Avant Music News 15 Most Popular Reviews of 2017 (So Far…)

John Zorn (cropped version)

This year, we have published 64 reviews so far. Most are of new albums, but some cover reissues, books, or live performances. As always, I am grateful to our reviewers for their dedication, time, and effort.

This list is in descending order of popularity, as measured by clicks on individual links to reviews. Unfortunately, the list does not reflect other measures of popularity, such as sharing on social media, but it is a reasonable representation of the reviews that garnered the most interest.

Also, entries on the list might be biased toward reviews that appear earlier in the year, as those have had more time to accumulate traffic. Still, most traffic to reviews arrives in the first week that the reviews are available, so this bias may be small.

  1. John Zorn – The Garden of Earthly Delights (2017; Tzadik)
  2. Dan Phillips’ Chicago Edge Ensemble – Decaying Orbit (2017)
  3. Anglagard – Live: Made in Norway (2017; Blu Ray/DVD)
  4. Dana Jessen – Carve [Innova 910]
  5. Nate Wooley – “The Complete Syllables Music” [Pleasure of the Text Records]
  6. Nelson / Dahl / Podgurski – GRID (2017; NNA Tapes)
  7. Skullflower – The Spirals of Great Harm (2017; Cold Spring Records)
  8. Björkenheim / Sopko / James / Laswell / Yamaki – Inaugural Sound Clash (For the 2 Americas) (2017; M.O.D. Technologies)
  9. Nicole Mitchell – Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds (2017; FPE Records)
  10. Magma – Emehntehtt-Re Trilogie DVD (2017; Seventh Records)
  11. John Zorn – Sacred Visions (2016; Tzadik)
  12. Marco Colonna, Silvia Corda & Adriano Orrù: Istinti Ragionati (Bandcamp)
  13. David Toop – Into the Maelstrom: Music, Improvisation and the Dream of Freedom: Before 1970 [Bloomsbury 2016]
  14. Omar Rahbany – Passport (2017)
  15. Jaimie Branch – Fly or Die (2017; International Anthem)

This Week in New York 


What could opera be if it wasn’t constricted to a single stage? Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch’s Accuser, is composer Lisa Bielawa’s answer. Vireo is a new made-for-TV opera composed by Lisa Bielawa on a libretto by Erik Ehn, directed by Charles Otte. Comprised of 12 episodes, Vireo tears down the set limitations of a staged opera, visiting locations across the country – Alcatraz, a monastery on the Hudson River, an abandoned train station in Oakland, and the California Redwoods.
Friday, July 7 at 7:00 PM
Tickets $15
National Sawdust, 80 North 6th Street, New York, NY

Composer and performer Pamela Z performs as part of the Rite of Summer Music Festival.
Saturday, July 8 at 1:00 PM & 3:00 PM
Governors Island, Nolan Park, New York, NY

MATA kicks off its 20th anniversary season by launching a new initiative: “New Music from the Islamic World,” a three-year biannual concert series featuring composers from Muslim-majority nations. The program for this concert features music by Zaid Jabri, Shergo Dakouri, Aida Shirazi, Idin Samimi Mofakham, and Arash Yazdani.
Saturday, July 8 at 7:30 PM
Tickets $20
DiMenna Center for Classical Music, Cary Hall, 450 West 37th Street, New York, NY

Zeena Parkins Orlando, July 10th 

English: Zeena Parkins performing with Cosa Br...

Source: thecm5.

Timucua Arts Foundation and The Civic Minded 5 present
an Atlantic Center for the Arts Master Artist In Residence Outreach concert

Zeena Parkins
Timucua white house
2000 S. Summerlin Ave, Orlando
7:00 pm doors, 7:30 concert
Free admission, donations encouraged, all ages welcome

Statistically speaking and long in the making- based on musical connections and the tens of thousands of hours invested- this Orlando appearance could be argued as a pre-ordained event. Composer and instrumentalist Zeena Parkins made her way down the Hudson River- Bard College to Manhattan in 1984- becoming a ubiquitous component of the burgeoning Downtown music scene. Ms. Parkins musical flexibility was a perfect overlay for how the Downtown scene was a separate spoke of the Loft Jazz/Free Jazz culture of the preceding fifteen years. While best known as the new music harpist to call, add keyboards, accordion, sampling, electronics processing, percussion and vocals to the credits page.