple Music link.)

Preservation Hall Jazz Band: So It Is

On the other hand, if you need something smokin’ hot, deliriously catchy, and stretching from Africa to Cuba to the Crescent City, get with 2017’s best jazz album immediately.

Ty Segall: Slaughterhouse

This totally rips, but Segall has a touch of Stooges Disease: he tends to find a way to derail his best efforts, here with quonset hut production values that make one wanna beg for a remix.

Wes Montgomery: In Paris

If you’ve never been convinced of the man from Indiana’s greatness on guit, he’s on fiya on this typically stellar Resonance dig, the best such rekkid so far in ’18.

Die Like a Dog Quartet: fragments of music, life, and death of Albert Ayler

Worthy of the named master without being too reverent–also, featuring surprisingly subtle Brotzmann fury, and surprisingly irreverent electronics and brass from Toshinori Kondo, who almost steals the thing.

Bettye LaVette: Things Have Changed

Perhaps I am repeating myself, but this sucker’s a AOTY contender, and ten listens have elevated it in my esteem from flawed but ambitious diamond to a deep masterpiece–never count a soul queen out!

“You Never Can Tell” (January 5, 2018, Columbia, Missouri)

Listened to two unlikely records today made by some stereotype-busters.

One artist hailed from deep Acadiana, and–though he did go on to play in the Cajun super-group Lil’ Band of Gold–studied and sang Gregorian chants, worked with Phillip Glass, Talking Heads, and Laurie Anderson, and created, through tape-delay and overdubbing, the incredible one-man record 15 Saxophones. Supposedly minimalist, the sound is maximal–a swirling storm of horn, a fever dream of reeds.

The name? Dickie Landry.

The other artists (actually, a group) had made their names backing everyone who was anyone in country music in the 1950s, often innovating on their instruments. But in 1960, they were invited to the Newport Jazz Festival (they also liked to swing!), and though a youth riot kept them from taking the stage, they knocked out some joyful jazz for a small yard audience after the riot was quelled, a performance recorded and released under the title After the Riot, credited to the Nashville All-Stars.

All-Stars? Do the names Hank Garland, Chet Atkins, Boots Randolph, and Floyd Cramer ring any bells?

Hey! You get full albums!

Short-shrift Division:

The absolutely stellar live companion to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s magnificent 2017 studio recording, So It Is, called Run Stop and Drop (The Needle), recorded where else but Preservation Hall in NOLA. It’s looser, and a bit hotter, than the official release. Here’s a KEXP in-studio performance to tease you (guess the shrift wasn’t that short):