AMN Picks of the Week: Pharaoh and the Underground / Nathan Parker Smith / Taylor Ho Bynum & Tomas Fujiwara / John Dikeman

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Pharaoh and the Underground – Spiral Mercury (2014)
Nathan Parker Smith – Not Dark Yet (2014)
Taylor Ho Bynum / Tomas Fujiwara – Through Foundation (2014)
John Dikeman – The Double Trio (2014)

Newsbits: The Oatmeal on the Music Industry / Coltrane Release Event / Fantomas Reunite / Anna Webber and Matt Ulery Releases

John Coltrane
Cover of John Coltrane

The Oatmeal has a comic take on the state of the music industry over the years.

An unreleased John Coltrane recording, Offering: Live at Temple University, will be accompanied by a national launch event planned on Coltrane’s Birthday, September 23rd, 5:30 PM at Temple University Library, not far from the location of the original concert. The event will feature a panel discussion including critics John Szwed and Francis Davis; Musicians Robert Kenyatta & Carl Grubbs; and moderator, Host of “The Bridge” on WRTI-FM, J. Michael Harrison.

According to Mike Patton, the supergroup Fantomas will be reuniting for a concert.

On the new release front, NYC-Based saxophonist & composer Anna Webber is coming out with Simple (Skirl Records), featuring pianist Matt Mitchell & drummer John Hollenbeck. Also Chicago bassist & composer Matt Ulery will release his second chamber-jazz offering, In The Ivory (Greenleaf Music), including his cote trio, the eighth blackbird, violinist Zach Brock, and vocalist Grazyna Auguscik.

Free Jazz Blog Reviews

Han Bennink
Cover of Han Bennink

From Free Jazz:

Period – 2 (Public Eyesore, 2014) ***½
Piotr Damasiewicz Project – Imprographic 1 (ForTune, 2013) ****
Piotr Damasiewicz Quartet – Mnemotaksja (ForTune, 2014) ****
Jimmy Giuffre 3 & 4 – New York Concerts (Elemental, 2014) *****
Han Bennink & Jaak Sooäär – Beach Party (Barefoot, 2013) ****
Luis Vicente, Pinheiro, Faustino & Franco – Clocks & Clouds (FMR, 2014) ****½
François Carrier, Michel Lambert & Alexey Lapin – The Russian Concerts, Vol. 1 (FMR, 2014) ****½
Anthony Braxton, Tomas Fujiwara, Tom Rainey – Trio New Haven 2013 (New Braxton House, 2014) *****
Baloni – Belleke (Clean Feed, 2014) ****

Steve Coleman is a 2014 MacArthur Fellow

Steve Coleman
Cover of Steve Coleman

From the MacArthur Foundation:

Steve Coleman is an alto saxophonist and composer whose technical virtuosity and engagement with musical traditions and styles from around the world are expanding the expressive and formal possibilities of spontaneous composition. Whether performing solo or with his regular ensemble, Steve Coleman and Five Elements, Coleman delivers signature performances of notated works and brings a masterful facility to intricate and complex improvised pieces. His original compositions weave disciplined rhythmic structures, refined tonal progressions, and overlapping and mixed meters into soulful and fluid interpretations.

Tyondai Braxton Interviewed by Ben Vida

Tyondai Braxton
Cover of Tyondai Braxton

From BOMB Magazine:

In March of last year Tyondai Braxton debuted his composition HIVE in the rotunda of the Guggenheim. It was a considered and ambitious first go at a piece that was still finding its form. That Tyondai was willing to present a new composition that was, for all intents and purposes, a work in progress in such a prestigious setting speaks to the recent turn toward experimentation and open-ended-ness in his work.